Freelancer Q&A Series: Career and Business Coaching from the Ironwoman


Susanne Mueller is a the career coach you want in your corner.

Author of Take It From the Ironwoman: Global Business Coaching With Sports Parallels, she holds an MA from Columbia University in Organizational Development and Leadership, has worked for organizations ranging from the Swiss Mission to the United Nations to Fortune 500’s, and has completed a number of marathons and an Ironman distance race in 2015.

She has presented workshops at SoHo Places, and we reached out with a few questions about how to balance work and life, and how to stay motivated.

SoHo Places: Goal setting is something everyone knows they should do. How does one approach goal-setting and develop an achievable plan?

To reach your goals, you must set effective and realistic goals. If we have a dream and not a timeline, it stays a dream. Make sure you challenge yourself, but have a timeline. This is how one becomes successful.

Regarding success, should everyone find their own meaning of the word success, and how is it measured?

A successful person is a visionary. A person who is both passionate about what they do and who realizes the work never ends. We have to be grateful for what we do on any given day. Small steps will get us to the BIGGER steps.

Sometimes, we forget that even creating and getting business cards in our journey is a success story. Start to write a success journal rather than complaining or spending too much time on social media.

Keep doing what you have been doing with a lot of passion and keep doing more. Being a solo-entrepreneur or freelancer is hard work, although it is rewarding. Go for it, don’t give up, just do it.

On the path to achieving one's goals, life happens. Do you have advice on dealing with the inevitable derailments?

Life always happens. We always find excuses. It is about setting a routine and sticking to it. If life happens, we take a detour and then refocus. It is about clear communication to others when we work on a project. “Leave me alone, as I have to focus on a project.” Sometimes it is hard to voice that when you work out of your home, as people think you have all the time in your life to do other things. It is about the FOCUS and the MAIN FOCUS, and nothing else.

How important is finding balance? It can often seem that “finding balance” can mean doing things not at all related to one's goals.

Finding a balance is key. Work and life can be a balance. We just have to manage our time. This goes back to a routine. For me it is important that I get my running or other exercise in on a regular schedule. If I cannot be active, I do not produce great results. I am tired, I am nagging, I am less focused. I need my balance between working hard and playing hard. Multitasking does not help us here. Focus on one or a few things and get them done and then focus on others.


We asked Susanne for a recommended reading list:

To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink
Good to Great, Jim Collins
How Far Can We Go?, John Maclean
Running with the Mind of Meditation, Sakyong Mipham


Find Susanne here:
Twitter: @susanne3600
Instagram: susanne_Mueller_nyc



Freelancer Q&A Series: DIY Photography and Branding with Nefeli Soteriou



Committed to the arts at a very young age, Nefeli Soteriou played mandolin in a children’s choir throughout elementary school in Limassol, Cyprus where she grew up and attended an arts high school studying Applied Graphic Arts and Interior Design. This is where Nefeli discovered the darkroom and was hooked.

She went on to earn her undergraduate degree in Photography from Athens University of Applied Arts, and then went to the US to pursue a MFA in Photography at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, eventually transferring to Temple University in Philadelphia where she earned an M.F.A in Film and Media Arts.

Now a licensed life coach in New York State she helps her clients enhance their creativity and wellness.

Nefeli has presented engaging and transformative workshops at SoHo Places. We spoke with her about her work.

SoHo Places: Should the photographs used by a company be aspirational images of who their clients want to be, or more closely aligned with who the clients are?

Nefeli: Thats a great question. The photography should be reflective of what the service outcome would be. However never create illusions, keep it real and close to your values, mission and vision of your company.

SoHo: What impact do you think social channels like Instagram are having on our perception of what photography for companies should look like, and achieve.

Nefeli:  With a social channel like Instagram, there is authentic photography created by hobbyists. The trend with social channels like Instagram is encouraging to anyone who wants to take charge of their photographic skills and represent their brand out in the world, and it is free of cost. If you are concerned about owning your copyright after submitting to Instagram, double check the language around that.

SoHo: Are there examples of brands that you feel achieve a great deal with photography, and why?

Nefeli: There is a lot of buzz around authenticity in photography lately and start-up companies that match photographers to corporations that look for that content. What I believe is achieved here is a fair use of the medium, something impossible to happen at the time of great photographers. Annie Leibovitz for example and her unique dance photography creations. It is a new way of creating photography, the quality of the camera is good enough for anyone to create good pictures.

SoHo Reading List: Are there any publications you read on a regular basis, or books, that you recommend about your field of expertise?

For photography and video technical issues, I visit Adorama or B&H. These two stores organize free workshops and online resources.

Additionally, I frequently visit galleries and museums and check other artists' work, and share my experiences on my blog.