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Group at CaboPress The CaboPress Group 2016

How 5 Days Can Change You

Five days ago I flew away from paradise. I was fortunate to attend a 5 day Mastermind conference in Cabo San Lucas called CaboPress. The event is the creation of Chris Lema, one of the foremost authorities, and kindest mentors, in the WordPress community. Chris speaks and writes about business leadership, entrepreneurship and public speaking (to name a few!). To say Chris is awesome might be an understatement! Many people say it, and it is true – Chris is a generous, wise and caring person. I met him in 2013 at WordCamp Baltimore and during our brief conversation he made a huge impact on my path as an evolving WordPress freelancer. I read about CaboPress in 2015 and was tempted to go. I eventually chickened out, worried that my business was too small to fit in with others attending from large, established companies. I told myself if my business continued to grow, I would apply to go the following year. Fast forward to 2016 and now I am looking back on an amazing experience! I wrote a thorough review on the plane coming home, but I have to say that the past 4 days, where I have been revisiting conversations…

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Why I Love WordCamps

I attended my first WordCamp in Baltimore in 2014. I found out about WordCamp by accident. I had hired a developer in Florida to do some php work for a client of mine, and he mentioned in passing that he was presenting at WordCamp Tampa. I googled “WordCamp” and discovered the Baltimore WordCamp was coming up, so signed up – curious and skeptical about what the $40 conference fee could offer. What is a WordCamp? The definition on WordCamp Central says “WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress, the free and open source personal publishing software that powers over 75 million sites on the web.” The first WordCamp was held in 2006 in San Francisco by Matt Mullenweg. Now there are over 500 WordCamps around the world.   The first sessions were somewhat enlightening. I learned more about the Genesis framework, using Yoast for SEO, and some upcoming trends. As a self-taught WordPress user and developing “Developer” I loved the ease with which I could fill my mind with new concepts. At lunch, I approached the awkward room of strangers and chose a table with a lot of empty seats. I introduced myself to the two people…

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The Blogging Challenge: Blogging For One Month

I met the sister team from @sumydesigns, Susan Sullivan and Amy Masson at WordCamp US. They impressed me with their commitment to blogging about website and WordPress design and development. As a result, I have set myself a goal of blogging every day (or almost every day!) for the month of March. The Design TLC Blogging Challenge begins today! If you are interested in expanding your website and WordPress skills, learning about great tools for website design and development and other general productivity tips, please sign up to follow my challenge. If I know you are reading, I am more likely to meet this Challenge and blog every day!   I am trying out CoSchedule as a tool to help me plan my month of blog posts, and also to help me select compelling headlines and content. Combined with Google Docs, the process looks like it will go smoothly!  

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Why I Love My Job

I started a personal blog on TLC by TARA a few months ago. The intention was to share general thoughts, reflections on life and get in the habit of blogging. While I enjoy that, I haven’t been very regular about it and feel the need to write about what I do all day instead of, or in addition to, what I think about. I decided to add a work/WordPress-related blog that will allow me to share the joys, challenges and lessons of making websites with WordPress. As a start, for my first post, I am going to give shouts out to those who have helped me learn what I know (so far). When I look at the work I have done and the clients I have helped, I am proud of what I see, but I know that it wouldn’t be possible without the help of the WordPress community. Other Developers I am not afraid to ask questions (despite the fear of revealing my ignorance!) Thankfully, the WordPress community is made up of kind, helpful people who are, in my experience, always willing to help. Whether giving advice, making a quick fix, giving a lesson, or being available for hire for more advanced work, I…

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Jumping In

The ball just dropped in Times Square. There’s no time like the present to jump in and begin a new challenge. How many times have you put something off because you are not “ready?” I recall mornings when I rose early to swim in the open water, training for a triathlon. I was never a strong swimmer. The water was cold and I kept imagining bumping into slimy fish or drowning out where no one would find me. I would stand at the edge of the dock for several minutes, tempting myself to turn around and go back inside. It took a lot of courage to finally jump in. So here I go – jumping into an experience, though I don’t feel quite ready. After reading this post yesterday, I confirmed that I need to have faith in my ability to “learn as I go.” The discomfort of starting something new is balanced by Oliver’s observation that “if you’re worried you don’t measure up, that could well be a sign that you do.” This space will be a place for reflections, lessons, and stories that revolve around life as I want to live it: with tender loving care. Perhaps having this goal will inspire…

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