Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nika van Olst, Co-Founder of New Standard.Studio, located in Berlin, Germany.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

After freelancing for seven years, I co-founded a sustainability consultancy and design studio called NEW STANDARD.STUDIO. We work with governmental organizations and companies in the private sector.

Tell us about yourself

I started freelancing with the goal of becoming location-independent. I was in my twenties back then, and it was great. I had so much fun! I was consulting with clients such as Kickstarter, Virgin Money, etc., and writing books on the side. Now, given I'm in my mid-thirties with a family, I suddenly have different desires and priorities in life. Suddenly, I no longer wanted to travel full-time and also felt ready to start a business that was bigger than just me and myself. We now have employees and an office dog. It's a whole different setup. I think it's possible to design the life one wants, even though not always easy.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being open to change and able to adapt to my circumstances as needed. I think the most important question one can ask oneself is: how can I be useful?

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

I think most entrepreneurs and freelancers will agree with me when I say: "Cashflow is a b*tch!" One must always keep enough savings on the side.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Well, this feels like a trick question. I've written three books, so depending on where you find yourself in life, I'd suggest reading "This Year Will Be Different" if you're just starting out. "My Creative Side Business" if you're looking to grow your business. And "Work Trips and Road Trips" when you start questioning how to run the business in a way that suits your personal needs. All books were published under my maiden name "Monika Kanokova."

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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