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MadlenZiege

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Oct 19, 2020
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Hey, my name is Madlen. I am 37 years old and have a PhD in Biology. I was sick and tired of the exploitation at Universities and started my own business a year ago. I wrote a book about Communication in Nature which has been published through a big German Publisher this year. The book will also be available within the next months in 8 other languages. Currently, I am trying to make my book more popular (6000 pieces sold so far). I also handed in a second book idea to the publisher and no wait if they accept it. I also figure out as if there is any need for my talent to draw plants and animals (in bacteria, fungi etc) in a naturalistic way. A few times I was able to sell some drawings to Natural history museums or private persons. I plan to sell the motives in an online store as art prints, on shirts etc.

My boyfriend and I bought a house with 2 flats and one store front. We a currently living in one flat and want to rent out the second after renovating. It is a very touristic area close to Berlin and there is a big need for a little convenience store for the tourists. Tourists come because of the nature - the lake and the forests here. I plan to sell my books about nature in the little shop too as well as my drawings. Once the shop is up and running we want to rent the business out so that we are independent and be able to move to another country.

I am looking forward to meet like-minded people in this forum and to discuss "Fastlane" business ideas.

Thanks,
Madlen
 

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Kasimir

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Welcome. Wow sounds great.
I'd really look that the brand you're creating has the biggest possible targeting group. Think the ideas with the shirts could be great, and would sell pretty good in your shop.
Best wishes from Switzerland
 

MadlenZiege

New Contributor
Oct 19, 2020
16
14
14
Welcome. Wow sounds great.
I'd really look that the brand you're creating has the biggest possible targeting group. Think the ideas with the shirts could be great, and would sell pretty good in your shop.
Best wishes from Switzerland
Hey, thank you! It is nice to get feedback from this community :) Especially since Peter Wohlleben published his books about Forests people want to learn more about Nature and reconnect. I always loved to talk about Biology and now getting feedback from my readers that I opened up new views on nature for them is awesome.

I now figure out how I want to sell my art, shirts etc. as I want a distributor who is using high nature-friendly resources. I am highly open for suggestions :)

What are you up to in Switzerland?
 

BarKogan$

Contributor
Sep 29, 2020
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Welcome buddy!
Hey, my name is Madlen. I am 37 years old and have a PhD in Biology. I was sick and tired of the exploitation at Universities and started my own business a year ago. I wrote a book about Communication in Nature which has been published through a big German Publisher this year. The book will also be available within the next months in 8 other languages. Currently, I am trying to make my book more popular (6000 pieces sold so far). I also handed in a second book idea to the publisher and no wait if they accept it. I also figure out as if there is any need for my talent to draw plants and animals (in bacteria, fungi etc) in a naturalistic way. A few times I was able to sell some drawings to Natural history museums or private persons. I plan to sell the motives in an online store as art prints, on shirts etc.

My boyfriend and I bought a house with 2 flats and one store front. We a currently living in one flat and want to rent out the second after renovating. It is a very touristic area close to Berlin and there is a big need for a little convenience store for the tourists. Tourists come because of the nature - the lake and the forests here. I plan to sell my books about nature in the little shop too as well as my drawings. Once the shop is up and running we want to rent the business out so that we are independent and be able to move to another country.

I am looking forward to meet like-minded people in this forum and to discuss "Fastlane" business ideas.

Thanks,
Madlen
re
 

Kasimir

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I now figure out how I want to sell my art, shirts etc. as I want a distributor who is using high nature-friendly resources. I am highly open for suggestions :)
Oh great. I'd just really focus on the fact that it's as naturally friendly as possible, working three years in a cotton trading company I know that a lot of certificates are completely fake and just here to make money. I personally like the organic and BCI labels the most. BCI is a little bit basic (pretty easy to get) but the transparency is really high.

Don't want to get too much involved and change your mind. But I'd make something like this one:
They aren't artists and it can be made a lot better by you I believe. But I like the simple style with a mixture of word(s) and picture(s). Do you want to print the shirts or paint on them yourself?
Bildschirmfoto 2020-10-21 um 11.11.55.png
What are you up to in Switzerland?
Sold my business in January/February. And now working a little in consulting and thinking about starting another business. :)
 

MadlenZiege

New Contributor
Oct 19, 2020
16
14
14
Oh great. I'd just really focus on the fact that it's as naturally friendly as possible, working three years in a cotton trading company I know that a lot of certificates are completely fake and just here to make money. I personally like the organic and BCI labels the most. BCI is a little bit basic (pretty easy to get) but the transparency is really high.

Don't want to get too much involved and change your mind. But I'd make something like this one:
They aren't artists and it can be made a lot better by you I believe. But I like the simple style with a mixture of word(s) and picture(s). Do you want to print the shirts or paint on them yourself?
View attachment 35400

Sold my business in January/February. And now working a little in consulting and thinking about starting another business. :)
Great, thanks for your advice. Yes, I also see it often with the labels for environmental friendly paper - most of them are worth nothing...

Nice design, I like it a lot. I thought of printing my pictures with a few words that capture the essence of this animal/plant in a funny way. I researched rabbits and their communication via latrines (accumulation of excrements). So one shirt will be a rabbit with the text "Do you give a shit?" I probably get thrown out of the forum now using these words ;)

What company is this? I would rather like to outsource as much as possible not printing art/shirts and shipping by myself but find a reliable distributor. So far I was not really happy with what I tried. Society 6 came pretty close but they still wrap everything in plastic...

Congrats on your business deal! What was the business about?
 

Kasimir

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Nice design, I like it a lot. I thought of printing my pictures with a few words that capture the essence of this animal/plant in a funny way. I researched rabbits and their communication via latrines (accumulation of excrements). So one shirt will be a rabbit with the text "Do you give a shit?" I probably get thrown out of the forum now using these words ;)
Really like that :) nothing around you but I think the shirts should be based around you or around nature. It should be in someway a wake-up call about climate change. Or I'd do it so, all up to you. Think it would work perfectly.
A little rabbit on the top left hand of the shirt (where usually the logo is) and on the back not too big but not too small "Do you give a shit" or something similar would work great.

Congrats on your business deal! What was the business about?
So it was an eCommerce/subscription business where we got organic traffic from our blog and little forum additionally from getting traffic through ads and building a community around health, productivity, and fitness. So we had to ship a lot of products. That's the biggest reason why we sold the business, shipping internationally can be so complicated, especially with edible products
What company is this? I would rather like to outsource as much as possible not printing art/shirts and shipping by myself but find a reliable distributor. So far I was not really happy with what I tried. Society 6 came pretty close but they still wrap everything in plastic...
So you need a company, which can print and ship? Including providing a great fairtrade label for the shirts. That's difficult but possible to find, I think. If you'd like I can ask some friends if they know anybody reliable doing these things out of Germany?
If I were you I'd try to have some other small products, like a bracelet or a keychain in the store. They will help you a lot because when somebody wants to buy your shirt they often also want to buy some additional products.
 

MadlenZiege

New Contributor
Oct 19, 2020
16
14
14
Really like that :) nothing around you but I think the shirts should be based around you or around nature. It should be in someway a wake-up call about climate change. Or I'd do it so, all up to you. Think it would work perfectly.
A little rabbit on the top left hand of the shirt (where usually the logo is) and on the back not too big but not too small "Do you give a shit" or something similar would work great.
Yes, that sounds like a good idea. It will definitely be around nature and its diversity, beauty, inspiration...
So it was an eCommerce/subscription business where we got organic traffic from our blog and little forum additionally from getting traffic through ads and building a community around health, productivity, and fitness. So we had to ship a lot of products. That's the biggest reason why we sold the business, shipping internationally can be so complicated, especially with edible products
So you need a company, which can print and ship? Including providing a great fairtrade label for the shirts. That's difficult but possible to find, I think. If you'd like I can ask some friends if they know anybody reliable doing these things out of Germany?
If I were you I'd try to have some other small products, like a bracelet or a keychain in the store. They will help you a lot because when somebody wants to buy your shirt they often also want to buy some additional products.
Yes, I want to stay out of the selling process as much as possible as I want also to sell worldwide. Would be awesome if you can ask your friends. Yeah, I like the idea with the small products! I will see if I can find some merchandise that will fit my business idea and is not Chinese produced garbage...

Will be your new business idea also be placed around fitness, health etc?
 

Kasimir

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Will be your new business idea also be placed around fitness, health etc?
Not sure yet. But think I’m going back to e-commerce. Also loved the health niche but also doing something around climate change would be great. Maybe I’ll be a competitor of you someday :).
Yes, I want to stay out of the selling process as much as possible as I want also to sell worldwide. Would be awesome if you can ask your friends. Yeah, I like the idea with the small products! I will see if I can find some merchandise that will fit my business idea and is not Chinese produced garbage...
Yeah, hopefully not this garbage products. I Will ask some friends, hope it’ll work out. How many shirts do you imagine doing per month? And did you had some thoughts about the price point?
 

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MadlenZiege

New Contributor
Oct 19, 2020
16
14
14
Not sure yet. But think I’m going back to e-commerce. Also loved the health niche but also doing something around climate change would be great. Maybe I’ll be a competitor of you someday :).
Guess we cannot educate enough that we have to reconnect with nature :)
Yeah, hopefully not this garbage products. I Will ask some friends, hope it’ll work out. How many shirts do you imagine doing per month? And did you had some thoughts about the price point?
Good questions, to be honest I have no idea yet. A shirt with a good quality I would say 25-30 Euro per sale?
 

Kasimir

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Good questions, to be honest I have no idea yet. A shirt with a good quality I would say 25-30 Euro per sale?
It's always difficult to predict how many products will be sold. But the size of your community and your traffic on your homepage can give you a good hint. But I'd start with around 200-300 pieces around 2-4 types. (Just how I'd do it, not trying to tell you how you have to do your business)
The price all depends on how environmentally friendly the shirts are.
 

MadlenZiege

New Contributor
Oct 19, 2020
16
14
14
It's always difficult to predict how many products will be sold. But the size of your community and your traffic on your homepage can give you a good hint. But I'd start with around 200-300 pieces around 2-4 types. (Just how I'd do it, not trying to tell you how you have to do your business)
The price all depends on how environmentally friendly the shirts are.
Thanks for your advice - I am totally open for it :) So you would let print them somewhere first and then sell it over your own website also shipping yourself?

I am reading now the section of the book where MJ says do not do what you love. It really hit me as this was always the first advice business coaches gave me concerning my business. I never thought about what I can do for others however, I guess I was lucky as somebody else saw the potential in my knowledge as a biologist. An agency asked me if I want to write the book about nature and communication as people are interested in these topics. Now, I rethink my whole business and really focus on what I can give to the world that is needed. I am excited what will come up!
 

Ing

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Hi
Well done.
6000 is a Number, which shows, that you know, what to do!

Making a busines out of the Biologie PH is not often done.

Go on on that way!
 

Kasimir

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Thanks for your advice - I am totally open for it :) So you would let print them somewhere first and then sell it over your own website also shipping yourself?
Ah, that really depends on you. Wouldn't do it yourself if you don't want to. Or you surely have to print them somewhere but I'd rather let a third party do the shipping.
I am reading now the section of the book where MJ says do not do what you love. It really hit me as this was always the first advice business coaches gave me concerning my business. I never thought about what I can do for others however, I guess I was lucky as somebody else saw the potential in my knowledge as a biologist. An agency asked me if I want to write the book about nature and communication as people are interested in these topics. Now, I rethink my whole business and really focus on what I can give to the world that is needed. I am excited what will come up!
Yeah, that's an eye-opening point in the book. If you want a change in business you could build a bigger brand around climate change which would actually help people and the environment. There are endless options. Just tell us if we can help you. But I think it could be amazing creating something completely new.
 

MadlenZiege

New Contributor
Oct 19, 2020
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Ah, that really depends on you. Wouldn't do it yourself if you don't want to. Or you surely have to print them somewhere but I'd rather let a third party do the shipping.
Yeah,its on my bucket list for the next days to find a solution that fits my needs.
Yeah, that's an eye-opening point in the book. If you want a change in business you could build a bigger brand around climate change which would actually help people and the environment. There are endless options. Just tell us if we can help you. But I think it could be amazing creating something completely new.
Thanks for your help. I am still blown away by this new but yet totally logical view on how not to create business with "what you love" - also kind of a relief as I love drawing and playing Irish music but do not want to make a business out of it ;)
 

Kasimir

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Thanks for your help. I am still blown away by this new but yet totally logical view on how not to create business with "what you love" - also kind of a relief as I love drawing and playing Irish music but do not want to make a business out of it ;)
Yeah, that's something big. But would love to see you build something big. Just say if you need any help from us!
 

MadlenZiege

New Contributor
Oct 19, 2020
16
14
14
Hi
Well done.
6000 is a Number, which shows, that you know, what to do!

Making a busines out of the Biologie PH is not often done.

Go on on that way!
Hey, thanks for your comment. I am on my way now and work through the book. Currently working on a USP for my business :)
 

LordGanon

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You're competing, or probably rather complementing, giants in this field like Wolf-Dieter Storl. As someone who spends most of his free time in nature and the woods, I really like what you're working on. I'd love to read more about it!

And congrats on ditching academia. Made the same move.
 

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MadlenZiege

New Contributor
Oct 19, 2020
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14
14
You're competing, or probably rather complementing, giants in this field like Wolf-Dieter Storl. As someone who spends most of his free time in nature and the woods, I really like what you're working on. I'd love to read more about it!

And congrats on ditching academia. Made the same move.
Thanks :) My book will be published in English next summer - let me know and I will send you a copy :)
Yeah, I became a biologist because I just love to study nature but academia seems to me just like a giant monster that over time sucks your passion away and makes you believe you cannot survive without it. I felt really enslaved... What was your way out of academia?
 

LordGanon

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What was your way out of academia?

To quote myself:

#1: After working 100% on a 50% position in academia (that is absolutely considered "normal" for people getting their Ph.D.) for several years, getting the best teaching evaluation of the whole faculty for 5 semesters in a row, I was discussing options with my professor. I was considering habilitating, which would have qualified me as a professor. My professor shook his head and said: "Don't do it. It's not that you don't have what it takes. You totally have that. But you'd waste your time. You're male, white, and don't have a migratory background. There's not going to be tenure for people like you for a long, long time."

Hear that sound? Years of dreams shattered in a few sentences. Because of my race and gender.
 

MadlenZiege

New Contributor
Oct 19, 2020
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To quote myself:
To quote myself:
Yes, crazy! Even if you would have taken this path and would have become a professor what would your work look like? Crazy pressure on your shoulders, hiring people, endless teaching hours, bureaucracy and almost no time for research - at least from what I have seen... Now, I have time to read and study as much as I want about biology and use this knowledge to put it into context and provide it to others - that feels good :)
So how did you used your academic background to find different ways?
 

LordGanon

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So how did you used your academic background to find different ways?
I already had started two companies while at uni. One does still exist, but is more of a hobby. The second one was shut down by customs. I just started the third one. Sold my shares in that (not that it made me a lot of money).

Which are the skills uni actually taught me...hmm. I became a great autodidact, that's for sure. I also became a fairly competent teacher. I'm not afraid to speak in public (although I still sweat through my shirt every time). Also, parallel to my master's degree, I studied computer science parallel. That has helped me a lot. My personal focus in my studies was system theory - I think that actually helped me a lot to analyze complex matters. Then, I'm fairly competent when it comes to statistics and social research, which helps me to gauge markets and gives me a deeper understanding of data-based marketing.

Time will tell. ;)
 

MadlenZiege

New Contributor
Oct 19, 2020
16
14
14
I already had started two companies while at uni. One does still exist, but is more of a hobby. The second one was shut down by customs. I just started the third one. Sold my shares in that (not that it made me a lot of money).

Which are the skills uni actually taught me...hmm. I became a great autodidact, that's for sure. I also became a fairly competent teacher. I'm not afraid to speak in public (although I still sweat through my shirt every time). Also, parallel to my master's degree, I studied computer science parallel. That has helped me a lot. My personal focus in my studies was system theory - I think that actually helped me a lot to analyze complex matters. Then, I'm fairly competent when it comes to statistics and social research, which helps me to gauge markets and gives me a deeper understanding of data-based marketing.

Time will tell. ;)
I already had started two companies while at uni. One does still exist, but is more of a hobby. The second one was shut down by customs. I just started the third one. Sold my shares in that (not that it made me a lot of money).

Which are the skills uni actually taught me...hmm. I became a great autodidact, that's for sure. I also became a fairly competent teacher. I'm not afraid to speak in public (although I still sweat through my shirt every time). Also, parallel to my master's degree, I studied computer science parallel. That has helped me a lot. My personal focus in my studies was system theory - I think that actually helped me a lot to analyze complex matters. Then, I'm fairly competent when it comes to statistics and social research, which helps me to gauge markets and gives me a deeper understanding of data-based marketing.

Time will tell. ;)
Yes, these skills are also which I learned for myself. I think this is a good foundation to start a successful business. What is your third business about?
 

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