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17 and a Half Questions With Monique Hoell

We ask inspiring people 17 and a half questions. This week we have Monique Hoell, the CEO of HelloBody. She reflects why getting up early is key for creativity and which book helped her to overcome the Imposter Syndrome

This article is also available in German

1. What I like about my job

The people.

2. What sometimes frustrates me

The people.

3. My secret alternative job

I actually love my job and I look forward to it every morning. However, my secret alternative job would be zookeeper.

4. Best strategy to survive a really bad day at the office

It depends on the reason for the bad day. Sometimes just a good cup of coffee or cookies help – but sometimes I just pack up my stuff and ‘call it a day.’

5. When are you in the famous flow

It’s always when I develop passion for a topic and start to work hard for it.

6. Biggest success so far

Being the reason for the sparkle in people’s eyes. Enabling employees to grow and seeing that pay off. Feedback from customers whose lives you have literally improved with a product or topic. That’s the most lasting success and the greatest reward of all. No revenue milestone or startup exit ever comes close to that for me.

7. Biggest defeat

For me, there are no defeats – only setbacks. Defeats are final. Setbacks are part of a process – and I’ve had a few. When I was 19 years old, I once fell for a Western Union scam: They took all the money I had saved back then as a young adult – while I was stuck in a foreign country with a foreign language and culture. In my first venture, we did a lot of fundraising – and failed to get any significant investment. Even today – as an objectively ‘successful entrepreneur’ – I take bigger or smaller ‘bets’ every day – not all of them work out. That’s life.

8. Worst buzzword

New Work.

9.  Best reward after a hard week at work

Sleep in, have breakfast and then head out into nature on a mountain bike.

10. Home office or in-house

At the moment, home office. However, this is something that has only changed for me through Corona. Before that, I had a rather conservative attitude towards ‘work from home’.

11.  Most important traits a colleague/business partner must have

Authenticity. For me, a basis for good and sustainable business relationships is predictability.

12. Your creative hack

Get up early. I am most efficient from very early in the morning until early afternoon.

13. First website to check in the morning

This changes in phases. Currently I get a rough economic overview through all the push notifications I got through the night from Bloomberg and the WSJ. Then depending on what situation we are in Times and/or Tagesschau. Then LinkedIn. Then Instagram.

14. Favorite digital tool

There are actually a lot of them. From Google Drive to Slack to Notability to Clue.

15. In which book or series have you learned the most for your (work) life?

The classic: Ben Horowitz – ‘The hard thing about hard things’. The book even put me in a brief depressive phase because in between I thought to myself: ‘Damn, this hits it all so well – is this really what you want in life?’.

Also, I was for a long time (and sometimes still am) a typical Imposter Syndrome candidate: Reading ‘The 7 laws of enough’ by Jen Cohen and Gina LaRoche helped me a lot.

16. Which series, book or podcast can you generally recommend?

I actually tend to read fiction for relaxation. Crime, thrillers or history – preferably based on true events. I recognize a good book by the fact that I simply don’t feel the urge to pick up my cell phone for a day. Unfortunately, that happens far too rarely.

17. Most prominent follower on a social channel?

I stand for discretion – also on my social media channels 😉

17 and a half: What has always been…

…on my mind: You don’t have to work in the startup scene to be an entrepreneur. It’s a mindset. And many of the currently globally important social issues need to be resolved in politics and business. Among other things, it is also very important that this happens from within. For this, we need good people with the right mindset in the key positions of already existing, powerful constructs.

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