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Reader Interactions


  1. This is one of my favorite quotes for both my business and my persona life:

    β€œDo the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
    ― Maya Angelou

    I love this quote because it sets the stage for doing well and improving, but also allows for learning along the way. That is what you’ve done and what I’ve done.

    I personally think you’ve done a great job this year. All of a sudden you popped up on my radar as a fellow Genesis developer. You’ve proven yourself as smart, sassy, and solid when it comes to coding. You’ve found your passion and not you’ll figure out how to better use your passion for good.

    I look forward to 2014 and working with people like you to create even better WordPress (and of course our beloved Genesis) websites for people around the world. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to do what you love and with people you love.

    I’m very happy 2013 brought you to into my life Miss Carrie Dils.

    • Great quote.

      And I’ll tell you I’m really glad we met this year and look forward to learning from you and with you – I really came in under the wire on Meet Cool People This Year.

  2. Great reflection post Carrie!

    I love the “Grow product revenue stream” plan! I went from client work to product income only in 2012 (pre-Woo) and it was great. The only thing I’d suggest is don’t cut loose from the client work dock until the product revenue raft is strong enough to support you!

    In 2014 I’m going to be building more products and will be focusing on idea validation and marketing. I know I can build stuff people want, but need to improve on getting my products in front of the right people!

    • Thanks Daniel!

      Solid advice regarding the “revenue raft.” Not sure I ever see myself pulling away *entirely* from client services as I really enjoy that aspect. I’ll be interested to re-read this post in a year.

      Curious – how granular did you get with setting goals on your product sales or did you just kinda throw it to see what stuck? I’ve put some big plans on paper, but you hit the nail on the head with idea validation/marketing.

      I respect your voice in the WordPress community as well as your perspective on finances. I know you’re surrounded with some pretty smart people already, but if I can ever be of service to you when it comes to idea bouncing and the like, I’m happy to do it. πŸ™‚


      • I got very granular and called it The Math of Freedom. My goal was not to make a medium income, but to replace my consulting income.

        I took my consulting income, divided by 12 (months), then by 30 (days) and divided that by the average cost of my products. Then I could say “I need to sell X products per day.” Since some products plateau in sales I made more to increase the likelyhood of hitting X products sold per day.

        I cheated on the marketing part by being a part of the WooCommerce rocket train gold rush. πŸ™‚

  3. Huge congrats to you and the success you’ve had this year, Carrie. It’s great to see that you have a passion for working with Genesis, and we’re so thankful that you’re a part of our community.

    Here’s to a better and more profitable year for you in 2014!

    • Thanks Brian. It’s not a hard community to love. I’m frequently asked “what’s so great about Genesis” and my top 2 (I can’t pick 1) are quality of the product and quality of the people.

      Here’s wishing you a successful 2014 as well! As the old Vidal Sassoon commercial used to say, “If you don’t look good, we don’t look.” πŸ˜‰

  4. Thanks for sharing your successes and challenges Carrie.
    Awesome review… (and thanks for the mention). The product side of things is a lot of work but certainly worth it.
    Personally I think I’ll be working on processes as long as I’m in business… every year things seem to need tweaking/adjusting, but I guess that’s part of growth.

    For me, without a doubt connecting with you (online, the podcast and in person) was part of my what made 2013 a year to be grateful for. Can’t say I’d share all my gum with just anyone. πŸ™‚ You’ve set the bar high when it comes to embracing community.

    I’m looking forward to seeing more awesomeness from you in 2013 & doing a few things together!
    Have a wonderful holiday & New Year!

    • Gum sharing is sacred indeed! In case anyone misreads that – it was NEW gum. It was just YOUR new gum that you shared in a moment of need. πŸ™‚

      Absolutely great connecting with you this year as well. Although we share some interests overlap, your business is so different from mine – I’ve really enjoyed watching you evolve and look forward to see what you do in 2014.

      Merry Christmas!

      • hahaha… that’s awesome about the gum! I obviously did not think through what that might read like for someone else (is it the 26th yet?).
        Have a fabulous day Carrie! πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks, Carrie. I always enjoy your enthusiasm and energy. I envy the support you list here from the “mastermind group”. We’re starting to do similar things a few miles to the north of you.

    • Steve, thanks for the kind word. I hope you can build up a support system as well – while local is great, it’s definitely not required. (Cue the Google Hangout). πŸ˜‰

  6. I love the honesty of this post. Instead of talking about your successes, you’ve given a real-world view that we can all relate to. Thank you for that!!! I love that you have a group to work with on goals. I really wish, about four years ago, I’d sat down with a group of like-minded people and started weekly goal setting. I’ve tried it on a smaller scale with fiction writers groups, but it always fell flat, because we all had different goals and objectives – and not enough accountability. The key is having the right group of people – and the guts to stick to those goals! Thanks for all you do! I look forward to your posts in 2014.

    • Hi Angela,
      Thanks so much for your comment as a writer I’m sure you can relate to how hard is it to “throw yourself out there” and it’s nice to get good feedback. πŸ™‚

      I think you’re right that the group has to have the right chemistry to work. In the case of my group, it’s really taken the full 6 months to get to a point of feeling comfortable together. I hope you find some people that are a good fit for you!


  7. I loved reading this post! I moved over to Genesis this year when Catalyst moved over and you were one of the first people I found to follow to help me navigate the framework – so I have been lurking around for a while!

    It is so great to read about your behind the scenes review of 2013 and to know that everyone struggles through transition phases when you work for yourself.

    I am moving away from ‘cheap and cheerful’ websites to more consultation and bigger projects and the mindset change and client change has made this year a tough one but I now have everything in place for a great 2014 πŸ™‚

    I have learnt a great deal from your posts and newsletters over the last year and look forward to continuing to learn more!

  8. I wanted to post a comment, but came intimidated when I saw some of the rock stars who have already commented! I’ll comment anyway πŸ˜‰

    I get better, smarter, by stalking smart people. Some have commented here, and one is you. If I see someone I think is doing it right, I pay attention. It seems you are a couple years ahead of me. LOL

    WordPress and Genesis is the foundation of my work too. That is why I spend a lot of time on your website reading your tutorials as well as Brad’s.

    So, yeah, I am looking for some of the same things you are, a specialty, I guess. Maybe build some products or services. That does seem the best way to scale for one person.

    Anyway, glad I can follow your lead in this journey, and thanks so much for all of your help!


  9. Congrats on a great year Carrie and good luck in 2014! It’s funny because I was just taking a break from writing specific goals for 2014 when I read this.

  10. Go Carrie!! Sounds like you had a great year!! That’s awesome, I’m glad to see things striving with you, you definitely deserve it. God Bless you and your fam!

    Cheers to 2014!!

  11. Carrie, here’s one big thing you forgot to mention in your “successes” column: how much you help the developers who are coming along behind you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve Googled Genesis tutorials online while struggling with a client project, and guess who’s lovely mug comes up? Yours. Over and over.

    And this doesn’t count the hours you’ve mentored me personally as I made my headlong dive into WP.

    You are a gift to this community, Carrie. And a brave one at that. Keep staring your business’s truths in the face. It challenges us all to do the same thing. And THAT’s a gift that keeps giving.


  12. Hey Carrie, love this post and thanks for sharing the last year with us and your insights and goals into 2014. I have had the pleasure of knowing you and seeing you blossom in this community. You are smart as a whip and you will go far. Plus, who can resist your smile πŸ™‚

    Yes, myself I have big, new stuff going on in the New Year as I have shared with you personally. Having been in business for myself for 25 years, you would think I would be settled and rich. Yeah, right! We have had to adapt and change with the times a lot, or your business will fail without that flexiblity. We have also abandoned things that don’t work, and continually find new ways to grow our biz. It’s been an incredible journey and there are days when I feel like “I’m just starting again”. But that’s OK.

    Cheers to a great 2014. And I look forward to our continued friendship and support.

    • Bob, you’re so right. We’re in a continuous state of evaluation and course re-setting – and sometimes it does feel like starting over, but that’s okay. I respect your voice in the WordPress community and have enjoyed getting to know you better. REALLY looking forward to your “unveilings” in 2014. πŸ™‚

      Merry Christmas!

  13. Hey Carrie, thank you the wickedly honest post! You know, when you follow somebody, you think they got it all nailed. And we suffer the misconception that some day, we will also achieve the glory of nailing it all! … posts being posted, all clients & projects addressed in the proper time & space, the laundry done & folded and the garbage can containing something other than takeout boxes…

    Thank you for sharing your life so simply.

    Your words allow me to take a breath and not strain myself, hoping to arrive to a non-existent perfection in life & work. I can take a breath & get back to my work with a gusto, for the love of the craft itself & for the love for my clients and admiration for what they are striving to accomplish with their lifetime. From your words I gather the encouragement to turn to the whiteboard again, map out the aims for the 2014 & simply keep at it. … and, yes, feel like I am starting again. πŸ™‚

    Congrats on your 2013!!! Looking forward to your new products & partaking in helping you make money while you sleep. πŸ™‚

    … Time and time and again I turn to your tutorials on Genesis. Thank you for those too!

    much love, luck & blessings in the 2014

    • Hey Eugenia,

      Glad to be an encouragement to you and thank you for encouraging me right back! You’re so right – life is far from tidy, so never believe anybody that says so. πŸ˜‰

      Best wishes for you in the New Year.



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