Archive for the ‘Start a business in Switzerland’ category

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



Creativity 101

May 10th, 2016


Yesterday I went to a meeting for the Swiss Women Business Owners group and was able to hear about a new way to get creative, at least it was new to me. The evening was a great time of learning and sharing for all.


We learned a few global rules about getting creative in the process: make sure you know what you want (to get creative about), ask good questions, ask one question at a time (or look at one issue at a time), gather ideas, use your inspirations to create what you want, and then asses. Repeat as necessary.


First you’ve got to be clear about your goal.

If you don’t know where you are going, you can’t get there. Last night we practiced on a new business – we started creating a name for it. That is a clear goal, although not a very simple one.


Then we had some great input from the owner on what the business was about: food, art, creativity and movement. So we went from those words, dividing up those ideas and writing other words that go with each topic, and it was best to work on one concept at a time. So the questions would be something like, “What do you think of when you hear the word culinary?”, for example. Then we wrote down words that we thought of, for example, aroma.


Good questions lead to great ideas. “What do you think of when you hear the word…”

Thinking about one of the issues at a time makes you more creative, too. That we found out from the activity. However, I won’t go into that at the moment.


Then we took those words that we generated and put them together and made names for the new business. All sorts of names. So we used the input and created something new from those words and it was really fun! All those names went onto post its and the participants could view them. I wonder what the new entrepreneur will call her company.


Evaluation has to happen, too

What wasn’t done was a feedback and a round where “the best ones” were chosen, etc. What could have been done is a Facebook light where people put the like sign by the ones they liked. A red, yellow, and green sicker-dot would work, too. But we ran out of time.


In a nutshell

There are so many ways to get creative- in groups, in pairs, alone. We came up with a marvelous list of ways and that list was probably just the beginning of what one can do. What we know is that as entrepreneurs and business owners, we need to be creative. It is part of the job description.


For a list of interesting articles on creativity:

Also, the meeting was called “Querdenken oder kreative Ideenfindung“

Speaker: Elena Bonanomi from Why Not Factory


Want to join my LinkedIn SME group, SMEs Grow Together? Go here:

Have a great week!


Patricia Jehle


ps, For those of you who want to know about The Alpha Group and how that could help bring your business more value and sales, please sign up for an email here:


Learning by doing and reflecting

April 19th, 2016

Everybody has to learn, in fact we all can learn until the very ends of our lives.  We are learning beings.

Today I leaned how to write a press release.  I have been writing most of my life and have even studied journalism in one of my past lives, so I read a few blogs, looked at a few samples and just “went for it”.  It was scary sending it our to editors and websites, but within minutes I had received a positive response from someone.

You have to risk something to get a yes.  We all have to risk something to get ahead and get new things done.

I wrote about the Alpha Group that I led last week and about how positive it went and what I hope to accomplish for the SME owners and CEOs who come.  It was risky to write about it, well, to ask editors to print it.  It was also risky to ask CEOs to come, but the came and they took learning points out of the day and turned them into action plans.

I can hardly wait to see how it all turns out for them with these action plans of theirs.

Now I am reflecting on last week’s meeting and on the take aways for me– and I realise that we all have to reflect on our experiences and learning systematically to bring those new ideas deep into our beings, to almost automatise them.  That time for reflection is key.

This kind of reflection is hard for many of us, deep into the middle of “the process”.  We need to make sure we take that time, or simple solutions might be missed because we “can’t see the forest for the trees”.  We have to take a step back and look at the situation(s) from a different perspective than we normally do.  That’s usually when we find solutions.

That is what happened with a few of us last week when we were in a group of people we normally don’t work with, but who are also in the same arena- the business leader.  We helped each other see the situations we all presented in different lights and solutions were found.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say today, but if you read further, you will find my press release.

Take your risks, learn by doing- and by reflecting!

Have a great week.  Patricia Jehle


Here’s the press release:

TAG logo 3


Date: April 17, 2016



Business Leaders Take Control of their Businesses and Move Forward

First Swiss Alpha Group Meeting April 14th


On April 14th, the very first Alpha Group meeting in Switzerland took place in Schlieren, ZH. The participants were able to take away new ideas and action points to put into practice in their businesses immediately after the meeting. Thus, the Alpha Group (TAG) has really arrived in the Zürich and Baden. The TAG program is aiming to assist local businesses to double their profits within two to three years. Patricia Jehle, communications lecturer at the FHNW, veteran skills trainer, and business coach has been appointed as The Alpha Group’s Regional Director for the two areas for English-speaking groups.


Patricia stated, “The Alpha Group is part of the global Noble Manhattan group, which has an outstanding track-record of aiding business leaders to achieve significant changes and developments in their businesses. At monthly advisory board meetings, Alpha Group members participate in workshops focusing on key elements of business development covering a wide range of topics, and learn best practice from other business leaders during intensive strategic design sessions.


“Members also receive personalized assistance in progressing projects and overcoming problems through ‘mastermind’ sessions. During these sessions, fellow members and business leaders combine their collective wisdom and experience to brainstorm strategies and solutions, and drive their businesses forward. Our members leave these monthly meetings with clear strategies mapped out, and step-by-step implementation plans tailored to their own unique business requirements.


Patricia explained, “membership of an Alpha Group is exclusive; each group is limited to just twenty members, and there is a strict ‘no-competition’ policy. No two members operate in the same business sector, ensuring there is no rivalry within the group. This ‘broad-spectrum’ approach to membership also ensures that members bring together the widest possible range of knowledge, skills and experience to assist each other in achieving maximum results.


“Membership gives business owners and senior decision makers regular access to their very own external ‘board of advisors’ dedicated to assisting them to fulfill their commercial ambitions, plus access to online resources, and a global network of contacts,” she concluded.

The Alpha Group’s Managing Director, Colin Lindsay, added “The Group aims to assist businesses to double their profits within two to three years. That may seem ambitious, but Noble Manhattan has an established history of members achieving much more than this in many cases.”


Patricia is now establishing groups in the Zürich and Baden areas for existing businesses seeking new growth and increased profits. She is inviting local business owners, CEOs, and senior decision makers to attend a one-time introductory meeting for an admission fee of just CHF200.

To book your place, and for further information, contact Patricia at

Details can be found at our website:



Why? The question with the best answer!

March 8th, 2016

The BIG Question and what makes your idea sustainable

Questions are great for reflection. But this is THE question that helps you know if your current pace and direction is sustainable for the very long term:

Why are you doing this?

That’s it! It shows your passion and it gives you the reason and that reason gives you the energy that will get you back up when things do not go as planned, when the plan takes longer than expected, when you get tired. Without that WHY you will become another statistic, and that would be a shame.

I did not like statistics in grad school, and I do not want to become one. I bet you do not want that for yourself, either!

So what is your why, I mean the REAL reason you are doing what you are doing?

Here are my WHYs:

I help SMEs grow with the Alpha Group and the WHY of this is that SMEs are the backbone of any local economy. If you want the economy to grow, think locally and help the local businesses grow. It gives health to my local economy when I do this. That is very exciting to and satisfying for me.

I also am the “helping” type. I like to see people come up with solutions to challenges and problems, to put those solutions into practice and to change for the better. This totally energizes me.

Ray Bradbury, the famous 20th century author said, “The answer to all writing, to any career for that matter, is love.” I truly love what I do and the WHY is that reason.


Someone else’s why: Last Saturday I heard someone from International Justice Mission present on the NGO. It was clear that the presenter was very very passionate about the WHY of IJM and, in fact, he has been working in this area for about 30 years, and he is still very passionate about slavery and human trafficking. Here is the website: and here is the TED talk Gary Haugen gave about the ethos of IJM:

What are you passionate about? Can that sustain you for the long term? I want you to have great answers to this question!

I wish you all the energy and passion you need to continue on a good path, or to change to a better one!

Patricia Jehle

If you want, you may join my LinkedIn Group:

Win one Today!

March 4th, 2016

Optimists Win- ALWAYS

I don’t mean the naïve ones, but the tough-minded ones.

I just read an article in the Harvard Business Review,

This article is based on a concept of a famous business leader, John Gardner. It’s called “tough-minded optimism” which is a blend of creativity in ideas, strong convictions about what works and about doing things for the “common good”, and resilience, especially when it comes to the need for change. To quote,

“The future is not shaped by people who don’t really believe in the future,” Gardner said. Rather, “it is created by highly motivated people, by enthusiasts, by men and women who want something very much or believe very much.”

According to Gardner, leaders can have a mix of abilities and qualities, but there is no replacement for what he calls, “the lift of the spirit and heightened performance that comes from motivation.”

I couldn’t agree more.

As we go into the weekend, let us remember the WHY we are doing things and if it isn’t a good enough why, then, find something better to do. If you really want to do something well, you need to believe in what you are doing.

Also, here are a few tips to help you remain positive:

1) Smile more.

There is research that proves that if your carry your body in a certain way, it can change your mood. Smiling makes you more positive. Ask Amy Cuddy.

2) Stand like Wonder Woman.

No joke. This really also gives you the positive power and presence you might need today to get out there and “win one for the Gipper”. Try it—but perhaps at home or in the bathroom, not in front of those you will be presenting to.

Finally, I want to leave you with the question that was in the article, because it is a great question:

Do you have a definition of success for your business that allows you to stand for something special and that inspires others to stand with you?

I wish you a very successful Friday!

Patricia JehleIMG_1107

Should you want to join my LinkeIn group, SMEs Grow Together, go here:

Should you want to contact me, write me at

Great Teams

March 1st, 2016

Team Meetings Can be Very Encouraging

I have a great team of fellow Regional Directors of The Alpha Group to lean on and talk to. Yesterday we had a meeting and I was so encouraged and charged up afterwards., I could have “SAVED THE WORLD” I wish all business leaders had a team like mine. We are all on the same track and we all are really excited about our “calls”.

It’s my passion to help SMEs grow. I hope to help a few local business leaders really bring their companies to the next level, to dominate their niches, to double the value of their businesses. This is my goal and what gets me up in the morning. I see my group a bit lit our Regional directors’ team: encouraging, supporting, keeping each other accountable for our goals and milestones. That’s what makes the Alpha Group special and different- we are not “just a networking group”, but instead, we are a team of business leaders helping each other through growth workshops and masterminds. We set goals and hold each other accountable to them. We meet monthly and need to do it to keep up that growth momentum.

I recently read an article from inc. that really shows what that supportive team can accomplish:

I am looking for members, but only “the best”. I can only do this with a limited number of CEOs and business leaders/owners, so I can be rather particular in the process of finding the right mix. These groups have been known to grow together a dynamic that really benefits the businesses of the participants. Some have even been attending the same group for six or seven years in the UK. This is what I want: Alpha Groups that grow each others’ businesses.

Also, I am looking for a few good partners as well as the “perfect” Alpha Group team to meet with.

Contact me if you want to know more at or join my LinkedIn group, SMEs Grow Together


Patricia Jehle

When it rains on your parade, put up an umbrella

February 10th, 2016

Is it raining? Are there Jealousy and Tantrums?IMG_0690


Sometimes other people rain on our parade, have you ever noticed that? They also rain on other people’s parades, too. Recently I have been noticing this in my life, in my “neighbors’ ” lives, and even in the international news. This kind of raining has become prevalent. I think we should put a stop to it, at least as much as we have power over it.


I want to look at the whys for such negativity, and then suggest a way to put up your umbrella in protection, and finally encourage you not to rain on others’ parades.


Why? Jealousy


Maybe you are doing well, maybe you are even doing really great- other people who are not doing as well may want to rain on your parade. Why? -maybe because of jealousy. Or perhaps they are feeling so bad that any sort of positive movement or attention given to others makes them angry. This kind of negative activity, whether it is talking about you behind your back, trolling, writing about you in the local newspaper, or whining about you to the international press, is really bad behavior on their part and truly has nothing to do with you or your success. It is about those people and their attitudes and behaviors.


What to do? Put up an umbrella!


How do I put up and use my umbrella to protect me? The “rule” Brene Brown uses is two-fold: only people actually getting out there and trying get ahead with you are allowed to tell you anything, and of those people, only the (very) few you can trust should be taken seriously. You alone get to make that list of people and the others “don’t count” so you don’t have to listen to them. You can even, like Brene, write down that list and put it in your pocket, briefcase or handbag. So, think about those who you are going to put on your list, write it down, and ignore all others. If you have to, go off-line. Don’t read the local newspaper. Do whatever you have to do to put up that umbrella and use it.


Finally, make sure you are not raining on others’ parades. Instead, celebrate with them!


It is important to recognize and celebrate success. We need to do that for ourselves and friends and family, but why not spread the wealth and celebrate other people’s success, too? You will find yourself celebrating very often, and that is good. It is a bit like being grateful for what you have. It puts a positive spin on life. Why don’t you try doing it today? Write a note of congratulations on LinkedIn or facebook. Call a friend. Give somebody an “ataboy”! Let’s move into the future with a more positive outlook for ourselves, for your neighbors, and for the communities we live in. Celebrate you success. Celebrate the success of others.


Patricia Jehle

Got Struggles? It might be normal.

February 3rd, 2016

Learning and Growing from Struggles

Life is hard and anyone who says it isn’t has not lived very long, does not know very many people, or is delusional. Something I really dislike to hear when I, or friends, have struggles are those trite sayings like, “What doesn’t break you, makes you stronger.” Who says?


Yes, we do learn, and hopefully grow, from struggles; usually we learn about ourselves and our needs and boundaries. We may also learn about others, their needs and boundaries. However, I want to look at the issue first from the other direction.

It isn’t until we have had struggles that we really appreciate life. Life is hard, but life is also good, and the good things do not come with easiness, but they are almost a kind of By-product of the struggles.

Let’s take health: I, and several friends of mine, have or have had serious health issues. I believe it is not until you “lose” your health that you realize what a gift it is, and it is one not to be taken for granted. One friend had a stroke last summer and it was really scary, scary for her and for her friends and family. A few days ago, glowing, she said she was doing very well. And she meant it. Health is not a given in life. I have friends with chronic health issues, and the issues are “managed” but they do not go away. I myself had cancer ten years ago, and am still under the watchful eyes of my doctor for that. I do appreciate each day because I was ill.

Friends and family can also be hard, a struggle for many of us, especially expats. Friends, new and old, move away, if you are an expat, and your family is far away. Perhaps someone dear is ill, or even dies, and you are an ocean or two away. My mother passed on last fall, and I have other friends and neighbors who have died recently. I am certainly not the only person who has these hard experiences. It is part of human existence to lose someone. But that does not make the situation easier. Yet we start again, make new friends, open ourselves to new relationships, even as we say goodbye to the old.

Business and work can have struggles from time to time. Or it can even be a long-term struggle. Some entrepreneurs in start-ups know what I mean, others who are in the midst of mergers also know. We need to learn to be as flexible and positive as we can be without letting go of our integrity and our “whys” for being on the job in the first place. It is a hard balancing act.

So, what do we do in those struggles? We talk about our struggles and share them with someone who “has been there”. We admit our humanity and our frailty and our struggles, and then we pick ourselves up and get back in that arena of life. Because that arena is where real life happens.

And I don’t know about you, but I want real life, with all the struggle and the dirt. Because in that very struggle we find ourselves. Together.

Patricia Jehle

Happy New Year! What’s new?

January 5th, 2016

Happy 2016! My wish for you is that you have MORE of what really counts in this coming year!


I am really excited about what is happening and what I will be involved in in the upcoming months. What’s on your plate? Here is what’s on mine:


A look at my first semester of 2016, through June, and what I am looking forward to:


New Alpha Groups starting in Zürich and Baden/Brugg: To say that I am thrilled about the new groups and their businesses is a real understatement. I am so pleased to help their companies grow in a REAL and effective way. January 14th is the BIG day for the Zürich group!


New Clients

I have always tried to “graduate” clients- it is the idea when one coaches for solutions: the clients should come and go- so at this moment, some are going, and some are coming. Each person is such a pleasure to coach and to see the change in their lives.


ETAS Conference: I still love teaching (see below) and that means I keep up with my (local) professional group.


New semester of teaching Business Communication: This semester it is teaching introduction to business communication and teaching negotiation, four classes, in all.


A wedding: There could be more than one coming up, but one is confirmed. I love weddings, the fun, the potential for life, and the joy. I can hardly wait!


A leadership conference and a writers’ conference in one weekend: never say I lead a dull life! I still enjoy writing- A LOT!


Teaching a Coaching (for coaches to coach expat start-ups) Workshop: This short course is for potential coaches and those coaches who are looking into either expat start-up coaching or start-up coaching, in general. This course dovetails nicely with The Alpha Groups.


Coaching Meets Research Conference: I went two years ago and went away challenged and energized, so I expect no less from this year.


So, my life has a bit more in it this year. What more would you like to do? Sometime in July I will turn down the burner for a few weeks and think a lot, and all the previous work will balance the time of reflection and rest.Unknown