Archive for May, 2017

What to keep and what to give away (when to quit)

May 29th, 2017

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

Maybe you are doing some (business) activity spring-cleaning and you need to think of what you want to keep doing, and what you want to stop doing. For business leaders this question is one to consider periodically, just as the rest of the world considers all their activities whether work-related or those relating to family, friends and hobbies. Here are some ideas on when to continue with something and when to quit.

When is it time to quit and change?

WHEN TO STAY WITH IT:

  • 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, -spend time on the activities that help the most)
  • You have a decision-making process already in place to decide if and when change needs to happen, you already do and 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 successes and failures
  • You are still very passionate about your idea and you are moving forward with it

 

WHEN TO GO and TRY SOMETHING ELSE

  • You have been misunderstanding the signs (here’s a most awesome TEDtalk on this: http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong# )
  • 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 does not look positive
  • The only things keeping you from quitting is your pride and your fear (This is important!)
  • You have continued financial and other losses with not much change for the future in sight, even with bootstrapping, cutting costs and trying everything you can everywhere you can
  • All that extra work you have done has not made a difference and you still have little or nothing to show for it
  • Your priorities have changed and you have a different view on your idea and your work
  • There are probably other very good reasons, too, that you can think of.

 

Some more points to consider:

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 to choose

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 to think, refocus with a coach, mentor, or a mastermind board and then continue moving.

 

WHEN YOU DO QUIT, DON’T TOTALLY GIVE UP: REFOCUS, STRAIGHTEN YOUR SHOULDERS, and MOVE ON TO SOMETHING EVEN BETTER

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.

Reboot: take time and think

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 “hand” be a great winner. I wish you much success with it!

Your fellow business gambler,

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehl-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

A model for making complex decisions

May 22nd, 2017

Got decisions? Join the club!

Most people think they make 70 a day, but many experts say that 35,000 conscious decisions are made by most adults daily.

If you are a CEO or business leader and you work only five days a week, you make almost 30 important decisions each day. Over 50% of those decisions are made in nine minutes, or even less. Only twelve percent are made in an hour or more. Of those 30 important decisions, there are multiple layers or micro-decisions found in each one.

Does that make you feel tired? It does me!

We all want to make good decisions so what can we do to make better ones?

Manage your choices. The below list of how to better manage (important) decisions is based on the TED talk by Sheena Iyengar and the article, both cited below, with my own added wisdom, as well.

1) Cut! in complexity and number

2) Make the results concrete

3) Categorize them (it’s easier for us to understand categories)

4) Watch your body clock

5) Take a walk, or at least a coffee break

6) Use your Gut instinct, with balance and reason

7) Ask others for help, just do it! (For more look here: http://wp.me/p5Y10a-4r )

 

Dealing with decisions in a rational and ethical way

When you make big decisions it is good to have a framework that you can go through. I have combined the rational and the ethical decision making models into one set of questions below. For me it is important to be rational, but also to include the human question into the framework so that the results on people are considered in the decision making process.

 

Here is the list of steps:

  1. Identify the situation and the problem
  2. Ask for whom is it a problem and for whom not
  3. Think about this in an ethical framework
  4. Identify any support that may be available
  5. Establish criteria for success and scale what’s most/least important
  6. Identify alternatives (brainstorm)
  7. Evaluate the alternatives (what happens if you do/or don’t do each one)
  8. Choose a best alternative
  9. Implement the decision
  10. Evaluate the decision and the outcome
  11. Make any needed changes
  12. Regularly check on the impact of the decision on people

Making a big decision won’t be that simple, of course, and when decisions are affecting large organizations it will be quite difficult first to implement, but also second, to evaluate and then readjust the original decision. It’s very complex.

A good model for making decisions will help

Always remember to think in complex terms when making decisions

 

  • The Pareto principle applies, always! That means not everything is weighted equally, so focus energy on the wining decisions, and find the “losers” to get rid of them.
  • There will be unexpected consequences, so watch for them and adjust when necessary; but it’s okay to make another decision, or to readjust.
  • Remember that your organization’s system may really mess up your decision, so be prepared for disappointment and re-adjustment. Systems do not adapt to change easily and inertial and balance are the status quo.
  • Always try for a win-win situation for all people involved and you will keep your best team members and maybe bring the slow movers on board more easily.

Whenever there is a change, expect it to take longer and be more difficult than planned, but with good preparation and with continued optimization, all will go well, eventually.

Enjoy your decision-making this week!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

You need a “why” that keeps you going

May 15th, 2017

 

You need a passionate “why”

Passion is Perseverance’s Power

A while ago I met up with an entrepreneur friend who has had her ups and downs since starting her business in Switzerland two years ago; but she continues to follow her dream. “Don’t ever give up, just keep pushing towards your goal. There will be a break through; you will see the signs and just head towards those little lights.” My friend is right about following her dream, but it is her passion is the energy that gives her the perseverance needed to reach her goals.

When I think of start-ups and the people who have managed to bring their ideas to fruition, I think of people who are passionate about their product, passionate about their clients and customers who will enjoy that product, and about their passion regarding their stakeholders who will also benefit from the product. These entrepreneurs are really excited about what they are doing; they really have a dream. Here are some of my ideas about passion and how to use it for your advantage when starting a business.

Be passionate about your product and know how it helps potential customers and clients, as well as stakeholders.

When writing your business plan, ask yourself if your product really speaks to you as someone who might be an investor or stakeholder. How excited are you about it, because if you are not energized, how are you going to get potential investors and stakeholders excited? How is this product special and why are you the one that is the best person to do it? Finally, an you tell someone about your product in a way that is clear and really gets that person excited, too? Can you create a buzz about it? This is your famous “why” that will keep you going in the right direction with the energy to continue.

 

When the hard times come your passion will be your battery

Even with a passionate “elevator pitch”, there will be days where the “no” comes, maybe multiple times. The passion that you have about your product and how (and why) it is fantastic is your needed battery supply when you have those hard days. And you can take it for granted that there will be hard days. But what keeps the start-up entrepreneur going will be the energy found in the passion for the business idea, for the product. Use that energy for the hard days so that you have a surplus of energy when the ball gets rolling and the profits come in. Then that extra energy can be used for a new idea to move you upward and onward without too much extra energy wasted. You will be already moving instead of starting from zero.

 

Your passion might just be what separates you from all the others

Finally, in some cases, there may be others doing the same thing as you do, even many others. But your passion about your product might be the key to setting you apart from all the others. If you shine when it comes to passion and produce a great quality product, you will stand out, even if there are a hundred – or a thousand – doing just the same thing as you. You will find that people notice how you talk about what you do, and they will be happy to try your product. Your business idea doesn’t have to be very original to be passionate about it. I have a niece who owns her own bookkeeping company. She works hard and is very passionate, and proud, of her quality services to her clients. Because of this passion, and because she is very competent, she is excelling and business is booming. Passion is vital for a start-up and for any business owner/entrepreneur.

You “why” is key to success

Have a passionate week! Know your why!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

What is you self-efficacy level?

May 9th, 2017

What’s your S-E Quotient? Your SE-Q?

Do you know what your Self-Efficacy Quotient is? Well, you should care about it and know generally at what level it is. According to Dr. Albert Bandura, your SE-Q is one of the keys to success.

“Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined selfefficacy as one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task. One’s sense of selfefficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges.” –from Wikipedia

Questions like, “Can I change the situation and how can I do it?” are addressed differently by people with high and low SE-Qs. When you are faced with a difficult problem if you SE-Q is sufficient, you will feel able to solve it with your personal resources, or with the help of others you trust. This is a great life skill, necessary for all kinds of success.

Bandura has said that you can make your own test to see how you are doing in this area, but if you don’t have the time and are curious, go here- https://www.excelatlife.com/questionnaires/self-efficacy.htm – this little is just a start, but it might give you a clue as to where you stand.

You might feel like this with a low SE-Q

How can you increase your SE-Q?

  • By having small, incremental successes
  • By breaking down complex problems into smaller steps or issues
  • By learning specific strategies to reach your goals
  • By receiving clear and accurate positive feedback
  • By watching or hearing about others’ successes, and using peer models
  • By the positive verbal support of others, like coaches and friends or colleagues
  • By watching your Eeyore levels (staying optimistic, for the rest of you)
  • By rewarding yourself when you succeed

But your SE-Q can be undermined

  • By receiving praise for a poor performance
  • By receiving criticism/fault finding at an early stage of the creative process
  • By being verbally convinced of your self-efficacy in areas where this is not true

Can SE-Q be “wrong”?

Yes, sometimes we become over-confident and keep working toward an unreachable goal (Don Quixote-effect), or we might become too prideful.

But, all-in-all, self-efficacy is a way forward for most of us when facing problems and it will help us, as leaders to help our employees and to move forward in a healthy and successful manner.

Your high SE-Q will help you find good solutions

“Along with goal-setting, self-efficacy is one of the most powerful motivational predictors of how well a person will perform at almost any endeavor.” https://www.slideshare.net/gerdnaydock/how-bandura-would-increase-self-efficacy

I wish you a very high SE-Q week with much success.

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

Work-life, a balance?

May 2nd, 2017
How can I maintain a healthy work-life balance? How do I fit family in when I run a business?

Are you working from home a lot?

Do Two things

Maybe it’s not all about balance, but more about priorities.   The famous happiness study says we need to do two things: manage stress and have good relationships.

 

What are your values?

Therefore, when we look at the work-life balance question, it is important for us to remember that first contemplating our personal and professional values can help us by setting us up for success. This first step will help us to decide on what is important, and then it will help us to set reachable goals on how to spend our time. This reflection process will make it easier to set and keep time boundaries in our ministry. First let’s look at our values.

 

Some questions

Here are some questions to consider. Where’s your passion? What’s most important for you and what’s second most important? Then, what are your personal and professional development priorities? Finally, how are all these priorities shown in how you spend your daily time, your weekly time, and your monthly time? Before you can really answer these questions, though, your values need to be clearly defined.
 
Family as a help and not a problem

I personally believe that prioritizing your family and home life is vital for your personal well-being. Your family members, at least the ones you live with, are the people you are hopefully the most genuine with, so they see your human cracks and faults, and yet they still love and support you and your work. Also, if you put family and home-life first, your family members will sense this and they will support you even more. And, you will become a strong working unit, a tool for reaching all your goals. Your family then can aid your work rather than being seen as energy taking and taking time away from it. Also, this putting your primary relationships first is one of the “happiness study rules”.   Just saying.

 

Talk about it

Say what you want and need. Also, when we are thinking about our work and life priorities you should speak out your expectations and welcome talks about expectations from family members and working colleagues. When it comes to juggling values and goals, real life is not that easy. There are many expectations that need to be brought out into the open and to be discussed in a healthy manner. It is often where hidden expectations are found that stress and relationships, both personal and professional, abound.

 

Some more questions

What are your expectations regarding your work and your family? What are your work’s expectations? What are your spouse’s and your children’s expectations? All of these, spoken and unspoken expectations, need to be addressed. You need to sit down with all of your people and take time to explore their and your expectations. It is often true that we don’t even know our expectations until they are fully explored. This could take some time to get through and will more likely have to be repeated on a regular basis, say at least two or three times a year, and then of course before any major changes.

 

Boundaries!

Set your boundaries. Then let me ask you, where are your work and home boundaries? Do you work from home, either full-time, or, like many entrepreneurs I know, part of the time? Then, you will need to set some boundaries for yourself and for your family if you are to succeed. These boundaries would at least include the working rules, the space, the hours, and the exceptions.

 

Suggestions

·       Here are some ideas: use your agenda (calendar). That means first you have to schedule unscheduled time. You need to have space in your agenda for blocks of time with God and for reflective space.

Set boundaries when you need to that fit all parties involved

·       Second, you need to schedule time with your family and most important relationships, of course. You need to take your agenda and schedule real time with your family, preferably daily, but at least weekly, and a few longer blocks monthly. You also need to know when important things are happening with your family and schedule to be there. For example, an important doctor’s appointment, a concert or recital, a ceremony, a visitor’s day at school. The list goes on and on.

 

I, for example, took the three-day weekend off, as yesterday was Labor Day (in Switzerland). But what about the unexpected? We need to expect and even prepare for interruptions. We need to be able to say no and yes at the right times by keeping in mind our priorities. When we expect and prepare for interruptions in our schedule, we can act accordingly. It will help us to act and not react because we have already thought of the possibility of being interrupted. This preparation will also keep us calmer and more in control of our daily schedule.

 

I hope this blog has helped you to consider the why your family in whatever form it takes needs to be a priority, and then find some solutions as to how to make time for them. Don’t give up. Keep trying new solutions and you will find what works best for you and your family with your work’s situation.

 

Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com