Balancing Humanity & Technology at WomanCon 2013: Pam’s Primer For The Dance

In an effort to synthesize and “synergize” my two blogs, here and on Tumblr, I want to quickly recap that the biggest takeaway I got from attending the full day entrepreneurial conference dubbed WomanCon 2013 in NYC on 9/25/13, was from the last presentation of the day, given by Pamela O’Hara, CEO of Batchbook. The interesting topic was “Staying Human in a High-Tech World“. It was given by someone who has successfully and humorously carved an “entrepreneurial space” for herself in the high stakes, fast paced, reputably “all boys club” AKA Tech Alley. As an Apple™ Techie, iPad Evangelist, and trained human behaviorist, Pam’s Primer as I called it in my Tumblr post, Pam O’Hara’s talk was of particular interest to me. You can read all about it here

What I want to point out here is that Pam told us many wise things, including that her employees have mandatory vacation days, and I think even mandatory company family picnic days (she showed a photo or two of children enjoying those picnics). Apparently, as CEO, she tries to help her “work family” develop the work/life balance so many of us strive for on a daily basis. Like any other existential and/or figurative seesaw requiring nimble mental acrobatics involving Causality, Time Management, and Planning, the balancing of humanity with technology, especially in today’s rapidly changing, cut-throat startup culture, is an ever present struggle, especially for female entrepreneurs. 

That’s why I wrote my book. That’s why Pam’s Primer resonated so much with me. Its scaffolded steps indicate the universal truth I’ve written about before…..that the entrepreneurial process, including the act of harnessing time, is a deliberate, choreographed, and cognitive process; like a dance.

 I’m reminded of the clever soundtrack from the film Prince of Egypt, especially the song “Through Heaven’s Eyes” which has special meaning to me, because of my faith, and because I lost my childhood best friend and mentor to cancer in December 2012. 

“Though you never know all the steps / you must learn to join the dance!”

What I love about this song, and Pam’s Primer for that matter, is that both connote ACTION! Movement forward, reaching towards something. At the end of the day, if it actually turned out differently than yesterday, with new outcomes and accomplishments big and small, and more lessons learned, then it should be deemed a good day. Because the result was deeper understanding; of self, of others. Resulting in further action, to KEEP BALANCED. Like a pirouette. Like riding a bike.

As an Autism specialist and human behaviorist, I have learned that movement signifies attempts to balance oneself and grow. Stagnant water doesn’t flow. People who are at a standstill struggle with productivity and even creativity and innovation. Albert Einstein was fascinated with the concept of movement, the physics involved, the ramifications for the space-time continuum and its implications for mankind. His Theory of Relativity can be partially pared down to his famous quote about a bike, which I will show in the photo at the end of this post. 

So let’s hear it for the choreographed dance so many of us female entrepreneurs engage in, to balance work/life, humanity/technology, and even Me/We throughout our day. To help it flow. To help it begin and end. Let’s really learn the steps of our dance, and of others, so that we can truly help one another answer the banal, often overlooked and ignored question; “How was YOUR day?”

May your days be busy, the bike ride fun, and your dance card full! 






About penina4niceinitiative

Penina Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH, CEO of Socially Speaking LLC, is the author of "The NICE Reboot: A Guide to Becoming a Better Female Entrepreneur". She is an Autism specialist and educational technology consultant turned social entrepreneur. She is also a pediatric speech therapist and the creator of the Socially Speaking™ Program & iPad App. Her second book, "Autism Intervention in the iEra" was published in 2015. Since 2010, Penina has been a national/international speaker about social communication development, balancing humanity and technology, and best practices re: mobile and social technology. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more. You can also find her on Twitter: @PopGoesPenina, Facebook: Socially Speaking LLC, Google+ at The NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship, and Pinterest and YouTube as well.
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