Before we get started, why does every inaugural post to a website or social platform tend to start with “Hello World”? Is there an unspoken rule about this?
It has been 5 years.
5 years of procrastinating about building my personal website. I procrastinate a lot, but this has been one thing I have put off the longest.
When starting my first job at Ontario’s Southwest in 2016, I made a note to build a website and use it as a platform to catalogue my journey in marketing. I have put it off every week since then.
I purchased this domain years ago as a way of motivation, but have spent countless hours brainstorming ideas, researching concepts, and browsing templates, convinced that my website had to be perfect. After all, this was the way to introduce myself to the digital world.
Looking ahead to today, I told myself that this was the year to get it done. I gave myself 30 minutes to pick a platform, write down the first ideas that came to mind, and sketch a design to get me started. A few hours later, this site was born!
Why do we put things off for years?
If you are like me, you likely spend hours on social media and at some point caught yourself comparing your skills and accomplishments to others. I frequently did this and it lead to an endless stream of realizations that held me back.
Here is why I put off building my personal website for so long:
1 - When I started in digital marketing, especially SEO, I was frequently told that I should have a website of some kind to use as a sandbox. A safe place where I could create, experiment, and optimize to keep up with the rapidly changing industry. This advice freaked me out a bit. “If I did not build a website and use it as a sandbox, did that mean that I would not be considered a real SEO?”
2 - I tend to have perfectionist qualities. For years I was convinced that if I were to build a personal website, it would have to be perfect in an SEO sense. If it was not, then people would judge my knowledge and skills.
3 - Digital marketing is one of the most data driven creative industries. “If I build my personal website, I NEED to publish elaborate, data extensive research that will prove my worth”. Imposter syndrome was starting to rear its ugly head.
What changed, and why?
Manson explains that humans are programmed to understand motivation that works in a loop:
Emotional Inspiration —> Motivation —> Desirable Action
This framework points out that the changes and actions we need most are inspired by negative emotions which simultaneously hinder us from taking action. So if we reprogram our minds to work in the following way, magic happens:
Action —> Inspiration —> Motivation
All it ever takes to stop procrastinating is to “do something”, anything. If you are working on a report or presentation, the simple act of creating that first imperfect slide and initiating the process is enough to make you want to do more.
What do I hope to use this website for?
Anything and everything.
I try to express most of my thoughts on Twitter, but for those that are not 280 characters or less I will try and publish here,
Whether it is digital marketing related or not, I plan to be an open book and break free from the secrecy that shrouds the marketing community.