100% passion, 0% alcohol - Interview with Tijen Onaran
She is considered a “digital pioneer” and “an exception in the German digital scene”. In March 2021, Handelsblatt named Tijen Onaran one of 100 women who will advance Germany in the next few years. This is by no means her only award. Manager Magazine ranks her among the top 100 most influential women and the business magazine Capital ranks her among the top 40 under 40 talents in German business. Her job titles no longer fit on a business card: presenter, speaker, podcaster, columnist, entrepreneur and best-selling author.
She is a courageous role model for a young generation of female entrepreneurs and, according to her Twitter bio, has made “diversity and inclusion her life’s work”. A life in which the champagne reception is just as much a part of it as the evening wine with the team at your company Global Digital Women. However, it has been a while since the last personal wine delivery. The last occasion on which Tijen consciously toasted with alcohol was a digital wine tasting at the beginning of the pandemic. Since then, she has resorted to alcohol-free alternatives.
The pandemic also has positive effects: realizing that you can do it without alcohol.
Was there a bad wake-up with a bad hangover?
“There was no aha moment, just occasions that were canceled, such as dinners with friends or events. The pandemic had a positive effect in that I realized: I can do without alcoholic drinks. I noticed relatively quickly that I wasn't missing anything and that I was getting fitter and more productive. ”
She can now use the newly gained energy for her topics. For her, it’s “not about going higher, going faster”, but rather about the benefits of a healthy body and a fresh mind, which are doubly beneficial to her in the challenging environment of being an entrepreneur with a packed schedule.
Why not just wash down your stress with a glass of wine?
How has your life changed as a result?
“I've found that even a glass of wine during stressful situations can give you a headache the next day. I already have a job that requires a lot of passion and energy, so I try to keep fit and live a healthy life. It doesn't always work in all areas, but for the past year it has been very good in the area of abstaining from alcohol.” She is also involved in healthy eating and is involved in various start-ups, such as recently Pumpkin Organics, a company specializing in baby food.
How do you stay “strong” in typical drinking situations?
“There’s nothing wrong with me, so I don’t have to stay “strong”. There aren't any external events at the moment anyway and when I do meet up with friends digitally, I resort to non-alcoholic options.”
One question still remains unanswered: What does one of Germany's most important opinion makers toast a successful day at work with?
“I'm still trying out a lot and I'm always noticing that the market for non-alcoholic drinks can be expanded. Because there are some juice spritzers or drinks with flavors, but if you want to get more creative, things get tight. I avoid soft drinks and have no desire for them. Otherwise it will be a non-alcoholic cocktail. For dinner I like to drink non-alcoholic gin and tonic with your gin of course!”
Cover photo: Andrea Heinsohn