Update on Me, b5media, Future Plans

I hesitate to write this because it’s somewhat personal, and this blog has become anything but a personal blog. However, I’m going to write it anyway because people understand that, though there’s multiple writers here, this blog is largely still associated with me. And frankly, I’ve been asked a million times what is next.

Back at the end of March, I announced my resignation from b5media. At that time, I did not know what would be next but I was going to take an approach of “Wait and see” and figure out what opportunities were out there. Crazy talk, I know, quitting your job without having something lined up – but it had to be done that way. Let’s face it, it’s not right for me as an executive to be out soliciting work behind the company’s back. I’m not leaving on bad terms, nor do I want to ruin relationships in a company I helped build. It was the right thing to do. Gutsy. Ballsy. But proper.

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Since then, the question has come up, “Well, what do you want to do?” That’s been a question I’ve actually wrestled with quite a bit. Identifying and targeting the space I want to be in. Something somewhere in the bizdev, social media, blogging relations world – yet, with my hands in the operational side of things as well, whether development or otherwise.

See, if my experience at b5media has taught me anything, it taught me something about the growth of a startup and the phases those startups go through. I’ve learned something about scaling a business. Not everything. I’m leaving the network in the hands of someone else who can bring that experience in. Anyone who knows WordPress knows that out of the box it doesn’t scale well. How do you do hundreds of millions of requests and keep ticking? How do you run WordPress on 350 blogs and keep it all ticking?

Yeah, I couldn’t have done it by myself – and I haven’t. That’s where “learning how” comes into play.

However, my rolodex is thick. I love meeting people and it seems like everyday, the rolodex gets thicker. I can help people get access to influencers, networks, businesses. Not everyone, but then no one can do that. Unless you’re Scoble (Hey, nice new design, Robert!).

The economy is in a weird place right now. No one knows if we’re in a recession or not. If we are, it seems the web/tech space is largely unaffected. Investments are still happening. IPOs (the death of the dot-com era) are few and far between. The space keeps plugging along even if we have to tighten our belts a little bit. So, though the phone has been relatively silent, I have gotten a few “Hey, Aaron, we want you to come work with us” calls so far. I think it’s fascinating when someone else calls me, but thats neither here nor there.

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All this to say, b5media has hired my replacement. We’ll talk about him more in the coming week. However, my last day is Friday, May 16. Effective Monday, May 19th I am an independent contractor, consultant, “Web Strategist”, WordPress freelancer, Communications strategist, advisor.

This is scary actually. Not really what I had planned. Not really what I want. But it seems to be the direction life is going. Plus it seems like the only way that I can retain a healthy degree of independence, not have to go into an office every day, and be involved in lots of various things going on around the web. Currently, I have a verbal agreement with a Web 2.0 company, a pseudo-Web 2.0 company, and a PR firm for work with more in the pipeline.

If you’d like to be in contact with me to help you out, drop me an email at aaron@technosailor.com. Let’s talk.

Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

5 thoughts on “Update on Me, b5media, Future Plans

  1. Similarly, I left my stable, well paying role as chief technologist for a company this week, to pursue my own interests. I also have lots of leads and possibilities, but no concrete plan to set my sail on. It’s gutsy, ballsy and exciting. You know you will succeed because you have a lot to offer, and lots of experience. Congratulations – I look forward to seeing what you accomplish.

  2. With your expertise and network, I don’t imagine you’ll have any problems. When it comes to transitions, I’m in something of a similar situation (though I didn’t exactly have a say in the matter), so now I’m doing things, yet still trying to figure out my grand scheme of things.

    Best of luck in your upcoming endeavors.

  3. I will give you a shoutout on the show next week. That’s right I have embarked on a show on blogtalkradio. It is slowly growing but feedback is good. Working on the NEW RATW.

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