Episode Number 58

2015 Year in Review

Dec 03, 2015 @ 11AM MT

For our 2015 season finale, we look back on the past year and share some of our lessons learned with our Bright Umbrella intern Erin! From tech to business to life, we share the important lessons we learned this year, along with our goals for next.  We also take a look back at our 2015 guests’ answers to our Rapidfire 10 Questions, and then turn the questions on ourselves!

We’re on a hiatus until the new year (tune back in January 14, 2016), and wish you all the happiest of holidays!

Tags:
year end
tech
business
quality of life
learning
insights
review

Episode Transcript

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[Music]

Lea Alcantara:  From Bright Umbrella, this is CTRL+CLICK CAST!  We inspect the web for you!  Today we are taking a look back at 2015 in our annual Year In Review, and once again, our Bright Umbrella intern, Erin Lewis, is here to reflect back with us.  I’m your host, Lea Alcantara, and I’m joined by my fab co-host:

Emily Lewis:  Emily Lewis!

Lea Alcantara:  This episode is brought to you by Craft Commerce, a brand new ecommerce platform for Craft CMS.  If you’re a web shop that likes to create custom-tailored websites for your clients, you’re going to love Craft Commerce.  It’s extremely flexible, leaving all the product modeling and front-end development up to you, and it’s got a simple and intuitive back-end for content managers.  To learn more and download a free trial, head over to craftcommerce.com

[Music ends]

Emily Lewis:  We had such a blast during last year’s Year In Review with Erin.  We had to have her back, plus she’s actually here in Albuquerque once again on the day we’re recording, so there was no way I was going to let her off the hook.

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  For those of our listeners who don’t know Erin, she’s been working with us at Bright Umbrella for almost two years, and she’s hugely involved with CTRL+CLICK.  She manages all of our social media, handles a lot of our communications with guests and sponsors.  She’s awesome and we love her. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  Welcome back to the show, Erin! 

Erin Lewis:  Hello, thank you for having me once again! 

Lea Alcantara:  Of course, so what have you been up to since our listeners heard from you last year?

Erin Lewis:  Well, outside of being the coolest librarian ever by day …

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  And the hardest working intern at night, I’ve spent a lot of time seeing some great music and eating lots of good food.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Very good.  That’s always a good thing for me.  Before we get into our actual retrospective, can you share how your internship has been going, like what’s been good, what’s been bad?

Emily Lewis:  And be honest.  Be honest.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, I feel like it’s been wonderful.  You guys are great.

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  The internship has been going great.  What’s been good?  Beyond the technical skills I’m developing, I’ve started to get a sense of my own value as part of Bright Umbrella and that’s been really good for me on a personal level.  I’m sending resumes out right now and I’m looking for a full-time position, so having more confidence is helping me get through that process.  I’ve also gained a pretty strong perspective on the type of company that I’d like to work for and what makes me happy professionally.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  I think those are some of the hardest lessons to learn, especially the knowing who you want to work for, like the type of company you want to work for. Because I know when, as an employee, I was just looking for a job

Erin Lewis:  Right, right. 

Emily Lewis:  You know?

Erin Lewis:  What will pay the bills.

Emily Lewis:  Exactly, but through the course of my 20-some-odd-year career, like I do know it makes a difference who you work for and what they do in terms of your professional satisfaction. 

Lea Alcantara:  Totally.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, absolutely.  It’s not something that I have really considered before, but now I’m finding this really important to me because you guys have spoiled me, I guess. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Wherever I work is not going to be as cool.

Emily Lewis:  Well, it’s good.  You should like what you do. 

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  You spend a lot of time doing it.  So that’s the good stuff.  Anything that’s not been so good with internship?

Erin Lewis:  Well, I don’t know if this is really not good, but it’s different from what my expectations originally were. 

Emily Lewis:  Right.

Erin Lewis:  At the beginning, I had just imagined that I’d be able to move more quickly through each stage of the learning process, but I’m finding that some tasks are a lot more challenging than I expected, the personal branding being one of them.  I feel like that takes me a really long time to motivate to get through because it was hard.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  It was way outside of my comfort zone, and I’ve found that I tend to drag my feet pretty hard on things that I find challenging. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Erin Lewis:  So it kind of like piles up.  So I’m trying to work on that, and I’m learning that about myself.  I have to make it a point to take a step back and look where I’ve started compared to where I am now to see how much I’ve learned, and that helps me motivate when I’m feeling drained or stuck somewhere in the process.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Very cool.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, for our listeners, just a little bit of background.  So when Erin came on board, Lea and I basically thought about what we know in terms of what we’ve taught at various universities or in classes, and we’ve put together like a curriculum for Erin. And we basically have been moving her through that curriculum, and she mentioned the personal branding, and that was not what you’re currently in, but the last phase that you’re in right now.  You’re kind of learning more of design-specific stuff, but I think that branding is hard. 

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  Lea, you and I both know we went through this when we became Bright Umbrella.  It’s emotional. 

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  And it’s not like checking things off a list.

Lea Alcantara:  No. 

Erin Lewis:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Like when you learn how to write HTML, you can be like, “Check, I understand semantics.  Check, I know how to validate.  Check, I know how to use Photoshop.”

Erin Lewis:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  With personal branding, it’s like it’s all introspective and it’s trying to be open to what other people perceive about you, and it’s such an emotional process.

Lea Alcantara:  Well, at the time, it’s kind of like you really have to think critically of yourself.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  And that’s really part of the issue why it’s so hard because there are ways you want to present yourself, and you can say like, “Oh, I am this,” but are you actually presenting yourself in that manner.  Do other people perceive you in that manner seriously like that, the strength? 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  Right.

Lea Alcantara:  And when you go through …

Erin Lewis:  I think that you don’t normally consider about yourself.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, exactly.  So when you go through the process and then people say things that you don’t expect, it’s a little bit off-putting.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Not necessarily because they say something negative, but it’s something that you just feel like, “Really?  You think I’m whatever it is?”

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, absolutely. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah. 

Erin Lewis:  It’s just looking at yourself through a more objective lens, which is really impossible to do.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, who can be objective about themselves? 

Erin Lewis:  Right.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  All right, so what we wanted to do this year is what we’ve been doing for the past four years.  This is our fifth Year In Review!

Lea Alcantara:  Holy moly! 

Emily Lewis:  I know.  Can you believe it? 

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  So we’re just going to reflect back on some of the lessons learned, some of the things we look forward to next year.  Lea, why don’t you start us off and share what maybe your top tech thing that you learned this year, something related to your profession … technical stuff. 

Lea Alcantara:  Sure, sure.  So I mean, I feel like whenever we do these retrospectives, that there are going to be some repeats from previous years because you’re just always learning and getting better at something specific. And for me I feel like that’s thinking more modularly when I’m designing,  as well as coding. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Because I feel like it’s easier to do that, maybe technically, because you’re like, “Okay, this box will repeat itself this way so therefore, you need a very blah, blah, blah.”  You just make it technical and you can box things.  But for design, I think the idea of even contemplating a module-first approach, like actually looking at smaller pieces to design first as part of a system instead of like, again, the old-fashioned page way, is something that I’m working on.

And then for CMSs, I started playing around with ExpressionEngine’s Template Layouts, which is one of the newer things in the newer version of ExpressionEngine features. And that has helped me think a lot more modularly. And I did a lot more with Craft this year, which is I think inherently is a system that has more DRY approach, especially because of Twig and the way their templating system is.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  But overall, I think I’m just getting better at making sure I design and craft code that can be used in multiple ways instead of just starting from scratch and repeating myself. 

Emily Lewis:  So I’m curious where does that fit in with like a mobile-first approach?  Like module-first, does that inherently become mobile-first?

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, in many ways, it is, but instead of just thinking of the entire screen, you’re literally thinking about … Let’s say like in an ecommerce thing, like the actual product in a box, for example.  So instead of just thinking of when the screen expands, then the entire layout does this. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  If you’re thinking about like how does that one component change depending on how wide it is or how small it is or whether you need to have multiple situations, and it’s just again one of those like mind twists that you have to just kind of work through. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  At BDConf in Washington, DC, one of the speakers actually gave an example of like, “Okay, if we take a look at it, if we just did it this by using what’s called the browser query, it’s where we based it on the browser with, then you would design this way and you would design pretty much again like the almost like entire layout at once.” 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  While if he was thinking about component queries or like module-specific queries, which is something new and not all browsers support it, but then you can focus on a specific thing before you start doing the entire layout and the rest of the context.  So it’s hard to explain over audio, but it’s really interesting and fascinating to me.

Emily Lewis:  So since it’s a little bit difficult to discuss over audio and it is really probably more of a mind shift change than anything else, what did you do to help you with shifting your mindset?  Any resources?

Lea Alcantara:  Well, first of all, attending a conference like BDConf is helpful.

Emily Lewis:  Right.

Lea Alcantara:  And I can’t recall the name of the talk.  I believe it was like element queries, but we’ll link that to the show notes.

Emily Lewis:  Okay, excellent.  All right, Erin, how about you, what was the top tech thing you learned this year, I mean, amongst all the tech things you’re learning this year?

Erin Lewis:  Right, yeah.  [Laughs] Do you got a lot of time here?

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Timestamp:  00:09:58

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  So I’m not really sure if this counts as a tech thing, but it’s a workflow thing that helped me a lot this year.  I think I’ve finally learned to write everything down and bookmark all of my resources, even if I think I’m going to remember something because it seems so simple.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  I’ve wasted a lot of time looking things up just because in the moment that I need something, my brain just isn’t calling up whatever process is needed.

Emily Lewis:  Right.

Erin Lewis:  So having things bookmarked and knowing where I can go to grab something real quick just sped up, I guess, my productivity.  We use Inc as our shared bookmarking tool at Bright Umbrella, and with a browser extension, it’s just super easy to save anything, hashtag it, categorize it, just make little notes for myself, because it’s pretty much guaranteed, if I had to look something up once, I’m going to have to look it up again.  So I finally figured out that I can save myself a lot of time by having resources to go to.

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Oh for sure, and I’m really happy with Inc! Because we did do a thorough kind of review over all the bookmarking tools.  There are so much… [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  There are so much out there, but I feel like Inc, which is free I believe. 

Erin Lewis:  It is. 

Lea Alcantara:  I believe they also have like premium or whatever, but it’s pretty straightforward. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, it’s been good.  The shared bookmarking, so we also share resources.  Also, we use it as our queue for the social media content we want to share.

Lea Alcantara:  Totally.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  So it’s been really useful, and we can message each other within … have conversations about bookmarks within Inc and we receive notifications about it in the email.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  So yeah, I think I’m glad that you’re picking up on that, I mean, because I think that’s one of those things you only really figure out unless someone is like, “You need to figure this out.”

Lea Alcantara:  Right.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Or you’ve spent five years and you’re like, “I’m not so efficient.  I need to get more efficient.”

Erin Lewis:  Right, right.

Emily Lewis:  But if you make yourself efficient from the beginning, then you’re already thinking in that mindset.  I think it took me years to start saving bookmarks.  I mean, if I think back to the beginning of my career, I didn’t save bookmarks.  I just read stuff and then I’d try and find it again. 

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, right.

Lea Alcantara:  And you just re-Google it. 

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  And then, of course, there was that nice few years when I was using Delicious and I loved that bookmarking service.  It’s no longer what it used to be. But yeah, bookmarking, your resources is huge.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, it’s a good … I’m glad you guys have kind of paved the way for me with a lot of work habits and workflows, which I’m definitely benefiting from.  Even in my regular librarian job, like I feel like I’m streamlining.

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Cool.  Very cool.  So Emily, how about you, what tech stuff have you figured out or learning about this year?

Emily Lewis:  Well, Lea, you know this because we talked about this last week, but I really struggled to come up with something that was tech related that I learned this year.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Because I feel like I’m really in a phase of fine-tuning.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Not necessarily picking up something new, but just trying to make something I already understand not be perfect, but work more efficiently or work better for me.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Like in 2014, we came up with our internal framework, which we call Starter Files, which was a totally new approach to how I’ve been doing front-end development, and that felt quite significant.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  But I feel like this year, I’m really just trying to make it work, like I’m trying really put Starter Files to work.

Lea Alcantara:  Work even better, right.

Emily Lewis:  Maintain it, keep track of the stuff I want to add to it, add stuff to the list of things that I’ll add when I have time.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  So really nothing new stands out for me that I learned this year, but thinking on it, maybe that is in itself a lesson, that I don’t always have to be learning something new, that there’s just as much value in perfecting something as there is in experimenting with whatever the new pretty is.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh.

Emily Lewis:  Whether it’s front end or CMS or even business stuff.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh yeah, I know, totally, like when I mentioned all the CMS things that I do, whenever I’m trying to work through a problem, I go on Slack or something like that and people have like five different ways to do the same thing. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  So you’re always, even though it’s something you already kind of know what to do, there’s always a twist on how to improve the same thing you’re doing.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Because someone has an idea over to make it more efficient or just more performant for some reason.

Emily Lewis:  I don’t know if it’s a maturity thing or where I am in my career, especially being a business owner, but I want to just make what I know how to do be better. 

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  As opposed to being like, “Okay, now it’s time for me to pick up Angular.”  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  You know?

Lea Alcantara:  Right. 

Emily Lewis:  It’s just not where my mind is these days. 

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  So let’s take a turn and talk about the business things we learned this year.  Lea?

Lea Alcantara:  So where would I even begin?  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Because, yeah, I don’t know, like 2015 feels like the year of the business, but I feel like what everyone says about pricing what your worth is true.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  But it’s rather an obvious statement, and it’s not always clear what it actually means or how to do that in practice. Because it’s one thing to hear good business advice, but it’s another to follow through or even completely understand the point of the advice.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  So I feel like this year we were ready to be proactive instead of reactive about business, and one of the best things that came out of that is learning how to price ourselves properly.  When you don’t, you’re essentially saying it’s okay to go out of business and be unsustainable.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  And I feel like really with that, in some ways, it was also an emotional learning lesson because sometimes in regards to pricing, it should be more objective, but it often is not, and when you work through the practicalities of it and understanding that when you do it incorrectly, you’re actually harming yourself.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  I feel like it was a big lesson. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, you know I’m on the same page with you.  We talk about this all the time since we’ve been really focusing on our pricing in the past six months, but it’s so true.  I think I’ve heard “bill what you’re worth” or “you should be billing more.”

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right.

Emily Lewis:  And you hear that, but you don’t hear specifics about that.  You don’t.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  And it’s very hard to take a very general phrase like that and say, “Well, how do I apply that to my business?”

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Like, well, how do I know what I’m worth?  Like, how do I even start with that stuff?

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  And I’m so excited because one of our first guests of 2016 we have lined up is Brad Weaver of Nine Labs.  He’s be joining us, I think, it’s late January.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  And he’s going to be talking about some practical pricing stuff and it’s stuff that he’s actually helped Lea and I with, with our business.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  And we had, what, a two-hour conversation with him.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  And we instantly changed our business. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yes, because it was practical.

Emily Lewis:  Like in that moment.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, it was practical advice.  It was the moment we hung up the phone, we were able to do stuff.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Because of the way he conveyed it was strategic and specific, right?

Emily Lewis:  Specific.

Lea Alcantara:  Because again, like I understand … It’s one of those things where sometimes you read all these books or you read all these articles, and they often do say the same point, which is "price yourself properly, figure out your expenses, blah, blah, blah.” But it still seems rather vague with very little examples on how to exactly do that.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Or sometimes there are calculators that make no sense because it’s not relevant to your business or those types of things.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  But yeah, this year I feel like we finally found the resources that resonated, and I think that’s an important lesson too with business stuff, because there are a lot of people giving out advice about business or writing about business and there are conferences about business.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  But I think it’s important to find a resource that you speak the same language. And that can translate your needs specifically for your particular uses, because, again, “Raise your rates, and blah, blah, blah.”  Well, what does that even mean?”

Emily Lewis:  That … I agree.  Pricing has been a huge shift for us in our business.  So how about you, Erin, business-wise, what’s been a lesson you’ve learned this year?

Erin Lewis:  This year I went to my first conference.

Emily Lewis:  Whoohoo!

Erin Lewis:  Yay!

Lea Alcantara:  Yay!

Erin Lewis:  So I went as a volunteer to the WordCamp in Baltimore.  I thought if I volunteered, it would sort of give me a reason to be there.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right. 

Erin Lewis:  I feel like I don’t know enough to really get anything out of a conference, but I was totally wrong about that.  I didn’t know at first that when you volunteer, you also get to see speakers.  I thought I was just going to be like handing out name badges and calling it a day.

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  So I was really excited that I got to see some people speak while I was there.  That was the first cool thing. And second, I’ve always had a lot of support from you guys through this internship, and I guess I feel like it comes from more of a personal level, even though we work together professionally … But I had no idea how open and supportive other people were going to be, people I don’t already have a connection with.  It was really surprising and really exciting. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  I was nervous before I went, that I was going to be feeling out of place, but once I got there, everyone was super eager to talk to me about all kinds of good web stuff and it didn’t matter that my level of experience was a lot lower than the people I was talking to.  They were super cool.  So it just opened my eyes that there is more to getting started in this industry if you want to take advantage of it.  There is more than just like learning stuff on your computer at home. 

Lea Alcantara:  Absolutely.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  I had a really, really great day.  They’re great people. 

Emily Lewis:  If you’ve listened to this podcast even a couple of times, you know how passionate Lea and I are about being involved in our web community.

Timestamp:  00:20:01

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  I mean, it’s why we do the podcast. 

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, totally.

Emily Lewis:  It’s a way of being involved and connected and sharing information, but I think the best part about our industry is that the vast majority, vast majority of people just want to share and connect.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh, totally.

Emily Lewis:  I’ve never seen it in any other … you know, because I didn’t always do web stuff.  I’m too in other things, and I’ve never seen it in any other industry.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, and I would say that it’s totally accurate.  It’s one of the things I do love about the web, and even maybe the communities we do surround ourselves with, they’re just so hopeful, because generally, like no one tries to treat you like, just because you have a question that might be basic, people are willing to answer them. 

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, I came away from that day with a list of resources.  I didn’t ask anybody for any resources.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Erin Lewis:  But people were like, “Check this out, look at this.  Talk to this person.”  It was really cool.

Emily Lewis:  We’re fortunate about the people in our field.  We really are. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, I know, totally.  So Emily, I touched on pricing, but do you have any other business learning of 2015 to share?

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, this is, for me, business was the opposite of technical stuff.  I feel like I did nothing but learn about my business this year.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Which is good because I’m a business owner.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Sure, right.

Emily Lewis:  And I think I remember saying in last year’s Year In Review that I wanted to be a serious business owner.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  And that means getting sort of tough about things like pricing or realizing that you just lost a ton of money on this huge project you thought was the best project ever.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right, right. 

Emily Lewis:  But aside from the pricing aspect, I think my greatest lesson this year business-wise was really identifying and embracing our focus as a business. And what I mean there is less about the fact that we provide client services, and what about the fact that we are a women-owned business.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  It’s kind of crazy to me, in retrospect, because we’re literally a 100% women owned and operated, but I never identified as a women-owned business.  I never thought of it as something that would be something we could market off of.

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right.

Emily Lewis:  But then taking it even a step further, when you look at our client base and who we’ve had clients for years, they’re also majority women-owned or managed operations.

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right.

Emily Lewis:  When you and I joined forces to become Bright Umbrella, we spent a lot of time figuring out how to market ourselves as client service providers, focusing on our creative and technical work and how we might market to like non-profits, educational organizations, small business. But it wasn’t until this summer when we attended WBENC, which is the Women Business Entrepreneurs national conference.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  We took time to really recognize that we are a female-owned business and really market ourselves.

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right.

Emily Lewis:  And so we’re using this aspect of our business that we are majority women-owned and operated, but most of our clients are also majority women-owned or managed to guide our business decisions. Like who do we want to work with? What types of conferences do we want to attend? How do we sell ourselves? Because I’ve said this probably a dozen times, I’m good at what I do, so are you Lea, but a lot of our peers are equally as good as we are.

Lea Alcantara:  Sure.

Emily Lewis:  But what makes us different is who we are, not what we do.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh.

Emily Lewis:  And so having that bit of nuance, it feels very powerful.  We have a better, stronger sense of identity which helps us market better, period. 

Lea Alcantara:  Oh totally, absolutely, and I think the real theme, I kind of mentioned that we’re a lot more proactive than reactive this year, but it also means we’re a lot more intentional.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  I think with just talking casually with a few of our peers over the conferences, we’ve been really fortunate because we are good at our jobs that people would refer us and things like that.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  But we were never intentional of getting these referrals or we were never intentional in getting these types of clients.  We just took whatever came our way, and I feel like now we’re a lot more empowered to position ourselves a lot better. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, I’m excited about this shift. We’re applying for certification as a woman-owned business. So by this time next year, we should be properly certified, which not only opens up opportunities to work with organizations and agencies that have diversity programs and are looking for actual women-owned businesses, but it also creates opportunities for us to talk to other women business owners.  We already have that in common. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think like WBENC was so amazing in that you just saw so many powerful women, just being in the same room with women that powerful and that successful and then they had a conversation with you.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  It’s really is motivating and just inspirational.  It’s different from going to a tech conference.  Tech conferences you’re inspired to like do better like actual production work.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  But I feel like going to an entrepreneurs’ conference is just as inspiring in terms of business.  You just feel like, “I could do whatever I want.”  You know?  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Like you just personally feel energized. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, and there’s nothing like seeing a successful woman, being a woman, I can see myself in her, you know?

Lea Alcantara:  Right, yeah.

Emily Lewis:  It’s a lot clearer to me to identify with that kind of success.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  And I think another thing that is awesome about being at a conference with a bunch of successful women business entrepreneurs is that there’s a tendency for them to be very open with how they got there, including the struggles and the hard steps. 

Lea Alcantara:  Right.  Oh yeah, right.

Emily Lewis:  Which I think is important to talk about the stuff that doesn’t work along the way, the failures along the way, the missteps.

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right.

Emily Lewis:  And I do think that in a group of women, it’s very natural to have those conversations without fear of being perceived as weak.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh, totally.  Yeah, and people were so open.  They were telling us numbers. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  They were like, “Oh yeah, I remember when I was (blah) and then…”  I’m like, “Oh, that’s where we’re at right now.  Maybe I could be like you later on.”  You know?

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs] A multimillion-dollar business.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  So actually this is a sort of a nice segue way feeling empowered and inspired to talk about.  Lea, what was the most important personal lesson you learned this year?

Lea Alcantara:  So it’s kind of funny because it is tied a little bit to tech.  So when I got my new iPhone, it has a built in fitness tracker. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  And I consider myself relatively fit.  I work out hard when I do, and I work out regularly. But the tracker shows how sedentary I actually am overall.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  And when I took a look at it, I only averaged 3,000 steps a day. 

Emily Lewis:  Oh wow.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, and that’s pretty low. 

Emily Lewis:  Is that because when you’re at the gym, you’re mostly doing weights and stuff like that?

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, yeah, and I don’t do much walking type of cardio.  It’s usually like kettlebells or whatever like that so it’s not major steps. And then since I work from home, my steps are going to the bathroom or going to the kitchen.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  You know?  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Well, at least you actually have steps in your house so you have elevation involved. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, so I do actually have a good average of elevation changes, at least that’s what iPhone showed. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  But when I saw that I was only like walking an average of 3,000 steps a day, I was like, “Oh, that isn’t…I don’t think that’s good” because that is really super sedentary.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  So that triggered me to decide like, “You know what, I’m going to literally incorporate exercise every day now.”  But that doesn’t mean like super hard workouts.  I just actually go to the gym and walk for an hour, and I still do my regular weight workouts, but I also supplement that with the “off days” where I just listen to a podcast or surf the web or read while I’m on a treadmill, and I do that every morning, and I just feel like it’s a good way to start my day, and it does make me feel better overall throughout the day.

Emily Lewis:  So have your steps increased? 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, so I don’t have 10,000 steps a day on average.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  But I have doubled it to at least 6,000 to 7,000 now. 

Emily Lewis:  Nice, nice.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  So are you still just using the native tracker on the iPhone or did you get an app or anything?

Lea Alcantara:  No, I’m just using the regular tracker.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Because I feel like the thing about fitness trackers, and I’ve had the Fitbit before and all those kinds of things … I’m that personality where I feel like I need to chill out sometimes. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Do you know what I’m saying? 

Emily Lewis:  Yes, I do.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Like, for example, a few years ago when I got my Fitbit and I got into this other like workout website, it’s just like I was tracking every little thing.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  And it’s unhealthy.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  Like you become like obsessive over like the littlest stupid things. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  And I don’t think that’s a way to live.  I feel like the tracker should just be a gauge of overall activity.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  And so I try not to be like I have to get this 10,000 steps now, and I used to.  I used to. But I’m like, “Okay, if I just have my phone, I don’t have like a specific watch or specific whatever, then I’m a little more chill about it.” 

Emily Lewis:  It makes sense. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Well, Lea, I work with you.  I know your personality.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  I totally get what you mean.  It’s like, “I haven’t hit 10,000.  I must go outside and walk in circles until I hit 10,000.”  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, yeah, and I used to do that.  I used to do like just literally around the kitchen one time, and Rob saw me doing that. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  And he was like, “What are you doing?”  I’m like, “Oh, I haven’t reached my 10,000, that’s why I’m walking around in circles in the kitchen right now.”  And then I recognized that this is a bit unhealthy.  [Laughs]

Timestamp:  00:30:04

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  How about you, Erin?  What was your quality of life/personal thing you learned this year?

Erin Lewis:  Well, I don’t know if I can say that I’ve actually learned this, but I’m trying to let go of the idea of what I should be doing at any given time in my life and be more present with what I’m actually doing.  I know that being present and in the moment is a real trendy thing.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  But I’m with that trend.  I feel like I’m a lot happier when I can just accept whatever I’m doing as being what it is, instead of thinking of the millions of other things I should be doing.  That comes for work and for doing things socially, just trying to let go of the guilt that I should not be enjoying myself and that I should be working. That I feel all the time when I’m not working. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right.

Erin Lewis:  And then when I am working, guilty that I’m not working enough or that I’m not producing whatever.  I have a tendency to get real focused on myself and what I’m doing, and I lose the whole “living your life” part of it.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Erin Lewis:  So I’ve been trying to get back to that. And giving myself some credit.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Erin Lewis:  Like if I’m deciding to do something, it’s because that’s what’s good for me at the time, and if that means I’m just running around with my dog or I’m watching a show or I’m out with friends or I’m doing great work. That it all has a place.

Emily Lewis:  Erin, I think it must be really hard to have a full-time job, and for lack of a better way of putting it, a part-time internship.  I mean, you’re working part-time hours for us.

Erin Lewis:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  And have a life with your dog, your running, your friends, concerts and stuff like that. And I think it’s really be easy for you to default to that, “I’ve got to do.  I’ve got to do.  I’ve got to do,” but sometimes you do just have to be.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, exactly.

Emily Lewis:  You just have to exist because, otherwise, whatever you’re doing may not be at its best. 

Erin Lewis:  Right, and I’m just trying to take happiness not from things that are always changing, but trying to take happiness from other feelings and experiences and not base it on whether or not I was able to get a project done in a certain amount of time or whatever, you know?

Lea Alcantara:  Right. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  That’s what I’m trying to do.

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  I can do that at like 10% of the time.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Oh, it should be a 100%.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  I should be doing a lot better with letting go, and the word is “should.”

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  So there’s a reason why our podcast is called “control click.”  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  I’ll never I forget when I first told Jason the name CTRL+CLICK CAST you had come up with, Lea.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  And he was like, “Oh, it makes so much sense.  You and Lea are both control freaks.  You’re like, you know, you are a control clique.”

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  And I was like, “That actually wasn’t what we meant, but it was just…”

Lea Alcantara:  But that also works. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.  So Emily, how about you?  How have you tried to incorporate a better quality of life this year?

Emily Lewis:  It’s a little bit along the same lines as what you were talking about, because walking became a big part of my quality of life this year.  I think I talked about this last year I’ve started training with my trainer again and really making time for activity and exercise. But the walking, it’s not really about exercise or activity, but it’s really about starting out my day outside.  It sort of sets the tone for the day and it sets the tone that I’m taking time for me before anything else that happens today. And it’s not about going a particular distance or reaching a certain pace, but it’s about getting outside and enjoying where I live, which 90% of the year is beautiful and sunny. And I also sort of created a game for myself.  When I take a walk, I like to take pictures of things that are interesting, but only one of those pictures gets posted and shared.  I put it on Flickr and I share it on Facebook, and it’s like the “picture of the day.” 

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  But let’s say on Monday I go out for my walk and I take ten pictures and I pick one for that day, well, then on Tuesday, I want to go back out and try and recapture something I saw on Monday because it was also awesome.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  And so it becomes a motivation that’s aside from the walk, it’s like, what cool thing can I find today to share?  It has its own incentive and it’s turned almost meditative.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Because I can’t think about what I’m stressed out about work when I’m trying to find a cool picture.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  I’m not thinking about how fast I’m going or how far I’m going, I’m just … kind of like what Erin was saying, I’m really present in the moment just trying to find my picture of the day.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  And it makes the next day’s walk … I’m more excited because I’m like, “Oh, remember that flower?  I hope I catch it before it dies” or whatever.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  So walking, it’s been a huge part of setting the tone for my days.  We recently moved into a new house and the way I know things are getting back to normal is I’m able to get my morning walks in again. 

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  That the schedule is finally getting back to something that’s not normal.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.  And it’s interesting when you start a new habit, like at first it’s always a little bit awkward and hard. But then when there’s a skip where you stop doing that regular thing you’d started like walking, that now feels odd.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  And…

Erin Lewis:  You miss it. You’ve got like an empty space.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, exactly, and I feel like when you decide to do a daily habit, it makes it easy for you to just continue doing it because you’re like, “Well, this is supposed to be a daily habit.”

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  And so I don’t want to break my streak and also because I’m like really obsessive like that too.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  We’re like unhealthy while being healthy.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Like psychologically-warped healthy people.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, right, right.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.  We are all trying our best.  That’s all we can do.

Emily Lewis:  And so we’ve been looking back this whole time, let’s look a little bit forward to next year.  Lea, is there anything that you want to achieve next year, something new you want to learn or something you want to understand better?

Lea Alcantara:  So honestly, and I feel like this is actually a repeat from previous years, I’d like to give myself more time to read.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  And it’s just hard.  What I mean by that is like really reading because I feel like, even I think about our past episodes, I’d say, “Oh, I read this thing,” but really I skimmed it. 

Emily Lewis:  Right.

Lea Alcantara:  So I would only get maybe like the high level-ideas and I generally get it a gist, but I don’t actually maybe truly understand what’s going on.  So I feel like I want to take more time to absorb and slow down when I’m actually setting aside time to read.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  But technically, I’d like to understand how to be more efficient with CMS templating in general, like going to this Craft Slack channel is always like an educational experience because everyone is helping each other out to figure out a million and one ways to do like one thing, and then people would critique a little bit here or there, and I kind of find that weirdly fun.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  And even though I mentioned the Craft Slack channel, it’s really not CMS specific.  I mentioned Craft because I was just there recently, but I really enjoy seeing other people’s way of thinking through the same problem and finding that solution can be applied to whatever system we use. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, you’ve said “read more” many times.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  Maybe I should make a to-do … [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, totally.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  To read more … [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  No, I know.  It’s because it’s one of those things where I used to read so much and I don’t know if it’s because now with all the social media and all the devices that we have that I’ve conditioned my mind to have a shorter attention span.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  So it is harder for me to just like be present and focused for a long period of time these days.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, I think though would be fair, and I think it’s also worth mentioning just for archival purposes, we’ve had a good year this year. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  We did not have a good year at the previous year, and so when you have actual billable client work, versus reading, it’s very hard to say, “Well, I’m going to read.”  You know?

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  So it’s been a good year and therefore you’ve been extra busy.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, I know for sure, but I mean, I should be reading during the weekend.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Right, because you don’t know need a life for anything.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Well, I mean, like I should also be present when I’m reading fiction too. Just to absorb as well, but instead I end up watching Netflix shows. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  But that is also a lot of fun.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  I love reading books and I normally can read about 50 to a 100 a year.

Lea Alcantara:  Wow.

Emily Lewis:  That’s probably my average.

Lea Alcantara:  That’s awesome. 

Emily Lewis:  This year it’s been the complete opposite.  I think I’ve read 25 books this year and it was all between January and March. And work picked up and reading just wasn’t an option. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Because when I’m done for the day, my mind can’t possibly process words. 

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Because all I want to do is sit in front of a TV and vegetate. 

Lea Alcantara:  But it’s the golden age of TV though. 

Emily Lewis:  That’s true, it’s good TV.

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Like I really feel like there are just so much and there’s just always something good on Netflix these days or Hulu or Amazon or whatever.  I don’t watch real cable TV anymore.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  All right, Erin, how about you?  What is something that you’re really hoping to learn new next year or try?

Erin Lewis:  In 2016 I think that I would like to expand upon my experience at WordCamp and get out into the community a little bit more. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Timestamp:  00:39:44

Erin Lewis:  I had such a great experience that day and had all these plans afterwards, I was just like, “All right, I’m going to go to these meet-ups and I’m going to blah, blah, blah.”  But I didn’t.  I haven’t done anything else. But I know how great it made me feel and it was really motivating for me …  It actually reenergized me to get working on some things that I’d sort of let to go to the side.  So I think if I do more of that in 2016, t will just add another layer … I guess it’s just another layer to my general professional development. Getting to know some other folks, listening to other people stories about how they got to where they are can be super, super motivating. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  So at least go to some meet-ups this year, but hopefully, seek out another local conference like for me to volunteer at or just go to. I’d like to make that a priority.

Emily Lewis:  Cool.  I think that’s a good one for someone at your position in your career for sure. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, absolutely.  So Emily, how about your goals for next year?

Emily Lewis:  My professional goals are really simple and straightforward.  I want to keep doing what I’m doing, perfecting myself as a developer and a business owner.  I don’t necessarily want to do anything new, I just want to get better.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  But the one thing I do want to do new in 2016 is personal.  I’d really like to get involved in a local community organization.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  I used to volunteer as a coach for Special Olympics back East, but when I moved to Albuquerque, I didn’t get back into it. And now it’s nine years later and my life is all self-focused. And Jason and I kind of promised each other that once we bought this house and moved into the house and got settled, we were going to kind of put all the self-focus and the self-interested energy, put some of it back out to helping our local community.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  And so as much as I’d love to get back involved with Special Olympics, because if you’ve ever done anything with that organization, it is really amazing to be a part of.  But there’s this new chapter of Girl Develop It that just opened up here in Albuquerque and honestly, to me, that seems so exciting to actually help girls and young women get into our industry.  So I’m not exactly sure what my role could be or if Girl Develop It will definitely be it, but 2016 is about me finding an opportunity to do more for where I live for other people.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh, absolutely, and I feel like there’s a business lesson there too because stability allows you the freedom to do this type of stuff.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Because you can talk about how like you were self-focused and stuff, but you were self-employed. And when you’re self-employed before like I joined obviously, you have to pay the bills.

Emily Lewis:  Right.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  And people who aren’t in business might not quite understand this, but it’s so much work.  [Laughs]  It is so much work because you’re basically doing business and production. And you’re talking to the accountant.  You’re doing everything, and it’s really all consuming, and then when you have a time off, you just want to be totally off. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  And all these things go off in the wayside, but if you have a stable and successful business, I think one of the things in terms of that learning about pricing and stuff like that isn’t about greed. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  It isn’t about like making so much profit that we’re like Scrooge McDuck diving into a pile of coins or whatever.  It’s about getting to a point where you can make these decisions where you’re like, “Now, I have the freedom and breathing room and time to do this because my business and life is stable.”

Emily Lewis:  That’s so true, and I’m just so glad that I think that’s where we’re headed where we are. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, I know totally.

Emily Lewis:  Like it feels that way.  I’m just almost hesitant to say it because I don’t want the universe to be like, “Oh, I’m going to screw you.”  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Knock on wood, knock on wood.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, exactly.  But I agree with you.  This year there has been a sense of I think we’re finally figuring some things out where we aren’t in a constant state of “Oh shit, how are we going to pay the bills?” 

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Which is nice, because last year it kicked my butt.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah. 

Emily Lewis:  I was an emotional wreck by this time last year.  I was like, “I’m so glad that we got to the end of the year.”

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  Because I spent the whole year worried.  That was what 2014 was, I was worried. And then in 2015, we were just busy.  I didn’t have time to worry and it was great, so I’m so happy that shift happened, although I’ll have to put a link to this on our show notes so … J Cornelius of Nine Labs posted something about the slope of success in entrepreneurship and that you’re aiming for like an upward slope, but the actual realities of it are ups and downs, ups and downs, ups and downs, ups and downs.

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  And as long as you’re just sort of generally heading in this slope, that you weather those little storms … though they don’t really feel that little when they’re happening. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, I know totally, and I think again maybe yet another lesson, all the things we did in the past years led up to this year.  So even though 2014 was definitely a struggle, we put into place certain things that allowed this 2015 to happen. And we had to take a step back and realized that certain things don’t happen right away. Like for example, our social media stuff or our marketing stuff or like all these other initiatives.  Just because we started it, it doesn’t mean that we’ll have immediate gain from that stuff happening, right?

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Like it takes time. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, absolutely.  All right, so that pretty much wraps up the things we want to talk about, but one of the things we did last year that I thought was pretty fun was have Erin take a look back at what our guests had answered for our Rapidfire 10 Questions.  So Erin, why don’t you break it down for us?  How was this past year of guests in our Rapidfire 10 Questions?  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  It’s always fun to look back through these answers.  Even though I hear them when I listened to each episode, I don’t, for some reason, reading through all of them at once.  You can get a really good sense of people’s personalities from their answers. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Totally.

Erin Lewis:  Some people, I’m like, “Oh, I wish they were my friend.”

Lea Alcantara:  Yes, yes.

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Oh, so as in years’ past, most of our guests — I’m starting with the iOS/Android question — most of are loyal iOS users.  Out of the 26 guests, only two have said Android.

Lea Alcantara:  Wow!

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, just two. 

Lea Alcantara:  Interesting, just two. 

Erin Lewis:  Out of the 24 loyal Apple fans, one guest is apparently aiming to convert everyone to using iOS, beginning with members of his family, and he has so far been successful. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  So look out, world!  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  In terms of musical tastes, our guests listened to everything from electronic, to classical and hard rock when working.  But votes for total silence are up 300% from last year. 

Lea Alcantara:  Oh.

Emily Lewis:  I remember noticing that.  We had a lot of people this year say that they did not listen to music. 

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, so no distraction.

Lea Alcantara:  Interesting.

Erin Lewis:  I can get down with that.  Sometimes you really just need to get into the zone.

Lea Alcantara:  Me too.

Erin Lewis:  Let’s see, for the “last article read” question, I think it’s safe to say that our guests are pretty committed to keeping up on professional reading. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  I think only two out of the whole bunch have recently read something from outside the tech industry.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh, interesting. 

Erin Lewis:  So people are keeping up, and that’s good.  Let’s see, when asked what profession our guests would not like to try, there were two answers that came up repeatedly, garbage and/or dead animal collector.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  The dead animal collector.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, that came up a few times. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Like that was a job that these people don’t want to do.  I don’t, I mean, I guess I wouldn’t either, and accountant. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  And accountant?

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Yeah. 

Lea Alcantara:  So they’re all in the … accountants are on the same level as dead animal collector.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  Okay.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  They share a pretty strong aversion to smelly things and numbers. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  All right, let’s see, for the desert island question, by and large, the guests were pretty practical for what items to bring.  The three most popular answers were water, was the first one, which is super practical, followed by family and/or pets, and then finally, the phone, assuming that the phone comes with unlimited WiFi and battery charge.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  And my favorite answer was ChapStick.  I thought that’s genius. 

Emily Lewis:  Indeed.

Lea Alcantara:  Totally.

Erin Lewis:  You do ChapStick.  Your lips would be cracking. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  All right, two more.  Let’s see, my favorite question that you guys asked was what superpower would guests like to have.  By a pretty large margin, the ability to fly is the frontrunner. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  It seems that everyone wants to be able to fly.  I don’t really know why, like what’s it going to get you?  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  But I don’t want it.

Lea Alcantara:  I mean, why wouldn’t you?

Erin Lewis:  I don’t know, but to each his own I like to run. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  But there were two answers that really got me.  One was the ability to inspire empathy in others.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh, right.

Emily Lewis:  It was Leslie [Jensen-Inman], wasn’t it?

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah. 

Erin Lewis:  I think it was Faruk [Ateş].

Emily Lewis:  Oh.

Erin Lewis:  I think. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Erin Lewis:  Don’t quote me.  I mean, who’s going to check?  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  And the other one was to make people happy.  I think Leslie’s was to be a super teacher, I think.

Emily Lewis:  Oh.

Lea Alcantara:  I think that’s right.

Erin Lewis:  But anyway, the other one was to make people happy and those two answers made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh.

Erin Lewis:  And maybe there’s hope for us, humans, after all.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Okay, and finally, the cat or dog question … so polarizing in this world. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  I was a little fearful that it will be all cats all the time.  As part of Bright Umbrella, a self-proclaimed company of cat lovers. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  I feel a little marginalized because of my love for dogs.  I can’t share the same cat jokes.  I just don’t feel as good.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  But I’m happy to report that the numbers were more evenly distributed than I expected.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  So 31% people said dogs, 43% said cats, 13% said neither, and 8% said both.  Those don’t add up to a 100%, but I’m okay with that because I would also not like to be an accountant.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Oh Erin. 

Lea Alcantara:  Oh god, this is like my favorite part of the Year In Review.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  You see, listeners, this is why we love Erin, she’s so awesome.  [Laughs]

Timestamp:  00:50:01

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  We’re just cracking up. 

Lea Alcantara:  So speaking of these ten questions…

Erin Lewis:  Wait.

Emily Lewis:  Before we get into that though, just a note to our listeners, we are changing these up next year, so it will be a whole new set for 2016.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.  That will be fun. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  We’re still trying to figure out … yeah, we’re still trying to figure out like what else do we want to know about our guests? 

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  Exactly.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  It will just start getting weird. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, yeah, this thing gets weirder.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  So why don’t we get Erin to do our Rapidfire 10 Questions.  Emily still hasn’t done it this year, but we’ll get started with Erin because you’re our guest.

Erin Lewis:  Okay.

Lea Alcantara:  Are you ready?

Erin Lewis:  I’m ready.

Lea Alcantara:  Okay, first question, Android or iOS?

Erin Lewis:  It’s iOS.

Emily Lewis:  And that is a change from last year. 

Erin Lewis:  I just feel like I should send a note to that one guy. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  I’m on your team too. 

Emily Lewis:  And if you were stranded on a desert island and can only bring three things, what would you bring?

Erin Lewis:  I didn’t prepare for these questions.  What would I bring?  I would bring ChapStick. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Water and my dog probably, because I really love her. 

Lea Alcantara:  So what’s your favorite TV show?

Erin Lewis:  So I can only talk about what’s my favorite right now because every time I like something, it’s my favorite of all time.

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Erin Lewis:  And I have been watching — except for this time I’ve spent visiting Emily and watching her shows — I’ve watched nothing butGilmore Girls for about six weeks. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Oh man.  Wow.

Erin Lewis:  I’m in like a really happy place in my life, I think. 

Emily Lewis:  It’s stuff that makes you feel good about your life. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Okay, what’s your favorite dessert?

Erin Lewis:  Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked Ice Cream. 

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  Oh. 

Erin Lewis:  Hands down, every time every day I love it.

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 

Erin Lewis:  Other than my own, I think it would be a really cool to be like a travel writer, a person who travels and writes about it and eats really good food and writes about it, like a travel and food writer. 

Emily Lewis:  Oh.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh, that’s cool.

Emily Lewis:  What profession would you not like to try?

Erin Lewis:  I’m sticking with my kindergarten teacher thing from last year.  Still, you couldn’t pay me to do that.

Emily Lewis:  [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  With a Master’s degree in Education …

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.  At one time I thought you could pay me to do it.

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  It turns out you can’t. 

Lea Alcantara:  So what’s the latest article or blog post you’ve read?

Erin Lewis:  The latest article that I read, I think I read a little like quiz about what kind of dog you are this morning.

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs] Oh, like what kind of dog you are?

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, me, not you. 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  What kind of dog Emily is? 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  I was doing some research, but obviously, nothing too serious. 

Emily Lewis:  If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Lea Alcantara:  To eat as much ice cream as I want and never get full.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  What music do you like to work to?

Erin Lewis:  This year I’ve been listening to a lot of bluegrass while I’m working.  WAMU is my local like public radio station in DC, and they have a bluegrass channel.  They just play bluegrass 24 hours a day and it’s really peaceful and calming. 

Emily Lewis:  So we already know the answer to cats or dogs.

Erin Lewis:  It’s dogs. 

Emily Lewis:  But you do like my cats?

Erin Lewis:  Oh yeah.  If they would let me pet them, it would be nice.

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  But I do like my own dog.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Okay, Emily, it’s your turn now.

Emily Lewis:  Okay. 

Lea Alcantara:  Question one, Android or iOS?

Emily Lewis:  I’m still Android.

Erin Lewis:  If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

Emily Lewis:  Now, I’ve actually thought a lot about this question.

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Because I watchNaked and Afraid

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  And I’m constantly like amazed what these people, because they can bring an item.

Erin Lewis:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  And the things they choose surprised me. But anyways, for me, sunscreen, bug repellant and a machete.

Lea Alcantara:  [Agrees]

Erin Lewis:  [Agrees]

Emily Lewis:  And that would be it. 

Erin Lewis:  All right.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh man, those are quite practical.

Erin Lewis:  A machete is good. 

Emily Lewis:  Those people get eaten alive by bugs.  I’m amazed the bug repellant is not at the top of everyone’s list. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, yeah.

Emily Lewis:  Like the things they …

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, that would be me. 

Emily Lewis:  Yeah, yeah. 

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.  What’s your favorite TV show?

Emily Lewis: Survivor.  And this is sort of like of all time.  I’ve loved it from the beginning. Jason and I watch it every week.  It’s the one show that both of us really get excited about, and we trash talk during it.

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  And it’s like watching … I have a degree in Psychology, it’s like watching it on TV.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right. 

Erin Lewis:  What’s your favorite dessert?

Emily Lewis:  Ice cream.

Erin Lewis:  Yay, ice cream! 

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs] What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Emily Lewis:  So I was thinking about this, and this is probably going to gross some people out, but I think I’d like be an aesthetician because I like popping zits. 

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  Like I would like to pop people’s zits.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  I can’t believe you just said that.  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Do you want to change your answer?  It’s gross.

Emily Lewis:  That is a legitimate job.  People do that.

Erin Lewis:  Yes.

Emily Lewis:  And I’m not ashamed.

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  I’m not ashamed.  I like popping zits.  What can I say?

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs] But it’s gross.

Emily Lewis:  I watch videos on YouTube of people popping zits.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  It’s true.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  But I have given thoughts to this.  That is my answer. My final answer.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Oh, that’s a final answer. 

Erin Lewis:  What profession would you not like to try?

Emily Lewis:  I think it would also be the accountant thing.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  Yeah.

Erin Lewis:  Keeping track of numbers.

Emily Lewis:  I can’t do the numbers.  It’s hard.  As a business owner, it’s hard enough to deal with the numbers that I have to deal with.  Anything more, I can’t imagine.  I’d be miserable.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah.

Lea Alcantara:  What’s the latest article or blog post you’ve read?

Emily Lewis:  I was reading a piece about how we should not be using icon fonts, which had me a little concerned.

Lea Alcantara:  Oh, yeah. 

Emily Lewis:  Because we use icon fonts.  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Oh totally. 

Emily Lewis:  So it’s about SVG.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  So hopefully maybe this time next year I’ll be telling you how I learned how to use SVG.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Right, right.

Erin Lewis:  If you could have a superpower, what would that be?

Emily Lewis:  To get from one place to another instantly. 

Lea Alcantara:  Oh, yes.

Erin Lewis:  Yes.

Emily Lewis:  I don’t what that’s called … teleportation?

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah, yeah.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah. 

Lea Alcantara:  It’s teleportation.

Erin Lewis:  That’s good.  That’s a good one.

Emily Lewis:  That makes more sense than flying to me.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, yeah.  I like the instantaneous …

Lea Alcantara:  Because flying is going to take time.

Erin Lewis:  Hmm, I like that one.

Lea Alcantara:  I like that too.  What music do you like to work to?

Emily Lewis:  This year I’ve just been listening to a lot of pop.  I put it on Spotify and they are a bunch of different kind of like discover playlist.

Lea Alcantara:  Right.

Emily Lewis:  And pop.

Erin Lewis:  That’s what it is. 

Lea Alcantara:  Nice.

Erin Lewis:  Happy pop.  Lastly, we don’t even need to ask this question.

Emily Lewis:  I know it’s like a given.

Lea Alcantara:  Yeah.

Emily Lewis:  Cats, cats rule.

Erin Lewis:  Meow!  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  Cat.  Cat.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  That should just be the answer, just meowing. 

Erin Lewis:  Meow!

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  It’s just meowing.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  [Laughs]

Emily Lewis:  [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara:  All right, so that’s all the time we have for today.  Thanks Erin for returning to our end of the year review!

Erin Lewis:  Thank you for having me.

Emily Lewis:  So just as a reminder for our listeners in case they want to follow up with you online, where can they find you?

Erin Lewis:  On Twitter I’m at @ernlew, and that’s it.

Emily Lewis:  That’s E-R-N-L-E-W?

Erin Lewis:  L-E-W, yeah.

Emily Lewis:  Awesome, thanks again, Erin, we are turning this into our annual Thanksgiving tradition.

Lea Alcantara: Yay!

Emily Lewis:  Our annual holiday Year In Review show.  [Laughs]

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, I can’t believe that another year has gone past.

Lea Alcantara:  I know.

Erin Lewis:  Yeah, it’s kind of crazy, but hopefully this next year will be as awesome as this past year.

Emily Lewis:  It will.  It’s going to be great.  Maybe even better.

[Music starts]

Lea Alcantara:  It’s going to be best.  Yes, and better.  It’s better. 

CTRL+CLICK is produced by Bright Umbrella, a web services agency obsessed with happy clients. Today’s podcast would not be possible without the support of this episode’s sponsor! Thank you, Craft Commerce!

Emily Lewis:  And before we sign off for 2015, we want to thank all the guests who helped us deliver another year of fantastic content, episode after episode, and of course a huge thank you to our listeners.  Lea and I make the show for you.  So if you have any questions or topic suggestions for the show, please contact us on our website, ctrlclickcast.com/contact or reply us on Twitter.

Lea Alcantara:  We also can’t forget our partners for their ongoing support, Arcustech has provided hosting for CTRL+CLICK since the days when we were the EE Podcast. And both Devot:ee and EE Insider help get the word out about our episodes, so thank you all! 

Emily Lewis:  We’re going to enjoy a break from the podcast for a few weeks, but don’t forget to tune in on Thursday January 14 when we return to our regular schedule.  We’re still lining up guests so be sure to check out our schedule at ctrlclickcast.com/schedule and stay tuned to @ctrlclickcast on Twitter for updates.

Lea Alcantara:  This is Lea Alcantara …

Emily Lewis:  And Emily Lewis …

Lea Alcantara:  Signing off for CTRL+CLICK CAST.  See you next time!

Emily Lewis:  Cheers! 

[Music stops]

Timestamp:  00:57:55