Do things that scare you

Isn’t that the saying? I certainly did that this weekend, if by scare you mean putting yourself in a position where you are asking others to rely on you to deliver in an area where you have limited expertise.

Let me explain.

This weekend I took part in #SheHacks2017, the world’s biggest all-female hackathon. You might remember (as if…!) that I took part in one in 2014. Like that one, SheHacks had people organised in roles of Hipster (design/UX), Hacker (tech/coding) and Hustler (business development/marketing/comms). The difference this time was that, after the Bali learn-to-code adventure, I decided to put myself up as a Hacker.  My thinking was, if I’m going to make this web development thing happen, I have to push myself out of the comfort of doing what I know and find ways to be challenged to develop my skills. But of course I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to hack it (haha) and would let the whole team down. It was like offering to be on the bottom of a human pyramid, and not telling anyone you have a dodgy shoulder.

Well it all seemed to turn out OK! All the years of signing up for any new digital service that sounds interesting paid off, so I could deliver the various products we needed to showcase our idea. We developed a garden-share scheme (sort of Airbnb for gardens!). There was a website, coded from scratch, and a marketplace, built using Sharetribe (what a service!). We had a great team and it was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a weekend.

I didn’t get everything right. I still can’t get the custom fonts to load, and the site wasn’t on the right url until this evening. But I’m pretty goddam happy with myself. Firstly for having the courage to give it a go in the first place. It’s a bit trite, but you sometimes don’t know what you are capable of. And secondly for putting together some pretty sweet products!

So, don’t listen to those little voices in your head that tell you “you can’t”. You probably can, at least to a level that does what people need you to do. So go for it. You might actually have fun.

This post was originally posted on 16 July 2017.

Published by Antonia

I'm a British citizen, living in Melbourne, Australia. I head up the communications and advocacy work at Uniting Vic.Tas, a large community services organisation. I went to the London School of Economics and in 2008 took part in the Eisenhower Fellowship Multination Programme, the subject of 3 of my blogs. You can find me on Twitter as @euonymblog or @antoniam

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