Episode 52: Debba Haupert, Founder of Girlfriendology.com Tells Us Why Connecting With Girlfriends is SO Important!

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In this enlivening interview we hear from the founder of girlfriendology.com, Debba Haupert on the many ways women are a vital part of our on-going empowerment.  A self-made entrepreneur, Debba talks about how women have supported her in growth and how we can connect with other like-minded women on the internet. Tune in and hear how Girlfriendology.com is helping to change the world – one friendship at a time!

Transcript

Alissa Kriteman: Welcome to Just For Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex.  I’m your host Alissa Kriteman.  This show is dedicated to bringing you today’s top experts offering new perspectives and useful tools to support you in having the life of your dreams. 

[intro music]

Debba Haupert: I wanted Girlfriendology to be all-inspiring.  And I didn’t want there to be any reason not to feel comfortable going there and to get something positive out of going there.  I did some research on this when I was just getting into Girlfriendology because I wondered why did I have this strong passion for promoting female friendship.  And I did some research.  There’s a book called “The Tending Instinct” where they did research on men and women.  And prior research on stress is only done on men.  They finally did it on women.  They found out we respond differently to stress.

Alissa Kriteman: Today on the show I’m happy to welcome Debba Haupert, entrepreneur and founder of girlfriendology.com who’s going to talk to us today about the importance of women connecting with women.  How to do that more in our lives in general and online. 

Debba Haupert: Hi, Alissa.  How are you?

Alissa Kriteman: I’m fantastic.  Thank you so much for being on Just for Women this morning.

Debba Haupert: Well, thank you for having me. 

Alissa Kriteman: You know, I have to ask you, your name’s not Debra or Debbie, it’s Debba.  Where does that come from?

Debba Haupert: That was a college name from girlfriends that just stuck.  And so I decided to just keeping using it just to kind of differentiate me, especially when I was in the craft industry previously.  And so people knew me and they call me that, so it just stuck.

Alissa Kriteman: You know, it’s kind of a signature too because your whole, what we’re talking about today is girlfriends and how they influence us and support us and the importance of having those connections.  So I like that you keep that moniker.

Debba Haupert: Well, thank you.

Alissa Kriteman: So for those who don’t yet know who you are, let me tell them a little bit about who Debba Haupert is.  Debba has an extensive background in corporate marketing, product development, P.R., and sales.  And crafts, as we’re going to find out soon as you mentioned.  She’s the author of an award-winning book called “The New Book of Image Transfer” which was rated one of the top ten crafts books of 2004. 
And she’s founder of girlfriendology.com, an online community for women based on inspiration, appreciation and celebration of female friendships.  So Debba, thank you so much.  I’m so excited to talk to you today. 

Debba Haupert: Well, thanks.  I’m excited to be here.

Alissa Kriteman: You know, it’s interesting, too, because when I was looking at your site and I saw you do pod casts and blogs and all of that stuff, I thought, “Wow, in a, in a previous time, I might view that as competition.”  Like, oh, she’s competing for women and you know all of that whole kind of mindset.  But really, in today’s age, especially with the Internet, it’s really about collaboration.  And what do you have to say about that, the whole what you’re doing, what I’m doing, what a million other women are doing online and how we’re shifting from competition to collaboration?

Debba Haupert: I totally agree with you on that.  I just talked to another site yesterday that’s all women-related.  And we’re like forming a bond so that we can support each other.  And I think that’s part of the true meaning of girlfriends that women aren’t as competitive now.  We’re more supportive.  And Girlfriendology is kind of representative of that. 

But, you know, my listeners want to find out about you and hopefully yours do me.  And we all just support.  There’s enough out there to help each other.  So it’s a great time to be on the Internet and sharing in these women’s communities.  So thank you so much for having me because it’s a great time to collaborate.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.  Yeah.  No, it’s my pleasure and I, I like what you say about enough, an abundance.

Debba Haupert: Right.

Alissa Kriteman: And these are the terms and words and the mindset, I think, that really is sort of ushering this new age of, you know, feminine power.

Debba Haupert: Right.

Alissa Kriteman: And there is enough and there’s plenty to go around.  And if you want to hear something about girlfriends go here.  If you want to hear something about sex, go there, you know?

Debba Haupert: Right.

Alissa Kriteman: Right.  Tell us a little bit about your background.  How did you get from the craft industry, sounds like, into the whole online world?

Debba Haupert: Well, I have a background.  I kind of consider myself as a marketing mutt because my background is in a lot of different marketing areas.  I have a degree in Marketing and did a lot of different things and was in the craft industry.  Went back into the corporate world due to my husband’s job situation changing.  And had this passion for, for girlfriends and for female friendship and just, you know, there’s something there.  There’s something that we need to identify on female friendship.  And I’m just going to start Girlfriendology and see where it goes.  And that was about two years ago. 

What’s worked is that I have the background in technology and in marketing.  And so I’ve been able to build girlfriendology.com because I know HTML and I know search engine optimization and things like that and I also know marketing.  So it’s kind of pulled all of the corporate together into, what I feel in my heart is that we really need to make space in our lives for female friendship and that by doing that we can improve the world one friendship at a time.

Alissa Kriteman: Well, that’s interesting.  So you actually built the site yourself with HTML and optimizing it?  You didn’t pay someone to do that?

Debba Haupert: I, I did pay someone to build the technical part of it.  I designed the site and have done the blogs and the pod cast on my own and did a lot of the search engine optimization on my own.  So I fortunately have that background so that’s been good.  Now I have almost no time to do that so I do have to hire some of that out because there’s so much going on with Girlfriendology.  And it’s growing so fast that I’ve, I’ve found some good girlfriends to help me grow it.

Alissa Kriteman: Let’s talk about that.  What are they doing?  How are they helping you grow Girlfriendology?

Debba Haupert: I’m about to do a new site which will combine the blogs, the pod casts, the videos, the shopping all into one area.  And that’s just important for it to grow that it needs to do that.  There was a reason it was built separately.  But now it’s time to bring it all home under girlfriendology.com. 

And I’m working with a girlfriend who is the P.R. expert to get the world, the word out on girlfriendology.com.  So, I’m finding a lot and we’ll, we’ll, I know later on we’ll talk about social media and finding a lot of friends through that that are helping me build Girlfriendology.

Alissa Kriteman: So really it is about collaboration and other people wanting to help and see this grow and really be successful.

Debba Haupert: Oh, completely.  I could not do this without my girlfriends.  I use several of them as an advisory board.  So I’ll run things by them and say, “Ok, I’m thinking about doing reviews and contests.  What do you think about that?  What would draw you to the site that would be inspiring and some reason to come back to girlfriendology.com?”  So I use a lot of them for reference and ideas.  And they’re just great at collaborating.  I’m very fortunate to have wonderful girlfriends.

Alissa Kriteman: You know one of the things you mentioned was you’re an entrepreneur.  And I know that there are a lot of women out there who dream of having their own business, running their own company, but just don’t have the guts.  What do you say to women like that?  What are some keys to being a successful entrepreneur?

Debba Haupert: I love women entrepreneurs.  And I love, and I’m very supportive of all entrepreneurs because it’s people that have such a passion in their heart for what they’re doing.  And you can’t fake wanting to do something if you’re an entrepreneur.  You have to really feel it.  So I encourage women entrepreneurs.  I have a couple of groups that I’ve started.  I’m meeting with one [tape skip] girlfriends. 

My girlfriends and I are going to get together and talk about our entrepreneurial businesses.  So we share ideas and we ask each other tough questions.  “How are you marketing yourself?  How are you doing this?  How’s this going for you, you know?  What are some resources that we can help you find?”  So we really support each other.  So there’s a lot of collaboration, again, with women entrepreneurs online.  And there’s a lot of resources online that I always try to help my girlfriends find, too.

Alissa Kriteman: What would be one resource for a woman who’s interested in breaking into an entrepreneur?  I mean, I know men have like these Mastermind groups and are there women Mastermind groups out there?

Debba Haupert: Totally, totally.  I, like I said, I started two of them here.  I have different groups of girlfriends that have different levels of entrepreneurial experience.  So there’ll be some newbies that’ll show up.  This Saturday when we meet, there’ll be a couple who’ll show up that are brand-new.  And they’ll tell us about their business and we’ll give them some ideas.  So I definitely recommend Mastermind groups. 

There’s a lot of resources online.  I just interviewed somebody for a pod cast that’s involved with sbtb.com.  That’s a small business television.  So there’s lots of resources online that you can find.  And you can just look for women who are doing it.  And we’re so open that women will come to me and say, “I want to start a business.  How do I do that?” and I’ll spend time with them and help them try to figure some things out.  And I know there’s women that I’ve called that probably didn’t have time, too.  But they spent time helping me.  So you pay that back by helping other women.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.  You know I just did an interview recently myself with Susan Erckhardt Brown who wrote a book, “The Accidental Entrepreneur.”  So yes, there are resources out there.

Debba Haupert: Oh, yeah.  That’s great.  That’s a great one.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.  Have you read that book?

Debba Haupert: No, I haven’t.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve picked it up.  But I haven’t even had time to read it so.
Alissa Kriteman: Well, now you said that twice now.  So you are extremely busy.  So how do you take time out for your girlfriends with such a busy life?

Debba Haupert: That is probably one of the toughest things for me right now because I am very committed to building this and it takes a lot of my free time.  I was working last night until eleven o’clock.  I got up this morning and had an article for a magazine that I had to write.  But this afternoon at one-thirty, I’m going over to a girlfriend’s house and helping her do brainstorming on her business.  So I’m trying to set aside time.

Alissa Kriteman: That’s not “you” time.

Debba Haupert: I know.  I know.  But I’m setting aside time for my girlfriends because I have to make it a priority.  And I have a girlfriends group that we meet like every other Wednesday.  So we get together and have dinner and catch up.  And there are times when I really don’t have time to do that.  And I know once I get there and I’m in the door for five minutes, I’ve forgotten everything I was working on and I’m totally in the moment with my girlfriends.  And I need that to rejuvenate me.

Alissa Kriteman: Let’s talk about that.  What is it about women getting together with women that’s so energizing?

Debba Haupert: I did some research on this when I was just getting into Girlfriendology because I wondered why did I have this strong passion for promoting female friendship.  And I did some research.  There’s a book called, “The Tending Instinct” where they did research on men and women. 

And prior research on stress was only done on men.  They finally did it on women.  They found out we respond differently to stress.  We knew that but they had to do the research to show that.  I think we’re all so stressed now and what they’re finding is that we relieve stress by being with our girlfriends.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.

Debba Haupert: We are healthier.  We’re happier.  We live longer.  I think this fact is hilarious.  Men are most opposed to getting married but they live longer if they get married.  Women, whether they get married or not, their longevity is the same. 
Alissa Kriteman: [laughs] Really?

Debba Haupert: Yes.  But if they have girlfriends, they do live longer.  They’re healthier.  They’re happier and their stress is reduced.  And you know how that is.  You get with your girlfriends and all of a sudden your stress is gone.  It’s a great, a great medicinal need that we have just to be with girlfriends.

Alissa Kriteman: You know it’s interesting.  I’m here in Chicago doing a project for the summer.  And I ran into a woman on the street because I was looking with a friend for a place to eat.  And she just offered, “This sushi place is really good.  You want to go here.”  And I turned to her because I was so new to the neighborhood and I said, “Listen.  I want to ask you a question.”  And we just started gabbing and talking and now we’re girlfriends. 

Debba Haupert: Yes.

Alissa Kriteman: And that to me, I felt when I met her, I felt at home.

Debba Haupert: Yes.

Alissa Kriteman: I felt safe.

Debba Haupert: Exactly.

Alissa Kriteman: I felt that I could trust this person.  And it’s amazing.  I want to talk a little bit more about this because I think and you’ve got some statistics on it.  It’s really unhealthy when there’s blocks, whether it’s from our childhood, our relationship with our mothers, our sisters, what have you.  It’s so important to heal that as adult women.

Debba Haupert: Oh, yeah.  Right.

Alissa Kriteman: Because if we don’t have that, it’s like cutting off a lifeline.

Debba Haupert: Right.  Right.  We, we lose touch with ourselves because you know when you’re with someone you feel comfortable with, you’re totally yourself and they accept you.  And when you don’t have that experience and you’re not around other women, you lose touch with that.  You’ve suddenly become someone’s mother or someone’s wife or someone’s partner or someone’s co-worker and you lose touch with who you are. 

So being with girlfriends reminds you of that and just brings that all home.  And it’s just an energizing, rejuvenating, healing experience to be with girlfriends.  So that’s, that’s why I started Girlfriendology because I just, I do think we can change the world.  Because if I’m a better girlfriend and that inspires you to be a better girlfriend and then your girlfriends are inspired to treat their friends better, it’s just the ripple effect of us all being more in tune with our friends and that makes us more in tune with ourselves, too.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.  And if you have a whole group of women living their dreams and supporting one another, the men are going to be happier.

Debba Haupert: Right.  Exactly.

[laughter]

Debba Haupert: Yeah.

Alissa Kriteman: I mean, it’s kind of a no-brainer.  So what kind of support would you offer women who maybe have difficulty in telling their girlfriend an uncomfortable truth?

Debba Haupert: I’ve done a little research on that, too, because it’s really, it’s a tough situation.  And I, I focus on the happy side of girlfriends.  But I know there’s also that side that’s not always comfortable and happy and pleasant.  But, as a friend, we have to trust each other.  And we have to trust each other to be able to take our input and then, utilize it however we see fit. 

If I tell a girlfriend of mine, “I’m not sure that you’re making good choices right now.  I will support you whatever you do.  But I just want you to know, I’m concerned.  And I’m here for you.  And if I can help you in this situation.”  It all depends on how you approach it with them.  If you tell them what they’re doing is wrong, we automatically become defensive.  But if you say, “I’m here to help you.  I’m here to help you figure this out.”

Sometimes we need our friends to see things that we can’t see.  And we have to come to it on a basis of trust and friendship.  And knowing that we’re going to be friends after this is all gone.  You know this is all said and done and we’re still friends.  We need to kind of get over those bumps and go, “Ok.  I’m not going to take that personally.  I’m not going to hold that against them.  That was their opinion.  We differed on that.”  But my friendship with them is so much more important than being sensitive that they corrected me or challenged me or whatever.  So we just have to really trust each other and come to each other out of honesty and trust. 

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.  I like that.  It’s like bringing the love with the truth.

Debba Haupert: Yes, exactly.

Alissa Kriteman: But definitely bringing the truth because I know even for myself there’s been situations where I’m like, “Oh, I’ll just let that slide.  Oh, I’ll just let that slide.”  And by the fifth time I’ve done that then I notice that I can’t bring the love anymore.

Debba Haupert: Right.

Alissa Kriteman: And so, it is so important to do that.

Debba Haupert: And that’s actually a great part of the women entrepreneurial groups and Mastermind groups because we hold each other accountable.  And when my friend Tina was like, “I’m going to get a sign for my store.”  And the next month, she’s like, “Still need to get the sign for my store.”  And, you know, we gave her grace in that, you know, yes, she had some situations going on where it delayed her. 

But we also recognized, “We’re going to hold you accountable.  That’s a goal of yours and you know it’s important.  So we’re here to be the person that reminds you, you’ve got to get that goal done because that’s something really important.”  So we can, we can hold each other accountable and that’s a good way to do it.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah, this is so smart.  I’ve sort of been, is it, in my own life looking for, “What’s next?  What’s next?”  You know, because I want to grow my business, too.  And I think that’s what’s next.  I was thinking maybe I need a business partner.  But you know what I need?  I need an entrepreneurial group.  [laughs]

Debba Haupert: Yes, exactly.  I’d recommend that.  And you can easily find that there, like, well, talking about social media; there are ways to find other women who do that.  There’s groups online.  There’s organizations, if you want to join them, that have some great networking opportunities.  So it all depends on your own personal style.  But I highly recommend that.  That makes all of the difference. 

And I have friends that, when I was in the craft industry, we called each other every month.  We had a conference call.  We updated each other on our goals.  We set goals for the next month.  We held each other accountable.  And we were all, kind of like we were talking at the first, you know, we could have been considered competitors. 

We were in the same field.  We were doing very similar services but we were so much stronger together that we would help each other out and go, “Hey, I heard about this opportunity that would be great for you.”  And we looked out for each other.  So I highly recommend that.  You should do that.

Alissa Kriteman: Feminine power.  Feminine power.

Debba Haupert: Yes.  Yes.

Alissa Kriteman: Alright.  We’re going to take a short break to support our sponsors.  This is Alyssa Kriteman, your host of Just for Women: Dating, Relationships, and Sex.  I’m speaking with Debba Haupert, founder of girlfriendology.com about the benefits of cultivating healthy connections with women.  How to support yourself if you want to be an entrepreneur.  And how important it is to take time, not only for yourself, but really connect with girlfriends, get that energy.  Alright.  Hold on, we’ll be right back. 

[commercial break]

Alissa Kriteman: We’re back.  I’m Alyssa Kriteman, your host of Just for Women:  Dating, Relationships and Sex.  We’re speaking with Debba Haupert, founder of girlfriendology.com.  She’s been sharing with us her background, her insight, her amazing support of women for women in the world.  And how things are changing so much and especially with the Internet, it’s really about collaboration versus competition.  And how this feminine form of power is really going to change the world. 

So Debba tell us a little bit about that, I mean, we’re women.  You know it’s been a patriarchy as long as we can even remember, how are we going to change the world?

Debba Haupert: Right.  We’re going to change it by working together and by collaborating.  There’s a, a new thing in our city that does a boot camp.  And it’s just for women.  They get together and they work out in the morning.  And what they found was men were too competitive.  And women were all supportive.  So it’s only women that get to do this.  And when we get women together, we can make so much change. 

I mean, there’s things happening around the world where I’ve heard of you know some drug lords in South America were like their wives and girlfriends said you know, “No more, you know, cooking for you.  No more sex.  No more anything.  We want you to, you know, behave and do these things and not be terrorists.”  And they really made change in these men by, by setting these guidelines.  So there is such power if we work together and I think that women are realizing that.

Alissa Kriteman: Awesome.  I love that.  Now you say, you know, you talk about positive female friendship, sharing, things of that nature.  And you say there’s no ranting, no male-bashing or negative ads.  But, you know, there’s a lot of sites out there that are attracting a lot of attention with just those things.  Why did you choose a different path?

Debba Haupert: I wanted Girlfriendology to be all-inspiring.  And I didn’t want there to be any reason not to feel comfortable going there and to get something positive out of going there.  And there’s, that’s fine that there are sites that let you rant and do male-bashing.  And that’s, if you’re looking for that, those are other sites that you can go to and that’s fine. 

I wanted it to be a very positive experience for any woman to come to girlfriendology.com and just be like “Oh, that’s a great story.  That’s a great idea on how to celebrate a big birthday with a girlfriend.”  Or how to take care of a girlfriend who’s going through cancer.  Or ideas on, you know, just making a girlfriend’s day easier or better.  So I wanted it to be very branded that it was all-inspirational and all female-friendly.

Alissa Kriteman: And I really, that’s what I appreciate about your site as well because it is so positive.  I remember just recently I wrote just like a blog, you know?  Because I want to connect with other women on other blog sites.  And I wrote something about a diamond ring and how, you know, we need to be careful about where we get our diamonds because there’s this whole, you know, I don’t know if you saw the movie, “Blood Diamond?”

Debba Haupert: Right.

Alissa Kriteman: And these, you know, diamonds are being cultivated and, and captured in very terrible ways.  And so I just wanted to put that out there and say, you know, “Just know where your diamonds are coming from.”  And you know some people don’t have diamond rings as their engagement rings, they have other gemstones, blah, blah, blah.  I got back this scath, like somebody else posted an anonymous post and it was so terrible.

Debba Haupert: Oh, my!

Alissa Kriteman: It was like, so and so, like, literally called me, you know, my code name, whatever, a dumb ass.  And who, what kind of a guy is, is I dating that you know that I wouldn’t want a diamond band.  And I thought to myself, “Wow, this feels terrible.  This is what’s going on.”  Like just that whole nattering thing.

Debba Haupert: Right.  Right.

Alissa Kriteman: It was so terrible.  And this is what I’m talking about and why I’m so glad your site is going in a different direction because that kind of energy.

Debba Haupert: Right.

Alissa Kriteman: I mean it really kind of upset me.

Debba Haupert: Yes.  And just the anonymous nature of the Internet, that can happen.  And I’ve heard of that happening on a lot of women’s sites.  And it is.  It’s just a negative energy that I don’t want anywhere around me.  And that would bug me, you know, in my sleep and just that someone would attack you almost like that.  So again, I, I don’t want that.  I want to avoid that. 

And yeah, there are some people that have bad girlfriend experiences.  It’s funny.  I have a contest every month.  And people send in their stories.  And every once in a while somebody will send in a story and she’ll, she’ll say, “You know my girlfriend isn’t nice to me anymore.  Whatever.”  And you just want to turn it around and go, “Well, you know, let’s look at the positive side of “whatever” you know? 

How did you behave or how could you, you know, solve this problem or heal this relationship by looking at the positive side instead of trying to look for the flaws in people or the problems.  We, we get to control the energy around us.  And that just takes it in a different direction that I don’t want to go.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.  It’s another big step in, you know, being responsible and like you said if we do want to change the world, we have to change.  There’s something in us that has to change and it’s funny because I could’ve written back something scathing.  But I just kind of said, “Well, that’s an interesting perspective.  Here’s some links to support, you know, what I said.”

Debba Haupert:  Yes.  Yes.

Alissa Kriteman: And just, just change the whole thing and just trust that like this person must be suffering.  And, and that’s I think another part of what girlfriends can support each other in.  It’s really kind of opening up that perspective and looking at what does this person need?
Debba Haupert: Exactly.

Alissa Kriteman: Ok.  So tell us a little bit about social media marketing, MySpace, Facebook.  I mean everybody’s out there with their pictures and writing on each other’s walls and stuff.  I think it’s a blast.

Debba Haupert: It is.  It’s a great way to find community with women.  It’s interesting.  I just did a talk about women and social media a couple of weeks ago at Pod Camp, Ohio.  And I did some research on it.  And it showed that while men have 60% of the blogs right now, women are more social.  So we are exceeding them in growth in social media.  So while men are the early adapters and that’s fine, women get the social side. 

We get the side that goes, “Hey. I want to find out something and I could go to this blog and she knows about diamonds and I need to know this.”  I mean, we see each other as girlfriends that if I find a common bond with you, or common mindset, then all of a sudden, I trust you.  And what advertisers now are finding is that previously we trusted corporations, politicians, and the media.  And now we don’t trust any of those.  But we trust girlfriends.  And we even now because we’re getting to know women online, we trust strangers because we have gotten to know them through their blogs and we don’t see them as strangers.

Alissa Kriteman: Right.

Debba Haupert: And it’s a very powerful way that we can influence things.  And that we can, you know, meet new people.  I have friends that have helped out my business so much that I have never met in person and I probably never will. 

Alissa Kriteman: Right.

Debba Haupert: But I can send out a, a comment or a question on Twitter and I’ll say, “What’s the best place to post my videos?”  And five people will respond and tell me things I never knew.  And they’re willing to help me.  And I have friends.  I’m staying, for a conference I’m spending the night with somebody I’ve never met, a woman that I met only online. [laughs]

Alissa Kriteman: Wow.

Debba Haupert: Yes, I trust that it’s a woman.  I know that it’s a woman.  But and, and there are other people who are going to this conference that are doing the same thing because I’ve talked to some of them.  So we do.  We trust people that we meet online.  And it’s a great way to find new friends.  You find out they have the same beliefs that you have, or hobbies that you have or what we can learn from each other and inspire each other.  It’s a very powerful blogosphere out there and just social media world.

 

Alissa Kriteman: Well, tell me, what are women blogging about?  You said that men have 60% of the blogs.  What do women want to read?  How do you even know what to blog about?

Debba Haupert: Some are blogging just for the fun of it.  I think 50% of blogs right now are just for fun.  They don’t want to make money.  They don’t want to, you know, get a candidate elected.  They just want to have a voice.  And I think that’s a beautiful thing if you use it correctly.  If you say, “You know this is my life.  And this is my kids and this is my family.” 

And there’s definitely some sensitivity about putting your kids out there.  And I think there are things that you need to make sure you’re secure about so that you don’t have your kids names and things like that just for safety reasons.  But people are blogging about their life.  And we’re getting to know people because we know the little things about their life, you know?  And we love knowing it. 

I have friends that ask me, you know, “Where were you last week?”  And I think, “If you looked at my blog, you’d know.”  You know? 

Alissa Kriteman:  Uh-huh.

Debba Haupert: Yeah.  So it’s a way for us to communicate.  It’s a voice for us and it’s a great thing.  The other 50% of blogs, I think, thirty to thirty-five percent are trying to make money off of it.  And the other ones are, they have some ulterior motives or they aren’t sure what they’re doing or they’re just a newbie and they’re trying to figure it out. 

So it’s, the whole spectrum is out there from the mommy bloggers to people that are teaching us all kinds of things that before now we had no way of learning to people that are just trying to find themselves and find other people like themselves.

Alissa Kriteman: So this is good news for women who maybe are in remote areas.  Not in the big metropolitan cities where there’s a lot of connection, courses, things of that nature, where we can actually get content and connection in the far reaches of the world where that was never possible.

Debba Haupert: Right.  That is, that is so true.  And it’s just leveled kind of the playing field because you can be in a remote area.  You can be a different socio-economic level.  If I have Internet access and you have Internet access, I don’t know if your house is in a nicer neighborhood or a less, lesser neighborhood than mine.  And it really doesn’t matter.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.  Right.

Debba Haupert: Because I can talk to you and I think it helps us to see that there are other people out there.  I love the, the thing about Girlfriendology that I love is I can have a girlfriend in South Africa because I went there and I’ve met a lot of women there.  And now I care more about South Africa.  With social media, I can meet women in other areas of the country and now I care about that area.  And I care about that woman.  And it just increases our compassion for people and our awareness of other people.  And I think it’s just a great way of opening up our world to other women.

Alissa Kriteman: Have you seen that, it’s a video, it’s called, “Where is Matt?” 

Debba Haupert: I just saw that actually this morning.  I saw it posted somewhere.  I did not open it up.  I did not.

Alissa Kriteman: You have to open it up.  It’s called, “Where the Hell is Matt?” and it’s a guy who’s dancing.  And I guess Stride gum supported him after that.  But he’s dancing all over the world and.

Debba Haupert: Oh, yes.  I did see that.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.

Debba Haupert: Yeah.

Alissa Kriteman: And talk about an amazing way to connect with people.  It just showed the, the human spirit.

Debba Haupert: Right.

Alissa Kriteman: And I have it, I have it, whenever I’m feeling down or I’m having a bad day, I open this site, “Where the Hell is Matt?”

Debba Haupert:  Ok.

Alissa Kriteman: And I see this kid dancing with, with Israelis and Africans.  And it’s unbelievable the, the infusion of, of inspiration that comes through.  And I think that is a major, major piece of what’s available today.  So how is Girlfriendology, like, what’s new?  What’s happening?  You said that you’re consolidating your site.  That women can send stories in.  Why should we come visit Girlfriendology besides the fact that it’s very inspirational?

Debba Haupert: As a community for women, I want to address different areas of our lives.  And there are women out there that just want to tell their story and to find out about other stories that want to give them a format for that.  When you were just talking about that video, it reminded me that I have video now.  I’ve interviewed I think five different women.  Some authors when they’ve been in my town and things like that are inspiring women. 

And I’m going to a convention, a conference in two weeks for women bloggers.  So I’m going to interview a lot and have some video.  So also to share just visually you know lessons that we learn from girlfriends.  So there’s going to be video.  There’s already the pod cast I do twice a week with inspiring women.  And I’m up to my fiftieth so that’s kind of a good milestone.  I am doing contests and reviews and there’s a lot of inspiring stories.  I’m finding amazing women out there that just are doing creative things, are doing wonderful things to express their appreciation for their girlfriends. 

There are several that have started non-profits to support girlfriends or in honor of girlfriends or in memory of girlfriends.  And you just read some of these stories and you go, “I’m such a schmo.  I need to be a better, I need to be a better girlfriend.”  And it just inspires you.  So it’s just a way of, of connecting with women and finding other women out there that also are very positive and supportive of their friends. 

Alissa Kriteman: Before we go, I have to ask you, what is your most inspirational story that one of your audience members have sent into you?

Debba Haupert: That’s kind of tough because I get some great stories.  And, and I’m kind of a wimp and cry over a lot of the stories that come in.  I do.  But one that really stands out to me, there’s a woman in Texas.  Her name is Virginia.  And her girlfriend, Ellen, lived in Minnesota.  They were great girlfriends.  They talked several times a day. 

They went through major life changes together, divorce, and going back to school and re-marrying, and all of these life changes.  And her friend, Ellen, called her and said, “I just took my last class.  I’m done with college.”  She’d gone back to college.  And that night she died in her sleep.

Alissa Kriteman: Oh, my goodness.

Debba Haupert: Yes.  And Virginia was just, I mean, when they finally told her, she collapsed.  She was just lost without her friend.  And it still, it gives me goose bumps right now just talking about it.  And what she has done is she has a “Happy Girlfriend’s Day” once a year in her town.  She puts it in the paper.  She invites women to come. 

And she, she just, you know, raises money for women that are going back to school.  They get together and they celebrate friendships.  And she has turned it into a positive experience.  So that’s one of the ones that I just love.  And I just see her as a role model for taking something very, very sad and turning it into something good.

Alissa Kriteman: You know, that’s a great point.  Role models.  I don’t think women really have powerful role models.  And that’s another, that’s another thing, I think girlfriendology.com provides is that connection to inspirational women that can fuel us.

Debba Haupert: Right.

Alissa Kriteman: Into also being a role model.

Debba Haupert: Right.  I agree.  I think that’s a, a great way to just kind of you know raise yourself higher and go, “These women are doing things that are amazing and I can, too.”  And I think that’s very inspiring.  So I agree.  I think the role model is needed and that it’s something we can find when we look for it.

Alissa Kriteman: Awesome.  Well, Debba, thank you so much for being on Just for Women today.  I am truly inspired.  I’m going to go get myself an entrepreneurial women’s group straightaway.

Debba Haupert: Well, great.  Thank you, Alyssa.  It was great to talk to you.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah.  And pretty much where we can find you, yeah, girlfriendology.com?

Debba Haupert: That’s where I’ll be.

Alissa Kriteman: Ok.  Great.  And listeners, don’t forget you can email me alissa, [email protected].  I’d love to hear your comments, ask any questions.  You can even offer topics for future shows so feel free to email me there.  And text and transcripts of this show and other shows on the Personal Life Media network are available at personallifemedia.com. 

And please remember my book is available on Amazon.com, “Alissa’s Four Cornerstones to Living the Life of Your Dreams.”  Chock-full of amazing tools and techniques to help you live the life of your dreams.  So Debba, thanks again.  I look forward to connecting with you online.

Debba Haupert: Great.  Thanks, Alissa.  It was great to talk to you.

Alissa Kriteman: Yeah, my pleasure.  I’m your host, Alissa Kriteman, always expanding your awareness and choices here on Just for Women:  Dating Relationships and Sex.  Tune in next time for more juicy news you can use.