Interview with moi... ;)
I'm a member of the CoCommercial Collective and got interviewed the other day as a way of getting introduced to the business community a little better.
I thought I'd share an excerpt here as well, as it's always nice to learn more about each other, isn't it? :)
CRYPTOCURRENCY MENTOR FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
This week, we go behind the scenes with the founder of The Conscious Crypto Community. Anja is on a mission to educate women entrepreneurs in cryptocurrencies, so they can bring this knowledge to their tribes. She helps them gain the confidence to secure their financial future, ethically and authentically.
How did you get started in your business?
I've been self-employed since 2008 as a coach and operations manager. After moving countries (back to Germany) and quite a long break, I started building the Conscious Crypto Community and offered cryptocurrency consultations for the conscious/spiritual community since Summer 2017.
I've always had a good relationship with money (how that happened is beyond me, since I grew up in communism, LOL.) People notice that and often ask me for help with money related things, therefore "money" has always been a prominent part of my business - from money mindset to plain book keeping or learning "how to receive".
In 2015, after I had just moved to Berlin, my income streams started drying up one by one and I really didn't feel like managing other people's businesses anymore. So I used my spare time to study money a bit deeper and find out "What other ways are there to make money, besides a job or a business?" :)
I enrolled in a trading & investment course and learned a lot of helpful technical (nerdy) stuff, as well as how our money system actually works. Most of this new knowledge was deeply upsetting. After about half a year - in Summer 2016 - someone asked about Bitcoin in this course and the trainer warned him about it. "Don't touch it, too volatile." Blah blah blah :) So I went and checked it out...
I couldn't sleep for three weeks, because armed with all that knowledge about our financial system, I immediately understood the purpose and meaning of cryptocurrencies - which has absolutely nothing to do with "getting rich" or "dark net" or "fraud", but with a paradigm shift of consciousness and our whole society.
It might sound funny, because to the outside world Bitcoin still has this nerdy (or even negative) image and the community is 98% male, but still - to me it represents the "rise of the feminine" in the financial world.
Since I had studied the technical aspects of trading and investing intensively for a whole year, translating this into the crypto space came pretty easy for me, and enabled me to make some nice profits early on.
For the first year, most of my friends ignored me and my "new thing". Other people however, noticed that I had knowledge on this, so they started asking me questions, and then paid me to teach them. I'm a teacher in my heart, and speak the language of my target group, so they prefer me to explain this to them, rather than watching hours of tutorials on youtube. So over the course of a few months I morphed into a cryptocurrency consultant.
By Fall 2017 I had made a sponsoring deal with the cryptocurrency Dash, which enables me to give as much education as possible away for free (including free crypto coins :)), by being a guest on other people's webinars or blogs, or by hosting the Bitcoin Girls meet-ups in Berlin. I also spoke at the Irish embassy on how cryptocurrencies present an interesting alternative to pension planning.
My goal is to spread the knowledge about the "What" and the "Why" as much as I can for free, so people have a solid understanding and foundation before they decide to risk any of their money. Nobody should ever invest in something they don't understand.
My paid services are then only for the people who have made the decision to buy their first crypto coins, and who want guidance on how to do that safely and properly. There are a lot of opportunities to lose your money out there :)
By educating people on what cryptocurrencies are actually REALLY about, and how to stay safe and protect your assets, I feel I am contributing a little to "raising consciousness" in the world. And by teaching people how to participate in this new world and buy their first coins even just for $50, I get to practically help them to grow their money and enable them to take care of their financial future, and that is simply the most rewarding thing I've ever done.
Who inspired you in your career?
Not really any one person, however I do love the story of Sara Blakely, who spotted a need and created a solution for it. She didn't tell anyone in her family about her idea for about a year, until she was certain she had a solid foundation.
I'm a bit like that, too. I bought my first Bitcoin in January 2017, but my family only found out about it last Christmas when I gave them crypto coins as presents from my profits :)
What was your first paid job? Give us the details.
Working in a bakery at the age of 14, putting the finishing touches on eclairs, by dipping their tops in chocolate... Mmmmh :)
When did you know you could make a living as a business owner?
I never had any certainty about that, and I still don't. Everything is an experiment and sometimes I go through long stretches with very little income. I am prepared for periods like that, though, and I always know how long I can keep up my current life style without any new income, so it doesn't bother me too much. I'm also not too proud to go and get a job should I need to.
However, in the end I always magically end up having more money than I had before, LOL, whether a new project suddenly pops up, or my house gets sold, or now with my crypto investments doing so well. I'm somehow always OK for money.
How do you define success for your business? How do you define success for yourself?
Success for my business: Being known and trusted as a go-to expert for my field of expertise.
Success for myself: Freedom. Financial independence. Not having to worry about money. Being able to live a life fueled by inspiration and service, rather than stress and hustle.
Give us a “day in the life”?
I start the day at around 9am in the café across the street, often with my neighbors (and their dogs). It's our "second living room". Nobody I know seems to have a 9 to 5 job, LOL, and I'm super grateful that I get to begin my days with "social life".
Unless I have appointments I might sit there until 11, writing content. Even if I have appointments, I usually do them there or in another café in Berlin. I often describe myself as a professional coffee drinker :) since I can do most of my work out of cafés, and most of my work consists of having conversations.
For calls with non-local clients or my Conscious Crypto Community I usually go to the Factory, which is a large international business club/co-working space in Berlin.
In the evening I might run a Bitcoin Girls meet-up, or attend other crypto-related meet-ups. Berlin has no shortage of them! Or I might write on Steemit.com, which also represents a growing part of my income.
What’s been your most important skill in building your business?
Spotting a lack and creating a solution/service for it. Building strong relationships.
What’s been your greatest challenge in building your business?
Visibility. Doing video. Becoming known for what I do, partly because it kept changing every couple of years :) and partly because I was scared I might attract too many clients too fast (seriously..) and lose my freedom. I'm slowly getting better at all of this, though :)
What’s been your greatest reward in the work that you do?
Being sponsored by the cryptocurrency Dash so I can give away "free money" in combination with financial education, especially for women. And seeing women enjoy dealing with money, and growing their savings is another huge reward, too.