How to turn your passion into profit 💰

Learn how to turn your passion into profit. In this interview, I’m featuring Woody. Woody and I are no strangers. We co-founded Zero BS CRM which later got acquired by Automattic. After hitting burnout and leaving Automattic to focus on his health, he’s back with another business – aimed to help software engineers with one of the trickiest things for them – marketing their products. 

As a marketer working for a software company, this new direction excites me for three reasons:

  • Woody has a strong background in hybridism and working on what has impact.
  • He’s been there, done that – exiting software businesses for profit.
  • I just love self-paced courses and I’m excited to sign up for this one. 

For those who don’t know you, who is Woody?

Hey Mike 👋

Well first and foremost these days I’m a maker. For most of my life that’s software, but I’ve also dabbled in writing science fiction, building a cabin, food forests, and making a bunch of other stuff with my hands. In this context though I started writing code as a kid, and that progressed until recently. I’ve just gone over the ‘made all my money in software’ 15 year mark. I’ve done that as a freelancer, solopreneur, co-founder, and through joint ventures, and I’ve had a few exit’s 🙂

Your last exit was with Zero BS CRM, a WordPress CRM plugin, do you always build your software on WordPress?

Yeah, wow, mad to think that was almost 5 years ago! I am very fond of WordPress. Since I first started making websites I’ve used WP, and many of my businesses serviced WP users, so I’ll likely always build things on top of it because it’s a codebase that is deep in my neural pathways.

Having said that – I am a generalist and experimentalist by nature, so I’m always dabbling with new technology and approaches. Each time I have a new idea I weigh up my options for efficacy. Often my stack will be PHP based, and sometimes that’ll hitch into WP.

Build Profit looks interesting – why does it matter? What impact do you expect it to have?

Buildprofit matters because I see a generation of developers who have gone hard into engineering but then realised that to some extent they want to be craftspeople, or at least generate a little of their own autonomy outside of work.

I’ve just come back from a year’s sabbatical where I did a lot of thinking about my journey. I looked back on my years as a software entrepreneur and also read a lot of posts by my peers and I kept seeing the same pain.

Work can be great – and we’ve both worked at Automattic so we know what a world class working environment can offer. But not all jobs satisfy the craftsperson in us, and I’m convinced I see that when I read between the lines in our community.

I think we’re in the early stages of a fuller creator economy, and I think that means more optionality for everyone, especially software engineers. With Build Profit the impact I hope to have is in enabling, empowering, and joining other software engineers on their journey to solopreneurship, or to having a successful side-project.

Fundamentally I want to share what I’ve learned selling software from a craft developer’s point of view – starting with a course.

How did you come up with the name? No BS this time?

You know me, Mike, I love ideation. For this one I worked through a fair few names, and I’m not totally sold on BuildProfit, but I’m getting started nonetheless. I first called it StartingFresh, (read: bought a load of other domains), but Build Profit fits better. 

In the end it’s been a bit of a journey to finding out what value I can add to my community (software engineers), and I think I’m happily settled on teaching them how to build profit (so many engineers are amazing at building, but less savvy at the business and marketing aspects).

When’s the course launching? 

I’m still filming and editing, but I’m making good progress. I expect to launch an alpha version for my first users at the end of the month. People can sign up here if interested.

Where can people find out more about Woody? 

After a long hiatus I’m back blogging at and tweeting @woodyhayday – that channel will be a mixture of software entrepreneur, maker, and life stuff. My main project is and @build_profit I’ll be blogging about the solopreneur journey there too.

Thanks for having me Mike! Keep up the good work over at Automattic.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *