Archive for September, 2018

This? That? Something NEW? Decisions!

September 17th, 2018

Decisions start with options

Making a decision?

Most people make hundreds a day, but important ones come less frequesntly.  I want to remind you of one thing before moving on into some nitty-gritty advice about decision-making.  It is always easier to make a decision when you limit your choices, so start there.  The sky may be the limits, but your brain deals better with between two and six options.  The fewer, the better.

Making a BIG Decision, some ideas:

YOU

Take time to think about yourself: what makes you tick, what makes you passionate and what leaves you cold. Would this decision somehow go against the fabric of who you are?  Would it enhance the person you are?  Also, you are given permission to say what you needand what you want.  I write this, because some people have been conditioned to overlook this, and it is always important to take your own needs and wants into consideration.

The environment: my mentors, my co-workers, friends, family, etc…

What would the different people in my life tell me?  Ask them, especially if it is an important decision.  Remember you were not put on this earth alone; use the gifts you have been given in your various relationships to help you decide.

What’s the present environment?  What are the options right now? Later?

What door is open today, at this very moment?  What might be open in three, six, nine and twelve months?  How long am I able or willing to wait to make the decision? Does waiting make a (big) difference?

 

Consider the consequences of your ideas

Evaluate the consequences

  • Do a cost benefit analysis of the options, or simply list the positive and negative results
  • Scale the options
  • Look at the consequences, not just for myself, but for my family, and for my life, long-term
  • What would the consequences be in a year, in three years, in five years, in ten…?
  • Do I have enough time, money, energy, strength with what I have now? What will I have to give up?  What is too much to give up?
  • If I look back on my life at 80 years old, what will I think of the decision, either way?

 

When I decide this or that, what happens in my inner-self?

When I decide Awhat does my gut feel?  How about when I decide Bor C?  Where is my inner peace?  Or if there is equal weight for either choice, try flipping a coin and then do what your gut feeling says (not on whether it’s heads or tails).  In other words, use the coin to find out what you really want, and then do it.  If that doesn’t work, try waiting three days.  Don’t think about it; just be – and then try deciding.  Remember to “watch” your dreams; they may be telling you something, too.

 

This?

First, consider one option… with all those parameters discussed above: you, your environment, the present or waiting… how does it feel?  Where is the energy?  What kind of energy is that?  What might be the consequences?  Can I live with them?

That?

Then, consider another option… with all those parameters discussed above: you, your environment, the present or waiting… how does it feel?  Where is the energy?  What kind of energy is that?  What might be the consequences?  Can I live with them?

Both?

Third, consider both options (together)… with all those parameters discussed above: you, your environment, the present or waiting… how does it feel?  Where is the energy?  What kind of energy is that?  What might be the consequences?  Can I live with them?

Neither?

Fourth, consider not doing anything (neither option) … with all those parameters discussed above: you, your environment, the present or waiting… how does it feel?  Where is the energy?  What kind of energy is that?  What might be the consequences?  Can I live with them?

Something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT?

Finally, consider something completely different… with all those parameters discussed above: you, your environment, the present or waiting… how does it feel?  Where is the energy?  What kind of energy is that?  What might be the consequences?  Can I live with them?

 

Sometimes an example helps:

So you have two job offers– first job A, then job B, then doing both job A and B (people do this, I have more than one job), then neither job (unemployment? at-home parent?).  Finally, consider something different: Going Back to School, Early retirement, etc…

I hope this helps you!  If not, give me a shout!

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com    patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

 

What’s your Start-up WHY?

September 10th, 2018

You “why” is key to success

When you start a company, you need to know the answer to your WHY

The following is an excerpt from my preface of a book (in progress) about starting a company in Switzerland:

Starting a company in Switzerland:  8 suggestions and a Question

Congratulations for looking into becoming an entrepreneur in Switzerland!  Switzerland is one of the best countries for the start-up scene, and depending on your business idea and your experience, this might just be the place for you to begin your dream of having your won company.  I have some suggestions that are general about beginning a start-up below.

SUGGESTIONS:

  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 several months of waiting for him since he had his first idea. But he is passionate about his idea(s) and he will go the distance if he continues in the way he ha begun.

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

Market research, is what I am talking about.  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, is your target just Switzerland, or is that just a launching pad for going international?

Finally, 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 their advice very seriously; 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.

Also, if you have little experience in the business world, there are very reasonable courses offered by the government, if you speak the language (mostly in German.

  1. Get a business (start-up) coach

In 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). Trust me on this.  You will need someone like this.  It doesn’t have to be me, and my time is limited, but a good start-up coach is worth your money.

  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.  Switzerland is THE place for outdoor recreation activities of all kinds.  It is lovely for hiking, for biking, for snowshoeing, for Nordic and Alpine skiing, for swimming, and the list goes on and on.  Take advantage of these opportunities.  It will be god for you, body and soul.

  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.  Get yourself a few cheerleaders to keep you going.  I can remember some key turning points in my life where I wanted to quit, but a few cheerleaders kept me going and I will be forever thankful to them for that.

Remember to remember.

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

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

It could be that your idea is a solo-preneur idea and then this does not apply to you, but still 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, and people who do things that help your business in many ways 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 will need to pick them well.  Depending on if you have a partner (in Switzerland, it seems like the magic number is four partners) or not depends on the company structure.  For example, it could be a pair, 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 if you are not money-oriented.  Money is not everything, but for any business it is very important to watch all the numbers. Then there are the marketing and sales types who need to be added, the technology types (both for running and for growth-development, depending on the kind of idea you have), logistics/operations, and the business strategists.  In the beginning, your people may wear quite a few hats, but as your company grows, each person will, hopefully have fewer and be able to focus on their strengths.

Also, 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 main team’s ideas and suggestions.  Remember, if you want to grow you will need help.  Let your team do that for you!  Also, be their cheerleader – they will need one, too.

  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?  How are you going to scale?  When might it become too large?  How will you know when you want to change?

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

Now, the BIG QUESTION:

Should you start a business, and should you start in Switzerland?

THE WHYS

So you are thinking of starting a business in Switzerland, and since you are reading this, I am assuming you are an expatriate or immigrant.  The Swiss have their own ways of getting information in German (mostly) and the other languages.  I will be focusing on the “foreigner” start-up, so much of the content of this book goes in that direction.  However, there are some parts that can apply to all start-ups, even those outside of Switzerland.

And it starts here:  the question why is very key.  Why do you want to start your own company and why do you want to start it in Switzerland? Perhaps you know this is a very start-up friendly country.  Perhaps you know that the standard of living is one of the best in the world.  Perhaps you like the climate and the Swiss Alps. Perhaps you have a partner or spouse working here.  The reasons could be very numerous and very personal.  But Switzerland is a very good place to start a business.

FYI

In August 2016, a total of 2,781 new companies were entered in the commercial register. This represents a growth of 6.8% compared to August the year before.

Enjoy your week!

Patricia Jehle www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

A Gritty Can-do Attitude

September 3rd, 2018

Are you a quitter?  I bet you aren’t!  But negative assumptions and attitudes can creep into your working life quite easily because negativity is catchy!

When you’re in the flow, you feel like you can do anything

So, have you been thinking any of the following lately:

  • I’m too stressed. Stress is getting me down.
  • There is no way to move forward.
  • I can’t get any new clients, let alone keep the old ones.
  • My products are so-so.
  • I’m so behind (name the company) and so it’s not worth trying to catch up.
  • I can’t do this until I have more (funds, people, etc…)
  • It’s not going to get better until (the economy, my team, or (x) changes.

Of course, there is probably some truth in all of the above, but there are no solutions, when they are put this way.  Your can-do attitudeis lost and negativity sets in like a plague.

You need to change the way you think about these situations- move to a place of self-efficacy; there is always something you can do.  You need a way to feel that you are in control – set some boundaries against helplessness and pessimism.  You don’t want to be a quitter, you want to be one that will find a way!  You can and will find a way!  Research shows that if you believe you will succeed, you will – eventually.

Teams that think of positive ways to deal with problems succeed- the optimists win!

So, first find out what the negative assumption/attitude is (in psychology, you are looking for a cognitive distortion) – write it down. Then examine the evidence to see if it is false, partially true or really totally true (very unlikely, as it may be).  Give yourself the benefit of the doubt when doing this and do not judge yourself too harshly.

Then put the statement into “can-do” language:

  • I’m very stressed and this is hard, but there will be a way through it, when I find it.First, though, I will treat myself to (your favorite nice reward is inserted here) because I have done so well, so far.  Then my plan will be….
  • There seems no way forward, but I’m sure if I sleep on it and ask for help from (mentor or boss or…), there will be a way, somehow.
  • I haven’t been able to get any clients for a while, and some of the present clients show signs of leaving. What are the reasons for this, and how can I change my products or sales to better reach the market and keep people on board?
  • My product is not so-so, but just not as cool sounding as x,so I have to change my product so it is better and at the moment I have to communicate my awesome value proposition to my clients and to the public.
  • I’m behind the competition, so I need to catch up and even surpass them as soon as possible by…
  • Let’s look at how to get (funds, people, etc) by this date so we can go forward as soon as possible; in the meantime, let’s…
  • Even though it’s not an optimal situation, how can I go forward with what I have?

Creativity is a great way of overcoming pessimism

I’m sure you get the point. Work on your thoughts and assumptions, and change them to workable positive assumptions that move you one step forward- not fake a happy-clappy, but gritty can-do attitude.

What’s your next positive assumption – and with that the next smallest step forward?

Have a very successful week!

Patricia Jehle patricia@jehle-coaching.comwww.jehle-coaching.com