When you’re starting from scratch, the thought of building a website can feel totally overwhelming. If you’re like many coaches, your amazing people skills probably far surpass your computer expertise.
Any new tech-related challenge might make you want to throw your phone/remote/computer across the room. I get it.
But I’m here to tell you the world needs your coaching.
So, you’re going to have to tackle the website beast one way or another. As theologian Desmond Tutu wisely said, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.”
While I don’t endorse eating elephants, I do think that the principle of constraint illustrated in Tutu’s quote is helpful to remember when building your website.
What do I mean by constraint? Simply put, a constraint is a limitation or restriction you put on yourself to simplify your life. You decide which “bites” to take and when, rather than trying to do everything at once.
Constraints help you narrow your focus in a productive way.
A few years ago when I was starting to build my business, I had two conflicting goals constantly running through my mind. One was to get certified as a life coach and the other was to build a web agency that serves coaches. Both were massive goals and, at the time, I thought they were equally necessary for my success.
But once I decided to go all-in with my web agency, putting coaching to the side for a time, I was able to laser-focus on my business and build up my client base. I’m thankful for that past Jennie, who helped me get to where I am now, running a successful referral-based business.
And you know what? I’m now also a certified coach. Once my business was running smoothly, it was easier to complete my coach certification. If I hadn’t narrowed my focus in the beginning, I doubt I would’ve made much progress in either goal. And I definitely would have burned myself out with overwhelm.
How can the principle of constraint help you when building your website?
1. Constraints boost your brainpower
When you focus on one goal in your website build, you’re able to think more deeply about that specific area. Let go of distractions that waste time and zap your energy. For example, you don’t need to decide on a font while you’re trying to write your home-page copy. Get the words down first and play with the design later.
Have you noticed that your laptop runs hot when you have too many tabs open at once? Your brain feels the same way when you allow too many thoughts and decisions to creep in. Avoid that “spinning wheel of death” and set some parameters around your decision process.
If your brain has gone into overdrive and you could use some support, my Coach Website Blueprint can help you set these parameters. The training will teach you exactly what web pages you need to focus on—and no more. When you can zero in on each web page individually, you’ll have an awesome website before you know it.
2. Constraints allow for greater creativity
Designers often use style guides to establish their own boundaries and rules around a project. For example, by deciding on a certain color palette within their style guides, designers can experiment with how those colors interact. This limited palette frees up their creativity and allows them to make interesting connections.
Try setting similar constraints around your website build. Choose what you will tackle first. Maybe your number-one task is to get all of your copy down in a Google Doc. Or you could take on one web page at a time and dial in the copy and design before moving on to the next page. If you take this step-by-step approach, you’ll notice how one page of content naturally relates to another, connecting dots along the way that will help make your job smoother.
I like to give my brain room for ideas to marinate and simmer. When I’m making one of my favorite meals, if I allow a little extra time to marinate the meat in a yummy mix of spices, oil, and vinegar, it tastes SO much better. And the whole cooking process is less stressful with that extra time built-in.
You can approach your website like your favorite dish, too. Put some of those jumbled thoughts on the back burner while you cook up your next deliberate task. I bet some solutions will come to you with no extra effort because you’ve given your brain some time to marinate new ideas.
3. Constraints help you practice discipline
One unexpected perk of the website build process is that it provides a wonderful opportunity to practice discipline.
I’ve coached many of my clients through what can be an emotional process, helping them let go of fear and distractions so they can concentrate on their website goal. It is incredibly rewarding to witness their growth—not only in their business but deep within themselves.
As you run into frustrations and fear, I invite you to frame your website build as a fantastic opportunity to self-coach. You’ll likely notice self-doubt, fear, and overwhelm crop up, but when you really dial in and put constraints around your build process, you’ll see huge gains.
When we drive our energy toward one achievable goal at a time—staying firm in our intentions—we naturally enhance our willpower. That willpower will then bleed into other areas of our lives.
When you learn to be an efficient decision-maker while building your website, you’ll notice your enhanced ability to take decisive action in the rest of your life, too. Watch your productivity go sky high!
Here are some constraints you might try.
1. Give yourself a time limit for writing your copy
Writing can be a grueling process. Too often, perfectionism creeps in and sabotages our efforts to get even one word down on the page.
To avoid this trap, I recommend you start by writing an outline to give yourself some guidance while you eek out a first draft. Then, peel your finger off that backspace key and set a timer for just 10 minutes. Let your thoughts flow without judgment. You can edit later. First, you just need to get the words on the page. Setting time-limit increments can help you coax out some of your thoughts without getting overwhelmed.
2. Don’t design and write at the same time
When you are reading, copy and design go hand in hand. But when you’re creating content, it’s best to keep the two separate at first. Try setting up some wireframes so you know generally how much space you’ll have for your copy elements and how you want to arrange your copy on the screen (with headlines, bullets, text boxes, etc.). But stop yourself from tinkering too much with the design details until you have the bulk of your copy in place. Font and colors can be decided later.
3. Focus on one section of your website at a time
I recommend dealing with one web page at a time. Download my Coach Website Blueprint for an easy framework to use when setting up your site. In the Blueprint, I go over each essential web page coaches need for their websites.
4. Follow just one guide’s direction when building your site
Whether your guide is me or someone else, you’ll find it less stressful to follow the advice of only one or two professionals as you build out your site.
There’s no one right way to build your website, but there’s also no need to confuse yourself with a million different options and opinions. Make things easier on yourself by following one trusted guide instead. You can always change things up later on, should you choose.I hope you’re inspired to put some constraints around your website building process. If you need some guidance in getting your website off the ground, start with my free Coach Website Blueprint. I’ll guide you through the exact pages you need for your coaching business website.