Like many creative people, I can’t just settle on one thing and do it forever. I’m excited by new ideas. When I first built my Debra Gould website in 1999, it was the home for my art projects and line of custom home accessories.
Building a website was harder back then because you had to learn HTML. It was also easier to build an online presence in many ways. You just needed a static website.
For two solid weeks (while parenting my 5 year old) I worked nonstop to figure out how to do it. I bought a bunch of books and Adobe GoLive.
There was no need for a regularly updated blog, and matching identities with big followings (that take time to cultivate) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
None of those things had been invented yet.
So DebraGould.com sold my art and gave me a place to showcase my portfolio and invite people to my studio tour.
It amazed and delighted me that a stranger in California would send me $1000 in advance to commission a hand painted floorcloth. If eBay existed at that time, it was a relatively new thing and online shopping was nowhere what it is today.
Years later, when I already had 2 more websites, I attended a TeleSeminar with Shannon Cherry. She said we should have an online media room to make it easy for reporters to learn about our expertise, reach us for interviews, and get media coverage.
What a great idea!
In hindsight, I should have wondered why she didn’t have one herself (instead of just assuming it was a “shoemaker’s children” -type situation).
I moved all my art stuff over to the new DebraGouldHomeCollection.com and turned DebraGould.com into an Online Media Room. It became a place for press releases and third person articles, mostly in support of my Staging Diva Home Staging Training business.
I even paid a small fortune for a graphic designer to create a snazzy downloadable media kit that I took a week to write and edit. Since I made the mistake of not tracking it, I honestly have no idea how many times that item was downloaded. I do know that it didn’t seem to get me any big media gigs.
Here’s the thing.
Prior to setting up this Online Media Room (and the media kit), I’d already been on CNNMoney twice, the front page of the Home section of The Wall Street Journal, and countless other TV, radio, newspapers and magazines.
No media kit or special media room required.
This Online Media Room was just one more website to maintain and it never generated the media attention I was able to garner from my other sites.
My corporate name for more than 10 years had been Six Elements Inc. It started as the corporate identity for my line of home accessories, branched into home staging and interior redesign and then launched a training company to teach others how to make a living decorating homes to sell under the Staging Diva brand.
Six Elements still made sense as my corporate name back then because everything I was creating still fit the name.
As my interests evolved beyond the world of decorating and home staging, I realized I needed to broaden my corporate name.
So I decided to rename my corporation Six Elements Design Group Inc. Six Elements Home Staging and Redesign and Staging Diva would be two divisions within the company. With a third division, Debra Gould Studio coming in 2020.
And I continue to evaluate and re-evaluate how many websites and social media profiles I want to maintain!
“Complexity comes disguised as something we think we need to be successful, but it actually contributes to our failure.” ~ Kenny Rueter
Now I’m embracing the idea that Simple is Smart
I’ve certainly fallen into the “complexity trap,” which is how I ended up with about 10 websites. I say “about” because I honestly never remember what they all are. Of course I could figure it out, but I’ve noticed I don’t even want to!
There’s a page with some of my websites listed. I keep editing it down as I lose my enthusiasm for the idea that started it. Maintaining too many web properties takes too much “personal bandwidth” as one of my mentors, Jonathan Fields, calls it.
It’s like I’ve got this big basket of kittens and they never stay together. They wander off in different directions every time I’m busy attending to the neediest one.
I am tired of worrying about whether they all look current and have fresh content. Driving website traffic to multiple destinations is exhausting. I’m worn down by keeping up too many conversations in multiple social media accounts, watching comments, emails and spam fly in from too many directions, etc.
So I’ll continue to whittle down my number of websites.
DebraGould.com is no longer my online media room. Beginning today with this post and our new website design, this is my home to share and explore whatever I’m passionate about, or trying to figure out.
This is where I’ll share insights and discoveries with the hope they help you move forward in your business or personal life too.
I may even share my art and surface pattern designs here, as I find my way back into my studio after a 15-year hiatus.
That still feels like plenty of kittens.
By the way, the irony that I’ve made a living simplifying people’s homes and businesses for the past 18 years is not lost on me 🙂
How about you?
Please share your experiences or thoughts on this in the comments below.