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Jason Schuller. Press75 and how a WordPress theme set an entrepreneurial journey in motion.

Rad Dad, hosted by Kirill Zubovsky podcast.

August 21

Jason Schuller is a dad, a husband, and the founder of Press75, a WordPress theme company that he started in frustration, when a consulting client decided to skip paying the bills. That incident caught fire and set Jason on an entrepreneurial journey full of joys and setbacks. His company, and his lessons enabled him to be a successful founder, an engaged father and a thoughtful husband.

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Hey, they're right. That, listeners, this is your host, kiddos Bukovsky. Today, my guest on the show is Jason's Schiller. Jason was once an employee of Boeing working on their static pages, and war press was just getting started. Jason realized that were press could be a very powerful tool, and he tried to get going to adopt it. But they didn't want to change his way their ways. So Jason striked out on his own. The company kind of started like a fluke, and you'll hear that on the podcast grew rapidly. He was making thousands and thousands of dollars,

and for a couple of years he was just completely messed in the business. And then one day he sold it and focused on his family. So let's hear his story. How a lifer entrepreneur ties with the family life, what it's like to run a business with your spouse and all sorts of advantages and disadvantages of being a soul entrepreneur. Jason, about further do welcome to the show. Do you mind just sharing your life story in


30 seconds in my life story in 30 seconds? Um, yeah. I was born and raised in Black Diamond, Washington which is out in the country way south of Seattle. Um, I grew up on five acres with my two brothers, two older brothers. That was the youngest, um and so I had a great childhood just out in the country enjoying nature. And that's kind of what seated, loving the state that I live in, you know, just being around mountains and trees and trails. And I think that's kind of seated in me to this day, something I try to pass on to my daughter as much as I can. But,

um, I got married in 1998. I worked at the Boeing Company for 10 years, taught myself with design and development in the company, left the company when I realized that was, ah, dead end job at Boeing. If you're not an engineer, there's no place for Web designers there. Um, started my press theme business right after, and, uh, here we are today.

What sparked the desire for a WordPress theme business?

While working at the Boeing, Jason realized the capabilities of WordPress and the community growing around it during its inception.

That's that's amazing. So the WordPress theme business, What sparked that curiosity?

What sparked the desire for a WordPress theme business?

While working at the Boeing, Jason realized the capabilities of WordPress and the community growing around it during its inception.

Um, I think what it was while I was working at the Boeing Company on Dive told this story so many times, but I think it still holds true to this day because, um, I believe they're still using static html for for all their internal websites at Boeing. And, um, what brought my attention to WordPress was the fact that you could have a singular where press installation, create a theme for WordPress and power all those websites with one single word press insulation. And that's really what kind of brought my attention to WordPress in wanting to solve that problem for Boeing and fix that internal Web infrastructure. Um and so that kind of just led me to a WordPress and creating WordPress themes and kind of being in that world, it was open source, you tool. That was it was obvious there was a big community growing around it at the time. And so I was able to easily kind of build, uh, I want to say a following, you know, just by blogging and tweeting and building and putting things out there for free. And so that's what kind of spurred the interest in WordPress and WordPress theming.


You've talked about this before How you were lucky to biscuit Bill, this community, as you were building brains, right? And I think I was doing everything


in public. I think it was stars aligning, too, because we're press was kind of in its infancy back then, but the community was already active and growing. So getting in at the ground level was absolutely the key to me being able to build that, that following. And then that business.


What was the reaction from your family and your wife and your friends when he hears you working, going in an airplane company and building this weird HTML pages at night,

How did Jason’s parent react when he left the cushy job at Boeing and traded it for a startup?

When Press75 started, nobody but Jason really got it first. Jason's wife was skeptical, even though revenue was already piling in, and it took her a few months to come around, and then to eventually join the business. Jason's parents, although very proud of his accomplishments, don't exactly understand it to this day.

I think for my parents especially. I don't think my mom understands to this day what I did. My dad gets it. He still doesn't believe it. Um uh, he it's something that he's really proud of when he when he hears, he still brings that press 75. The theme does this even though I sold it over, you know, uh, almost six years ago, you know, And ah. So when I first launched the theme business and I told my wife, Hey, you know, there's something here. She didn't quite believe it at first, but after a couple of months, and there was continual increase in revenue with WordPress themes, I think she got on pretty quickly.


You mentioned on the your podcast and will link to it, right? How you guys went for a walk. He came back. And there's thousands of dollars in your bank account. That's basically Was that the point where you were finally realized that, you know,

How did a failed client relationship catalyze Schuller’s entrepreneurial journey with Press75 ?

Jason has always had an interest in video and video-centric content. At one point,he had an idea to create a really cool Hulu-like WordPress theme. He put out an initial version for free, and got connected with a client who wanted to commission and extended edition.

When the advanced theme was done, the client did not pay. Partially angry, and partially curious, Jason put the theme for sale, for just $5. The theme took internet by the storm, and just hours later generated enough income that it was obvious, a theme business was brewing.

she thought that was a fluke. So I had this, um, I don't know. I've always had this interest in video and video centric content and building websites around video. There's something appealing Thio that medium in my eyes and being able to design for it. There weren't a lot of people doing that at the time for War press. And so the idea was create a really cool WordPress theme that is essentially like the Who, Luke for WordPress. That's who had just launched. And it was literally just this grid of thumbnails. You click a thumb now you get a video, and so I wanted to see if I could replicate that, and we're press and again, this is back in 2008 you know, um and I think I put out an initial version for free and a potential client side, and he's like,

Hey, you know, like hire you to build this out a little bit more and I said, Cool, cool. That's great. And so I built it out. The client didn't pay, and so I told my wife, I said, Hey, you know, let's try and just put this, um, this build up online, you know,

is a paid product. And so again, the story goes, I went for a walk, I came back and it had sold a couple 100 copies or something like that. There was there was a decent amount of money, but again, my wife thought it was a fluke. She's like Why we can't pull the business out of this? Um, but I just kept kept on It kept doing client work for a couple months, but at the same time building new WordPress themes and building the actual front for the business. And I think after one or two more WordPress things she she was she was well imported. I think it was three months later, we were making more via where press themes. And we were via client work. So


it was your wife working with you on the


client work? She was, um, she was working for a bank at the time, So she I think she stayed on at the bank for, uh, I want to say, six months after I started the world pressing business and then we were doing well enough with the word breast in business where she was able to leave her job and then just come on, as I want to say, you know, the business manager, accounting and things like that. She took care of all the taxes, all the finances for the business, and that was kind of her rule from from


then on. Well, there's a lot of great listens to unpack here once, right? You client didn't pay, but you didn't go on moan about it on the Internet. You just turned that into an opportunity which actually paid, which is a, uh, which is great because most people wouldn't do that. Most people would say, Well, this is awful. You know, I blame the client, but you said, Well, fine, I'll do something else with it right then. It's such such a great outlook on life, and


and don't get me wrong. I think I was I was


fairly pissed, but But the dentist, that something you know that you can't change is Yeah,


I think that's what it was. Definitely the motivation. Like, screw you. I'm gonna take you know what I've built? I'm not gonna let it go to waste. I'm gonna I'm gonna put it out there and try and make something of it for sure.


I hope your client from back in the day listen. And then but the other part is to read a lot of people always say from design communities like, Well, how do I deal with all those things? I love design. I left pixels. What about all the other stuff? But in your case, it's just like, whoa, You know, you already live with your wife item. You could ask for help and two of you can have a business. Do you think that strengthen your relationship, or was there a point of tension about it?

What impacts did starting a business as a husband and wife team have?

It strengthened Jason & his wife's relationship because they could both pursue things they wanted to - something that was not 9 to 5 office-related. It allowed them to live differently in a way they wanted to.

Um, I think it definitely strengthen our relationship because we were both able to finally live the way we wanted to live instead of being tied to these, you know, 9 to 5 office commute to work, type of jobs. Um, and I think and again we were we were both pretty young still at the time and, um, going from from from that office type of position Thio what we were doing literally six months after leaving my day job, it was like a wake up call like, Oh, wow, we can We can live differently in sustain this business. And we can travel now and we can make our own hours and, you know, it was e think it was a huge strength, inner in our relationship,

for sure. If anything, I wish I could go back and take advantage of that more because I do feel like we got wrapped up in the business a little bit too much, you know, at a certain point. So


Well, let's expand on this a little bit more, but, um, you don't have the business. You sold the business. What's your wife doing


right now? She is a stay at home mom.


That's that's awesome. That's really hard and very demanding. So


drop than I have for


sure. Yeah, but you say you wish you would have taken more advantage off your, uh, free business time serve. Um, and I want to know more about this because ah, like I told you before we start recording that. It seems like right now this workaholic culture is really promoter and everybody is working hard so they can become billionaires later. But the question is what happens later when you have all the money and some people do really well with their free time. But then, if you look at Silicon Valley, there are so many millionaires who were just, you know, unhealthy, don't do anything with their life. They just have all the money and makes you wonder,

like, what's the point? You know, if he feels like if you're made all the money, you should just check out from social Media and go like hike a forest for six months or something like that.


And it's one of those things where it's, you know, hindsight is 2020 that old saying, because when you go from a day job to building your own business and you're making the type of money that we were making when we had the business, of course you get wrapped up in the excitement of all that, because neither of us had ever experienced that before. I mean, my parents were fairly well off, but they worked really, really hard. My dad was an engineer, Boeing he put in his time and, um But my my wife's parents were different Her. Her dad was a contractor again. Really hard job. But they always kind of struggled, too,

to make that bottom line even today, you know? So going from that office type of environment where it's like, OK, I've gotta put in my 32 years of work and maybe then I'll be able to retire to wow, you know, we're making more than I ever would have imagined I'd ever make doing a business. You get wrapped up in all the excitement of that. And so you don't think of. Okay, How do we How do we even out, You know, the amount of effort we're putting in with the amount of freedom we have to do other things. So I do think again, we got wrapped up in that aspect of the business quite a bit more than maybe we should have at the time. And if I could go back,

I think I would even it out a little bit more and use that freedom too. You know, my wife and I are big travelers. We love the travel, love the sea world. I would have used a lot more of that time to kind of travel a little bit more, spent a little bit more free time with my wife and, you know, work on the road versus just building the office, working in the office all day long and just making that business that priority for for the amount of time that we did,

How much money was Press75 making in its glory days?

Within six months, Jason and his wife were making around $16,000 a months, and ten months in he was up to $30k per months. It was mostly profit, and mostly passive income.

how long you're on the business. While it wasn't, it's hey, days,

How much money was Press75 making in its glory days?

Within six months, Jason and his wife were making around $16,000 a months, and ten months in he was up to $30k per months. It was mostly profit, and mostly passive income.

um, you know. So first year we launched in 2008. And, um, I think within six months we were making I want to say, around $16,000 a month with theme cells. And then I think it was around nine months. We're making 20 and then 10 months. We're making almost $30,000


a month, and for you it's basically 90% profit.


It's 90% profit because it's it's not like a real manufacturer product where you have to reproduce the product. You you're literally just making passive income, which in my opinion, is the best kind of income. And there's so much opportunity even today to do that. Um, so I want to say the heydays of the business were 89 6010 ish, and then I want to say around midway 2010. That's when you know, uh, the WordPress community was massive at that point, and there was so much in way of war press themes and premium, where press themes and the market got really, really saturated. And so you had to find really creative ways to stay relevant in the business. And so I want to say it's around 10 4011 ish where I started to kind of make some follies and how I was running the business and what I was interested in and where were press was going and not being able to adapt to that community or maybe even not wanting to adapt to that community. Um,

and for me, it's It's more the platform itself becoming, um, more and more bloated as the years went on, and customers wanting more more on way of functionality. And for me, it's all about like minimalism and less is better, you know, Don't activate 200 plug ins on your WordPress sight because you don't need them type of thing. But that's that's what customers were demanding and I wasn't able. Thio adapt to that in a way that suited me, and that suited my customer base. So I wanted to say around two dozen 11 is where the business started to take a decline.


But sounds like largely was because you had a vision and you wanted to stick to that vision and it went it misaligned with where community was front. Maybe not even the community, right? But as soon as you have one rocket ship kind of pushing a certain direction, that becomes, like the gold standard, whether or not it's actually good for people bring All right, So hindsight 2020 Would you would you say it's best to follow your customer and like you're building those things for them?

Is it best for an entrepreneur to follow their customer base and continue building products geared towards them ?

It depends. An entrepreneur should determine what brings them happiness and what they want to spend their time on as far as creating product.

It depends. I mean, because I don't think I would have been happy doing that. It definitely didn't suit uh, what I wanted to do with my time. But again, if I could go back, I do think I could have gotten creative in saying, Okay, um, I don't have to run this business on my own. I don't have to make the WordPress themes. Maybe I could hire a team to make those WordPress themes to suit that customer so they'll have a hand in the business but maybe, uh, offset some of that income by hiring people to sustain that aspect of the business so that I can do other things. And instead, what I did is I just kind of checked out right on.

Guy would release a theme here and there, but I was more focused on creating unique solutions at that time, trying to check out the WordPress world and build new, unique things that were kind of outside of that community. And I think that's the biggest misstep I took was not recognizing how special it is to create a business like that, how hard it is to replicate what I did in that community and not utilizing just that framework and in that ground work that was built in that business and checking out in a way where the business was still sustaining and I could go off and do my own thing at the same time. So I think that was my biggest folly, I want to say with with 75


What about the other competitors that emerged around the time where he got really popular? Like, have any of them gone really big and really successful since or

How did WordPress business and community change with rising popularity of WP as a platform?

The original community of WordPress makers was a tight group that built friendships around their passion. They had WP theme businesses, but they were never trying to compete with one another.

When WordPress got really popular, money was plentiful and new entrants were trying to get all of it. WordPress started to change, with more focus being not just on themes, but plugins, and page-builders. Anything that could create a new line of business and to differentiate the new players.

yeah, I want you know, it's funny because this community of premium were pressed Theme folks. You know, when I got started with press 75 there were only a handful of people doing it. There was me. There was Bryan Garner. There was 80 from Wu Themes. There was Cory Miller from my themes. That was really just a handful of folks that had premium WordPress themed businesses. And we're all still friends to this day


and you know them by name was actually individual contributors building. Yeah, have


friendships. It was weird. It wasn't like a, um we never saw each other is competitors. There was just enough to go around where we kind of built these relationships through word camps. And we met each other and we discussed you know, what we were doing with the business. And it was all, you know, just fun and games for us. And we all became I want to say, a fairly good friends and I still talk to you a lot of those people today. Um, but I want to say around 10 4011 again, the community in the theme business in general just got really, really saturate. And people were getting really creative with not just wordpress themes,

but we're pressing frameworks and Paige builders and, you know, so it just went way beyond the core product that I was creating for my community. And, um, one of the other big mistakes I made, I think was trying to compete on a level that all these other folks were competing on who had teams to promote these things and a team of developers and a team of designers. And they were making these monstrous products, You know, that we're suiting to what? The customer base waas back back then and I was trying to do it all on my own, you know, right. Instead of just staying small, I think there's something to you just saying this is my This is my little pool customer base. And, you know, I'm gonna I'm gonna focus on that and stay small, and I think that would have been another way where I could have sustained that business further is just by sticking to what I did best and and staying small.


No, I think it's great advice because it's probably applicable to every business today, all right, Even if we look like lift versus uber, uber decided to eat everything in their path while Lift said, no, we're just gonna be this meeting that. And now look, they're playing public markets. Lift is actually doing better right after their I p o. Or even like, based game worse, a slack against what the other end of that is. Base camp. Who said You know what? We're not gonna build slack like we know it might become important, valuable and like a huge company.

But we have our users and, uh, say in base camp because, um, meshing because D change was also a guest on the show, right? But I've met people who started using that product it like its first year. It's like two decades ago, right? And they're still using it, which is so like you can definitely build that right as long as you find that audience and maintain it. But But I guess I love what you said like that other companies had the teams, and your your choice was basically build a team and do what they do or stick to what you were doing. But the challenge was, when you want to build what they're doing, but doing it by yourself, that's basically recipe for a disaster, right? Cause you over exert yourself and you can't get shop, I guess.


And you're really not building the product that you want to build anyways. S o the passion. If I I don't know, I strongly believe that the passion's not there. If you're not interested in what you're doing, that definitely shows in the product that you're putting out. I think that was the case for me as well. I was trying to compete on a level that I didn't at my core, even want to compete on. But I felt like I had to in order to stay relevant, and that was definitely a big mistake for


sure. So other than Boeing, what was your business experience like before? Zero. What does


it say? I came from a family of, um, again. My dad was an engineer. He immigrated the United States with his parents from Germany. Um and so there was this big, uh, work ethic that was built into his core. I think you work hard. You know, you either get a job or you build the business or you go to school and you achieve in that way. So it's more of this traditional approach of go to school, get a good job, worked that job, do as best as you can and retire. Um,

and he laid the groundwork for me and my brothers to do that as well. I mean, it was it was really nice. And in our house, where it was set up to the point where they said, Okay, as long as you're going to college, you can stay home, we'll pay. Your bills will pay for your school. But if you're not going to college anymore, it's time to leave and figure something out on your own, you know? And for my two older brothers, that worked really well. They're very much I want to be book smart.

You know, my middle brother is he's an engineer at Boeing and has a really good career. My oldest brother, he's he went to school to be a c p a. But he's running a um, he's running a orthopedics practice here in Washington in doing really well at that. So both very well educated and book smart and good at their jobs, And I just kind of fell short in that department called dyslexia. Call it a D D O C d. All these things you know, these labels that we put on things, But I fell into that quarter category where school was never my strong suit. You know, um and so I was never, never let able to achieve on the same level that my brother's achieved. And so I,

um uh, I was able to get a job at Boeing, is a technical writer, and, um and I knew that I needed to find something that interested me there. Well, is there because there are all these opportunities to learn and grow and figure out what you want to do while you're working at that company. And the Web just kind of suited me. And it was ableto kind of build an understanding for the web by reverse engineering websites and and was able to teach myself design and development and that being so,


imagine being in those shoes. But 50 years ago when the Web didn't exist, I wonder I wonder where the opportunities were like them. Yeah,


I I think if the Web didn't exist, I would have found my way in a physical product. Maybe because I still, even today, I have this desire to make something that feel something that's physical, something you can touch, something that exists beyond just what we call the Internet. There's something about that that intrigues me, and I think some sometime down the road. It's something I want to do for sure.


And that's what does he occurring businesses it So it's still themes. But it sze once against that desire to actually be able to incorrect with something you may. Yeah, well, and I assume we'll no business experience. Just the Boeing job, Right? And same. How long did it take you to learn where press on, Get that going before you start with the first thing before you get that first client?


Yeah. I mean, I didn't know. I didn't know PHP at all. I think my understanding that Webb was, for the most part, just ht melon CSS. I was really actually lacking in Java scripts skills still back then. But when WordPress came along and I started seeing what people were putting out there and way of WordPress and open source themes, that's when I really started. Things started to connect with me on DDE. What it boiled down to you was downloading one of these freebie themes that was out there on the Internet that somebody had put together and just put out there for free and and and pulling it up. I think I was using Dream Weaver at the time and looking at the source code and and what I started doing was just breaking it, you know? Okay, you know what happens if I change this line of code or what happens if I do this or that and by breaking the theme and trying to achieve something different and making that theme, do what I wanted to do the understanding for PHP Java script in HTML and CSS and how all those things kind of come together.

It just it just clicked in my head, and it was I want to say it really rapid, uh, understanding kind of developed over the next year of playing around that way and just experimenting and breaking and building, breaking in rebuilding and putting things out there and blogging about it while I did it. You know, that was definitely the


king. I love hearing you say this because in many ways that's how I have learned Web and coding as well. And I think for some types of people, that's just the only way to get it done. Were the most interesting, you know, like exhilarating way where you don't feel like it's work or you're learning. You're just playing with things. But code is getting so popular now there's so many coding schools like Lamb. The school is probably one of the most known examples now, right? But it's always like people say, Well, how do I do this? I need to go to school. I need somebody to teach me that. It was just like,

I guess maybe it's true for some people, but for some people just like just play with this Legos, right? It's no different than you just learned over time, and it's actually pretty


easy. People are so afraid of breaking the Internet, and I don't understand why, because it's just they're just building blocks like you, said just like anything else. Break things, how you learn.


So let's see you build a successful business, eventually starting to ah Plateau because off all the competition and the space was changing, you sold the business to another. What they see maker. At the time,

Who did Jason sell his WordPress theme business to?

He sold to a custom WordPress theme agency. This agency captured the need of customers looking for themes and those developing them.

it was a it was a custom were pressed theme agency. And so one of the biggest opportunities that nobody really captured in a way of premium where press themes was how many people wanted customization of those teams. And so this agency West work. They came along and they saw that that hole that was kind of missing because customers would buy the theme and they'd say, Oh, I want this change to be made And in every one of us, I don't know anybody at the time that was doing those custom Is Asians in house for those people? So it was money lost rain and this agency came along and said, Here's here's something we can do and build a business on And so they actually make connections with all the premium were press theme people who were running their businesses and letting all that business go and said, OK, if you send us those referrals. You know, we'll kick back. You know, we'll do the


we'll do. The hard word


will do the hard work and we'll get back to you. And so they were able to build a pretty saw business by doing that at first. And I think so. When I sold the business, it was in 2014 and they were wanting to expand into you, doing their own WordPress themes. And so it kind of made sense for them to you purchase a theme business that had history and that had a following and still had some some kind of relevancy in the space instead of starting from scratch.


Do you have any advice around this acquisition? And it seems like you waited for quite a while to actually sell the business. You know, at what point do you think you should have considered selling it? Are you just giving it to somebody else? Like royalties or something? Because it seemed like a few years into it became different from what you envisioned. Right? So how long did it take until you really realized like, Okay, it's probably time to be done


with this. Um, yeah, and again, it's one of those hindsight is 2020 type of things. There are a lot of things I would do differently. But if my goal was to sell, I should have sold earlier when there was still more relevancy and I could have made a higher turn on the business itself. So I waited too long, and I was essentially able to sell the business for I want to say it's not next to nothing, Don't get me wrong and was enough to build a little bit more runway for me after the business was sold. But, um, it was it was almost nothing in way of what you would consider acquisition today, even in the world press theme space. So, um,

it was a quick buy for them on dhe. It was too late for me, I'm going to say. But at the same time I had this business that was almost, uh, I want to say, Dad, it went from I think, at its height, $42,000 a month, recurring Thio. I think when I sold the business it was making $14,000 a month, so that's a drastic


decline. Him still not insignificant. Still double like an average salary, which is pretty awesome. And And you said that the money you have made over the years is what allowed you to have a buffer for the next


couple of my wife. And I played it smart. I want to say we we put away as much as we can. We didn't really change our lifestyles all that much. We had already had our house before this business took off, but we did utilize a little bit of the money to you. Um, Thio update her house and built a little office or garage was falling down. It's so that built the home office, which I still use today. So that's I think, where the money went for the most part, is investing in the house and then, you know, doing some trips here and there and then other than that, we were pretty much put is much as we possibly good away S O is MME. Or the money that we put away during the height of the business than the actual cell of the business that allowed us to kind of have runway after the business was sold.


But it gave him great point, right, Because a lot of people probably wouldn't put any money away while running their business because it will keep bringing the same to the business. But you never planned that One day the business might go away, whether your soul it sold it or not, Right? Let's just like there's this mentality of always just growing you have instead of like, Well, don't forget to think about yourself. Your life is also worth something. Yeah, Yeah.


And I attribute that to my wife. I mean, she was the one who was smart in that way, more so than me. If it were me on my own, I don't know things. Put a god. My wife is very much more level headed money and what you should


do. When did you guys have your daughter in this hole?


So we had our daughter in 2013 and we sold the business a year later in 2014.


So I guess daughter also played a part role in convincing you that it was finally Yeah. So now that you have the house, you know, some savings like, how did you change your life when the business was no longer there. And you had a kid?


Um, it was It was a wake up call, right? Because immediately after I sold the business, I don't want to say immediately. It was about a year after I sold the business with multiple attempts at doing something different and not being successful again. That's when I realized Wow, you know what I had was really, really special in that business. And I'm gonna have to completely rethink my approach to making money now that that's gone on, Especially when you have kids. And there's this little know, these two little eyes looking up at you and you're seeing the future and the responsibility. It definitely comes calm, pounding down more so than ever in your life. I think, um, So hee think it was about a year after I saw the business and where I realized that I really have to kind of get creative and think about what I was gonna do next.


Mmm. But did you change your daily routine or it like, you know, Did you go travel for six months? So,


you know, I think I think a year after we sold the business, we definitely kind of put things on a little bit more of a lock down and way of, like, our spending habits and and what we're doing with our money, it was more, uh we went into almost sustaining on it. That plan. Okay, what do we need to do to sustain while Jason goes off and tries these other things? So what I was doing was I want to say that first year analyst took completely off after I sold the business. Not if I was working on, like, ideas and concepts for new businesses. But after that first year, I had to start balancing with Okay, You know,

I might need to start taking on some client work. Well, I work on new ideas and businesses, and I think it was maybe six months after that there was an opportunity Thio goto work for a start up. And that's when I said, All right, you know, maybe I just do this for a little while and, um, you know, because it kind of solves that problem of, you know, what am I gonna do to make the living that we need to make without touching the savings that we had put


away. So who did you end up working for a


start? That I did? Yeah. So Drew Wilson from Plus? Yeah, from class. So


he's also on the show.


Was he? Yeah. Yeah. Uh, yeah, I I had a You know, I almost don't remember how I got in touch with Drew. He had built a payments tool cone quickly, I think, at the time. And, um, I was trying to use quick flee as a payment solution for my WordPress themes on, uh and so I think that's how Drew kind of in what Drew was doing kind of got seated in my head. And I started talking to Drew back then. I think that was around 10 4011 ish and s o I would talk to Drew on and off, you know,

throughout the years, and we built a quote unquote online, you know, Twitter type of relationship where we both had an appreciation for what each other was doing, you know, and you kind of bounce off of each other. So it was 2015 I think is when Drew was, um he kind of made the decision that Placido was gonna be his thing. He was gonna build a team. He was gonna raise money, and that was gonna be what he was doing. Because he's kind of like me where he is. This maker guy, right leg where he comes up with ideas, puts puts the product out there, see what you know,

almost like spaghetti on the wall. You see what sticks and Placido was by far, I think one of the biggest things he had put out recently and and so he reached out to me. And I think it was 2015 and asked if I'd be a part of that like that core team that he was putting together. And it was it was weird, but it was kind of a struggle of a decision, you know, What am I giving, giving up in way of building my own things versus going to work for Drew and working on his thing? And ultimately I decided that the opportunity to work with Drew and and be a part of a bigger team for once, as opposed to staying on my own, was maybe maybe I would have realize something out of that that I wasn't getting, you know in prior


years, but even you have to move to Carl's. But no,


the entire team was remote. There were people spread out all over the world. There were two people in the UK there was, you know, California folks working on class. Oh, there were people in Portland and then a couple people in Seattle tomb. So yeah,


it's It's an interesting experience because, you know, you had the chops to start a company. But then you also have guessed the humility to accept that the cable For a while you could go work with somebody else. And there's it's not really a big deal right, which it's good for. The family is good for the business, like it's


it's good for the soul, I


want to say, because


it gives you perspective that you don't have when you just keep doing the same thing, you know, by yourself over and over again. And for me being a part of that team and being a part of class so and and just kind of getting out of my comfort zone and working on a product that wasn't mine. But I felt it was mine at the same time, I felt like I owned a piece of it, not just in equity, but just as a hole in the respect I had for Drew and what he was building. I wanted to do good by him, you know, And and so it was good to be a part of that for I want to say the, uh, almost two years that I worked at Paso before he kind of had the regroup the team and and restructure based on, like what investors were needing at the time.


So we'll eventually he sold it to go, Daddy. Right? So in the way it worked out, maybe that's much for you, but for the business.


And, uh, yeah, I mean, it was a life changer for Drew. I mean, all the work a ll, the sweat equity he put into that business. And he just kind of never gave up and decided that that that was it. You know, I'm gonna Plaster was the thing. I'm gonna make it work one way or the other. And he did get by all the people that work for plaice. Oh, he gave all of us the opportunity. Thio have little equity in the business that we all kind of anybody who chose to have a little equity in that business realized a little bit from that that go down the cell. Oh,


even though you were in there


for a couple of still worked out that it was It was it was amazing. I mean, I'm sure the team he's building a go daddy right now is realizing that to Druse. Druse. A great guy.


Well, so everything you know from your start of experience, Boeing experience, life experience, how you're now channeling that into your daughter. It's

How does one channel life experience into their children ?

It is hard to find a balance of career and parenthood. It is important to instill the idea of not giving up in children. They need the grit to handle the outside world.

a struggle, because right now I want to say, like where I'm at now, and the balance I'm having to find now with what I do is it's a struggle for me, you know? I mean this this weird transition period where, um, I've gone from this awesome passive income to this place where I have this skill set that people wants, if I can leverage that in way of contract work, right. So right now I'm doing a contract with Microsoft, and it's it's awesome. You know, the team I'm working with and what I'm doing with them. I think I I providing value to the team, and I'm getting a little bit and way of diversity that I don't usually get on my own. And yet,

um, it's it's a 20 hour a week contract, so I'm still able to balance that with other things that I'm building my own in way of potential new businesses in the future. That launch. I don't think once you build a business like I built in Press 75 it's hard to let go of the idea that you can do that again and I don't think I ever will. And so I think, the idea of not giving up in what you believe in. I think that's what I'm trying to instill most in my daughter. And I definitely see that passion in her like when she gets her mind set, so there's no deterring her from doing it, no matter how much you say no, So it's it's It's frustrating what mobile? Because she refuses t compromise. But at the same time, I think it's that grit that that is gonna make her successful at whatever she decides to do, and so I'm trying to foster that as much as possible. without losing my hair.


How old is she now? She's six. Okay. Do you see? Maybe a loaded question, but sort of like in the world will live And you know, you having this knowledge versus, say, the not to put Microsoft on a spot, but you know him or like, stable environment parents and Microsoft appearance was similar, Like planets and boring your dad, you know, spend 30 years working there. Um, do you find it difficult to kind of co exist or when you raise your child, You know,

do you teach her something different in general? Like no, how How do you balance the world? Which is a bit more stable and a bit more conservative versus this ambition. So start up, guy trying t o Never giving up in itself is actually it beans is most people would call it being stubborn. Yeah, is just started. Folks call it never giving up because it leads to a positive outcome. And everybody else says you're stubborn because they just don't like you're doing things. You're awake, you know? How do you juggle that?


Um, you know, I think it back. E Think back to what my dad did you know? And my mom worked a little bit too. She she worked part time at certain jobs, but my dad was definitely gone, you know, and I do want to say that my dad enjoyed his job, but, um, he told me a couple of years ago in this kind of stuck in my head, if he could go back and have what I have with my daughter, the ability that be home thio have those moments of her growing up and seeing those transitions she goes from from this little baby to this little person, you know, He he said he's extremely envious of that. No matter what the struggle is that I'm having right now.

So, um, he's he said that a number of times and that sticks with me. And so I definitely I definitely want to maintain that balance as much as possible and instill that my daughter is as almost a normal right you can You can make the living you need the make, but still have that balance of life work. So I purpose Lee took on only 20 hours a week at Microsoft because I knew that would allow me to toe, maintain that relationship with my body, but with my daughter and the ability to help my wife and and all those things during the day that that need she she needs help with. So e. I want that to be the norm for her. And she even even says like she doesn't She doesn't understand it being any different for anybody else, because when I do travel the Microsoft maybe one or two days a week, which is nothing right. I go to Microsoft for a couple of hours, maybe one or two days a week, and that I'm home again.

And she told me, just like Daddy worked too much, You're gone to too long, you know, And, uh and I tried to explain to her that that's, you know, definitely way less than most dads have our most you know, working families have with their Children, and she just doesn't get it because she sees it as being the norm. Like Dad, Dad is home. I can see dad whenever I want, and I want to maintain that as much as possible. But I also want to give her that perspective that it's special to have that you know. So,


yeah, I can't Really. I've spent the majority of the last two years with my kids at home. My wife and I basically alternate one day on one day off. Ah, but yeah, Whenever I need to pick up a laptop, you know, not in my daddy hours. And they're like, What are you doing? You know, you gotta play with us. Likely they're old enough now that they can entertain themselves for a little bit back and certainly see that. But isn't that awesome? You know that you can see your kids grow up.


It's amazing. I mean, don't get me wrong. I mean, kids are hard, hard work, especially depending on the types of kids you have. My, my, my kid is very much She's got a lot of energy and she doesn't sleep a lot. And she's She's just going from one thing to the next, the next the next. So she's she takes a lot out of you during the day. By the time the day is done, my wife and I are just like, don't even talk to him because they were both drained, you know,

it takes both of us to get through the day and and we're trying to work through that now, too. So it's it's hard, but I wouldn't give it up at the same time because I do think she's getting something out of that. That may be that maybe I didn't get when I was a kid with my parents. And don't get me wrong. The relationship I had with my parents in a relationship I still have with my parents is is amazing. I wouldn't have changed it. My dad made made time even when he was exhausted after work, toe spend time with his kids. And so I'm super appreciative of that that it sze just different with my daughter and she's a different type of person and we're different parents and being generationally, I think that just happens, you know? So

How do parents decide what is right for their children?

It is difficult to know. There are aspects of how one was parented that are implemented into their own parenting style. There are other aspects of one's childhood that they may choose to not implement with their own children.

this is great because I want to know, how do you decide what's right for your kid? You don't was in a lot of people parent based on how they were raised, but I wonder whether you try to replicate it or go against


it. There are aspects I try to replicate, and they're absolutely aspects I try to go against. I mean when it comes to work and work life balance, I think, um, you know, previous generations didn't have the opportunity that we have today with the Internet and all the different types of mediums that you can utilize Thio make a living. I mean, you have, um, kids playing video games for a living now in in making a very good living doing that, You know, that just wasn't a thing. Uh, you know, e,

I want to say even 56 years ago. I mean, that's really, really new. So the opportunities we have have changed. So in way of opportunity and the balance that you can have with your life and what you need to sustain the quality of living that you want for your family, I think that's what's changed. And for me, if I can, uh, if I can sustain what I would I deem as comfortable, you know, I don't need to make more than that. I just need to make that That's my bottom line, you know, and I'm not worried about it.

Beyond that, it's maintaining that bottom line. That's my my biggest concern. And making sure that that, um, you know, the quality of life that we've come Thio enjoy and way of just being in our house and taking care of the house and raising our daughter the way we want to raise her and not have to worry about the final at the financial aspects of life. That's that's my comfort zone. So


that's a great take because I like the fact that you're saying, you know, you have to figure out what you like and that's your baseline. But in many ways you don't need more than that. You can just figure out how to live life that it buys you, that you don't need to do what your neighbors are doing, right. Your friends like us. It's unimportant as long as you're happy in your life. That's the goal. Yeah, so perhaps maybe last question. It's, um, also from another ride. Dad. Bryce Roberts from India V.

C. I saw him tweet the other day asking, How do you make your kids work harder? Um, what's your that question? And what in general, what's your take on hard work? Uh,


I don't I don't generally like all this. Uh, this I don't know that all this this talk about hustle, and you have to hustle to achieve what you want to achieve. I don't necessarily think that's true. I do think it boils down to I mean, with my experience in building the business that I built, it boils down Thio. Um, what are you interested in? And for me, that's difficult, some interested in a lot of things, and I want to build everything that comes to mind on DSO. That's that's a struggle that I have personally, that I need to figure out. But I think for a lot of people there is maybe in an area that you can narrow down on and build an interest in.

And I think as long as you're putting the energy into that and putting it out there and maybe building something on that interest, opportunities present themselves. And I don't necessarily think that you need to spend the days, the nights, the weekends building those opportunities. They come organically, and maybe that means, you know, making the choice to stay smaller as business and not want to achieve. You know, the Facebook status or the instagram status or, you know it's OK to make a couple $100,000 a year, or even $100,000 a year or even $80,000 a year, doing what you love and maintaining the lifestyle that that is comfortable for you. Um, so I think that's that's the thing that I definitely want to instill in my daughter.

You know? Do you work hard on the things that you're interested in? Be conscious of the opportunities that come organically from those interests. And, you know, I think people are are built either toe work really hard or they're built to work, you know, just a little bit. And enjoy their lives are people. It comes a different levels. And for me, I'm realizing that, um, I definitely want to have a little bit more balance in the way I work and the energy I put out into the work. I'm not. I'm not going to work the nights and weekends to build a new business. I'm gonna I'm gonna put out the energy I need to put out to you to create something new and keep it small this time around. So


that's great. That's great advice, especially knowing what you want and working towards in the weight you want


it, And by the way, I'm not there yet. I mean,


yeah, but it takes It takes effort to consciously do it the way you want to do it and not like everyone else, suggesting you should be doing it right. And I think that's really important. And they hope people listen to this and realize that, you know, their life is in their hands taken.


They do believe that I do believe your life is in your hands and, um in regardless of the ups and downs and business and doing things on your own and parenthood and how you balance that that life Aye, aye, aye. I'll never give up on the idea that I can. Then I can make something of my own and put it out there and build on that in in a balanced way. And that's what I'm striving towards now. And there are, like, little sparks here. And they're right, you know, as the years go by and I learned those lessons, I'm starting Thio realize some of these little opportunities that I was just talking about, and there is potential for things down the road, and I'm just trying to maintain that balances as those opportunities come along and and build on


those. So if people listening to this podcast want to reach out to you about opportunities, what's the best way to find you?


Um, I'd say twitter twitter dot com Jason Patric S C. I definitely am putting out there what I'm working on and what I'm doing both personally and professionally on Twitter, I'd say that's the best way to


get what's your favorite project that they should check out.


Right now it's I have two projects that I'm really passionate about. One of them is rivet her i v y t dot com. And that is a project that allows content creators on YouTube or twitch Thio create a website automatically. And I built that with another local C L guy here that was in the World press team business, and we kind of came together and took all our history and making video centric world press themes and created this this product called rivet so you can essentially hook up your YouTube channel, Click a button and websites generated for you with all your content. So that's something that I think is really cool and then I've also has I also have this single page website builder called leaflets l e f l e t s dot com and that allows you to create different types of single page websites that do specific things. And those are my two passion projects right now.


All right, thank you for sharing the wisdom on give life lessons. If there's something you want Oh, no. Deliver the last message, Thio to the tech audience to the parents. But I've heard a lot of great stuff and I'll tell me if you wanna,


uh, get much sleep is possible especially of your apparent. I had my wife, and I way we love making sure that we have the sleep. We need toe, make it through the day. And I think, uh, again, I don't have it in me to stay up all night long anymore building the things I need to build. Just make time with the time you have to have that balance


for the man out there. Apparently, I just heard another podcast and sleeping less makes your things smaller, so I


wouldn't know. I try to sleep as much as I


can. Yeah. So you heard it here first. Get some sleep. Well, thank you very much.


Thank you. Appreciate it.

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