Remember, People Are What Matter Most

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of business and forget that our work is really just a vehicle to create connections with others.

I was moved to tears this past week.
A member from my WordPress tutorial site emailed me to ask if he could share his membership login with his daughter, who lived with her mother out of state, following a nasty divorce.
He asked if it both he and his daughter could log into his account simultaneously, so they could watch the video tutorials at the same time, and then build a website together. He hoped the shared experience would help bridge the distance and enable him to reconnect with his daughter.
“I believe both of us having access to it would give her a sense of confidence and help re-establish a broken bond, while introducing her to a new skill which will last a lifetime.”
I was barely able to type a response due to the tears swelling up in my eyes.
Um… YES! Without a doubt. Are you kidding me? I look forward to hearing how this works out for the two of you, and can I do anything else to help?
Honestly, it was the first time I felt like this project was actually making a difference in someone’s life.
I guess it’s far too easy to get caught up in the daily grind — the numbers and data and support tickets and work — and forget WHY we do what we do. Ultimately, our vocation is just a vehicle. A means to an end.

Our work is the vehicle to create meaningful connections with others.

To make a difference in someone else’s life and have your own life impacted by them in a truly meaningful way.
I needed a reminder that it’s not just the quality of our work that brings people back for more. It’s the connection they share with you.
Beyond the limited scope of your work projects, are you intentional about making genuine, lasting connections with people?
Because in the end, it’s people that matter most.


I love it. I’m actually going to use your site next year as part of my 8th graders home school curriculum!
It’s easy to feel like our jobs are fruitless – but aren’t these moments awesome!
Congrats on making a difference!

Thanks, Sarah. Didn’t realize you were also homeschooling. Yet another thing we share in common! 🙂
Let me know how you’re able to incorporate WP101 next year. I’d love to hear if we can facilitate more of this in the future.
I know Cameron Moll teaches his boys HTML, and I plan to the same with our kiddos.

Awesome. Just freaking awesome. I’ve had a few of those moments in my career and, without fail, they are some of the most grounding, centering moments when we’re in the thick of it.
Love it man, keep on doing what you’re doing.

Isn’t it amazing how far a few words can go? Just telling someone, “I wouldn’t be me without you” is huge!
Thanks for weighing in, Justin. You rock.

That’s awesome. Good for you for wanting to help them even more if possible.
One thing that stuck out to me, though:
“Honestly, it was the first time I felt like this project was actually making a difference in someone’s life.”
Next time you see Jason Cohen, tell him that, and see how he responds. I’m serious.
At WC Austin he asked me what I do, and I started to tell him, but he stopped me almost immediately because I said “we build websites, mostly for small local businesses, which is okay, but -” and that’s where he butted in, and proceeded to lecture me (in a good way) on how it doesn’t matter how big or small my clients are, that what I’m doing MATTERS to them, and I’m literally changing peoples’ lives for the better. That CERTAINLY holds true for what you do. You enable people (lots and lots of them) to do something that otherwise they might not be able to do. Seriously – many people wouldn’t have the time to go out and learn what you teach if your product weren’t available, regardless of all the other resources out there.
What you do matters, and you’re impacting the lives of many people in a very positive way. Don’t forget that.

That’s an awesome reminder, and thanks for sharing Jason’s words to you.
We’ve got a section on our members’ forum for folks to share their stories about how WP101 has impacted them. Still waiting on the first person to post, but I can’t wait, because I feel like those are the stories that we all need to hear.
Thanks again for dropping by, Travis.

…and that layer is what connects us all, isn’t it?
I enjoy changing subjects mid-way through a business conversation to ask the other person if they’re married, have kids, etc. It’s amazing how their entire demeanor changes immediately when you start asking about their kids.
Way more important than which plugins we use on our site, isn’t it? 🙂