As many of you know, it took 9 Months to build our new website. Like the children of Israel stuck in the wilderness, this project could have been completed much faster had we avoided a view costly mistakes.
I am a firm believer in sharing not only my successes, but also my failures. Why?
If possible, I’d like to help you avoid or learn from the mistakes I have made.
While I am by no means an expert in leadership or web design, I’d like to share three of the six lessons I learned with you today. I’ll share the other three on Wednesday.
Lesson 1: Don’t Jump Without A Parachute
I let my frustration with our old Web Content Management System, Joomla, get in the way of being able to serve our listeners, advertising partners and website guests. I took the old wadeoradio.com site down without consulting anyone. In doing so, I failed to acknowledge the amount of content we had on the old site, how much people appreciated that content and how important an online home is as a touchpoint for the ministry.
While we have rebranded and started a new chapter with our current site, the previous chapter should have continued until we were fully ready to turn the page.
To all we upset or inconvenienced with this move, I take full responsibility. I’d like to apologize and admit that this was a total bonehead move on my part. Looking back, we should have waited to take the old site down until a week prior to launching the new site. This would have still allowed us to maintain a web presence, while also creating a clear transition and promotional period for the new site.
Lesson 2: Trust The Creative Process
I’m a control freak. As such, I’m slow to move on things when I can’t accurately predict how a scenario will pan out. This process doesn’t work at all when creating a website. Whether you hire someone to design a mock-up and code a site from scratch or you decide to customize an existing template to fit your liking, its impossible to control every variable. In fact, there are many variables I simply wasn’t aware of prior to starting the project.
Case in point, we went thru several design iterations for our new logo. There were several that our team as a whole loved. However, when we market tested the designs, they didn’t perform as well. Some even suggested that we just stick with the old logo. I strongly considered this given that it has been a part of our brand for the past 5 years.
After prayer, we decided to go back to the drawing board and trust the creative process. This time, though, at the suggestion of a friend, J Beatz and DJ Ynot? (my two graphic designers), along with myself, decided to have a Skype session to see what we could come up with.
The suggestion of doing this via a Skype session was a very uncomfortable idea for me. I grew up as an only child and was very used to working alone. We quickly realized, however, that while both Ynot? and J Beatz were great when working alone, they became unstoppable when combined. Within 40 minutes of our Skype session, 80% of what is now our current logo, was created.
Had I not trusted the creative process though, I probably would have elected to keep the old logo. While the old logo served its purpose for the past 5 years, the general consensus is that the new logo represents our current brand much better.
Lesson 3: Procrastination is the Best Friend of Perfection
For years, I could not understand why I’d wait and wait and wait to do something. During the WadeORadio.com re-launch process, I learned that my propensity to procrastinate is directly tied to my desire to achieve perfection. Everything I work on, release, sell or promote, I want perfect. No flaws. No Bad feedback. Nothing wrong. I want it perfect.
There’s one problem with this philosophy. Perfection is impossible.
Jesus is the only one who can and did live a perfect life. God is the only one capable of executing perfect projects. Yet, I try my best to make it happen.
The problem with my pursuit of perfection, isn’t just that I want to be perfect. The real issue is that I often procrastinate as a result. I’ll wait and wait and wait until I have ideal conditions, and then I’ll begin work on something. There were many portions of this project in which I fell into this trap.
I’d wait to post old articles until certain design elements were in place. I’d wait to make a decision on one element because of fear that something else may adversely affect it. As a result, I’d do nothing, which in turn pro-longed the process. As the homey Brian Dye often says, Procrastination is a sin. I’m definitely one of the chief sinners in this area.
While I haven’t quite figured out how to end this horrible habit, I will at least admit that I have an issue and have pinpointed what causes this.
I pray these three lessons help you in some way. Make sure you check back in on Wednesday as I’ll share three more lessons I learned from the re-launch of our site.
- What lessons have you learned from a major project?
- How do you avoid procrastination?