Expatriatism

Displaced Nation calls Expat Harem a "blog tailored to the thinking expat"

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.04.25 PMThanks to Mary-Lea Awanohara of The Displaced Nation for these kind words! "When the Displaced Nation first started, Anastasia Ashman, an American living in Istanbul, was running a blog tailored to the needs of the “thinking expat.”

"It seemed almost too good to be true: a group of women who were passionate about telling stories that illustrated the impact of the expat life on a person’s psyche. Had Anastasia rubbed a magic lamp to conjure up a kind of foreign harem? After all, her site was called Expat+HAREM. The work she created on the basis of her Turkish expat life has lived on in her wake."

So glad to see this great interview with Katie Belliel and Rose Deniz about their upcoming anthology Sofra: A Gathering of Foreign Voices Around the Turkish Table.

See other posts on this site about Displaced Nation.

Are You On Flipboard?

Are you on Flipboard? I'm testing it out as a curation platform. Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 3.01.45 PMHere are my magazines on social justice, "SJW: There's nothing wrong with wanting to right the world", and forward thinking in culture, media, tech & digital life. See what you think!

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#FilmHerStory: Anicia Juliana

For women's history month,  #filmherstory, an addictive Twitter meme calls attention to female protagonists and their forgotten, ignored, or too-little-known stories we want to see on screen...there are so so many. As far as I can tell, it was started by  curator Shaula Evans, film producer Cat Cooper, Miriam Bale and film and TV creator Lexi Alexander. Read through the suggestions in that Twitter hashtag, and suggest your own.

I suggested a story I've been researching and developing for years, the story of a forgotten monumental woman builder who built the most decorated building in the world and spurred an emperor to best her.

Here's where you can see more about my Byzantine princess story in development, including images and research:

 Click on this mind map to get the scope of the story:ANICIA JULIANA & her church of PolyeuktosScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 12.04.21 PM

I’ve been developing this story since, while creating an Istanbul walking tour for National Geographic Traveler, I literally tripped over the foundations of a social grudge between my superlative-but-forgotten 6th century princess and Justinian — which prompted the Holy Roman Emperor to build his world-beating Haghia Sophia Church a mile down the road. The man needed to best Anicia Juliana. See my Pinterest board about it.

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I'm doing an AMA on Reddit. Come ask me a question.

EDIT: Here's where you can see my completed AMA.

 

Wut.

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I'm doing an AMA on Reddit this Thursday February 5 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern.

AMA stands for "Ask Me Anything", an interview where everyone can participate.

Come ask me some questions?

 

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My topic is "What's so wrong about being Selfish?" and in true AMA fashion, that's just a starting point for what we'll be talking about. I'll be joined by Brock McLaughlin, manager of the Luke Austin Band and a Canadian Selfish brand ambassador who racks up karma points with his obsession of dressing up his pug Sidney Vicious, and Selfish's iOS project manager Marat Kinyabulatov checking in from the Ural Mountains.

 

Here's one of my favorite questions from the day: "Do you think the name "Selfish" might turn people off from joining the network?"

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My answer:

"Yes, it's a hurdle because our associations with the word are so one-sided. Since childhood we've been admonished "don't be selfish." When someone's breaking up with us, we dread hearing the reason "you're selfish." But we have to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we can help anyone else, right? And there's also a growing trend that we need to take care of ourselves, and nourish what we care about.

"We have an assortment of interests and relationships and ways of being. Social networking and mobile apps and visual capture tools should be able to map to those realities, and give us the control and power we desire."

Successor to Expat Harem Launches: Expat Sofra

So thrilled to share this expat lit news! Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 4.07.53 PM

Katherine Belliel and Rose Margaret Deniz, (Expat Harem book and blog writers you'll recognize whom I've had the privilege and pleasure of working with for many years) are now calling for submissions to their new anthology for expat women writers who've lived in Turkey.

It's called Expat Sofra: A Gathering of Foreign Voices Around the Turkish Table.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 4.18.54 PM As they explain,

"Follow in the footsteps of Tales from the Expat Harem by going deep into personal, introspective experiences that have a love and respect for the local culture and traditions.

"Sofra invites you to a second course by taking a seat at the Turkish table.

"Just as the sofra is the heart of the Turkish hearth, we want stories that are steeped in the experience of being an expat in Turkey. The editors have a combined twenty-five years in Turkey and are editing this compilation of essays to give back to the culture that has nourished their lives abroad."

If you've lived in Turkey for at least a year, or know someone who has, take a look at the call for submissions, open to April 1, 2015.

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"At the heart of every story is a flavor. Expats pack their bags with spices from home to find that incorporating it into meals, and subsequently their life abroad, can require trial and error, a sense of humor, and even failure. Relationships flop. Meals get burnt. Life abroad does not taste the same. But it evolves. Becomes enriched. And can even become decadent."

Tending Relationships In The Technological Age: Multiminding

My worlds colliding -- no, integrating! -- at Estee Solomon Gray's Mmindding Symposium on what she calls agile attention management. It's a movement toward our reality as relational beings, supported by the technologies of today. We can do this. We want to do this. We are doing this. The talks were by academics who study things like proxemics and chronemics. The audience was filled with people who are carving out lives and work in just this post-industrial age reality. We're returning to our natural rhythms.

Pictured and not pictured, friends and colleagues and acquaintances from GlobalNiche, future of work thinkers, expat entrepreneurs, TEDxBayArea, Wisdom 2.o conference, Exceptional Women in Publishing, Bryn Mawr College alumnae, Women's Startup Lab.

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Held at Rodan-Fields HQ, pictured: Leslie Forman, Pamela Day, Karen Jaw-Madson, Tanya Monsef Bunger, Maria Judice, Monika Ashman, Shirley Rivera. Also seen at this afternoon of theory and practice of "multi minding", relational thinking and acting for a qualitative life: journalist Liza Dowd, Kevin Marks, creativity expert Austin Hill Shaw, Bonita Banducci, Minda Aguhob of Peak Foqus, salonista Betsy Burroughs.

 

How To Become Your Own North Star On The Internet

We're all digital strategists now.

 

In fact, if you aren't thinking deeply about how and where and with whom you appear and interact on the web, you need to start.

Today. You can and should be using your online presence as a 21st century life & work skill to connect with relevant people, information you need and enriching opportunities. I'm going to help, so you can get started today. (And the resources I'm sharing with you are completely free, so if you want to buy something you'll have to go find a different post.) I've been saying all of this for years. Doing it for years. As a content and digital publishing specialist, I've been showing people how to use their own content to connect purpose and action in digital spaces, for 5 years, both in private and group coaching environments. Along with Tara Agacayak and Tanya Monsef Bunger, I built a curriculum at GlobalNiche, a social web training company that's now shifting into an empowered digital life movement, so you can do it on your own, or in groups, wherever you are and whoever you are and whatever you do. If you are a person active online, this training will ask you the strategic questions you need to be thinking about. If you're not yet active or don't love being online, this will help you figure out what makes sense for you. Our combined 25 years of experience, including major expatriate life and work challenges, forced us to tap our backgrounds in culture, info tech, media & psychology to create this network-activating system using the backbone of the social web. We've used this method to survive. No matter who or where you are, you can use it to thrive.

I'm now making that training perfectly free, so you can take advantage of all our guidance immediately.

 

Want to learn how? It's my gift to you! Start by downloading the handbook

 

  When you download this powerful free handbook you're going to start to transform what you do, how you do it and with whom. This repeatable, dynamic six-step method will help you become your own North Star on the Internet and bring you closer to the people and things you care about. You'll emerge with inspiration, direction and confidence:

    • a vision that lights you up and goals you can measure
  • a do-able plan and digital skills you need
  • and a practice and peer group you can rely on to keep going

 

 

Here's what people who've done it say:

    • "I felt I couldn’t catch up. The way GlobalNiche describes social media – it’s about using technology to communicate naturally – clicked for me." ~ paralegal
  • “Opened my eyes to my own assets. It has given me the confidence to bet on myself.” ~ work-at-home parent
  • “I doubled my Twitter presence just by learning about good Twitter etiquette.” ~ scriptwriter
  • “I’m blown away by the possibilities. I now have an action plan. I feel a huge shift in my life." ~ academic
  • "For people who are wondering if what they have to say is valuable.” ~ financial officer
  • "Helped me to recognize and own how I am being virtually “seen” and make positive and educated changes." ~ landscape contractor

 

With this non-dogmatic foundational method you'll:

    • uncover the real value you've already created: by taking inventory of what you've been doing, detecting the patterns in your activities, gaining insight into what you're drawn to
  • put your mountain of natural resources to work for you: by acknowledging all that you’ve created and use it to gain insight into who you are and who you want to be
  • show the world how you make sense: by linking what you've done in the past & are doing today with your wider goals
  • recognize that you need to become visible to meet people you want to collaborate with, work for, hire
  • combine who you are and where you want to go with the tools available to express yourself
  • make empowered, focused decisions about how to operate online
  • go beyond managing your reputation online to using social media to represent your best self
  • meet and enter conversations with your peers, mentors and customers on the web
  • get recognized by authorities & peers in your field, recruiters, the media
  • identify how to use existing materials as building blocks for future projects
  • identify new ways to use social media, which platforms work for you (and which do not), and how to use those platforms to your advantage
  • express yourself with the best social web tools available, including how to use Google+, Quora, ScoopIt and Storify to your benefit
  • gain a new understanding of the best social media and content management and strategy tools, formats, methods to try
  • establish an interactive calling card at a site like About.me
  • learn best practices for blogging frameworks like WordPress and Thesis, blogging services like Twitter and Tumblr, social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram
  • learn best uses of video and slideshow sites like Animoto, YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare, email service providers
  • grasp a new perspective on yourself as a content creator, realize the energy you generate around your interests IS content
  • publish, record, remix, repackage, reformat your content
  • design and implement a do-able plan with small steps to get your creations into global circulation in alignment with your larger goals

 

Want more?

If you want more guidance, get the free multimedia curriculum which expands on the handbook with video coaching and other materials. You'll have lifetime access to the self-paced course, 24/7, on all your devices. I'm making that entire program perfectly free for you, so join with a friend and do it together! 4,700 people already cashed in this free coupon to get connected & effective. Did you? Let me know how you're liking it!

Expat Harem: 9 Years On The Reading List

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 11.09.17 AM Thrilled to see Expat Harem top this list of best expat books in the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah. Thanks to Expat Harem book and blog writer Catherine Yiğit for the heads up! Leyla Yvonne Ergil writes, "Many an expat has penned their experiences of living of Turkey in captivating accounts of the beauty of the landscape and cultural divides...

"...some of the best reads to laugh, commiserate, and experience the wonder that is Istanbul through foreign eyes."

Glad to be included on this list with:

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 12.26.22 PM And thanks to Elle Loftis for recommending the book in her top 10 Turkey reads in Today's Zaman paper.

"It shows a side of Turkey and Turkish culture rarely portrayed outside of fiction, and definitely not covered by international media. Expats in particular will enjoy this anthology, where many of the stories will undoubtedly hit home," Loftis writes.

What Crazy Thing Did You Build? How Did It Go?

Villa Langsat: I built this house outside Kuala Lumpur. My father designed it for me.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.17.56 PMI planted 100 plants in the garden and stocked the fountain with tropical fish.

(This is the same fountain an Indonesian workman washed his latex paint brushes in, thinking it'd somehow just go away.)

A tiny blue kingfisher took just an hour of diving to clear out the pond of all swimming things. An afternoon of expensive sushi for the little bird with the oversize orange beak.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.18.14 PMIt was supposed to take 3 months to complete. That was before the contractor saw the plans. Construction lasted for 2 years.

It's all slate inside, stays cool in the equatorial heat. Cool! Not cool: the roof leaked for the first 7 months.

What crazy thing did you build? How did it go?

GlobalNiche San Francisco Area Meetup

"I'd like to see GlobalNiche become a life philosophy," says Shirley Rivera.

 

The latest of many F2F gatherings of GlobalNiche people and their friends, around the world! Reading this and want to do your own? Do it!! We'll help you get the word out. Special thanks to Amit Raikar, Shirley Rivera and Tanya Monsef Bunger for event production, transportation, and inspiration and a lot of other wonderful things that made this evening happen. It was a blur of wine, and excitement and twinkling lights, and silver and raspberry and houndstooth, and happy  faces and surprise meetings and balloons and cherry pie. There was a lot of hugging and huddling, and we really didn't need the crackling fireplace because we were all on FIRE!

Looking forward to the video interviews that Amit Raikar directed and shot along with his full production crew of Jeri Neves, James Pendziszewski, Mike Montoya and Ryan Munevar. Amit asked each of the attendees to share what GlobalNiche is to them, and where it's taking them (and where they're taking GlobalNiche!).

Everyone came out their five minute video interview proclaiming, "I have no idea what I said!" so it'll be fascinating to see how it all adds up.

...what this expat, Third Culture, creative entrepreneur, content creator, location independence community and curriculum and study group setting and online presence building and global network tapping and personal culture creating, hybrid life design movement means to each of us.

Great to see Silvana Vukadin-Hoitt, in from Denver, just for this occasion! From the South Bay and beyond, we were excited to welcome Loreen Huddleston, Bertita Graebner, Bonita Banducci, Karen Jaw-Madson, Trish Sewe, Evelyne Michaut and Siddartha and new friends including Heather Franzese.

"Our local GN community is, I am quite convinced, mirrored and replicated everywhere in our global presence," says Bertita.

 

"I felt truly blessed to be among a group of such strong, smart, interesting women (and men)," says Loreen.

 

Multiplying Community Management Effects In A Startup Accelerator

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.25.00 AMExcited to brainstorm next week with Olivia June Poole, the new community director of RocketSpace where I'm now based, a regular gathering of community managers here to bring together all the different community people from startups in this incubator/accelerator/coworking space.

Kinda meta. Also, a way to make coworking even more beneficial.

 

I see it being a way to get to know our fellow community-entrusted pros, discuss community management issues among ourselves, and begin to meld our discrete communities for increased impact and opportunity.

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Faye Brann Addresses The Gap In The Market For Narrative Expat Literature

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 2.37.18 PM Thanks to expat author in Dubai Faye Brann for interviewing me about #expat #literature and the #publishing world's opportunities to capture expat lit's readers.  She blogs about it here. Here's the interview as it was conducted on Twitter this week -- which is where Faye and I met!

 

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Faye is working on her first book, There’s No Place Like Home, to "look at the often misunderstood life of the ‘trailing spouse’ abroad". At her blog she explores the gap in the market for narrative expat literature.

2014 Marks 2 Years Of Offering The GlobalNiche Program: An Update & Shifting Of Gears

An update from me, my GlobalNiche cofounder Tara Agacayak, and our team member Tanya Monsef Bunger. 

Today over 3000 are taking the course, with 13 study group leaders working to bring the program to their own communities of artisans, expats, servant leaders, writers and academics, and women entrepreneurs.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 10.36.28 AMIt’s been a privilege and a pleasure to have worked full time on this endeavor for the past 24 months.Today we’re excited to share what we’ve achieved -- as well as how we’re shifting gears.

Back in 2009, we envisioned a professional alliance of people connected online sharing ideas and supporting each other’s work.

 

We began speaking to groups about how to use social media to develop professionally by building an online web platform. We conducted on and offline seminars and workshops, masterminds and community-building programs.

By committing to work in community, we evolved the GlobalNiche program as an easy, systematic, iterative way to build a platform for opportunity to happen. We realize that our individual platforms open us up to opportunity -- not by magic, but by connecting us with our global community via the social web.

In the past two years, we’ve won an award for our global community-building methodology, hosted 20+ live web conversations with emerging thought leaders on cutting edge GlobalNiche issues, designed, created and delivered email tutorials, program pilots, a self-study workbook, a high-touch 6-week coaching program, on-demand multimedia programs, 2 online study groups, a peer study group training, supported 3 peer study groups with more on the calendar and published a Kindle handbook. We’ve also provided our platform building tutorial to the Global Tech Women conference, become a LeanIn platform partner, spoken at numerous events and broadened the GlobalNiche network to include women leaders, content creators, social business people and entrepreneurs everywhere. We’re proud to have contributed to, participated in, and added GlobalNiche’s definition and practice to these global life/work movements:

  • every-day entrepreneurial thinking and acting, creative entrepreneurship as a solution for everyone
  • location independence and lifestyle design in populations beyond expats, travelers and life hackers
  • recognition of the importance of digital identity, personal branding, digital footprints and online social networking for personal and professional development
  • re-envisioning the future of work with online collaboration and co-creation
  • the adoption of global communication best practices
  • the tidal wave of online content marketing
  • the rise of the transformational consumer and transformational online communities

Working on GlobalNiche educated us in what it takes to build a business. We’ve gained a new appreciation for what we know, as well as identified gaps in our own knowledge, skills, abilities and experience.

Our early stage founder experience took us into the startup world. We opened and maintained profiles at accelerator and incubator application platforms like Gust.com, Angel.co, and F6s.  We attended founder events, applied to accelerators, got VC training for elevator pitches, learned the investment landscape. We learned about the role of mentors, advisors, and equity positions.

We tried our hand at investor presentations, worked toward that elusive thing called “product-market fit”, learned about choosing vendors, designed logos and website look & feel, investigated shopping cart and affiliate network solutions until we ran screaming in the other direction.

We worked on what seems like a lifetime about brand messaging - writing taglines and elevator pitches on a weekly basis (and still not there yet).

We discovered what it means to be a globally distributed team managing a variety of time zones, test driving collaboration software.

Looking back on all that we’ve achieved and learned, we realize that we’ve reached our 2009 goal of building an online global support alliance. More than that, we developed a curriculum that teaches people the skills they need to do this for themselves.

Now we’re turning the method over -- to you, and to your communities, and to people far beyond those in our current networks -- to let it grow.

2014’s shift toward a community-based movement not only makes the method available to more people but it also allows the founding team to focus on applying what we’ve learned, what we built, and the skills we developed on new projects and in ever wider communities. This is the next chapter for GlobalNiche thinking and methodology. Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 5.03.33 PM Tara is leaving her position with GlobalNiche. She is putting her strategy and analytical skills to work doing market research for a London-based company and she has been contracted as project manager on an upcoming socio-cultural book about Turkey.

Anastasia continues to lead the GlobalNiche movement by holding the vision and on-going operations. She has taken a community-building position in a new social storytelling startup being incubated at RocketSpace in San Francisco. As a speaker and consultant, this spring she’ll be talking about platform at the Exceptional Women In Publishing conference, and leading a workshop with Tanya about the GlobalNiche Method at Women’s Startup Lab.

Tanya is continuing business development related to the GlobalNiche movement. She is working with female founders/entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley to accelerate their businesses and has also accepted a professorship at Santa Clara University where she’s exploring opportunities to use the GlobalNiche curriculum. She will act as director of the Global Fellows program.

As we shift gears, we’re grateful and proud of what we’ve created together, how the GlobalNiche movement continues to support our growth through the principles we’ve established in the program and using social technology.

And as ever, we appreciate being on this journey with you.

Curating My Influences On Entrepreneurship, Global Women Entrepreneurs, & Future Of Work

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 12.38.28 PMJust started this curation topic at Scoop.it and I've already got more 100 links of evergreen value and cutting-edge thinking.

I've been harvesting all the links I've been discovering, sharing, posting and discussing for the last couple of years in the dark social of email and private (and some now defunct) discussion settings.

That includes material I discovered and shared over the past four years at my LinkedIn GlobalNiche group, my Facebook Creative Entrepreneurs group, my Facebook GlobalNiche graduates group. I'm also posting my original comments on each of those shares.

Expect more as I pull links from more than a year's worth of postings at Basecamp, a collaborative service I've been using to discuss entrepreneurial issues with my GlobalNiche team members.

If you're interested in these topics and the thinking from around the web that has most influenced me, it's easy to subscribe to the collection in one click over at Scoop.it.

Featured By Global Living Magazine As One Of Best Expat Books

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Thanks to Shelley Antscherl for naming Expat Harem among best expat anthologies in the January/February 2014 issue of Global Living Magazine!

I'm proud the book is listed alongside the work of editors like Suzanne Kamata of "Call Me Okasaan: Adventures In Multicultural Mothering", Monica Neboli of "Drinking Camel's Milk In The Yurt: Expat Stories from Kazahkstan", Diane Dicks of "Ticking Along Too: Stories About Switzerland", and Kate Cobb of "Turning Points25 Inspiring Stories From Women Entrepreneurs Who Turned Their Careers and Their Lives Around".

And thanks to Summertime Publishing publisher, Expat Book Shop proprietress and fellow expat writer Jo Parfitt for the review. "A fine bit of not just good writing, but literary writing, and that is due to the fabulous work of the editors."

See what else is in the issue here. Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 8.38.03 AM Global Living is a luxury lifestyle magazine for global citizens and sophisticated internationals who live, have lived, or may someday will live outside their country of origin.

Network Science Says Info Brokering Between Networks Makes You A Game Changer. It's Also 2nd Nature To People With Hybrid Cultural Identities.

Don't I know it.

My own hybrid, cross-disciplinary, limbo-state life and work is founded on this phenomenon that network science acknowledges.

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 8.23.50 PM Michael Simmons, author and cofounder of iEmpact, explains in "Why Being The Most Connected Is A Vanity Metric" at Forbes that your network is a set of clusters and when you manage to broker info between them you're a game changer. And, being an info broker is a way of life, and you have to constantly fight the urge to relax into the comfort of a group you know. He points out being an info broker is a good foundation for entrepreneurship.

It's no coincidence (to me, or anyone else who read, wrote for, or commented at my hybrid identity discussion site expat+HAREM back in 2009! or anyone who's familiar with the principles of my current community-driven, social web curriculum startup GlobalNiche) that this Forbes piece was written by a multicultural, multiethnic hybrid identity entrepreneur whose life has naturally made him an info broker between networks.

Peruse the expat+HAREM discussions on identity and hybridity.  Look at the highlights of Rose Deniz's podcast about living the hybrid life and what you leave behind in order to do so.

That's echoed in Michael Simmons' piece -- the reason why we can't get comfortable in one group if we want to participate in what he calls "the renaissance of network science" -- is because we lose value and impact by staying ensconced there.

We need to move between all our clusters -- online, offline, professional, personal, ethnic, family, school, friends, interests -- bearing rich, precious, communal, resonant information. That's our job (and our lifestyle) as network game changers.

Designating Best And Worst Places To Be An Expat Unhelpful Because Expatriate Life Isn't Monolithic

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 10.43.02 AMI find there are so many ways to be 'an expat' (economically, socially, culturally) that studies like this one from HSBC that looks at economic opportunities and quality of life in 34 countries don't begin to address, and therefore aren't very useful.

Once a fellow expat came to my apartment in Istanbul with its view and modern appliances in the kitchen and said, "Oh I get it, this is the expat life everyone's talking about."

She lived in a village outside a minor city with the local ladies setting up a couch outside her living room window to 'watch' her like an exotic animal. That was her frugal backpacker choice.

Meanwhile, when I visited consulate- and corporate-package expats who lived in upscale, gated housing compounds and didn't know the name of the street where they lived and didn't eat Turkish food and asked me if it was wise to get involved with a Turkish man, that was a different kind of expat world.

And that range is just anecdotal, and one country. There were many more ways to be an expat in Turkey, with wildly different economic opportunities and qualities of life.

The only way to begin to get meaningful results from a survey of 'expat' experience is if equal numbers of people all along the expat/foreign national scale -- economically, socially, culturally -- participated in each country.

Our Grads Are Brand Advocates & Servant Leaders In Their Communities

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 10.37.41 AM Excited about a new chapter at GlobalNiche. One year after launching our program, we're equipping our graduates to build out their own communities.

In doing so, we're hitting a major, longterm milestone: GlobalNiche is an online platform to build community. We're equipping our graduates with the infrastructure and support you need to bring our continuity practice to your wider communities....to the very people in your lives you want to build something with.

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Once you have a handle on your own goals for an online presence and you've got some pieces in place, you can help the-people-you-want-to-be-connected-to get connected.

So proud to see the study group Silvana Vukadin-Hoitt is hosting in November for the creative, entrepreneurial and global nomad women in her world. (If this sounds like a work community for someone you know, pass it on!)

As Silvana writes,

"Increasing your online visibility at your own pace, creating a digital presence that looks, sounds and feels like you and that helps you meet your aims is key to the age we’re now living in. In theory, yes, we all want to belong to a productive group of people who understand us and our aims. In practice, it’s difficult to be accountable to your plans and to keep showing up for yourself and for others. What would it be like to have a practical foundation to further your current artistic endeavors?"

When it comes to the business of building an online presence to meet one's goals, you can imagine how the target moves and goals evolve.

 

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That's why, just like me and my cofounder Tara, our graduates see themselves as 'leading learners'.

That's something I heard Natalie Sisson of The Suitcase Entrepreneur describe this summer about her role in the Freedom Business movement. It's being the person who's just a couple steps ahead of the people you're making a path for.

You can show others in your life what you DO know, and you can work alongside them learning what you don't yet know.

What a GlobalNiche study group leader does is foster our culture of sharing, and collaboration, and experimentation on the social web, and doing big things in small steps.

 

Part of the GlobalNiche experience is practicing finding what you need by tapping into a network of people ahead of you on the path. Googling stuff to find out how people got answers to the same question you have today.

Our group leaders are also servant leaders. (Thanks to grad Shirley Rivera for bringing this concept to my attention!) Helping the people in your life develop and improve, using a non dogmatic system that you just so happened to find out about before others did.

...being a cocreator of your community by bringing practical, useful, transformative tools to help the group be effective.

Besides the infrastructure we set up for our grads (including access to the multimedia curriculum and material for several-times-a-week prompts, a branded G+ community for their study group, and all the back-end invoicing and payment structure ) we have also created a support community at G+ for study group leaders.

During September's two week training for grads considering leading a study group I believe I was the one who learned the most! Leading learners learn more.

Linda Janssen's Emotionally Resilient Expat

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 9.59.47 AMThrilled with a new release from my expat publishing kin! I've had the pleasure and privilege of working with and getting to know both these formidable women in the past half decade. Author Linda Janssen just released via Jo Parfitt's Summertime Publishing the masterwork The Emotionally Resilient Expat: Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures.

The book is filled with personal stories from experienced globalists and cross-culturals  -- Third Culture Kid pioneer Ruth Van Reken, global nomad authors like Tina Quick, global mobility experts, psychologists and family therapists, expats, and me!

Its aim is to provide you with practical tools, techniques and best practices to live a healthier, more positive, emotionally engaged, culturally connected global life.

 

This book promises to be an enduring and proactive guide to the unique challenges of living in a wide, wide world -- experiences that often have the power to take apart and rearrange a person on an almost molecular level. I've been there. So glad TERE is now available for global operators everywhere.

Massive congratulations Linda and Jo.

Personal Branding Interview By Peter Sterlacci

Peter Sterlacci, an American expat and personal branding expert in Japan, included me in his Brand Mechanics video interview series.

Peter writes: "As a long-term expat, she had to learn from the ground up how to build a global life and work solutions to survive. Her years of experience led to the creation of a holistic approach in building one’s global niche, or what she also calls a global personal brand.

"Her formula is simply: Personal Discovery + Professional Expression = Your Global Niche. The foundation of her formula rests in the fact that each of us already has what we need to be successful and we can use it wherever we are."

Thanks, Peter, it was fun!