The transition process and learning curve has been tough – to say the least.
But it is necessary. Absolutely necessary.
I never thought I would label myself as a marketer, but as I learn more about my craft and about selling products like Soliloquy, the best responsive WordPress slider plugin, it is more and more evident that I need to be just as good a marketer as I am a developer – if not better.
If you have not read the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, I encourage you to pick it up and read it. In the book, Robert Kiyosaki outlines and describes his experience with his two fathers: one educated, “poor” dad and one uneducated, “rich” dad. The principles and thought processes behind the book are incredible, but it was a particular story that really gripped me.
Kiyosaki was entertaining an interview with a budding journalist. During the interview process, she had remarked that she would like to be a best-selling author, just like him. Kiyosaki probed the young girl as to why she had not achieved her dream, and she simply uttered that her work, while praised by her peers and friends, “did not go anywhere”. Kiyosaki responded that she should attend some classes that train people to sell, and immediately her countenance shifted and began to look in disgust.
(paraphrased) “A salesperson?? I have a Master’s Degree in English! Why would I want to be a salesperson!??!”. Kiyosaki pointed to some text on a book and told her to read it. “Robert Kiyosaki, best-selling author”, she said, to which Kiyosaki responded “Best-selling author, not best-writing author”.
And that’s when it hit me. That one short story completely changed my thought process behind developing websites and products. I had been focusing on the wrong thing.
Now don’t get me wrong. I still write great code, but it is no longer my primary focus. Great code doesn’t make me a successful product owner. Great code doesn’t make me a successful businessman. Focusing on great code garners me lots of critics who think their code is better than mine, and that’s a rat race that I never care to get involved with for the long haul. There is always going to be someone smarter than me, someone who knows more than me, someone who writes better code than me, someone who _______________.
I’m having to learn how to become a salesman to those who don’t care about code at all. I’m having to learn how to market both myself and my products in a way that convinces and eases clients and customers that I’ve got the solution they need. And let me be the first to tell you that it is completely counterintuitive to what I’ve done the last 2.5 years.
I was a developer. A developer who sought after the reward and praise of other developers. And what did that get me? A few friends, plenty of enemies and lots of wasted time over nit-picky arguments that never amounted to anything that potential customers would care about.
To be sure, I don’t think my time spent as a developer was wasted. On the contrary, I am incredibly grateful for all the things I have learned (and am still learning). But the fact of the matter is: I’ve got to learn how to become a master salesman.
Kiyosaki says that “money should work for you, not you working for money”. E-mything your business means that you work “on your business”, not “in your business”.
I’m tired of working for money in my business. I’m ready to work on my business with money that works for me. And that’s the start of my transition from developer to marketer.