My 2013 was definitely my most exciting year in terms of self-development and opportunities related to the startup community, so far. It was also the year where I heard the words “you’re crazy” more frequently than ever (well, as if nobody knew already…). I’m not considering myself crazy, just different, not following any pre-conceived societal norms locking away individual goals and needs for the better of… I don’t know whom and what actually.

In March, I went off to a trip around the world, spending four weeks in Silicon Valley and especially at the Startup Embassy in Palo Alto (go there if you’re ever nearby!). After absorbing a lot of ideas and knowledge in the center of startup universe and short trips to LA (pfff, still disappointed), Seattle (Startup Weekend!) and Vancouver (cool Canadians), I landed in Hawaii. What should I say, everything you’ve heard and seen about it is true, it’s paradise on earth. Polynesia will always stay in my heart because it’s so special. I spent awesome and relaxing time at the beautiful beaches, climbed the highest mountain Mauna Kea and experienced literal breathlessness the first time in my life, watched whales (including a baby whale, awww) and met two of the coolest Frenchies ever (yeah, speaking of you, Harmonie and Blandine!). After that, I went on to pursue this dream which I had for so many years, finally visiting New Zealand! This beautiful country just took my breath away and didn’t deceive me in any sense. Being there, I wasn’t sure if this was a dream or reality, it felt so surreal to be on the other side of the globe, experiencing something I had longed for for such a long time. But only by returning to Germany, I could appreciate what I experienced there – total freedom of mind.

I had so much fear in me before this travel (for whatever reason) and left this all behind. It feels just good!

Otherwise, after returning to Stuttgart, I had a lot of decisions to make and work to do. We went on with StartUp Stuttgart and Accelerate Stuttgart, hired our first employee (I still can’t believe it) and organized the biggest Startup Weekend in Stuttgart so far. It nearly destroyed me because I didn’t take care of myself (again) in order to make this event successful, but it also made me stronger. Startup Weekend has been and is an important part of me since 2010. This year, I eventually had the guts to become a facilitator for other events. In this role, I had the opportunity to moderate three so different, but so amazing events in Sheffield, Bolzano and Sofia (oh I love the crazy Eastern Europeans!). Sofia was definitely a special one as I wanted to do an event in Eastern Europe so badly this year (thanks Chris and the crew for giving me the opportunity and having me). If you’ve ever been to any of the Eastern European countries, you’ll understand why.

Nevertheless, I’m eager to welcome 2014. I see much clearer now to where I want to head the next years (and where not to) after this awesome (btw, this word is really overused nowadays) year of 2013. I want to do a lot more in 2014, but differently.

What I also want to do more in 2014 (no, these are not New Year’s resolutions)
– Spending a lot more time with my friends, less at business stuff networking whatever events
– Writing a lot more and for different purposes (finally getting there)
– Going to more concerts (again) – oh I miss 2012 for that…
– Don’t let me convince to do stuff that I don’t want to do or don’t care about
– Travelling (well, yes, even if 2013 was my best year of travels… so far)

A special thanks goes to my friends who always support me and never give up on believing in me (especially warm thanks to Nova, Anca and Julchen here! <3) and the truly, truly inspiring people I met (again) at Pirate Summit in Cologne, Pioneers Festival in Vienna and LeWeb in Paris. The latter was my game changer this year in many different ways and I’m truly thankful for that! The only constant in my life is change. I’m a restless soul challenging myself constantly (being tired of it several times a day). I hope this will never change – and 2014 will see a lot of it for me personally. Never stop, but appreciate the moment, fuck your comfort zone, change and stay true to yourself! Hello 2014!

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