So how did I end up exploring a new way of living and making a living?
My best friend calls me "little alien", and there is probably some truth to that. As an incurable futurist, I live in a world that doesn't exist yet. It's viscerally alive to me. Things there just.... make sense, especially to my data intuitive self. People are happy, or in some shape or form on their way there, in all aspects of their lives. They are unapologetically, yet empathically, themselves. As are businesses, entire (emerging) parts of society, and that little neighborhood kitchen project down the street. To me, as someone who's always been equally bewildered by and longing for deep understanding of our flawed human systems, there is actually no alternative to this future world. So, every day, I live in the tension of our imperfect present and this inevitable, beautiful future, exploring both, charting out ways to get from one to the other. And running experiments on it :). You should come along for the ride!
A bit of personal background.
I've always loved Math and numbers. I have synesthesia, so I can often times feel them. This might explain why I spent the first decade of my post-High-School life with data: as a theoretical physicist (everything tiny, please!), a researcher on the forefront of applied science (new infrared tech), a financial data analyst. Since I not only analyze but also feel my way through the data, frameworks and theories, obvious or strange connections, dissonances and inconsistencies jump out to me. You could say my superpower is data intuition.... often knowing if something makes sense (or not) even before my logic brain can explain it.
But physics was never my only love. I also spent a lot of time with history, medical research, learning different languages and cultures (USA, Italy; btw I'm German), making music, self-help books, leading large software projects, innovation management, deep diving into human systems, and painful but thrilling sport activities. And of course there is my love affair with the startup world of the last 7+ years.
Also, as a master procrastinator, I am always on the lookout for the fastest, most resource-effective, highest impact solutions. And last but not least, I am an infinitely curious experimentalist, meaning I will look at the strangest data and test things on myself (or my friends and community😜)....and then tell you all about it! And yes, it gets really really strange lol. Sign up to always be in the loop lol!
About this project
For a lot of us in wealthy nations, especially millennials and younger people, life purpose has changed from mere survival to self-actualization. Meaning, contrary to our parents and grandparents, we are feeling a drive to "find ourselves and how to live accordingly" versus mostly ensuring that there is food, shelter, and security. It's a beautiful development, because it takes us away from fear-based decision making, which has caused so much environmental destruction and human exploitation. With the privilege of "going inwards", we go beyond the need for status symbols, conquering, or coping mechanisms like consumerism.
People following the path of "going inwards", at this point the majority of them women, are all facing the same problem: the existing systems do not work for them anymore. Their values, the way they imagine to live their lives to the fullest, it often times clashes with what reality has to offer. Currently, options range from inflexible work places, a hustle-culture entrepreneurial world, or being a stay-at-home parent. It's way too narrow to allow for the uniqueness of people on the path of self-actualization. So what can be done?
I have coined the term Authenticity Economy to capture, explore, and find best practices for this new wave of people aiming at living their most authentic Self in all aspects of their lives. This means:
- finding the most effective (quick, impactful) tools for going inwards and finding inner strength
- building a support system, a community of like-minded people and knowledge exchange, to help us all walk this new lifepath
- piloting entrepreneurial models of making a living as Authentic Self
- building frameworks and gathering real-world data to define new business best practices
- laying the groundwork for spurring policy change to enable a newly self-realizing society
This is a society form that has never existed before, yet I believe it is both inevitable and has the greatest potential of ensuring a positive future for all. I have started this journey first as a personal project a few years back and am now transferring my knowledge and network to enable others. Since we are all starting out to create a future that doesn't exist yet, common transactional business models ("this for that") don't work very well. Instead, I am building a community and empowering change makers with a "pay it forward" mentality. I hope that within a few years, after we have proven ourselves, when new markets (and even just words to describe what we do) exists, the otherwise highly efficient transactional business models will work again. But until then, would you like to help me pioneer that? Would you enjoy coming along for the ride?
The benefits explained
Daily Shot of Insight Emails
You will receive a short email Monday-Friday to be part of my discoveries of this new world, which should be pretty fun. Topics range from self-discovery, finding inner authenticity, to innovation best practices, startup knowledge, science news, and some heartfelt personal ones (like why Tiramisu is the worst dessert for impatient people). For examples, check out the posts below.
" I love the randomness of the Daily Shot of Insight. I never know what to expect when I open my emails in the morning, because I never know what topic will be covered. But I always know that it will be something exciting that gives me a push of positive energy to start my day."
--- Uta Allenstein, eSports expert at McKinsey Germany
Here is an example:
This is offered once a quarter on the Implementer plan and every other week on the Doer plan.
Over the years, I have tried a zillion things to discover the most effective ways for people to have both, happiness and business or career success. It's still a work in progress of course, but the current outcomes are fascinating and I should add a big "Thank you" to all my business friends for being great guinea pigs! What I've learned is that staying authentic while being embedded in the current economic system is not at all straightforward. Instead, three things are required concurrently:
- product development best practices as known from the startup and innovation management world
- self-development tools to make decisions from a place of inner strength and value-alignment, discovering and uncovering one's own authenticity
- ability for strict prioritization (aka "saying no") to not get lost on this new life and business path
As an expert in all three, I will help you to look at your business, and the personal alignment that comes with it, from a whole new perspective. Some people have also called it as "throwing their problems at my super fast brain" lol. But besides that, we'll be using the proven yet everchanging tools of the Authenticity Economy Project, to help your business goals in completely new ways. This coaching will most likely result in small (or larger) course corrections and renewed enthusiasm for your next steps. Of course, there will be homework 😁.
And here is the fun part: all of these practices not only apply to entrepreneurs but also to people pursuing personally aligned careers in the 21st century. Yes, even the product development practices. Well done policy decisions by politicians, or HR decisions by division leaders, or simply delivering excellent work internally within a company... all follow best product development practices. But most importantly, all of them can be a source of great happiness when done authentically.
How to know if you should subscribe to the quarterly or the biweekly coaching plan? That depends on your appetite for growth and change. Are you all wrapped up and well on your way with your business and career, however you want to get the occasional nudge for course correction, to make sure to not get stuck, and have a medium personal growth curve at the same time? Definitely choose the Implementer plan. Do you feel out of sync, out of joy, and confused about how to move forward (even if your outer world looks picture-perfect)? Are you ready to open up to the "journey home to yourself", and some very important practical implementations, because you can feel that that's where your happiness resides? Would you greatly benefit to have a very regular boost of inspiration and renewed enthusiasm for the future? Then let's get moving and get you into some intensive coaching with the Doer plan!
Want to pay it forward instead? You also have the chance to become a sponsor of a startup or founder project and pass your coaching session on to them. You and I can discuss which project you'd like to sponsor, if anonymously or not, and you will subsequently receive regular updates on their progress.
"More power to things that 'actually count'! The one-on-one coaching sessions with Damaris have helped me gain more clarity on my goals and personal motivation, and thus I have been able to use my available resources more effectively."
--- Gwen Schröter, Impact Investor and Managing Director at Golzern Holding
First off, every subscription supports my efforts to empowering female entrepreneurship. In my experience, women are the drivers behind living and expressing authenticity. On the one hand, they are more readily "allowed" to be emotionally expressive by our Western societies. But on the other hand, that same society is usually fairly restrictive when it comes to them forging their own life paths and looking for unique ways of making money. Thus they are the perfect early adopters to explore a new economic system. Here are my current efforts:
- The Female Entrepreneurs and Creatives Meetup (link): free events several times a month for women on the topics of entrepreneurship, self-development, and everything and anything in between. Over 1400 women from all over the world, and counting!
- The HHL Female Founder Initiative ("Gründerinnenklasse"): mentoring and extra program support
Furthermore, every subscription supports my efforts to provide free coaching for cash-strapped change makers, who are pioneering the practical side of the Authenticity Economy. I meet with wonderful individuals or small teams who are inherently driven to put their authenticity into action, a lot of times without them even knowing that that's what they are doing. I give them structured support from startup business consultancy, to helping them with their personal development and resiliency (so important when walking un-explored life paths!), and sorting out their priorities and resources to maximize chances of success in this wild new world.
Thanks to being able to conduct these non-profit efforts, I can bring you ever new insights into these economical practices of the future, while empowering wonderful and talented people right now in this moment.
Good to know!
You would like to support the project or a specific aspect of it (for example: the meetup specifically), but none of the plans offer what you are interested in? Please reach out and let me see what I can do for you!
I am always open to speaking engagements or custom project work on these topics. Sounds like we should talk? Looking forward to hearing from you!
You can reach me at: [email protected]
If you are able to pay via direct deposit (Überweisung) that would be amazing due to the significant lower transaction fees 😊