Archive for the ‘Start a business in Switzerland’ category

How is your plan going?

February 27th, 2018

Plan for Success to plan your business

One of the situations that must be well planned for is, perhaps surprisingly, success and what the next steps will be when that Big Deal comes through.  Scenarios must be worked through and plans made ready to put into action.  If the Offer of a Lifetime comes and you can’t promise to fulfill it because you aren’t ready, all your time and money may be for naught.


Plan A B or C – multiple options will be necessary for success

  1. Be prepared for big success

The lesson here is: be prepared to become a big success and make sure you know what you are able to do if the BIG CHANCE comes your way. Make sure you are prepared with a “what if” plan. But don’t have just one; make a few of those kinds of plans, because there will be surprises. Try and be prepared with – and for- various success scenarios.  Do you need access to more production space?  Do you need more people?  Do you need quick response to basic material orders?

  1. But you won’t be able to foresee everything, good or bad.

What is key is that no matter what, something you haven’t thought of will probably happen. Be prepared to change your strategy or your production or whatever in the middle of everything, because you will have to change, and maybe you will have to change fairly often. If you don’t change, you will not survive. Period.

Bob the cat

Here is a funny example:  right now, it’s unseasonably cold outside and our cat, Bob, has been bringing his prey to play with (and eventually eat).  After all, it’s cold outside, so he heads to his owner’s bedroom to do his dirty work.  Luckily, I am not considered his owner.  But my son, is at this very moment trying to find a way to get the trapped mouse out of his bedroom and into nature before everything becomes bloody.  This is a new, and hopefully temporary phenomenon, but until the weather warms up, it is most likely going to happen on a daily basis.  After all, we live in the countryside.  So, we need a plan for tomorrow.  Suggestions are welcome.

  1. Know that there will be losses: Loss happens, so plan for that, too

Even with all the precautions and learning, loss still happens.  I also have discovered that the rabbits can die an untimely death, even if all the health and safety suggestions are followed. Loss happens.

Although you might be very flexible and can tolerate making numerous changes in the midst of the business action, there will still be losses. There are the expected losses but then there are the unexpected ones, too.  In any business losses must expected and be paid for, somehow.

This goes especially for startups.  You need to plan your startup business so that the losses, especially in the first few years, are covered financially, if at all possible. Many people say that if you quit your job to start up a business, you should be able to cover six to twelve months of working before making any income.  The potential losses will also have to be included in this calculation.

In fact, with some ventures, it may take years to break even. Losses are part of start-ups, just as much as any other business. That’s why so many of us start up our business while still working at another job; or we have spouses (or other family) who can be our “angels”; or we have saved and our substantial personal savings is then invested in the business.

But in the end though, there will be no profits if you don’t market your product.  Sales are what saves the business.  Getting sales is the key to success.

  1. Marketing will forever remain “the issue” -, even if it‘s not “in your DNA”

In my own coaching business I have learned to sell the outcomes of my services.  This is necessary for my business.  Also, I am not afraid of asking people if they need some coaching.  The fear of getting a “no” and the fear of new things is something I have  had to overcome.

So, what do you need to overcome to reach success?  Where do you need to grow?  What do you need to prepare?  What plan do you need to make?

Have a great week! I wish you much success!


Patricia Jehle



February 20th, 2018

Wow!  They started with a bang, those nineteen-year-olds, setting up their office in an empty “office space” that had no frills, none at all.  They begged and borrowed desks, chairs, a flip chart from family, and got started.  Boom!

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

Yesterday they were in a flow, so much so that they stayed at their new office all night.  The five young men are starting their own business, and what they lack in experience they more than make up for in passion, energy, and creativity.

And I get to coach them, what an honor.  I am passionate because they are so passionate.

Bending over backwards to get things done can be difficult, but when you are passionate, it may work out great

They already have a few jobs, and contracts and they have hopes of making money next year.  I haven’t met with them as their startup coach yet, but it seems like they are on their way to success, and that is great!

Over to you

What about you?  What’s getting you excited about your life?  Your work?

You need a passionate why

Where’s your passion?  What do you always have energy for?

Or, where do you always get hung up?  What irritates you?  What can you do about it, or what can someone else do to help you with it?

A wise man once wrote that there is a time for everything– in Switzerland this is the time to go skiing, at least for some.  For these men, it’s time to start a business. This can also be a time for you to reflect on what’s happened so far in 2018, to reflect, refocus and redirect, and then move.  Maybe you’ve lost your passion.  Maybe you are stuck.  Or maybe you are doing a good thing, but not the right thing.

Time to reflect, refocus, redirect and move on your goals


Reflect:  What’s been accomplished, so far.  What still needs to be done?  What am I feeling about this?  What do I need to do to become more efficient?  The questions are myriad.  I love this stage.  I get to do this at my first meeting with this new company.

Refocus and Redirect:  If you are not going in the right direction, or if you are focusing too much on one thing to the detriment of the best thing, it’s time to redirect and refocus.  Make a plan to get your priorities in your activities.

Finally, move.  When you have a plan, whether it be for the week, month, quarter or year, you have to move on that plan.  Sometimes it is easy, because you are so passionate and have the energy of a nineteen-year-old.  But sometimes you are scared, or tired, or burnt out.  What then?

Weeeell, then maybe the reflection time needs a different lens, maybe a different viewpoint would be needed.  Maybe help would be in order.  But for today, I want to stick with the passion and the energy that I gain vicariously from those young men.  It’s catchy!

Have a week full of passion and energy!

Patricia Jehle   



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.



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.



·       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



Passion and you next smallest step

March 13th, 2017

Passion is a Business’ Perseverance’s Power


“Don’t ever Give up!”


Services Jehle Coaching Offers

Recently I met up with an entrepreneur friend who has had her ups and downs since starting her business in Switzerland a few 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 then you just head towards those little lights.” She is right about following her dream, and her passion is the energy that gives her the perseverance needed to reach her goals.


When I think of start-ups and all 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 on fire 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.


You must be passionate about your idea to succeed


When writing your business plan, ask yourself if your idea really speaks to you as someone who might be a potential 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 on board? How is this product special and why are you the one that is the best person to do it? Finally, can you tell others about your product in a way that is clear and really gets that person excited, too? Can you create a buzz about it?


When the hard times come your passion will be your battery and recharge you and your anchor to keep you on track


Even with a passionate “elevator pitch”, there will often be days where the “no”s come. The passion that you have about your product and how (and why) it is fantastic is your energy supply when you have hard days. You must take it for granted that there will be hard days, but what keeps you, the start-up entrepreneur, going will be the energy found in the passion for your business idea, for your product. You should use that energy for the hard days so that you can reach the day when the ball gets rolling and the profits start coming in. Then there will be reserve energy and you can use that extra energy for a new idea to move you upward and onward without too much waste as you will be already moving instead of starting from zero. There will be less resistance o movement, then.


Your passion might be what separates you from the “losers”


In some cases, there may be others doing the same thing as you do. 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 living in Oregon who owns her own bookkeeping company. She works hard and is very passionate about what she does, and she is 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.


So, what wakes you up in the morning and gets you out of bed? Use that energy to move onward and upward.


The SMALLEST Next Step to reach your goal is what to do TODAY


Today take the first smallest next step towards your goal. Thus I ask you, “What’s the next smallest step you can take? Is it the very smallest one?” Well, then take it and figure out the next smallest step and take that, too. And so on. Pretty soon you will be 1,000 steps farther than where you are today, but it starts with an action: a very small step. As my friend said, “Never give up” and I add just keep on taking those little steps!


Have a great week!


Patricia Jehle


ps: For those of you interested in what I do, I am a business coach focusing on SMEs and start-ups, but also on expat coaching. I have added OQM® (Organic Quality Management) Consulting to my pallet and would love to talk to you about how OQM® can help you move onward and upward with your team, division and company.



When working at home, set up boundaries

March 6th, 2017

Here are some ideas about setting up healthy boundaries for working at home


Do you work from home- either full-time, or like many of the people I know, part of the time? Then you need to set some boundaries for yourself and for your family/roommates if you are to succeed. They include the working “rules”, the space, the hours and the exceptions.


First, you need to set up working rules that everyone agrees to.

This can be difficult, if you have smaller children at home, or if your partner is home most of the time, too. You will have to be strict, especially at the beginning. You may have to work when most people are out of the house, or find a way to signal “Do NOT disturb” to the others. You will have to choose the what and the how. Mostly, you will have to make your rules follow-able for all. That also includes you! Watch out, or you will not get as much done as you need.


Second, you need to define your working space(s).

Where is your “work stuff”? Will it be a private office where you can shut the door, if necessary? I have a colleague who is in transition and he has a to the three room apartment, including the kitchen. When a client comes, his wife goes to the bedroom and waits. This is not ideal, but until they move, it is what has to be done. I have a winter garden that works as a coaching and conference room and my own office. For me this works. Also, I have a few places I can rent when it is necessary to be in or closer to Zürich. But mostly I like sitting on my sofa and working in a cushy comfortable environment. You get to choose.

Working hours are important to set, otherwise you can while away your time.

When I am not teaching I try to keep 9-5:30 as my work day with lunch and a dog walk break. I try and keep these hours with phone calls, with (work) emails, and such. This does not include my reading, which I usually do in the evening and at the weekend, neither does it include social media presence, which is done at breaks or “off-hours”. What it DOES include is writing and thinking and reflecting and all the normal work needed to be done. Today, for instance it includes writing this blog, sketching out a podcast, working on my new vision board, and many other things.

Make sure you have grace in your rules for exceptions.

There will be seasons, breaks, and ups and downs. You will get sick, have funerals to attend, and people who are not just “work” people to see. Allow for them as you plan your week. Otherwise you may miss out on what you REALLY need to be doing. I usually look at my next week on Friday and on Monday and CUT out things.


So, what does your working at home boundaries consist of?

Have a productive and fulfilling week!


Patricia Jehle


Ps- I invite you to my LinkedIn group, SMEs Grow Together, here:

Shake it up! Robots, Business Ideas, and Relational Thinking

December 12th, 2016

Going places and Meeting People

The past week or so has seen some interesting developments in my activities. They have to do with Robots, Business Ideas at the FHNW and attending a talk and a book launch of “The Relational Lens” in Geneva.


Business ideas: gin and the Internet of Things

I was honored to have been invited to an event called “Business Ideas” at school last Thursday night- sponsored by Swiss Upstart, CTI Entrepreneurs and IFJ AG


We were invited to hear about CTI courses ( ) and the start-up contests the school supports, of course but also to hear two different stories of very different business ideas and the lessons they have learned on their way as entrepreneurs.


One company works as a service company with big data and other web support services. The other company distills and sells its own liquor. Having two such entrepreneurs in the room who had varied experiences and ideas was helpful for those of us in the room: FHNW students, business owners and leaders, and others.



Alterlis is a service company dealing with The Internet of Things. The CEO suggested that start-ups focus on customers and sales and do not for get that, ever. He gave a very good list of what to do when starting up and in what order: idea (meaning and use), name, logo, motivation (of all involved), responsibilities, taxes and legal issues, ethics (for all- clarified), how to deal with numbers and cash (notary and bookkeeping)UT the same VISION). In a fifteen-minute presentation the basics were given clearly.


Gin and Vodka from Zürich

Better Taste distills and sells liquor and has done very well since starting up. The group of four started with an idea and worked on a (secret) gin recipe until it was just right. Then they began producing and selling their product, Turicum Gin. It helped that they had contacts into the Zürich night-club scene and that they knew the market as well as the product. All their marketing has been of the boot-strapping kind and yet they are doing quite well, having moved into black figures just after 9 months of production. One of their best marketing methods is sponsoring their own events with their products being available.


Personal Robots

Last Tuesday I and a few others spent the afternoon at a plant where personal robots are being designed, developed, and made for use ( ).   That afternoon was a personal dream come true because I have always been a fan of science fiction and I felt like I was inside one of those books I have read.


Personal robots can be maids, cooks and butlers, but also medical providers and home health givers. They can be personal assistants of any kind. And they can learn. The recognize faces and voices, and can be run via an app. Wow. I am still digesting all of this. I have friends who could really use this kind of help– and I would like one, myself, one day.


The Relational Lens – Book Launch and Seminar

Soon I will be on the train to Geneva to a Relational Thinking Network event. This is what is written about today’s talk: “Launched in London on 24 October 2016, ‘The Relational Lens: Understanding, measuring and managing stakeholder relationships’ will be introduced by Dr. Michael Schluter, CBE, the founder of the Relational Thinking Network and one of the book’s co-authors. The Relational Lens explores the crucial role of relationships in social capital, risk management, value creation and competitive advantage. It describes the Relational Proximity framework® – an analytic tool which has been used in a variety of contexts to understand, measure, strengthen and repair relationships, positively influencing outcomes.” Of course, I expect I will buy that book.


And you?

What are you doing this week or month to shake up your life and to think outside of your box? Look around and you will find some thing(s), I am sure. Have a successful week!


Patricia Jehle


Should you want to visit my site: –Or join my group on LinkedIn: write me at:

Check your idea

November 14th, 2016


Scaling Lean



A week ago I had the opportunity to go hear Ash Mauyra (AM) speak on scaling businesses and trying out new business ideas. I have had a week to digest his talk and have read some of his new book, Scaling Lean, so I have some questions for you if you are working on new – or old – business ideas, especially with respect to marketing and getting those customers. Much of this blog is based on his talk and on the book. The quotes are from his book.


Who are your key customers and which of their problems do you plan to solve? Are those problems painful enough for them to want them solved? What are they already spending on that pain?


That pain is your gold mine, but you have to remember that for your potential customer to spend on your solution they have to give up something else, and the question is not whether your solution is better than that of the competitive solutions, but that the customer thinks it’s a better solution. Thus, you have to love (and live) that pain more than your solution. With that your solution can get tested on customer validation.


What is your MVP?

By that I don’t mean most valuable player, but the minimum viable product, in other words, what is your lowest amount of sales your company can live with in a period of time.


How are you creating your marketing experiments?

How can you shorten your feedback loop to find out where your customers are buying and most importantly, why? Are you looking at the correct numbers to keep those customers coming? Do not fixate on a fictitious/unrealistic business plan – remember that according to AM, “traditional measures of progress are unhelpful” because in start-ups:


  1. “Because revenue is near zero during the early stages, we settle for building velocity as a measure of progress. But measuring progress as execution of untested plan is no better.


  1. Investing heavily in quantitative metrics doesn’t automatically give you solutions. Metrics can only tell you what’s going wrong, not why. The more you invest in quantitative metrics, the more you end up drowning in a seat of non-actionable data.


  1. Even when you are generating revenue, unless you can connect cause and effect, you can’t leverage the elements that are bring you success, and you can easily be led down the wrong path.”


The AM Solution: GOLEAN: Goal, Observe and Orient, Learn-Leverage-Lift, Experiment, Analyze and , Next Actions


Think and act like a scientist- they do not run experiments, but create models (and check them with experiments). The key idea is that there needs to be one single measure of progress for all people involved, for the entrepreneurs and business leaders and the stakeholders, and that is GOLEAN.


The model has three parts: Defining progress (set your Goal), prioritizing waste (Observe and Orient) , and achieving breakthrough (Learn-Leverage-Lift, Experiment, Analyze, and Next steps) .



But remember, “No methodology can guarantee success. But a good methodology can provide a feedback loop for continual improvement and learning.”


Part of the solution is lies in trying to avoid our “innovator’s bias”, the bias that knows our idea is the best. Your potential customer and your investors may not believe that, and more importantly, they don’t necessarily care about your solution. They have a different perspective, which is usually for the customer found in their problem(s).


What your potential investors want to know is what the market opportunity is (how big is the market). They want to know how you will generate revenue and what your margins are. Finally, they will want to know how you will keep your competitive edge. Are you a blue ocean kind of idea? Do you have patent(s) pending? Is there a secret sauce that can’t be easily discovered?


So, what is your metric for indicating reliable (and not fake or vanity) measurement? How do you create, deliver and capture value? What is your unique value proposition (value creation)? What is your cost structure (value delivery)? And, what are your revenue streams (where you capture your value for the company)?


And the (AM) value creation formula looks like this:


Created Value > Captured Value > = Cost (Value Delivery)


In the end, the issue is generating revenues and as Ash Maurya says, “There is no business in your business model without revenue.” The idea is to maximize the difference between the value captured and the cost of delivering the value (your margins). But even not-for-profits have a need for revenue, although their model aims to keep the difference between those two (cost and value) as close to zero as possible.


Final questions


What is your product value? What does it cost you to deliver this value? How much do you receive for that delivery and does it reach your MVP goals?


Maybe I will blog next about traction and how you get customers, but for today, this is enough.


Have a very successful week!


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






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



What works? Grow your business, part 2

September 26th, 2016

Get clients and customers: What works!?!

Are you overbooked, yet?

I read Michael Mayer’s Seven Levels of Communication a wile ago and took his book to heart. Because of this ideas, I have almost more business than I can handle at the moment. So, what’s his premise?

Relationships are key. Authenticity and a great product are what matters.

I like that because that is how I work: relational and I am a person that honors my word. How about you? Are you curious about how this seven levels idea works?

Well, first, leave those big expensive advertising campaigns and direct mails to the rich guys who can waste their money. The return on investment for these activities is very small. Emails and other electronic communication is, at least, free. But electronic communication may not get you much further, either — so then what to do?

Do these:

Write a handwritten note, make a call, go to a meeting or an event where you meet someone, and have one-to-one meetings with your potential clients. It’s all abut relationship.

Relationships is what works.

Leave the direct mailing, advertising and electronic communication to giving out information about you and your product. That’s all. The way to becoming overbooked lies in relationship: meet people, write to people (by hand with stamped envelopes), and call people. Finally, set up one-to-one meetings and talk to the people face to face.

Where do you go to meet people?

Networking is key and yet, not all networking events are equal. I have written about this a few times, but it bears repeating. So, make a plan: go to what interests you and to where you might meet people that would (eventually) interest you. But go with the point of having fun, not “doing business”. Go to meet and, especially, to help others.  When you have these goals in mind, you will have a great time and meet new friends.

Who do you write to?

You need to target people who fit with your product and your ethos. Those are the people you write to. Do spend care on the writing process and do be honest about your intentions. Remember: integrity and relationship. When you write them, tell them you are going to call. Then follow through.

Who do you call?

The people you call are the potential clients that you hope to meet on a one-to-one basis. You have told them you are going to call and now you spend a little time (half an hour or even less) finding out if they and you fit together. There is no need to have a “spiel”, as your wonderful product should be what you offer with your best “you” backing it up. Remember, you are to be your authentic self and remember to smile. That smile can be heard over the phone.

Who to meet with on a one-to-one basis?

Those people have made it “past” the telephone stage and they are the people with whom you want to establish a business relationship. They should fit with your product, with your ethos, with you. Remember to have a call to action ready for them at the end of the meeting and remember to ask for action. Do not be shy. These people have taken the time to meet and listen to you in person so they are interested in you and you product. Go for it! Then, if they say yes, great. But what if they say “not now” or “no”?

If they say not now, ask when you should get back to them (and then do it). Keep track of those people very carefully.

If they say no, ask why and also what might make their mind change. Remember a no may be a not now, too, so be careful to make sure.

With this process practice and carried out you will be on your way to reaching your goals. But remember to be yourself and to have a great product.


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

Have a great rest of the week!

Patricia Jehle