My birthday gift to me? I scheduled a mammogram today.
Schedule yours too. Every two years.
And make sure you get your rest.
Schedule yours too. Every two years.
My decision to move the private Black Women in Europe™ Social Network off of Ning and into two private groups on Facebook and one on LinkedIn was bittersweet. The thought of moving something you created out of personal need and social commitment and built up to over 900 members was sad. What if I loose members? But then again, what if I get more members? What if we grow and enable ourselves to prop each other up even higher? Can I do this all alone? Of course not. But it needed at least one other sister in Europe to step up and say,
“My role here will come as a support of Adrianne’s amazing work”.
Well not exactly that but that is indeed what Laura Bazile, Events professional, fellow sister in Europe, and generous soul said after the announcement was made. She volunteered to be a Facebook group administrator (for sisters in Europe, and sisters on both sides of the Atlantic) even with her busy life running her own business in France and the UK. Yay! I said. And thank you. Laura is a giver (like me). She faithfully writes a Sisters Sharing Knowledge series for the Black Women in Europe™ Blog where she gives professional insights into her work. She describes herself as addicted to travelling, meeting & helping people (I can vouch for that), a blogger, and founder of |SocialRendezvous©| a blog by Laura Bazile. She is a consultant @blufreelance_ (
Merci beaucoup Laura! Cheers. I am very grateful for your support! I thank you and our network thanks you.
Laura Bazile from England
It is not ‘big news’ that we -as professionals, as entrepreneurs or on a personal level, manage a bunch of profiles online. What could be hard to monitor is linking profiles online in order to master this serendipity as a powerful tool. I realized that honest approach and organization are necessary.
Who … are you TALKING to?
Question is “who” you would connect to online. I am a strong believer that “socializing” online is roughly speaking a carbon copy of socializing in real life. The online thing allows to instantly contact a potential customer located in Brazil while keeping in touch with relatives living in Australia. My point here is that you connect online with people who would interact with.
What … is HAPPENING online?
Connecting, sharing, learning … everything we obviously already know about and/or search for in an increasingly more precise and demanding way. The impact of your content will not be the same depending on where you will post it. If you choose to link profiles together, chances are that you will multiply the impact of your message.
When … should I LINK profiles?
As far as you know what you are doing here. “My Facebook page is for friends and relatives only (as this is what I had in mind when I created it), could I get it professional?” It is a no-no. Build a new, professional page/profile because you want to interact professionally there. Period. This is where linking profiles makes sense. You will link profiles which have something is common e.g. its content AND your targeted audience.
Where … should I POST and LINK?
There are no rules, except yours. I created my e_mapping canvas eg. list my online profiles and checked which one is connected to which. This might be used in your professional routine as a dashboard to manage profiles, to delete what became useless, to focus on what you need to develop, identify where you feel comfortable (probably because you reach there people you share value with)…
Why can this be HELPFUL?
Your professional path evolves which means that your message changes as well. All in one, you would choose to use profitably profiles that bring value to your professional scheme. There is not one tool, but there is one choice to be made when interacting online. Value the time you will spend there. It is the best way to move forward.
Have you found the best way to manage profiles or you chose to deal with yours on-the-fly?
Laura Bazile from England
Here is the recipe I tasted a couple of weeks ago when I attended Social Media Week which is a global event, held in various big cities all around the world, at the same time.
~ Whisk together social and events
The “social” side of the event is not the only reason that triggered my decision to attend. My passion about experiencing what digital can bring to events leads me to create my own company providing editing services for event stakeholders. My point here is that running your own business comes with keeping it as “social” as possible eg. networking, connecting with people who have common values, path or experience, create the bridge with suppliers you may develop your business with and … meet potential clients.
~ Add media
You cannot exclude social tools if you wish to communicate on a global scale. I realized that the more techy you are the more demanding you become. I am not speaking of getting the ‘must-have’ handset or create an account on the ‘must-be’ social tool : I am referring to WHAT you can get from what you already have, picking up options that you really need whilst relying on a well-built work frame.
This said, meeting other freelancers, bloggers, professionals is the best way to see if you can 1/ get details from the amazing blogger you just met 2/ provide yours to an agency/supplier/client 3/ write down notes …. all of this at once, hassle-free and efficiently.
~ Bake an one week program
Being away for a business week is only a pretext for step out of your comfort zone. I met amazing people during my business trips, plus I built upon and learnt how to improve my business pitch.
~ Serve immediately, in 5 or more business meetings in London
I had the worst experience ever at the Adam Street Club, right after an event held there during SMW. I took the opportunity of being there with my laptop to jot down ideas before heading to the next event. I kindly asked a staff member if I could stay in the lounge and I was about to order a cup of tea to the barmaid who invited me to take a seat. I assume I probably did not choose the right flavor as another crew member zoomed along, asking me to leave. The best part was when I told her that I actually asked for permission a few minutes seconds earlier. She literally set up what could have been The Court of Justice scene, asking “who did you ask to? could you describe her?” – “Nope… I plead guilty Your Honor! now could you excuse me, actually I am heading to a coffee shop to work and … pay for my drinks!“.
True story/wrong debate, definitely the smartest way to say that optimizing event time by selecting locations where you can work on the fly is a must. Could be a/ from hotel room (quiet enough, with an internet connection) b/ from cosy coffee shops c/ from libraries d/ from co-working spaces. Experiencing working outdoors is the best time to nurture yourself and explore new schemes.
So is this a good recipe to try? I would say “yes” if you choose events that fits your requirements (location, budget, networking potential). Choose what can bring the opportunity to “speak out loud” about your business (make sure you are in the right place for this to avoid procrastination or irrelevance pitfalls – many events offer networking lounges or networking breaks before/after the show).
Are you an entrepreneur? Are you browsing to find the best recipe that could feed the social-side of your business?
Laura Bazile from England
Traveling to Asia for work, I experienced my last trip in a different way, for 5 main reasons:
/As a woman
Traveling goes with being yourself in a different place; as far as I am concerned, the dasher version came like that: a “woman/project exec/in Asia/for 1 week & more” eg. training people, mentoring staff in a fast-paced environment, chasing suppliers, building trustful (pro) relationships, welcoming clients, discovering … What I relied on as a stepping stone is that I took profit immediately from the way I network online. Steps you skip online when networking leave space for creating efficiently a contact. In other words, 3 things are set very fast A-uttering clearly who you are B-what are you here for C-let’s connect! … or not.
/As a Black woman
Staying in a country where people can notice your presence from far away, in a crowd, is fun and eventually not a thing to care about when you love traveling. The only thing I consider carefully is what is an absolute “no-no” as a woman according to local culture and religion.
I have to admit that in Asian countries I have been traveling to (including my last trip), when you fly to mainland, you may bump into people who never came across a Black person … except on TV! Reactions are quite different as it might be “not” noticing your presence at all (or) staring at you …. (or) touching you! Once recovered from that surprise, you realise that technology will definitely never ever replace face-to-face contacts, the essence of human relationship. You may be connected to the “entire world” if I may say, (Asia is far ahead in terms of technologies), the ultimate step remains “creating a bridge to” who is standing right here, in front of you.
/As a professional
Technology is everywhere. Good news or bad news? Not my point here … Being honest, I just loved a stressless environment where you work online from your hostel room, set up a network with supplier meeting requirements as tools and solutions are countless, taking notes at the airport while waiting… Being connected here means a bond with the outside world.
/As a traveler
I am not prima facie a huge fan of Asia (as a world traveler), I have to admit. I took professional trips as an opportunity to discover countries I wouldn’t have planned to travel to. All in one, if you are a traveler, you grasp every little tiny situation to simply nurture yourself.
/As a (woman) backpacker
My only fear lied in getting accurate visas. I have got friends who traveled in Asia/live in India: they gave me useful tips and advice, accordingly to “how” I travel. I managed to book decent hostels, struggled a little bit to find cheap flight deals. Although, my experience here is restricted, I would add that traveling across Asia can be quite tricky on a short trip as stopovers might be very long. Keep that in mind if you wish to visit.
What about you? Any feeling of travel you would like to share?
Laura Bazile is an events professional, loves travelling, meeting & helping people, and is passionate about social media, live & virtual arts, and design.
From Lori van Echtelt in the Netherlands
I started Mariposa Import because I was frustrated at the lack of quality products in Europe in 2004. I took the matter into my own hands. I also knew that having natural hair was not a fad for me but a way of life. I was used to folks making their remarks about my hair within earshot ,”Girl, You need to get a relaxer!’ I giggled out loud and shook my head. Their remarks had no influence on me. I did not understand why a total stranger had something to say about my hair. It said more to me about their own discomfort with natural hair.
We all know that it can be fun looking at You Tube videos or photos of hairstyles. There is nothing wrong with that. You can’t help but admire the sheer talent that is on these videos. Many of these YouTubers have more talent than so-called “hairdressers” who are afraid to touch natural hair. And the ones who do touch your hair are quick to rake a comb through dry natural hair. I am a patient woman but when I witness that, I loose my patience. Hair care is not supposed to hurt.
But what happens if that fascination turns to obsession? When minutes turns to hours on the internet. You lose track of time and days turn into weeks and then months and then years. Has “hair” become your obsession? Does it own you instead of you owning it? Do you have any other hobbies? What about personal relationships or social political events or self-development? Do you see what I am getting at? On the Mariposa Import Facebook page, I show the many hobbies that I engage in. My hair takes less than 5 minutes maximum. That frees up so much personal time to do other things that I love.
I love hair just as much as the next person standing next to me, but there is so much more to life than hair. I see hair just like plants. I treat my plants the same way I treat my hair, give it moisture, quality ingredients, Love and then leave it alone to let it grow. This principle applies to all hair types, no exception. Love the hair that you have right now, at this very moment with no conditions. You would not say to a child, “I will only love you when you reach 1.47 meters”. This is no different. Replace obsession with Love and your hair and life with thank you for it.
Product feature of the month:
I love how this keeps the hair moisturized throughout the day. You can use it on babies to adults. It keeps your fro and twists feeling so soft. Let’s not forget about locs. This is a favorite of loc wearers.
Love Your Hair!
Europe’s First and Original webshop for people with curly and afro hair
Lori van Echtelt is the owner and founder of Mariposa Imports (MI), based in the Netherlands. She was on the Black Women in Europe™ 2010 Power List. Mariposa Import started in February 2004. It is the first and original shop focused on curly and frizzy hair in Western Europe. MI specializes in unique, high quality, hair and skin products from America and Afrika. We only sell products we ourselves use. The products we sell do not contain mineral oil or petrolatum, ingredients which block moisture absorption by the hair. We select products is based on our personal experience and that of our friends.