I appreciate and try to make good use of all of the lessons I’ve been taught over the course of my life, especially the ones that seem to reappear periodically, as if I’m being reminded of their importance and significance. One of these lessons is the value of separating myself and being still for a while in order to be inspired. I remember Charlton Heston in “The Ten Commandments” as Moses, going to the mountain top in order to hear clearly what his mission was. He returned to his people with two stone tablets, inscribed with a set of clear, concise directives. I have recently discovered that my place of clarity, a.k.a., my “mountain top” is my local General Aviation airport.
I love flying airplanes just above treetops. There’s something majestic about seeing the country from 2000-3000 feet above ground level or AGL. I’ve been a student pilot on and off for a while and occasionally take flight lessons. I plan to complete my Pilot certificate one day and whenever I’m looking to be inspired, refocused, or motivated, I just drive to my local airport and watch planes take off and land. It calms me and I can think clearly.
I’ve been struggling with one of my sites in terms of focusing it’s direction and defining my mission. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I leaped before I did good research and as a result, all of my keywords and domain names left a little to be desired, especially for this particular site. It had no single mission. It didn’t have a definitive direction of authority. It didn’t even have a product to offer my potential audience. My site was lost and undefined, somewhere between a niche site and an authority site. I decided my current frustrations were worthy of a trip to the airport.
I arrived with nothing but my cellphone, a notebook and pen, and my alto saxophone. (note: I’m also an aspiring improvisational jazz musician so a trip to an airport is the PERFECT place to practice or just play my sax and it relieves my family of having to hear John Coltrane’s “Naima” with my occasional upper register squeaks.)
Anyway, I sat still for a while and thought about what I wanted to achieve with the site in question. I asked myself a question we should all ask when pursuing a new idea; If I had to describe the project’s purpose in one or two sentences, would I be able to? I tried for a while to simply define what my mission was and I was unable to. It just never came to me and I couldn’t, for the life of me, narrow down what my main focus and mission were. What I realized is that my topic was too broad and undefined. I then decided to narrow it’s focus to target a specific audience, but not to make it too narrow. After writing down a bunch of ideas and doing all I could to try and salvage my uninspired domain name and keywords, I decided that it would be best to rebrand the site. It’s not that big of a deal, since I don’t yet have an audience and changing the direction of the site and narrowing my focus now will keep me engaged, inspire me to write more and improve my confidence along the way. I spent the rest of the afternoon at the airport, writing down a ton of ideas for promotion, planning and designing the new site and constructing outlines for several articles I’m going to write to offer my audience the value that will keep them coming back.
I won’t reveal the new domain just yet because I’m currently working on just how to handle the redirection of my present content and the eventual launch of the new site. My goal is to promote the rebranding in an effective way in order to create buzz and build anticipation. I’m blessed because now that I’ve learned from several missteps, I can proceed with the confidence that the important lessons I learned along the way will be put to good use in the future. I’m even more excited about the possibility of being able to tap into my “mountain top” when I’m suffering writer’s block or just feeling creatively stifled.
I’m not suggesting that you not participate in group meets and mastermind sessions to share ideas with peers. What I am suggesting is that you become acquainted with your “mountain top”, that place of solitude and introspection in your life that enables you to think clearly and make good sound decisions. Find out where that place is and go there from time to time, whether it’s just to clear your head, to ask yourself hard but necessary questions, to be inspired or to find your way back to your goals and I promise that you will return empowered with clarity.