Happy 2015 to ya. No need to sleep in today, since I did not stay up late enough to welcome in the New Year. That could be a sign I’m old — or that I have an 11-month-old and a 4-year-old who are up at 7 a.m., no matter my schedule.

You decide.

Today we’re going to talk about another aspect of you not being me and me not being you. So far this week we’ve covered:

Let’s start with a bit of a story.

A while ago an awesome student of mine named Dave asked how I write so much and do client work and…I mean he gets themes out the door but they require a bunch of work each time.

I write complex code for membership sites over at SFNdesign and ship stuff all the time.

My secret, Dave, is autopilot.

The great all-singing and dancing computer…autopilot

Here’s the thing to remember: I’ve been building stuff in WordPress full-time for 6 years. When I need to research something, my research consists of looking up the exact function name I’m thinking of.

When I’m doing something really hard and end up on Stackexchange I don’t need to read through the whole long description of why the code works; I can usually just scan the code quickly and see the key part I need to solve my problem.

My point is, I typically don’t have to think too hard when writing complex code because I’ve been doing it a while.

Much of my code writing is now on autopilot.

My new focus

Since code-writing requires less focus, I can now focus more on running a business.

Maybe it’s the other way around for you — you have run 5 businesses and this is your first foray into WordPress or software, so all your business stuff is on autopilot and you’re working hard on the code.

Whatever form it takes, we’ve all got something on autopilot, right? It’s doubtful that people on the outside looking into our businesses know what we have on autopilot, so they think we’re super amazing superheroes (that’s a lot of super).

[Tweet “We’ve all got something on autopilot, so we can focus on other things”]

Keep this in mind when you look at the ‘greats’ that you look up to. Pay attention to how long it’s taken them to get good at what they do, and remember they too have huge portions of their business on autopilot.

Keep following them, reading what they write, and doing your own research. Keep at it and you’ll have parts of your business on autopilot too.

photo credit: eugenephoen cc

6 responses to “I’ve Got Autopilot”

  1. John Locke Avatar

    I never thought about this before, related to my own business, but it is like “chunking” in neuroscience. It’s why the 10000 hours makes you more intuitive. Instead of wasting the time to mentally step through the whole process of a task, your brain actually hardwires paths with that information, because you have learned it so much.

    Waste no time in 2015. 365 chances left in the year.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      And one of those chances starts today.

  2. Sheryle Gillihan Avatar

    Thanks again Curtis for sharing your secrets with us all. I love this post because there are definitely things that come with years of experience. I’ve been asked before, “How do you do that or know that?” and the simple answer is “I’ve sat in the pilot seat for a long time.” We just have to be careful not to fall into complacency as technology is always improving.

    Great post!

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      Yeah there is always tension between jumping in to the new tools and jumping around too much. Only in using the tools for a while do we really get the full awesomeness out of them.

      If we just jump to the newest thing all the time then we don’t really get to use any tool long enough to be efficient with it.

  3. Dave Z Avatar
    Dave Z

    Great post Curtis, your right certain aspects of the business get easier and become more on autopilot over time. Previously for me when looking at the greats it was hard not to compare and self judge to our own progress and if we will “catch up”. Now it’s just about dedication and effort to get to the auto pilot level.

    “Pay attention to how long it’s taken them to get good at what they do”

    Precisely!! All the hard work it took and dedication, we are just seeing the “Final” product not all the revisions.

    Thank you as well for sharing your knowledge. Love the honesty you bring to your posts.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      It is hard to not only look at the final product. I fight it to.

      I know one day Dave you’ll have plenty of people looking up to you around your development skills.