#WTART Update 13: Super exciting, super good news!

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I just finished reviewing the manuscript within its final layout! Once Chris implements my comments, Diana will make the final check. We’re so very close to printing the proof copies! 

Regarding the cover, we have four possible color combinations; a combination of blue and green or peachy orange. I’ve decided to make the final decision once I'm holding the manuscripts in my hands. 

Just last week, we’ve finally received the blurbs for the back of the book. I’m super proud and super excited the power women Annie Daly, Emma Gannon, Kathi Kamleitner, and Katy Cowan share what they thought about the book with us! (Don’t forget to check out their incredible work.) 

Here's what they said: 

"A must-read for all freelancers with a serious case of wanderlust who want, more than anything else, to create a life they never feel the need to escape from." 

Annie Daly

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"This book is not a fairy tale story or a book of inspirational quotes; it is full of solid advice that you will keep with you throughout the rest of your career."

Emma Gannon

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"A creative inspiration, thoughtful reminder, and encouraging guidance all in one. Monika gets you thinking about your life choices, next business steps, and as always, your priorities."

Kathi Kamleitner

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"Through her new book, Monika yet again shows us how to free ourselves from the chains of conventionalism and live a different, more adventurous life where we can thrive and be successful without following a traditional path. Worth your time!" 

Katy Cowan

I really hope I manage to get the book live on Amazon before you head out for summer vacation. It’s the perfect read for that! 

It’s a wrap! April

You might have already read my Kickstarter post about my arrival in Bali and how my laptop broke. Now that I’m back in Europe after a month of vacation and typing this post on my new MacBook, I’m open for business again.

I’m currently re-working my online presence, but should you need help with your website, need to talk through your marketing strategy, or just want to meet up for a coffee or lunch, I’m back in Vienna and happy to talk in person or via Skype! Please do get in touch if you have a project you’d like me to get involved in! 

It’s a wrap! March

March marked my last month as Kickstarter’s Outreach Lead for Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands. I handed my position over to the wonderful Christoph Nagel, who now has the honor of missioning around Europe on behalf of one of my all time favorite companies!

While March was my last month and I still needed to wrap up the fashion sprint I was working on, I still managed to squeeze in some last minute talks, such as the one at the AMFI, Jovoto’s Event at Betahaus in Berlin, and I also organized another chapter of the series I started, Embrace Your Hustle, at the Factory in Berlin

Being a part of such an incredible project, such as the launch of Kickstarter in Europe, has been an incredible honor. I’ve mentioned some of the wonderful projects I was lucky to have helped succeed within the past two years in my other monthly reflection posts. And so, not to repeat myself, I’ll just say one thing: the entire experience has been unreal and out of the ordinary!  

As you know with Kickstarter, it’s all or nothing, and I felt like I needed to take a break for a little, as I no longer felt I was the right person to do the job. Some things that would've given me energy became a little draining, so the most professional thing to do (from my perspective) was to prepare everyone for a personal exit. I’ve mentioned in December I’d be leaving, so that’s what happened. As of now, I feel like I need a couple of weeks off! I cannot wait! 

Given my plan for the past few months has been to go to Bali in April, I knew I needed to finish all the writing for Work Trips and Road Trips before the end of March. 

It’s only been a few days, but I’m happy to announce that I wrote the last period in the document on the 30th of March, at 8:30am, at St. Oberholz in Berlin. I had tears in my eyes. It just felt so good to be able to say I’m halfway finished! 

Another thing that happened I’m incredibly proud of is that I got portrayed in Mariam Al-Ayash’s Wiener Portraits. She asked me what I loved about Vienna, and it felt like it came at the right moment because one of the things I wanted to change about my lifestyle was how much I traveled in the past few years. Currently, I have a deep desire to spend some more time at home. However, and before I’ll do that, I’m heading to Bali for a month. <3 

It's a wrap! February

February might have been the most exhausting month that I can remember. The team at Creative Mornings Vienna asked me to give a talk about Moments and my plan was to launch my Kickstarter at the end of the talk. Due to a major bug, the Kickstarter project couldn’t go live, which completely changed how I felt about my performance in general. Creative Mornings is one of my most favorite communities and thus, it was a big deal for me to get such a unique opportunity, but the ending of the talk made the entire strength of it fizzle out. It left quite a bitter aftertaste. Nevermind. You win some, you lose some I guess.

I then launched the project on a Friday afternoon, the one time of the week when you’re not supposed to launch a project on Kickstarter. My plan was to do a secret launch for my previous backers and then launch publicly the following Monday. For the ones who followed the project, you might have noticed that we were stuck at 48%. I temporarily sort of lost hope and needed to somehow rebuild it. That’s when I announced, what I called, the plan B. I offered to help people set up their websites. This kicked in and it brought the campaign from 48% to 73% within 24 hours. We were on our way!

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When you launch a Kickstarter project, you never know what’s going to happen. You have to be prepared to roll with it and if plan A doesn’t work, you need to come up with a plan B, C, or D. Because something that might have worked last year might not work this year. You have to be open to trying things out. It’s exhausting, your adrenaline is probably higher than it’s ever been, which then leads to many sleepless nights, but once the project is over and is one of the 36% successful projects, you’ll be extraordinarily proud you’ve pulled it off!

In February, I spoke about Remote Work at the Factory in Berlin and helped host a Berlinale side event there too. I also hosted a fashion event at Denim City in Amsterdam and a journalist dinner at Balthazars Keuken with such amazing people, such as Angel Trinidad and Margot van der Krogt.

One of my highlights has been a workshop about community building for Oikocredit. In a group of 20 participants, we discussed the differences between “old school advertising” and engaging community building. It’s still important to tell people that having a community has nothing to do with having a Facebook page or being on Twitter. Community is about engaging people in a conversation and giving them opportunities to help shape a brand!

March will be my last month with Kickstarter. If you want to discuss your project with me, now is your chance! Hit me up! <3

#WTART Update 08: Some live videos to watch this weekend

Hello, hello,

Thank you so much for joining our live stream. In case you missed it, rewatch it here. if you have any questions, please email hello@mkanokova.com

 

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As some of you might know, I’ve recorded two Skillshare classes myself and I’ve watched several dozens of classes created by talented people who decided to share their skills with others.

Here are some of my favorites that might help you with your freelance business:

Samantha Wilson’s series “Now What?” is great for graphic designers who’d like to learn what to do with their creations besides putting them down on paper: http://skl.sh/2kdhScp

If you run an Instagram account for your business, you might appreciate Dana Malstaff’s strategy to create and manage your strategy through Trello: http://skl.sh/2hQeiBR

Philip Campbell summarized the places where you can sell digital assets online: http://skl.sh/2h62BGk

Luna Vega, whose story you’ve read in This Year Will Be Different, created a class about email marketing techniques: http://skl.sh/2kd62Pq

One of my favorite people at Kickstarter, Stephanie Pereira, made a class to teach you about storytelling, which is a pretty handy class if you’re planning to go live on Kickstarter in the foreseeable future. (Tom Bates, a backer of My Creative (Side) Business did and I was lucky to help him!) http://skl.sh/2cZoFPA

I can also highly recommend the class of my friend Gareth Pon, who teaches you how to make the most of Instagram: http://skl.sh/2kfJ7Di

...and finally, if you haven’t already watched it, you might like to take my class on freelancing as a little recap: http://skl.sh/1HPjtr1

Happy Saturday! Enjoy the videos! 

 

#WTART Update 07: Hire me to help you revamp your website (Introducing a plan B)

As you might have already seen, the campaign to fund Work Trips and Road Trips has been incredibly slow and we’ve only reached 58% with just one week left. Kickstarter is All Or Nothing, which means I’ll only receive the funds if the project hits 100% of its goal before the 4th of March. 

(Now breathe!) 

It’s been a crazy month. I've written a ton of guest blog posts and the project has been featured all over the internet. (Literally! Scroll down to read some of the posts.) Many of you have shared a link to this campaign too. Something I’m incredibly grateful for! 

Nevertheless, the closer this project comes to an end, the more obvious it is to me that I need a plan B to get Work Trips And Road Trips funded to pay the team. 

There have been obstacles from the beginning. I first tried to launch this project at the end of my Creative Mornings talk on how plan B is always better. Oh the irony! After failing to go live due to a bug on the Kickstarter website, my plan B that day was to launch after the talk, on a Friday afternoon. Note to self: you should never launch a Kickstarter project on a Friday, especially not in the afternoon.

When I woke up at 5am this morning and scrolled through my Facebook feed (it’s literally impossible to sleep longer than that when you have a project live. It’s pure adrenaline!), I came across this New York Times article, that explains how Trump has taken over the internet and become probably more talked-about than anyone else on this planet, and how it’s impossible to notice anything that’s not Trump-related (like this project). 

As Britain struggles with a weak Pound and with the US reevaluating life under Trump, I feel like it's time to share my plan B with you to make this project happen after all.

Ok, so what is my plan B? My plan B is to offer you help with revamping your website. (We'll most likely build one from scratch!)  ... and yes, please spread the word about this offer!

I can restructure your content and create a site map that best represents you or your company. I can help you gather references about your work and can also help you write the copy. If you’re a visual designer, I can also consult you on how to generate a scalable (others would call this passive) income with your creations. If you choose to create your website with Squarespace, we can basically build the entire site together. 

I'm not a designer. You should know. Squarespace sites are mostly photo-based and you don’t need any sort of programming skills. I have, for example, built my own website in about a week while doing all sorts of other things. If you’d like my help, I’ve included a €1,000 package here on my Kickstarter page. I’d love to work with you! 

Alright! Let’s get this project funded and let’s get you a shiny, new website! 

<3 

PS: If you have any sorts of concerns and want to jump on a Skype call before you decide to back the reward to have me help you with your website, email hello@mkanokova.com 

PPS: This project has been featured on Design TaxiFemtasticsThis is Jane WayneBerlin Loves YouVinazineThe Startup Valley, and in the Matriarch newsletter. There will be a few more guest posts going live. I’ve written one for the Travelettes blog (about how to plan for a vacation as a freelancer), a post for Creative Boom (about how to prepare to go nomadic) and even Sherpa (you should try it!), the new travel app will feature the book in the newsletter next week. 

#WTART Update 06: Join our Kickstarter Live stream about freelancing this coming Saturday!

Hello and thank you for being one of our backers! We really appreciate it! We are at 44% and only have ten days to go. It's hard to compete against Brexit and Trump. Please be so lovely and share a link to this project with the people you think might appreciate reading Work Trips and Road Trips. Every Euro counts! 

I wanted to announce something special that we’ll be doing pretty soon: A Kickstarter Live Stream!

You’ll be able to ask me and my editor, the wonderful Diana everything about freelancing and anything you want to know about making this book! We’ll share some insights from what we’ve learned from conducting all these wonderful interviews. You’ll have the opportunity to chat with us and ask everything you’re curious about, be it freelancing, working remotely, or about working with a location distributed team, as we’ve been over the past couple of years. Or maybe, who knows, you have some other questions you want answers for!

The live stream will happen on Saturday, the 25th of February, at 5 PM CET (which is 11AM New York time).

I’ve created a Facebook event for you to have a reminder! Even if you can’t attend, I’d really appreciate it if you could click “interested” as it helps us spread the word about this project!

https://www.facebook.com/events/259798761127542/

Talk to you soon! <3 

#WTART Update 05: Note from the Editor

Every time I run a Kickstarter, I ask my editor to write a note to share with you. It's the first time I get feedback on the content and so as you can imagine I'm incredibly nervous and simultaneously also very curious to know what she has to say. Diana's words made me cry.. I felt relieved and grateful.. Here is what she said: 

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This book couldn’t be more opposite of my current lifestyle. However, with that being said, it’s also my favorite project to date.

Although I have that nine-to-five job and that steady paycheck, making my lifestyle the complete opposite from these women, I still found it incredibly inspiring and relatable. These interviews aren’t just badass, but they’re practical. These women aren’t preaching for people to up and quit their jobs (unless you’re truly unhappy and unfulfilled) and book a plane ticket on a whim. Some are cautious and careful, like me. Some are more introverted, like me. And some think ahead, plan in advance, look at their budget and responsibilities, and plan trips to work towards, exactly like I would.

It’s refreshing to see women with varying personalities and mindsets live a life of location independency, even if I don’t think it’s for me. The part about taking extended trips, that’s for me. It makes it more relatable for any reader that even if you’re not the type to completely go without a homebase, there’s still a way for you to work and travel, or take long vacations. Not every woman is the same, and that’s what makes this book so special, honest, and real.

It’s in our human nature to seek similarities in the relationships we make. We love to find people we can relate to. Personally, there were two women that completely resonated with me, so they were my favorite interviews to read and edit: Vanessa and Becky. Vanessa is similar to me on a professional basis because we’re both writers. Copywriters, more specifically. I copywrite full-time for a fashion company, so my mind was whirling reading her story about what my next steps could be. It was exciting as it was informative.

Becky, on the other hand, was relatable on a personal basis because I’ve been in her shoes before. She quit her job to spend more time with her mother who was suffering from terminal cancer. She put her relationships before her work. I preach to that same choir. At one point, I was unemployed and living at home because I was focusing my energy on being a full-time caretaker for my yia yia who was suffering from dementia. That was my priority, not making money. There’s always time for that. There’s not always time for being with the people you love, especially when they need you the most.

Work Trips and Road Trips isn’t this picture-perfect book that preaches how being location independent is better than your lifestyle. (And be warned, some women even talk about the downsides to their lifestyles that others need to be prepared for before they go location independent.) Like I mentioned before, it’s honest and it’s real. Plus, it’s just flat out cool. There’s something everyone can relate to and resonate with, even if you’re like me and have a daily routine. And although I wish I could take extended vacations, I’m just not realistically in a position to do so...yet. But, it got the wheels in my brain turning, which is the whole point anyway, right?

I wish I could give so much away because this book truly is wonderful on a lot of levels, even if you’re not a freelancer and simply want to hear amazing stories. If anything, read it to feel empowered that anything is always possible.

Diana

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Please help us spread the word: we're two weeks in and we're only at 41%. There are still two weeks to go but we need your help. So please tell all your curious, restless and adventure-seeking friends about this project! Thank you!