From the corporate world to a money blogger, Shannon runs a ten-person agency specializing in membership sites using WooCommerce. Her success story in the WP space is fascinating, and her three-year look at WooCommerce as the monster, certainly, overall, has a wonderful ending (with scattered Hallmark moments).
A Chat with Shannon
In episode 69, Mendel and I chat with Shannon about:
- How Shannon does the Woo and her start in WordPress as a money blogger
- The story behind naming her agency Purple Finch Studios
- What it takes to scale from a single entrepreneur to a ten-person agency.
- How hiring employees before they are needed has worked for her
- Why she considered WooCommerce a monster for three years and what changed her mind
- What she finds appealing about WooCommerce over other options
- What her clients’ needs are and how she meets them using WooCommerce
- How she vets WordPress plugins for her company’s projects
- What is a WordPress celebrity
- Building relationships and the power of connections in the community
- How she has dealt with the diverse platforms and ways of doing business, and what that has looked like
Connect with Shannon
Deals From Our Sponsors
Yes, this is the transcript. But not in the traditional sense, transcribed word for word. We do not speak as we write. Often the flow of transcribed content is hard to follow. So I have taken it a few steps further by seriously editing, at times, the conversation and even using my editorial freedom to clarify some points. So enjoy.
Bob: Hey everyone. BobWP here. Episode 69, and we are doing the Woo with my illustrious cohost. Mendel, Kurland how you doing?
Mendel: Illustrious. Wow. You're hamming it up this week. I like it, Bob. I'm doing great. It's real hot here, but I'm doing the AC. So, how are you?
Bob: Good, good. It's nice, mellow temperatures here. I was going to ask you, are you looking forward to the summer winding down, but I imagine you'll have some heat for a while there.
Mendel: I am looking forward to it winding down because I tried to grow a garden, and nothing's growing in this heat. So, I'm excited to get some things in the ground for the fall. I know it's super exciting. Everybody tune in just to listen to Mendel gardening.
Bob: I think we'll revisit that in a couple months, and see how that's going.
Anyway. Well, we have a great guest as usual. But before I dive into that, let me just give a quick shout out to our sponsors.
WooCommerce.com. Don't know if you've looked at their Woo payments. It's an option through Stripe, but it's another gateway option that you can use on your WooCommerce shop.
CheckoutWC.com. Replaces your WooCommerce checkout, and surprisingly it works with all WordPress themes. So, that's always an issue, or something you've got to think about.
And at GoWP.com. What's cool about them is they have these maintenance plans that include what's called a visual validator plugin updater.
Mendel: That sounds really fancy.
Bob: It keeps you on top of things that go sideways with your plugins when you do those updates, which is always good to know.
Well, the thing I like about Twitter, and all the people I met through Twitter, and through Word Camps is I never know somebody that I know that does a Woo. I kind of dig in and I find out, "Oh yeah. We do quite a bit with WooCommerce actually," and I was not aware of that. And that is why I'm bringing on our guest today, Shannon Shaffer. Shannon, welcome to the show.
Shannon: Hi guys. Thanks for having me.
How Shannon does the Woo
Bob: Shannon, we always start with how do you do the Woo?
Shannon: So, I actually own a agency, a small agency, outside of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, and we do the Woo with membership sites. We specialize in creating membership sites for mid-size companies and professional associations, like lawyers, doctors, that kind of thing. My journey there is long and crazy, but we actually have been doing membership sites for about five years, and just started using Woo a little over a year ago. Switched all of our tech to Woo, and we are really loving it. So, it was a good change.
The WordPress story
Bob: How did you get into WordPress?
Shannon: That's the crazy story. I started in 2006. I was an OJ mom blogger. I had a job that I didn't love, and I just started writing. One day I was like, "Oh, I'm just going to start this online thing," and started writing online, and then realized, "Hey, I can make money doing this."
I spent seven years having multiple blogs with millions of views, and learned all the things. Totally self-taught. Because that's what WordPress does to you. And at the end of seven years, I was like, "I don't know that I want to continue to do this." Ended up selling to a media company my blog network. And then, decided that I was going to help other entrepreneurs who face some of the challenges when they were getting online.
And that's how Purple Finch Studios started back in 2014 as a way to help other entrepreneurs. If you look at our website, we're 100% geared towards people who originally started out doing all their website stuff themselves, and then they kind of grew, and they still think their website is their baby. They want to be in the back end of WordPress because they don't trust developers.
And that's where I come in. I'm not a developer. I can do stuff, but it's really bad. You don't want me to. But I know enough that I'm able to developer speak, and also talk to the customer in a way that they trust us. So, that's the evolution of, in one minute, of a 14 year history of my background. So, 14 years. Gosh, that sounds like a long time.
Mendel: I always have to laugh when people say, "Well, I just run a small agency." Because there's nothing small about running your own business, right? It's all-consuming for you, and especially if you have partners and stuff like that.
Shannon: Yeah. But when you have 10 employees, you're a small business. So, that's what I mean. That we're small in the world of businesses.
The story of the name Purple Finch
Mendel: Totally. So I've been curious, I often wonder what's in a name. But in this case, I'm really curious. Why the Purple Finch?
Shannon: Basically, I also shoot photography, and I had a mentor who sent me out on this journey to become a really good photographer who could shoot anything. And in that journey, one of the things that she taught me is that, "If you have the patience to shoot something small and fast," and not with a gun, but with the camera, "If you can shoot something small and fast, and get it in focus, you can shoot anything." So, I picked a Purple Finch. It was a really long journey.
Eventually I could shoot a Purple Finch. I don't know if you know what they are, but they're really tiny birds, and they're really fast, and they're skittish. And so, Purple Finch actually represents a journey of learning how to do something, and taking the time. And doing it well, and not being about just doing it halfway. Because that's something that we really pride ourselves on is that we're just not going to slap up a website. We think about the entire process from the user journey all the way to what we're using in the backend.
And I will tell you that every single person who I have a meeting with asked me that question, and it is a wonderful icebreaker. So, there you go. It's usually in my office here, but we're moving. So, normally I have a picture of the first Purple Finch that I actually captured on a canvas behind me.
Mendel: And I appreciate the story even more because it truly embodies what it seems like your journey has been to this point, right? And I can't say the same about everybody's choice in names, right? Sometimes people are just like, "Ah, I don't know. It sounded cool." So yeah, so you just did it.
Bob: Or they say, "I'm just going to put WP at the end of my first name."
Mendel: That's right, that's right. Who would do that?
Bob: And I won't actually waste time telling the story, but our previous business we were called Cat's Eye Marketing, and there is a story behind that name. And as Shannon said, it's a great icebreaker because we had people asking all the time, "What's this got to do with anything?"
Shannon: And I've had a few people tell me that, I had one guy tell me that my name was really elementary, and probably that I wouldn't be able to be successful. And I just said, "Oh, if I have to stay being a seven figure company, I'm cool with that." Okay. So, I've had people make those kind of comments, and it's like that's fine. It's not for everybody, and I understand that.
I can relate to that because we used to be told that, "That doesn't tell me anything about your business." Well, you just asked about it though.
Mendel: Listen, there's a mattress company called Purple, right? And if they can become a gargantuan company with a word that has probably zero meaning, you with three words that has a super deep meaning, forget that person who said you couldn't do it because I think you're doing it.
Shannon: Yep. You don't have to like it, but it means something to me. And it's just a reminder that nothing happens overnight. You know? So, that's really what it comes down to, and we don't have to do things ... Everything's a journey. And whether it's your business, whether it's your personal life, there's a journey behind everything. So, there you go.
Mendel: Bob, I have one more question for Shannon right now, and then I'll get off the mic and let you ask her. But I'm super curious about this. You've done a bunch of things, a bunch of creative things in your life, and I'm curious how. You grew a blog network. That is notable. Well, you became a photographer. That is notable. And I'm sure there's a million other things in-between.
Scaling from a singe start-up to 10 employees
And then, you started this agency, and I would guess that you probably started it with either just yourself, or yourself and one or two other people. So, how did you start, and then how did you scale from one to 10? Because there are a lot of people in this space that have no clue how to get past, "Hey, I'm just making money for myself, and I don't know how to actually build something bigger than a sole proprietorship or a partnership."
Shannon: In my first career, before this, I worked in the corporate world, and did a lot of that stuff. So, I was fortunate coming into it when I started the blog network, I hired early and often, right? In fact, I lie. I waited too long in the blog network. In this company, when I first started, I learned lots of lessons about waiting too long. In this company with PFS, I hired early.
So, it was just me, but before I even had work for a developer to do, I hired a developer. He was part-time with me, and then about four months in I think we had two gigs. I met a developer, we immediately clicked, and I'm like, "Hey, I don't have enough work for you, but do you want to come work for me?" And I just figured out how to make it work.
So, I just constantly tried to stay ahead of things. I'm a really numbers driven person, so if the numbers tell me that we need the next person, even if my gut, and my heart, and my emotions are like, "I want to spend money," the numbers will always tell me when it's time to hire somebody else. And I think that's the lesson that I learned is that you have to hire early and often to be successful.
And now, we're at point where I don't wish to grow anymore, so it's a little bit different. But I think that's what it was. By the first summer after we started, I had three employees and I couldn't afford a single one. If I would have mentally said, "Oh, I need to be making money right now for myself.”
Hiring employees before you need them
Mendel: Well, explain that. Because you're doing demand gen at the same time that you're hiring essentially dead weight, right?
Mendel: And most people would say, "Oh. Well, do the demand gen, get the business, and then you hire the person really quickly to fill the demand." You seem to be doing it backward, so how'd that work?
Shannon: Well, I think the key of it is if you can do the work yourself, yeah, do it. Right? If you're able to. So, if I got a job that I would not be able to fulfill with my own skillset, that would be bad. If you're looking at somebody who's running an agency, and they're not a developer, an engineer, and you are more on the creative side of things, I think that not having a pipeline of people that can do the work is scary.
So, I've seen that happen, and I've seen people say, "Yeah, yeah. I got this. We can do this." And then, they don't have somebody. Or they hire somebody unknown to them, and then they are delivering an inferior product. I'm a little bit crazy about making sure that what I'm delivering is not just meeting the goals, but over-delivering on every project.
So, I was fortunate that I sold a company prior to starting this one, so I was able to use some of that cash to be able to put it into this one. It's a unique scenario. But I don't feel like I was in a position to sell a job, and then figure out how I was going to get it done. For me, that's a recipe for disaster.
The funny story is how I ended up using WooCommerce is is that I had a job come in from a very large company, and it was something that I didn't think that we could do because of the plugins that we were previously using for our membership sites. And it was actually Chris Lema, who, sitting at Jennifer Bourne's kitchen, he's like, "You can do this." He goes, "Why are you not doing this?"
So, I went out and hired a developer who knew WooCommerce, right? And she's a rockstar at it. And so, once I had her on my team, we in one year went from doing just an occasional to almost everything that we're putting out. And not just small, little bills. So, I don't know, I don't have a good answer how to help anybody else, but that was what worked for me is making sure that I knew how I was going to be able to deliver.
Bob: It follows this trend of being prepared, and also making that pivot. And not sitting there and going, "Oh, WooCommerce is so cool. How can I get into it?" It's like I see the demand right now. I'm moving ahead. I'm getting a developer in here, and going for it.
For three years WooCommerce was the monster
Shannon: Well, I tweeted last year that I thought WooCommerce was the boogeyman for so long because of not understanding how it worked. And as soon as we started moving forward with this, I was like, "Shannon, you've been wasting time." Because we were building these membership sites with these plugins that were really designed for learning, or didn't do what our clients needed. And who knew that WooCommerce was the solution that was sitting in front of my face the whole time, but I was just too afraid to look at it.
So, somebody else had to tell me that, "Hey, not only is this the solution, you're more than capable of doing it." Sometimes fear I think just we make a little, tiny thing into this big monster. And for me, literally for three years WooCommerce was this monster.
Mendel: Where does that come from? Because you seem bold. Bolder than a lot of people I know that are trying to do their own thing. Like you said, you've been in corporate America, you've built things, you've sold things. What do you think generates that, "Oh my God. Can I do this? Can I not do that?" Because it's something that a lot of people have.
Shannon: I think just it's human nature, right? To question your ability. Sometimes we have this. For a long time, getting really personal, because I am not a developer, and I'm also a woman, spending time in this space, I'd be at WordCamps and things like that, and really feel imposter syndrome. Like I shouldn't be here. But then, I think you get to a point where you have all these things that you think that you can't do that it just starts to hold you back. And I think imposter syndrome is a big problem.
I started learning, as I was digging deeper and really talking with people, that a lot of these people just are taking risks just like me, right? They try something, it doesn't work. They try something else. And WooCommerce specifically, I think I listened to a lot of other people's opinions about it who knew nothing about it. They were like, "Oh, you don't want to do that. Do Shopify, or do ..." I won't knock any other plugins or anything. So, "Do this plugin or that plugin."
And except with the plugin, we were taking a plugin and essentially totally modifying it. It was silly. We were doing so much stuff to make it work, and I'm like, "Why are we doing this?" And so, we've simplified our processes. That fear held me back from moving forward with that.
Getting over it? For me, it's just come with age. I just think honestly. I was telling Bob that I just sent my son off to college. And when I left him, I was like, "Try everything once. Just try it." Almost everything. Try everything once, because otherwise you have regrets, right?
So, I think that's where I'm at in my life is that I'm going to try everything. And we never built a membership site in WooCommerce before this. If I told you the brand, you'd recognize it. It's that big. And like I said, Chris was like, "You can do this." And once we got started, we never looked back.
Thanks to our sponsor:This episode is brought to you by GoWP, your partner to help you sell maintenance programs to clients while growing your business.
Your expertise in development or design should not be weighed down with shop maintenance. The best solution is to hand off the low-value work that can often eat up your days.
And making sure you client's sites are healthy and up-to-date is critical. Their white label service gives you access to their engineers and developers an extension to your team. And that even extends to their knowledge base filled with pricing page templates, lead magnets and maintenance plan documentation that you can edit and use yourself.
Topping that off is their content edit request service. Any Woo shop success is based on fresh and up-to-date content. Let GoWP cover that for you clients and agency.
Personally, I know you will not regret extending your services through GoWP and leaving your clients in safe and comfortable hands. Just head on over to GoWP.com and sign up for their free partner account.
Now lets head back to the show.
The appeal for using WooCommerce
Bob: On that same line of thought, what was the appeal of WooCommerce? Once you got over that barrier, Chris pushed you into it, what was the one thing that stood out that you thought, "Okay. I'm not locked in necessarily, but this is worth going down this track."
Shannon: I think it's the flexibility. If I look at the applications that we've used it for over the last 12 months on the various sites, they're all very different. But how we do it is the same. It's just not locked into how somebody else uses it. I'm pretty unique in how I like things to work because I'm constantly thinking about the user. And when you use a plugin that's developed by somebody else, you are basically having to follow their user journey, their user flow, what they think is important to the user. Well, I like to put what I think is important to the user into the site.
We just did Environmental Medicine Doctors. So, there's an association of doctors, and how they think is very different than the group of school teachers that we help build a platform for. Because what they need and what they want to see are totally different. But when I'm using a plugin that's out of the box, they both have to be the same, right?
So, I just like the flexibility. There's a couple plugins that we have fell in love with that make it really easy to do everything that we want to do. But again, WooCommerce has allowed us just to do anything. So, I was afraid to move away from somebody else's product that I knew worked really well, and do something totally custom. Now we're just doing it.
What Shannon’s clients are looking for in a membership site
Bob: So, now that you're doing memberships with WooCommerce, and before that you were of course doing membership sites using WordPress, do you find that most of your clients, and it sounds like that from what you shared with as far as the industries you work with, that most of your clients are not existing WooCommerce store shop owners coming to you for a membership site, and that people are coming directly to you for a membership site.
Shannon: Right. And what we're able to do is, so for example, the particular client that I mentioned, they had a membership site that was on some platform. And then they were selling webinars as a digital product on another platform. And then, they had like their goods on another platform. Three things to manage. So, we now have their membership sites, their webinars, and they can sell their little chachki stuff for their members all in the same place. So, that works.
And a lot of them are doing that. We have a fitness client who sells fitness gear, but she also has a membership site where she does videos and trainings. So again, the membership site was on one platform, and then she was using Shopify to sell her goods, and we can just bring it all into the same spot. So, no sense in having your members go out to another site to buy your five products that you offer. It's very common.
Mendel: Yeah. So I'm curious, as a part of the building process, how you vet plugins, or how you vet new plugins. Because this is, man, if I had a dollar for every time I see posted in a Facebook group, or a forum, or something like that, "What's the best plugin for this?" Or, "What's the best plugin for that?" How do you figure that out? Do you use a standard process or something like that?
Shannon: Honestly, this is going to be an odd answer, but most of the plugins are from people that I've met, and talked to, and have relationships with. Beka Rice, she introduced me to SkyVerge and their plugins, and lots of conversations prior to that. We were strictly MemberPress with Blair. So, just communicating and talking to them. We don't really use a lot of plugins, but we were really tied to our membership plugin for a long time.
And not that it's bad. It's good, it's just it's limited to allow a client to be able to have three of their different types of offerings on the same website, in the same platform. And a lot of our clients, like I said, going back to what I said earlier, they still want to be in their websites. They want to be able to go in and add their webinars, and all the things. So, it's really good for them, too, because it brings it all into one central location.
Mendel: Yeah. So going deeper into that then, so I totally get that you are a celebrity, and you know all of these plugin developers. But ...
Shannon: A celebrity. Not quite.
Mendel: But when you're talking with them, what's going through your mind? What are some of the questions? Maybe the boxes that you're checking? You might not have a super simple process, maybe it's you appreciating them and their commitment to the plugin or whatever. But what are you thinking about when you're talking to them?
It’s more than just a decent plugin
Shannon: Okay. First of all, I'm not an easy sell. I don't know if you could tell this about me, but I'm pretty feisty and opinionated. So, I'm not an easy sell. And it usually takes multiple times. I'll tell you, I've met people, we've tried their product, and we don't like it. So as I'm talking to them, I like to give them my use cases specifically. Not just, "Here's a sales page for my plugin. Look at it. This is what it does." I like to specifically dig into my use cases, and how we would do something.
Also, obviously longevity, and documentation, and can we do some of the things that we need to do? I ask a lot of questions. That's why it took me so long to move to WooCommerce is because I am such a skeptic.
I think another thing is that I do have such a great team that we are able to objectively look at everything. So, I used to be a partner with a plugin company, so I partially owned a plugin company. I don't want to say what, but it was a really bad plug in. It was bad, right? But I didn't realize that at the time. But it opened my eyes to realize that while I think every plugin developer probably goes into it with good intentions, that there are good and not we'll use the word bad, but there are great plugins, and then there's some that are just mediocre and not that good.
So, I guess my mind is does it meet the needs? And do I feel like the person who is responsible for it actually understands the needs of not only the client, but also understands how it's going to affect my entire environment. Right?
I take on clients who have some themes with plugins in it that ... In fact, we just had one with the latest WordPress update, a nice jQuery issue. They called me and they're like,"Okay, relax. We'll get it fixed." In fact, I'm having a meeting with them after to tell them that we have no choice but to stop using some of their plugins. They got to go away. We could come up with a temporary fix, but long term there's going to be issues.
Thanks to our sponsor:This episode is brought to you by CheckoutWC, a premium plugin that replaces your WooCommerce checkout page with a beautiful, responsive and conversion optimized design.
I’ve heard it myself working with shop owners over the last several years. The frustration of limited options they have for the checkout page design. They’re eager to implement best practices and good design to maximize conversions.
CheckoutWC steps in with the solution that will help you reduced abandoned cars and help you increase sales. The best part is that it works with any WordPress theme and you won’t need to struggle with configuring page builders, or even messing with code. In a nutshell, it’s easy to get the checkout page you want.
Head on over to CheckoutWC.com and you can give it a 7-day free trial. And to top that off, drop in the promo code BOBWP and you will get 10% off. That’s CheckoutWC.com
And now, back to our conversation.
I don't think you have to be a rock star celebrity, as somebody might've said. I think that that is a benefit of attending WordCamp, and spending some time talking with people. And I think anybody can do that, and really just networking and communicating.
Also, you have those people that you trust in your circle that say, "Hey." There's times they'll ask if we're doing something. "What would you recommend if I needed a calendar, what do you recommend?" So yeah, you have that trusted circle of people who aren't going to steer you in the wrong direction, too.
Mendel: Yeah. I often have to laugh. Kind of laugh, but also help people get into the right mindset when they think of people in the WordPress world as WordPress celebrities. Because the only thing that separates somebody that is a celebrity like BobWP from the rest of the world is that he's been talking longer. Right? And he has more experience building things, and he's willing to give that experience freely.
When you pair experience with real knowledge, and some sort of way to disseminate the information, then I think you're a celebrity in your own right. People can do the same thing by writing every day. Maybe you know something about that, Shannon. But yeah, you can really become an expert in an industry by just having that rigor, and building content, and learning, and growing, and meeting people, and connecting yourselves. I think that's really all that stands between celebrity-dom and just the average folks going to WordCamps.
In fact, there are a million things when talking to people that are fairly unknown in the WordPress world that teach things to everybody every day. In some ways, maybe they do more at their local meetups and things like that to help each other out.
So, I think it's super important to punctuate that fact that when you're at a WordCamp meeting these people, that you're right, that doesn't make you a celebrity. It just makes you somebody that is going out there, and looking for resources and help, and finding it.
Shannon: Yeah. I think one of the biggest things, if I could, is that I think a lot of people go into these situations guarded. Believing that we're competition. Why am I going to go to my local meetup, and give away all my secrets to the agency that's right down the street? And I can tell you that the one thing that I think has helped me the most is being an open book, and sharing openly with others. And you know what happens? They're like, "Oh, okay. This chick's willing to tell me anything. We can have conversation." And then all of a sudden, they become an open book.
One of my closest friends I met at a WordPress event, and she and I, the first night that we were there. We sat and basically we do the exact same thing, we gave away to each other over what, we call it tears and tequila because that's really what it was. We both cried and had tequila. I don't know if we really had tequila, but we were drinking. And we just let down our guard, and really shared all the struggles that we both were having in our businesses. And all of a sudden, we've in the last three years, we are each other's business support network. There's not a thing that I don't know about her business and vice versa.
So, I think that is part of the key, too, is when you go to these events, you can't just take. You have to be willing to give. And if you're willing to give, you would be surprised how many people are willing to give back to you. Even the celebrities, the real celebrities of the WordPress space. They are willing to.
And that's how I feel. I feel like how did I get so lucky that I have people who I call my friends that have all this knowledge and all these skills? I feel extremely blessed that I did have Chris to push me off the ledge. And you both know that he's the epitome of what happens when you let somebody in, and they're willing to give everything.
So, I think it has to be you have to be willing to share. And I feel like I have a lot to offer. Especially for me, the rest of the world can't see me, but you guys can. I feel like I have a lot to offer, and I try to talk with young black women because that's really important to me. And being able to be open, and if they need anything to help pull them up.
So, I love that I have made all these friends in this community who have all helped to shape my business. I just made a Hallmark. That was a Hallmark trailer for you.
Mendel: That's amazing.
Bob: Yeah. We need more Hallmark moments on this podcast.
Shannon: Yeah. And I'm not going to cry. But I could cry. But seriously, yeah.
Diverse platforms and transitions
Mendel: That's awesome. I love the diversity of your journey. You've built muscles in different places, and I think that that's super inspiring, too. Because a lot of people, they're looking to get into web development, or they're looking to change industries in their own career. Going from tech to non-tech, or going from property management to computer engineer, and people not understanding how to make those shifts.
And so, my last question is how did you come across these different, diverse platforms, or diverse ways of doing business, and how'd you make those transitions?
Shannon: When I was 30, I decided that I didn't want to be in the corporate marketing and finance world anymore. And I just felt like I wanted to do something different. And when I started with WordPress and writing, I wrote about what I knew, right? So even though I got online, and it was the wild, wild West of the internet at that time, basically you just did what you could do, I just thought, hey, there has to be something that I can do in this space. It's so new.
And I still think, when I look at the opportunities that are in the online world, we're in our infancy of what is going to be able to be done. And I think you just have to be willing to, again, take that risk.
Blend your skillsets with WordPress
So for me, I just stayed with something that I was comfortable with. I started writing about money online. And in that process, I needed to learn WordPress. And then, I started learning more, and more, and more. And I was like, "Oh, you know what? I really like this whole taking my marketing skills and bringing them online." And I was forced to learn how to use WordPress. If I define myself, I'm a WordPress super user. Right? That's how I would always define myself.
And so, that skillset just became, "Oh, how can I use my skills?" Yes, I'm in this space, I own an agency, but I don't think you have to think about who owns agencies? Who creates websites? It's developers, designers, right? People with that background. I think you have to think outside the box of, "Hey, how could I do this?" And incorporate something that you love.
And that's where it went back to hiring often and early is that I was able to bring in the people who were able to make my visions the reality. Right? I think being willing to be uncomfortable taking those risks. But you can do it while you're maybe doing something that you still need to do.
So, let's just say you're an accountant, and you want to switch into WordPress in some way, shape, or form. Why not start writing online about the accounting world? Just to get started, learn WordPress. Or maybe you go to work for an agency as an accountant to get your foot in, and as you're learning WordPress to understand it. Or if you're totally wanting to switch careers, my mom graduated from college when she was 40, which is a huge feat in itself. So, you can always go and just do it. Just get an education elsewhere.
So, I was just always willing to pivot because I'm constantly feeling like I'm growing as a person. And if you can put that fear aside and just jump in, I think it's doable for anybody.
Bob: Yeah. I think that is a perfect way to round this out. Instead of do the Woo, just do it.
Shannon: Do! Yeah. I didn't mean for this to be a motivational.
Mendel: I think a lot of people can benefit from motivation. Especially right now where they're trying to switch industries, or they're trying to make moves. And so, I think it's super inspiring to hear how you've done that. And maybe people will reach out to you.
But before I get that information from you, I do want to take a second to thank our sponsors one more time.
Because WooCommerce, where would we be without you? There would be no Do the Woo podcast because there would be no WooCommerce. So, thank you, WooCommerce, for being a community sponsor. And by the way, if you haven't checked out Woo Payments, I hear it's a super simple way to connect your store to a payment gateway. So, check that out.
CheckoutWC, I love CheckoutWC. I've been using it. It's fun. It's cool to use. And yeah, it looks beautiful, and it helps optimize your checkout flow. So, check that thing out. Do the CheckoutWC I guess.
And then, GoWP. Check out their maintenance plans. Because they have the the Visual Validator Plugin Updater. It keeps you on top of anything that may go sideways with a plugin update. So, make sure and check out GoWP.com.
I feel super lucky to have been able to talk internet, WordPress, WooCommerce, mommy blogging, and photography with celebrity, Shannon Shaffer. And Shannon, how can people get ahold of you if they want to get in touch?
Connect with Shannon
Shannon: Okay. Well, you can find me at PurpleFinchStudios.com, on Twitter at Shannon T Shaffer, and it's S-H-A-F-F-E-R. Or you could always shoot me an email, [email protected] Love to hear from you.
Mendel: Awesome. Sweet. Well, thank you so much for joining us. And make sure to stay tuned to BobWP's Do the Woo podcast. Because there's some big things happening here at Do the Woo. So until next time, Bob, thanks for letting me join your show today.
Bob: It's a joy having you as a co-host. And Shannon, thank you for being on.
Shannon: Thank you for having me guys. It was a pleasure.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.