I need to just go ahead and admit it – I am one of those people that totally freaks out when I find out company is coming over. I run around, cleaning up everything in sight. It is sort of a double-edged sword; having company come over makes me clean my house (and I do so love a clean house) and at the same time, it causes stress and anxiety for me over it not being good enough.
All of this? It is a bullshit story in my head.
The reality is, 93% of the time, my company does not care what my house looks like. They came to see us, to share a meal, to have a drink, to laugh and spend time together. When I stop and think about the times I’ve told people I’m too busy for company? It makes me sad thinking of all the missed opportunities.
Why am I talking about all of this today? Because for the past few weeks, I’ve been doing the same thing with this website, my online home.
I have webinars and courses that I want to offer … you know, once I have my site cleaned up. Because I could not POSSIBLY have you looking at my site without it being absolutely PERFECT.
93% of you probably were just fine with the website the way it was – you came here to see me. (I’m cool with the other 7% of you, I get it – there were some minor issues. I needed to clean things up. I totally agree.)
Mike, my husband, watched me swirl around a list of 7 different WordPress themes that I was considering using on the site. I kept calling him in to ask him what he thought of different ones. Then I would show them to him on the phone. (It has to be mobile friendly, or I’m not using it.) I was bugging my friends, asking them for feedback too. When they stopped responding, I turned to the forums and started to ask there.
I debated sidebars, margins, column widths, navigation options, whether the home page had parallax options or not. For SEVERAL DAYS.
I am so grateful for Mike, because finally he stopped me one day and told me that I had 24 hours. I needed to get a piece of paper and draw out what I wanted the site to look like, and then I had 24 hours to make that happen or I HAD TO STOP.
When I become obsessed, I need someone to stop me like that. I was spinning, I could feel it – and I needed him to make me stop. (I probably should have noticed that all of my friends were no longer answering my questions about it all and taken that as a sign.)
Mike asked me what was going on; why I was so obsessed with doing a redesign when I had just done one back in February? That was when it hit me.
My website is my home, online. I thought I needed the house clean before I could get to work and invite you, my company, over to see it.
The reality was, I was procrastiworking. I was stopping myself from doing what I truly need to do.
I was stopping myself from doing the work I needed to be focusing on out of fear. If I never launch, I can never fail. There is just one problem with that plan: if I never launch, I can never SOAR either.
I spent 22 hours debating over which theme I wanted to use. I installed two on my testing site. When I couldn’t get them to look just like I wanted, I was beyond annoyed. As I was looking at all of my options, I realized that what I had been using? It was perfectly great for my needs. I polished up the photo for the header – swapping it out with my logo. I adjusted the colors. I looked at the vision board I had made. I changed the text on the home page and added graphics and a testimonial there. I referred back to that sketch I had made just over 24 hours earlier, made the minor adjustments needed to get it close enough to that vision, and … here we are.
It took me a matter of hours. After weeks of debate.
Looking back over the past 15 years of my blog, this is how I block myself. Every. Damn. Time. It is always my excuse for not doing the work. Matter of fact, I recently went back to my earliest blog post that is still online, and I was stunned to see it there… I had plans to move forward, but first? First I had to change the site design.
I’m shaking my head over it all. At least now that I know the pattern, I can work with it. When I have a vision for a project, a product, a blog, anything like that? The first thing I do is see it visually. How I want it to look. Once I have that mental image, I need to sketch it out, make it happen, and MOVE ON.
Because 93% of my guests just want the good stuff. I don’t need to change anything here to make them happy. I don’t need to stress over it. You’re not going to judge me over the width of the main column of text, or the exact layout of my sidebar.
HINT: Your website visitors? They feel the same way.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how it all worked out. The changes I wanted to make did not have to take days like they ended up doing. I did not need something new; what I had worked quite well. So what was going on?
Changing up my website design is my way of procrastiworking. What is yours? What are you keeping yourself from doing right now?
Now that I’m back focused in the right direction, I’ll be sharing more about my design process this week. Come back for more! Feel free to leave comments too – it is always great to hear from you.
The photo used in this post is from my visit to the Grand Canyon National Park – South Rim in May, 2015. I headed there after the Mom 2.0 Summit that I attended in Phoenix, Arizona. My last nigh there, we had a beautiful sunset – it was simply breathtaking!
I have had this conversation more times than I can count recently. It takes place in a number of different forms, but at the core it is always the same.
There is a huge change that you want to have happen in your life.
However, you are not willing to change anything yourself in order to make it happen.
Then you’re annoyed and frustrated because things didn’t work out for you.
Changes? They don’t just happen magically.
That may seem really obvious, but if you stop and think about it? How many times have you expected magic changes to take place in your life? In your business? In how things work?
I first woke up to this fact when I realized that approaching dieting from a place of punishment was never going to be successful for me. It isn’t something I just do for a month or two and then I get to return to my former way of eating.
(Logical, right? Yet it took me like 20 years to figure it out.)
If You Want Blogging to Help Your Business, You Have to Write
As I work with my coaching clients, when blogging to help grow their business comes up, I get a push back that is similar to my old attitude about dieting.
“I tried it. It never worked for me, so why even bother?!”
Then we dig in. What did they think about blogging? How did they approach it? Was it about sharing their stories, their thoughts? Their feelings about why they were in the business they were in, or even about their every day life?
No. For most people, it was just about talking about their services.
“I did my job for my client, and here are the results.”
“I now offer these services, here is why you should hire me.”
“I am launching a new product / course / class / coaching program, you really need it for these reasons.”
Take Advantage Storytelling on your Business Blog
Think of the blog posts that you enjoy reading. Are they dry and boring? Not likely. Seriously, no one wants to read that crap.
Turn it around. Change it.
Blogging isn’t a punishment. It is an opportunity! You started your business because you LOVE what you do, right? Blogging is the chance to share your stories with people that are interested in YOU and why you do it!
Since the beginning of the human race, we have used the power of stories. Stories are how we share the knowledge that we have with other people.
Use your blog to GIVE those stories to your readers. Give them what they need to say to pass their knowledge about you along to others.
You could bury your stories in your social media posts on a daily basis – or you can put them on your blog. Do you know which one is better for your business in the long run? Your BLOG. Twitter flies too fast. Facebook actually hides posts if they do not receive enough engagement, even from you! (Try it. I posted things within the past month or two that are not showing up on my Facebook page anymore.) Instagram is pretty, but most people will not scroll beyond the first 6 or 7 rows of photos.
Blogging is the SEO darling. I receive traffic on blog posts I wrote 5 years ago. More than that, if someone is really interested in working with me? They will dig. They will go through archives, suggested posts, categories and tags. They will bounce around my site. They will read, and read.
When I first talk to my clients? They often tell me about posts that they read on my site. They tell me my OWN STORIES. Often they add in how they found me because a friend told them about me. Sometimes a past client, but not always. I’ve also been told how a friend sent them a link, knowing that I would be a perfect fit for them.
It is OK to be Vulnerable
It is ok to be vulnerable. I know, it is scary. In the end? People work with people that they like.
If it comes down to you and two others offering the same products, and all three of you priced in about the same price range? What makes you stand out is what will matter the most at that point. You, and the personal stories you have shared. The things that make you unique. That is why blogging helps you dominate your market.
Be authentically you on your blog. Throw in some personality. Include your stories for the world to read, in the space that YOU control. No longer at the whim of Facebook algorithm changes, or the speed of Twitter and Instagram.
Your blog. All you. Change how you view it, and it will change everything for you.
You’ve got this. I know you can do it – I am here cheering you on!
Have Questions? I’ve Got Answers!
Leave a comment with any questions you might have on blogging for your business. I want to help you with this. All you have to do is ask.
The photograph is this post is from my the most amazing sunset that I experience last week at the Grand Canyon. More on that soon.