A blog about trying to make yourself better at making and designing websites. Also about random shit.

“I don’t know if I can actually do this”

I was listening to an episode from No, You Go called All In with Leah Culver, and I think the part of the show that stuck with me the most is when Leah said this:

I don’t know that I can actually do this. But I did! I just built it and everything I didn’t know how to do, I looked up on the internet or asked someone else for help.

She was talking about how she managed to go in and build a product without being an expert at it. I love this because a lot of times I find myself wanting to know everything before jumping in. Seth Godin puts it perfectly (ha!):

Perfect lets you stall, ask more questions, do more reviews, dumb it down, safe it up and generally avoid doing anything that might fail (or anything important).

Of course I'm not saying that we should just jump in and work on something without thinking about it. Look where "move fast and break things" got Facebook. (Not to mention a whole bunch of other companies. Psst, read or listen to Techinically Wrong.)

Why am I telling you this? It's because I think we can all use Leah as an inspiration when working on our own stuff. Just last week I was struggling to set up some things on my personal domain. It wasn't anything complex; it's just that I didn't know anything about DNS.

  • What if I break my email address?
  • What if I permanently take stuff down offline?
  • How do I set up an SSL certificate?
  • Should I be enabling the HSTS header?

These are all backend things that I know nothing about! I do frontend goddamn it. But guess what? It all worked out! I read the docs and searched online and—yes—I broke stuff, but I'm still here.

A screenshot of my terminal when I was configuring my friendstalkfrontend.com email

Finally got to set up xoxo@friendstalkfrontend.com, Mastodon, and Micro.blog. 😊

BTW if you'd like to learn more about how DNS works, check out Cat-DNS (Domeow Name System) by Monica Dinculescu. (Psst, I interviewed her on the podcast. It's so good.)