If you are reading this blog, you may have lost interest in getting your website done.
You may be thinking to yourself: “What do I need to do to finish my website so that I can get on with my life?”
Maybe it’s been months or years since you thought about a website. Maybe you started one but now it’s just gathering dust on your hard drive (or storage cloud.) Maybe you paid for a domain name and hosting, but there is no live site to show for it. You’ll get around to it.. one day.
Or maybe you have a website you are NOT in love with.. one that you did yourself. You settle for it though, because of the hours you spent struggling with it.
Or even worse.. maybe the effort just killed your will to ever have anything to do with websites again.
And now you now have a mental block about all things having to do with domains, servers, hosting, themes, or even writing an ABOUT page. You feel like an anxious new bride when it comes to finding a photo or branding colors. You avoid answering emails from your web developer, expecting he or she to read your mind.
I’ve seen plenty of small biz owners get excited about (finally!) creating a website. They call a developer. They make the first payment to get it started.
But then they lose interest midway through the project. They lose direction. They are no longer jazzed about writing content or expressing themselves via branding, photos, colors, or a personal story. They draw a blank when it comes to describing how their unique product or service can benefit so many people. And then the project is officially dead in the water.
Or things just kind of come up, and the website becomes a low-priority item on a perpetual to do list. The kind that slowly suffocates you.
This blog isn’t intended to be a judgement. You are not alone if your website has been put on hold for months or even years. I’ve done it too! But let’s be honest.
It’s just a big, fat, mental block, and we are going to explore the root causes:
Part ONE: Fear.
I’m going to break down the main reasons why we procrastinate in getting our websites and marketing strategy “out there.”
(Disclaimer: I’m not ignoring or diminishing hardship at all. And hang out with me for Part TWO, and I’ll talk about that)
But I think you will be able to tell the difference between a legit hardship and a perpetual pattern that may have more to do with your mindset than any external circumstances.
I’ve been studying mindset for a while and here are the main manifestations of fear I see:
1. A scarcity mindset.
Basically, this means that in our mind.. there is a limited amount of pie to go around. If your competitor is already established in your niche or area, has a stunning website with professional photos, a library of enviable content, and a killer email opt-in system, why bother? It’s easy to go down this road, get depressed, and give up.
But it really is true that unless you really ARE selling a commodity which people buy based solely on price.. nobody can do what you do.
I couldn’t be like someone else if I tried. And it’s the same for you. Know that there is enough for everyone, and that you just need to start somewhere.
2. Addiction to “putting out fires.” This can also alternate with spending time on “safe” and passive things like reading books, taking workshops, etc.
This is one I’m prone to.
It’s almost honorable in our culture to be “strong” and “handle” what is urgent and neglect what is truly important for long-term growth.
It’s also real.. the struggle can be, or feel, QUITE real. I get that too.
But that’s why a lot of us stay stuck on an endless rollercoaster.
This can happen both with money, and with time.
Let’s talk about money first.
Note: First of all, many websites don’t have to cost “thousands” of dollars. A starter website can be had starting from around $1200.
When we are convinced that it’s out of reach financially, this puts it clearly in the category of “I’ll get around to it one day when life gets back to “normal.” But it doesn’t. Because we are addicted to urgent but not important stuff.
Often, “important but not urgent” things like marketing are not in the budget. Our focus is on the “urgent but not important” tasks. This feels good. Like we are doing the “right thing.”
But this can become a bad habit, which creates more urgency down the road, trapping us in a cycle.
Another comfy habit is investing too much in more and more and more workshops, books, and courses to “improve” your services, while ignoring marketing. Not to be confused with #4, lack of self-worth.
In this case, I’m referring to spending time on passive activities as the flip side of the addiction to putting out fires.
I would even say that Americans are obsessed with “self care” and busy-work that doesn’t really produce much in the way of results as a reaction addiction to urgency.
It’s easy to justify these expenses, and easy to spot on itemized deductions on a tax return.
It’s easy to find a way to justify going to that conference near the beach, or a buying nice shiny new laptop or app, or the $274 spent on Amazon books to further personal development. ($9.99 at a time)
Again.. no judgement. Reading books and podcasts are NOT a bad thing. I’m not at ALL against investing in my business. And if it happens to involve a new toy or travel or a book.. count me in!
And yes, you could say you DID earn these things!
My point is:
It’s really, really easy to justify “emergency” and “self care/self” improvement expenses to the point where we do it unconsciously and excessively. Need proof? Look at a bank statement or credit card bill.
They do have a place, but when marketing and steady growth is ignored, it’s the equivalent of eating all of your seed crop or burning your furniture.
You are killing off what can make your business grow.
The same can be said for how we spend our TIME, using the exact same examples above.
So even if you are doing your own website, the same traps can prevent the website from getting done.
Why do we get stuck between these 2 places?
It’s worth exploring WHY you may be stuck in “emergency” mode,
It could be the adrenaline rush.
It could be a way for some of us to feel as if we are actually important or worthy of acknowledgement.
Or maybe it just makes for a better blog. Ha!
Bottom line: explore the payoff, and whether a state of emergency is REALY where you want to be all the time.
It’s also worth exploring WHY you may be stuck in a pattern of spending more time and money on passive activities and ignoring important tasks that will net long term results.
Sure, it could be that we don’t have confidence in our own abilities. (see #4)
Or maybe we are just sooo tired from putting out fires we need time to recover from all of it and retreat to an excess of passive activities.
Bottom line: Many tend to focus almost exclusively on the urgent and by default (and exhaustion) fall back into the “safety” of passive activities. This seems to be the (fear based) “American way” to live.
It’s good to begin to invest a percentage of money and time into getting the word out about what you do, which is the heart of marketing (and your website IS the center of your marketing hub!)
Then we don’t have to live in the fear cycle anymore.
3. Fear of failure AND fear of success.
Yes. It’s easy to imagine why it may be scary to go live with a website if you are afraid of “not getting it right” or have a form of “imposter syndrome.”
But just as easily, once you start ranking in Google, you might actually have to answer phone calls, emails, or watch the booking calendar fill and start to panic.
What if you aren’t.. READY? I think you probably know the answer to this one if you have been in business for any length of time.. You can TRY to be 100% ready, but you won’t be.
But you have to go ahead and do what scares the crap out of you anyway. You will probably fail at least a few times along the way. (and this is not a bad thing!)
Yep, fear of failure AND success. I know this sounds insane.. I mean, why would anyone resist having a thriving business? Ah, but we do.
It’s best to start where you are, and that includes your website. You just have to start. Otherwise NOTHING happens. Or you keep riding that stress roller coaster. Which really sucks.
On the surface, this can also manifest as being “stuck” when it comes to creating content for your website. Is it really writer’s block, or is it fear of failure and/or success? (a classic reason for procrastination)
4. This is a BIGGIE: not feeling worthy.
I see this a lot in acupuncture circles, but in other businesses as well.
The “When I finally get this certification or degree, THEN I can charge a decent fee for my services“ Or.. “when I remodel the rental (again) THEN I can focus on marketing to get new guests.” syndromes.
This mentality hurts not only us, but our industries as a whole. The truth is, you are an expert, and you have something unique and desirable to offer.
Let’s take acupuncture again as an example. Provided you already worked hard on getting through school and passing board exams.. (which makes you an expert!) doesn’t it make more sense to focus on being visible first?
To get more patients and experience.. and THEN investing in that “workshop to rule them all” that will surely make you the best practitioner? Won’t you do better in that workshop if you have the context of working in practice, on real patients, rather than just theory?
Guess what the root cause of “workshop addiction” is? Yep, fear of not being good enough.
This also often manifests as being broke ..and a lack of time and energy to invest in important things like a long-term marketing strategy that will bring you more cool things like money, experience, and a good reputation. (and workshops!!)
This is important as we get older and face the prospect of having to work well past retirement age.
To avoid exhaustion and poverty, it’s essential to have systems set up so that you are not faced with seeing 100 patients per week or staying up all night attending to guests during high season. (and oh boy I’ve got a blog up my sleeve about that!)
One more fear: (because I know you were thinking of this)
5. “What if I spend 6 or 7k on a website and get NO return on my investment?”
I don’t blame you. My short answer:
Websites can and should evolve and grow with your business. This means that if you need to start out with a budget of $6.95 per month and put in some time with DIY, then do that. And when it’s time to take it to the next level, do that.
Just make sure that:
1. Whether you are spending $6.95 or $6,995, have a clearly defined purpose for your site. Don’t just do what your colleagues are doing without thinking about how it will function for YOU. (Don’t just buy an “off the rack” site and blend in with your competitors.. good luck with that!)
2. You don’t cut corners and “cheap out” when it comes to your website if you want your business to grow and thrive. Treat it like a real business.
Websites are not nearly as daunting as they were even 5 years ago. It’s do-able.
I hope these insights and tips will help you.
If you have not read all the blogs in my series about “finishing” your website, make sure to check them out:
If you need help both with your website AND your mindset by clicking the nifty burgundy button below!