It’s easy to have an idea, but how easily can that idea become a reality?
Casey Neistat, a once impoverished wannabe filmmaker turned YouTube sensation and Independent Spirit Award winner, said it best in March 2014: “Ideas are cheap. Ideas are easy. Ideas are common. Everybody has ideas. Ideas are highly, highly overvalued. Execution is all that matters.”
We at Cardinal Points spent the last few years nurturing an idea— a complete redesign of our online website. Each new generation of editors and staff was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the old website’s design as well as the services provided by the hosting company hired to maintain it.
Years of just talking about changing always led to nothing. We never took action, always settling for the conclusion that we weren’t “capable enough.” For a staff of writers and photographers with little web design experience, building a brand new website seemed like trying to grow flowers without water. We had no direction and lacked the skills. And it wasn’t just the complex mechanics that held us back. We were terrified of failure.
But in spring 2014, we wondered if failure truly was the definite outcome. So we made a decision: we would take the idea for a ride.
We sought advice from our professors, friends and family, found inspiration from other college newspapers across the nation and sifted through hundreds of online articles. We analyzed every option, and what we found surprised us.
Thanks to today’s website-building technology, many hosting companies provide services that help even the most inexperienced construct a new home on the web. Cardinal Points discovered WordPress Engine, a popular design platform where users can build websites for reasonable costs without extensive coding knowledge. With that at our disposal, we cleared the first hurdle within a month. The redesign was finished.
But even after that, transitioning a website is a task that still requires long periods of waiting time, frequent phone calls, emails and dealing with accidents caused by the imperfect information highway that is the Internet. Because of that, the process was slower than anticipated.
Additionally, when we unveil the website with the most recent content, it will lack the archive that contains the articles published on our old site. Moving that archive is yet another complicated task, and to explain the exact process would require a separate article. Simply put, it’s another piece of this puzzle, one we are constantly working to finish.
We knew there would be setbacks when we took on this challenge, and we embrace them as lessons rather than failures. Even with more work still to come for our new site, we pride ourselves in taking the initiative when past editors couldn’t. We took a risk, and when you see our new website, we hope you see it was one worth taking in the end.
So when it comes to your own ambitions, ignore the naysayers. Ignore the doubters. Embrace your ideas, and fly right in the face of that seemingly certain failure. If you believe in an idea as much as you believe in breathing, success will be waiting for you on the other side. Ultimately, there’s only one way to see it. Take the leap.