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What building a website taught me about myself
I think you should setup your personal website or blog. Don’t do it for fame, money, or fortune. Do it for the journey, and for what you will learn about yourself in the process.
Let me share a few of the things I learned about myself by building a website.
I don’t like asking for help
One of my biggest challenges is knowing when to ask for help. I will fight myself internally and will try to find my own solution much longer than I should. Most times, it turns out to be easier to call up a friend that knows the answer and simply ask for their help. This was a really important lesson for me. I need to get better at identifying when it’s time to ask for help.
Key question: Do you know when it is time to ask for help? Is it a challenge for you to ask for help? Has that helped or hurt you in the past?
I have my own writing voice and style
Content creation is an often overlooked part of website building. This part can sometimes take longer than actually building the website. So many website building blogs talk about the technical aspects of site design, but fail to elaborate on how to write content. I believe this is because writing content ultimately comes down to finding your own voice.
If you try to write like someone else or imitate another author, your writing will always seem a bit off. If you write in your own voice and style, your message becomes authentic and it will force you to organize your thoughts before you put them up on a public site.
Key question: Have you thought your message through? Do you know your voice and style?
I need to understand “why” before diving into “how”
There are many quick and easy options for putting a website together. However, I found that even quick website builders like WordPress have a learning curve. I needed to learn how to setup my own hosting, connect my domain name, and do simple modifications using HTML and CSS. I had never done any of this before.
Along the way I started to pick up my own learning style. I am a “why” learner. When I know why I need something, I can then fully grasp the “how to.” Every time I tried to dive into the “how” first, I found myself annoyed and unable to grasp why I was doing it.
Key question: What’s your learning style and preference? Are you a “why”, “what”, “how”, or “what if” type learner?
I found a good video from Jeanine O’Neill that describes the 4 learning styles
I am pretty good at learning applications, but not coding
Modifying PHP is really hard for me. It has taken me years to learn how to perform some of the smallest modifications. On the other hand, learning to use the backend of my website engine has been fairly easy. I learned that I am really good at learning how to use an application, but not so good at understanding its code. Now I hire someone to help me with that part.
Key question: What is your aptitude for technology? Which aspects of technology are you good at? What gives you the most challenge?
I am resourceful when it is time to solve problems
Problem solving is a skill. I’ve seen colleagues hit a brick wall and give up. And when building my first website, I ran into a lot of brick walls. I learned that I’m not the type of person who just gives up. My habit is to grab a cup of tea and start googling to find solutions.
Key question: What do you do when you encounter a problem? What is your system for finding a solution?
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