Afternoon Discussion Groups: My Blog as a Change Agent

S1: Deanna Zandt S2: Cheryl Contee AM: Audience Member s2 Love and Money we told our stories in the first session what I can say in my career. It hasn't always been straight. I've worked in large corporations and non profits. I've had some great bosses and bad ones where I've had to get a lawyer and get a settlement. If there is one thing that is consistent is that I've fried to learn from the position. The bad ones have been the greatest teacher to use as inspiration and to know why did I feel confined and terrible here. In terms of technology I sort of stumbled into it but knowing what the opportunities. Be that person that is always searching for a need. Try to insert yourself into the places that have a gap. That can be in content. The great virgining of blogs but very few were black. I remember at the first net roots nations small group of us 15 of us for a black caucus, and we said maybe we should blog. It took a lot of courage and we saw that there was a need and a gap. the other place to look for a whole is where there are leaders that are missing. That is when you're mapping your skills. s1 what to do about the haters. what is valid criticism. Its how you know where you're doing the right thing when you have a troll on your forbes blog. There is a process to know how to deal with valid criticism. My friend failed to include and process how to deal with racism there was a lot of flaming and hating and what she did was call 5 people from various I need help ceasing out how to deal with all these issues. And so we went through all the comments hater hater hater valid. She took all this advice and tweeted I hear you I'm processing and I'm accessing and will respond when I have everything. She then wrote an apology which probably is the best one ever written which said this is what I'm sorry about,. The people that hated on her it doesn't erase the fact that happened but thank you for addressing it. If there is someone that can take you to the point that can be your change agent. s2 I have been in jobs where I was working for the man in a big corporation where I didn't think it wasn't 100% of what I wanted to do in my life. I've got some scratch in my pocket. Is it right to walk away to work at a tiny non-profit. Or can I use this an an opportunity to make a change if not big but incremental. The answer was yes its not easy but it takes. My brother is a pilot he flies for a large cargo carrier most of the pilots he works for are white older men. He listens to a lot of things that he doesn't necessarily agree with but he's in the work place and people start talking about whether or not Barack Obama is really a citizen probably not. What he says that he can provide facts in a loving way where he doesn't lose himself or his soul. In his spare time he does things in the community. There is the person you are at work, at home and in the community. Being the person that brings peace, or responds on the corporate twitter that is being a change agent. s1 I'm going solo. Thing I learned immediately I'm commitment phobic. One thing that I want to qualify my specific experience being a consultant is the privilege I bring to the table is that I'm without children I live alone work alone. Many women in the room have people who rely on them to provide. where the hell is the money going to come from. I have never had to advertise my services, my jobs have been to referrals or word of mouth. s2 how did you become a consultant s1 attending conferences like this and getting face time. There expensive so a best way is to get on panels, manage some way to travel and attend. Find opportunities to volunteer. I constantly was attending different ones where it was in my field. I was so annoying the girl who had to ask so many questions. Digital doesn't always cross every barrier so face time is very important. I have one retainer who has been able to find one who will be able to maintain your needs in life mortgage, food and life needs. s2 before we do strategies I've gone from working from within to working solo, to launching a non profit. what we are here to tell you everything is hard but what kind of hard is what changes. but what I can tell you do i want to work hard in something I believe in or do I want to work hard at a job that is killing me on the inside. The good news its that you have a choice and choose whats right for you. s1 what is less stress for you. Mine for me is sitting at a desk all day, and less stressful was finding how to pay my rent. s2 its up to you to choose what is more worthy of being stress a nice kind of stress where you feel like you're doing something worthy. s1 this is baratunde showing how he learned how to be social. (Youtube clip) @Baratundeproduction s2 What did you learn the whole point of that is talk about strategies. AM my first take away we work on is pretty serious issues but to come at it at a funny angle it takes the intimidation out. s2 whats the best way is to go there and being fearless and using humor to open the doors AM everyone knows what the swine flu is but making something out of nothing and getting over 2000 followers that amazing AM what I took away Is I have been blogging for 10 years and I'm on Facebook but I'm scared of twitter but what I took away is that it doesn't have to be that hard. S1 own your expertise and what that also means that you don't know everything so also own that. she talks about using twitter as a place to fire stuff on and s2 actually I can speak on the twitter guides AM pictures rule and if you can kill a stuff animal do it AM one of the things is to get personal if you sound like you're selling something or not a person. But people forget to tweet who you are personally and that is a great thing that people forget s2 being personal is one of the hardest thing that you can do and connecting with people and getting to know them and engaging. When you're able to be personal its the one thing that will distinguishing you from others. s1 being authentic is not just airing your naughty bits unless that's what you do. I don't put everything online. you should have your guidepost of what that means to you. The editor of my book Johnna shares her advice without being AM wanted to piggy back on being personal part is really interesting I tend to share a lot of news I get a lot of response when I'm ranting and then I'm like people read that. Also along those fear lines not being able to tweet @unclerush letting go of what people think and letting it be. s1 we really want people to like us and part of criticism and knowing that everyone is going to like you but not be afraid and that we're not perfect and celebrate it. S2 Let's segway into group and talk for about 15 minutes s1 there is a book called the war of art. I feel like the guy is very uber macho but there is some great nuggets. I will invite you to participate in…. Point is what we do here does come to an end but lets think about this if everyone evaporated from the planet no one is there what activities from your life right now would you continue doing. You have no kids for all of you who are moms. s2 If money was no object what would you be doing? What you're doing now vs your dreams and aspirations s1 I remembered in this exercise that I love drawing and trying to figure out how I would incorporate this more into my life right now. s2 lets have someone from each table that would help you to focus. AM well we have a lot of commonality reading more, writing more, and also different types of outlets painting dancing, meditating time to be away from the computer a little bit. AM it was interesting as I observed our conversation cause we have someone who is perfect. LOL we're all different in what we see as obstacles. Every single one of us are all wanting to be making the world a better place and that was common. s1 one thing that women do is always wanting to help other people. The question to ask is how would you help yourself s2 and are you willing to get help AM for our group it was the same realization if here was no people around that we'd be hard to take some time. we talked a lot of getting our voice professional and personal and doing that authentically that's what I got out of it. AM So I guess we had the same reaction some of what were doing wouldn't be as exciting helping people one said you'd write less. traveling and doing more video AM Can I say Ditto, But as well as the community and ourselves its what we get back from helping the community. It's about how we help ourselves in the process. Creativity, traveling and fortifying ourselves. s1 I thought that I had to sacrifice myself in the process of becoming a change agent. s2 you are in someways you're eternal souls but your body is a finite resource. Finding ways to not become a martyr but finding ways to restore your self and take of yourself mind body and spirit. Hopefully you walk away from this figuring out how you can be a change agent but not lose yourself in the process. How would you change or shift how you currently do what you do or wouldn't s1 and pick one concrete action to take to make a change. AM I decided that I have to stop take a 6 week break till mid-September and read your book and do a relaunch and find a social group in new haven like a book club. AM When I return from 6 week holiday my goal is to establish changing faces to help people with facial differences, going to create a business plans, promotion and pitches for my own writing. AM I have an interesting one, was what I came to I started blogging as a more self serving thing what I've learned its really about relating to other in turn healing. And more that happens I get to be authenticate the other thing I wanted to really explore identity as some one with a lot of labels. S2 What conflicts can we help solve for you AM I realized how much of it is for yourself within my family who don't read my blog but I realize that although I don't have people in my family who help push my work but I have like minded people here at BlogHer who will help and push me forward AM I feel like information was available to me like it is now I feel like I wouldn't have lost babies the way that I did and have to dealt everything on my own. My blog is about seeking to inform and empower women to join a conversation about biodenicals, infertility. And know one is talking about it because it is against traditional medicine but I'm not sure what I'm saying. s1 if you're constantly meeting on a system you're bringing awareness to what is going on. For you your path is presenting is creating a self space for that conversation to happen. When she started flickr was the human component introducing people to one another. So you're the hostesss of this party not happening anywhere else. So you should probably not think about and focus on creating that self space of passion information. s2 one of the popular thing to search on is illnesses and diseases and the way that people will find you is in researching their own problems AM one of the things that I wanted to share about what we talked about earlier and one thing my sister says is what would you say if you were a big white frat guy. Oh my God you have to listen to what I have to say. He may not have the best judgement but help me to talk about some stuff. s2 In our remaining 10 minutes we'll talk about tools. s1 as an independent list serves, Facebook groups, finding people who have a similar, those will be the things that will be able to serve you well. Two books I suggest reading War of Art and Mastery. Another thing is you don't have to do it alone but the more people you've brought into to help you the better. My other takeaway is I always felt like I had to have all of my own original thoughts. Looking at metrics and analytic tools service helps to map out whose talking about me and so I can feel good about myself. To set up a feedback list. s2 google has alerts will allow you to set up searches for yourself here are my resources. A book called The Way we're Working Isn't Working-Love your body I think you can read well you don't have to read the whole book but what I love is that it turns it on itself, if what you're trying to do is leave a legacy or make a change the best thing you can possibly do is to take care of yourself exercise and eat well so that you're able to function. If I get 7.5 hours of sleep I can get so much more done How We Decide is a book all about emotions the thing that helps up make the best decisions is our emotion brain. Basically your brain puts a lot of information in a box and cranks out a feeling and that that is how we make decisions learning to trust yourself. I do SWOT A list of strengths weakness opportunities and threats. And finally inspire yourself and maybe that is going out in nature, a call with family friends looking up for an inspirational quote. Sometimes people are moved and different quotes will touch different people. Look for ways to inspire yourself and you're perfect just the way you are. s1 when the universe was shattered into several different pieces but the thought is that if everyone does a small piece to get it all together. and another thing that is when I showed you that picture of my crazy life, one thing is that there is no path but just a network. s2 there is no path at pathfinder. I will end with a quote "Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the starts to change the world " May you find the strength, patience and passion to find your no path.