Archive for October, 2016

Business – quit or continue?

October 31st, 2016

Hold your cards? Or Fold them?

The Art of knowing when to keep on going and when to quit.


Business is a lot like gambling, and oh-so-long-ago a famous country western singer, Kenny Rogers, wrote a song called “The Gambler”- I have known it since my childhood. One of the phrases is “You’ve got to know when to hold them (cards)… know when to fold them.” When to keep playing the hand you’ve been dealt and when to quit.


When do you continue on your chosen path and when do you change and do something new? That’s the question.




  • Your idea is great, your strategy is perfect, you are doing the right things and life is good, or looking good, at least
  • You – and your team – have the right competencies (or are willing to learn them, fast)
  • You are focusing on the most important things, the ONE thing really (always remember that 80/20 principle)
  • You have a decision-making process already in hand to decide if and when change needs to happen and you are willing to change
  • Your systems are workable and they also allow you to focus on your one thing
  • Your income is greater than your expenditures- remember to always keep score of your “takings”, as the Gambler would say
  • You are still very passionate about your idea and you are moving forward with it




  • You are misunderstanding the signs (here’s a most awesome TEDtalk on this: )
  • You idea becomes more important than anything else, including other people, especially those close to you. (are you willing to lose everything to make your idea succeed, and if it still fails, what will you have left?)
  • Your cons now outweigh (even if they don’t outnumber) your pros
  • You can’t answer important questions, like, “Why are you doing this? Why is x, y, or z happening? How did you miss that?”
  • Your short cuts are cutting you and the business short and you are not doing “the job” right
  • You have tried “everything” and it’s just not working
  • The market has changed since starting and the future is not looking positive
  • The only thing keeping you from quitting is your pride and your fear (this is a BIG ONE)
  • You have continued losses with not much change in sight, even with bootstrapping and cutting costs everywhere
  • All that extra work you have done has not made a difference and you still have little to show for it
  • Your priorities have changed and you have a different view on your idea
  • There are probably other very good reasons, too.


If you do it, QUIT with a STRATEGY in Mind


Seth Godin wrote abut quitting in The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) and in it he mentions the difference between a cul-de-sac and a dip, pointing out that when you face a “no way out” situation with a business, it’s time to cut losses and move on to something new.


Make sure you have TIME

Sometimes you just need a break, a refocus and then you can continue, perhaps with only slight changes. If this is possible, it may really help your business idea. Take that time, refocus with a coach, mentor, or a mastermind board and then continue moving.





Mistakes are part of being human, and it is no shame to make them. Remember a failure is not forever and it is (usually) part of your future success. The moment you learn from your mistakes is the moment you are on your way to the next better idea. The moment you accept it isn’t working, admit it and move on, you are already moving in a positive direction.


Remember, quitting the wrong activity enables you to start the right one. Your next idea might just be the perfect one, and if this present one is weighing you down financially, with your time and energy, emotionally, you may not start the next best idea.


A positive attitude of winning, even when you fail, is the key. Be true to yourself and your values and abilities; think positively about yourself even if you fail. Accept and own the quitting and then move on. Be thankful for what you have, what you have learned and remember that the next idea might be your best.


As Kenny Rogers puts it in his song,


Every gambler knows

That the secret to survivin’

Is knowin’ what to throw away

And knowin’ what to keep

‘Cause every hand’s a winner

And every hand’s a loser…


May you next hand be a great winner. I wish you much success with it!


Your fellow business gambler,

Patricia Jehle

Distract yourself!

October 24th, 2016

Distraction as a key to success (ASCDR)


Who ever thought that distraction can help you succeed? But it can!


-For those of you who overthink problems, or obsess about such issues as “technical problems”, distraction can really help

What do you do when you have an overriding problem, such as “the internet is down” that stops you dead in your tracks? Distract yourself and move on. A client of mine had such a problem last week, and with the help of my “distraction tool”, he was able to get a lot done, despite technical issues. Having a to do list helps, but best of all is to stop, say to yourself all will be solved in the end, distract yourself, totally refocus on a different job, and then move to something else on that to-do list.


-For those of you stuck in non-creativity, distraction can become your best friend

When everything you do seems like “blah-blah-blah” and nothing looks fun, energizing or worth doing anymore, distract yourself.  It’s time for a refocus on something completely different that will help you to find your creativity again. In this case, a short walk outside into nature may do the trick, or perhaps a quick look at old photos of fun activities with friends and family, or try a break with a great cup of coffee or tea and a conversation with a friend or colleague. These short distractions may be just the solution you need to move out of your non-creative rut.


-For those of you with the “Law of Jante” in your soul (or who am I to think I can do this), distraction may be the freedom your soul needs to break out, move on, and succeed.

Jante’s Law comes from the north, Scandinavia to be exact, and it runs in my veins, perhaps yours as well. It’s easy to think your idea is not really all that great, to think you are not special, and certainly not special enough to do something great. All these negative thoughts can get you into a dark thinking downward spiral. What do you do? STOP! And distract yourself. Just do it!


So, what’s the process?

A- Become aware: notice the obsessing, the stuck-ness, the negativity -and

S- Say “STOP”! catch yourself and call yourself on it – and

C- Choose your preferred distraction (you can go to my coaching pintrest board for a couple of good pins on self-distraction) – and

D- Distract yourself – and enjoy– and

R- Reboot and try again


The reboot may be you try the same activity again, or you do something totally new. It’s our choice. But you will, either way, be more productive.

No matter what, try and catch yourself, and then distract yourself when things are not going your way with your to-do list. REMEMBER: A-S-C-D-R.

Enjoy your week and your distracting! — and should you want to visit my site: –Or join my group on LinkedIn:

Patricia Jehle



8 start-up suggestions

October 17th, 2016

Starting a company: 8 suggestions and some Questions

  1. Begin only if you are passionate about your idea

You have to be more passionate about your idea than about earning money with it, otherwise you will not last the first few years of little or no growth. A client of mine is waiting for his website to go on-line so he can start and it’s already been six months of waiting for him. But he is passionate about his idea(s) and he will go the distance if he continues in the way he ha begun.

2. Check your idea for viability, for feasibility, for financial growth and tweak accordingly

Is there a market for this idea/product? Will it generate enough income at a price that is reasonable for the target niche? Is the niche big enough to support your product idea in the long term, or is this a fad, which you will have to tweak or even give up in a year or two. Remember it may take up to two years to generate “real” money.

ALSO:  Do you plan to do this full-time? If so, how will you live until you start earning money. In other words, what is your budget and financial plan?

  1. Let others help you, and take advice; but leave naysayers out of the picture, at least until you have earned your first million-

You will have lots of people trying to tell you what to do and eventually some will give you wise advice. Ask for advice, but from those who are doing something like this- either on a small, or on a big scale. Ask for mentors from people who, as Brené Brown says, are “in that arena” too.

  1. Get a coach

For most cases, you will need an independent, non-involved party that will ask you good questions (and that is what coaches do, ask questions so you can reflect on your choices and decisions).  You will need this kind of help; trust me.

  1. Build in time for recreation every day and every week and every quarter, because burnout is easy to catch-

Burnout may even be the reason for you starting your own enterprise. The temptation is to focus so much on your idea that you don’t think about yourself, your key relationships and then you start to suffer. Build in time for self-care, for a healthy physical and relational life and your start-up will last past the beginning stages.

  1. Don’t give up; in fact, have a plan for if you feel like giving up-

Ask yourself, when things get tough, what am I going to do. Ask, when I am running out of money to grow, what will I do. Ask when I am tired and don’t feel like I can go on, what am I going to do.


And then remember those first days and the passion. Remember the joy of starting and of that first sale. Remember the advice you have received from good mentors. Then take a (short) break, tweak, and carry one! Don’t give up!


  1. When it is time, on-board a team, first an outsourced on, and when ready, a salaried team

It could be that your idea is a solo-preneur idea, but you are going to need people to call on for support and help, people you can also recommend to others when they need help: a web-person, an accountant (or at least software), possibly a lawyer, people who do things that help your business and are not in direct competition with you. For example, a client who is an interior designer, may want someone specializing in furniture building or interior sewing to be on the team.

Eventually, if your company is meant to have employees, you need to pick them well. Depending on if you have a partner or not, depends on the company structure. For example, one partner is the CEO and the other the CFO. I have seen this particular situation relatively often. If you are alone, one of the first people to on-board should be a CFO-type person. Money is not everything, but in a company, it is very important to watch all the numbers. Then there are the marketing and sales types, the technology types (both for running and for growth-development, depending on the kind of idea you have), logistics/operations, and strategy. In the beginning, people may wear quite a few hats, but as your company grows, the person will, hopefully have fewer and be able to focus on their strengths.

Allow your team to help you grow your company

Leadership is key and so is delegation and respect. You need to create a culture of positive growth and listening to you main team’s ideas and suggestions. Remember, if you want to grow you will need help. Let your team do that for you!


  1. Dream big. Think about the future of your company and your life-

Once you are on your way, you should continue to dream. What are your three, five, ten-year plans? What is next? And after that? This might be where a coach comes in, again, to help you broaden your horizons. Finally, here are a few more questions for you to chew on:

Is your idea reproducible? Franchise-able? What does the long term look like?

Do you plan to sell your company? If so, when?

–I wish you much success!

This is the preface to my upcoming book: “Swiss start-up: What do you need to know and do.” Look for it soon!

 — and should you want to visit my site: –Or join my group on LinkedIn:

Patricia Jehle






Reading and Learning

October 10th, 2016

What are you reading? What are you learning?


I have an old friend who regularly greets her friends with the question, “What are you reading?”


I love that question, because it assumes that the person is a learner and a reader. I think we should be both. So the second question that goes with the first is “What are you learning?”


That leads to a pre-question: What are your goals?

What books and articles are you reading that lead you to your goals?

What courses, lectures, YouTube videos, webinars are you “attending” to reach your goals?


My goals

One of my big goals is to be a better coach and consultant for my clients, so I am reading books and am in the middle of a NLP certificate course at the moment. I will also be taking a Quality Management certification in January. I do enjoy learning and these kinds (NLP and QM) are something I can immediately put into practice with myself and my business, my clients, and with my teaching at the university.


What I (re)learned this weekend

Some of learning is really remembering, and I did a lot of that this weekend at my NLP course. Here are four things that I found key for me, at the moment:


Meaning is found in the response to the communication- even if I do not elicit the response I wanted, the meaning lies with the recipient, not with my intentions. Thus, I should rework the message to fit the recipient’s “language”.


It’s all about people and relationship, and of course that is my mantra, anyway. But I love it. We are all trying our best with “what we have”. Emotions are neutral and show where the individual is “at” at the present moment.


The person is a whole being: mind, body, conscious and subconscious. We can’t have an effect on one part without affecting another. A person is a “system” and all the rules for systems apply.


We are constantly learning and changing and change is possible for everyone. We learn via modeling: watching and mimicking others to learn new ways of doing things and responding to our circumstances. Thus, we (I) should make sure I am being a positive model for others, my family and friends, my clients, my students…


What am I reading? Of course, I am re-reading the NLP Handbook by Joseph O’Conner as I write and think at the moment. However, to balance life, last week I read The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith, one of the books in the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series. These books are full of fun and home-spun wisdom. They make me want to drink redbush (Rooibus) tea and take a holiday in Botswana. They make me smile and laugh.


And smiling is good for the soul: that is also something I remembered this past weekend.


So, what are your goals? What are doing to reach those goals? What are you reading and what are you learning?


Keep smiling — and should you want to visit my site: –Or join my group on LinkedIn:


Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle




Hats and a change of scenery

October 4th, 2016

Change it up

One of the wisest pieces of advice I have ever been given about writing is also applicable to life and work, especially in Switzerland in the fall. It’s called the Hat Scene.


The Hat Scene

The idea is this: When the tension gets too high, when everybody is on the edge of their seats in the movie theater or turning the pages like mad at home, the main character takes a break and does something completely different, which must be entertaining. The term, I do not know if it was the speaker’s or not, comes from a movie called “Sleeping with the Enemy,” a psycho-thriller; and at one point when you can’t stand it any longer the two main protagonists go to a school where one teaches theater and they try on hats, that’s all. The whole scene is full of fun and fanciful play. The viewers get a bit of a break in the tension.


Breaking tension gives room for creativity.


Now for something completely different

Fun, fanciful play and a total change of scenery are really good for the soul, but also for your creativity and energy at work. That little time away doing an entertaining or exciting activity really different from normal can rejuvenate you and get you ready for something new or prepare you for some hard work ahead.


Here’s the idea.


Take a break

Take a break when the going gets tough, but not too long of one. A half-day or even a two-hour break will do. The point is to take your focus off whatever is bringing you to that level of stress where you don’t have an answer.


Change the place, change the activity- or preferably both

Do some activity you usually don’t do. For me, reading a book may not “do it,” because that is a regular activity for me. But, going to a temporary art exhibit, walking along an unfamiliar path, and maybe even going to a hat shop and trying on hats would be appropriate for me, it’s whatever you don’t usually do.


Also, the place can help. Go outside, take a walk, go to a new space to work for a while. If you usually work at a desk, find a table somewhere else. If you work at home, try some co-working space, of possible. Shake up the formula.


But why?

Our brains react to that change and become more creative. We are not stuck in “every day” mode and we come up with better ideas. Our brains respond to the change positively and then when we begin to look for solutions to old stressful problems, we can generate new ideas.


Masterminds work like that, too

Masterminds help like a change of place a change of activity because you are talking about your work and the problem before people who live and work in different places, wearing different hats. The listeners come from and see different perspectives than you do. It’s like you can put on their hats and see your work and issues from their eyes for a short time. You hear their solutions and are able to see their logic. This is a king of virtual hat wearing session, just for your issues.


And why Switzerland in the fall?

Well, besides the fact that it’s really beautiful here at the moment, the Swiss traditionally take a one or two-week break in October to go hiking or so. It’s a way to refresh since many of them have been back to work since August, and the people here have at least four weeks of holiday a year, minimum. It’s a nice healthy lifestyle, and allows for creativity. That break, if you can take it, is very helpful to make you more successful at work. But even a day or two can be helpful.


So, what’s next?

Take that walk, go to that exhibit, change your work place or routine, go on a short holiday, find a Mastermind group (or join one of mine). But whatever you decide, you should remember to keep changing things around and shaking things up once in a while, for you, and for your job’s or company’s sake. That’s how you will become more creative.


Enjoy your creative muse, and should you want to visit my site: –Or join my group on LinkedIn:


Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle