You are only as good as your customers say

We live in a world where success keeps being the hottest topic. From startups to huge companies, from digital makers to WordPress authors, everyone has written at least one line of what success means in their particular industry or how important it is to touch the peak of the iceberg.

Just type ‘’success in WordPress’’ on Google and you’ll get 72,200,000 results in 0,36 seconds. Magic, right?

A bunch of inspiring quotes are posted online every single day. Some of them remind you that failing is ok (do it like a PRO!). Others try to convince you that work‐life balance means having a clear desk and a lovely job. You can either procrastinate or work hard. You can be the cool digital nomad traveling around the world or a super dedicated employee. You can live with little money, or you must aim to raise billions from VCs.

Your customers shape your image through their lens and way of understanding the whole context.

It’s all there. Every single possible scenario is covered.

People spread opinions about how you should act to achieve a particular level of success.

Don’t fake it

At PixelGrade we struggle to stay away from this kind of approach and focus on what matters to us. And that changes as we change and our set of core values evolve. There are contexts when spending time with our families comes first place. There are moments when we want to dig deeper into our work and discover rare diamonds. There are periods when we want to sign out of everything and connect with our inner selves.

We don’t say it’s good or wrong. In fact, no one should pretend to possess the universal truth. We just say that we’re human, and we have our set of goals, desires, disappointments, challenges, ups and downs. And we’re not afraid to show up with the full package. We don’t fake it.

Not in front of our coworkers, nor in front of our clients. Of course, we give our best to deliver the best possible solutions to their problems and to make it happen without complaining about our private lives. But if we’ve bad days, we will not feel ashamed. Deep down, we’re convinced it’s ok to be vulnerable.

Enjoy the present and make sure you invest in what’s now on your plate.

See beyond today and tomorrow

Speaking of success, for us, it’s far more important to keep our minds healthy and to avoid these kinds of digital distractions. You could call them recipes or 10‐steps‐to‐achieve‐whatever but we don’t resonate with this approach. At least not in the long run. Sometimes we tend to skim through this garden of wisdom, but we forget about it by the blink of an eye.

Instead, we have a strong focus on the present. On the people who love to buy and use our handcrafted WordPress themes. On those who are now on board and ask for our attention and involvement. On those who are already in this puzzle. And yes, customer support is a crucial part of our business. We already wrote an entire story about our Happiness Heroes and how they succeed to keep everyone happy.

At the end of the spectrum, we avoid making mental exercises and searching for answers to these kinds of silly questions:

— What would it be like to have billions of customers?

— What if we’d managed to sell this specific theme and make some serious money in a couple of hours?

— How should we change our marketing strategy so that we convert an amount of customers each hour?

That’s not our dream, nor our focus.

“Thank you” means so much more than a socially polite expression.

Create a habit of being grateful

We prefer to be aware of what happens today and to get the job done in a way we’re proud of that lasts. Not just marking them down from a to‐do list. In a minimalistic way, that could be translated into creating WP themes tailored to creative doers’ needs by putting all our experience, know‐how, creativity and courage into this beautiful journey.

You might be tempted to say that every single WordPress Author does the exactly same thing, but you’d be wrong. And you know why? Because — as Jason Friend (@Basecamp) wrote, “you play like you practice”. And some of them skip the gym without hesitation.

That’s why we truly believe that we’re only as good as our customers say. If they provide negative feedback it’s most likely because they have a point. It’s not a matter of right, wrong or just wanting to have a debate, it’s our responsibility to actively listen to whatever they have to say and to take it from there.

On the other hand, if they send us huge testimonials regarding our common work experience, this is most likely because we gave them something they deeply needed at a certain moment in time.

It has nothing to do with money per se, with the number of customers which continues to increase from one day to another. Yes, they help us pay the bills and have a lovely life, but the meaning goes beyond this.

For the time being, we have more than 3K ratings and more than 33K people taking money out of their wallets to spend on our WordPress themes portfolio. Thanks to their constructive feedback we have managed to evolve and create better digital products. So why not keep an open eye on them and dream of how Silicon Valley would be the best thing that can happen to us? At the end of the day, taking good care of our customers will get us closer to whatever we deserve. There’s no other way around.

Perfection comes over time (after intense work)

We’ve given it our best shot to attract and maintain clients that are happy with the overall experience. Who are eager to use our themes in creatives ways. Who appreciate the great effort we put into transforming an idea into a beautiful WordPress product.

No growth hacker, no investor, no success coach, nobody can make it happen for you. It’s your fight. Reconsider for yourself. Or for the sake of your business, coworkers, dear ones. You will thank us later.

This article was first published on community.envato.com

Oana Filip

Oana Filip is a digital storyteller @Pixelgrade and community builder for creative industries. A true believer in the power of making the world a better place.