Posts in Monthly Reviews
5th ANNIVERSARY: The people who've helped me get where I am today.

Today is my fifth anniversary working as a freelancer.

When I first went freelance, it was because the company I worked for – and loved working for – imploded and because my partner at the time moved back to New York.

I was suddenly unemployed and in a long-distance relationship.

It felt unrealistic to apply for jobs where I'd have to promise to show up every day from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. And so, I decided to go freelance instead.

Before I had a client, I built a website listing the services I could offer. I then emailed 65 people, telling them I was available for freelance work.

Four of these people emailed me back and hired me for projects within the first three months. (THANK YOU, Michael Schmitz, Bruno Noble, Taylor McKnight, and Max Kickinger!)

I recently had a conversation about the people who boosted our confidence so we would actually dare to go freelance or start our own businesses. The conversation is what inspired this essay.

I'd love to tell you more about the sentences that are burned into my mind and the moments that helped me get where I am today.

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"Welcome to the game."

Max Kickinger, Raven & Finch

At 9 a.m. on November 6, I had an appointment at the business registration office.

At 11 a.m., I had my very first official client meeting with Raven & Finch, an Austrian sound branding agency.

Max was one of the people who’d emailed me back, hiring me for some content marketing. Upon my arrival at his studio, Max said: "Welcome to the game."

To this day, I remember him saying that to me. It's one of the sentences I like to remind myself of regularly.

That sentence takes the pressure off whenever things get hard.

Freelancing is a game, one in which you know that you sometimes win, but – sometimes – you lose.

When you see freelancing this way, it’s fun to look back at the accomplishments and failures as if it was just a game that you get to play every single day.

But something else happened with Max and Raven & Finch.

I'm very grateful to Max for hiring me back then. I recorded his thoughts and later wrote a few articles for his blog. He paid upfront, too.

The assignment wouldn't have been memorable if I didn't ask the one question that changed how I now approach client work.

"What is it that you really, really want? What's the ideal scenario, where if it happened, you'd feel hiring me was the right choice?"

Max replied that he wanted to see Raven & Finch featured in the Monocle magazine.

At that time, I didn't know anyone at Monocle.

But, as life is, within just a few months, I started meeting more and more reporters who worked there.

A year later, Raven & Finch was featured in the Monocle Podcast, a Vienna special, and also the main magazine.

Now I know it doesn't matter what people hire me for. What matters is that I deliver on their big goals.

So thank you again, Max, for your trust and your support five years ago.



"Thank you for your offer, Monika, I'll pay you more."

Taylor McKnight, Emamo

When you start as a freelancer, you don't know how the financial side of things works.

Working at a Berlin-based startup in 2014, I was earning less than € 28K a year before taxes. As a freelancer, that's nowhere close to enough. You have to pay for health insurance, pension, sick days, vacation time, and still put money aside for those times when no projects are coming in.

Taylor taught me about value evaluation. Since then, there have been many times I was able to follow his lead and do the same for others, mostly women.

What Taylor said to me changed the way I communicate about budgets. I don't like this game of asking someone how much they want if I already have a set budget for it. I say that upfront.

Of course, there have been times when I had to ask for a lower price. Yet, I prefer to keep that conversation clean and avoid exploiting others for my own benefit. A lesson learned from the incredible Taylor McKnight.




"You know, I've got a maximum of how much I want to earn every year."

Michele Pauty, Freelance Photographer

When Michele went freelance, she bought herself a car and a dog, consciously opting in for a lifestyle that suited her needs.

Sometimes she didn't earn any money; sometimes she made a lot in just a couple of days. She'd make time every day to take her dog for a walk and actually "feel" alive. It was Michele who said to me that she has a maximum figure she wants to earn per year. Because of the Austrian tax system, she made conscious decisions on how much money made sense to her.

Michele is someone with hobbies. (!) She's someone who's signed up for university and is studying in her "free time." She inspired me to think about my time the way I do.

Of course, having published three books on the topic of freelancing for which I've interviewed more than 35 women, every single one of them have had a significant impact on me. So thank you:

Oren Lasry

Maxie Matthiessen

Frances M. Thompson

Diana Ovezea

Lauren Randolph

Akilah Hughes

Gwen Boon

Saba Tark

Cristiana Ventura

Lea Hajner

Anne Riechert

Olga Skipper (Steidl)

Carola Pojer

Luna Vega

Christine Neder

Rafaela Lemos

Lisa Andersson

Breanna Musgrove

Vicky Heiler

Tanja Roos

Carina Rabeian (Schichl)

Aisha Franz

Victoria Jin

Tina Toplak

Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Julieta Ulanovsky

Lisa Glanz

Helen Johannessen

Joanna Penn

Jaymay // Jamie Seerman

Sarah Eichhorn

Susan Schmitz

Patty Golsteijn

Shayna Oliveira

Elise Blaha

Sara Combs

Maaike Boot

Sophie C Ryba

Dani Bradford

Vanessa Bruckner

Theresa Lachner

Lauren Hom

Becky Burton

Michele Pauty (again)

Yana Gilbuena

Kayleigh Owen

Jule Müller

Laura Karasinski

Yasmine Ackermark

Natalie Howard

... for being such a great source of inspiration.

Despite having read Tuesdays with Morrie a couple of years ago, it's surprising to me I'm only sharing these stories now.

Also, here are some highlights from the past five years:

Dec, 2014 One of the first projects I worked on was a real struggle, but it was this struggle that inspired me to publish This Year Will Be Different.

Dec, 2014 One of the first projects I worked on was a real struggle, but it was this struggle that inspired me to publish This Year Will Be Different.

Jan, 2015 I met Diana Joiner, my first editor, for the first time in New York after having worked with her what must have been around the clock all of the month of December.

Jan, 2015 I met Diana Joiner, my first editor, for the first time in New York after having worked with her what must have been around the clock all of the month of December.

Dec, 2016 I met Liz Wellington online and then later interviewed her for my third book. Writing these three books has given me access to the most incredible people and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

Dec, 2016 I met Liz Wellington online and then later interviewed her for my third book. Writing these three books has given me access to the most incredible people and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

Oct, 2016 I FREAKING MANAGED TO PAY BACK MY STUDENT LOANS! OMG! <3

Oct, 2016 I FREAKING MANAGED TO PAY BACK MY STUDENT LOANS! OMG! <3

Nov, 2016 The happiest of times, working with Diana Joiner.

Nov, 2016 The happiest of times, working with Diana Joiner.

Jun, 2017 This little munchkin, Orion, my office manager moved in.

Jun, 2017 This little munchkin, Orion, my office manager moved in.

Jul, 2017 I got to work with a team in Iceland on a project. We had to shoot a video at a horse farm which definitely was a highlight of my work as a freelancer.

Jul, 2017 I got to work with a team in Iceland on a project. We had to shoot a video at a horse farm which definitely was a highlight of my work as a freelancer.

Jul, 2018 I got to work on a great project with Hanzo and Virgin Money for which we organised workshops in Wales and the Midlands.

Jul, 2018 I got to work on a great project with Hanzo and Virgin Money for which we organised workshops in Wales and the Midlands.

Jun 2018 While I was at Veganz, I decided to move back to Berlin full time. After five months of apartment hunting, I finally managed to convince a landlord to let me move in. It also happened to be the nicest of all apartments.

Jun 2018 While I was at Veganz, I decided to move back to Berlin full time. After five months of apartment hunting, I finally managed to convince a landlord to let me move in. It also happened to be the nicest of all apartments.

Nov, 2018 As part of my research about food gatherings I flew to Paris to meet Jim Haynes, the father of the Fringe Festival.

Nov, 2018 As part of my research about food gatherings I flew to Paris to meet Jim Haynes, the father of the Fringe Festival.

Feb, 2019 I was invited to speak at TEDx at TEDxLend.

Feb, 2019 I was invited to speak at TEDx at TEDxLend.

Jan, 2015 Getting the first book published was a lot of hustle and a time filled with insecurities. I know this picture just shows a bunch of boxes but it’s one of the pictures I’m most proud of.

Jan, 2015 Getting the first book published was a lot of hustle and a time filled with insecurities. I know this picture just shows a bunch of boxes but it’s one of the pictures I’m most proud of.

Apr, 2015 Getting Kickstarter as one of my first big clients was the perfect proof of being in the right place, at the right time, (with the right references). I got to travel with (and for them) all across Europe to spread the word about their launch. Exhausting but also amazing!

Apr, 2015 Getting Kickstarter as one of my first big clients was the perfect proof of being in the right place, at the right time, (with the right references). I got to travel with (and for them) all across Europe to spread the word about their launch. Exhausting but also amazing!

Jun, 2016 After not having much to do, I decided to write another book on what to do as a freelancer when you have nothing to do (and how to build up scalable income streams for such a case)

Jun, 2016 After not having much to do, I decided to write another book on what to do as a freelancer when you have nothing to do (and how to build up scalable income streams for such a case)

Apr, 2017 After almost two years with Kickstarter, I decided it was time for something new. In my job with them I was on the road more or less constantly and my relationships with people have become extremely superficial. I felt like I needed a change and also wanted to slow down life. I went to Bali for a month and there I made quite a big decision.

Apr, 2017 After almost two years with Kickstarter, I decided it was time for something new. In my job with them I was on the road more or less constantly and my relationships with people have become extremely superficial. I felt like I needed a change and also wanted to slow down life. I went to Bali for a month and there I made quite a big decision.

Jul, 2017 I published another book. One about purpose, mindfulness, money.. the sort of thing one thinks about as a freelancer A LOT.

Jul, 2017 I published another book. One about purpose, mindfulness, money.. the sort of thing one thinks about as a freelancer A LOT.

Sept, 2017 I accidentally bumped into Helen Johannessen who I’ve interviewed for My Creative Side Business. Such a coincidence and so lovely!

Sept, 2017 I accidentally bumped into Helen Johannessen who I’ve interviewed for My Creative Side Business. Such a coincidence and so lovely!

Jan, 2018 Orion and I moved back to Berlin to work at Veganz as an interim head of marketing.

Jan, 2018 Orion and I moved back to Berlin to work at Veganz as an interim head of marketing.

May, 2018 I flew to Australia and New Zealand for a month without telling any one my clients; no one noticed for three weeks.

May, 2018 I flew to Australia and New Zealand for a month without telling any one my clients; no one noticed for three weeks.

Sept, 2018 I got to work together with this amazing lady: Cleo Anderson.

Sept, 2018 I got to work together with this amazing lady: Cleo Anderson.

May, 2019 For Swing Kitchen, I got to go to a lot of the #FridaysForFuture demonstrations.

May, 2019 For Swing Kitchen, I got to go to a lot of the #FridaysForFuture demonstrations.

Cheers and thank you to everyone who’s been a part of this journey.

I’m grateful for the projects I got involved with and the people I got to meet during the past years. What I value the most about this work status is the trust people have in me as a person and the fact that every project is something special, and there is no 9 to 5 mindset even though the work mostly happens at that time anyway.

It's a wrap! September 2019
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The assignment I've been most excited about this past month is giving Google Security training at Google Zukunftswerkstatt in Germany. I've always really loved training people, so I'm super grateful to be an UpSkill Digital trainer and for this new assignment. 

In September, I presented a training on reputation building and digital security in Hamburg. Next month, I'll be talking about family security online and reputation building at the Zukunftswerkstatt in Munich. 

Digital companies get a lot of criticism for how they use people's data. However, the internet is the most empowering of all tools – if you use it correctly. Once a person shifts their usage and becomes a producer instead of a consumer, they'll notice how empowering digital media can be. (You can read all about it in my books :) )

If you read my August summary, you've probably noticed I've been working on Swing Kitchen's rebranding for a while. In September, I gave a social media workshop to the marketing team, and I've finalized the brand bible and the language manual. I've also handed in a final report on the community initiatives I organized on their behalf in Berlin. At the moment, I'm writing the copy for Swing Kitchen's website, which should go live in the next couple of weeks. 

For CIEE's eLab, I'm currently working on curricula and an outreach strategy for a series of weekend workshops. eLab's courses usually take 6 to 12 weeks. But, for most people, it's not easy to pack up their bags and come to Berlin or London for that amount of time. Thus, we've decided to develop short-form workshops to make the eLab knowledge available to and accessible by a much broader audience. 

I usually have (a few too many) side projects. I've applied to MOE Foundation's mentoring program and got to spend three days working on-site with them in London. I also have an idea I’m working on with the "Act on Plastic Challenge" initiated by the Soul Foundation.

Also, in light of my food gathering research, I was lucky to host Yana from Salo Series on my sofa. It was inspiring to see her arrange a Kamayan dinner at my place. And we got to eat with our hands! If you'd like to read more about Yana's work, her interview is featured in my book Work Trips and Road Trips. I will also adapt her story for the book I've been working on so stay tuned.

Along those lines, I'd urge you to go and see the FOOD exhibition at the V&A if you happen to be in London anytime soon. Iif not, I can highly recommend the exhibition catalog, which I bought without even knowing it was an exhibition catalog in the first place. 

I'm currently available for projects, so please let me know if you need marketing, branding, or community building help. 



It's a wrap! August 2019

For three hot summer days at Alexanderplatz, I wore a Swing Kitchen uniform and had a camera around my neck. My job was to approach people, talk to them about Swing Kitchen, and invite passersby to try a vegan nugget. Most of them said they couldn’t believe it was vegan! I have to admit: I did create quite an unfair advantage for myself. Instead of standing inside our stall, I stood outside to draw people closer. And it worked! By the end of the three days, we’d talked to thousands of people and given away 1,000 vouchers.

You might wonder why vegan products taste like meat. Or why I even care to write about this in more detail.

With so many of the replacement products on the market, you probably wouldn’t believe they’re even fake. Which might make you wonder why vegans would eat fake meat that tastes like, well, meat. It’s quite simple, really: It’s because changing diets is really REALLY hard! Food is what gives us comfort. Food serves as an agent for many of our rituals and cultural traditions. You might have always made yourself a cheese sandwich for breakfast. Suddenly, once you decide to go vegan, you’ll need to change that – and so many other things. It’s a lot to think that you took for granted all your life suddenly. So the job of replacement products, like those vegan nuggets I shared, is to make the journey more comfortable. Maybe you’re able to change your cheese sandwich habit immediately. OR maybe you switch to vegan cheese until you find a new ritual and a new recipe. And maybe, once you think of yourself as a more “established” vegan, you won’t need these products anymore. But that’s a discussion for another day.

So let’s go back to why I stood at Alexanderplatz for three days wearing a service staff uniform and engaging in what I call community strategy and outreach...

When I suggested to my client, Swing Kitchen, that they join the Vegan Sommerfest earlier this year, everyone was excited about the idea. Swing Kitchen has only recently launched in Berlin, and they’ve found it’s much harder than expected to bring guests in.

Being at a festival and among other entrepreneurs allowed us to connect with the local audience and show our faces. It allowed us to talk about our values. We were able to speak about why Swing Kitchen does what it does. We could discuss why we chose to have fake meat products on the menu that tasted exactly like chicken or beef.

The event was a great success, and I was grateful we did it. However, setting up a stand at a festival isn’t as easy as just popping up. You have to be prepared for such events, and Swing Kitchen is not.

For starters, nuggets and tiramisu were the only two products we could put on the menu, as they were the only two items we could cook on site. We had to rent all the necessary equipment and set up a “field” kitchen for three days.

What might sound easy in one country isn’t always easy in another. In Germany, you must have a tent with a roof. You’ve got to have a washable floor...that’s also detached from the ground in case it rains. All surfaces must be washable. Nothing is allowed to be directly on the ground either. There must be flowing water… the list goes on!

Given there were no tents for rent available in all of Germany, I had to buy a tent. And that was just one thing I had to figure out! Luckily, I was able to make it seem like Swing Kitchen always did these kinds of events. And for me too, this was something I’ve done the very first time. I must say my interior architecture studies really came in handy!

Right after the festival, I got to host an event with the Vegan Entrepreneur Network. We invited Annik from Einhorn Berlin’s marketing team and Irene, the founder of Swing Kitchen, to speak about “Vegan Entrepreneurship as Activism.”

We learned, from a recent customer questionnaire, that 80% of Swing Kitchen’s customers are carnivores. I’d say it’s an activist act to be able to convince non-vegans to opt-in for vegan foods! For every vegan burger Swing Kitchen sells, a real burger becomes unnecessary.

By now, you might have noticed that, when I work with a food business, it’s most likely a vegan company. That’s because I believe eating animal products is no longer contemporary. While I acknowledge how hard it is to change your diet, I think it’s necessary for the wellbeing of our planet.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that I’m interested in cultural and social change and – given that I also like to learn something while working on a project – working with vegan companies has been truly life-changing. I wasn’t a vegan until I left Veganz after the project last year and informed myself properly about everything we talked about in our conversations. It’s a strange feeling to look around now and feel astonished that so many people still eat food that, based on research, makes them, our animals, and the planet sick. To me, personally, this is not necessarily about animal welfare. It's more about common sense and integrity.

When I first started working with Swing Kitchen, I was only supposed to run a few events at the space. Then, I was asked to help with the brand bible, the language manual, copywriting, the new website, and a social media strategy for 2020.

I worked on the brand bible with Moriz Piffl, who is one of the most incredible marketers I’ve ever met. What I love about working with him is how much we both care and how we’re never scared to tell the other what we think. At times, we were like two Tauruses battling about what we wanted to say and how. It was a good battle and a necessary one. What was most rewarding about this project was the feedback we’ve received! The founders of Swing Kitchen loved how we framed what their brand stands for.

Two animal rights activists founded Swing Kitchen. The reason Swing Kitchen is a fast-food chain and not a hippie, vegan, superfoods joint – and I’m glad I can say that on my website! – is because of the astonishing popularity of McDonald's. The founders know that the more vegan burgers they sell, the fewer meat burgers will be produced (and needed) on this planet. They don’t want vegan customers. Those people are already doing what Swing Kitchen wants them to do. They want meat-eaters who opt-in for vegan food.

I love that!

However, it seems that veganism is becoming more mainstream every day (at least in Berlin). People are getting curious about the taste of plant-based food, and so, for the first time, Swing Kitchen is going to be bold and outspoken about being vegan. Given “2019 is the year of the vegan,” it seems fine – and highly appropriate – to suddenly be much louder about it. That’s exciting.

When Moriz asked me to also help out with the social media strategy, I must admit I wasn’t too excited about it. As someone who grew up on the internet, I feel like social media is becoming more and more outdated every day. It’s become so much more about commerce and so much less about adding value to people’s lives or about connection. People are getting tired, and I don’t want to add to the noise on the internet. I’d much rather build great products and have others talk about it then tell brands how to talk about themselves. It’s not exciting, and mostly, it doesn’t work.

At least it no longer works for the “target” group I associate with and the social media platform where people in this target group hang out – Instagram. But then, there are other groups who are excited about the internet and find things entertaining and worthy of their time.

You might have guessed correctly: I’m talking about TikTok.

To me, TikTok is like the modern version of the German and Dutch TV format Mini-Playbackshow in which kids dressed up and pretended they were famous singers. However, this time, the fun isn’t done after 60 minutes. It can quite frankly be as long as you want it to. TikTok is where employees record videos when they’re bored on break. It’s where girls and boys dress up and have the sort of fun I used to have when I was dancing in the living room in the 90s.. just, obviously, without the camera.

On one hand, I have very little interest in keeping kids fixated on their screens. Then again, if I have to tell kids to do something, I’d much rather ask them to eat vegan burgers than regular burgers. And, as you know, you have to use the weapons that exist and are accepted already.

TikTok is fun. I can only recommend you download it and browse around a little. As I was playing around with the app myself and trying to figure out how TikTok could be useful for brands, I uploaded a video and was astonished to find out it had more than 800 views within just an hour. If your target audience is in their teens, you might want to stop wasting your time on Facebook and Instagram and instead move to TikTok. Is this meaningful? Not really. Can it be made useful? That’s the real question!

Because September is usually the month when everyone goes back to school I thought about how I could give my approach to communication a different perspective. I thought about what courses I could take and how I could get better at what I do. I’ve signed up for improv classes at the Comedy Café Berlin. AndI’ve also started taking Dutch courses. I’ve been spending crazy amounts of time on Duolingo! While my screen time has increased to astronomical heights, so has my Dutch vocabulary. It’s very satisfying. At least for now.

Furthermore, I’ve applied to two mentoring programs for a business idea I have, and I’m happy to say I got accepted to both. I’ll be working with a mentor in Berlin through the Act-On Plastic Program initiated by ProjectTogether, and I’ll also get to spend three days with the coaches of MOE in the Dream Factory program. I know it might sound strange to do such a program as a participant given I’m usually on the mentoring side. However, it feels really good to have someone hold my hand for a change.

Before I wrap up what I’ve been up to this past August, I’d love to mention the books I’ve read and found very valuable. “Food Bigger Than the Plate” is the exhibition catalog of a V&A exhibition with the same name. It’s a great read to learn more about the current discourse on what we eat and how it needs to change. “You and I Eat the Same” is a conference catalog from MAD in Copenhagen and an examination of the similarities in food cultures across the planet. Last but not least, Chmara:Rosinke gave me their latest book “Essays on Kitchens,” which is inspiring as well.

As you can see, August was a little bit all over. September is probably going to be similar in terms of my workload. The good news is I’ll be available in October. Have you got a project you’d like to discuss? At the moment, I’m available for branding, copywriting, and business development strategy.

It’s a wrap! July 2019
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Sometime last year, one of my best friends and I conducted an exercise that applied design thinking techniques to what I think is best called “life planning.” Following a step-by-step manual, we had to decide on three guiding principles and values we consider essential. For each of the tenets, we then had to draw a visual five-year timeline. On each of the timelines, the task was to include personal and non-career events we’d want to see happen in our lives in the next few years.

Usually, when people think about doing something like this, they draft just one option. I personally find it puts a lot of pressure on me to only think of one option. Instead, drafting three different options – contradicting or similar ones – gave me a lot of inner peace. It was easy to write “everything” down because suddenly it didn’t matter if what I wrote down was the right choice. It was all optional and, thus, felt much more flexible.

What I especially enjoyed about the exercise was that my friend and I read what we had written out loud and commented on each other’s. Because we know one another fairly well and are used to being candid with one another, we also called each other out on our weaknesses, insecurities, and patterns.

The afternoon was, as you can imagine, rather eye-opening. Nevertheless and as is usually the case, nothing changed immediately. I folded the three sheets of paper filled with my potential life plans, stuck them in the back of my notebook, and more or less forgot about them.

When, six months later, my friend sent me a message to wish me a happy birthday, he asked if I’d made any progress on what I had written down that afternoon.

To my surprise and in that very moment, I realized that I was pursuing one of the big things I had included on one of the timelines. Something that, at the time of the exercise, I didn’t even think was realistic in any way.

I had written down that I wanted to go on a road trip in a camper van.

That’s precisely what happened this past July.

My partner and I left Berlin for five weeks. We traveled from Amsterdam through the south of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, South Tyrol, Northern Italy, and further on to France where we drove from coast to coast before heading back up to the Netherlands with an overnight stop in Brugge.

It wasn’t my intention to go on vacation for five weeks; living in Berlin, I often seem to forget that the world is not as digital as I sometimes like to believe. For the first time since I started freelancing, it was difficult to get my work done – at least as soon I needed internet. So, even though I’m a member of the rebranding team for the Swing Kitchen, working on the brand bible and planning what we’ll do with Swing Kitchen’s website, which will be redesigned soon, there isn’t much to be shared about work in July’s review.

I'm currently fully booked and working on the rebranding of the Swing Kitchen, vegan burger chain from Vienna, and also producing and designing their stand at the Veganes Sommerfest at Alexanderplatz. I'm hoping to make more progress on this project now that I'm back from vacation, and I’ll share more about it here next month.


It’s a wrap! June 2019
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Writing copy for a website is an exciting task. Attention spans are short, so it’s all about capturing the essence of where the reader might be in life and presenting the solution in just a few sentences. This past month, I got to work with the incredible team at eLab, which is CIEE’s Entrepreneur Lab. CIEE offers comprehensive courses for “wannabe entrepreneurs” from around the world.

eLab was launched in 2018, and I used information from their first 12 months in operation, including student surveys, to define target groups and draft their brand messaging. The wonderful Tracy Teare then copyedited what I’d written and made it sound even better.

Working with the eLab team was a joyful experience. I wish anyone who’s been wanting to start their own business but never dared to do so because of lack of business skills could join an eLab course.

Coming up, I’ll get to work on more projects related to the rebranding of Swing Kitchen, a vegan burger chain from Vienna, which I’m already looking forward to.

I’ve also started exploring the field of natural body care, and I’m looking for people to learn from, exchange ideas with, and potentially collaborate with. I’ve recently joined Karen Rose’s body care workshop and will be looking into learning more about essential oils and different ingredients. I’ll be sharing more about my progress on Instagram.

Next month, I’ll be on vacation, and I hope you’ll find some time to enjoy one, too.


It’s a wrap! May 2019
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When I first discussed how we could grow Swing Kitchen’s community during our kick off meeting with the team, I made a remark that “our people” come together every Friday to demonstrate for climate justice.

At first, the idea for #friesforfuture was a joke.

Yet a joke everyone on the team loved.

We decided to give free fries to everyone who comes to the Swing Kitchen with a protest sign and do so until the school year ends.

However, it’s one thing to have an idea what you’d like to do (and even if it means you’re giving your products away for free).

It’s a whole different story to do so in a way that’s authentic.

I knew that if this idea was to materialize, someone would have to introduce me to the organizers of Fridays for Future.

I knew that if we wanted for this to succeed, the information about our offer had to come from within, so as it usually goes, I started talking to everyone about what we’d like to do until I met the right person who introduced me to the FfF team.

For the past couple of weeks and every Friday, I’ve started going to the demos.

And every week I was able to make an announcement on stage, welcome pupils and students at the Swing Kitchen, and give them free fries.

Having Swing Kitchen as a client is amazing for several reasons. The company is 100% vegan and sustainable. It was founded by an animal activist with the motivation to end animal suffering. It’s also a company from Vienna and I get to work on this project with old friends.

So many wins.

In the upcoming months, we’re planning a number of great events and also a special collaboration with Einhorn Berlin, which should be a lot of fun.

Yet, the month wasn’t just fun; the most challenging part of May was when I decided to discontinue a project I was incredibly excited about at first. I wrote a much more detailed article explaining the circumstances of what happened.

This past month, I’ve also worked on the messaging for eLab, which is a 6-week course for people who’d like to become entrepreneurs.

First, I’ve worked on their digital marketing strategy. I’ve refined their target group, which led to us deciding to change the messaging on the website.

eLab’s courses are ideal for several target groups, however, and given eLab mostly relies on paid ads, we’ll be targeting people who wish to make a career change and recent graduates seeking international experience.

The website with the new messaging should go live within the next couple of weeks.

I’m currently taking on remote work for the upcoming weeks, as I’ll be traveling around Europe in July. If you or someone you know needs help with online positioning or copywriting, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


It’s a wrap! April 2019

Right at the start of the month, Moriz Piffl, Sebastian Rahs, and I kicked off our collaboration to introduce The Swing Kitchen, a vegan burger fast food restaurant to Berlin. We’re currently planning a series of events, partnerships, and other fun initiatives to put the restaurant on the map for all the cool kids out there. This will be a lot of fun!

I was also lucky to be introduced to the team at CIEE’s eLab, which is a 6-week course to help people learn business skills and validate their ideas to also help them scale from the start. The course launched early this year and after the initial beta-phase, eLab is now looking to attract more participants who’d like to become entrepreneurs. They’ve commissioned me to help them translate the high-level strategy they’ve worked on with another agency, and help them develop an actionable marketing plan by defining their messaging, the timing of their communication, and the most suitable platforms.

The most challenging project I got involved with is the crowdfunding campaign for the community edition of the Mama Superstar book, which recently got nominated for the German Integration Prize. While I’ve said just a couple of weeks ago I’d not get involved with crowdfunding, I felt like I should make one more exception and help turn this book into a movement. In the first book, Melisa Manrique and Manik Chander portrayed 11 migrant women and their daughters. For this second book, we plan to crowdsource the content and also the funding to realize it. I’m half panicking, half excited about it because it’s such an incredible vision that I really wanted to be a part of this project’s realization.

Also my TEDx talk was finally published, which also fits the fact that I’ve concluded my lectures at the New Design University for this semester. And given it’s all about side projects, I’m happy to announce you can now by #kathmoscards themed Architecture in Berlin on Etsy.

I still have capacities to take on exciting projects if you happen to need help with some community building initiative. For the summer, I’m mostly looking for copy writing/strategy work I can do remotely. Hit me up if there is something we could work on together. I’d love that!

It’s a wrap! March 2019
tedxlend
travel story guides
#oriontheofficemanager
SarahReindl
guide to Berlin

March was my third month in a row of having almost no paid projects. The beginning of the year is usually quiet. Yet, I wasn’t expecting things to be quiet for that long.

For the sake of transparency, I should probably explain what’s been going on in that time.

On one hand, and right at the beginning of the year, I started talking to a Berlin-based startup about taking on a full-time job. After seven weeks, four rounds of interviews, and me handing over a strategy deck I’d usually charge almost €3,000 for, they declined and decided to look for someone who fits the profile of a social media manager. It was disappointing because I said in our first conversation (and after I was recommended to them) that I don’t believe social media is how one should attempt to build a business-related community anymore. In my opinion, social has turned into a one-way street and people are getting tired of it.

The second reason why I didn’t have much paid work was my TEDx talk at the end of February. I know that on the video, it always looks so easy. However, the reality is that it takes a lot of practice to get to that point. One (me) completely freaks out about the importance of TEDx, as it’s probably going to remain on the first page of Google forever and ever. I was stressing out about my talk for half of January and most of February with no mental space to try to do anything else but talk to that one company.

At this point, I’d really like to share something about practicing for speaking at TEDx.

A couple of weeks before the talk, I stumbled upon the famous TED talk by Amy Cuddy who explains the importance of body language. It does come with logistical challenges because how is someone supposed to go about trying to do the power pose while sitting in the audience and doing literally what they’re not supposed to be doing - reading the speaker notes.

As I was sitting there, I realized a musician was on stage and he started performing. I immediately got up and went to the back to join the team. Everyone was slowly moving to the melody of the songs, so I joined in.

The music got wilder. We started dancing faster.

We danced.

And danced.

The music stopped and it was my big moment to go on stage.

At that time, there was no more fear. Just joy. And relief. That soon this will be over.

Wow.

But back to what was happening in March.

People always ask me, what one does as a freelancer when there are no paid projects.

In the past whenever I didn’t have any paid projects, I used the time to write the books that I published.

Now I know it was the right thing to focus on projects that filled my soul more than my pocket, as it’s thanks to these three books that I got a number of my clients, press coverage, and the reason why I was asked to speak at TEDx in the first place.

For years, I’ve mostly been following my curiosity and trying to make sense of things I wanted to know more about. Since last year, I’ve been working on a book about social food gatherings, which seems to be much more challenging for me than the three books I’ve published so far. It seems like the more experience one has, the more effort it takes to work on projects without having a preoccupied mind. It’s still in progress and I’m still not sure where this journey will lead me and who’ll help me collaborate on this, but I know writing these stories is filling my soul and helping me practice a different style of writing.

Not having much paid work also gives me the necessary mental space to re-think my habits, analyze what I consume, and implement changes.

Last year I decided to go vegan, which is easy to live by at home, but not so easy once you leave your door. If you’re wondering how someone goes from meat eater to vegan, it was mostly thanks to Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals that made me decide to quit animal products. But of course, implementing changes isn’t easy, so it took until the end of the year for me to buy a container to make my own lunches in the morning. I got one from Berlin Eco Brotbox and I’m so in love with this decision. It’s really been life changing and money saving at the same time.

I’ve also finally bought a can for organic trash and have been feeling incredibly happy every time I’d go downstairs to empty it. I realized most of what I consume can be recycled and I don’t actually make that much trash, given I buy most of my groceries at the farmer’s market (a change I implemented in 2016) and try to avoid regular supermarkets as much as I can.

I’ve also experimented with solid bar shampoos and found the most amazing one from Rosenrot Manufaktur, which was first gifted to me by Sarah Reindl from Das Gramm in Graz, who I met during the TEDx event. I also no longer use shower gel. Instead I’ve bought a soap bag made out of sisal, which helps soaps foam.

I’m sharing this here because reducing one’s trash and opting in for the more sustainable options is hard, takes effort, and often needs role models to even understand what’s possible. And of course, because it’s not that one doesn’t do anything when there are no paid projects. One can take the time to pursue personal passions and try to work out how one can live up to one’s values.

It’s been good.

But it’s not like I had nothing to do in March. It was the month I started teaching social media again at the New Design University. I’ve recently published a case study on how I’ve designed the curricula, so before going into much detail, I’d love to invite you to read it if you’d like to learn more about my approach.

Additionally, I’ve also helped the team at Vollpension submit a funding proposal for an exciting project they’re currently working on.

And of course, I was looking for projects, which is why I’m currently fully booked for April, but happy to take on new clients from May and June on. Last but not least, I’m currently looking for remote projects for the summer as I’m planning a bigger trip around Europe. But on that another time! Thank you for reading to this bittersweet end.