How to Create a One Person eLearning Web Developer Business in Your Twenties

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In this LMScast episode, Will Middleton talk about his path from high school dropout to successful solopreneur by the time he is 22.

Will Middleton is from WP Course Guide. Will talks about how he first felt unsatisfied with regular schooling and how he decided to become an entrepreneur because he was afraid of living an empty existence. His introduction into the WordPress community happened when the CEO of LifterLMS extended an opportunity to him to work as a freelance copywriter.

Will developed his own firm and produced instructional material throughout the years, going from a beginner to a WordPress guru. To foster development, he underlines the need of always learning, adjusting, and facing personal anxieties.

His capacity to relate to consumers by discovering their problems and offering customized solutions is essential to his success. would counsels business owners to meet customers where they are, provide relevant material, and interact with them in a way that would draw in new business. His experience emphasizes the need of tenacity, compassion, and interpersonal relationships in creating a profitable internet company.

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Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: Hello and welcome back to another episode of LMSCast. I’m joined by a special guest. He’s back on the show. It’s been a while since Will’s been on, but we’ve got Will Middleton. He’s from WP Course Guide. Will has a fascinating journey and story. We’re going to talk about how will by the age of 22 build a successful one person web development solopreneur business how that started how it’s going and the journey along the way I think you’re going to find this a lot of fun.

Welcome to the show will

Will Middleton: thank you. Yeah that journey that was That’s a really good journey to be talking to you about yeah dive in i’m happy to be here

Chris Badgett: Life is a journey that, it’s always a process of becoming and changing and all that stuff, but just to frame it in for you out there watching or listening what was your first step into the online business world?

Can you set the stage for us of where this journey started?

Will Middleton: Yeah. So being a kid in high school, like really discontent, not liking the system, not believing in a future where I had like college and a high school diploma. I don’t know, I was just lost. I didn’t really know what I was going to be doing.

And so I I was like, you know what I’m gonna do? I’m going to take the ACT SAT and I’m going to get into a college. I’m just going to go to college and be like not interested in high school anymore. Just go into college. But then I’m like if I can get into college without a high school degree, could I get into my career without a degree?

Could I, Maybe not go to college because what do I want to go to college for? When I sit down and ask that question, I really just don’t know the answer. And so I am in this position of being a 15 year old, having a midlife crisis as 15 year olds usually do. And then I’m like, okay, the solution to my life now is to be an entrepreneur.

I’m going to drop out of high school and then just start being an entrepreneur, whatever that means. And then The CEO of the company, my mom worked for at the time. Cause I was in Boy Scouts and stuff. So she’d talk about me, here and there. And so CEO knew I existed and was like, Hey. Does we’ll want to position writing for our podcast is regarding marketing entrepreneurship courses.

I sounds like that’s what we’ll try to get into. And yeah, so so I got hired into that. And that was at Lifter LMS. That was the LMS cast. That was you hiring me into being like a freelance copywriter. And this is before I had really opened WordPress. I probably opened WordPress before, but I like I’m like, I don’t know.

I added a page and I don’t know what to do. Like I’m just gonna do this in HTML. And then to eventually becoming like a WordPress expert, full time WordPress person, and now business owner.

Chris Badgett: And so that was seven years ago and tell us where you’re at today.

Will Middleton: Today is very far from the beginning.

It’s like today is. I’m like a developer running my own agency, creating my own knowledge based business content working with clients mostly with Lifter LMS, but just really anybody who uses WordPress, I’m just doing that thing. And so basically just the, I don’t know, work from home, be your own entrepreneur person, that’s what I’m doing.

And I’m. Just experimenting with creating different kinds of content. I’m experimenting with what it means to take content to a higher level. Some course creators might be in that position where they have a course and they’re like, I’m not really proud of this, but my customers tell me they like it and that’s the position I’m at where I’m like, I look at my content and I’m like, Whoa.

That wasn’t like wonderful quality. It’s like how I look at my videos from years ago and they’re like useful and stuff and they get a couple thousand views, but it’s like how to do this, how to do that in WordPress where I feel like I could create something more interesting or high quality.

So it’s I got some validation with my courses and stuff, and now I want to take it to the next level. In addition to running an agency, that’s where I’m at.

Chris Badgett: Nice. A lot happened in that time period. One of the things I’ve always admired about you is. You have an extreme growth mindset and an ability to learn on the fly, continuously improve, try on different things.

I’ve seen you be a writer, a designer, a website builder, a developer, a manager of people, and the list goes on and on, an entrepreneur in your own stuff, an affiliate, like you do, you like, Try the whole menu and then you keep evolving to the things you enjoy where you create the most value and all that.

But at the core of that, that enabled you to try on so many different hats and evolve as your own entrepreneur. What was the underlying motivation that, you wake up every day. And what motivated you and still does to this day. And maybe those motivations change as you go, but tell us about the motivation.

Will Middleton: I totally think they change. I think the motivation has changed a lot, for years I’d been chasing things that were like external of me of Oh, I want to be an entrepreneur. And I want to have a cool car because entrepreneurs have cool cars I want to have but I now have a Honda element.

And that’s like the coolest car I could imagine, but it’s not the Ferrari I was thinking of. So I did absolutely have external goals along the way the whole time. But I think the real motivation was like fear. If I’m being honest, like it’s the fear, like I was zooming back to being in high school and being like, I don’t want to do this.

Like my fear is like that I’m not going to live a fulfilling life if I don’t go for this. I’m not going to like. I don’t know what am I going to do with my life? I have no vision for my life, I have no goals. And I don’t see myself anywhere 10 years from now, I feel bad about that. I know that I don’t see my future and I feel bad about it.

And so I was very afraid. And so I left high school and I’m like, I’m going to pursue any other life. Then, so I’m like, the only way that I’m ever going to work this math out where I’m happy in life is if I take action today, I’m going where I want to go, where I say I want to go. And so fear asked me to leave high school.

And then I. Was super excited, super motivated. I remember when my, I first asked you in like an email of Hey Chris, do you think you could meet with me once a month for an hour while I figure out how to be an entrepreneur? Like just for six months, timeframe, six meetings. You’re like, yeah.

And I was like jumping around my room because I’m like, okay, I’m really afraid of high school and I’m really pulled towards this future. And so then, and then I go into it and I start doing lifter things. I start building sites for clients, start learning how to use LFTR. I built my own online course that completely flopped, but it was the experience of learning how to use the platform and learning what failure felt like for the fifth time of just trying to be an entrepreneur, trying to create new projects, trying to put myself out there.

And it was in the LFTR space where I found a lot of success with things where I was talking about Elementor I’d go into the Facebook group and I would, answer questions about like someone would ask a question, I would copy and paste it into the title of the video, make the video, post the video, reply in the comments of the video in like under an hour.

And I was like, so proud of myself. It was like a game. And then I was manning the Lifter LMS sales chat. You’re like, Hey, how about like a commission sales basis. And I’m like, sure. So I started selling Lifter products in the chat, answering questions, fuels that to fuel my experts program where I was doing like copy and paste content entry, site migrations, quality checking on websites was doing those things.

In addition to doing things in Lifter side by side. And so I was like afraid of okay, I’m doing content entry. I’m afraid if I don’t grow my career, like I could do copywriting, I can do. This and that, if I don’t grow though, in this world where growth is happening so fast, how am I going to get to the next level?

So I’m always focused on trying to learn something new and it’s like a problematic pattern, but it’s also like helpful, but it’s also problematic. It’s I don’t know. Yeah, so I’m always growing of I know, caught writing. Let’s learn how to build sites, let’s learn how to like just build sites from scratch.

Let’s learn it, learn how to do consulting, troubleshooting errors, developing code and the billion things that are in between. Just learning new things and trying new things all the time. It was all out of fear. And so then I’m like, how am I going to live a life that I’m not really afraid of? It’s I got to lean into my true, like passion and authenticity and whatever.

I don’t know what any of that means, but I’m trying to figure it out. And so figuring it out through creating things in the world. So that’s how I got from like where I’m at to where I’m at now, like out of fear.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. One of the things that really impresses me about you that I noticed very early in your career is your ability to work with human beings, because in the online business world, there’s all, there’s this myth of like money coming out of the laptop, you like set something up and money flows into your bank account or whatever.

There’s like hardware, software, and then what I call wetware, which is the human beings. There’s still human beings involved in this process. And there’s clients that want things done. There’s software users that have real feelings, emotions, wants, goals, needs, and so on. Like selling and is like a very human thing.

Like when you’re talking to people during a sales process, you naturally, Were a natural at talking to all different types of people from all kinds of different backgrounds with all kinds of different needs Where do you think that skill comes from and where do you? What are your thoughts around the human part of online business?

Will Middleton: Yeah, I always think about humans. I can’t stop thinking about humans like all the time. I like your term wet where but where’s the human part? That’s what I would say if I like peed my pants during a client meeting. But I think where I God so I was always trying to read people as a kid and figure out like, if I could, I was like always seeking validation because I’m like, Oh, the adult, I was like a only child.

And so I’m like, always looking for attention of adults. All the people I hung out with were adults, but I was a kid and I wasn’t an adult. So I was like, they were writing shopping lists and I would see they’re writing a list and I didn’t know how to write or what words were, but I was like, take a, took a pen and was like forming lists, just mimicking what other people were doing.

That’s always what I’ve been doing, where I’m like, I see something, I want someone I like, and I go try to figure out how they do what they do. And so in that process, when people ask questions, I have this idea of what’s going on in their brain. That’s like mostly wrong, but I’m like, what.

What would be the perspective of this person asking this question as the best response they could get? So maybe a video, like in the Facebook group, people go to the Facebook group because they don’t want to read the documentation. And we’re the code, right? They’re clearly in a place where their, whatever solution they were looking for didn’t answer their question even though it might have answered the question if they looked closer.

What I’ll then do is create a piece of content basically exactly answering their question exactly where they’re at. Instead of being like, oh, we’ll go cite this material elsewhere because you haven’t done enough work into this. But I’ll try to meet people where they’re at. And so with that idea of meeting people with her at mentally, that’s where I got into that idea of trying to connect with people and trying to really understand what people’s problems are in addition to also like secretly manipulating myself and other people in negative ways.

But that’s what I’m working on now. And like figuring out how I can like actually be authentic, actually have fun without trying to dress a certain way or act a certain way or speak a certain way to make somebody else think something specific of me, because it also develops that problem too. Like imposter syndrome with online course creation is do I really have the expertise to put this out there? Do I really? Because I go into that right to yes, last night where I’m like making this membership is this really high quality enough? Does this really feel good enough? But it really feels good to me. And so what I’m doing is basically making content to answer other people’s questions directly.

In addition to making content to answer my own questions regarding getting more social media engagement or whatever problem I’m working on. So that’s how I try to meet people where they’re at. And also use the telepathy to try to read the

Chris Badgett: universe. All right. I’ll ask you one of the most popular questions that people come to this podcast for whether they’re building websites for clients or they’re building courses, coaching programs, memberships.

A lot of people want to know how to get more clients. One of the things I’ve noticed with you, we have a thing called the lifter LMS experts program. Will’s on there with a bunch of other people as well. You can find them at WP course guide. com by the way, if you want to reach out to him, but. Some people in the experts program tend to generate a lot more client lead flow and whether it’s the experts program or anywhere on the internet, what have you learned in terms of how to get more.

Clients, how can people get more clients? What have you thought about what you do that actually generates a client, a lead, and then ultimately a sale? It’s two step process.

Will Middleton: A hundred percent. A hundred percent. It’s like the answer to the last question is the meeting people where they’re at is I think a lot of business owners don’t try to meet people where they’re at.

I think they try to make people come to them, especially when they’re starting out, that can be a huge, complicated thing because you don’t even have the identity or thesis for what your business is going to be in the longterm figured out, or maybe you already have. do have it figured out and it’s been working for you for years, but now it’s no longer working and it’s time to pivot the business model to start like producing milk chocolate because online courses are declining and milk chocolate is gaining.

It’s just cause you’re looking at like the online course industry inclining every year is like a good reason to get into it. There’s like a lot of other people who are doing that. A lot of other people at different experience levels who are doing that. And WordPress as a whole is interesting because it’s like.

software that anyone can use to make website. You don’t necessarily need to know how to code. So it’s just lowering the barrier to entry like Lifter LMS and all the plugins of the WordPress ecosystem that are free like Lifter LMS is you can just get those plugins, put them on your website and start to build something that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to build without like higher levels of experience.

And sure you could take a computer science course and learn to code. It’s ah, that’s going to take you like three years. It’s taken me about eight so far and it’s still like amateur, not done, but like However long it takes you to learn things, you’re gonna have to go through some kind of learning journey.

And the more you can compress that learning journey for people, even though there’s already content on the internet that’s out there that can answer their questions probably more concisely and better than you can, but that’s okay because you can also answer the content and put it out there. And whether you’re creating a course or whether you’re, like, being an expert trying to get more clients, It’s the same thing about meeting people where they’re at and trying to answer their, the questions they have.

If you’re a developer who likes to build your own plugins from scratch, but most of the demand for projects is like, Hey, I just need this small customization. I just need a little PHP snippet or something. I’m not looking for a whole custom job, I’m not looking to get into a three or 5, job. I’m just looking for like really relatively basic thing and a plugin that’s going to be easy to edit.

And WordPress is becoming more easy to edit. By more people. The more that happens and the more you can ride the wave of like really meeting people where they’re at instead of just trying to be where you’re at. Your solution.

Chris Badgett: Yeah, that makes sense. Part of your journey that I’ve found fascinating is just your relationship with technology.

So what I mean is you mentioned earlier you were making content about Elementor and I’ve seen you, get into cadence. I’ve seen you get into full site editing. Lifter rolled out a new theme, full site editing theme called Skypilot. And you really mastered that. Development houses, all its tools and tooling.

And there’s some of, for some folks that can be overwhelming. Like it’s a moving target and tools are changing. What the market wants is changing. But you seem to just do dance with the tools and just go with the flow. What is your approach to. Technology tools in a way that doesn’t create overwhelm.

And I’m sure you do get overwhelmed sometimes about whatever, learning something, but you tend to evolve with the market and just keep upgrading yourself and trying different things and using what works best for you. How do you do that?

Will Middleton: Yeah. So I think Kurt, who’s not on this call, but is on a bunch of other calls will completely agree with this.

And I’m going to. I’m going to put words in his mouth in this situation because I’m confident this would also be his answer. And also your answer, right? Is you just, I go, maybe I go into things I’d like. It’s have you seen those game shows where there’s like pad, it’s like a Ninja warrior, American Ninja warrior, or, but like the ones where the props are moving and stuff, some people just completely eat it.

And some people like gracefully move through it, but nobody could gracefully move through it the first time. Like the first time to go through an American Ninja warrior course is to go like smash your face in. on the second jump into the little course is or to practice slowly over time.

I’m not really a fan of practicing slowly over time. I’d rather just get into the Ninja Warrior stuff and just work on each individual skill until I could get it. And so it’s like going into those obstacle game show courses where you get knocked down, you build a course site, nobody shows up, you, you like try to generate an interest list and nobody’s interested, but it’s it’s free.

I’m making a free program. All my content is free on the internet and nobody cares. That’s like getting hit. with a some moving piece of plastic and falling into a bucket of water it like feels terrible and you don’t want to get back up again you don’t want to try again because you just got humiliated and physically hurt at the same time but it’s like you can you can get up and do it again and Develop an interest in that and then it’s like you will just get to the point where you can do what other people perceive to be complicated in a graceful way.

A lot of people in the audience can already do that because if you’re like experienced with life, when he or beyond or whatever, you could your daughter made a course when she was like really small. It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you like have any life experience or have learned to do anything or learn to change in any way.

Or have changed in any way. There’s something there that you can do gracefully that other people admire. And that’s like what you would tap into for learning technology, learning marketing, learning photography, and teaching a course about it, learning how to even do instructional design and what to create a course, how to help people learn, like anything can be done gracefully if you just spend enough time with it, I think.

Chris Badgett: I’ve watched you go through three distinct kind of. Milestones when it comes to becoming a solopreneur developer. The first stage at the beginning is you learn how to talk about the product, like you were doing pre sales before you were listening to other people on the podcast, talk about what they’re doing and stuff,

Will Middleton: and then

Chris Badgett: you get into the build phase where you start building websites and this is what makes WordPress and tools like Lifter LMS and everything so awesome is that anybody can build with this, you don’t have to be a developer.

But then there’s this third phase where, Oh, I’m 95 percent happy with the website I’ve built, but I need a, I need some custom code, like something custom developed. And you’ve learned how to do that. How have you what were the key things that got you from one phase to the next?

Will Middleton: Like I talked about earlier in fear and it’s like going into your warrior course where you’re going to get knocked into the water.

But like the fear of not moving becomes so great at some points in time. I think if you’re listening to this podcast right now, you’re either an entrepreneur or you Are considering being an entrepreneur, right? Or you’re trying to maybe incorporate online courses into an existing business.

So you’re an intrapreneur at that point, right? You’re doing things that most people aren’t doing as if you’re listening to this. And so in that. There’s automatically this kind of person who likes to improve themselves or improve other things. They’re trying to take action that’s different from what the world is doing in some kind of way, whether it means starting your own business as an entrepreneur or working within someone else’s business in unique ways as an entrepreneur, whatever you are in the spectrum, being here means that you like to upgrade in some way.

And the fear of not changing as you’ve experienced in life becomes so great that you need to change. You need to Figure things out in a new way. Like life becomes so painful and the fear becomes so great that you need to change and move on to the next thing. You need to navigate to the next stage.

It’s like Angela Brown, someone who has a wonderful LMS cast. Podcast episode here. And she talks about that change of I’m in the middle of my life. I have this skill and I need to learn a bunch of digital skills to upgrade my business.

Chris Badgett: She became a builder. She learned how to put the site together by watching videos.

Will Middleton: Yeah. And it’s there’s that kind of personality that I think people watching this. People watching other episodes, reading case studies can tell that everyone in the community has this kind of idea that they’re trying to affect the world in some way. That requires just sometimes leveling up or changing what you do entirely.

Chris Badgett: Yeah, going on a quest. And sometimes you don’t have to become the developer too. You don’t have to learn how to write code you can hire somebody like will at wpcourseguide. com but at least getting Like at least learning some of the basics of hey, how do websites work and what? What is the plugin and what is the theme and all this stuff?

If knowledge is power, right? Yeah.

Will Middleton: Yeah. And so get this, I have all this expertise and I’m a genius, but if you know how to open the WordPress editor and go to the WP admin and log in, things that some WordPress users don’t know how to do seriously, I’ve been on a lot of calls lately where I’m like, how do you log into WordPress?

Is it a WordPress. com or WordPress? Free open source software on a hosting company. Some people don’t know the answer to that question. If you don’t know the answer, that’s okay. But they’re like, I don’t know. I log into my hosting or and I click log in, it just sends me and it’s we don’t know what the WP admin is like.

No. And maybe you’ve logged into WordPress just once and understand the WP admin because you’re interested in the open source software piece of it. But even now that’s open source hosting companies still just give you auto log in links. Even if you use those links, or have used the links, and you learn that there’s a WordPress admin, you can make a video and tell people, Hey, here’s how you log into WordPress.

It’s different than Squarespace. And guess what happens when you back, log into the back end of WordPress? There’s more customization. You can do all these plugins. Isn’t this crazy? There’s a lot of people here contributing to them. You know so much that you can communicate. gracefully then you need to make content about it.

That’s a much, as much knowledge as you need to make content about how to build things in WordPress. So I always had this perception that like I needed to be a developer or I needed to be a better salesperson or a better marketer or a better customer success for something. I just needed to upgrade my game in some way in order to be good enough.

But I think with what you do know now, you are definitely good enough, even though it doesn’t feel like it. And trust me, I’ve been not feeling good enough for eight years. from day one. I’m like, I don’t know enough. And now it’s day later. It’s sometime in the future. And I’m like, I still don’t know enough.

And I know that in the future, I’m going to feel the same way. So I’m like, just make the content with the knowledge you have today. And don’t be ashamed of clicking the publish button.

Chris Badgett: One of the things that. I’ve seen you do well. And this goes back to working with human beings. One of the challenges of let’s say a business owner and a consultant or developer website builder is getting on the same page with communication.

Sometimes the client doesn’t have a fully formed idea or maybe they’re. They got some quote, bad advice or like over focusing on this one piece when there’s like a lot more things we have to consider here. What advice do you have to create like a winning relationship between a web developer and a client?

But speaking to both sides of the table, what would you tell the aspiring solopreneur developer? And what would you tell? a client to put them at ease about your expertise and being like a trusted advisor in the consulting process. Talk to both those people.

Will Middleton: Yeah. I think there’s a level of like where a client comes to you and you clearly know how to do everything they’re asking you to do.

And so then you just yeah, of course we could do that. There’s no problem there. It’s only a matter of seconds. Don’t worry about it. And so it’s like way over, and so you’re going to undersell your jobs there though. You’re going to undersell the value. You’re going to undersell the fact that the person came to you with questions.

There’s an aspect there that I missed for years about the fact that you’re coming to me with questions, I want to thank you for, and I want to make you feel good about the fact that you came to me for questions. It’s not what are you, did you seriously. Book a 30 minute call with me to ask me about this thing that there’s documentation about or this thing I did a video about that’s don’t do that.

I was in that for years where it’s like, Oh, I want to give people the most useful solution possible. And I know what’s best useful for them, but that’s not really true. And so sometimes people will come to you and you will know everything about how to do the project up front, but really taking the time to be intentional with the process is going to unlock a lot of insights with those projects.

Maybe everyone in the audience already knows that, but it took me years to figure that out. That’s when customers come to you with jobs that you already know everything to do, I think a more complicated situation is when people come to you with jobs and you’re like I know how to do 30 percent of that.

And I speculate about the other 70 percent about that this might be able to be done. And the more tools you learn, the more you learn WordPress, the more you learn more plugins, the more you’ll have in your toolkit to do. to build with the 30 percent might become more like 70%. But in some projects you’ll still have an under unknown degree amount of stuff.

You want to figure out it’s complicated emotional experience, but I think presenting it to the client saying Hey, okay, this is what I’m confident on. And this is what I still need to figure out. Going and figuring it out or it, okay. So if going and figuring it out is something that’s going to take too much money, don’t be afraid of a discovery process.

I just started doing discovery processes for, With project work lately, not people are doing how they work, but like project work. And it’s cool. It’s cool as hell. I’m like, you know what? Give me one hour, give me two hours of time, give me 150, 300 bucks. We’re going to figure out the scope. These are, I’m going to use this time to figure out what we don’t know now.

Chris Badgett: And it’s not fully formed

Will Middleton: It’s not fully formed. And people lie about it being fully formed. They’re like, this is where projects get tangled up. They’re like, yes. I know how to use a REST API. I can do this. The REST API doesn’t have the right endpoints. What am I going to do? And so you need to make sure that you’re communicating 100 percent truth.

And you might know everything, but maybe then you want to communicate more of like, why did someone come to me with questions and how can I best help them? You might come to you with unknown information and sometimes they’ll come to you and 100 percent of the project, like I have no clue how to do that, but I’m excited to figure it out.

And then if you tell them that they might still hire you. But yeah, that’s my opinion on that.

Chris Badgett: It’s funny. I love that way you describe that because If you look at, agency websites or solopreneur websites on the internet, everybody knows how to do everything. But the reality is that, it’s usually like, all right, I think I have 60 percent I’m rock solid here.

Maybe there’s some unknowns, maybe there’s a new skill I have to learn. Maybe I have to like, Hire an outsourced person to help me fulfill this complete scope. Yeah. What do you think is a healthy what’s it, what would you say is an average healthy percentage that like you should feel super confident with as long as you have the ability to learn and, figure out the pieces.

Cause I think some people oversell and what’s more common is people undersell or don’t believe in themselves and their ability. And their resourcefulness. So what is it like, as long as you’ve got like a 50 percent lock on it, you’re probably good. Or is it more like 60 or 80 or, should you probably stay away from projects where you know how to do 10 percent of it?

I’m sure that’s an, it depends answer, but what would you say?

Will Middleton: Never. Always take every project.

I think if you’re looking for projects, if you’re looking for new projects, if you need new, if you don’t really know what your, it depends on where you’re at in your career, really, I don’t think it depends on whether you know a certain percentage of the project.

It’s like, where are you at in your career? And like, where are you looking to go next? If you don’t know these things, take everything that comes in the door and figure out how you feel about it. But if you’re like at the point where you’re like, oh, okay, I know what I want to do. I know what’s next for me to develop in my life.

And I want to align my money and my personal development with the same thing so that I can build the life I want to, you might be at either stage. You like, I think at different times we’re in either stage, maybe I get married and have a kid and I like now change the part of my life. I’m in dramatically into I’m back in scarcity.

Just trying to make money. Like it could be that But I think the percentage of confidence you need is 100 percent confidence that you’re telling the truth and that everybody knows the truth because if you’re a handyman and you’ve had no experience with sinks ever, you don’t, you’ve never opened the bottom of a sink, but you’ve replaced toilets, then it’s you could communicate that to the person be like, look, I have no clue how to operate on a sink.

I’ve never installed a garbage disposal, I’ve never cut pipes. I’ve done what’s what I think is easier things. Up to this point, but I’m totally willing to give it a try. This is what it’s going to look like for me to maybe I could figure out sync by watching a YouTube video. Sorry.

There’s a siren in the background. Can you hear that?

Chris Badgett: It’s not very loud. It’s very faint. I think it’s

Will Middleton: going to get louder. That’s okay. I think

Chris Badgett: the noise canceling is working. Okay.

Will Middleton: Noise canceling technology, the future. Yeah. So if If you’re up front about not knowing how to work on things, but you’re like saying, okay, give me an hour to figure it out.

They might go with that. Or you could say I don’t, I’m not going to be able to figure this out until I get into it. So then you’re like but guess what? I’m going to communicate with you. The whole time about where I’m at, what I’m thinking and where we’re out on price. And then if I can’t do it for you, I’m, I’ve got a recommendation of where you can go next.

Fiverr. com go back to the Lifter LMS experts page. Maybe you actually do know somebody who might be an upgraded service who could help them. But as long as you’re honest up front, I’ve had people willing to pay me what I thought was a lot of money, like sway way so much money at the time. I was like, it was like 50 bucks an hour.

Cause I was like, like a 17 year old kid. I’m like, Oh my gosh. And so then I’m like, 17 year olds are teenagers, not kids, specifically different category. But they, cause I hate it when people call me a kid and now I call everybody a kid. I call people like 70 years old. I’m like, Hey kid. But sorry that’s a rabbit hole.

But yeah, I think that people would pay me just to figure it out because they’re like, Oh, this is a bright kid. I want to invest in their future or whatever. And you could be a kid. Like I said, up until you’re about 70 years old. So it doesn’t matter. Yeah. What you know or don’t know as long as other people are honestly communicated about it and you’re like Willing to work together.

It’s just what do you feel good about really figuring that out?

Chris Badgett: What would you say about niching? I mean for you just based on your journey You ended up in this e learning niche and you were there for a very long time and you’re still there And some people who want to become web developers, they’re like, I don’t really have a niche.

I like to write code or I like to build websites how, and it’s not like you don’t have any interests outside of e learning and you’ve built stuff outside of e learning, but you’ve done a lot in the e learning industry. How much of that. Just niche focus, do you think contributes to your success as a builder?

Will Middleton: I don’t know. I don’t have any clue at all. Actually. The I was, I don’t, I really don’t know. It’s like I was answering the questions that were in front of me. The people who had their ears open, I talked to them. And so those people are in the flow of

Chris Badgett: demand.

Will Middleton: In the flow of demand, wherever you are in the flow of demand is where you start.

That’s what I think a lot of people don’t go with online courses, entrepreneurship. I didn’t years. It’s I’m always trying to resist it. Okay, how am I going to get to, how am I going to get to Vegas? And how am I going to make a billion dollars? And how am I going to be in cool hotels all the time?

It’s no, I’m not there. I’m in Minnesota. And I’m figuring out what I can do with the opportunities in front of me right now. And so that approach led me to a very niche community because we’re at a time in the economy where niche services are popular. It’s very popular with forum questions about very specific questions because AI and all this stuff is becoming better at like generating generic answers that like more specific answers are just becoming higher demand.

These terrible videos I made that are outdated from years ago are getting more views than ever because I’m like, I don’t know. It’s very specific and AI is getting so good at being generic with people and it’ll get good at being specific too. So then we’ll have to do something else like being beef farmers, but, like something else to stimulate the economy in a way that robots can’t.

But while you have an opportunity to answer questions in front of you in a way that could potentially lead to making money or having an offering, I think you’re good to go. Whether those questions are generic, whether it’s like your grandma asking you how to connect to the internet, and so then you make a YouTube video about how to set up that kind of router, Or like you’re trying to fix the box fan in your room because it has too much lint on the freaking blades.

And I don’t know how to take the box fan apart. I’ve looked it up on the internet. There’s no video. So then Will records a video about it, puts it on the internet. No matter where you’re at in your learning journey, fixing a fan, connecting to the internet, or learning very weird, complicated WordPress things, whatever questions people are asking you, answering those will be the path to unlocking your community.

Chris Badgett: One last question for the. Agency folks out there for your clients that you’ve worked with long term. What do you see as the keys to like long term client relationship?

Will Middleton: Okay. I like this. This is a wonderful question. I think having just an awesome time. That’s what I think it is like the experience matters.

Yeah. Experience does matter. But sometimes you don’t have experience. Sometimes you’re going into a space where you’re like, Oh because I think you need this is a fun framework. I like this framework. You need to be able to get jobs done fast. You need to be able to get jobs done cheap or you need to be able to get jobs done with high quality.

I think you’ll need two of these three things. I think two of the three things are very important, right? Get a high quality job with a lot of money, high quality job, very fast. Yeah. That’s going to cost a lot of money. But then you get the one that’s a cheap job and it is high quality, but then you sacrifice time.

It takes a long time to get that job done. It’s an Angela Brown story where you learn it over the course of eight years or like my story, it took a long time. Or you could get, what’s the third permutation? Time and quality is expensive quality and time is quality and cheap is longterm.

What is cheap and quality. Okay. No cheap in time. If you get it, if you get it fast and cheap, it’ll be low quality. Yeah, if I was drawing this on an iPad, this would be so much easier. But yeah yeah so we need some combination of those skills to be able to offer services, but you might not have.

Quality, you might have time because I show up to my calls on time. I’m available tomorrow. I’m available today, but very fast, very cheap, but I have no clue what I’m doing and you can still make it. I’ve had clients. I still have clients. I talked to today at 150 an hour rates that I was talking to at 30 an hour.

Like I, most of my money comes from clients on repeat. And that’s scary. But it’s good. And so it’s like the more you can optimize the honesty and what you can help people with, and you’re continuing growing, no matter where you’re at in your journey, building products, starting from nothing, you will make it to where you want to be by just focusing, or you won’t make it to where you want to be by not focusing on it.

Chris Badgett: I like that. And over time, you build trust because you’re honest. The experience of working with you is great. They know that when you’re like, I’m 80 percent on this one, but I got to figure this 20 percent out. They learn to trust that, that your ability to figure it out. And That’s awesome.

This has been a great chat, Will. I really appreciate it. You can reach out to Will at WPCourseGuide. com. Do you have any other final words for the people or other ways they can connect with you?

Will Middleton: I think the way you said to connect with me is the perfect way to connect with me. I think that if you’re listening to this podcast, then you know the moment to start is now.

Chris Badgett: Thank you for coming on the show. We’ll have to do another update in another eight years and see what you’re doing. Cause like I said, you just have a, you’ve demonstrated tremendous growth and just continuous improvement and just you’re basically like a learning machine and like a problem solving guy that does great work with people.

So it’s great to be with you on the journey. Thanks for coming on the show.

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