This post is dedicated to my fabulous web design team, Hyedie and Malena, who held my hand through this exciting and scary venture. Why scary? Well, I’ll remind you about my relationship with technology. Read on to see what I’ve gained from this experience, besides a beautiful website that I now feel “moved in” to.
Most lessons seem to arrive in denominations of 5: Top 5 Reasons To blah blah blah or 10 Rules For blah blah blah. For some reason, I received an added bonus. Who am I to question it?
So, here are the lessons I have learned about life from designing a new website.
1. When designing your website and considering all of the aesthetic and functional features that you require to meet your needs, don’t be afraid to ask for every little detail your heart desires. Every swirl on an image, every curve of a font can be yours if you just ask. If something needs to be tailor-made just for you, it will be. The same is true for life. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know if something is possible. You could go years wondering what would have happened if you had just asked that person out for coffee or applied for that job that seemed out of your league. Once you present your desire, you may need to wait a little while for things to line up or for the plan to be executed, but trust that it will happen. The chances of something happening at all are far greater if you pursue it.
2. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the brilliant possibilities in your path if you are still cluttered with the residue of your past. The morning my new site went live, I was disappointed to find that I was constantly being redirected to my old site. I didn’t understand; my husband was able to view the site on his laptop just fine. I fired off an email to Malena who replied that I probably needed to clear my cache. To do that, I called my cousin and IT genius to walk me through the process. (Go ahead, laugh. I laughed first.) Once my cache was cleared, I had no problem viewing my new site! Making the connection to the rest of my life then, I find this is true in many situations. Being hung up on the past, or looking at new possibilities with old fears and anxieties doesn’t allow me to see what’s really in front of me. Clear the cache. My new mantra.
3. When making decisions around your design and function and asking for all of the things you want, it is also wise to talk to someone who’s been there so you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. If your web designer suggests adding the main menu on the home page, take the time to find out why; it may have to do with something you never thought about and it may be extremely useful. (Malena will be adding this for me…she was right!). Such is true when making decisions about things you don’t know a whole lot about in the rest of your life. Planning your first trip to South America? Ask someone who’s been there if they have any tips for you. Yes, you can pick and choose what works for you and ultimately you will have an entirely unique experience anyway…but sometimes a little extra information from a valued source can come in handy!
4. Resolving a problem situation in web design may be as simple as deleting some html code or adding a new plugin. Resolving a problem situation in life may be as simple as deleting a toxic relationship or adding a new support system. ‘Nuff said.
5. Don’t wait for perfection before you launch – your website OR a dream/plan/idea. If I did that with my website, it still would not be up. You may notice that some of my links in my posts are directing you to the old website. I didn’t let that stop me because I didn’t want to delay the experience of using my new website any longer. There will be tweaks made here and there – additions and subtractions made probably for the rest of time. Waiting for perfection will guarantee a failure to launch. True in web design, true in life. Leave perfection alone – it’s not for the human race. Perfection is something I have been pitted against my whole life, and letting go of it ever so slowly, is changing my experience on a daily basis.
6. And the bonus! The most meaningful part of any website, and of life itself, are the people who are in it with you. However they come to you, they are the best part of it all – your subscribers, your online community, your flesh and blood, your childhood friends, your new kindred spirits. The people who invest in you are the pulse of your journey. Take them with you to all your magical places and take the time to visit their world, too.
Which of these lessons rang true for you? How have you learned them and accepted them? Leave a comment if you’d like to share – we’d love to hear from you!