A Blog Not Limited

to web design, standards & semantics

Check Yo’ Self Before Ya Wreck Yo’ Project

May 02, 2012

Published in

30 People Shaping The Web. One Thought Every Day. All Year Round. Sugar For The Mind. The Pastry Box Project

Since going freelance full-time (almost two full years ago, oh my!), my professional life has been a series of learning experiences. Of course, I'm picking up new techniques and attempting to master new technologies. But the most important lessons, I've discovered, have more to do with who I am (and how I handle myself) as a person and a professional.

When I worked as part of a team for my former employers, the success (or failure) of a project was distributed. Additionally, as the lowest person on the totem pole, my opinions rarely counted which pretty much led to me not voicing opinions. As such, I never really took the time to evaluate myself much outside of what I produced.

Now that I'm wholly responsible for my success, I'm starting to discover that I can make my projects better and my clients happier with more than excellent web design and dev. It isn't just the work I produce, but how I go about producing.

Ego, for instance, can be a major roadblock to any endeavor. Which is why I chose it as the topic for my April contribution to The Pastry Box Project.

Hard-Learned Lessons

As I detail in my Pastry Box contribution, ego can often be confused with passion and commitment. But, unlike passion and commitment, ego will hamper progress and even destroy a project.

I suspect I knew this early in my career, but youth and my ego itself rarely let me see a situation for what it was. Looking back, I can clearly see those times where my ego had to be right, and good communication and collaboration suffered as a result.

I also see it, sometimes, in the people I've worked with. And I see the havoc it creates not only within a group of colleagues, but in the project itself. The end result is almost always not what the group had hoped for in the beginning.

These days, I rarely need to rely on hindsight to see this. Past mistakes resonate with me, serving as guidepost whenever I start a new project or working relationship. That doesn't mean I don't struggle with my own ego at times … I do. But I finally have the awareness (and ability) to do something about it. This has made all the difference, not only in my professional life, but my personal life too.

Have a read yourself!

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The Coolest Person I Know

Emily Lewis

Yeah, that would be me: .

I'm a freelance web designer of the standardista variety, which means I get excited about things like valid POSH, microformats and accessibility. I ply my trade from my one-person design studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106 USA.

A Blog Not Limited is my personal blog where I pontificate about web design, web standards, semantics and whatever else strikes my fancy. Head on over to Emily Lewis Design if you'd like to see my work or, even better, hire me.


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