This first blog is going to be a bit of a stream-of-consciousness style outline of the process of building this website, and an exposé on the internal dynamics of creating a platform like this. I hope it can be of value to someone teetering on the fence about whether to put themselves out there, and I hope it will normalize the feelings of uncertainty we all might feel about our value to others. This blog is really more for me than anyone else, but I thought I'd publish it nonetheless.
"David, why don't you build a website?" "David, why don't you have a website?" "David, when are you going to build your website?"
All questions I've heard from my friends, wife, booking agent, parents, clients, and most significantly the inner dialogue that mostly goes unnoticed in the background, but occasionally bubbles up to the surface given the appropriate conditions. To be clear, no one was hounding me to do this, but I never really considered the need for a website despite all the obvious indications that it was a really good idea. I was satisfied to rely on facebook and soundcloud to house the majority of my music and public outreach when Futexture was the only thing I was pursuing, but as I transition to full-time coaching, its clear that I need a space of my own. I need a space so I can:
a) Explain the scope of what I do -- Epigenetic Coaching isn't exactly a household brand name yet (although Apeiron and I are working on changing that, as it really is the future of wellness), the work I do with the 360 degree anechoic sound chamber is truly something you have to experience to understand the scope of (check out the sound chamber page to get a feel for it) and in addition to storing my music in one place, I need to give a voice to the sound and meditation workshops and lessons I offer.
b) Have more control over the presentation of my music -- I can conglomerate everything in one place and stay in touch with people who are interested in it more easily than with the dreaded facebook algorithms in place.
c) Write my thoughts down without it disappearing in the vortex of facebook time. Have you noticed how rampant our bias for information generated in the present has become? The immediacy of social media seems to be a factor in this -- facebook live, snapchat, etc. While I'm all for being in the present moment, from my vantage point, the concept of temporal dynamics that seem to be getting lost in the overall cultural zeitgeist. Nothing exists in a vacuum, but facebook would love you to think that it does. Maybe a friendiverssary here and there but overall our tendency is now, now, now! Its 2017 now so anything done in 2016 now just seems... so.. 2o16.
I just did a google search for "present bias" so I could talk more intelligently about the concept, and found myself noticing the most recent article on the subject on the initial page of google was from 2014. I caught my automatic mental filtration system unconsciously trying to find an article more current. Talk about meta. Douglass Rushkoff's Present Shock is on my reading list now.
So, what took me so long? Ultimately, for years I think I unconsciously expected someone else to do it for me. And, thats what this post is really about. The transition from feeling like a website was just going to appear out of thin air one day after I had achieved some unknown benchmark of success to the awareness of knowing I needed to create the foundations for my ability to reach more people. Ahhh, there's the juice. I actually feel like I need to reach more people. I want you to read this and my subsequent blogs because I think my experience, perspective, and art can provide value to you in a way that no one else can provide. Thats the major internal perspectival transition that I've made in the past 2 years or so. I attribute that to a few things which I'll go deeper into on some future blogs.
- Doing a ton of personal work. Seeing a therapist and doing the hard to work to understand and shift my own habits and patterns was the best decision I've ever made. There's a lot of lip service given to healing and growth in some different circles I've traversed (looking at you, heady transformational festival culture, ahem) but the truth is it usually doesn't happen accidentally. Working with other coaching colleagues, meditation, training in psych-k, and redefining my relationship boundaries have all drastically accelerated a sense of self confidence. You might be thinking "why is this guy who is claiming to be able to coach others writing about how he wasn't confident and needing a therapist?" Well, the point about being open about this process is that no starts at where the end up, and there's no end point for growth. I believe that my experience moving from a less integrated version of myself to where I am now can help others on similar paths. So much of psychological development is intangible and experiential. If the idea of change or growth is only an abstract concept, there's less ability to relate to someone else going through that same process. I understand the fear that can be associated with looking at and pushing past mental blocks and patterns, and I think that adds to my ability as a coach. The real point I want to make here I suppose is that I'm in my own on-going process and I recognize that in other people too.
- Independently pursuing my craft and passion. This is a big one. I spent a while expecting a booking agency to push my music career or needing a creative business partner to add the "missing element" to what I was already doing. I do my coaching work through Apeiron, but I'm also an independent entity. Taking the initiative is just a better approach than waiting for something to happen. The truth is I know what I'm doing, and I've amassed more knowledge and experience than the average person, and I've received enough positive feedback from experienced teachers and colleagues to move forward.
- Overcoming credential paralysis. "Oh, but what if this person doesn't trust me without a PhD"? Some of the most valuable information I've come across comes from people who have no formal credentials in their field. As my Medical Doctor friend told me the other day "the era of the degree is over."
- Realizing that marketing doesn't have to be sleazy and sales-y. I grew up seeing coca-cola and frosted flakes commercials, ok? I was wise enough to see through the facade, but the internal backlash that made me want to avoid putting myself out there did more harm than good for a while. Marketing is only sleazy if your not being honest about what you're offering. Its actually amazing when it's in alignment with your values. It feels amazing to present and market a service or piece of art when you can stand behind it fully. I'm thrilled to put this website up, and create a brand around my coaching because it is in alignment with my passion, skills, and values.
- Recognizing that I'm positioned to help alot of people, and I'm not going to do it by sitting on my hands and expecting people to come to me. That type of inaction breeds victim mentality like nothing else. Been there, done that. I have no use for feeling like I'm not being recognized for my skill or talent, I'd rather just put the effort into the "boring" things like building an online platform like this.
- I practiced. I built a website about cats (its the home of elegance on the web btw) and built my wife's website. I learned and it wasn't that hard. This site is wordpress hosted if you were wondering.
I feel like a kid who's overstayed his welcome in his parents house (fortunately something I never did) -- and is finally moving out to get a place of his own. I'm moving out of facebook and gettin' my own place on the internet, mom!