Just before I started my new job - which I am thrilled about, by the way - I had a week's vacation to spend some time reflecting and planning ahead on some personal stuff.
One of the key challenges I had was how to put my personal brand in order. With restaurants in Nepal, a management career in the UK, a pretty health social media presence, a new podcast in production, as well as fingers in pies involving various organisations... well, you get the picture. The conundrum I had was where does one start?
In mulling over this dilemma with my brother down in Exeter, we got into a debate on the basic challenge of how - and even whether I should - try and structure that. According to Dermot, the priority was just to create the content and worry about the 'vehicle' later. From his point of view, where it gets posted doesn't matter so much as long as people engage with it. And if that means having a series of mini-brands out there, such as a LinkedIn page, a blog site and podcast feed etc, then so be it.
He is right to a certain degree, because content is king. Without that...stuff, there simply is no need to worry about how you structure it in the first place. But still, I wasn't fully convinced. For years I have been producing this stuff, but it's all over the place. This time, I really felt I had to have an overarching brand or look that looks clean and tidy in its presentation. How was I going to get all my ducks in a row?
Running has helped me figure some of this out. As did my conversations over that week off. And then a eureka moment hit. Why not bring back www.thomaskilroy.com?
To give you some perspactive on that question, here's a little back story: In 2001, as I approached the height of my success in Nepal with a number of restaurants and a nigtclub - all with different business partners and investors - I ran into the same problem: one "Kilroy" in person, but with lots of brands to represent. So I set up a website called www.thomaskilroy.com and started to populate the pages with those brands. For a few years it worked quite well. Until my web developer in Nepal let the TLD (Top Level Domain) lapse and suddenly I was locked out of my own brand name on the internet - unless I paid $1500 to reclaim it, that is. Yeah, not likely.
Faced with spending such a crazy amount on the equivalent of a cherished plate for a car, I dropped my focus on this aspect of personal branding and got on with that thing we call 'life'.
So there I was with my week off trying to solve this (admittedly 'first-world') problem and thought why not re-visit that old domain name of www.thomaskilroy.com and see if it was available. Sure enough, there it was. For just $15 or so - through an excellent service called Hover - I scooped it up, together with a couple of email adresses.
Dropping by another amazing website design service called Squarespace, I worked on the task of putting it all together. Within a couple of days, I had the bones of what I was trying to achieve in place.
So here we are. Welcome to thomaskilroy.com. It's not finished, but it's under way. Mind you the same can be said of my career, family life and personal aspirations.
If there is a commonality between this website and the person it's trying to portray, then you could say that both are WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get.
And then some.