#DigitalSisterhood Wednesday Celebrates AARP Decide.Create.Share. Initiative & Author Sondra Wright


AARP DC Decide.Create.Share. Event on 9.17.13

AARP DC Decide.Create.Share. Event on 9.17.13

Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday!

Last night, I attended the AARP Decide.Create.Share. (DCS) event for women at LivingSocial in Washington, D.C. Decide.Create.Share. is an initiative designed to help women do three things:

  • Decide what kind of future they want for themselves.
  • Create a long-term plan that will help them address their health, financial, legal, and home issues and achieve their goals.
  • Share their long-term plan with the important people in their lives.

The initiative includes a 40 Day Pledge that offers women an opportunity to make a commitment to complete a Living Longer, Living Smarter plan for their future. It covers four critical areas of life— home and community, health, finances and wishes.

The DCS event was attended by a diverse group of women representing various ages and ethnicities. We participated in an engaging session led by Sondra Wright, a women empowerment entrepreneur, author of 40+ and Fabulous: Moving Forward Fierce, Focused and Full of Life!, and founder of 40 Plus and Fabulous, LLC (see photos at the bottom of the photo collage above). Wright shared personal stories from her own life as she introduced us to the DCS initiative and explained the benefits of each component.

As a group, we had a chance to reflect on the current state of our home, health, finances, and wishes. We also explored our future needs in these key areas. Throughout the session, Wright’s invitation to the audience for deeper sharing produced conversations that revealed lessons learned we could all gain wisdom from. She also encouraged the audience to commit to living better, healthier, stronger, and more aware lives now. As I watched her and the AARP team share DCS golden nuggets, I realized I was witnessing DCS in real-time. They made it come alive for me. They also inspired me to follow through on the DCS 40 Day Pledge I made to myself and discussed during my most recent blog update. Many thanks to the AARP DCS Campaign for hosting an amazing, informative, and energizing event!

Have you taken the 40 Day Pledge yet? If yes, how has it helped you?

If not, sign up today and get started on planning for your future!

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Enjoy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday!!!!!

Best,

Ananda Leeke, Digital Sisterhood Network founder

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Disclaimer: This blog post was written in support of Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle and Living Well initiative and participation in AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Initiative.

DC Area Digital Sisters Attend AARP Decide.Create.Share. Event for Women & Long-Term Planning on September 17


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Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday!

Do you know about AARP’s Decide.Create.Share. Initiative and the 40 Day Pledge for women and long-term planning?

AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Initiative is designed to help women do three things: 1) Decide what kind of future they want for themselves. 2) Create a long-term plan that will help them address their health, financial, legal, and home issues and achieve their goals. 3) Share their long-term plan with the important people in their lives. The 40 Day Pledge offers you an opportunity to make a commitment to complete a Living Longer, Living Smarter plan for your future. It covers four critical areas of your life—your home and community, your health, your finances and your wishes. This summer

This year, the Digital Sisterhood Network became a blogger ambassador for AARP’s Decide.Create.Share. Kitchen Cabinet because the initiative promotes our mission of inspiring women to live well and maintain a healthy lifestyle. As a blogger ambassador, we used our digital platforms to educate and encourage women to take the 40 day Pledge. If you missed reading the blog posts click on the titles below.

Next week, Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke will attend AARP’s Decide.Create.Share. event for women and long-term planning on September 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Living Social in Washington, D.C. If you are in D.C., join her at the session or come to an earlier session to learn more about the program. See the details below.

 

aarpdcsinvitation

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Disclaimer: This blog post was written in support of Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle and Living Well initiative and participation in AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Initiative.

Digital Sisters Give Yourself Permission to Live Your Best Life!


Photo Credit: O, The Oprah Magazine

Photo Credit: O, The Oprah Magazine

Hi Digital Sisters,

I love reading O Magazine, especially the Live Your Best Life page which always includes a quote that sinks deep into my heart and soul. The photo above features a quote from Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher and author of the Tao Te Ching: “Cultivate the inner self, its Power becomes real .” When we slow down and take a few moments to breathe in and out deeply, we are creating space to check in with ourselves. Whenever we do this, we can get in touch with and listen to our inner selves. When is the last time you slowed down and took a few moments to breathe deeply and connect with your inner self?

This past weekend, I participated in the Digital Sisterhood Unplugged Weekend which involved taking some major breaks from my digital life, electronic devices, and to-list. During my “Unplugged” breaks I made time to practice meditation and deep breathing exercises, take a “Vin, Yin & Zin” yoga workshop that included yoga and wine (yes really!) on Friday night, go running on Saturday and Sunday mornings, practice yoga in the park on Sunday morning, and go on a long walk after church on Sunday morning. During my walk, I noticed the summer beauty of my neighborhood. Afterwards, I started to check in with and listen to my inner self. Guess what she had to say? She reminded me I needed to give myself permission to deepen my commitment to live my best life. For me, that meant completing several financial, health, home, and legal projects. In order to take action, I knew I needed accountability. That’s why I decided to participate in AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Initiative’s 40 Day Pledge campaign.

AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Initiative is designed to help women do three things: 1) Decide what kind of future they want for themselves. 2) Create a long-term plan that will help them address their health, financial, legal, and home issues and achieve their goals. 3) Share their long-term plan with the important people in their lives. The 40 Day Pledge offers you an opportunity to make a commitment to complete a Living Longer, Living Smarter plan for your future. It covers four critical areas of your life—your home and community, your health, your finances and your wishes. Over the course of 40 days you will complete seven steps and receive email reminders outlining important actions to complete or consider to take charge of your future. The action steps are easy to complete. They will not take a lot of your time!

Check out my 40 Day Pledge commitment below.

I pledge to use the next 40 days to complete the checklists and worksheets on the Create.Decide.Share. web site, complete 15% of the my projects included below, and prepare a schedule for completing the remaining 85% of my projects in 2013.

1) Financial – Personal and Business Project

Personal

  • File my current financial records.
  • Prepare a list of all monthly expenses and account numbers for each creditor, utility providers, and mortgage company).
  • Create a list of all my usernames and passwords for bank, credit, debit, web site, and social media accounts. Share the list with close family members.
  • Meet with my Ameriprise financial advisor Judy Weathers for the 3rd quarter meeting to discuss my current policies for disability and long-term care, emergency fund, and retirement savings. Also, schedule the 4th quarter meeting.
  • Obtain a safe deposit box.

Business

  • Submit monthly invoices to vendors and clients on time.
  • Prepare a list of upcoming expenses for 3rd and 4th quarters.
  • Prepare a list of all current revenue streams for the 3rd and 4th quarters.
  • Identify additional revenue streams for 3rd and 4th quarters and map out plans to obtain them.

2) Health Project

  • Obtain my health records from my previous doctor and send them to my new doctor.
  • Schedule my eye, dental, and foot appointments before the end of the year.
  • Prepare a list of my vitamins, medications, medical care providers and acupuncturist’s contact information, and health/eye/dental/long-term care/disability/life insurance policy information. Share the list with close family members.
  • Review my health records and file the current records in order.

3) Home Project

  • Make several copies of my deed to my property and file in my safe deposit box and personal home files.
  • Update my home insurance plan inventory list with new equipment and the value of any personal property.
  • Create a contact list of all home service providers (plumber, heat/air conditioner, painter, and contractors).
  • Identify summer clothing and books I no longer need. Give them to charity.
  • Prepare a list of items and furniture I plan to purchase in the next 6 months to a year and map out the best times to purchase them.

4) Legal Project

  • Review and update my will (include statement about how to handle my social media accounts and web sites when I die) and healthcare power of attorney. Have the documents notarized. Give copies to my close family members and file a copy in the my safe deposit box.
  • Review my real estate property deed and related documents. File them away safely.

Now you have a good idea of what I will be doing for the rest of the summer season. Let me ask you a question. What does living your best life mean to you?

You are worthy of living your best life. So give yourself permission to live it. Go on and jumpstart the process of living longer and living smarter by investing in yourself this summer. Join me in taking the 40 Day Pledge. Click here to get started. Enjoy your journey!

All the best,

Ananda Leeke, Digital Sisterhood Network Founder

PS: Be sure to follow AARP Decide.Create.Share on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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Disclaimer: This blog post was written in support of Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle and Living Well initiative and participation in AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Initiative.

Digital Sisters Are You Thinking About Your Future?


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Guess what the Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is doing this summer? DSN is partnering with AARP’s Blogger Kitchen Cabinet for the Decide. Create. Share Campaign as a part of our Leadership, Lifestyle, and Living Well Initiative.  AARP’s Decide. Create. Share Campaign is designed to help women do three things: 1) Decide what kind of future they want for themselves. 2) Create a long-term plan that will help them address their health, financial, legal, and home issues and achieve their goals. 3) Share their long-term plan with the important people in their lives.
DSN became a part of the AARP Decide. Create. Share. Campaign because we know our Digital Sisters are smart women with busy lives and responsibilities. We know our Digital Sisters have opinions and feelings. We know our Digital Sisters care about themselves and their families, friends, colleagues, and communities. We know our Digital Sisters make a difference. We know our Digital Sisters matter. That’s why we are using our blog and Facebook page from July 12 to July 18 to ask you one question. Are you thinking about your future when it comes to long-term planning for your health, finances, legal issues, and home issues?  Please share your feelings, opinions, and stories in the comment section below or on the DSN Facebook Page.
Photo Credit: AARP.org

Photo Credit: AARP.org

Disclaimer: This blog post was written in support of Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle and Living Well initiative and participation in AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Campaign.

#DSMonth Day 5 Recap: Digital Sisterhood Twitter Chat with Sian Morson, Founder of Kollective Mobile


Photo Credit: Sian Morson

Photo Credit: Sian Morson

Day five of Digital Sisterhood Month featured a Twitter chat with Kollective Mobile founder Sian Morson. The topic was “Tech Women’s Creativity.” During the chat, Sian shared five wisdom thoughts she gained from her creative experiences in the digital space. See below.

1) Everyone brings something to the table. Never discount someone’s idea or opinion.

2) Everything has a place. I learned to adapt to my engineers’ orderly, linear way of thinking.

3) Collaboration is beautiful. It’s easier to work with people than against them.

4) Anonymity is almost impossible. So when I have a moment of privacy I cherish it.

5) Always remember to have fun. It doesn’t have to be serious all of the time.

Celebrate Day 7 of Digital Sisterhood Month: Q&A Session with Christine Arylo, Author of Madly in Love with Me


Photo Credit: Christine Arylo

Photo Credit: Christine Arylo

Happy Day #7 of Digital Sisterhood Month (#DSMonth)!

Today, Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is celebrating how women express the #DSMonth theme of “Creativity + Great Health = Fierce Living Women.” Many women use the practice of self-love to embrace their creativity, maintain great health, and live fiercely. One of our favorite advocates and teachers of self-love is Christine Arylo, author of Madly in Love with Me. Read the question and answer (Q&A) session below to learn more about Arylo’s self-love principles.

Q & A with Author Christine Arylo

DSN: Isn’t loving yourself selfish or narcissistic?

CA: Self-love is so misunderstood. If you looked self-love up in the dictionary, yes, it is defined as conceit, vanity and narcissism but whoever came up that definition has it all wrong. People who do suffer from narcissism or excess vanity actually lack love for themselves. Their extreme self-centeredness and unawareness of their impact on others is really a cover for a deep sense of inferiority, a fear of connection and a low self-worth. Thankfully, narcissism isn’t contagious and most people don’t need to worry about being too selfish. If anything, they need to give to themselves more.

Loving yourself is the same as loving another person, the energy of love is just pointed in a different direction. Think of it this way, you’d never say loving your parents or friends was selfish, and neither is giving love to yourself. Imagine giving love to someone in your life that you deeply care about. Notice how good it feels to give love to that person – in all kinds of ways including affection, caring, acknowledgement, honor, compassion, etc. Now imagine taking that same energy and directing the love at yourself – giving yourself affection, care, acknowledgement, honor, compassion, etc. Same energy. Love is never selfish.

DSN: What is self-love? What does it really mean to love yourself?

CA:Some day I will petition the dictionary people to change the definition for self-love, but for now to set the record straight, here’s a truthful definition for self-love: Self-love is the unconditional love and respect you have for yourself that is so deep, so solid, so unwavering that you choose only situations and relationships – including the one you have with yourself – that reflect that same unconditional love and respect.

In our culture, there are a lot of words other than self-love that people are much more comfortable using – self-esteem, self-awareness, self-care, self-worth, self-compassion – words that many people mistakenly believe are the same as self-love. While all the ideas expressed by these words are components of self-love, none alone is a synonym for self-love. Love is a specific, un-paralleled, and all-powerful vibration, and none of these aspects of self-love has that power on their own – but put them together and WOW! You’ve got a tree of self-love!

Photo Credit: Christine Arylo

Photo Credit: Christine Arylo

DSN: Okay, so say I do believe that loving myself is a good idea, how do I actually do it?

CA: Once a person gets that loving themselves is a good idea, and they get past all that fear around it being selfish or vain, they always ask, “How do I love myself?” Self-love can feel so vast and esoteric and it can get thrown around casually, “Oh, sure I love myself,” when if you were to look at that person’s life you would see the areas where they do choose love and where they don’t act lovingly towards themselves. Loving yourself isn’t black and white, as in either you are a person who does or doesn’t. It isn’t some nirvana state you master and achieve and then can just forget about. Loving yourself is a choice you make, or don’t, in every moment of every day for the rest of your life.

The first step is to become aware of the ways in which you are a rock star at being a best friend to yourself and the ways that you have a hard time making choices and taking actions that align with love. To make this accessible and tangible for people, I teach the 10 Branches of Self-Love and guide people how to identify where they are weak so they can GROW their self-love in this place, and also how to identify where they are strong, so they can make KEEP the love flowing, and also make sure they don’t over-rely on any one branch, which will throw you out of balance.

DSN: You say that it’s possible to have too much self-esteem. What do you mean?

CA: Self-esteem is the strong belief in and regard for yourself. It is a strong confidence in your ability to do and be anything. And while we definitely want to foster self-esteem (it wasn’t that long ago that self-esteem wasn’t a common culturally acceptable ideal), self-esteem on it’s own is not enough – it’s only 1/10th of the self-love equation.

Without self-compassion, you can have tons of self-esteem, but you will be extremely hard on yourself. We are creating a culture of hardened high achievers failing to use the power of the tools of the heart – equating confidence to strength and compassion to weakness, which just isn’t true. Today, women and children are extremely emotionally hard on themselves, driven by the unrealistic expectations to do, be and have it all. And with little training and understanding of self-compassion, they silently beat themselves up, all the while appearing like they have it all together to the outside world.

You need all 10 branches of self-love – self awareness & honesty, self-acceptance, self-care, self-compassion & forgiveness, self-trust, self-esteem, self-empowerment, self-respect & self-honor, self-pleasure, and self-expression cared for, nurtured and fully blooming.

DSN: How do you cultivate a strong and independent sense of self-worth?

CA: The first stage of cultivating a really strong and independent self-worth is making sure that all 10 of your self-love branches are in a healthy state. They may not all be fully blooming, but they are headed in the right direction, which means that you need to be aware of how your life is supporting these aspects of yourself – or not – each being essential to your happiness and health.

So as not to activate the over-achiever gene or send anyone into overwhelm, I recommend choosing one branch of self-love to focus on for a given time frame, and creating a 40-day self-love practice around it. 40-days is the minimum amount of time – as the yogi’s, brain scientists, and metaphysicians agree that is the amount of time it takes to identify and release a self-sabotaging habit. And then, if you want to replace that with a new self-loving habit, 120 days is even better.

As you heal and grow the branches of your tree, the entire tree as well as the roots will flourish. Increasing your self-compassion will have a positive affect on your self-care and ability to value what is really important to you. Growing your self-empowerment will increase your self-expression, you will feel more seen and as a result more valued or who you truly are.

The second stage is all about Knowing Your Worth. This doesn’t happen overnight – coming back to your true self-worth is a profound spiritual journey but there are some powerful and accessible places to start including:

-Removing the toxins of judgment and unrealistic expectations – they gotta go!

-Giving up Comparison and Embracing your unique divine imprint – and how valuable that is.

-Embracing the truth of who you are, why you are here and how valuable that really is

-Redefining success and happiness on your terms

-Taking bold and courageous acts to get your life into alignment with your heart and soul

-Believing the truth you were born knowing – you are enough, just as you are. There is only one you, and that too is enough.

DSN: With all the information out there about taking care of yourself and being healthy why do women especially have such a hard time giving themselves permission to actually do the things they know they should do to take care of themselves?

CA: Most women know what they need to do to take good care of – replenish, nourish, nurture – themselves, they just literally cannot give themselves permission to do so. It’s not the information they’re missing, it’s the permission to do what a best friend would do in an instant, tell us “Honey, take a break, take care of yourself, the rest will wait. I insist!”

The reason most of have such a hard time following through on what we know we need, is because even though we want it, we don’t value it.  We value giving over receiving. Doing over being. Why? Because we’ve been reading from the wrong handbooks — the Self Sacrifice Handbook and the Self Esteem Handbook instead of the Self-Love Handbook. The former ascribes that we must give, and give and give to others, and then give some more, until there is nothing left. Only when we have given all we have, have we given enough. This Self-Sacrifice Handbook works from the mantra “It’s better to give than receive” rather than “It’s better to give and receive.” Hence why we have little problem giving care, nourishment, nurturing to others, but the thought of giving this love to ourselves comes with a big guilt sandwich. Driven by the belief that it’s good and honorable to give to others, and selfish to give to ourselves, it’s no wonder it’s so hard to give ourselves the care we need.

The Self-Esteem Handbook makes matters worse by equating our value with how much we do, the more we do the better and more valuable we are. There is no chapter in this handbook about valuing ourselves based on “being,” no lessons on relaxing or how to have more impact by doing less. So when we find ourselves not doing, we start questioning our value and worth. Our value has become equated to how much we can get done in a day or a week or achieve in a lifetime legacy. So if we aren’t actively pursuing something or being busy, we feel bad, like we should be doing something.

Next time you find yourself having trouble giving yourself permission to take care of yourself, take a b.f.f. daring act of love and ask and answer this question, ‘What do you need to take care of yourself today?” And then make sure that you receive it – no matter what!

Photo Credit: Christine Arylo

Photo Credit: Christine Arylo

DSN: Is it true that you actually got the day before Valentines Day – February 13th – officially dedicated to be the international day of self-love? What’s this all about?

CA: With so much attention given to February 14th and Valentines Day, and frankly a day that currently causes more suffering than happiness, I knew we needed the day before to be a day when people could take their love power back – to get that they are loved even without a romantic partner – and a day when people could fill themselves up first with love so they had extra to give.

On February 13th, I invite people to choose one branch of self-love and make a promise to themselves that will help them grow that branch all year long. These promises give people an anchor point to come back to during their day to day life, to choose love. For example, if your branch is self-pleasure, your promise might be “I choose to have fun and do what brings me joy no matter how much work there is to do.” Or if your branch is self-care your promise could be “I promise to ask myself what I need and then take action to give that care to myself.”

Every February, our team, Team Love goes on the road and holds self-love-a-poolza’s, and our Love Ambassadors around the world throw self-love parties of their own. Last year 500 people threw parties in 31 countries and 41 states. Which makes for a lot of people taking and keeping the promise to love themselves all year long.

DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post written by Ananda Leeke, Founder of Digital Sisterhood Network. Leeke is currently reading and enjoying Madly in Love with Me. Her favorite quote from Arylo’s book is:

“The ability to care for yourself requires an intimate knowledge of and concern for what you need at any given time, and an unapologetic determination to give it to yourself.”

This quote became her December wisdom thought and reminded her to take care of herself as she finishes her memoir, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online.

DigitalunDivided.com’s #FOCUS100 Symposium and Pitch Bootcamp


Photo Credit: DigitalunDivided.com

Calling all Black women in tech!

Learn more about DigitalunDivided.com’s  #FOCUS100 Symposium and Pitch Bootcamp on October 5 and 6 in New York City.  #FOCUS100 will connect tech startups founded or co-founded by black women with industry thought leaders, brand managers, and innovators. The event consists of a half-day pre-event pitch bootcamp, followed by a full-day symposium featuring panels, mentorship sessions and a pitch competition with top angel investors and VCs. Visit  for more information.

Click here to register NOW & Receive 40% off! The early bird code expires August 1, 2012. Be sure to use the code SAVETHEDATE.

The Budget Fashionista Kathryn Finney is the brainchild behind DigitalunDivided.com and #FOCUS100.

Digital Sisterhood Network is serving as a media partner for the event.  Ananda Leeke is serving on #FOCUS100 Advisory Board.

Digital Sisters at the Minority Media & Telecom Conference in DC


Conference Program

The Minority Media & Telecom Council (MMTC) hosted its 10th Annual Access to Capital and Telecommunications Policy Conference on July 18 and 19, 2012, at the Westin Georgetown Hotel in Washington, D.C. “Financing the Transition to the Digital Economy” was the conference theme. Many thanks to Maurita Coley, Esq., Chief Operating Officer of MMTC, for inviting Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke to the conference.

MMTC Conference Audience

Digital Sisters Ananda and Maurita Coley

About MMTC:

MMTC was established 26 years ago as a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications, and broadband industries. Today, MMTC is the leading advocate for minority participation in the communications industries.  The organization’s programs seek to preserve and expand minority ownership and equal employment opportunity in these industries and to close the digital divide. Visit http://www.mmtconline.com. Follow MMTC on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mmtconline. Use the hashtag #MMTC2012 to learn more about the 10th annual conference.

Conference Highlights:

Ananda with the MMTC Program Book

Women Entrepreneurs Panel

Kristal High and Issa Rae

Digital Sisters Kristal and Ananda

One of the perks of living in Washington, D.C. is having access to amazing events such as MMTC’s conference session on Five Decades of Entrepreneurial Women moderated by Kristal High, Editor-In-Chief and Founder of Politics365 – http://politic365.com.  The panel discussion focused on five women entrepreneurs’ experiences, successes, challenges, and coping strategies used to overcome barriers in the media and communications industries. Click here to see event photos.

Members of the panel included:

1) Issa Rae

Producer/Director/Writer of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, a webisode series launched in 2011

http://twitter.com/issarae

http://awkwardblackgirl.com

2) Lauren deLisa Coleman

Founder of Punch Media Group and Independent Mobile and Emerging Tech Specialist

http://www.ldcoleman.com

http://twitter.com/mediaempress

3) Brigitte Daniel

Executive Vice President, Wilco Electronics Systems, Inc.

http://twitter.com/brigittedaniel

http://www.wilcoinc.com

4) Debra Berlyn

President, Consumer Policy Solutions

http://consumerpolicysolutions.com

http://www.consumerawarenessproject.org

http://twitter.com/dberlyn

5) Clara McLaughlin Leath

Owner/Publisher/Editor of The Florida Star and The Georgia Star (she also advocated to bring journalism to Howard University’s School of Communications during her Howard undergraduate years)

http://www.thegeorgiastar.com

Women Entrepreneurs Panel

Women Entrepreneurs Panel

The panelists shared their perspectives on access to human and financial capital. The human capital discussion addressed the advantages of being a woman in the media and communications industries, and the impact of having or not having mentors and sponsors to support career and business goals.

The financial capital discussion provided case studies on how the women entrepreneurs financed their businesses. Issa Rae shared her Kickstarter fundraising experience. The first episode of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (ABG) cost $25 to make. Issa used the money to buy her crew lunch. When she created the fourth episode, she hired a crew that offered their services at a reduced rate. She and her team decided to use Kickstarter, a crowd funding website for creative projects, to raise additional money to complete the filming of ABG’s first season. The initial goal was to raise $30,000 in 30 days. At the end of the 30 day process, the team raised $56,259: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1996857943/the-misadventures-of-awkward-black-girl.

Several key lessons Issa learned during the Kickstarter fundraising process included:

  • People treated the Kickstarter campaign as an ABG movement.  As they made donations, they recommended and promoted the show to their network.
  • Her team was successful because they were very specific on what they needed the money for and shared their goals in a compelling video that was posted on the Kickstarter campaign web site.
  • People invest in your talent and craft when they are donating to Kickstarter campaigns.
  • Kickstarter is great for people who have tech products and projects.

Women Entrepreneurs Panel

Lauren deLisa Coleman discussed how she is funding her efforts as a socio-economic ditigalist through fellowships and grants that offer funding for projects with a digital perspective. Lauren learned about women of color in the tech industry who are using fellowships and grants to finance their efforts such as Tara Roberts, co-founder of GirlTank, a female-focused social start-up that supports young women entrepreneurs all over the world, by writing a series of profiles for MadameNoire.com: http://madamenoire.com/182461/behind-the-click-tara-roberts-co-founder-of-girltank.

Debra Berlyn shared how she has used corporate support to finance Consumer Policy Solutions’ projects that educate consumers about wireless, broadband, and online safety and security issues.  She discovered that companies have embraced the consumer education projects as good business practices.

Clara McLaughlin Leath spoke about how she expanded the distribution of her newspapers  to include Walmart stores as a way of increasing her business’ capacity to sell more newspapers to a wider audience.  She also used her newspaper’s audience to confirm whether they still have an interest in purchasing it on a regular basis.

Digital Sisters Ananda and Issa Rae

Wisdom Takeaways from Panelists:

1) Lauren deLisa Coleman: Use what is innate. Bring it out and express it organically so that it represents who you are.

2) Clara McLaughlin Leath: You have to look at things, decide what’s missing, and ask for help to get what you need.

3) Brigett Daniel: Have patience while building your business.

4) Lauren deLisa Coleman: Always check in with yourself to see if you are thinking in a larger way.

5) Issa Rae: Define what you need. Be clear about the positions you need people to play in your business or project. You can learn a lot from your mistakes and by simple doing what you are called to do.  Trial and error are key.

If you missed the powerful session, don’t fret. Click here to watch a video (64 min.) on UStream.tv (technology is beautiful!).

Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project Profile – Chrysula Winegar


Photo Credit: Chrysula Winegar

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Chrysula Winegar.

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

Late 2008.  After the birth of my fourth child, I realized I had some things to say and a lot I wanted to learn.

3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?

Social media allowed me to gain wider circulation for my thinking and point of view.  It enabled incredible connections with others in the leadership, work life balance, and coaching spaces.  It led me to my business partners.  It also led me to working with the UN Foundation as the Community Manager for http://millionmomschallenge.org, an initiative to raise awareness of global maternal and child health issues.   In addition, social media motivated me to start running and helped me fundraise for www.everymothercounts,org.  Now I am running my first marathon in NYC in November!!  In short, social media is a critical thread running through all elements of my life.

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.”  Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings.  They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

By hitting publish on a blog full of opinions, data, and perspective that I must own and take responsibility for, I have had to embrace my own views and take courage in them. The connections forged and the curation social media allows has helped me further shape my thinking on key issues and solidified my expertise in my chosen areas. That has translated into many public speaking experiences where I am offering guidance and leadership to others.

5) Social media has helped women become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online.  In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (Fall 2012), Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, writes, “Without even knowing it, women have become Digital Sisterhood Leaders as they use their social media platforms to advocate causes; to build communities; to create apps, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; to curate content; to educate and inform; to give voice to their thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; to share information and experiences; to explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; to engage in social good; to influence others with their lifestyles and personal interests; to inspire and motivate; to mentor; to network; to tell their personal stories; and to promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others.  Based on my online and offline interactions, I have identified 12 key leadership roles they play: advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.”

What other types of leadership roles do women play in social media?

That’s a pretty exhaustive list! Not sure I can add to it. I feel like all of those titles apply and I have embraced each one in different things I’ve done in my online life – sometimes all at once!

6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?

The leadership roles I play in social media include advocate, community builder, educator, motivator, promoter, social do gooder and storyteller  for maternal and child health issues in the developing world; advocate, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, storyteller and thought leader in the work life balance conversation. I’m also a storyteller in everything that I do.

7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?

Don’t be afraid to change your mind.  As your ideas evolve, it is essential to be open, but make sure it’s grounded in principles and values so you’re not just blowing in the wind.

8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?

Yes, but I am not ready to discuss yet.

9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?

Emily McKhann of themotherhood.com is so authentic and warm and real. She has built a community based on heart and smarts. Morra Aarons-Mele of wearewomenonline.com is a genius (no really), incredibly generous, and such a great advocate of women’s influence online. Gabby Blair brings a great deal of fun and beauty to the business, but underneath it all, she is a very sharp entrepreneur. I love how she brings it all together. Katherine Stone of postpartumprogress.com has done so much to show us how to build communities and really change the conversation at a global level on an issue.  Kristina Daniele of weofhue.com is influencing the dialogue around race in profound ways.  There are so many! I cannot even begin to list them all. I am influenced by some incredible women in the space.

10) Share three ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.

  • Just get out there and use the medium, even if you don’t understand it yet. A few nights diving in to the insanity of Twitter is the only way to really get it.
  • Expand your Facebook usage to go beyond family updates or cute pictures.
  • Get bold and share what you think on an issue or an article. As Moms Rising says, “use your outside voice”!

Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project Profile – Rachel Matos


 

Photo Credit: Rachel Matos

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Rachel Matos.

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media two or three years ago to promote my work as an actress and arts educator.  I’m no longer acting because I now have a job in social media, which I love.

3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?

It has given me work. I developed many friendships. I’m part of extraordinary communities with like-minded people. I realized that my all my work experiences can be used for a bigger purpose and cause.

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.”  Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings.  They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

Since working with Latina Bloggers Connect (which started as a Twitter conversation with Ana Flores that lead to a job), I have been able to take on leadership roles as an Account Executive. This position has helped me make smart business decisions about my own blog and brand.  It has also opened other doors to write about arts and culture, which makes me a leader in using social media to promote the arts — especially as a Latina woman.

5) Social media has helped women become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online.  In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (Fall 2012), Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, writes, “Without even knowing it, women have become Digital Sisterhood Leaders as they use their social media platforms to advocate causes; to build communities; to create apps, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; to curate content; to educate and inform; to give voice to their thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; to share information and experiences; to explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; to engage in social good; to influence others with their lifestyles and personal interests; to inspire and motivate; to mentor; to network; to tell their personal stories; and to promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others.  Based on my online and offline interactions, I have identified 12 key leadership roles they play: advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.”

What other types of leadership roles do women play in social media?

They help other women out. I love that! For example, a few weeks ago several mothers initiated an online diaper drive.

6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?

I help provide technology help to Latina women who are growing their businesses as a part of my work with Latina Bloggers Connect (LBC). I also inform LBC followers about the different bloggers in our roster. We encourage growth and community.  For The Art Muse blog and web site, I want to inspire women to grab a camera, take pictures, go to art shows, make a collage, and enjoy the simpler things in life. Art can be fun, beautiful, and found in many things around us.

7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?

Watch what you say. There is nothing more annoying than passive aggressive tweets and being negative online. It looks bad. Save your gripes for offline.

8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?

I do! Right now, I’m on the journey and it’s growing organically. I have not set a goal because every week, the blog seems to pass a hurdle in the race without me thinking too much about it. I just work at it every day. Where it takes me, we shall see. I’m content knowing that I’ve inspired several bloggers to buy a camera and start shooting. The quality of their pictures and posts has given them more work. That feels good!

9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?

Carol Cain and Ana Flores.  But I also love Garance Dore, Shini Park, and many others.

10) Share three ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.

  • Engage and bring your brand to life with conversation.
  • Link to your work.
  • Link to the work of other people who fall in line with your brand.