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May 2, 2017

A few members of our team recently attended WordCamp Raleigh 2017. This two-day event was held at NC State’s School of Engineering and was packed with WordPress, Search-Engine Optimization (SEO), web development and general business best practices. Both days began with keynote speeches that focused on general life and business insights.


The event started off with a keynote presentation by Chris Lema, a highly-regarded leader in the web industry. His talk was titled “Seven Stories, One Point,” and included several anecdotes that emphasized one overarching premise.

Using the Woolworth Fire story as an extended metaphor, Lema delivered several one-liners that anyone could relate to, regardless of their field. Using his own life and experiences as an example, he gave the audience a visual of what each segment of his talk looked like.

Get involved. Lema described the importance of venturing and getting intertwined in the people and world around us. Lema described his involvement in numerous companies and projects, which is one of many reasons he is held in such high regard.

Keep showing up. Lema connected this point to a quote by the great Steve Martin; “When it’s your turn to be picked, you have to be within pointing distance.”

Keep fighting. Even on the days that may be tough, stay consistent and trust the process.

Stop looking at what other people are doing. Everybody is different, and that is a good thing. Unique ideas are grown from difference and are squandered by worrying about what everybody else is doing.

Don’t Get Distracted. Stay the course, and focus on the objective. Today’s world is littered with interruptions and breaks in focus. Put in place practical tools and habits to avoid these.

Don’t Copy/Paste. Lema used this point to relate the ending of the Woolworth Fire story with one focus:

Comparison Kills. Don’t let what others are doing define what you can/can’t do. Lema closed his presentation with a challenge: as we form relationships and bump elbows with many different people throughout our lives, don’t let anyone put chains on your potential. Bask in your uniqueness and don’t allow anyone to put a ceiling on your abilities.


On the second day of WordCamp, Cory Miller, founder and co-founder of iThemes and The Div Inc., talked about “The Iceberg of Life”.

Miller used an iceberg sitting in water as a symbol for our lives and what we may be feeling and experiencing. The visible part of the iceberg, is what we allow the people around us to see. This is often the best and brightest parts of ourselves, the parts we are proud to show off. Then there is the much larger part of the iceberg that is underwater. Dealing with the troubling circumstances on the inside.

Miller is heavily involved in erasing the stigma of mental health in America and urges as many people as possible to find a counselor or support group. Using events from his own life, Miller delivered a powerful message pleading to everyone in the room, not keep darkness inside. Explore third party options for help in your area, there are professionals and groups who are there to focus on sharing and not condemning or patronizing.

“Focus on Empathy, NOT Sympathy”

Cory finished his talk with challenging the audience to stay involved and to contribute to the WordPress world.

Sparked by two great keynotes, each day burned hot with information on personal growth and health, resources and experts in the field, which led to great conversation and content. Thanks WordPress Raleigh for bringing together fantastic speakers, sponsors and volunteers to create a platform for growth in so many facets of the industry!

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