When I began Mother Mary’s Journeys in 2013, I envisioned that I would coordinate and lead spiritual journeys to the places of Mother Mary. Nowhere in that original business plan was there anything about energy healing, workshops and classes, mixed-media collage art, publications and products or public speaking. I outgrew my original Mother Mary’s Journeys website within a year. The solution! To place all aspects of my business under one brand umbrella – ME! In two or three clicks, ReneeDeubner.com was mine. That was the easy part!
Next came the rapid fire need for decisions, you know, the ones you don’t think about in the excitement of buying your own name as a domain? Any process in life can turn into a spiritual exercise, including and especially creating a website of Brand You. Most spiritual journeys begin with the question, “Who am I?”, followed by, “What am I doing here?”, and creating a name brand online business is no exception.
I don’t know what I was thinking when I started this process! That it would be fast?! That it would be easy?! I contacted my web designer at the end of November 2015 and hoped to have my website done by the New Year. While that was not an impossible deadline for her and her team, it was a little optimistic on my part! Writing the content that addressed those spiritual questions – Who am I? and What do I offer? – were not scribble on scratch paper kinds of questions. They required me to get very quiet and go very deep. I had to look at myself – my True Self – and decide how authentic I wanted to be.
Starting out in 2013, my wish was to please everyone and offend no one with my message. A large part of this particular spiritual journey has been a pursuit of greater authenticity. It brought up angst, doubt, fear and the whole hit parade of shadows, but now that the website is ready to be revealed to the world, I am so proud of the spiritual work that I’ve done, the strength I’ve gained and the clarity that I’ve achieved through doing it.
When I was really struggling to write my About Me page content, I asked my Divine guidance why this process was so hard? I heard, it’s only has hard as you make it. I knew the answers, but I questioned and doubted them every step of the way. I had a choice in writing this content – to go for beige or technicolor. Bring on the color! Not everyone will love it, and that is most certainly ok. It’s my truth with a capital T!
Finding a web designer
Ask any friend of yours for a recommendation and you’ll get one; or that person will know someone who knows someone. A web designer is someone you will want to trust on the deepest level. This is someone with whom you will share your dreams and intimate ideas, and you hope that they love and nurture them as if they were their own. It takes a profound level of vulnerability to share this information, especially for me because of the spiritual nature of my business. At the time, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was even asking for, and I certainly didn’t want to feel judged for having silly ideas. One of the first people I approached wouldn’t return my email. The designer I chose was the divine right person to nurture this new phase of my business. She loved the ideas I shared and from beginning to end believed in me and the work I am doing.
Advice: Go with your gut. Do your due diligence and ask questions about price and process, but the deciding factor might well be gut feeling. Creating a website for your business is a vulnerable process; make sure this person is someone who will nurture it with you.
I looked at slew of websites for people whose work I follow and respect. Most of these people are guests on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday! The sites looked lovely, polished, sleek, chic, modern…it was a challenge not to play the comparison game. At some point, I had to cut myself off from my computer and ask, What do I want? What do I look like? I stared into space, grabbed a legal pad and pen, tried to jot some notes and then gave up. I needed to circumvent my practical brain and find these answers in a different way. I grabbed my watercolor paper, paints and pens and began to sketch out what this website would look like without restrictions or preconceived ideas. Without judgment, without the inner critic…Whoosh! The ideas, the colors, the words, and the flavor flowed. This is design by way of play! A very different approach to the traditional pad and pen brainstorm. With a design that came from the innermost part of me, I didn’t feel I had to compare myself to all the famous people who had branded themselves and designed fabulous websites to match. Mine is mine. Period.
Advice: Play! Play will always be a wellspring of creative and wonderful ideas. The ideas that are YOU and no one else’s.
While creating my name brand online business, I spent much time staring at a blank screen. I couldn’t think of what to write. I second-guessed the content I did write, and then I sat on it because it wasn’t perfect. Writing content for your own website is going to push all of your fear buttons and bring out your inner-perfectionista.
I have a daily meditation and journaling practice. What helped me push through these writer’s blocks was to journal about them. When I journal, the pressure is off. It’s for my eyes only. The inner critic is hopefully still meditating! I’m connected to Spirit. As a result, the website content I gleaned from my journals was the truest and most authentic.
I found myself caught in a vicious circle of second-guessing, rewriting, over-thinking and then stalling out. I had to be reminded that none of this website content was set in stone. It can and will change. Done is better than perfect ( And, Perfect should never be a goal to begin with!)
Advice: Tackle chunks of the content during a journal writing session, away from your desk and computer. Journaling tends to over-ride the inner critic. The journal will probably be the source of your very best content because it’s coming from the heart and not the mind. Keep on moving! The vicious cycle of fear – questioning, second-guessing, over-analyzing, word smithing – will ensure your website will never see the light of day. Push through the urge for perfectionism.