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Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends - All The Single Girlfriends

Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends

Interview with Elisa Camahort Page

Dec 28, 2011 by

Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends is an All The Singles Girlfriend series that shines a virtual spotlight on amazing women who have been supporting women and girls over a period of time.

Elisa Camahort Page is the co-founder and COO of BlogHer, Inc. Founded in 2005, BlogHer is the largest community of women who blog.

Interviewing Elisa and highlighting BlogHer is extra special for me. I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with BlogHer, as a contributing writer and conference speaker, beginning at the first BlogHer conference.  It is with great pleasure that I introduce Elisa Camahort Page to you!

atsGf/Toby:  What is your favorite quote:

Elisa Camahort Page: My favorite quotes tend to be from movies, such as:

“I do not think that word means what you think it means.” – Princess Bride or “I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen” – Say Anything

I’m not an inspirational quote kind of gal.

atsGf/Toby:  Perhaps not but you are an inspiration to many!  So, Elisa, who are you beyond your professional resume?

Elisa Camahort Page: I use these words in my Google+ Profile: BlogHer, Vegan, Macolyte. I might only add that I’m a musicophile and that I’m a self-described “Bleeding Heart” who has been nicknamed “Blackheart” to round out the autobiography.

atsGf/Toby: What is your favorite “Girlfriend” activity?

Elisa Camahort Page: I go get my nails done every two weeks with my sister. Recently my mom decided to join us, so now all three of us get our nails done together every other weekend. My mom commented that we talk about more stuff and catch up more on our lives in that hour than during any other family get-together.

atsGf/Toby: Through BlogHer you’ve been helping women working in social media, and by extension, women in general. You’ve inspired many women (me included!). Let’s turn the tables a bit, among the women who you’ve met through your work with BlogHer who has inspired you and how?

Elisa Camahort Page: Oh my goodness, so many. I have to start with BlogHer’s International Activist Blogger scholarship recipients. These are women for whom blogging is not only a passion, a calling, a mission, but also a true risk to their lives and livelihoods. I really encourage everyone to check out the winners from these last three years…and feel a healthy bit of humbled in their presence (we could all use some of that sometimes, right?):  2009 winners  2010 winners  2011 winners

atsGf/Toby:  When women reach 40 we  enter what should be an exciting next chapter in our lives. However, often the world, in terms of advertisers, younger people and frequently men, begins to pull a curtain around us and we become invisible. We’re still as vibrant, savvy, sexy as we were the day before .. sometimes even more so!  However, too often we buy into it. How do you not be “invisible?”

Elisa Camahort Page: I honestly think that we are at our most confident and visible when we reach out to hold up and make visible others.

For example, often people worry about coming to BlogHer’s annual event, which now hosts over 4,000 people. Many of our community members and attendees are introverts, as am I. Many worry about feeling awkward, on the edges, and alone. I feel that way at many events I attend, but not at BlogHer events.

Why? Because at BlogHer events I am a host … I consider it my job to make people feel welcome. And that allows me to overcome my own inclination to hide. I always recommend that people who are feeling shy and awkward look around and try to spot someone who looks even more uncomfortable than they feel, and to go over and reach out to them. Similarly, BlogHer.com exists to give link love to our community, and through that we hope that the love comes back.

But it all starts with looking outside ourselves.

atsGf/Toby:  Sometimes when you color outside of the lines you find great success. Sometimes you skin your knee. Please tell us of a time when you went outside your comfort zone and the lessons that you learned.

Elisa Camahort Page: The fact that I’m an entrepreneur at all is evidence that I’m outside my comfort zone. I never planned it. My career role model was my mom, a second wave feminist who broke down barriers and worked her way up the corporate ladder. I planned to be that person with that kind of career.

But here’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned, as I think about what I like to call my “checkered past” encompassing four different careers (so far): My identity is not wrapped up in what I do. It is wrapped up in who I am.

If I believe I am smart, driven and a hard worker, then there’s no reason to believe I can’t do anything I set my mind to and am willing to work for.  If one thing doesn’t work, I can try something else. I can learn new technologies. I can fall down and get back up. I can ask the right questions. Most of all: I can take a risk and survive the outcome, whichever way it goes.

atsGf/Toby:  To wrap this up .. the virtual floor is all yours. What would you tell our community of amazing women?

Elisa Camahort Page: When you feel yourself holding yourself back from trying something, anything new, don’t decide not to do it until you can answer one question in detail: What is the worst that could happen if I fail?

Really spec it out. For me the worst that could have happened if BlogHer had failed, as I went through my life savings and racked up $50K in debt, was that I could have ended up moving back in with my mom in my early 40s. Not a desired outcome, but not the end of the world. Not a tragedy. I could have started all over, found a job, worked my way back up.

I think a lot of people are afraid of failure, but their fear is entirely abstract. Making that fear specific, instead of general, is the best thing you can do to figure out if following a passion, an idea, a wild hair idea, is worth it.

Continue the conversation with Elisa!

BlogHer Website  BlogHer profile – Includes links to all my blogs, my Delicious feed and more

Google+   Twitter @ElisaC   Vegan Blog


About the Author

Toby Bloomberg Has Written 30 Articles For Us!

Toby is Founder/President of Atlanta-based strategy and social media consultancy, Bloomberg Marketing/Diva Marketing and acknowledged by Forbes as one of the country’s most foremost bloggers. She is a widely recognized for her expertise in combining social media with traditional marketing values (strategy, customer insights, segmentation, etc.) while maintaining the authenticity of digital conversations. Toby recently wrote the first business book based on (40) Twitter interviews with marketing pros. Social Media Marketing GPS has been downloaded over 10,000 times by people all the world.
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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the interview, Toby. I like to call you one of our BlogHer OGs, and it’s always fun to work together :)

  2. Thanks for the article Toby, and the advice Elisa… as someone else with what I call “multiple identities”, I’m putting your quote over my desk: My identity is not wrapped up in what I do. It is wrapped up in who I am.
    If I believe I am smart, driven and a hard worker, then there’s no reason to believe I can’t do anything I set my mind to and am willing to work for. If one thing doesn’t work, I can try something else. I can learn new technologies. I can fall down and get back up. I can ask the right questions. Most of all: I can take a risk and survive the outcome, whichever way it goes.

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