If you own a business, then you’ll understand my relief and excitement when I tell you that my new website is live. Having just traveled that well-worn path of trying to express what is unique about what I do and who I really am, it got me thinking about what websites represent, and how all of us could benefit from the process.
It’s hard work putting yourself out there — writing marketing materials, especially about yourself, or searching for a job (or a partner, for that matter), submitting a proposal, or presenting an idea or offering a different perspective. To do it well, you have to dig deep. Not just into the vision you are trying to inspire, but also into the why and the who behind what you are trying to convey.
To be clear, I do not like marketing myself. It takes hours of writing, re-writing, wondering, worrying, getting feedback, losing momentum, then building it back up again. Finding that sweet spot of ‘good enough’ when this site is meant to represent your life’s work, your philosophy, who you are, what you provide? This is not easy stuff.
What really tripped me up this time was the About section and biography. I wanted to move beyond the bullet points of accomplishments and awards. They seem so stale, no matter how interesting the list may be. It led me to an amazing and challenging PDF guide written by Caroline Mays called ‘Bio Like Beyonce’ (https://www.switchbladelemonade.com/bio-like-beyonce). Her premise is that biographies shouldn’t tell people who you are, they should tell people what you’re made of. I loved this statement and eagerly ordered the guide. And was then thrown into a universe of questions that dug deep, that made no sense initially as to what any of it had to do with writing a biography. I will say, it was grueling and uncomfortable at times. However, 26 pages of writing later, the next prompt was to write the bio. That was it. So, suspending disbelief, I sat down once again at the keyboard. And wrote what has become my About page. First try, after only the tiniest of edits…nailed it.
It breaks every rule. It’s way too wordy. You aren’t supposed to start your About page with: ‘Here is what I would share with you if we went for a walk together in the woods behind my house.’ But…it says what I want it to say. And weaves in the important stuff about what I bring to my speaking and wilderness guiding.
But enough about me. Really, enough about me after working on this website for 9 months! Whether or not you ever need to write a biography or About section, this grueling and gritty exercise is worthy of your time, your effort, your heart, your curiosity, and your intellect. When was the last time you really asked yourself who you are—your deep-down Wild self, and what you are made of?
As we move from late winter into early spring and that singular day that holds equal balance of light and dark that is Equinox, I offer this Wild dare, no matter who you are or where you find yourself on your journey:
Re-awaken your curiosity—that part of ourselves that has been so stifled by the pandemic—and turn it inward. What is your story? What stands out as special, uniquely you? Who are you? What are you made of? What do you stand for? What gives you energy? What depletes you? How would you describe your Wild soul?
If you bang this out in 20 minutes, I’d suggest you haven’t gone deep enough. If you are swirling and whirling for hours, give yourself a break. Take a deep breath, lighten up, and try again.
This will likely not be the most fun you’ve ever had. But it can serve to re-wild the stuck places and put some conviction and bounce in your step. And it will build out your story and your truth, breathing life and courage into the messy marvel that is you.
So, 9 months later, this is what I have for you. This…and a cool new website.
***If you happen to need a website or a refresh, I really can’t recommend Orange Ball Creative enough: their patience, process, excellent questions, and design instincts are awesome: https://www.orangeballcreative.com/.