Nestled in the comfort of my extremely comfortable and humongous pajama; while struggling with two exaggerating and attention-seeking sleepy eyes; and with so much joy and relief in my heart, I click on the button that took ChapterIV.ng live today!
The first time I announced the existence of ChapterIV as an idea I was working on, I promised to tell a funny story when it finally launches. Now, I realize that the story is not so funny anymore. In fact, there isn’t just one story; but a bunch of experiences from which I have gained invaluable lessons amidst other things.
So instead of the story, I’ll just list things I learned from developing the ChapterIV site.
a. Sometimes, you have to learn it all on the job – and that’s okay. But it’s way better to learn before the job: So as you may know, I had to develop the ChapterIV site myself. That was not the initial plan; in fact, it wasn’t something I had conceived in my mind until I realized it. But then my other options didn’t work out and I figured that since I had a laptop, the internet, a brain and 10 fingers, I could do it. Also, I had a less-than-basic understanding of how WordPress works back-end; but that modicum of understanding was something and it was a good starting point. Almost everything I needed to know to develop the site was learned as I developed the site. And that was okay. I had to keep reminding myself not to give up; and that it was okay to be feeling like I was going crazy. I’m a little grateful that I was too broke to consider hiring someone to do it for me because now I have learned a lot within such a short time and I have added more value to myself. But then, better yet, I realize that it would have been a more seamless project for me if I had been more intentional about learning in the past. Now, a future project like this wouldn’t be as difficult as this because I wouldn’t make the same mistakes.
b. You may do everything yourself; but you never really do it all by yourself: Okay, I’m not trying to sound deep but this was an important thing I learned whilst developing this site. I not only had to do the technical work, I also had to develop every bit of content for the website and for social media and while doing all this, I had to be diligent and focused at my 9-5, not giving up on reading for my own personal growth, and writing on my other platforms and also being a friend and a human being to people around me. But while it seemed like I was doing the most, I didn’t realize that I was actually doing a subsidized ‘most’. It took me long to realize that I could only have done all that I did because of other people. I mean, Uka gave me the idea, David Rotimi paid for the domain and hosting for me; he also taught me some basics about starting up and did ALL my graphics for free and in record time; David Odunlami reached out and offered his help to manage our social media accounts; WordPress provided a platform that enabled me to develop a site without having the formal training of a web developer; several developers developed plugins which made things a lot easier for me; Sarah kept asking me how it’s going and what she could do to ease the process; random strangers had contributed knowledge online by putting out tutorials in text or video explaining things I otherwise couldn’t have known; Jennifer D of WhoGoHost offered me a most excellent help when I messed up badly; three lawyers encouraged me by offering their lawyering services even before we went live; my siblings and parents were so supportive; Praise Folorunso was my plug for when I was at a dead end; and Dayo offered intentional encouragement to me. I have decided to never again be too blinded by my work load to see the shoulders that lighten it for me.
c. ‘No’ is an answer. And it’s a valid answer: In developing this site, I learned that I can receive a ‘No’ for an answer and I realized that however ‘No’ is pronounced, it just never sounds like the trumpet that signifies the end of the world. Life goes on after a ‘No’ is given. I also learned that ‘no’ sayers are not necessarily naysayers. They can be the best people who believe in you but just happened to say no.
d. You have to try and try and try until you get it: Giving up is generally a convenient thing. But it’s more profitable to delay the false gratification of relief you feel from giving up; and push till the end. For instance, I had been working with a particular theme for a while and then bam! I read an article and realized I had made a bad choice. So I had to start from scratch again. Back then, it was so crazy. But right now, it’s simply done.
e. Google is super chilled and easy until…GSuite!: Damn! G Suite is like that side of you that you remember and laugh cynically when people say, ‘You’re so easy going and gentle‘. Like, ‘Have you met my GSuite? You can’t sleep in it. And no, the G does not stand for gentle’. Setting up GSuite is like 0 – 100. And I messed up big time and did something I shouldn’t ever have done and then it resulted in the disappearance of my site. Jennifer D from WhoGoHost finally helped me sort it out and I was grateful to her for it but fam, one word of advice: get you a web developer when you’re setting up your GSuite.
f. Don’t ever delete all your MX records if you don’t know what you’re doing. And even more so, if you don’t know what MX records are.
g. Keep. To. Your. Word: As at 11pm on the 28th (yesterday), I still had about 20% of work to do on the site. I was super tired and was even feeling ill. I had my loyal bed, my tired but working Air Conditioner and two heavy eyes all working together to get me to la-la land. But I knew I couldn’t sleep. I had promised the world that ChapterIV would go live on the 29th; and so it had to. So, I sat up and struggled until I finished everything I had to do. I’m learning more that although people might not even remember to hold you to your word; it’s not really their duty to. It’s your responsibility to hold yourself accountable and do what you’ve said you will.
h. Pray! : I obviously did not list these lessons in the order of their importance because if I did, this would be first. Pray and pray and pray and pray. Pray for strength. Pray for wisdom. Pray for favor. Pray for better understanding of what you’re learning. Pray for creativity. Pray about the problems you encounter. Pray for the people who help you. Pray for the problematic ones. Pray for strength (oh, I already said this.) P.S. Sometimes, you don’t even have to be praying specifically for strength before you receive strength in prayer.
h. Accept help. Delegate. Don’t come and go and die : This, I am still learning.
I’m grateful for the lessons I learned. I can imagine how much more lessons I’ll learn now that the main project has commenced!
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