On this week’s episode, we’re joined by Jason Schuller, a designer and maker of things for the web. His MO is always focusing on elegant simplicity, endlessly being inspired by awesome creative people, and relentlessly learning by making mistakes.
This episode is brought to you by StudioPress Sites.
In this episode Brian Gardner, Lauren Mancke, and Jason Schuller discuss:
- The creative career of Jason Schuller
- Launching Press75
- The decision behind the sale of Press75
- The allure of side projects
- Prioritizing family in business decisions
- Creating Work/Life balance
Listen to StudioPress FM below ...
The Show Notes
- Follow Jason on Twitter
- Visit Jason’s Website
- Follow Jason on Instagram
- Follow Jason on Dribbble
- Follow Jason on Medium
The Creative Entrepreneur: Living the Dream
Voiceover: Rainmaker FM.
StudioPress FM is designed to help creative entrepreneurs build the foundation of a powerful digital business. Tune in weekly as StudioPress founder Brian Gardner and VP of StudioPress Lauren Mancke share their expertise on web design, strategy, and building an online platform.
Lauren Mancke: On this week’s episode, we are joined by Jason Schuller to discuss being a creative entrepreneur and living the dream.
Brian Gardner: Hey, everyone, welcome to StudioPress FM. I am your host, Brian Gardner. Today I’m joined as usual, with my co-host, the Vice President of StudioPress, Lauren Mancke.
Lauren Mancke: Glad to be back this week again, everyone. Thank you for joining us as we continue our series on talking to members and experts of the design community.
Brian Gardner: Today we have the pleasure — are joined by Jason Schuller, a designer and maker of things for the web. His MO is always focusing on elegant simplicity, endlessly being inspired by awesome creative people, and relentlessly learning by making mistakes. On top of that, Jason is a personal friend of ours, and we’re very fortunate to have him on the show. Jason, welcome.
Jason Schuller: Hey, thanks guys for having me. It’s good to talk to you again.
Brian Gardner: Yeah, for sure. We always like to kick off the show by asking the same question, to some degree: Who is Jason Schuller, and what is your backstory?
Jason Schuller: It’s funny, I feel like “who I am” is a lifelong journey at this point. I’m 40 and still don’t know who I am. I was born just south of Seattle, out in the country, and grew up loving the outdoors. Snowboarding, mountain biking, things like that. I had a pretty typical childhood that way, here in the Pacific Northwest. I still enjoy all those things. Just love being out here and being creative out in nature. That’s me.
Brian Gardner: Give us a little background then, from where you started — at least from a design and being a creative — because you weren’t always that way. As you evolved through your career it leaned that way and then you became a full-blown entrepreneur.
The Creative Career of Jason Schuller
Jason Schuller: The first time I realized I wanted to be a creative person … I think it’s always in you. We all know, to a certain extent, that’s in you just growing up. But I think the first time I actually realized it was in high school. I took a drafting class, and with those tools and being the perfectionist that I am — just being able to realize the design of a house and draft it out and see something I’ve made come to life. I think that was the first time I realized I wanted to do something along those lines.
I always struggled in school. I’m dyslexic. I have a hard time reading books. I have a hard time with traditional learning. So drafting and becoming an architect was a struggle for me, because I wasn’t able to get through those required courses to realize that dream. That was the start and the end of wanting to be a creative person at that time.
Lauren Mancke: I actually have a few dyslexic people in my family, and my dad was always concerned about that when I was growing up. I never really had an issue with that, but I can imagine that would be difficult. At what point in your career did you have creative jobs? Did you start in a normal job environment, or did you always have creative jobs?
Jason Schuller: I got married really young, at the age of 23, so I was kind of forced to find a job. Because, of course, you got to pay the bills and you got to move out of your parents’ place when you get married. It’s probably a good thing. I found a job at the Boeing company here in Seattle as a technical writer, and that obviously doesn’t really get the creative juices flowing. I think it was at that time when the web really started to take off.
I didn’t have any traditional training or education in web design or development, but I had an interest in it. What I started doing while I was working at Boeing was just finding websites, downloading the source code, and playing around and making things my own. Reverse engineering and learning that way. I think that’s when I really started to catch on to what you could do with the web and how I could apply my own creativity to building things for the web.
Brian Gardner: So you and I and Cory Miller — another friend of ours at iThemes who we had on the show a few weeks ago — we all had this same sort of story. Where we were at our day jobs, relatively non-involved with WordPress or development or design or whatever, and we just — maybe out of lack of interest or being bored — tinkered around with WordPress and code and whatnot. You were at Boeing, I was at an architectural firm, and Cory was working in marketing at a church or something like that.
Let’s talk about the beginning of your WordPress “career,” because it practically coincided with mine and Cory’s. It’s great to look back on those early days when we all had day jobs and were freelancing to start out our businesses. What stands out to you the most back then and what was the funniest part of what we did as WordPress was really beginning to evolve into something more than just a blogging platform?
Jason Schuller: Just like you guys, like you said, I was working at Boeing still when I got into WordPress. Every organizational website at the Boeing company is probably still maintained using Static HTML. I was looking for a solution to that, because it seemed like a dated process for creating and maintaining websites — using Static HTML. I was poking around with Joomla, as I’m sure you did too, and WordPress came around. I immediately was drawn to it because of its simplicity. I was able to take all the website templates that Boeing had created and turn them into themes for WordPress really quickly and put together, essentially, a platform for maintaining organizational websites in the company.
That’s when I really was drawn to WordPress and the potential for creating things for WordPress. That’s what spurred me into actually leaving the company, seeing that I could do much more than what I was doing. Start going off into a freelance career. I didn’t expect to sell themes at that time. I think in doing that process — leaving the company, starting doing freelance work — that’s when I saw what you guys were doing with premium themes and starting to sell themes. I think was specifically you, Brian, and Aidi with his premium news theme that he had. That’s what really got me interested in WordPress themes and potentially branching out into that market.
What stands out the most was how easy it was to build a following within WordPress just getting off the ground. I went from working at the Boeing company, leaving, and within two months having a pretty strong following already in the WordPress community simply by blogging and sharing what I was learning at the time. That really stands out to me the most early in those days, is how easy it was to build that audience and that following.
I think the funnest part — to follow up on that question — was meeting people like you, Brian, and Cory and Aidi, and just sharing the fun in what we were doing. Making things, designing and creating themes, releasing them, and having thousands of people consume them. That was just such an exciting time. It’s something that I had never experienced before — I’m sure you hadn’t either — sharing that camaraderie with my supposed competitors, which didn’t seem like competitors at all. I think that was the funnest part.
Lauren Mancke: Walk us a little bit back through the process of creating Press75. You touched on getting started with WordPress. At that time … you started in 2008, is that correct?
Jason Schuller: Yeah, I got started in 2008.
Lauren Mancke: Brian, you had the Revolution theme going then, but that was before you rebranded to StudioPress, right?
Brian Gardner: That’s for sure.
Lauren Mancke: Walk us back through the process of creating the company. You mentioned creating a following. Share with us a little bit about what made you stand out among other theme makers out there.
Jason Schuller: Sure, my start in WordPress — I actually launched a blog called WPelements. I think that’s how you came to know me, through a plugin I released.
Brian Gardner: Oh, the Feature Content Gallery.
Lauren Mancke: I remember that plugin.
Brian Gardner: Love it or hate it.
Jason Schuller: Oh my god. Again, I was just blogging through WPelements, building that following. People were downloading plugins I was making and it surprised me, because I’m not a developer by trade. I’m not a designer by trade. I was just learning and putting things out there — broken or not — and people were following along. That was just the state of what WordPress was back then. It was growing so rapidly and there was such a growing community around it, it was that easy to build that audience. But again, noticing what Brian was doing, what Aidi was doing, and what Cory was doing with the premium themes, it lead me to believe that with this following I had now I could do the same thing.
I think what stood me apart was finding my own niche doing something that I enjoyed doing, which was video. There weren’t too many video themes back then in 2008, so I took a stab at releasing a video-centric theme where you can embed videos and have it displayed in a nice grid.
My first theme I put out there on WP Elements for $5 and it sold … it was a crazy number of copies within a couple hours. I remember going for a walk with my wife and our dog and coming back and checking the computer to see if I had sold anything, and it was something like 200 copies had been sold or something like that for $5 a piece. That’s when I realized that this could be something. It spurred me to, over the next couple months, releasing a couple more themes and then eventually building Press75 and creating a dedicated theme shop out of Press75.
Brian Gardner: That’s the creative entrepreneurial dream. They say “make money while you sleep” is the big dream. You want to do that while you’re at the beach, taking a walk, or while you’re sleeping. I know when I first started selling Revolution back in the day, it was that. My favorite part of the day was when I would wake up and go to my day job and know that by then I had already made $600 or something like that. It’s part addictive, it’s part inspiring, and it’s part, “can I keep this going?”
Obviously you get to that point where you have to decide, “Should I actually leave my established day job as a young, married-type of person?” We had a kid at the time, so even more so. Thankfully, Shelly had a job, and a good job at that, so it was a little bit easier for me to take off. But I think we all as entrepreneurs get to that point where we’re not sure if we should jump or not. I remember, I think it was Chris Cree or somebody told me way back then that they had been doing stuff for themselves for seven or eight years and they just haven’t looked back. When I heard that I was like, “I don’t want to not be at that spot.”
Jason Schuller: Right, and I think now you can look back and say the same thing if somebody asked you.
Brian Gardner: For sure.
Jason Schuller: Literally, I’ve been on my own for almost nine years now, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I can’t imagine going back to work for a company like Boeing and being in that process of a daily grind. It’s so foreign to me now. I can’t even think of going back. When anybody asks me, “Should I do it?” I always say, “Yeah, do it.” I think where we got lucky is that we did it and it worked the first time. It doesn’t always work the first time for a lot of people.
Brian Gardner: All right, let’s take a quick break for an advertisement here, because at StudioPress FM, that’s how we roll.
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Brian and Jason’s backstory
Brian Gardner: All right, we’re back. Now, as I alluded to earlier, you and I created our businesses around the same time. In fact, what many folks don’t know and they’re not aware of, is that at one point you and I actually formed a partnership for a brief period, which ended not too long after it started. Now, I want us to talk about why that partnership failed. I guess failed is a harsh word, because it obviously wasn’t terrible — we’re still friends and you’re on the show and whatnot. But let’s revisit why we decided it was better to part ways, because I think a lot of people might to relate to that and it speaks to the styles of being different types of entrepreneurs.
Jason Schuller: It might be different for you, actually, but for me, I think we are a lot alike in a lot of ways. I think that might have been our biggest problem as partners. We both wanted to do our own thing. We both wanted to lead the charge in what we were doing. I think when you have two partners that are so much alike in that way, it leads to problems. I know for certain the reason my marriage works so well is because my wife and I are completely different people. We balance each other out. And I think that’s true for business partnerships as well. When you have strengths and weaknesses and your partner can balance out those strengths and weaknesses with their own, I think that’s what leads to good partnerships.
We were both getting started. We saw the potential, and it was just really good that we recognized so early on in our partnership — because it was only a couple months — that we wanted different things. We were able to split ways before it got dirty and go back to doing our own things. And it worked out for both of us. I’m really happy with how that panned out. I don’t regret having a partnership with you at all. I learned lessons from that, and that’s important as well.
Brian Gardner: I guess it’s overdramatic because I used the word ‘fail’. I wouldn’t call it a fail. Like we said, it dissolved for very good reasons. Like you said, when you have two like-minded people, it’s tough. We just both wanted to create and do that part of it, and then no one was left to do the administrative or the marketing side of it, because all we want to do is create and move forward.
I think that the lesson here is you don’t always have to work with other people. Sometimes there are great fits and there are good marriages. I know that when I merged into Copyblogger — the five of us — that was a situation where everybody brought something unique to the table and it has worked out. Our situation is sometimes when … I wouldn’t even say that the situation came between two friends, because it didn’t. We parted amicably. You did your thing. Because you had stuff you wanted to work on, and maybe it was slightly different than the direction I wanted to go. I think we both split and still continued our success, and that was good.
Jason Schuller: I really see that as the beginning of me really branching out and being successful with Press75. I saw it as the beginning, not the end, for sure. It was a good experience for me.
Lauren Mancke: At the time, I was curious what had happened there. I think, Brian, you had mentioned to me about this. You were using his plugin on your themes and then something happened, and I never heard what happened. So that’s fun, to hear the backstory after all these years.
Brian Gardner: I was a little bit skittish back then in what I should and shouldn’t share with the public and people. It’s different than it is now. Even when Revolution — StudioPress rebranded from Revolution because of a cease and desist letter, and I got squirrelly because I was new to this. I did a lot of, “Well, it was the best thing, the great decision.” I didn’t do a lot of backstories because back then I was less into transparency and authenticity than I am now. Now I think I’m more that way because I want other people to learn from the stuff that I’ve gone through. Back then it was all new and I didn’t have any real knowledge to share other than, “This is weird, so let’s not talk about it.”
Jason Schuller: Right. I think I was the same way. You get full of yourself a little bit. You definitely don’t want to share those lessons because you’re not — it’s not apparently clear what the lesson is back then when you’re going through it. It takes sometimes a couple of years to look back, reflect, and realize who you were back then and how you want to be now.
The Decision Behind the Sale of Press75
Lauren Mancke: Let’s continue in that vein, Jason. What are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve faced with your company, Press75? I know we had a chance to talk at Circles Conference about some of the reasons you decided to sell it, and you’ve also shared with some others about your frustrations with WordPress in general. Can you give our listeners a bit of a behind the scenes on the decision to sell? And did any of the frustrations you’ve had with WordPress affect that decision?
Jason Schuller: Yeah. There’s a couple of factors that went into me wanting to sell Press75. I think the biggest challenge, first of all, of running Press75, was trying to stay true to myself and not giving in to the appeal of doing everything that everybody else was doing at the time. I think that was my biggest struggle.
I built Press75 on my own style and my own way of doing things, and that’s what made it so popular. I fell into that trap after a while of noticing what everybody else was doing and wanting to do the same thing. Wanting to grow it beyond what it was. That was one of my biggest struggles.
The second side to that is the direction WordPress was taking after a while. I think it was around 2010-2011 that WordPress really started to get, in my eyes anyways, pretty bloated compared to what it was in previous years. It was this perfect, simple, content management system that was easy to build themes for, and it became this massive CMS for doing pretty much anything you wanted to do with it. With that came the responsibility in creating themes that people wanted. What people wanted was basically all the functionality that WordPress provided, plus all the functionality that every plugin available for WordPress provided.
That’s where I started to disconnect a little bit. I wanted to continue doing my own thing, which is minimalist, simple design, and it wasn’t jiving with what the market wanted at the time, which was everything under the sun. That’s what really led me to go down the path of looking for a new owner for Press75 and wanting to do something different.
Brian Gardner: We had Cory on the show, as I mentioned earlier. He and I and Lauren discussed something very important and something that still is under-discussed, I think, in the entrepreneurial space, and that’s all about mental health. Specifically, how it pertains to being an entrepreneur.
Now, after selling Press75 during the summer of 2014, I know you went through a pretty rough time trying to process the end of that and what would be next. You went through a period of time … To whatever extent you feel comfortable, can you just talk about that a little bit? What went through your head and some of the emotions and things that were going on after the sale and before you started the next few projects?
Jason Schuller: Sure. Yeah, that was definitely a depressing couple of years for a lot of reasons. I think, primarily, when you’re in that game of building something and it’s successful — it’s the first thing you’ve done and it became a success really quickly — you have this attitude that everything you do in the future is going to be successful just like the previous thing. I kind of had that attitude getting out of Press75, thinking that whatever I did next was going to take off and be successful.
It just wasn’t the case. That was a big lesson for me to learn. But with that came a lot of depression. I can definitely say that I was the most depressed in my life — from the standpoint of my professional career — than I’ve ever been. But it was twofold, because in my personal life, my little girl had just been born in 2013. Personally, I was on a high. Professionally, I was on a low. Those two were just clashing in the middle all the time, because I had this great need to provide for my family, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Learning that lesson that maybe I’m not as special as I thought I was and that not everything I create is going to be instantly a success.
Looking back on that, it was extremely important for me to go through that period of a reality check almost, and realize that creating successful businesses takes more work than you actually might think. It’s going to be harder the next time around, even though I have had a previous success.
That’s where I am today. And that’s when I started opening up to new opportunities of maybe joining a team or working under the umbrella of another company and seeing what that opportunity has in store for me. That’s when I joined up with Drew Wilson and Plasso. I feel like I’ve grown so much more since doing that. It was an important step for me to take.
The Allure of Side Projects
Lauren Mancke: You’ve also been working on a number of projects like Droplets and Pickle and Atmospheric. Can you talk a little bit about those and what made you decided to do each one of those?
Jason Schuller: I think Brian can relate to side projects and wanting to do everything that pops into your head. Maybe I get a little bit less focused than Brian in that way. It’s one of the things I enjoy most, is doing side projects. But it’s also a big drawback for me as well, because it distracts me from doing the things that I should be doing.
I take on these side projects. I want to see something come to life and I put it out there. Then as soon as it’s out there, I lose interest. The process of building them, giving it my all and making something work, I think that’s really a healthy thing. But putting it out there and just letting it just go stale, that’s not so healthy. I’ve been trying to learn for myself and my own sanity to focus on important things and not give in to doing everything that pops into my head. Side projects — they’re kind of a double-edged sword for me.
Brian Gardner: I for sure relate to the whole, “Have an idea, carry it out, and launch it” type of thing. I’ve had to be very specific with what I do as a “completely outside of the scope of my job” thing. I’ve only got one thing that I do there. But from a creative standpoint or from a design standpoint, I get inspirations left and right all the time. I’m always in my own head thinking, “Ah, I’ve got this great idea.” Even if it’s an idea of something I would do as a true side project, I try to channel it away and say, “That’s not the right time to actually pursue a actual side project,” but conceptually take what you’re envisioning and wrap that into something that then can become a theme that we sell on StudioPress.
Some of the things that I’ve done lately have been the ideas or creative endeavors that I wished to live out, but just dial back the execution part and say “Okay, well at least I’ve put forth some time and effort and energy into something that a) is part of my job, and then b) something that hundreds or thousands of people can benefit from and they do.”
Jason Schuller: I’m starting to do that same thing. It feels good to be able to refocus that energy in a different way that makes it available right away under what you’re supposed to be doing. Again, I’m working under Plasso right now and designing and making things for Plasso, so every time I have an idea I’ve been exactly doing what you’re saying, rechanneling that energy into something that maybe could work for Plasso. That seems to be panning out for me, because I can use that energy still and not let it go away.
Prioritizing Family in Business Decisions
Brian Gardner: We talked about some of the stuff you did at Boeing. That worked its way into WordPress and Press75. Then you sold that and you’ve had some of these fun side projects. Some have and haven’t been included or involved with WordPress. And then you’re doing work with Plasso.
But there’s more to you than that, though. I know that because I’m a friend of yours, but also because I follow your Instagram feed, which is a total window into the world outside of Jason as the guy who sits in front of a computer and does design and software and creativity stuff. From the conversations you and I have had over the years, I know that the definition of life for you far exceeds running a business and being a successful entrepreneur. I can think of two things — or shall I say two people — that matter to you more than anything. I’m guessing I’m right here.
Jason Schuller: Oh yeah, absolutely. The ability to be home with my family, my wife and my daughter, and be with them more than I actually work has been the biggest gift of my life. Again, I can’t imagine going back to working for that company eight hours a day and not seeing my daughter. Only seeing her in mornings and at night. It’s not anything I can even fathom at this point. This experience is something I’ll cherish forever. It’s actually my biggest motivator in life to keep doing what I do. To be creative, to keep pushing, and to keep learning and growing and stay relevant, so that I can maintain that lifestyle that I like so much now at this point. Because I want to maintain being able to spend as much time with my family as I can.
Brian Gardner: We talked to Brian and Jennifer Bourn a few weeks back about maintaining a work/life balance, because they spend a lot of time with their kids traveling and doing things like that. From my perspective from the outside, even though I know that personally you were going through some rough times, to see you post pictures or to talk about — even in the context of a sentence — just saying, “This is my dream. This is my world. Spending time with my daughter and watching her grow up.” From my perspective as a dad, it’s awesome. It’s great to see. And it’s also convicting, because sometimes I don’t feel like I have that much of a conviction to be that intentional about spending time with Zach and Shelly and stuff like that.
I’m around a lot. I’m here all day when he’s here. I send him off to school. I’m home when he gets home. But it’s a lesson and a great motivator, like you said, to maintain that. Because once you have that … Of course, things will change as she gets older. Because he’s 12 now and he doesn’t want anything to do with me anymore sometimes, and I’m like, “Okay.” Then you think, “A few more years, he’s going to be out of high school.” I look at Shelly and I’m like, “What are we going to be doing all day long now?” There’s that to consider. But you still have plenty of time left with her.
Creating Work/Life Balance
Jason Schuller: I look back at those couple of years where I was super depressed from a professional standpoint but just living the high life from personal standpoint … I don’t know, I just have to believe that maybe that’s way it was supposed to be. For me to be there 100 percent for my kid those first couple of years that she was growing up and becoming a person, I think that that was such a special time. I reflect and think of it that way, instead of, “Oh, I was just super depressed all the time from a professional standpoint.” I look back at it — at those pictures, all those videos, and all of those trips that we took together — and remember it that way, as the time I got to spend with my daughter growing up.
Brian Gardner: Let’s talk to Lauren. Lauren, how do you feel about the fact that you’ve been able to spend a couple years with Fox? Now you’ve got two more coming, and I don’t know if being home will actually be a good thing for you or not with all the distractions and whatnot.
Lauren Mancke: I actually was going to chime in. I think that’s one of the things I bonded with Jason over when we first met, was that family-first mentality. We discussed making business decisions based on that. Putting your family first and creating a work/life balance that gives you the opportunity to be home with your children. I think it’s really important. I heard, Jason, that you’ve got a pretty sweet setup for working from home. Brian’s actually mentioned it on another episode. I haven’t been able to set up my super sweet office yet, but I’ve got schemes and I’ve got visions. What is your favorite part of working remotely and working from home?
Jason Schuller: I think you have to make a creative space for yourself. Something that inspires you every day. Somewhere you want to actually sit and spend a good amount of time in, so that you can let those creative juices flow. For me it was building this office. It’s literally just a little room on top of my separated garage. I built it in 2009, I designed it myself. My father in-law and I built it together from the ground up. Now it’s just that space I get to go to every single day and enjoy the view from my office and just be creative. It’s quiet and it’s peaceful. I think it’s really important for us when we work at home to have that space that you can go to and feel that way and just work.
Brian Gardner: See, I don’t think I have that. Mine’s called Starbucks. I just rent that space, $6 a day. My office isn’t anything special. I’ve actually had — I still probably won’t do this, because it just would cost too much and it would be silly — but I had this vision of designing the office that I have into a Starbucks.
I have a friend of mine who his friend is actually one of the guys who architects and engineers the refurbishment of Starbucks. I was actually going to hire him and say, “Come into my room and do Starbucks stuff.” I was going to put a little live-edged countertop. Put in the floor and some lighting. Really try to emulate a Starbucks. Then I just realized that was probably money not well spent.
But I do, I see the pictures of your office. It overlooks the lake there, and you’re always posting pictures of the mountains. “Then I took a quick drive up to go mountain biking.” There are people in this world — you are one of them, Jeff Sheldon is another — who I really have envy over their lifestyle and their ability to connect in places that I don’t live near. So good for you, that you get to have that type of space.
Jason Schuller: Yeah, man, I really love living here. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I’m sure there are plenty of better places to live than Seattle, but I grew up here. I love it. I love being connected to the mountains and nature in general, and being able to do that pretty much within 20 minutes of my place. It’s super important for me to maintain. So yeah, I love it.
Brian Gardner: As we wrap this up, we asked Bill Kenney a few weeks ago — from Focus Lab — the same question. I want to do the same with you, because I got a feeling it might be a little bit different answer. I think it’s really important for our listeners to get different points of view, so here it goes: If you had a chance to speak to a group of young designers or creatives and your presentation was limited to five minutes, what would you say to them?
Jason Schuller: Wow. That’s a loaded question. Just drawing from my own experience, I think the most important thing, for me anyways, is moving forward. Is not to forget who I am and what I do, because that’s what lead me down a bad path when I was doing Press75, was paying too much attention to what everybody else was doing and trying to emulate that. When I really sat back and did my own thing and did it in my own way, that’s when I was most successful. That’s the most important point for me.
Also, making yourself a little uncomfortable at times. I got really comfortable during those years of building WordPress themes. Living that life for a couple years really didn’t challenge me all that much. I’ve noticed this last year of working for Plasso — being with a team and being challenged on a level that I’ve never been challenged before — I’ve grown so much as a person. As a creative person, as a designer, and as a developer. I don’t think I would be where I am now without that continual challenge. I think getting yourself uncomfortable is also a big lesson that you need to keep in mind as you move forward.
Brian Gardner: That’s a great answer.
Lauren Mancke: That is a great answer. Is there anything else you want to add before we wrap this thing up?
Jason Schuller: No, man, I can’t think of anything. It’s been a pleasure talking to you guys, and I wish I could chat with you more often.
Brian Gardner: We can make that happen. Whether it’s on the show or not.
Jason Schuller: I miss those WordCamps. I’m not in that WordPress scene anymore, but that was the best part of those WordCamps, coming together. Skipping all the presentations and sitting in those halls and chatting with guys like you. People that were doing the same thing.
Brian Gardner: I will say this, Circles Conference, for me, has become the new WordCamp thing. I realized I’m more of a creative than I am a WordPress guy, even though I create WordPress products. I love WordPress and I’m so thankful for what it’s done for my life, but I realized my hardcore passion is about creativity. I will say, there was an empty spot in my heart this past year because both of you guys left me. We had the luxury of being together both — all three of us, actually — last year, and I missed both of you there this year. Hopefully next year maybe we can try it again.
Jason Schuller: Oh yeah, I’ll be there next year for sure.
Lauren Mancke: I won’t be pregnant.
Jason Schuller: But you’ll have three kids running around.
Lauren Mancke: Yeah.
Brian Gardner: Will’s a soldier, he can handle it, right?
Lauren Mancke: He’s got this.
Brian Gardner: Well, Jason, thank you so much for being on the show. Thanks for being a good friend to us at StudioPress — to Lauren and I — and we look forward to seeing what you come up with next.
Jason Schuller: Thank you.