I am nervous as I write this, because in doing so I am launching www.catherineheld.com. I would not be going live today with the website if I did not have an event coming up with Cammy Michel on November 4th.
I have had the URL since May 2008, and have since felt guilty and foolish for not activating it. The “.com” part threw me off for years, because it announces “me” as a business. It has been hard to reconcile my image of myself as a healer, teacher and generally good-person-in-the world with the business aspect that the “.com” part of the web address denotes. I have been more of a dot org kind of gal—often giving or deeply discounting my services whether in non-profit work, or to clients asking for energy healing services.
In addition to self-esteem issues related to being in business, part of my reluctance resides with my previous website experience. Shortly after establishing my energy healing website, the designer took off and I was unable to make any changes. So now, with help, I am on a steep learning curve so that I can make changes to this website myself as I go.
Am I Too Much or Too Complicated?
I have also been confused about how to express myself and my ventures through the website. Marketing experts tell me to hone in on my marketing message, to simplify, to let go of anything that might confuse my branding message. How do I share my talents, skills and interests in one place? Do I give up my Ancestor’s Way website to focus only on my books? How do I share my art which has been so private but now wants to be seen? What about my fascination with women and horses or my years of working with cancer survivors? Or the women’s center in the Ukraine that is still a passion after twenty years? Can I share my spiritual practices with others on a business website? And of course, how many websites does one woman need?
Can I Maintain the Blog and Website?
Not surprisingly, my self esteem issues trickle down to all my electronic communications. I have an email newsletter that I sometimes send out. In the past there have been big gaps, even as much as a year between them. Then there is my blog history. It has been years since I added to my Dream Horse Women blog I started ten years ago. Can I commit to regular blog posts, now, knowing that I may fail miserably? Plus, I write longer pieces—the “wrong” length for blog posts. This blog is probably the size of three or more “correct” blog posts.
Wanting to Look Good: An Imperfect Website
Over the years, I have wracked up many good deeds and accomplishments. Grants received, non-profit work, clients whose lives have been transformed, people who are grateful for Delia’s Book. All the marketing seminars I have ever taken suggest that I share those things with you, yet here I am sharing my self-doubt, my vulnerability and my crazy obsessive self-talk. Throw in a large helping of perfectionism drilled into me early, and it’s a recipe for never launching an imperfect website.
I want to look good to the outside world, but my pretty accomplishments are not the whole story. I also have some spectacular failures and insecurities. It makes sense to project an air of confidence to encourage trust, yet my skills helping others are probably more about taking baby steps when those obsessive self-doubting voices start their crazy town talk, than some impressive list of achievements.
Deep Breath Needed
Today, I will take my own tagline “Emboldening women to greater creative and spiritual exploration,” seriously. I am one of the women that I need to embolden. Shortly, I will push the magic button that will reveal my imperfect, work-in-process website. In order to do that, though, I make the following commitments to myself and to you.
- I commit to share my gifts and imperfections.
- I commit to share my authentic voice, especially when I am afraid or neurotic.
- I commit to writing on a schedule that fits me.
- I commit to asking for help when I need it.
- I commit to having an imperfect (but live) website.
Here I go, deep breath!