Dare to go for YOUR goals
Hello, I’m Monika.
With more than 15 years of experience I help motivated talents and leaders in defining and successfully pursuing their professional goals by breaking their barriers and taking bold new steps.
Through cycling challenges, I aim to showcase what it takes to go for big goals.
In 2018, I was the first woman cycling the Vuelta a España at the same day as the male professionals, just hours beforehand. Many believed it was impossible. But I did not stop believing in myself and I am convinced that believing in oneself is the cornerstone of success.
This September, I rode all 124 Swiss Passes with the bike in 26 days that required courage, leadership, focus and continued motivation. A film documentary has captured the story and will be released in March 2023.
I am honored to share the experiences and insights from these cycling records with my audience as a speaker.
I am also proud to be a board member of the NGO “Trips for Kids” that to be allowed to enable underserved children to ride bicycles.
My book “What It Takes to Make Dreams Come True” tells my story about a seemingly perfect career path having worked for the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and IBM but that did not make me happy. A scary and bold change in my life re-ignited my inner fire and happiness.
Originally from Germany, I have lived in the USA, Australia and Spain and now reside in Bern, Switzerland.
- Born in Germany
- After high school, with a Volleyball scholarship to the USA
- Studied security studies with the focus on nuclear weapons at Georgetown University
- Worked for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank
- Became cycling pro in Germany
- Pursued a Masters in Sports in Minnesota, USA
- Became a management consultant at IBM in Switzerland and Australia
- Midlife crisis with 30 – Moved with my bike to Malaga, Spain to find my purpose in life
- Set a seemingly impossible cycling record
- Moved to Switzerland
- Work as a Goal Achievement Coach, Keynote Speaker and author
- Set a second cycling record
I imagine this might be confusing, so I would like to share a little longer version:
Originally from Germany, I moved after high school to the US to play Volleyball for a university team. As I must have watched too much James Bond, my dream job was becoming a secret agent so I studied nuclear weapons in North Korea and Iran at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. But I realized during my studies, that reality looks a bit different than in the movies. So after my graduation, I started my career working for the International Monetary Fund and then the World Bank.
While working for the World Bank, a friend handed me a road bike and said I would like it. First, I was quite apprehensive of the idea that riding along on roads would be fun but when I got dropped after 5 km at my first group ride, I decided that I couldn’t leave the sport like this.
So, I showed up to this very same group ride week after week and after 1.5 years, I had the opportunity to race professionally in Germany.
My friends and family tried to convince me not to race road bikes but go for the tax-free career at the World Bank as this sounded more viable and financially stable. Still, my heart told me to give it a try.
So against the opinion of the others, I moved back to Germany and raced top cycling races.
For three months. Then, I realized, this is not for me.
I felt like I failed as I turned down a career at the World Bank to become a pro cyclist only to realize that this is also not what I wanted.
But I knew sports is my passion so I decided to study sports.
I moved back to the USA and studied Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota with the big goal to find my dream job in sports.
But I couldn’t find it.
With the urge of my family and friends to finally get back on the “right” career track and with no other option at hand, I applied to anything anywhere and became a management consultant at IBM in Switzerland and then later in Australia.
But this was just not my world. I didn’t feel passionate about my work and I lost this energy and this sparkle for life.
Then, with 30 years, I was sitting unemployed in the Botanical garden in Melbourne Australia deep in a midlife crisis. What am I doing with my life? Is that really it? I didn’t feel any fire for what I do – neither passion not purpose. With a minimum of 35 years still to work, I did not want to keep doing what I was doing. I had to make a change. So my goal became to find my purpose.
I looked at a world map and decided Spain would be a good start to find that purpose.
I bought a one-way ticket and took my bike and a small bag and moved to Malaga, Spain. I didn’t speak a word of Spanish, didn’t know anyone and had never been there before. Only a one-night hotel stay and a six week car rental was planned and the search for my purpose in life.
While I was searching for my own purpose, I met a lot of people along the way who felt exactly the same. But they feared to make a change to ignite their fire.
And that was when my own mission was born: To inspire and empowers others, especially women, to get outside their comfort zone to have the courage to reach their full potential.
To walk my own talk, I decided to set a seemingly impossible cycling record to showcase what it means to set, pursue and achieve something big, what it means to take the risk to fail, what it means to go against the opinion of others and break barriers that seem untouched before.
80% of the people told me it was impossible. But I did it anyway.
I wrote a book with the full story.
Since then, I coach motivated professionals and leaders to thrive in their professional goals – whether that means advancing in their current position, looking for a new meaningful professional goal or developing to a purpose-driven leader.
This year, I have challenged myself again by cycling all 124 Swiss passes in 30 days. That was 1389 km and over 56000 m of elevation gain.