Mark Forrester is a South African digital designer turned online entrepreneur. He is the co-Founder of WooThemes, a global business that builds WordPress products for a community of over 500,000 users.
My Definition Of Success | Success for an entrepreneur should not be defined by how much money you’ve made, but by how much fun you’ve had along the way.
My Highlights | My 19 month old son is the biggest highlight of my life and my proudest achievement. He’s taught me what’s really important in life and had such an important affect on my business leadership and how important it is to think of my team as a family, and how they are supporting their extended families through their work at WooThemes.
The Difference Between good and Great | Passion. Passionate people live and breath the work they do. They don’t even think of it as work, rather an extension of themselves. A team of passionate people are evangelical and a key ingredient to a healthy company culture.
Lessons I’ve Learnt | Build a business around your lifestyle, rather than let your lifestyle be dictated by a business.
Dealing With Doubt | As an entrepreneur I think your head is always filled with niggling self-doubt and negativity. The important thing is to know you are not alone and the internet provides you with a great connection with other entrepreneurs stories to learn from who have been in similar situations. As someone smart once wrote, fear is a healthy instinct to have that keeps you on your toes and alert to your customers and competitors.
Resources I Use | I follow lots of blogs and find https://news.ycombinator.com/ a great source of entrepreneurial insight, specifically in the world of online startups. I’m also a keen follower of Elon Musk, Seth Godin, Jason Fried, Gary Vaynerchuk and Mr. WordPress – Matt Mullenweg. The Year without Pants – http://www.amazon.com/The-Year-Without-Pants-WordPress-com/dp/1118660633 – is a great book explaining the community and eco-system our business finds itself in.
My Playlist | My Spotify playlist best sums up the music that keeps me inspired – Mixtape
My Ambition | To leave a lasting legacy from the work we are doing at WooThemes. We are helping democratize eCommerce on a platform that powers 20% of the internet. If we can enable like-minded entrepreneurs with the tools to get their business online and reach their audiences we are doing something significant.
The Meaning Of Life | Be good on to the world and the world will return the favour. Awfully clique but simple sound advice.
On Getting Rich | Concentrate on solving a problem in a unique or easier way. Don’t concentrate on the money, it will follow you.
Inspiring Others | Give your team free reign to experiment and accountability to manage their own time and work
Team Diversity | At WooThemes we’ve grown a business from being 3 complete strangers in 3 different countries to a distributed team of over 30, supporting a userbase of 500,000. Being distributed is a huge competitive advantage in our book, you get to hire incredibly talented people with diverse backgrounds all adding to the uniqueness of your company culture and brand
The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | I want to be the best father and husband I possibly can be and always ensure that the work I do does not refrain me from being that.