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The Office

I co-founded WooThemes over five years ago from my apartment. It took me quite few months before I dared to quit my daily job as a developer at a local software firm. I had been working there for seven years, going to the office every day from 8 to 4.

Suddenly I was waking up each morning, throwing on some clothes, walking out of the bedroom and into my living room; My office.

There was no more scraping ice off my car windscreen, no more morning rush hour, no more boss to answer to.

It was just me and my coffee, sat in front of a computer, chatting to my two co-founders on the opposite side of the world… from my living room. Life was great. I’ve since moved out of my apartment and into a house, but I still work from home every day.

Earlier this year I asked my girlfriend if she wanted to spend the our winter in Cape Town, allowing me to be closer to those I work with every day (WooThemes has an office in Cape Town). It was a no-brainer.

We’ve escaped from the frost and snow, and replaced it with sun and heat, and I’ve been able to go into an office whenever I want and work with the awesome WooTeam. Going into the office has taken some getting used to, as it is surprisingly noisy. No wonder everybody wears headphones most of the time.

I do enjoy the office, as I get to be social again. And I don’t mean the HipChat/Skype/IRC social. I mean face-to-face social. It’s hard to replace that, which is why we are focussing more on having our team meet face-to-face more frequently (over 2/3’s of our staff work remotely).

I haven’t gone in to the office every day though. Usually I’ll go in on Mondays and Tuesdays, and maybe one more day in the week. I go to the office mainly to meet with the team, but if I just want to get work done, I do it from our apartment.

If you ask someone where they go when they need to get some work done, they usually say they go to the designated “quiet-room” in the office, or go in very early in the morning before everybody gets there.

The fact that we managed to grow WooThemes from three guys to over 30 employees is testament enough that an office isn’t a necessity in this day and age.

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Think Positive!

Golf isn’t just a good walk spoiled

I play golf. A lot of golf. I’ve played since 1987, and I’m only 34 years young. When I was a junior, I played a lot of competitions across the nation of Norway, but never really competed at the top of the leaderboard. I was always afraid of winning, and whenever I had a good round going I would start telling myself not to screw it up.

You can probably guess what happened.

In my twenties, I started to understand more and more how big a part the mental game was, and I believe that you don’t have to be talented to master golf, as long as you have a strong mental game.

I learned a lot from reading the books of Bob Rotella, who coaches tour pros on their mental game, so they can reach the next level. His key message is to think positive and rely on your routine when faced with a difficult shot.

If I’m lined up with a 3-meter putt to win the match, or even win a tournament, my mind is going to start thinking about what happens when I miss the putt, and how I got so close but let it slide once again.

This is when the mental training comes into play, and I actively tell myself that I am going to make the putt, and that I always make 3-meters on the last green. I try to convince myself that this is the truth, and try to imagine the ball falling into the hole.

I know that I miss 50% of my 3-meters, and that I’m more likely to miss the putt because of the pressure, but I’ve learned that by thinking positive I have more chance of getting the putt in.

This positive mentality applies to all shots on the course, even the bad shots and missed putts. As long as I follow my routine and feed positive thoughts to my thinking, I will shave shots off my total score.

But positive thinking doesn’t only apply to golf, it applies to life in general. I have negative thoughts every day, and doubt will creep in on even the happiest of days. When it does, I try to always think of the best outcome of the situation and fight the negative thoughts by replacing them with positive thoughts.

I highly recommend that you do the same when facing a tough situation, or the next time you are having a “dark” moment. I also recommend that you read Life is not a game of perfect by Bob Rotella, which is a great read even if you don’t know a thing about golf.