A general update on my website and blog. On personal growth and the decision to close down my old website. Future goals and the value of teamwork.
Say goodbye to the old world
I have made the decision to cancel my old website – ‘johndixonacupuncture.com’. I made that site with Webhealer.net. Here is a screenshot of my old website, preserved for future reflection:
Webhealer.net is a website company that specifically creates websites for complementary or psychological therapists in the UK. I wrote about their services in an article, which used to get a fair bit of traffic, but I have since deleted as I see no reason to promote someone else’s business. I discussed some pros and cons in that article, and I think it explains why I have made the decision to quit Webhealer after all these years.
This would seem an illogical decision to take. I had a website, that is now four years old. It is indexed by google and it has about 1000 visitors a month. It had provided me with an adequate amount of clients these last few years.
On top of that, my new website has significantly less traffic. A handful of viewers.
So my decision to shut down a modestly busy website to focus on a new website with zero traffic is… to quote Charlton Heston in The Planet of the Apes:
It’s a Madhouse! A Madhouse…
Following my heart
However, I feel it is right to do it now. I have no doubt in my heart that it is right and the decision actually feels good to me. Like a feeling of relief.
That website went as far as I could take it. I could never push it consistently over the 1000 visitors a month mark. The most I ever got to was about 2000 early last year and then it dropped back down to its normal 1000 range. Out of these visitors, only a small percentage of people contacted me for appointments.
There are obviously other things I could do to increase patient contact. However, this is where I felt the limitations of my old website would kick in. Even if I maximised it, it would still be limited. I would be banging my head on the ceiling.
And really I want to grow, professionally, spiritually, physically and financially.
Signs that I should move on
Perhaps the universe is sending me signs that its time to move on. My old website has furnished me with lots of clients and experiences. It was one of the best business decisions I made and I would recommend this service to others.
However, truthfully, I don’t want to work in the same way anymore. There was always an element of ‘hustle’ about how I did things – chasing the clients, making myself available. For a time, I really enjoyed that pace of work but now I feel it is ready to go a different direction.
Perhaps another indicator from the universe that it is time to move on is that business has slowed down. In a way, this is what I wanted deep down, so I could focus on my family, writing and website work.
Also, aside from having a few ‘flaky’ inquiries recently, I had my first ever spam message this week. I certainly do get my fair share of sales calls, but I’ve not had this before. Here is a screenshot:
Hmm… so many thoughts come to mind.
I know of some female therapists who had this sort of thing before. And there was one time my wife advertised some clothes for sale on a website and she got a call from a man asking if she was selling any underwear.
There are lots of hentai out there. ‘Hentai’ is a Japanese word for ‘pervert’. Heck, even I’ve got a little bit of hentai in me. Not literally.
I do apologise if this is a genuine inquiry from a growth-conscious naturist. However, the likelihood is that it is some sweaty pervy guy.
Some advice – it is customary to start a text or email with a more mature inquiry, including some information and a name. Otherwise it is seen as spam.
So I take this as a sign that it is time to move on.
A new path
There were a number of other reasons why I feel it time to change, but the primary one is that of growth. I want to take my work and my life in a completely different direction. That website reflects the old me, the old way of working and also my old mindset.
I want a new direction, a new mindset and a bigger more expansive life for myself.
I also want to reach many more people than 1000 a month. How about 50,000? Does that sound so unreasonable? Yet that is what I want and I will say it clearly now. I want 50,000 visitors a month regularly.
Ok Universe, do your thing…
But to do that means I need to provide a lot more value to people. It is not enough just to write about some personal trials or life experiences. I need to provide useful information that helps people. Hopefully, this is something I have started to do with some of my acupuncture and cancer articles. Though I still have much more work to do.
I also don’t want to have to adopt sales or promotional techniques. I prefer instead to take a simple and honest approach and draw visitors that way – basically a heart-centred approach. This doesn’t come natural to me as I have a tendency to close myself off. So I have to work on myself as I go along.
It seems that thinking too small in life only leads to a small life. And this has been the case for me; Living a suppressed and small life. It is such a waste of energy.
I am truly grateful for what Webhealer did for me. That website was one of the greatest business decision I ever took. It helped me in so many way and I would definitely endorse their services to any therapist, whose online presence is not furnishing them with any results (In fact I did, and this is not an affiliated recommendation). But for me, it is now time to move on and leave the nest.
30 Day Spontaneous qigong Trial
I completed my 30 Day spontaneous qigong trial and decided to space out my last few posts in order to maintain a consistent publishing schedule of one or two posts a week. I also have a few other articles which I have written in advance and have scheduled to be posted. This is because I have a new addition to my family and things are very busy for me at the moment. I am already having a few sleepless nights.
In the meantime, I do have a series of articles and works planned to come out. Many of which are in draft form. When life settles a little for me, I will get them all finished.
Article accepted into Qi-Journal
On another positive note, I had an article accepted into the Qi-journal about qigong survivors and Cancer. I look forward to seeing that in print.
Many things in life are changing. There are several challenges to come. However, to date, I am still practicing 10 minutes of spontaneous qigong every day. It goes to show that a 30 day trial can be a useful way of creating a new habit.
Stagnant pond or flowing river?
I think that life is clearly about change and movement. A flow of energy is important for life. That means letting go of old stagnant energy and letting the new flow in. This not only relates to life circumstances. It also relates to our habits and also our mind.
A constant movement of energy married in with passion, can make all sorts of things happen in life. Perhaps even miracles.
Social media and promotion
There have been two new considerations for me recently.
Firstly, In order to achieve my goal for this site, I need to adopt a social media strategy. Fortunately, for me, Facebook is not the only option. These days, there is Instagram, Pininterest and Twitter to choose from. I read in another relatively popular blog, that it is a good idea to choose one and focus on that primarily. Don’t spread yourself between too many types.
Up to now, there wasn’t much risk of that happening.
Social media reject
Personally, I struggle with using social media. I don’t really get it. And this is why I have resisted adopting this approach up to now. I have halfheartedly used twitter and even Quora, yet, couldn’t click with either. I never took to Facebook even though I set up an account when it first started becoming popular. I soon deactivated it.
Instagram and Pininterest look really interesting and full of life, but it requires a lot more design skill to create interesting Instagram posts and pins. Some of the posts there are really creative and obviously took a lot of work to do.
However, I feel my best strength is in writing content and researching, particularly for this site. This is what I prefer to focus on.
This takes me to my second realisation.
I am trying to do this alone. I am always trying to do everything alone. It is a tendency picked up from my parents. Simply put, they didn’t trust me, nor anyone, so they always did everything alone. And I had the same mindset.
But it is wrong and it is selfish and is also a narrow-minded view of the world to take. So what if I succeeded? It is the feeling of connecting with other people, appreciating each others talents and the enthusiasm that comes with working with others that makes the reward taste sweeter.
So what if I succeed by myself. Who cares? Do I celebrate all alone. Isn’t that kind of sick?
I realise that there is someone close to me, who has a far greater understanding of social media. I have asked my wife to deal with my Instagram account. I will provide content and she will design and publish it for me over the next year.
And this decision feels right to me.
I think in life, being part of a team is the greatest thing – whether if it is a small team of family members or friends, or a large team of work colleagues.
I think any World Cup winning soccer squad, or even the builders of the Tokyo SkyTree – the tallest building in Japan, will know this feeling intensely. That it is the feeling of working together to achieve something with others, that is more rewarding than even achieving the goal itself. Whatever the level or scale of the task, there is always a way to build a team atmosphere.
When I think of one of my parents who achieved a lot by themself, I think – sure it gives you a great story to tell yourself and to boast about to other people, e.g. how you overcame such difficult challenges to do something. But it is a narrow achievement, because who is there to celebrate that with you? Who really cares?
In the future, I hope to work as part of a team or partner up with someone who I can gel with for future projects. It would be great to work together to create a business with purpose, where everyone respects and appreciates everyone elses contribution.
I also took this post as an opportunity to announce an experiment with a new WordPress.com theme. I previously went with Penscratch 2, for its simplicity. But I felt perhaps I should experiment and get something a little more colourful. I was attracted to the Rowlings design, which apparently was created by a Swedish design team.
The new theme is said to be more suitable for magazine-type format, whereas Penscratch is more suitable for text. I feel that in the coming months, I want to move into including more visual resources such as YouTube videos. Basically Penscratch is a little too black and white. I want to add some colour but I still also want to keep the overall design simple and functional.
I am hoping that the change of theme transition goes smoothly. Although the blog is a centrepiece of my website, there are others sides to it. For example, I have included a mailing list sign up and other links to books, articles and products. I understand it is usually a little annoying for people when you change the design of somthing, but usually after a while you can get used to it.
If it doesn’t work out for me, I can aways go back to Penscratch anyway.