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Everything led me to this point

Want to know a secret? After coming home from one-year around the world in 2010, I applied for jobs at retail stores. My blog wasn’t making any money yet and I completely ran out of cash. I was about to walk into BestBuy with my application and thought to myself “what the fuck am I doing?” I turned around and decided that I needed to keep traveling, have freedom, and do things that I love to do. I am so glad I did that.

I started this blog in December 2008 with the intention of writing about my travels. I loved writing but part of what kept me going was creating the site itself. I taught myself everything that had to do with WordPress. Sometimes I would break this site just to see what would happen. I got into the code and experimented while teaching myself everything, all of which I did while traveling.

It grew into an obsession to learn everything there was to know about the technical side of the blog. I wanted to learn everything there was to know about WordPress, programming languages, and the tech scene. I created my own plugins and had always designed and coded my own themes (such as this one). Eventually I found myself helping other travel bloggers throughout Facebook, Twitter, and Email.

For awhile I volunteered to helped anyone that needed assistance with fixing their site, advice on plugins, or code snippets. As more people started travel blogs, so did the demand. Most often I was recommended by other travel bloggers. Demand continued to increase and at some point people were asking how much and started to PAY me to work on their sites. It eventually became part of my regular source of income.

It was 2011 when I started Art of Travel Blogging. Initially it started as a community forum for travel bloggers and technical services. The technical services quickly became popular and the focus of the site.

In January 2013 Art of Travel Blogging merged with Travel Blog Success! This was huge for Dave and I and the start of something really good that we continue today. I took the lead in offering technical services and revamping the website. I’ve learned a lot at TBS. Collaborating as a co-founder in a successful business is no easy task along with having many contractors, making schedules, tasks, supporting our products, building a community, business partners, sponsoring events, and managing our expenses. No other project or business I have ever run taught me as much as being a co-founder of TBS.

When I started traveling around the world writing this blog, I had no idea it would lead me to become a WordPress wizard. I created a path to do things I love.

In April 2014 I took a full-time position at WooThemes to help support a very popular WordPress plugin called WooCommerce. I love my job and the people I work with. The money coming in from the new job has given us the opportunity  to save money and make a home in Seattle.

Would any of this had happened if I didn’t follow my dreams? It’s hard to know but I’m pretty darn happy where everything has lead me.

WooThemes Team
My friends and co-workers. The entire WooThemes crew in San Francisco. Photo credit TheRoamingPint

17 thoughts on “Everything led me to this point

  1. I’m so happy that you were committed to following your dreams and not conforming to what everyone else though you so do for a job or career!

  2. It’s a great way to think about it. What might have been…

  3. I’m so glad you walked out of that Best Buy! The people there always look miserable. Also… there’s a Louis CK episode where the Best Buy employees are really mean to him and make him trip over a speaker box. So not you.

    This is inspiring proof that the scarier path is worth it in the long run!

  4. I was just about to start dabbling with WordPress last night, it turned out to be the right plan btw. I want to switch to a better travel blog format myself. 🙂

  5. Great post, Mike! Very inspirational!

  6. Very motivational! It’s phenomenal when we realize how much opportunity we can create by following our instincts. Thanks for sharing

  7. I also have a WordPress website and I was writing about relationship and love. Now, I want to shift to travel and adventure and different spots around the world as I plan to visit other countries this year. Can you give me some tips on how to start? Thanks so much and your post really motivates me to push my dreams to its limit! Awesome!

  8. Thanks for this article! I feel as if I was at the exact same crossroad as you were, and somehow I found these words of yours at the right time and it gave me that extra bit of courage!

  9. Congrats Michael on your Travel Blog success. In my case everything happen opposite. I love traveling I really do. I know how to promote a campaign on web. The thing I really don’t know is “how to write a appealing piece of blog. Lot people say practice would help but I think perfect practice is more important that practice a thing in a wrong way. I guess reading and following other people’s blog may help me. I find your blog inspiring. Hope one day you also able to read one of my blog too.

  10. I also have a WordPress website .When I started traveling I had no idea it would lead me to become a WordPress wizard but I created. I hope one day you will find this.

  11. Cool story! It’s exciting to hear how you developed your passion while traveling!

  12. WOW, I had no idea you were part of that blogging course.
    Interesting. Its always good to hear how someone’s hard work eventually led to a successful business.
    Rock on!

  13. Congratulations Michael, on your travel blog success. I always feel motivated whenever I read this kind of success stories. It reminds me the journey I had when I chose to become a travel organizer and left my family business in Vietnam. Today I am happy to see the satisfied face of my co-travelers.

  14. awesome ! is WooThemes hiring now?

    1. They sure are! Check out the Careers page on 🙂

  15. I can’t wait to do this!

  16. Always interesting to read about major turning points in people’s lives. Walking out of that Best Buy was definitely one of yours! Way to follow your dreams.

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