Finally, I launched my brand-new website! Next month marks 14 years in business and I have had essentially the same website that entire time. Like all aspects of work, leadership, and life, it’s good to periodically shake things up and experience a fresh start!
Just before launching the site last week, I asked my website guru at Happy Medium: “Is it weird to feel so emotional about this?” My feelings ranged from excitement to nervousness to “definitely the right move” to “nope, changed my mind.” She assured me this was normal (but she is also a very kind person.) After an online presence for 14 years, you might wonder – as I did – what’s the big deal?
I finally realized it’s this: In many ways, I am coming out of hiding.
When I launched the first site back in the early 2000’s as a new business owner, my main objectives were to be professional and credible. I’d never been an entrepreneur, didn’t know many entrepreneurs at the time, and wondered how people and businesses would take me seriously. Though always authentic and true to my values, I didn’t want to come across as too personal or vulnerable – because what would people think?
So I essentially hid behind logos and quotes and stock photos featuring other people, providing a layer of protection between myself and any “who do you think you are?” sentiments. ‘Professional’ ruled and – for years, actually – you’d be amazed how much editing, deleting, and doubting I did. Maybe professional didn’t rule so much as caution or, more accurately, fear. I did my work – but behind a safety shield.
Now, though, the shield is gone. Peruse my site and you won’t find stock photos or well-worn quotes. You’ll see me virtually looking into your eyes, telling you my story and sincerely wanting to know yours.
Maybe it’s due to age, experience, or in some cases even frustration, but I no longer need the shield. If you follow me on Instagram, maybe you’ve noticed the transition there, too. Joan of Arc’s wisdom has become somewhat of a mantra for me: I am not afraid. I was born for this.
Ready For Your Own Fresh Start?
Do you need to make a fresh start somewhere in your work, leadership, or life? As always, check in with your values first. Then, consider these three tips:
1. Step away from your current routine in order to quietly envision your ideal. An afternoon at the park, a day at the botanical gardens, or a solo weekend retreat could be just the thing to refresh your mindset, focus, and vision for the future.
2. Choose a word or theme to represent your transformation – maybe strong, energized, purposeful, or courageous. Surround yourself with items, photos, and people who remind you of it.
3. Do you know the right thing to do but are scared to do it? You might just need to do it scared. I’ve done a lot of things scared in the past year and have grown tremendously as a result!
Moving forward, I’ll offer new features to my blog: My weekly (or so) Three To Thrive, where I round up my three favorite resources of the week (TED Talks, articles, podcasts, etc.) and share them with you; regular highlights of coaching clients and other models of courage, kindness, and inspired leadership; Ask Dr. Christi, where I’ll respond to your questions about meaningful work, purposeful living, and everything in between; and so much more. Be sure to connect on Facebook and Instagram for even more tips and actionable ideas, too!
Though I’m starting fresh in many ways, the purpose of MAP Professional Development Inc. remains the same: to help you successfully do what you love and love what you do. Here’s to fresh starts, letting go, and putting down our shields!
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