VIERI WOMEN: MAXI KNUST FROM FEMPRENEUR
As you all might know by now, our biggest inspiration are women and their perspective of life. Just like we celebrate our #vieriwomen with our respect The Beautiful line, Maxi Knust founded her amazing page Fempreneur to offer the perfect platform for modern women. Say hi to Maxi!
A year ago you founded your own online magazine "Fempreneur", in which Entrepreneurship and Female Empowerment are at the center. How did you come up with the idea and why is this topic so close to your heart?
I was already thinking about founding a company while I was still studying. And since my first job right after school wasn't really fulfilling the thoughts about being self-employed came back up. But at the beginning thinking about all the challenges, all the things you don't know and you can't do can be frightening and then there is of course the missing capital. One thing I was sure of, I needed a website. And without money you are better off doing it yourself. Which brought me to learning to do it via Youtube and Google. For the magazine I was looking for a topic which wasn't hard, since I was already interested in founding companies during my studies. That's how the entrepreneurship part was born.
And the Female Empowerment stems of course from me being a woman and way to often there are many old ways of thinking that bring disadvantages and that hold women back to show their full potential.
And what does Female Empowerment have to do with Entrepreneurship?
A whole lot. Because without the necessary self-esteem and strength a female founder won't get far. With regards to women these two go hand in hand. And if some men find something for themselves in the articles, I am even happier. And looking into the statistics, which show that 30% of the readers are male, Fempreneur isn't, a "girls only" affair.
What is the most interesting realization which you found out until now?
I learned a whole lot in the last year. At the end of 2015 I wrote down everything in an article .
But the most important realization was how big a of a role the right mindset plays. So much has to do with the right thoughts. Are we looking at the world negatively and complaining all the time, your life will not get better. And I had to learn that too. Nowadays there is a note with the affirmation “I see positive in everything” on my mirror. That might sound esoteric, but the biggest problem is that we know most of the time how to do things better, but we can´t manage to do them. At which point it is important to remind yourself that change isn't possible from one day to the other but that it needs time. So you have to remind yourself of that regularly.
Being optimistic and to have the will to find a solution for everything, is not only important in life but more so when you are founding your own company. The one who thinks “I can't do that. This is not going to work. And nothing will ever work” – well you get the picture. A big success probably isn't waiting at the end of it. But nevertheless its just human to think like this from time to time. But just to be a little aware of it and to remember that our thoughts form our world. And from my standpoint there is something really true about that.
How do you perceive the role of women in today´s work environment and what are your thoughts on "Female Leadership"?
Female leadership to me is a very interesting topic. For a long time certain “female” attributes were stigmatized as weaknesses. But there is a reason why there are men AND women. Both genders possess individual strengths and its important to acknowledge and to integrate them corporately. The subject of Female Leadership is a first step into the right direction. “Mindful Leadership” is something that is genderless and can be usable for men too.
Have you ever felt that being a woman was a disadvantage or rather an advantage?
To be a woman can sometimes be really exhausting in my opinion or even a burden, to be honest. Often times you are only looked at as a sexual being and not a human who also has a brain. We are still living in a male dominated world. Nowadays this is way more subtle than a 100 years ago. But still there are certain behavioral patterns among us that really bother me. But I also have to say that I see a lot of positive things with being woman now. Like I said I try to see something positive in everything ;)
Tell us a little bit more about Fempreneur. Which subjects are you focusing on and how does your readership look like?
At this moment there are a lot of interviews on Fempreneur, because it is important to me to show Entrepreneurship role models. Since there is no set team right now, I just can't manage to turn towards other topics, that are close to my heart. Luckily for me I can find wonderful guest authors who share their Know-How and help to make Fempreneur diverse.
Some readers are already self-employed others are working on it. Some just find the articles interesting although they are employees. I think that my readers are young and open-minded people who have a vast interest horizon and are ready to take their lives into their own hands.
Who is your biggest role model?
I never really had a role model. But to name one person who inspired me and that I would love to meet is Richard Branson. I only ready a couple of his books, but I have the impression that he possesses a really positive energy and showed a lot of courage to go down difficult paths and still has fun with his work. But like I said, I would love to find out if this impression is true.
What are your wishes for 2016?
To continue to have fun with this awesome project, to continue to meet wonderful people and most importantly to stay healthy. And to naturally possess a healthy mental state towards life. I think that is the equivalent of luck.
Photo: Sebastian Schäffer