Thank you Brigit for a transformational session! Not only have you become a trusted fountain of knowledge on all things administrative – You are truly a gifted coach!”
A Website-Drama in 10 Acts
(written, performed, partially directed, suffered, survived, reported by me)
For the impatient audience:
Right now, I have an up and running website. The End.
For the practiced reader:
April showers bring May flowers…or how after six months my website is finally open for business.
This is for all of you that think about setting up a website using a freelancer, and for all of you that want to have a good laugh!
Honestly, I did not expect this to be such a Sisyphus struggle – taking one step forward and three back. Me being such a classical cliche entrepreneur, of course, I wanted to do as much as possible myself; spend a minimum amount of money, get the maximum out of it, and that as fast as possible. Let’s just say, I paid dearly maybe not with money but with lots of hours, nerves, frustration, sweat and tears. So much so that I started believing that it might be a sign I should not have a website all 😉
On the positive side, I know now SO much about domains, hosting, website building, code, back-up, CSS, themes etc. than I could have ever imagined possible (or wanted to know for that matter). It all started so promising and harmless; I registered my domain and hosting in 10 minutes (with ‘Go Daddy’) and I knew what functionality, design and structure I wanted. A colleague had recommended a huge tech freelance platform called ‘Freelancer.com’ and sure enough, after putting my project up (of building a customized ‘WordPress’ template), I had more than 20 offers that promised to build it very cheaply within 21 days.
Although you can see the numbers of jobs a freelancer has completed successfully and read some customer references, I had no idea how to select one over the other. Naturally, I looked at the price and timeline and looked at work samples etc. but in the end, I picked the one that started chatting (over the platform) with me first. Here come crucial indicators (I wish I knew) when NOT to pick a freelancer:
- if the level of English is questionable in the first chat. It can only get worse, because the guy writing to you at this time, is the boss – every other person in the team speaks (even) worse. The number of times, I had to read a (so-called) sentence out loud over and over again, were countless…I think deciphering hieroglyphs would have been faster.
- if they cannot provide live sample websites. I found out (way too late) that the ones they gave on the platform, were really more mock-ups than a full-blown functioning website. Also, look at the re-hire rate, which really tells you if someone was happy with the working relationship.
- if they say the time difference is not a problem. As most of them are based in and around India, you are looking at 12-13 hours (!). In my case, I don’t think they understood that I was behind them and basically, we barely managed to chat, exchange updates, comments when we were both online. That makes for very slow progress and unsettling sleeping habits.
- if they don’t tell you how many different people will be working on your project. I just wanted to throw in the towel, when I got asked the same thing over and over again (being addressed as SIR again). Not only did I not know what was going on, but I think they didn’t either.
- if they are trying to sell you something more or different before they have completed what you have hired them for. Not a week passed by without them trying to sell me a logo design, search engine optimization etc. All I wanted was for them to build my template and make it easy for me to manage it.
- If they are not insisting and have an efficient way/process to give feedback and track progress. You don’t want to know the hours I have lost in trying to explain what I was happy with and needed to be changed etc. Also, the 21 days turned into 4 months with them just not doing anything at times.
- If they are not promising you a back-up file with your custom made theme template (CSS sheet) that they are sending once the job is done. Through whatever weird incident (that even Go Daddy people hadn’t seen before), my theme sheet got renamed and oh, surprise – got thrown out. ‘My’ freelancers did not make a back-up and had the nerve to tell me that they would have to build it from scratch, charging like it was a new job.
- if they say something is not possible that logically seems not such a big deal of a request, i.e. a change of font style, size or header characteristics. That simply means they don’t know how to do it.
- if they want to log in to your WordPress account using your personal login and password. Thank heavens, I did not agree to that and forced them to set up a separate user within my account. Had I agreed to them using/sharing my ‘user’ set up, I would have never been able to tell who had created, edited, changed what! It would have all been ‘me’.
- if they don’t offer/know that one can create your template in an off-line environment that can be activated when you are happy with it.
There you have it…I ended up hiring another freelancer to make the last changes, and I would re-hire him. I hope knowing these points will support you in having smooth sailing. Or maybe it has convinced you to just hire someone to do it for you. Either way, I do want to share why I took on the challenge of having a website altogether 🙂
As a professional accredited coach (ACC) and consultant (BSc, Exec. MA) I support professionals to move successfully through a transition (e.g. promotion, job change, self-employment), through the optimal application of value systems, behaviour patterns and state of mind. It is my goal that clients can help themselves, developing a sustainable resourceful state of mind, which will let them make even better choices and develop more productive communication with others.
If you are curious, I’m happy to reserve time in my calendar to give you a sample experience. At your service, if you want to put it all together.
Colleagues, professionals and organizations that I can highly recommend in their area of expertise and because they are great people!
Human Resources & Recruiting
Vertical Bridge Corporate Consulting Inc. – Creating Engaging Workplaces
www.verticalbridge.ca // firstname.lastname@example.org
President & Founder
Global Consulting – Doing Business in Asia
Giving Well – Your Roadmap to Philanthropy
www.givingwell.ca // email@example.com
Sharon Davis and Tina Labarca
M.Sc.; M.A.; A.C.C.
Some of what I’ve been reading and watching that enriched my life…
Books – Fiction
+ The Century Trilogy / Ken Follett
+ The Maddaddam Trilogy / Margaret Attwood
+ The Monuments Men / Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter
Books – Coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming
+ Guide to TRANCE-formation / Richard Bandler
+ Frogs into Princes: Neuro-Linguistic Programming / Richard Bandler
+ Social Intelligence / Daniel Goleman
+ Emotional Intelligence / Daniel Goleman
+ Drive / Daniel Pink
Video, Film – Documentary
+ Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret / Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn
+ The True Cost / Andrew Morgan
+ Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation / Stefan Haupt
+ Ivory Tower / Andrew Rossi
+ Glen Campbell – I’ll be me / Trevor Albert and James Keach
What have your seen, read or heard lately that you want to spread the word about? Drop me a line, I’m curious!
Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.
What led to the idea of creating the Star Cluster Space, a co-working, learning & community concept.
‘If you aim for the moon, you land among the stars’ and form a cluster with other stars, part of a constellation. You are part of a group. The urge of being part of a community is ingrained in us, situated in our mammal part of the brain. it has huge importance and positive intention, as it ensures that we stay safe, survive and thrive. In all days of our ancestors, being expelled from the group was one of the biggest punishments. As an outcast, you were always suffering hardship, in the worst-case scenario quick death. In today’s age, it’s the same mechanism that lets us want to be part of a family, a tribe.
Having a traveller’s heart with a strong curiosity for cultures, languages, ethics and behaviour made me study hotel management and have a career with Hilton. And that’s when I first encountered the community feeling. It didn’t matter in which country or city, whenever I walked into the staff entrance, I felt part of a micro-cosmos. I belonged, no matter what time of the day it was or in which department I was working. As teams, you encountered the funniest, stressful, surprising, exciting, horrible, useful and beautiful things that became our shared memories. The glue that not only connected us but forged live long friendships and became the foundation of my resilience. Everybody knew, when the going gets tough, it will be tough, but you’re going through it together. It’s an immediate, face-to-face, real-time experience.
When I left the hotel industry after six years, I didn’t realize at the time that the next industry I joined runs according to the same principles. Now I’d say that it is harder to find the difference between a theatre and a hotel rather than listing similarities. If you wonder why I left a successful career in the first place, here’re are the reasons: I have a very strong creative side to me and the second best thing to being on stage myself was to become part of the world where my passions lie.
Also, I believed that it would give my work/life more purpose, i. e. that sense of fulfillment. Well, I was partly right. When you become part of a producing opera house/theatre, you do play a crucial part in making the performance happen. Bringing such a special ‘product’ to people, reaching them in person, on an emotional level through music, singing and dancing carries purpose. What I also experienced again was this sense of family or community. The same thing happened whereas an overall team (with lots of different departments, type of people, languages and nationalities) you were pulling on the same rope, honouring the motto ‘the curtain has to go up’ – no matter what. I don’t know if you can imagine what that means, but let me share with you that it’s not exaggerated to say that every possible, highly emotional, complex, unthinkable situation occurred. Me being a storyteller by choice probably subconsciously knew that it would give me material for a lifetime!
Yet, after seven exciting years in the performing arts; the pressure and working hours took their toll. I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t fulfilled. You can imagine that admitting to myself that this wasn’t it (although I so believed it) was a truly shitty moment. It took several months to work through that experience and I had absolutely no idea, what to do next. It was not until I was recovering from a foot operation that I was researching the option of leaving Switzerland (again). That’s where I literally stumbled across coaching and after months of not knowing anything, it became clear in an instance. That was the missing purpose piece; being of service and working impactful 1:1 with people. I cannot even begin to describe the joy, relief and exhilaration that came with that clarity. The program of Erickson International College struck a chord with me and therefore, moving out to Vancouver an educational sabbatical just felt right. The path of coaching and neuro-linguistic programming proved exactly right, and it led me to stay in Canada, as a self-employed coach, advisor, artist and storyteller.
Guess what happened when I started working as a coach from home in a city that is not my hometown? Exactly. I started to miss both, being part of a community and the in-person interaction with others. I felt I’m doing something very meaningful, but the cooperation and community were missing. Wanting to bring all three (and more 🙂 together and seeing that there are others looking for the same, gave birth to this idea of creating the ‘Star Cluster Space’ a co-working, co-learning & community concept.
We believe everybody deserves to belong to a community; be it to connect with others through work, play, learning or just to show up in person and feel part of it. Star Cluster Space is based on this principle and uniquely combines co-working with education, entertainment and creating a community across all ages.
The facilities and programs are based on the input of the community members in entertainment, hospitality, art, visual design and professional services. People that work from home, on the road, in small teams, as new arrivals to the city or starting out their business. Being true to the nature of a community it strives to bring together people from youth to senior age; from apprentices to entrepreneurs, to retirees, to artists, to professionals, to academics and people in transition.
Star Cluster Space achieves this by combining its facilities with specially created programs and initiatives that actively foster productivity, cooperation, compassion and connection. Becoming a member means much more than ‘just’ renting a desk or an office. It means that you become part of the cluster, the constellation. We from the team see it as our mission you becoming involved, grow personally and getting the most out of your membership. Star Cluster Space aims to become the place where innovation sits right next to education and entertainment, where the atmosphere ranges from a theatre, a library, a laboratory, a working garage to a space of a drive, wonder and welcome. Think a community center merges with a co-working space, a theatre and a hotel where people work, cooperate, connect, learn, and socialize in person.
I’m very grateful and excited that the project is gaining momentum. That is why I’ve chosen now to tell you all about it. I invite you to engage in the project if you’re sitting there nodding your head. Let me know what came up when reading this and would you like to know more, share ideas, give input? I invite you to become part of the Star Cluster Space community!
We are envisioning to be part of the future of Granville Island.
‘There is nothing like a dream to create the future.’
All my pieces are inspired by people, nature and values.
Recently I have started print making, and I have absolutely fallen for oil monotype prints including a technique called Chine Collée 🙂 I am honored to work at the studio of malaspina printmakers on Granville Island in Vancouver.
Imagine your very own drawing is greeting you every day, making you smile and give you inspiration! I love doing personal commission work and the price is the same. Drop me line to discuss what yours might look like.
You are becoming aware of your patterns, way of working, motivations and beliefs. Also, you will learn how to work with emotions productively, rather than be run by them. You become and stay productive on all levels (physical, emotional, intellectual) in any given situation.
The fact is that people in transition are at risk of being not their most productive selves. A transition might be a change of career, setting up a business, taking on a new role etc. With it comes uncertainty and fears. Fear in a person can result in the most unproductive behaviour for the business and themselves.
I support people in a transition, not because I think they cannot make it themselves. I work with them because I believe they will make it through faster, more successful and even have some fun. Humans operating at maximum productivity live in a state of personal confidence, contentment and motivation.
Combined with the structural elements of a solid administration it is a major key to business success. It ensures operational efficiency, which leaves time to focus on business development.
My coaching and training techniques will help pull your many skills, abilities and experience together to create a plan to achieve both personal and professional goals, consistent with your deepest beliefs and values.
What is coaching: Coaching is a creative partnership to focus, design and implement specific, meaningful, personal, professional or organizational goals through the exploration of ideas and candid dialogue with a confidential and unbiased thinking partner. The goal is to support the client in developing a sustainable resourceful mind set.
coaching benefits: raising self-awareness concerning behaviors patterns and beliefs; being able to change them if wanted. building confidence, authenticity and peace of mind. tools and techniques to prepare, create mind set before a meeting / conversation / negotiation. dealing with pressure and stress in a resourceful way.
professional coaching, client testimonial, coach bee, value fun. At your service, if you like to, be inspired, dedicated, organized, successful. Put it all together. Management consultant, strategy consultant, Administration consultant. coaching benefits. I support professionals successfully moving through career transitions by creating a sustainable resourceful mindset, confidence and stronger communication.
Principles: Client Centered: honoring your inner resources, skills, agenda and outcomes. Solution-Focused: moving towards a desired future outcome. Action Oriented: pursuing change in specific, inspired steps that lead to fundamental shifts in attitude, beliefs, behavior and habit formation. Systematic: understanding your holistic nature, seeing how change can fit into your life.
Process: As your coach, I sponsor you towards the ownership of skill-sets that encourage and support you to increase creativity, productiveness and effectiveness. In private, confidential sessions in person or over the phone, we will: Identify Topics/Areas: I will help you define what you want to accomplish in the areas of your life. Explore Ideas & Elicit Values: I will probe, challenge, listen and question until you have developed a clear and compelling vision and goal to move towards. Refine & Reflect: I will support and motivate you through the process to review aims, set direction towards the achievement of your goals according to your values. Set Actions: I will help you develop a clear action plan to move your goals forward Remove Barriers: we will identify barriers and discover points of leverage, that you understand your emotional reactions and learn how to work with them on a choice basis. Change can produce stress. I am here to assist you to stay relaxed and productive in times of challenge. When you commit to work with a personal coach you learn how to focus on your ability sets and even have fun in the process!
“You are the captain on your ship deciding on the route and destination. I am the navigator next to you holding the map.”
+ becoming aware of your patterns, way of working, motivations and beliefs.
+ developing the skills to adapt the above to your benefit.
+ discovering how to work with emotions productively, rather than be run by them.
+ learning how to create and sustain a resourceful state of mind.
+ advancing your creative thinking and triggering it in others.
+ boosting your productivity on all levels in a balanced way.
+ enhancing your communication and relationships with others.
+ reconnecting with your own goals and vision.
+ transforming vision into reality; step by step while having fun.
My coaching and training techniques will help pull your many skills, capabilities, potential and experience together to create a plan to achieve both personal and professional goals, consistent with your deepest beliefs and values.
The idea of this section is to ‘shake out’ your mind, let your own creativity emerge and just have a bit of fun. Sit back, breath easy, relax, watch/read/write and smile. This is a free, healthy, instant productivity booster!
- When you last had an inspiration, a creative spark, an idea – where were you?
Write down the place and what you were doing. Try to consciously set yourself a creative task while doing this activity and to ensure this activity is anchored in your daily routine.
- Here is the completely bias, incomplete, unsorted, unofficial Vancouver-Crucial-Word-List. If you are not originally from Vancouver (which most of us aren’t), you might want to research and incorporate all of them into your vocabulary 😉
(to be used only with exclamation mark)
- Beer Micro Breweries
(with the most creative names, labels and flavours imaginable)
- Various types of bad weather conditions,
(like raining cats & dogs, drizzling, downpour, hail, overcast etc.)
(the whole tech. the glossary that comes with it & rides)
(need to have & declare your favourite coffee shop)
(happily written on everything, i.e. dairy products..)
(meaning outside, food, clothes, packaging…etc.)
- Yoga & Meditation
(not a question if you do it, only which style & where)
(making sense from an environmental and health point of view)
(there are so many, true CA-style with huge logs on it)
- Smoothie / Shake / Blender
(to be eaten for all three meals in every shape & format)
(if you’re fed up with the spinach)
(even more expensive than in Zurich..)
- Hemp Hearts
(protein, apparently the best way to honour your body temple – you guessed right, that goes into the smoothie with the spinach)
At your service, if you are…
+ curious about professional growth.
+ concerned about team productivity.
+ committed to operational efficiency.