I love when I find new sites that are doing good things. I was introduced to neo.org today and feel the need to shout out. Much like a reminder to stay authentic, this site is a simple concept of declaring your intentions and passing them on to be inspire others into doing the same. The act of declaring gives cause for reflection. Beautiful. Thank you and kudos to Bill Liau for another great work.
A great simplified explanation of social media. I thought I would share it, as many ask me what it is all about. Thanks to CommonCraft for producing this great short clip.
Indeed, some days are more trying than others as a start-up Internet based site. After sending out invitations and reminders to over 1000 networks around the globe, our connection to our hosting site went down not once, but twice. The standard line, of course, always holds, “we apologise for any inconvenience this might have caused you.” We pick up the pieces. The is site not damaged, but feeling a bit bruised ourselves. The invites will go out again with a new letter of apology to ensure that everyone has ample opportunity to try again. Those of you who were unable to get on the site on Friday or Monday, please know that 2BalanceU is indeed live. We are doing what we can to provide a more stable environment for the future.
Fourty is still quite young, but passing this age marker gave me pause to contemplate my life. It is not that I feel old, quite the contrary. It commenced self inquiry as to who am I, where am I going, and who do I want to be. What became quite apparent for me was that I need to work on taking care of me a bit better. You know that old, “practice what you preach bit.”
I have spent the last two years building bridges for networks, organisations and other women to help them grow. Somewhere in the midst of it, I forgot to connect the bridge back to myself, as an individual. I have begun my fourtieth year with a promise to myself to feed my soul and connect locally. I will participate more in my local and region networks. I will nurture the local friendships that have sprouted since relocating to Sweden two years ago.
To ensure that I can enjoy the next fourty or so years, I will join a gym and get my body moving again. A former exercise junky, I have spent far too much time putting exercise as a low priority. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity for both my mental and physical health.
I will work on my self-awareness. This is a tough one. It is easy to say, not so easy to do. Noticing from little indicators, is key to my keeping a healthy not heavy heart. Indicators, like a cluttered desk, laundry piled high, excess sugar and caffeine intake, writers block are all things that tell me that I need to step back and evaluate. The good thing is that the first three can all be fixed, and the fourth is often fixed by working on the others.
Part and parcel with this is to reach out when I need to and talk about it instead of going it alone. So I will follow my own advice that I give my children “use your words.” I often hear myself say to them that I cannot help them unless they tell me what is bothering them. Well, it is time to use my words. And so I share them with you.
Women and network leaders have been contacting me all year to ask me how to get Swedish women more involved in international networks. I have to admit I have been asking myself the same question. We all work, we have the classic double duty of being in charge of the home and family as well as our careers. But it is not simply a matter of time. We are not placing a high enough priority on our needs for connecting. Is it lack of ambition? I definitely do not think so. But a culture opposed to risk taking might be a better explanation. The women I meet who do “get out” are quite exceptional and not what I would call “typically Swedish” in that regard.
As my adopted home country, I feel it is my duty to try to do what I can to remedy this. I have met so many wonderful women around the world and at home. I just can’t imagine them not benefiting from interacting with one another. Whether it be for social, professional or personal reasons, we all have something to gain from the interaction. Even if it is simply to get a fresh perspective. Or even better to realize that often our views are the same once the cultural blinders are removed.
So here is my shout out. Ladies, you have nothing to lose but a missed opportunity. Take a chance, reach out, try a new network, attend an event, treat yourself to a weekend away and enjoy the new connections you can make and the richness that they add to your life.
With stress levels running at an all time high, I feel the need to take a moment to remind myself and others of the need and power of friendship. Here is beautiful rendition of the classic “You’ve Got a Friend.” Thank you my friends. Hang in there girls!
Yes, well, the saying does say something along the lines of “if we build it they will come.” Unfortunately things are never quite that easy. Fighting the urge to be a perfectionist and avoid launching to partners before every little tweak and twist is complete. There will always be more we can do and things that can be improved. Just as that first day you send our daughters off to school with their hair and clothes seemingly perfect and a large smiles on their faces. We know they will come home with skinned knees and stories of adventure, both in success and failure. So, off she goes.
Of course, it would help if the newsletter function worked. So, we fix and tweak some more while they repair that function. We just hope when our girl comes home from school, her teachers and peers can tell us what we can do to improve ours and their experience. So, please go, test, take her for a spin around the playground. We promise we will listen to suggestions if there are improvements to be made. In the interest of avoiding myopic vision, it is time to get out of the house.
Thank you Avivah for reminding us of the importance of supporting women in business.
The user site to 2BalanceU is finally live. Of course, we will continue to build and add in more features, but the base is there to commence sharing. Over the next few weeks we will be sending out the launch packages to our partners.
Thanks to Tim Driver, CEO of RetirementJobs.com and a very wise man that I am honored to have as part of our Advisory Board, we had a major “A-Ha moment”. We recognised that 2BalanceU is a “social bookmarking” site more than a social search site. All these buzz words don’t amount to much other than trying to clarify what we do to those interested. The functionality remains the same. Although, realising this, we have moved up the scheduling for integrating our bookmark upload tool that should have gone out with the launch. We are still learning and I hope the learning will never end.
There is still work to be done, but it is a relief to finally have a user site to direct people to and to encourage people to share.