First4IT Solutions – New website launchAlan Jones
This isn’t just a website, it’s so much more than just a website …
This posting marks a ‘major milestone’ for me and hopefully the start of a very exciting journey.
Choosing an appropriate headline for such an important and personal post that conveyed how important today was for me, was always going to be a tall order. In the end, my inspiration came from a scene from the movie ‘Love Actually’. Rowan Atkinson, acting as a shop assistant, holding a bag, asks Alan Rickman “Would you like it gift wrapped Sir?”. Mr Rickman replies, “I don’t need a bag, I’ll just put it in my pocket”. A disappointed Rowan Atkinson is quick to retort, “This isn’t just a bag sir, this is so much more than a bag.”.
The shop assistant that Rowan Atkinson played had a vitally important role and the tools of his job (in this case the reams of scented sticks, petals and sweets) were an extension of who he was, what he stood for and the impression he wanted customers to have of him. He needed to complete the ceremonial procedure of wrapping the gift fully, otherwise he would have felt his job was not complete.
The same is true of my work and the company website.
When you look at tradesmen i.e. builders (no offence to builders – I’m sure there are always exceptions) you will often find a spouse disillusioned with the lack of work done in their own home. It’s only during a chat over coffee or a discussion with them, that you begin to understand the source of their frustration. The conversation usually arrives at some point, around the subject of work and improvements planned for their house. It is at this point that I suggest you have a pair of ear defenders handy, or you “Light the Blue touch paper and stand well back”. Why? Let me try to explain.
During your tour of the house, you will be shown all of the ‘unfinished’ or even ‘not started’ jobs that the builder husband has neglected. You might notice a hole in a wall, a part finished extension or a door missing. It is only a matter of time before you hear comments like, “It’s been like that for several years” or “He said he would do that in the summer – that was four years ago.”. Can you see where I am going with this?
Builders are certainly not alone in this respect and this trait occurs all the time within all professions. You see, the reality is when you are doing something for yourself or your business, it always seems to become less of a priority to that of paid client work. If you couple this fact together with the knowledge that (a) what you are about to do is going to take you a considerable amount of time. (b) You know it will be difficult to decide what exactly you want to create and (c) You suffer from ‘Analysis Paralysis’. It’s easy to see that sometimes you end up neglecting the single thing that is actually the most important to you, your partner or that of your business.
OK, I get it, I hear you say, we all put something off at times but why is this website launch so important to you?
This was exactly the situation I found myself in with regard to developing this site. There were always good reasons to do something else. After all, work was coming in and customers needed support didn’t they? I chose these as my priorities and gave myself a good enough excuse to avoid doing the job, even if the justification I gave to myself wasn’t actually true.
Work isn’t always there and clients don’t always need support – so what do you do then?. If your a builder and your house is falling down, what do people think of your building skills? The same is true if you don’t have a website.
The reality is (and I can testify to it during this project) that the ‘fear’ or ‘thought’ of doing something is by far worse than actually doing it. I know that this is no revelation in itself, however, what I have learnt throughout this project is that the secret is about ‘taking action’ and remaining tightly focused. Confidence can of course play a part too. We have all experienced doubt or a lack of confidence at some point in our lives. Perhaps, we have seen another piece of work completed by someone else and thought ours wasn’t good enough. With confidence low, you do not take action. Sometimes, despite the fact that we now it is absurd, it feels better to stay where we are, even if it isn’t good, rather than leave yourself vulnerable by embarking on a perilous journey into the unknown.
So what I have I learnt? If you take action, you gain confidence. If you gain confidence, you take more action, you then simply rinse and repeat – it really works. This is why it is so vitally important that you at least make a start. I took the decision to dedicate myself solely to the task of creating this site and nothing else – as the single point of focus I needed. I wanted the site to be current in terms of technology and design, it needed to look good on mobile devices as well as desktop computers. More importantly, it needed to speak to my clients and convey the message that I love to communicate and build symbiotic relationships. I wanted to include all manner of methods to ensure that I was always available and contactable – even if this would be to my detriment. I wanted to serve my clients and customers and provide them with everything they needed in one place – my tools.
Over the last 10 years I, like many other, have struggled with Analysis Paralysis, Pareto’s Principle and so many other theories as to why I didn’t take action. For me, I realised I had to be in the right place both mentally, emotionally and physically. Ultimately, I needed a good reason to do this. I am pleased to say that a recent life change has provided this ‘good reason’ and it has brought intense joy and happiness to my life and the determination to do all manner of things in the future.
Like pushing a snowball down a hill, as it rolls it gets bigger and bigger and gathers momentum. The same will be true of this site moving forward. Now, I accept that 80% is good enough for me , it should be good enough for all of us. Of course I will always think, “It just needs a little bit more …” but that’s OK. It’s here. I’m no longer an Artist with a blank canvas suffering from Artist’s Block, nor do I have to be ridiculed like the builder.
This website represents me and my values. The tools and facilities provided to my clients are an extension of me.
“This website isn’t just a website, it’s so much more than just a website”.
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