Happy Orman Clark Day – Marketplace Author Sells 1,000,000 Worth of Items!

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Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.

Congratulations to our newest Power Elite author Orman Clark! Orman has been a member of the Envato community for 2 years and in that time has surpassed $1,000,000+ worth of sales! He reached this milestone in the last month and has worked exceedingly hard to get there. We are so proud to have him as a leader in our community.

As a Power Elite author Orman receives a day in his honor and a special Power Elite care pack including the Power Elite ring. We’ve interviewed Orman for his special day and we hope you enjoy reading about his journey to this milestone (below).

Happy Orman Clark Day Everyone!

Congratulations on becoming our third Power Elite author, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got here.

Thank you, I’m honoured to be part of the group. I have a lot of respect for both Christian and Pete, so it’s great to finally be able to join them.

I think I ventured into selling commercial WordPress themes almost 2 years ago now. For a number of years prior, I had been using WordPress as the basis for 99% of my client work, so naturally I became familiar with the ins and outs.

While building projects for clients, I began to put together a starter theme, or blank canvas as it were, in order to speed up the work making each project a little bit simpler. I would simply use this starter theme as a base, re-skinning and re-coding where necessary to suit the needs of each client. Over time, the starter theme had a number of custom widgets and a very small amount of common theme options. In a way, I had built a very early version of a framework.

As I started to fall out of love for clients (happens to the best of us), I took a look into the themes industry. I quickly decided to take a leap of faith, quit the day job, and jumped in head first. I remember it very well, I had enough money saved for about 3 months rent, and my son had been born just a couple of months before. It was an all or nothing deal.

Fortunately, the first theme did well, not amazing, but certainly well enough for me to see potential. I went ahead and released another and another. Fast forward 18 months, we’re now a team of three, backed up by a pretty amazing support team, looking after 26,000+ customers. It’s been a fantastic journey, and I’ve genuinely loved every minute.

How does it feel to have sold over $1000000 of items?

Surreal. These things only ever happen to other people, right? In all seriousness, it feels great to have been able to reach so many people. The milestone itself is a welcomed metaphorical pat on the back we all need from time to time.

It certainly hasn’t been an easy ride by any means. I’ve put in more 16 hour days and 7 day weeks than I care to remember. But, reaching the milestone is a pleasant reminder that hard work does indeed pay off; you’ve just got to keep at it.

What does this milestone mean for you as an author and designer?

For our little team, the milestone is really a form of confirmation that what we’re doing right now, and the plans we have for the future, are both at least on the right tracks and heading in the right direction. We certainly don’t get it right every time, but getting this far does feel like we’ve gained a few nods of approval. It’s been a real motivator and will hopefully continue to drive us to reach our full potential.

As a designer, the milestone is a little less significant. It’s fantastic to know that people enjoy your work – a major case of the warm fuzzies – but you’re only really as good as your last piece of work. Tomorrow, I will wake up and work just as hard as I did the day before, nothing has changed in that respect.

How many hours do you spend on designs for the Envato marketplace?

The actual design process can vary from just a single day or two, to a full week or more – it very much depends on the complexity of the design and how strong my initial ideas are. Some ideas just seem to click, and so it may just take a small amount of Photoshop as visual confirmation before jumping into code. With others, it can be a much longer, iterative process.

Typically the entire process of concept to final product takes anywhere up to four weeks, with a healthy portion of that time spent on testing.

Have you had any designs rejected and what did you do about it?

Thankfully, no. I’ve always dedicated a significant amount of time to testing each theme and it seems to have paid of so far. Also a bit of luck doesn’t go a miss.

They say the last 20% of a project takes up 80% of the time which, when it comes to commercial themes, I’d say I’d have to agree. Over the last two years, we’ve put together what seems like an endless quality assurance list which each theme is tested against by two team members independently. This catches most of the issues prior to release, which is much more favourable than having to issue updates that could have been avoided.

Measure twice and cut once. Or something like that.

What words of encouragement do you have for any budding authors who want to make Power Elite level one day?

Stop following trends and start setting them. Be prepared to hustle. Make sure support is not an afterthought. I honestly think that anyone following these “rules”, along with a bit of drive, can go as far as they’d like to in the marketplaces.

What is your office space like?

Nothing special. I work from home, in the smallest room in the house, I have just about enough space for a desk and a chair but then again, what else do you really need? My current setup is the 13in MacBook Air with a 27in display – pretty happy with this setup so far. I also went ahead and invested in a Herman Miller Aeron chair a couple of years back which was one of the smartest decisions I ever made.

How do you get inspiration for your designs?

I don’t think I could point out any single regular source of inspiration. I think ideas are generally an amalgamation of things I have already seen or experienced elsewhere. I do spend an absurd amount of time online each day which does help in being exposed to new ideas and concepts, but it’s never from a single source.

I do often find inspiration from other sources such as magazines, packaging, signage and print work – I think it’s important we spend time away from the medium in which we are working. If I do spot something of interest, I’ll make a note, sketch or photograph it for later.

Earlier this year you launched ThemeZilla, can you tell us a little bit about it and how you’ve found the process?

ThemeZilla.com is essentially a shop window for our themes and plugins. It is a central location for us to be able to offer support more efficiently. We give customers access to support forums (via the ThemeForest API) which helps us out a great deal when dealing with a large number of requests. It’s also been great to see a sense of community begin to build and have customers help each other out.

The build process was not unlike many other projects, the last 20% taking up most of the time of course. It was, however, a pleasant break from the norm of the typical theme project.

What is the best thing about your job?

There are so many great things about this work. Being able to work in an area where I have true passion, working with super-smart people, working from home, and being able to support my family. But, the best thing has to be the sense of achievement you gain from being in control of your own destiny.

As any business owner, entrepreneur or freelancer will be able to relate, it’s a liberating experience being in control and working for yourself. It does come with a series of highs and lows, a whole bunch of fretting, but ultimately, a great sense of achievement. Even if you get things wrong, you at least tried and can take that experience into your next endeavour. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

How do you keep motivated and inspired?

I generally find setting smaller goals and being accountable keeps the momentum going. I tend to break down each project into a smaller set of tasks so you can feel a sense of progress as you check each item off the list. My work life is ruled by lists.

Being accountable is also great for momentum. The rest of the team is accountable for the work they produce and vice versa. If I slack then it affects the whole team, not just me. I highly recommend trying to make yourself accountable to someone or some goal. When working for yourself, it can be all too tempting to procrastinate at times.

What is the hardest part about your job?

For me, the most difficult part of my work is being able to break away and get the work/life balance right – I’ve yet to master it, but am getting better. With all the pressures, concerns, goals and to-do lists associated with working for yourself, it can be tricky to truly switch off.

Weirdly, sleep patterns are also an issue, I find myself working all sorts of irregular hours.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Just a sincere thank you to everyone who has supported my work over the past few years, I couldn’t be doing this without you.

On behalf of everyone at Envato, we want to congratulate Orman on this fantastic milestone and thank him for his enormous contribution to our Marketplaces. We hope his story inspires all of you and that you find some of his wisdom useful in your own climb to success!

345 thoughts on “Happy Orman Clark Day – Marketplace Author Sells 1,000,000 Worth of Items!

  1. Congratulations Orman, glad to see I’m not the only one who appreciates your work on an almost unhealthy level. I wish English was my second language just so I could RANT about your awesomeness in my native tongue. #ithinkiminlove

  2. Congratulation buddy for inspiring designers like us. Currently i am earning only commission by referring user to marketplaces Now i surely going to jump in to theme design process.

    Thanks again for the motivation.

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  4. From the first time I downloaded those buttons form premiumpixels which seemed like forever ago I always found it inspiring watching Orman do so well and produce some really amazing work.

    A designers designer!

  5. I think your success is inspiration to us all. It’s certainly inspired me to take more of an active role on Theme Forest. The lesson here is always maintain high standards!

  6. Maybe I will try out some of your work. I know there are some good authors here but omg there are some really bad ones too. I only started shopping here for about a month now and out of my 6 purchases only 2 where worth it. It would not be so bad if I could get some decent support form the ones that are full of bugs. I am not going to mention the ones I am talking about but its so bad I am getting really close to the point I will not buy another thing from themeforest. It would be nice if there was a list of the good authors here. I cant afford to find to find out by purchasing each item.

  7. Congratulations Orman!

    I actually mentioned your rising success to some colleagues at the start of the year, you make us want to all quit our jobs and go it alone!

    Inspirational, keep it up!

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  9. Congratulations Ormanr, you really have reason to feel satisfied. Do not forget to get there, as you comets, have taked risk and has worked very hard. It really inspired me.

  10. Well done Orman, I’ve been tracking your progress over the past few years. I’m sure that every marketplace author strives to be in the position you’re in!

  11. Congrats, Orman. There’s always been something so fresh and genuine about the way you work and present yourself.

    Now I wonder, does Orman take a day off on Orman Day? 😉

  12. Yep…I’d like to think that I had a little bit of something to do with helping Orman reach his goal *Sticking chest out*. You have no clue how many times my clients IMMEDIATELY gravitate to his designs. I call it the “Clark Crush”!

    Seriously congrats…you are a tremendous inspiration to us all. My takeaways:

    My work life is ruled by lists.

    16 hour days and 7 day weeks…hard work does indeed pay off; you’ve just got to keep at it.

    Make sure support is not an afterthought.

    Thanks for the interview Tiam!

  13. Congratulation on your success! It truly inspire others to try their best to what they do as well.

    Continue doing your awesome works!

  14. Very well done. Great talent and hard work. Glad you have reaped the rewards, respect and admiration of 1000s of budding graphic designers, artists, freelancers, uninspired doodlers. Keep it up and all the success for the future..nice dog by the way, treat it to a brontosaurus bone! Happy clicking happy days.

  15. Congratulations, we are proud of the work you have been able to accomplish and we have learned a lot from you as well.

    Glad you are getting the credit and attention you deserve for your hard work.

  16. What an inspiration it is to see how far someone can take an opportunity such as the Envato Marketplaces and not only make a living out of it but enjoy what they do. There in itself is a lesson for life: Work hard, set goals, take opportunities and try to enjoy what you do. Great interview, great photos, and impeccable ThemeForest themes. Congratulations, Orman, and best wishes for the future.

  17. Congratulations Orman!

    If I wasn’t busy home-educating our children…I could see doing this. Meanwhile, I’m happy offering yours, and other theme creators, professional products.


  18. Good. Now maybe he will stop slagging off ThemeForest on his twitter account all the time. I love how a while ago when someone said to him on twitter that he had made $100,000’s worth of money from TF he denied it. Looks like the truth is out, Orman.

  19. Unbelievable! Amazing work Orman!

    Congratulations on a truly remarkable milestone… keep pushing those pixels out to the world, we love it!

  20. wow – delighted for you Orman and the rest of the themezilla crew – you are an inspiration for all of the rest of us themeforest authors

  21. I’ve not purchased one of your themes, but that’s not to say they’re not well-designed and inspirational. Congrats to you on your success!

  22. A very well deserved milestone, I as a coder have used his premiumpixels.com resources endless times to give style to a concept and have enjoyed his WP themes. I can only wish him even more success and a faster reach of the second million.

  23. Wooo! Congratulations!

    Quick question: How hard (or easy) is it to work from home with a small child?

    I am considering leaving my day-job and focusing on freelancing from home, but my new-born child (4 days old!) is already showing me the challenges of actually finding time to work while looking after him! :-)

  24. Congrats!!!

    I’m truly inspired, this was just what I needed to read. Working long crazy hours, weird sleeping habits, tricky work/life balance. You’ve practically described my existence right now (part from the $1 million bit :D). Makes me feel that i’m not alone and it’s all not a waste of time. This does pay off eventually.


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  26. He definitely deserves it! I own probably half of this themes that he has created and have used them for a multitude of projects. Great to see his success!

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  28. A big congrats!

    I have been following Orman from the start and have also purchased some of his themes. It is very cool to see him reach this achievement.

    Well done indeed :)

  29. I don’t know if you have time to read all these comments, Orman, but they are testament to a Super Quality Personality! Some real gems of wisdom there, especially the one about being accountable to someone other than yourself. Sincere congratulations on a well deserved achievement.

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  31. Congratulations! Your themes are excellent. I used one of yours for over two years and it really gave my website a professional look.

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  33. Wooo! Congratulations!
    Quick question: How hard (or easy) is it to work from home with a small child?
    I am considering leaving my day-job and focusing on freelancing from home, but my new-born child (4 days old!) is already showing me the challenges of actually finding time to work while looking after him! :-)

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  36. Hey Orman

    I have used a few of your theme cudos to you. I have a question for you that sometimes seems to be daunting to new developers and that is how did you beat the creative lapse that sometimes comes?

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