Getting My Butt in Gear with Digital Strategy School!

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I have been running CMD+Shift Design since 2008. In those 7 years I learned a lot, I made a lot of mistakes, found some amazing clients, did some really fun projects and made some good money. I’ve had ups and downs and these past 2 years have been tough… really tough. Part of it has to do with personal issues that I allowed to effect business, but I think part of it has had to do with me not focusing on GROWING my business and just chugging along everyday running it.  I know that no one can fix this but me, that is both the beauty and ugly truth of running your own business.

This year, I am getting my butt in gear! One thing that will help me on this journey is an exciting opportunity to do my very first business course. Next week, I will begin a 6-month intensive program called Digital Strategy School. It is lead by a woman I admire as a designer, business owner and person, Marie Poulin and while I am not 100% sure what to expect from the course, I am going to just jump in feet first and see where it takes me!  Some of the people who were involved in the courses beta session have reported HUGE transformations in themselves and their businesses, so I’m ready! LET’S DO THIS!

I’ll share my progress here!

I’m a Sex Geek — deal with it.

IMG_2074It says it right there in my Twitter bio, I am a Sex Geek.

It’s a term that was coined and made popular by renowned sex educator Reid Mihalko and I’ve been one since before there even WAS a term for it. A Sex Geek is much like a geek of any other flavor. Geekiness denotes a persons passionate and intense interest in a subject. Star Wars Geeks, Design Geeks, Sex Geeks, get it?

As a preteen I used to re-read the passages from all my Judy Blume books about menstruation over and over and over.

As a teen I watched the old Loveline TV show when it was on MTV, which now makes me cringe, thinking of Dr. Drew Pinsky sex-negative attitudes!

At 18 I worked on a production of The Vagina Monologues with a troupe of about 20 other fierce feminists!

In college I attended Seattle’s very first (now annual) Erotic Art Festival.

Currently, I listen to 10 times more sex related podcasts than I do design podcasts and I run the Seattle Chapter of Sex Geekdom — a global community for people who love having geeky conversations about sex.

Why is something that is a part of almost everyone’s life such a taboo subject? Why is it considered risky for me to call myself a Sex Geek publicly on forums like Twitter or here on the blog? As the new year approaches, I have decided to be more vocal on my public social media platforms about my life as a sex geek. I volunteer for a number of sex-positive art and activist groups in Seattle and as a designer, I think my knowledge and skills could be utilized within the sex-positive community to help break down some of these social stigmas.

You can follow me on this journey here or by following me on Twitter, @lizandrade.


She’s Geeky: My First Unconference & Having Feels about Solidarity Between Women in Tech

This Friday I attended the first day of She’s Geeky here in Seattle. It was my first experience of the Unconference Format and I had no idea what to expect, but ended up having a GREAT TIME.

Discussions that I joined in on throughout the day included subjects such as Impostor Syndrome, Diversity Groups, Side- Projects, Aging in the Tech World and Being an Introvert.

She’s Geeky is geared toward women who work within the technology industry and those who work with technology within other fields. It was a roomful of people who all have related work experiences and all identify within the “woman” area of the gender spectrum but beyond that, we were both as diverse and as similar as humans tend to be.

As someone who exists within a number of minority groups, my feeling of “otherness” is always present. However, the level of respect and support that was present on Friday made this space feel incredibly safe and opened me up to become more aware of how my “otherness” effects how I view those around me and how I am sometimes not as “alone” as I may feel.

It brought up for me again, a feeling I expressed on a recent Pagebreak Podcast, that this is a very exciting time to be a woman in technology… that the level of solidarity that I have seen recently is greater than ever before and that a CHANGE is happening that makes me feel energized and inspired!