This past June, I was midway through MPWR Design’s annual Launchiversary celebration and planning the next set of WordPress tips I would release afterward when I realized something. In addition to the Launchiversary, mid-June also brings about a day everyone celebrates: Father’s Day. This Father’s Day was much different for me, as my wife and I had our first child last November. As I worked on a client’s website and planned my next round of articles in the days leading up to Father’s Day, I realized my company looks a lot different than it did a year ago because my personal life does too.
What most people don’t realize about MPWR Design is it’s primarily a single-person operation. I work with graphic designers when clients need a new logo, I have a copywriter I use for clients who need help writing their website copy, and I even occasionally outsource design work when my plate is too full, but 95% of MPWR Design’s work is done by one person alone. In addition to working with clients, I also release new content regularly (typically every Monday except for special promotions like the Launchiversary), write my own social media copy, create my own social media and article graphics, and more. And in addition to all that, another thing most people don’t realize about MPWR Design is I also work another full-time job in addition to running this company.
Before last November when my son was born, I’d work Sunday through Thursday at my other job, and I’d do most of my work for MPWR Design on Fridays. I would sometimes schedule client consultations during my lunch break or in the evenings, but typically I’d do most of my MPWR Design work on Fridays. On a typical Friday, that would include client work, writing a new blog post, and scheduling a week’s worth of social media posts. Sometimes when I was waiting on clients to get back to me, I could get ahead on the administrative tasks so I could spend the whole Friday on client work in a future week, but that’s what a typical Friday looked like for me.
However, my son’s birth changed things substantially. After a couple of months of full-time daycare, we decided that it would be best for me to keep him on Fridays since I’m not in the office. And I love it. I love getting to spend my Fridays with my little boy. But as you can imagine, that changes the rhythm of my work. Now, I’m spending at least half of the day away from my computer so I can be actively engaged with my son, and I’m getting my work done while he’s napping or entertaining himself with toys. I still love MPWR Design, but I’ve realized that this shift in my schedule also requires a shift in the way I run my business.
And that’s why I’m writing about my personal life on what is typically a WordPress-based website. You’re probably wondering, “Why are you telling me all this personal stuff? I’m reading this because I’m looking to you for help with my website.” That’s exactly why I’m writing this, because these changes in my personal life will impact the way I run my business, which will impact the way I help you with your website.
Before you start jumping to conclusions, hear me clearly when I say this: I’m not writing this post to announce that MPWR Design is shutting down. I don’t have any intention of closing my company right now. However, I have realized I need to make some changes to the company, and I want to be transparent about those changes so people aren’t left wondering why things suddenly changed. You may not notice much of a difference, but you might.
Here are some specific changes you can expect from MPWR Design from here on out:
- The frequency in which MPWR Design releases new content will change. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve released new content almost every week since MPWR Design’s public launch just over 5 years ago. Email subscribers receive a new email every Monday with the “MPWR Monday” WordPress tip of the week, and those articles are also shared on social media. The weekly emails and social posts won’t change, but the frequency of new content will. I spend quite a bit of time writing new content, and now that I’ve got less time to devote to the company before, that’s an easy area to pull back without impacting things much. To date, MPWR Design has published 175 WordPress tips, so we have a great catalog of existing content to re-share. Most of those tips are just as relevant as the day they were published. I tested re-sharing existing content in February of this year and the concept was received well. So here’s what you can expect from the company going forward: One email and social post per month will share new content, and the others will share existing content. This will provide me with the ability to keep you up-to-date with new changes and features but also share still-relevant existing content.
- My client load will need to be reduced. Before my son was born, I could handle several website clients at once. I would stagger them such that each was at a different point in the website design process at a given time. I liken it to a restaurant, where one server can adequately serve several tables, because everyone doesn’t need food or drinks at the same time. However, now that I have less time to dedicate to the company than I once did, even that light but steady client load can be difficult to handle. This impacts you because it’ll mean I book up more quickly, so you might have to wait longer than usual to hire me for a major project.
- I’ll have to say no to some opportunities. This is probably the hardest part of the transition. I would love to help every client who comes to me for assistance, but I’ll have to be more selective as to which opportunities I pursue now. Otherwise, I’ll book myself out for an extraordinarily long period of time, and that’s never good for anyone.
I know these changes will disappoint some of you, but it’s always been important for me to put my family first. With a son to care for now, this principle now takes on new meaning for me. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I have had to help people and I’m excited to continue making the Internet a better place, one website at a time.