It’s been a long time since I’ve written an article that didn’t teach people how to do something technical. I’m not a great writer so when I can focus my words on topics more important (to my readers) than rhetoric, I can get away with with a grammatical error or two.

Today, though, I’m at the mercy of nit-pickers as I’d like to discuss something non-technical for a moment. Stick with me. I’m feeling some kind of way this morning and I’d like to share my thoughts.

The first question that comes to mind is one that I had to ask myself several times before I finally did something with myself. Now, I’m asking you.

What the hell are you doing online?

As most of you know, I released my first PHP application a few days ago in the shape of a WordPress framework. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Before Volatyl, my new framework, I had accomplished a few things online but nothing that held any weight. I won’t get into the details. You can read about it in my last article if you’re interested.

After releasing Volatyl, though, I immediately felt like I had a reason to call myself a web developer, coder, or however you want to label what I do.

It didn’t matter who liked my work. It didn’t matter who used my products.

All that mattered in this context is that I shipped something important as a result of the learning and practicing I had previously done.

Before Volatyl’s release, asking myself what the hell I was doing online would send me into a motivational frenzy. I couldn’t clearly answer the question but working hard and speaking loudly about it was enough, I guess.

Does this sound familiar to you? Are you constantly busy, always motivated, but seem to have nothing to show for it? If that sounds like you, keep it real with yourself.

Let’s shift gears.

Do you know what your next move is?

The reason why I couldn’t move forward as a developer is because I didn’t trust my own skill. I judged my skills by comparing what I could do to what others had already done.

In other words, if you’re a developer and I’m a developer, but you’ve produced a software that I don’t think I can create, I feel like I need to learn more before I can actually call myself a developer by producing something.

So the “goal” became to learn more instead of produce anything.

My next move was always to learn the next language, understand the next coding concept, or learn to use the next software that someone else had already built but most people didn’t understand.

That’s wack.

At some point, I think it’s important to stop what you’re doing and gauge your progress by applying your knowledge and resourcefulness.

Almost a year ago, I wrote an article for Expert Enough titled Why You Need to Quit Demanding Perfection From Yourself.

Give it a read. If you know what your next move is, but you haven’t made it happen for the aforementioned reason or others like it, let my article get you going. I’m sure you’ll like it.

If you have no “next move,” it’s time to start thinking about it.

Call me crazy, but I see no value in having skills for the sake of having skills. That reminds me way too much of general education… but let’s not go there.

Spend some time figuring out what you want to produce and ignore everything else. It’s that simple.

If the thing you wish to do is right, and you believe in it, go ahead and do it! Put your dream across, and never mind what β€œthey” say if you meet with temporary defeat, for β€œthey,” perhaps, do not know that every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success. ~ Napoleon Hill

Start planning your first (or next) project

Understand that when I decided to build Volatyl, I had never built a WordPress theme. I had never built a WordPress admin option. I had never written my own PHP from scratch. I had no experience in what I was about to do.

All I did was decide that it was going to happen and it was a wrap.

Before I knew it, the WordPress Codex all of a sudden made sense. Resources like tutorials on how to build options presented themselves.

As I traveled deeper into Volatyl’s development, a sort of “common sense” came over me that connected the dots between the random points of knowledge I had long before I acquired, but didn’t know how they would apply to anything bigger.

Basically, I had to start building something with an obvious end state before all of my knowledge could come together and present itself as an actual skill.

Knowledge without application is useless. ~ Thomas Edison

Excuse my language, but it’s time to stop fucking around. If you’re a developer, develop something. If you’re a designer, design something. If you’re a writer, write something.

Stop letting useless metrics like Twitter followers convince you that you’re doing something unless your actual skill is to produce social media results. Otherwise, you’re knee-deep in procrastination.

What’s next for you online?

Shoot me your ideas. Let me know if I can help.

Contrary to the watered down vibe of the blogosphere, we’re not here to feel good and sing “Kumbaya” all day. If you have a skill, prove it to yourself. You’ll be thrilled with the results. I know I am. πŸ™‚

Leave a comment with what’s on your mind.

photo credit: anjan58 via photopin cc

Published by Sean Davis

When I'm not developing WordPress themes and plugins, I'm usually helping further the Easy Digital Downloads project, traveling, or playing racquetball. Say hi on Twitter. @SDavisMedia


  1. Wow. This really hits home for me. After the last two years of trying to find my “space” online, I finally found something with a purpose–something that “matters”, and now the idea’s are just flowing.

    It’s crazy man, it’s like the harder you try to make something of yourself, the less likely it is to happen.

    Like Nike says– JUST DO IT.

    • You’re right. The harder you try to reach perfection, the less likely it is to happen. At some point, you have to pick a task and go at it… plain and simple.

      Nike’s slogan is the absolute best to me. It always comes down to that. I’ve had to tell myself that over and over again in the past. Trying to get better, though!

  2. I’ve been really thinking about this man of what I want to create next outside of my eBooks and what I really want to offer to the marketplace. I know I’ve asked myself that question of “what to do next” and I’ve come up with a couple of things to launch this year. Congrats man on the framework.

    • Thanks, bro. We all accomplish smaller things here and there that hold us over, but I think some of them are just for temporary satisfaction. Everything is really but some things have a longer shelf life. 5 little things does not compare to one big thing, if you ask me. I’m trying to do 5 big things haha.

      Excited to see what you come up with this year outside of the books.

  3. It’s real simple…

    The difference knowledge and skill is application, which is the key to everything.

  4. The power of intention and commitment!

    Amazing how the same obstacles that try to prevent you from starting are easily removed with a decision to succeed no matter what.

    Proud of you.

    Next for me is creating Masterminds and coaching groups with fellow entrepreneurs, like yourself, to start creating environments that are conducive to our success and mindset.

    Until you jump into entrepreneurship full force you don’t realize the critical role your mind plays as well as the people you are surrounded by.

    • Ain’t that the truth! It all starts in the mind. A lot of people fail to realize how their minds are influenced, though. They think that because they are motivated, everything else just has to work out.

      Nope. That’s not the case. It takes way more than the desire to do something great to actually do something great. Sometimes you just have to do something…

  5. I owned several sites and several affiliate marketing business. I am working on an e-book with a partner.

    Right now I feel like I am at my own digital crossroad.

    I keep hearing content is king – and I saw something that I really am intrigue by and it leading me toward the b2b platform since there where the consistent money is.

    Then I saw this one thing, but it is only an one time $50 pay out. That means if I want a million dollars I would have to refer 200,000 accounts for a million dollars.

    It for an POS that is in the Cloud BUT I realize hold up Duane – u can not even get 200 people at $125 each!

    Biggest problem people do not disclose what kind of operating budget/capital you need upfront in order to be a success. Nobody doesnt want to hear u go to go all in and you dont then you wont succeed. Not saying the material isn’t good because it is but how do you address the attrition rate if you don’t go all in?

    So I decided to end the madness – and just start closing all these emails and social accounts that are not adding nothing to my bank account. Closed program that are not paying me.

    Where Art Thou? I am a writer and I used to be a bad ass at database application programming but lost interest because I could not find a job related to that skills. (1996-1997) I could not land a darn job in the public sector. I am pretty good at computers. Shoot I taught my then barely 3 year old son how to use a computer and now he is playing games like a pro and his conception and perception of logic just amazed me. He get it. I hope to show him how to program.

    I come to realized people whom are successful get to where they are via hard work and finding out what work and what not work.

    I need to master SEO and master Traffic Management (finding good pipelines that drive REAL people)I figure if I go back to my roots and find a way to get database information then I would be able to help people connect with their market in a better way.

    Once I can master that then I can create an agency that will drive traffic of REAL People to your site for a fee.

    Hmmm this was a good article!

    • Thanks for the detailed response, Duane!

      The way you’re speaking, though, sounds a lot like how I used to talk.

      “Once I can master that then I can create an agency that will drive traffic of REAL People to your site for a fee.”

      What if you don’t master that? Then what? What if you only halfway master it? Will you hold off forever or will you go ahead and pursue?

  6. Word Sean!

    Perfection has been one of the biggest reasons for procrastination πŸ™‚ Now that I got this beast under control, I finally started writing my first product for my website πŸ™‚

    Keep up with the awesome work!

    • Thanks, man! Don’t hesitate any longer. You’re already an expert to PLENTY of people whether you realize it or not. Create that product and put it out!

  7. Good stuff… crosses lines. Thanks!

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