Ever wondered what it's like to be a digital nomad, travelling the world with just a laptop and headphones? This is exactly what Monika Kanokova loves to do, when she isn't working from her home in Austria’s creative and historic capital Vienna.
A Freelance Community Strategist, she can also be found working with creative professionals and businesses in Berlin and New York, advising them on their communications and social strategies.
When she's not freelancing, she writes books. This Year Will Be Different: A Guide for Freelancers was published in 2015, sharing insightful interviews with creative women who have successfully launched their own businesses, and this year she launched My Creative (Side) Business, sharing tips on how to benefit from multiple revenue streams.
After enjoying an insightful interview with Monika earlier this year, we wanted to see inside her workspace and discover more about her nomad working life...
I feel like I am on a journey through the digital space, exploring the possibilities of the internet and how creatives can utilise it to make a living. I work as a freelance community strategist. On the one hand, I support Kickstarter with its presence in Europe. To me, Kickstarter is a powerful tool for everyone who strives for creative independence, and so I spend a lot of time trying to nourish the European community.
I believe in the importance of sharing knowledge and so I publish guides for creatives for which I interview successful freelancers about their creative businesses. Additionally, I publish classes on Skillshare that cater to the same audience. I’ve created a class on setting up a freelance business and one on self-publishing.
I mostly work on the go and so once I open my laptop and put on my headphones I quickly dive into the zone. I love working outside and so I always try to find a place where I can sit in the sun. I try to schedule my meetings outside too. I have quite a ridiculous suntan on my feet.
Being flexible allows me to set up office wherever I am. I love the backyard of Betahaus in Berlin, my balcony in Vienna. I think it’s the regular change of scenery that makes every day feel a little like a vacation.
I have a very basic setup; I work on a MacBook Air 11” and use the standard Apple headphones that come with an iPhone. I’ve established a rule that I wait with any sort of purchases and so it can sometimes take a couple of years until I buy something that I supposedly need.
However, there is one accessory that I use a lot which is my bag from Scout & Catalogue. I found it somewhere in 2010 and decided that I will buy it for myself from my first full-time salary. I didn’t. But then, in 2014 and with my first freelance purchase I bought the bag that I’ve been wanting for so long! It’s the perfect everyday bag and if I travel somewhere for two days or less I usually don’t need more than what fits in my S&C shopper. I guess I am a proud minimalist.
I live between two different creative scenes: I identify with the startup scene in Vienna but also in Berlin.
In Vienna it’s extremely tight-knit and it often feels like everyone knows everyone else. There is an amazing community around the Austrian startup Stammtisch. No wonder, because its team are pretty damn amazing! They do monthly meet-ups that are worth attending whenever you find yourself in town.
In Berlin, on the other hand, there are several different scenes mostly connected to the co-working space people identify with. I love to hangout at Betahaus, Factory, St. Obezholz and I have a huge admiration for the guys at the impact Hub Berlin!
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