That's right, 1,000 people around the world said yes to free access to my self-paced training to achieve your potential online.
Were you one of them? No? Got a few minutes and care to get connected and effective in 2014? Do these 2 things NOW.
1) Claim your complimentary seat. That'll give you 24/7 access to our on-demand multimedia curriculum. The training will help you navigate the social web to get closer to who and what matters to you.
Invite anyone you want to bring along with you. Our treat. Just share this link.
2) Then give me a shout on Twitter so I can be sure to add you to our list of your peers. That makes it easy for you to connect and work together! Plus, we're already talking there using the #globalniche hashtag.
...and welcome to all the lovely people I glimpsed in the new roster, including Leslie, Linda, Nicolas, Lindsey, Bonnie, Rachel, Katja, Eleanor, Julia, Chris, Simone, Shirley, Wendy, Christine, Harma, Stephanie, Oshikan, Myrthe, Jonelle, Aisha, Nicole, Kathy, Nilgun, Teike, Milo, Michaela, Monique, Sher, Craig, Jennifer, Karlijn, Roberta, Lynn, Michelle, Suraya, Andrea, Jeane, Bia, Neil, Zlatana, Linda, Laurie, Ebru...
I'm looking forward to getting connected and effective with you this year.
January 26 update: make that 2,600 new people. Welcome!
In that hour-long live discussion (listen to the recording at the link!) we asked,
Do your friends and family and colleagues think you enter an 'international cone of silence' when you leave their physical sphere?
Out of sight, out of reach. Apparently, that’s how our global existence sometimes feels to people who aren’t in the habit of connecting every which way like we’ve grown used to doing. Someone left me a message on my new American phone line in 2012 saying “I’ve been waiting 10 years to talk to you” — yet I know I’m more connected now than ever.
The GlobalNiche community talked about this literal and figurative disconnect, and how forward-looking, world-flung types like us can maintain our connections across vast geographical — and perceptual and behavioral — divides.
Our conclusion, which GigaOm just got to?
The more progressive party has to communicate with people where they exist, and that may be somewhere in the past.
A few excerpts from interviews I've given and articles I've written:
Being an expatriate, you’re naturally a person in transition.
Your worst days can leave you feeling unmoored and alienated. Your best days bring a sense of your agile nature and the qualities that make you unique from the people who surround you and the people back home.
Working toward an understanding of what it will take for you to feel your best in your environment I think is extremely worthwhile. Your answers perfectly define you and the more closely they are incorporated into your business plans the better chance you have of career success abroad.
After five years in Malaysia and 8.5 in Turkey, I've made the limbo state of expatriatism (not belonging to your surroundings but having to navigate them in culturally appropriate ways AND honor the truth of who you are at the same time) a strength instead of a weakness.
With my career disrupted by international relocations and watching the traditional media business being disrupted by digital and social media, my particular m.o. has evolved into gate jumping. That’s a combination of reaction to obstacles in my environments, and a commitment to not be hindered by “what is”.
Gate jumping can work for expats of all kinds.
Here’s how I do it: Fearlessly operating without borders instead of accepting my off-the-grid, situation-mismatch as a paralyzing disadvantage.
Time zones, language barriers, geographical distances, old-school thinking and collapse in my industries of media and entertainment, these things don't stop me.
Being an early adopter of Twitter, I use it for continuing education like virtually attending conferences and entering high level discussions in my topics of interest, to networking and meeting my peers around the world.
One of the reasons I founded GlobalNiche.net is that I have noticed that the majority of expats disappear when they go abroad rather than come to local and international prominence through their expat lives as I have done.
Even fewer women expats accomplish this in Muslim countries or have managed to raise the voices of multiple other women in a country known for its censorship. See the details of this particular adventure in my piece The Accidental Anthologist.
I don't think any of this is easy to achieve. But I do think it's integral to surviving, and thriving.
Along with Tara Agacayak, I run a private mastermind group on LinkedIn (it’s a subgroup of my Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group). She asks, "Now that Round Two has ended, please let us know: how you liked it (what worked, what didn't) and what has changed for you (something you implemented, a transformed thought or behavior...)."
Here are my thoughts on the second round, which was a weekly affair.
I liked the swifter pace because I think the longer things are stretched out the more disrupted they have the potential to become. So, the mastermind experience felt more cohesive, and potent to me. The swifter pace also meant it was my turn before I was ready.
I'd call that a bad thing -- except for the fact that it required me to just spit out what would otherwise have been revolving around inside my head for weeks longer, and maybe I would have chosen a different subject matter if I'd had more time to think about it.
Spitting out the first problem you can think of -- because it's 'easiest' -- is a useful first step. Doing the easiest thing first has a way of pointing to the next easiest step.
So, the faster paced mastermind got me to bring up the Global Niche plan that I meant to work on more slowly (and in a different order), and that led me to make it the focus of the Turkish WIN talk this month, and that precipitated the making of an extended slideshow to support the talk, both of which are now public videos (and on expat+HAREM and SlideShare and Scribd and Vimeo and my Amazon author page and my Facebook pages). And this also precipitated the creation of a Global Niche twitter account, a Global Niche facebook page, a Global Niche logo...see, just got me 'off the pot'.
What I like most about this turn of events (and the FAB discussion of the second round masterminds -- *thank you everyone*!) is that it's forced me to iterate early and often on a big project that now I can let seep into a larger consciousness, while the next step percolates.
Along with Tara Agacayak, I run a private mastermind group on LinkedIn (it’s a subgroup of my Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group). Each participant presents her case study and we brainstorm next steps.
Here are some of my thoughts on an expatriate writer's mention that if she weren't an expat and forced to find ways to make a living outside the norm, she wouldn't be an entrepreneur.
It reminds me of the Dialogue2010 conversations at expat+HAREM, and how our hybrid lives have *forced* us to be flexible about a lot of things most people (especially those in our 'previous lives' if we're living outside an original territory, including who we might have been if we'd stayed) never have to deal with. Our careers are one of those things.
The beauty of being a creative entrepreneur is that it's about making your work type and situation *work* for you, for the type of person you are, and the situation you face. That doesn't mean it's the easy choice, just that it has the potential to deliver much more than you'd get from being a cog in someone else's wheel.
Was also reading something the other day about how we don't have to make money from everything we produce (or even try to sell it), but if we're professionals (or hope to be, that is, we're not hobbyists) earning money for the work we do has to be part of the larger plan.
Writing ONLY for money is different type of job than writing what you want to write and receiving money for it (at some point on the journey, and maybe not directly from the writing).
If your interest in writing dries up at the prospect of selling it, or using it as a form of content marketing for something else you are selling, then maybe writing is not an element of the paid work you want to do. Maybe you want to keep it as a hobby, a special form of personal entertainment. That's totally cool.
But, if you harbor dreams of yourself as a professional writer, not only sharing your work widely but receiving compensation for it, then writing *is* an element of your livelihood. If you have the luxury of already knowing what you want to write, and already writing what you want to write (some people are on a different carousel, where they write for hire and dream of writing from the heart and soul and it's hard to get off that carousel for the very reason that it's scary and hard) then all you have to add to your picture is a strategy to get paid for what you are already doing.
Will you have to make changes in your plans, will you have to improve to be competitive, will you have to be sensitive to your readership? Will you have to be aware of the market and how it works and what the shifts are in publishing? Will you see clearly whether you have achieved your professional writing goals or not? Yes.
In fact, writing might suddenly seem like a different kind of work if all that stuff I just mentioned has previously been kept separate from your writing life. I think this might be the key for you. Integrating in small steps your writing as professional, and with a market purpose.
The expat+HAREM COMMUNITY AIMS TO HELP YOU:
1) DISCOVER your psychic peers + global community
2) CREATE a hybrid identity from your many worlds
Why do you need our help? The short answer: Because liminal life is a bittersweet limbo -- coming, going, never quite arriving -- and here at expat+HAREM the community embraces this unmoored and central reality of our globetrotting, multicultural, hybrid times.
A PLACE WHERE DIGITAL NOMADS, EXPATS, IMMIGRANTS, FUTURISTS AND WORLD CULTURALISTS ARE UNIQUELY SUITED TO SUCCEED
The psychic limbo and identity adventure global citizens experience today is expat+HAREM's sweet spot. Our neoculture.
This neoculture is our situation in life and our world view. What we work to make sense of, and to capitalize on.
Here at expat+HAREM we've defined the problem, and provide the solution.
MAKING LIMBO A PRODUCTIVE STATE Limbo is usually considered a place in-between. A state of suspended animation. Paralysis, a spinning of the wheels. Nowheresville. But it can also be an unconstrained place where anything is possible. That's how expat+HAREM choses to see it. Multifaceted people like us have strength and flexibility and experience and access to multiple perspectives. These are all assets.
WE'RE IN THE VANGUARD AND NEED EACH OTHER Globalization has had an unfortunate disenfranchising effect. (Perhaps like many in our community you've been there personally!) However, despite the resistance and misunderstanding and worrying 'purity' movements we're witnessing in populations large and small, at expat+HAREM we believe fostering our particular dialogue of culture and identity is a way forward. A chance to find new and meaningful connection to the world while making sense of conflicting situations.
IT'S NOT ALL BIG PICTURE Sure, we like to talk about the big picture -- whole hemispheres and societies! -- but at our heart we're concerned with the smallest details of the individual. Navigating relationships with people in your life. Achieving psychic location independence. Negotiating our personal connection with the many worlds we love to belong to. That's how we'll find our global niche.
Our most important bonds are no longer solely decided by geography, nationality or even blood. When we find where we uniquely belong in the world we've found our global niche.
expat+HAREM, the global niche embodies the Expat Harem concept* -- localized foreigner, outsider on the inside -- while speaking to intentional travelers, identity adventurers and global citizens of all kinds.
This 2-year archive of neoculture discussions delves into perspective on the crossroads and dichotomies of our hybrid lives:
modern existences in historic places
deep-rooted traditions translated in mobile times
limiting stereotypes revisited for wider meaning
the expat mindset as it evolves from nationalism to globalism
Glo· bal· niche, n. psychicsolution to your global identity crisis
Don't coin too many terms, warn the smart search engine optimizers. "No one will know what you're talking about plus they won't be able to find you!" At expat+HAREM we like to talk about unconventional, unbounded and unmapped life as we experience it, and if we could find the lingo we need in common usage, we'd certainly use it.
She'sNext interview: Here I'm talking about how multifaceted, 21st century women can find their global niche.
TAPPING INTO OUR OWN GLOBAL BEING When we discover our psychic peers and foster a global community with them -- fashioning a hybrid identity and a 'salamander' life that intersects and honors the many worlds we belong to -- we've found our global niche. It's good to be home.
I once opened a can of ebook whoop-ass on Stephen King. “No interactivity, no extra benefit for readers!” I scolded the usually imaginative novelist back in the go-go days of Y2K.
From my desk on New York’s Silicon Alley where I had the publishing beat at an internet industry magazine, King’s self-publishing experiment The Plant – a flow of static installments lacking flexibility, community and collaboration – was a lackluster leap of faith.
I was used to doling out tough-love to content owners peering across the digital divide. After previous stints in media and entertainment, intellectual property rights and audience concerns were also familiar to me but my exuberance came from a new media clean slate of the expat sort.
I'd just parachuted into the dotcom boom from Southeast Asia.
For five years my Malaysian office was minutes from Kuala Lumpur’s Multimedia Super Corridor, a futuristic zone advised by Bill Gates and Intel’s Andy Grove. Like the rest of the Newly Industrialized Nation, I was plagued by weekly power outages and wrote by candle light. While my attention span shrank to the length of a Compaq battery life, expatriate skills included patience to wait one month for a government-issued phone line. Waiting for internet access expanded my endurance to a couple of years.
When I finally got online the possibilities of global and real-time connection revolutionalized my estranged expat life.
A decade later I’m dipping into the professional fray from 6,000 miles to the East. I’ve been a writer and producer of cultural entertainment in Istanbul since 2003, and continue to live here. My first book Expat Harem took a conventional route: lit agent, Turkish and American publishers, road trip book tours, an electronic release for Expat Harem on Kindle(aff) and Sony eReader. My second effort — an edgy nonlinear memoir of friendship — requires a complete rethink. (Three months to set up our 49-day 10-state road tour across America, three years to recover from? Wouldn't do that again!)
Geographic disadvantage demands I compete in my home market virtually. With the economic crisis, collapse of traditional publishing and fresh hope pinned on the social web, my global audience is also now virtual. I’m shifting to new school thinking in distribution, promotion, and sales.
Like internet access equalized my ‘90s expat reality, now social media closes the professional morass as my Tweetdeck columns resonate thought leadership across publishing, technology, and marketing. (Follow my Twitter lists of 300+ publishing professionals and 200+ interactive media people, transmedia visionaries, digital storytellers and marketers.)
I’ve got Web 2.0 and 3.0 plans for my second book -- see Digital Book World, the publishing community for the 21st century -- not only because as a contemporary author abroad I must connect with readers and offer dynamic interaction with me and my material, but because as a digital citizen I can.
Building community around the healing power of friendship – the memoir’s heart — promises to bring my writing world even closer to who I am and what I care about, making where I am viable. Exactly where I want to be.
Have you been culturally or geographically challenged in your career? How has the playing field shifted today?
A version of this essay first appeared in former editor of Writer's Digest Maria Schneider's Editor Unleashed, 2009.
See more images relating to this story here and here and here.