Interview with Jennifer Meister

Paperbeau_female_entrepreneur

Jennifer started the business Coachimo with her best friend and co-founder Katja. She is of German origin and currently living in Berlin.  She is passionate about entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing and travelling. Read her story about how this successful Online Marketer Manager merged her passion & career.

 

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?

Coachimo is an online marketplace where you can find the right coach or expert to support your personal and professional development. On Coachimo you find a coach with the perfect blend of expertise and experience to help you in areas like business coaching, personal development and IT.

PAPERBEAU collaboration Coachimo
Owners of Coachimo . Jennifer & Katja

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?

It started when Katja and I were both searching for a way to learn or improve our talents and skills. We visited community college classes, searched the Internet and YouTube to improve our skills. But we soon realized that even though we were able to increase our knowledge in general, it was not fitting our individual needs. I am talking about the time, the location or the content of the classes we visited. It got Katja and me thinking how great it is if we could build our own platform which would fit all your individual needs. Katja and I have the perfect skills to create such a platform. She is very good in IT project management and photography as I am good in developing an Online Marketing strategy and building a platform altogether. We got the opportunity to pitch our idea during the Start-up weekend and our first step into growing the business has been made.

WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?

Katja and I used to work full-time before.
But this is the first business we started on our own and together.

WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?

Patience! Patience is key when starting your own business. It’s okay to fail during your journey. When starting you fail for 90% but the 10% gain will all be worth it! See it as a journey where you grow from failing. It’s all part of the progress, that’s what it looks like. If you have an idea for a business that’s great! Start talking about it to your target group. Make sure you have done the proper research in who your target group is. The part of making money and to find investors for your business is one of your least problems. It’s far more important to know your mission and vision for your business. It’s more important is to know your mission and vision. What is the goal that you have for your business? For instance, for Coachimo it’s important and it is our goal, that we want to help people to grow professionally and personally. This goal relates also to us as individuals too. Because it stands near to our heart.

MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW I DEALT WITH IT:

Great question! Okay… so I would say the biggest obstacle; that would be me. Like during my first pitch in front of a big crowd it was nervous. It was horrible, the whole time I remember thinking I can’t do this. But I pushed myself for doing it anyway and I did it! Deep down I knew I could do it. Trusting yourself is key and having the right mindset; if you think you can’t do it, you won’t be able to do it. Positivity along with the right mindset will bring you a long way. 

MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:

I’m not much into sports but I managed to run a marathon here in Berlin which I am quite proud of. I used to be chubby and not fit at all, so I started to train for the marathon using running and eating schedules and I did it! – What made you do the marathon?
It has always been a goal that I wanted to carry out and it was way overdue on my bucket list :). Challenges inspire me.
I need challenges in my life as it’s a chance for me to grow as a person.

HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:

I was a workaholic before I met my husband. I would work during the weeks and on weekends. It became normal to me and I hardly realized that it was way too much. But then I met my husband and I felt it was nice to spend quality time with my husband. We went travelling, and we went to nice restaurants and all those other things normal couples do. It was quite hard to turn off my workaholic mentality. But I noticed that I could do both, and so I forced myself to balance that out — and he became my balance.

I AM INSPIRED BY:

People who love what they do or living their passion. To me, that doesn’t mean that you have to be a big entrepreneur or famous star. It can easily be a mother who is strolling down the street carrying her baby in one arm and unconditional love in the other, THAT to me is inspiring. The love that you get to see in the eyes of the mother.

WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:

Because I love and need freedom also I always loved the idea of having a business and creating something on my own. I also wanted to give something back to the world by helping people with the skills and talents that I have.

HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:

I believe it’s hard to prepare for success as it just happens. The road to success is long so I always intent always have a positive mindset.

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DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN/ WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?

We started the business without writing a business plan. We started by pitching our idea. After we pitched we received critical but also positive feedback. Which helped with sharpening our idea of creating the platform. Now we are writing a business plan, to get it all more structured.

ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING
A WOMAN BUSINESS OWNER?

It’s hard for me to say if it’s a disadvantage to be a woman in the startup world. I have had some experiences, which hasn’t been that appropriate. Whenever that occurs I let them know about it. I also make it very clear from the beginning on, that I am here to make business. I might be that woman have work a bit more, to achieve, what a man would. But then again I am not a man, so I can’t really say anything about that. And I have also seen a man who had difficulties to get investments. I think that with my female approach I can easily build enough trust so customers want to work with us. In the end, everything has their advantages and disadvantages.

MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…

Google Analytics — measurement is knowledge and Google Analytics is my favourite tool in order for me to measure the results of the platform. To modify pictures I use Canva and for sales I use Pipedrive.

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…

During a coaching course that I took, one assignment was to visualize myself as being 80 years old. Questions the coach asked was where would you be living what would you be doing and the most interesting one was what advice would you give your younger self. So being 80 years old what would you tell the younger you. And the first thing that popped up was: JUST DO IT! So I ended up giving myself advice.

 

 

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