Matt Medeiros is a WordPress entrepreneur and podcaster from a town between Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts. Matt is also a co-founder of Slocum Studios, a web consultancy. One of Matt's podcasts is the Matt Report, where he interviews WordPress professionals and digs deep into their stories, their businesses, their successes and their struggles.
It's one of my favorite podcasts, and I really wanted to learn about Matt the way he learns about his guests each episode. So I asked him if we could do a reverse version of the Matt Report, where I could get his story, and he agreed.
This is my first run at an audio post, and I hope you listen to the entire conversation, but I'll also highlight parts of our conversation.
From car salesman to web craftsman
Matt comes from an entrepreneurial family that spent years in the car industry. Matt cut his teeth in sales with his father's dealership. He gained a greater interest in technology while working retail, and eventually made his way to work with an ISP. The ISP acquired a consultancy, and Matt was slated with working with the web developers using mostly Drupal.
As the financial crisis of 2008 played out, Matt started doing side work consulting with smaller clients and building what would become Slocum Studio. Today, Slocum Studio is a four-employee, full service web marketing and development provider.
I asked Matt a key characteristic he's noticed in his interviews on the Matt Report. He cited “blind passion.” What he means is to be hyper-focused on what you're doing, and making a point to not focus too heavily on what others are doing. His guests have consistently just gone out there and done it. Sometimes they've succeeded immediately, but what he's heard more is that most entrepreneurs he talks to fail too.
Many of them fail before they succeed, and others fail many times along the way. We can't be afraid to fail, and we need to be passionate about what we're working on.
Avoiding looking at everyone else
One of our conversation topics was about what it's like to interview people around you and think about who those people are, how they got there, and whether or not we could achieve similar success. One thing we settled on is that relationships matter in the young WordPress ecosystem. And some of the people that have found success have worked hard, but have also cultivated the right relationships with the right people.
Therefore, it's key for anyone trying to kickstart their career to a) make relationships at events and online, b) keep your head down, and c) work hard on your product or service.
The Matt Report's most inspiring guests
I asked Matt to go out on a limb and tell me about a couple of guests that really left him inspired, even more than the others.
One of the interviews he pointed me to was Jose Caballer. Jose talks about choosing the right clients and implementing the right processes to be able to land $100,000+ projects confidently.
He also highlighted Bill Erickson, the small business owner / freelancer that has really put systems into his workflow. Matt fittingly labeled Bill as the “terminator of WordPress.” Be sure to check out both of these.
The future for the Matt Report and Slocum Studio
We talked a little bit about the Matt Report Challenge, Matt's new project to do a Sharktank style show with WordPress entreprenuers. It sounds like fun, and I look forward to seeing where he goes with that. He also mentioned that he wants to avoid getting too stale. While I hope he is able to mix it up, I hope he keeps the interviews every now and then, because I personally really love that format.
As for Slocum Studio, they are working on themes in addition to their web work. They are experimenting in that market and are looking to potentially do something different than the “typical” theme shops.
I had a great time reversing the format on Matt. If you guys enjoyed the audio format for this post, I'd really love to know it. I'd like to mix in audio a little more freqently, sometimes in an interview like this and other times just as a compliment to a post.