Who Am I?

June 08, 2016

I recently started Seth Godin’s Freelancer Course on Udemy. I’ve been a fan of his blogging for a long time and am looking forward to learning loads from this 87-hour long course.

One of the first steps is to answer some questions, with the theme being “Who Are You?”. I’ll do my best.

Who am I? Photo credit: Will van Wingerden

What do you want to do?

I want to help people learn how to use the web to create and build fun, useful, helpful things. When I was a teenager, back in the days of dial-up, I remember discovering the joy of creating and sharing on the web. In the years since I’ve seen the web grow and become a massive platform for individuals and business, but it still remains a place for expression and creativity. Having practiced my CSS, HTML and JavaScript skills over almost two decades, I want to share what I’ve learned and help people produce excellent things online.

Who do you want to change, and how do you want to change them?

I want people to be able to say “I wonder if I can build a thing to do blah”, and be able to go find the tools and guides to do it. Whether it’s building their own web service, creating beautiful, fast loading websites, animating with CSS.

I’d love it if I can help people see the ways the web allows us to be creative and take control of our own lives. Building businesses, communicating, learning.

I can change people by sharing what I’ve learned, continuing to learn, and working with others to improve the web sites and apps they’re creating.

How much risk? How much are you willing to put at stake to make the change you seek?

I’ve worked for myself before, and never felt that it was a risk. Sure, I have a mortgage and family, and my number one job is to provide for them. My goal is to ensure I do so in a responsible way. This means helping others and making sure I get paid for doing so.

How much work are you willing to do to get there?

I’m quite a driven person. I’ve worked evenings and weekends in the past to get what I need done. This includes writing an entire CSS animation course during my work commute, and freelancing during weekends. Having said that, my mental and physical health is important, and I’m more likely to take the time these days to go for a run or relax with my children than spend evenings at the laptop.

As in Buddhist teaching, the middle path is the best. It’s important that I maintain my health and family happiness, and the quality of my work will be better as a result.

Does this project matter enough for the risk and the effort you’re putting into it?

I believe it does. I have been lucky enough to be born into a time and place to have benefitted from massive technology changes, and have knowledge to share. I believe helping others benefit from this is the right thing to do, and if I can do it by being a freelancer, that’s the right option for me.

It would be selfish and unhelpful to simply clock in at a job and not try to contribute back.

Is it possible — has anyone with your resources ever pulled o anything like this?

As well as providing a wealth of opportunity, the web has shown me many examples of amazing people who have brought something of their own to the world. From Jeffrey Zeldman, Andrew Clarke, the wonderful Aaron Draplin, Chris Murphy, and of course Seth Godin, and so many more.

I don’t expect to have as massive an impact as these amazing people, but what they’ve done for me is to show what can be achieved.