Posts tagged diana joiner
#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! 

It’s a Wrap! October

Every time I get to see Diana, my editor, the world seems suddenly much brighter! She’s such a sweetheart! One of the best things about self-initiating projects is that you get to work with the people you choose to work with and create something together. 

Besides hanging out with Diana and her friends, I got to hang out at the Kickstarter office for a full week, which, of all the offices I’ve been to in my life, is definitely my most favorite one! I was also lucky enough to get to visit the Maker Faire and see what the D&T team is up to.

Once I got back to Europe, I spoke at the Bauhaus University, at the Technical University in Wuppertal, at the wonderful Fashion Camp in Vienna and at the Business Riot Festival. I hosted an intro to Kickstarter in Vienna, Berlin, and Amsterdam! I also started a new series, Embrace Your Hustle. In 1.5 years, I’ve done around 70 or 80 Intro To Kickstarter talks and just started getting tired of the format a little. Embrace Your Hustle enables me to host events targeted by category.

For the first one, I decided to focus on tiny projects. It was an event dedicated to small projects done for the purpose of learning and personal growth. I invited Alexa Shoen, Susanne Scheerer, and Maia Beyrouti to speak about their passion projects. It was an incredible all women panel and I can’t wait to run a few more events as part of this series.

This month, my favorite creators I helped with their projects were Virtu, the sustainable Alpaca pullovers made in Peru, and Megasus Horserunners. I was also fortunate enough to attend the Dutch Design Week and meet Fancy van de Vorst and Maryann Schreurs, the Vice Mayor of Innovation, Design, Culture, and Sustainability of Eindhoven.

I’m also grateful to Violeta Nedkova sharing a wonderful review of My Creative (Side) Business on her blog and to the team at Cloudpeeps for introducing me as a Freedom Creator in one of their blog posts.

Last but not least, and probably the biggest news of this year is that I’ve finally managed to pay back my student loan! Now, please, everyone, raise your glasses, as I’m raising mine! CHEERS!

It’s a Wrap! September

September is usually a very busy month on Kickstarter. I helped The Impossible Project, Get Lazy, Curfboard, Zei, and Scubajet succeed on Kickstarter. Amongst others, of course. I also hosted an Intro to Kickstarter in Hamburg and in Copenhagen at my favorite startup, 23 video!

One of my highlights, besides my incredible vacation in Iceland (checkout the hashtag #moantrip2016 on Instagram for pictures), I spent a couple of days in Britain. First, to attend the Reasons To conference; that’s the one conference I can highly recommend to everyone who’s a creative or a technologist. This conference was definitely my most favorite of all the conferences I attended in 2016.

I also took the chance to spend some days in Hamburg to attend the IndieCon and learn more about indie publishing. My highlight was hanging out with Anika Meier, whose articles about media culture that you might read in most of the major German newspapers are always insightful and worth reading until the very end.

I’m very proud Creative Boom named This Year Will Be Different one of the best books to help you ditch your job and go freelance. There was also a small feature on the Cloudpeeps blog! Yay!

I’m heading to New York in October and really can’t wait to see Diana, my wonderful editor again! Hope you’re having a fun month yourself!

 

It’s a wrap! December
new york

At the beginning of December, I was still on vacation in South Africa. However, once I came back, I split my time between wrapping up my assignment with Kickstarter and finishing the manuscript of #MCFSB. Often, people ask me how I deal with budgeting and charging my clients. To be honest, I prefer to work with bigger clients for longer periods of time because that spares me a lot of administration. Then, I try to work on side projects in which I’m striving to monetize. However, every time before the end of a contract period, I try to get the assignment to a point that I can say the job's well done and accomplished. 
Whenever I discuss contracts, I specify figurative goals because it’s easier to reflect on your work and say that you’ve delivered what you promised. It’s also easier to discuss future collaborations based on hard facts and numbers, so that was what I was trying to accomplish before getting on the plane to New York. 
A few days before I left for New York to see the team at Kickstarter, I met up with Sean Blanda from 99U to say “hi” to the team at Skillshare and also had a lovely meeting with someone at Squarespace. I sent the first version of the #MCFSB manuscript to Diana. Our goal was to have it edited before going live on Kickstarter (which happened on the 4th of January). 
I’m now finishing off this small article and I’m going to write a reflection of the entire year and publish that one soon. Stay tuned!  
 

#MCFSB: Meet the team and see what we are currently working on

As you can imagine, I could never write a book all by myself. I deeply believe that part of being a professional means you have to find people who have the skills you lack to help you make a product that you’re incredibly proud of.

Last year, when working on This Year Will Be Different: An Insightful Guide to Becoming a Freelancer, I published an ad on Elance and found Diana J. Joiner. The message she sent to me was definitely not one you would send when applying for freelance gigs; it was a message you would send to someone you want to be friends with. We scheduled a Skype call and clicked immediately! 

At the moment, Diana and I have finished editing the book to a stage where we were able to send it to Diana Ovezea to implement the text in the layout. (I’d prefer to call the girls by their first name, but it gets too confusing. Note: Diana’s are amazing to work with.) We prefer to do the last couple of editing rounds in the finished layout to make sure there aren’t any mistakes in the final version. 

Diana Ovezea and I used to study together, however, she was in the graphic design department and we only met once a week during the joined cultural studies classes. Diana is an incredibly hard-working and deep-thinking individual who I’ve always admired for her dedication and wit. I reached out to her to interview her for #TYWBD and during our conversation, she offered to help me with the layout. She didn’t just do a smashing job with the layout, but she also designed the most incredible cover! 

I can’t even tell you how curious and excited I am about her designs for #MCFSB and the cover she’ll create. We’ll ask you soon what cover we should use for the book out of a few options, so please keep an eye out for that update. 

Working with Diana O. is great because she understands what one wants very quickly. (If you ever need a designer, you want to work with her. Trust me!) We’ve chosen the layout and she’s now testing how it works with the fonts she’s chosen and the illustrations that were created by the wonderful Sara Combs.

If you’ve read the contents, then you might have noticed that I interviewed Sara for #MCFSB. So, here’s the story: when I first discussed what kind of illustrations we wanted, Diana O. said we needed a really smart illustrator who would just get it! I couldn’t stop thinking about my conversation with Sara, so I decided to ask her.

Originally, we were thinking about hiring a letterer, which is why I didn’t hire Ewelina a second time (you need to see this girl’s portfolio). However, working with Sara, who specializes in pattern design, felt like a better choice because we wanted to work with someone with an iconic style. If you’ve worked with an illustrator such as Ewelina, it’s hard to find someone else who’s as talented as her, but now, we have Sara!

Sara is currently finishing off all 30 illustrations that you’ll see throughout the book and on the postcards that we’ll send your way too. 

As for me, I’ve been answering messages and requests and reaching out to journalists and bloggers to let them know about this project. If you know a blogger or a journalist you could introduce me to, I’d really appreciate your help. Here is my email address (hello@mkanokova.com) if you decide to make a direct intro.

This year will be different! I'm publishing a book, which you might want to read.

Happy New Year to you! I hope you kicked off your year fabulously well and that you had reindeers at your door, surprises in your mail, and many smiles on your face.

I might have mentioned before that I've been working on a book; This Year Will Be Different is a guide to starting out as a freelancer. The book is filled with stories and interviews with successful women about their careers and how they built the businesses they run today. To top it off, there are 23 chapters on topics such as on building your own website, firing your inner perfectionist, how much you should have saved up before becoming self-employed, on how to set a price for your services, and other articles to answer questions I believe everyone wants to know more about once they start thinking about founding a business.

You can get the first feel for what's the book going to be like on Kickstarter; and because I didn't send you a Christmas present, here's a secret Dropbox link to one of the interviews, which I haven't published anywhere else just yet. 

PS: I promise the book's much better than the video :) 

It’s a wrap! December
freelancelife

December is not the most charming month to be in London; nevertheless, the projects I worked on were so exciting I didn’t have time to bother about the weather. During the weekends I was in pubs testing StaRating, drinking draft-beer and chatting to guys about football

I spent the evenings skyping with 23 incredible women to ask them about the early days of their now successful careers for This Year Will Be Different

I also delivered a brand audit for one of Badger & Winters global clients. I’d love to do more of that sort of work in the future. 

Then, just in time for Christmas, I moved back to Vienna where I finalised the copy for This Year Will Be Different

I really enjoyed being the driving force behind my own project and assembling and managing a remote team. It’s not a surprise that the month was filled with inspiring meetings; some online, some offline.

I finally met Alejandro Masferrer from the Pop-Up Agency whose path I’ve been following for a couple of years on Twitter; I met Matt Trinetti, one of the great people behind Escape The City, who I ran into at the London chapter of Creative Mornings. Before CM, I’d only known him from his incredibly inspiring TEDxTalk. It was great to chat in person.

Virtually, I got to know Diana Joiner, who’s going to be the editor of This Year Will Be Different and Ewelina Dymek, who I found on Behance and who started illustrating the book literally five minutes after we agreed on the deal in order to meet the tight deadline.

I cannot wait to see what January will bring.