Be authentic.

I’m really happy to say that it has not been a year since I have written a post on the circle blog; it has only been 9 months! Ok, that’s horrible. Anyway, yesterday, I attended the AWE (Alberta Women Entrepreneurs) Leadership Summit and learned a few things I felt are worth sharing.

1. Do you all know about Barb Stegemann? I did not. I don’t have cable so I didn’t see her bring tears to the eyes of two, count ’em, TWO dragons on Dragon’s Den, and be the first female winner on the Atlantic version of this show. She was called a game changer… and I’d say that she still is today. She is making me change my game. She believes in action, and so do I. Key things that stood out from her talk was to protect your ideas like you would protect your children; if people challenge your ideas, this will only push you to be greater. Protect your joy, and never compromise your ethics. Also, 20% of the people out there won’t like you, so don’t worry about it!

2. Darryl Moore gave an amazing workshop on being authentic. This really hit home to me, and I was able to chat a little more with Darryl as he happened to sit at my table. Being authentic comes from our values, beliefs, patterns, etc., and it means to be introspective, to understand where you are weak, as well as where you are strong. This helps to build integrity, create value and build character.  Darryl’s talk cannot be summed up in a paragraph, or even in a couple of hours! So, I think I’ll go for coffee with him. Oh, also, he asked us to write a song about what we are most passionate about. I wrote a little rhyme about archaeology… stay tuned, I will post it!

3. Tara Kelly taught me about the 3 P’s: plan, passion and patience, to which she also added positive attitude and being prepared. These will help you to move forward and be a great leader. The best thing I took from her was a quote from Douglas MacArthur. I wasn’t sure if I could write it down in time, so I took a photo – check it out.

I learned quite a lot more yesterday, far too much to put into a little blog post. I took 7 1/2 pages of notes! My advice: go next year!



What do archaeologists do exactly?

People often wonder what it is archaeologists actually do… Or maybe they don’t, and they assume we’re out there livin’ it up like Indiana Jones or, my favourite, the Relic Hunter.  But it’s not true.  For the many of us, there are few amazing finds, and certainly no guns (although I have been asked if I’d like to carry one, in case of bears – the answer was no).  Hats, though?  Of all different shapes and sizes, definitely yes.  Anyway, for some nitty gritty answers, complete with pics and videos, check out the Day of Archaeology 2012 (if you haven’t already – sorry for the late post)!  And although I couldn’t find the time to post one myself, here is one that my assistant of the day posted.

Also, when I’m in the field, I like to post a daily photo on Instagram, so search for me and follow me!  Here is a little sample… The last couple of months were mainly spent in the forest, and too much of that time was spent trying to get a quad unstuck.

Be happy!

I just funded this Kickstarter project: I’m Fine, Thanks, a documentary about life and how easy it is to become complacent and dissatisfied.  Life is hard, we have responsibilities, we have commitments, but our biggest commitment to ourselves and to our kids, is to choose happiness and find a way to spend our days smiling.

This is for my future kids, my family, my friends, but most of all, my little nieces and nephews that have a big bright future ahead of them.  And for everyone else, it’s never too late!

(Thanks Chris Guillebeau for the tip and the continued inspiration!)

So you’ve always wanted to go on a dig

While I meet quite a few people who have always been interested in archaeology and/or have always wanted to go on a dig, this blog post comes at special request, for someone wishing to tick a box on a bucket list.  (Good luck to your mom, Michelle!)

The best place to go on a dig, where you don’t need experience and you get to uncover amazing things, is with SVG Digs on the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  Ha, that is a totally biased opinion.  Though SVG Digs is pretty amazing, if we run a third season, it may not be until March 2013 (stay tuned).

If you want to stay close to home and there aren’t any listings below in your local area, try your local archaeological society; they might run volunteer excavations during the summer.  Otherwise, there are a quite few options for volunteering on an archaeological excavation, depending on your interests, location and budget.  The things you will uncover will vary, depending on where you go, how old the site is and how great the site is; plus, you will want to consider location with regard to free-time activities.

1. Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin – The Archaeological Institute of America has postings of volunteer opportunities around the world, ranging in price, location and site type.  Browse this amazing bulletin and see what takes your fancy.

2. Past Horizons Field Projects – Similarly, UK based Past Horizons posts fieldwork opportunities for volunteers and budding archaeologists.  Posts are also international; some likely double up from the AFOB.  This site is also great for other info, i.e., recent archaeology news, a tool store, etc.  They also have a great article on what to know before you go (Dig Survivors Guide).

3. DigVentures – If you can make it to England, DigVentures has great rates on participating on a dig at the amazing Bronze Age site of Flag Fen.  They are currently crowdsourcing to raise funds for this project, so check it out; be a gold digger like me!

I hope this helps people fill some dreams.  If all else fails, Google can be your best friend.  Write me back and let me know!

Crowdfunding the Stonehenge of the Bronze Age

Crowdfunding is a growing trend; many websites offer budding artists and entrepreneurs the opportunity to get the general public contribute to their next project.  One great success (which I supported) is the Albatross bookmark, which raised over $45,000 with a goal of only $3,000.  Amazing!  When we attempted to crowdfund for SVG Digs, however, we were a little less than successful.  Reaching over 80% of our goal was fantastic, but the majority of those funds came from family and close friends.  And this was for a site that was under immediate threat, with the rarest of archaeological remains for the island of St. Vincent, as well as the Caribbean, that will help to rewrite their prehistory.  So, the question remains, “How do you get the general public to crowdfund for archaeology?”

(Photo of Flag Fen from DigVentures)

DigVentures might have the answer. Their first project will attempt to rescue and record the iconic site of Flag Fen.  According to Project Director, Brendon Wilkins, “…[Flag Fen] occupies a place in British public consciousness like no other. It is the Stonehenge of the Bronze Age, and only 1.5% of the overall monument has actually been excavated.”  Under threat by degradation, dewatering and drying out, Flag Fen will not survive like other buried sites would.  Experts believe it only has a few decades at most, which means this project needs funding asap.  Can crowdsourcing help?

Wilkins believes that the motivating factor behind crowdsourcing for archaeology is in actual participation.  That is, come and dig and experience archaeology for yourself!  Alternatively, have exclusive access to their Site Hut, and participate on their digital platform.  Currently, DigVentures is at almost 40% of their goal, with all money slated for the project itself (digging, specialist assessment, and a 5-year research design)… and there are only 31 days left.  So go and dig, at least dig virtually.  Plus, you get archaeology swag (always a plus) and, if you are on the British isle, you can go to their end of site party!  Do it.  You know you wanna.

“Just do it. Don’t be what you’re not.”

February 29 was a big day.  TED2012, Calgary iFseries Day 3, Women of Influence Luncheon with Sue Lee, and the 20th anniversary of my debut (my big bad 18th birthday party; it’s like a wedding but no groom, just a girl in a big white dress).  I was able to attend TED through TEDxLive, with a break for an influential lunch time speaker with WOI, all the while following tweets on the iFseries… and trying to forget about the fact that I just turned 38.  What a day!

You see, I need inspiration.  Every year around my birthday, I freak out about how old I’m getting and how little I seem to be doing with my life.  Though my best friend from high school told me that I’ve done so much and I’m so far ahead, I will seem to disagree.  But maybe that’s what keeps me moving forward.  Each success, no matter how small, is celebrated… but why stop there?  My parents came here from the Philippines so we could have a better life, but that doesn’t mean I sit back and reap all the rewards of their hard work.  It means I work hard too, and keep paying it forward.

So many people have a similar upbringing, with parents and grandparents who struggled to make a better life.  Yet there are still many who forget their stories, who sit back, relax, and wait for good things to happen to them.  No matter which mold you have found yourself in, watch this TED talk by Tan Le on her immigration story, and ask yourself which mold you want to be in.

Fears Schmears

This post is inspired directly from Chris Savage’s Savage Thoughts and it’s 7 months old.  Yes, I’m late to this party, but this party is more like a festival; it goes on and on.  I just felt it had to be shared, and not just with a simple Like or Retweet.  GO READ IT.

Everyone’s got fears, not just entrepreneurs.  Entrepreneurs are just a little crazier in that we face these specific fears on a regular basis, and continue to stomp them.  Savage’s thoughts? “It’s okay to be scared.”  And, more importantly:

“You have to embrace the fear. You have to try. And eventually, just trying matters. And suddenly you’re not afraid anymore.