Hi, I’m Nini Fritz - Bucket Lister, eyeConnector and Pancake Enthusiast.
The first two luckily pay the bills, yet, I am still trying to figure out how I can monetise my pancake passion (suggestions very welcome).
So who am I and why the heck should you spend three minutes of your precious life time reading the life story of a complete stranger?
Well…because it describes my own journey of:
Living fuller. Connecting deeper. And being happier.
And this is exactly what I would love to experience for everyone who is landing on this page.
If it works for me, it hopefully works for you too - just without all the extra lessons I had to learn on the way.
Lean back, get your beverage of choice ready and, ACTION…:
once upon a time...
On my 24th birthday I handed in my master thesis at the University of Amsterdam about “Digital Detox - When Touchscreens Make Us Lose Touch” - and I was officially free to conquer the world!
While everyone around me warned me that the best days were over after university and was constantly complaining about how much they hated their lives, I swore to myself “I’m not gonna fall into that trap”.
In my opinion, university should have been the pre-gaming for the big party, not the other way around.
That got me thinking: Maybe we’re not actually afraid of growing up, we’re just afraid of hating the life we live when we’ve grown up? I was sure that growing up must actually be pretty damn cool when you do what you love.
Although, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do that I love for the remaining 70.000 working hours of my life but I knew that being unhappy could just not be it.
I was questioning the status quo: Can I not be paid for just being me?
live fuller .
So I decided to embark on my own adventurous journey. I took a gap year, I called it “The Bucket List Year” and gave myself 365 days to tick off as many things as I can - to eventually find out what really makes me happy from inside. To then be ready to work in a cubicle happily ever after.
365 days and 15 countries later, I had touched hands with the Dalai Lama, hitchhiked through Nicaragua in a toilet paper truck and even learned a freaking breakdance freeze.
I figured out that talking a lot, living my life up to the fullest and making other people smile is what I enjoy most. And as the old genius Pablo Picasso once said “If we use our passion in the service of others it becomes our purpose.” After watching a life-changing TEDx talk and meeting up with the speaker, I received a call from him on my 25th birthday - exactly one year after I kicked off my Bucket List year. Eventually, I decided to swap my Bucket List Year for a Bucket List Life, and joined his “Bucket List” company in Australia as a Global Marketing Manager working remotely and Certified Bucket List Coach from wherever I opened my laptop.
I soon started off working with companies like Meta, Dell and Hubspot and occasionally needed to pinch myself that helping remote employees of global teams to live their own best Bucket List lives was covering the bills to live my very own best life.
connect deeper .
While creating other people’s Bucket Lists from the white-sand beaches of Sydney, slurping coconuts while giving talks for global companies from Bali and hyper-caffeining myself while co-working from Italy all sounds like fun and games - and it was for most of the time - it sometimes also felt really freaking lonely. While sitting alone in front of my laptop all day was my only constant, my environment and the people around me were constantly changing. What I was craving was: Connections. Real connections - stronger than wifi. I believe quality human connections are the most beautiful connections of all and the only thing we need in order to live a truly happy life. We don’t even need many, but it is the quality that matters.
Yet, in a world where everyone is so busy keeping up in the online world that we forget to be present in the offline world, making a genuine human connection has become a real masterskill.
It therefore came in handy that I wrote my master thesis about “Digital Detox - When touch screens make us lose touch”. And as a self-renowned “Digital Detox Expert”, I had already given talks to spread awareness on the extinction of human connections as part of my own Bucket List Year.
As I am one to focus on the bright side of life, talking about the problem without offering a solution is not really my nature. That’s why I decided to find a way to make real humans more interesting than social media. How? By simply asking better questions. (Not so) secret life hack: No one likes small talk anyways. That’s when my conversation-sparking card game “iConnect - stronger than wifi” was born. For everyone who prefers smiles over likes and real emojis over emoticons. Over 200 questions in six categories to get people off their phones and talk to each other. The higher the wifi bar, the deeper is the level of the question and thus, the stronger the connection. Soon after its crowdfunding release it got sold in over 20 countries and my little passion project became more than ‘just a game’. Besides creating Bucket Lists, I now found myself hosting business networking events, connection workshops for remote teams & festival lovers and speed dating dinners for hopeFUL romantics.
be happier .
When “The Big C” happened, I turned into a “Digital Slow-Mad” and accidentally found myself stranded at the beautiful beaches of Bali (...you won’t hear me complain). Being stuck in one of the most challenging periods of this century surrounded by one of the happiest people in the world made me unlearn everything I’ve ever known about the true meaning of happiness in an accelerated self-growth journey.
Everyone who has been to the “Islands Of Gods” will probably agree that the vibe there's just something else. It is almost like your inner radio is adjusting to a higher frequency from the second you put your first foot on Balinese ground. And you start wondering why “you make life so complicated” (tribute to Avril Lavigne) when it can be so easy? And by that I don’t - only - mean the sunset cocktails & cheap massages.
It makes you realize that real happiness doesn’t come from achieving external goals. You might have never seen a sad person riding a jetski but you can be sure that “No external goal can ever fill an inner void”.
True contentment comes from finding inner peace. You need to start filling your own cup from within. And THEN you can show up as your best self to others and eventually give more.
Good news: It doesn’t take a plane ticket to Bali or a 10-days silent meditation in long white robes to get there. It can be done by simply adjusting a few life hacks about your mindset, the things & way you spend your energy on and the way you interact with others.
At 28 years old, I can assure you that I am NOT a life coach. I clearly have not “figured it all out” and getting to this part of the story came with its fair share of challenges, roadblocks and self-doubts.
I am also not preaching to you that the coconut-slurping remote travel lifestyle is my way or the highway. My life path clearly doesn’t tick the “society escalator” (and certainly drove my parents bananas at times 🍌 ). Yet, as much as I don't want to live any other life, I totally respect that my lifestyle is certainly not one that everyone aspires to have.
But I can say with confidence that I want to use my god-given talents of undying enthusiasm for life & meaningful connections to inspire everyone I encounter to live a life that truly makes YOU happy - personally & professionally.
Because most important is that (*inserting cheesy life quote from a 28 year old*):
Live the life you love - and if you don’t love it, then actually do something about it! 👵🏼 🔮
And let me tell you, it’s just much better to realize that sooner rather than later.
All that I can do is to give you the tools that help you to find out what it is that makes YOU:
Be happier. - from the inside out :)
Life is what you make it.
My values - in work & in life :)
Did you know that the #1 regret of dying people is “I wish I had lived a life true to myself and not one others expected of me”? Well, now you do. I believe eight waking hours a day is too much time wasted acting like somebody you are not. To make sure your work team won’t end up looking back with the same regret, I aim to work with companies who encourage their employees to be their authentically unique selves at work just as much as I encourage you to: Be you-tiful. Be so completely yourself that everyone around you feels safe to be themselves too. After all, it is still better being disliked for who you are than being liked for someone you are not (...unless you work in customer service, then please fake it till you make it). When we let go of the mask of who we think we are supposed to be and finally feel free to be who we really are, we have infinite energy to unfold our fullest potential in this life and at work. Remember, we only have one life anyway.
Want more statistics? In fact, a 75-year long happiness study at Harvard has shown that the only thing we need in life in order to be happy is: Real human connections. And hereby it is not the quantity of superficial LinkedIn connections that counts, it is the quality & depth of these relationships that matter. With your coworkers or in your private circles, online or offline, it is the deep meaningful connections stronger than wifi that form the glue that bonds us stronger together, exchange positive energy with another and build trust. It makes you feel seen, valued, and understood and gives you a sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself. We all know that it is always harder to leave a great team than a great job.
Energy is contagious. People love to be surrounded by people who are passionate, driven and energetic about their lives - and their work. So whatever you do, make sure it turns on your inner light switch and it will provide an infinite source of energy. Enthusiasm can mean the difference in not just getting a job, but succeeding in a job - it’s about motivating yourself and motivating others. It is about getting more energy from what you are doing than letting it consume your energy. That is why my goal is to trigger more of these inner smile moments and find out what makes you jump out of bed in the morning to get excited for the work day ahead of you, just to fall asleep with more energy than you started with. And under the bottom line, your newly gained excitement for life will also serve your company.