17 and a Half Questions With Maren Martschenko
We ask inspiring people 17,5 questions. This week we have Maren Martschenko, who is a freelance brand consultant from Munich. On Fridays she likes paint cows. In June her book "Design ist mehr als schnell mal schön" will be published
1. What I like about my job
As a brand consultant, I work with entrepreneurs and their teams on how to position themselves more clearly in their market, how to make the world a better place with their offers and their communication, and how to be economically successful. Being able to make that happen, drives my work every day. Brands are constantly changing. Every assignment is new. Brand work is very versatile, because it has many interfaces to other topics: product development, IT, sales. Every single person I deal with is unique. No day is like the other. There are no routines and I love that!
2. What sometimes frustrates me
My clients are solo entrepreneurs or small businesses, which is numerically the largest group of companies in Germany and, at the same time, the one with the least political lobby. Especially now in Corona times, this is very apparent. Sometimes it frustrates me, that neither the media nor politics notice, what a valuable job is being done. Many great brands once started with an idea by one or two people. It pains me to see how the founding spirit is nipped in the bud in this country. Even more so for women.
3. My secret alternative job
My daughter and I had the idea for a food start-up some time ago. Since I know fromm y experience how much blood, sweat and tears are involved in such undertaking, I am now digitizing my consulting job and my daughter is doing an apprenticeship.
4. Best strategy to survive a really bad day at the office
Phew, this is difficult for me, as I never experience a whole really bad day at the office. I have far too many great colleagues, who lift me up when I'm feeling down. In the home office, cake saves me.
5. When are you in the famous flow
Fridays, when I paint cows.
6. Biggest success so far
Being my own boss for over 10 years as a freelance consultant and getting me and my three children through life well. Also, fulfilling my long-cherished dream of finishing a book at my favourite publishing house and still having time for my passion project, painting.
7. Biggest defeat
A lecture at a conference, at the beginning of my freelancer period. A lot of things went wrong already in advance. The lecture itself was basically a failed topic. At the end of the day, when everyone was standing together over appetizers and champagne, nobody spoke to me. I learned a lot from that experience. It was very liberating to tell this story at a Failnight. We all laughed a lot. Funnily enough, I was booked as a speaker for a conference after this lecture, because I told it so entertainingly.
8. Worst buzzword
There is one in German: ‚Du brauchst mehr Leads im Funnel, damit das skaliert und du aus der Zeit-gegen-Geld-Falle kommst’. Okay, that's more than one. Time versus money trap is the worst. I love to spend time with my clients and I don't see it as a trap at all.
9. Best reward after a hard week at work
10. Home office or in-house
I prefer home office.
11. Most important traits a colleague/business partner must have
Being able to counter.
12. Your creative hack
Stack three ‚Brockhaus’ volumes one on top of the other and put my laptop on top of them, so that I don't have a double chin when video conferencing. Does that count as creative?!
13. First website to check in the morning
14. Favorite digital tool
15. In which book or series have you learned the most for your (work) life?
Pippi Longstocking: I make the world the way I like it.
16. Which series, book or podcast can you generally recommend?
I really like listening to the podcast "Raabe&Kampf". Always inspiring, what Mel Raabe and Laura Kampf have to say about creativity.
17. Most prominent follower on a social channel?
I have to admit that I haven't paid attention to that yet.
17 and a half: What have I always...
"When do you do all this?". I just do it. What helps me is, that I am very structured and extremely focused. I want to add, that my operating system always has to run at a certain level. If the activity level drops below that, I sink into complete inertia. This is not good for me. That’s why I juggle many balls at once. That's when I'm at my best in the first place.
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