Things to ask before you redo your website

Thinking about making a website for work or pleasure? This is a golden blog post from Seth Godin that I suggest you consult before diving in. 

I don't do any consulting, but that doesn't stop people from asking me questions. The most common question people ask me when they want a new website is, "If you were in charge of this, who are the 2 or 3 people you’d want to be sure to talk to – to help think through the issues, help us figure out who should do the work, etc.?"

The second most common question people ask me,  "In addition to Apple’s site, are there 2 or 3 that you think are really appealing and work well for their business?"

I think these are perhaps the tenth and eleventh questions you should ask, not the first two. Here's my list of difficult and important questions you have to answer before you spend a nickel:

  • What is the goal of the site?
  • In other words, when it's working great, what specific outcomes will occur?
  • Who are we trying to please? If it's the boss, what does she want? Is impressing a certain kind of person important? Which kind?
  • How many people on your team have to be involved? At what level?
  • Who are we trying to reach? Is it everyone? Our customers? A certain kind of prospect?
  • What are the sites that this group has demonstrated they enjoy interacting with?
  • Are we trying to close sales?
  • Are we telling a story?
  • Are we earning permission to follow up?
  • Are we hoping that people will watch or learn?
  • Do we need people to spread the word using various social media tools?
  • Are we building a tribe of people who will use the site to connect with each other?
  • Do people find the site via word of mouth? Are they looking to answer a specific question?
  • Is there ongoing news and updates that need to be presented to people?
  • Is the site part of a larger suite of places online where people can find out about us, or is this our one sign post?
  • Is that information high in bandwidth or just little bits of data?
  • Do we want people to call us?
  • How many times a month would we like people to come by? For how long?
  • Who needs to update this site? How often?
  • How often can we afford to overhaul this site?
  • Does showing up in the search engines matter? If so, for what terms? At what cost? Will we be willing to compromise any of the things above in order to achieve this goal?
  • Will the site need to be universally accessible? Do issues of disability or language or browser come into it?
  • How much money do we have to spend? How much time?

And finally,

  • Does the organization understand that 'everything' is not an option?

TED: How to make stress your friend

Great Friday morning TED from bed (a new ritual) about how we can manage stress, why oxytocin is awesome, the reason I probably love hugs so much, and the #science behind why chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort.

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others

Questions to ask yourself when you feel stuck

Nice little article from Huff Po, helping us get unstuck. 

We work best when we're fulfilled, inspired and challenged, and when that drive disappears, burnout may not be too far off. If you're trapped in a rut, take charge now and ask yourself the following questions:

1. What makes you feel happy? 

2. Where do I want to go from here? 

3. What's the worst that could happen?

4. Do I deserve what I am trying to go after? 

article: how to talk to strangers

My last day at charity: water, Founder Scott Harrison said some sweet words to send me off. The best part was when he talked about how I'd hug people when they came into the office. He, assuming I'd known them for years, always shocked to find out I just met them that day. I'm an extrovert and feel energized by others. There are no strangers; just friends I haven't met yet. 

If meeting new people isn't quite as fun for you, this article from may help improve your people skills -- in particular the ability to meet new people for the first time, and maybe even enjoy it (helpful in the workplace, but ALSO for first dates : ). 

I. Get them talking about themselves
2. Listen deeply
3. Turn off the inner voice
4. Assume the other person is more nervous than you
5. Practice
6. Become comfortable with yourself

Should vs. MUST

The Crossroads of Shuold and Must - Elle Luna

Reading this article was a great 20-minute in my mind and soul all month. Except and link to the full article here. 

"Over the past year I’ve chosen Must again and again. And it was petrifying. And at times it was dark. But I would never, ever, trade this past year for anything. This essay is my three biggest takeaways from the experience. It’s for anyone who is thinking of making the jump from Should to Must. Anyone looking to follow the energy deep within their chest but aren’t quite sure how.

Should is how others want us to show up in the world — how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do. It’s the vast array of expectations that others layer upon us. When we choose Should the journey is smooth, the risk is small.

Must is different—there aren’t options and we don’t have a choice.

Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. It’s our instincts, our cravings and longings, the things and places and ideas we burn for, the intuition that swells up from somewhere deep inside of us. Must is what happens when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own. Because when we choose Must, we are no longer looking for inspiration out there. Instead, we are listening to our calling from within, from some luminous, mysterious place."


inspiration: industry of one

"Industry of One is a periodical on the wears of work created by Adam Patrick Jones and Rachel Brown. Here and now again they will explore the style trappings of various industries + professions and document the relationship between one's line of work + walk of life."
                                                                                   - Industry of One website.

I love this site. So much. Looking back at the beautiful blog, I'm realizing that the fifty coffees idea was subconsciously inspired by their photo stories and investigation or people. My old co-worker, Stacie, lived with Rachel two years ago, and sent along the link to this artful documentation of creators in his or her natural element. 

Who are the people living in your building? Who are you sitting next to at the coffee shop? How do they live? What do they enjoy? Industry of One made me start asking myself those questions. 

18 ways to measure success...

X ways to do X articles are all the rage right now, but this article was a nice reminder that SUCCESS does not just = your financial state (which is lucky for me!).  

1. Know who you are, what your values are, and what you stand for.

2. Have a small group of people -- or even just one -- around whom you can be 100-percent yourself. These are the people who know the most genuine of your smiles and your long list of dreams, but have also seen you eat an entire sleeve of Oreos (in one sitting) and wipe your snot on the sleeve of your sweatshirt as you cry. If you have even one of these people in your life, you are fortunate.

3. Have a circle of people who, though you don't see them as often as you'd like, are still the first ones celebrating your victories and listening on the other end of the phone line when your world is crashing down. These are the kind of friendships that time and distance and different life paths don't change -- and they require nourishing.

4. Understand that life is precious and tomorrow isn't guaranteed. Continuously remind yourself who and what you're grateful for, and show them your appreciation often.

5. Recognize that there is pain and suffering in this world beyond your comprehension. Still choose to see the good in life.

6. Be generous with your soul. Be compassionate and empathetic towards your fellow human beings. Give. Don't expect anything in return for your generosity -- the camaraderie you will feel for a fellow human being is reward enough.

7. Always strive for personal growth, but accept your smaller imperfections and love yourself regardless. If you demand perfection, you will only be exhausted.

8. Love. Love deeply. Love fully. Don't ever let fear prevent you from experiencing the greatest feeling in this life. Love your family, love your friends, love your partners, love children, love strangers, love yourself. Immerse yourself in love -- it's worth it.

9. Find something you are passionate about and something that always brings peace to your soul. These two things might be the same thing. Do them often.

10. Have a collection of memories. Some that make you laugh, some that make you smirk, some that make you cringe, and some that make you cry.

11. Have the courage to draw your own road map for life. Live only according to your own expectations, and nobody else's.

12. Know when to close your mouth & listen. Everybody has something to share.

13. Overcome toxic habits and say goodbye to toxic people. You only get one shot at this life -- so why let anything hold you back?

14. Learn from every single experience you have. Allow these lessons to guide you in the future. Share your wisdom with friends, peers, strangers and younger generations. (And don't ever think you're too old to learn something new!)

15. Constantly seek out new experiences with no fear.

16. Regard every one of your fellow human beings as equals, regardless of race, culture, socioeconomic class, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

17. Remember that if you have health, shelter, clean water and food you are luckier than most. Keep your perspective.

18. Never take yourself so seriously that you've forgotten how to laugh or be silly. Never get too old to see the world through the eyes of a child -- with wonder and awe. Maturity and playfulness can coexist.