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Independent Interaction of Sam Wilson

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Breaking good habits

Sometimes consciously leaving your comfort zone by taking on an unexpected project is a shortcut to inspiration.

When Quint Tatro asked me to create what would eventually be Tickerville, it didn’t sound like a good project for me. Quint was a friend and doing friend projects can have a predatory dynamic. Also I felt like taking this project would be taking me a few steps away from my focus zone.

Stylesheets not my thing

I told myself that I worked best with Flash and I was taking my portfolio in the wrong direction by doing non-Flash work. Additionally, CSS made me uncomfortable because it wasn’t really my thing. Having this CSS piece in my portfolio could even confuse my target client audience by tempting them to wonder why I was doing work outside my specialty.

Comfortable sucks

Something intrigued me though about this project—most financial sites had a certain safe, almost too comfortable feel to them. I had a chance to do something different. A chance to make “them” as well as myself uncomfortable.

Screw it

Having this “screw it” attitude was the right approach to take. because I wasn’t catering to either the CSS market or to financial persons, I wasn’t worried about my reputation. And because I wasn’t worried about my rep, I felt empowered to do something appropriate but also a little risky.

Great results all around

The result of my leaving my comfort zone was inspiration. The site received tons of awards and listings which I discuss on my work page. The site has been a wild success for the client, and paired with his expertise, has helped to open a series of very heavy doors for him. I left the project feeling reinvigorated and very proud of what I was able to give the client.

Defy comfort

Sometimes it’s good to do something that at first feels like a departure from this healthy focus around your thing. Don’t get me wrong, being streamlined and having a niche are great and can help you maximize yourself (especially as an independent). However getting too comfortable in something is one shade away from being in a rut. And when you feel like that, don’t be afraid to get a little crazy with your project selection.