Professional Cyclist, World Record Holder, TEDx Speaker & Author

Monika Sattler: “For me, failure is when you give up on yourself. To dream big, you need someone to have your back.”

Monika Sattler had her professional career under control: after graduation, a well-paid job at the International Monetary Fund IMF and then at the World Bank in Washington DC, then as a top business consultant at IBM, first in Zurich, then in Melbourne, Australia.

But it didn’t make her happy. Because her big dream of becoming a professional athlete wouldn’t let her go. Until she simply turned her life around. Not dreaming your life, but living your dreams. Monika Sattler does it. And talks about it. Motivating and life-affirming. It’s fun, fascinating and makes your own dreams come alive again.

Border crosser Monika Sattler: 26 days – 124 passes – 1,368 kilometers – 56,380 meters of altitude.

Neither family nor friends agreed with the decision to quit her career at the World Bank, as they had a different idea of Monika’s life goals than she did. That’s life.

As Confucius said: If you love what you do, you will never work again in your life!

She supports individuals and leaders to set big goals and achieve them successfully. This involves a mindset strategy that she calls RAD Mindset. Her cycling records figuratively represent what it means to take on big challenges and have the courage to pursue them. Her coaching, workshops and keynotes are about finding out what you’re really passionate about and finding a realistic way to make it happen.

Monika Sattler Presentation topics

What the 124 Swiss passes record taught me about leadership.
124 Swiss passes in 26 days, 1368 km, 56380 metres of altitude and 110 hours on the bike.

Not only was it a physical challenge, the organisational one was even greater. Within a few months, Monika Sattler turned an idea into a project. She built a team with 5 people, whom she had to trust 100% from day 1 to be able to master this big goal. What does a cycling record have to do with change management and how important is Mindset, for the courage to get out of the comfort zone. Mindset is the key factor to successfully implement big projects and goals. There are also leadership qualities that are indispensable for mastering seemingly unattainable goals. Her mission with the Challenge is to inspire other people, especially women, to take on challenges and step out of their comfort zone.

How to succeed as a woman in a male-dominated environment.
Although there are great efforts towards gender balance, there are still industries that are heavily dominated by men. Just to be clear, this is not an “anti-male” conversation, but sometimes this gender imbalance makes women feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. Cycling and the IT industry are heavily male-dominated environments, as Monika has experienced firsthand. Monika Sattler feels comfortable in both fields, even though she is usually the only woman in her group. She explains the five key points that help her succeed in male-dominated environments and how other women can apply them in their own lives, whether it’s sports, work, or life in general.

How to go after the big goals.
Monika Sattler wanted to set a seemingly impossible 3000-km cycling record. 80% of people didn’t think it was possible. In addition to the doubts of others, she faced her own. Why would she be the person capable of completing such a seemingly impossible challenge? Was she setting herself up for failure while everyone watched? It was a defining moment whether she should stay in her comfort zone or take a big leap out of it and face her fears of failure and pursue something that seemed beyond her limits. Most people would have given up before they even started. But she didn’t. In her presentation, Monika Sattler uses her RAD method to explain how she overcame fear and met the challenge, persevered, and successfully pursued a seemingly impossible cycling challenge. Audience members will be able to apply these keys to their own goals, whether in sports, work or life.

Redefining Success – What’s stopping you from taking the first step?
When we strive for a goal, we see the end goal in the distance. And then we see the path to get there: a black box full of fear, unknowns and uncertainty. The bigger and more distant the goal, the bigger and darker the box. What are we going to do? Nothing. Because we are afraid to fail. Monika Sattler explains how to get away from black-box thinking and find an attitude that inspires you to pursue your goals – even the big ones.

Monika Sattler and Her Dream: Professional Cyclist.

She realized that professional cycling wasn’t what she wanted after all. On top of that, she was having trouble finding a suitable career in the sport. She felt like a failure for not being able to pursue her passion and doubted Confucius’ statement. Maybe it just wasn’t possible to find the job that would fulfill her. To get back on the “right track,” she applied for any jobs and became an IT management consultant at IBM, one of the most prestigious global consulting firms. First in Switzerland, then later in Australia.

Although she was now financially secure and on the “right” career path, the same urge as two years ago arose in her: she wanted more out of life. Suddenly she was sitting in the Botanic Garden in Melbourne, Australia, with no job and no plans for the future. What would she do now? She asked herself, “Have I failed completely, or is this the beginning of a new life?”

Finding the meaning in life

With nothing to lose, Monika Sattler searched the world map for a place where she would like to live. She packed her bike and flew to Malaga, Spain, on a one-way ticket. She had never been there, knew no one, and didn’t speak a word of Spanish. Her planning only went as far as a one-night hotel stay and a six-week car rental. She knew that this point in time was absolutely critical for her life going forward. She had to figure out what her place was in the world. She needed to find the meaning of her life. As she searched, she shared her life story with others, inspiring courage in them that it is indeed possible to make your own path. Even if that path is different.
Her goal now is to help people do what they love by building self-confidence, overcoming fears and creating their own path.

Cycling Record

To show what it means to achieve goals that seem out of the norm and impossible, she decided to become the first woman in history to set a record by cycling: She wanted to ride the 3000 km Tour of Spain, one of the toughest challenges in cycling. The same stages on the same day as the professionals. Just a few hours before.
80% of people thought this was not possible.

Besides the doubts of the others, she had her own doubts. Why should she be the person capable of completing such a seemingly impossible challenge? Was she preparing for failure while everyone watched?

It was a defining moment, “Do I stay in my comfort zone or do I face my fears of failure and pursue something that seems beyond my limits?”