Archive for the ‘Start-ups’ category

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

Scared to change? Fear getting you down?

August 30th, 2018

Change and Fear

 

This week I met with a client to discuss a change in her team- adding an App into the routine. Change can be scary and yet, it is often needed.

When is it a good time to get over the fear of change, and when is it not a good idea?  Continue? Move on?

Let’s deal with fear first:

Fear can be good, as a motivator (ie:  the company will have to cut back if we don’t sell xamount of goods) but it can also stop change.  When fear is a healthy motivation to get things done asap, that’s great.  When fear stops you because you feel it threatens you (eg: “There will be violence”), it’s not good – and maybe not at all true.  You can look back to last week’s blog on assumptions, here: http://www.jehle-coachingexpat.com/2018/08/23/assumptions-true-maybe-true-or-false/

The point is, what is the fear doing to you?  If it’s holding you back, there is a problem; if it’s spurring you on, then great. Coaches and counselors can help you with your emotions.  But now let’s move on to the choice: to change or not to change.

Here are some suggestions to consider when you continue in the path you are going:

  • Your idea is great, your strategy is practically perfect, if you say so yourself (or you can perfect it), you are doing theright things with the right motives
  • 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 BIG thing really

(and remember that 80/20 principle, -spend time on the people and activities that “help” the most)

  • You have a decision-making process already in place
  • And – allYour systems (financial, logistical, discipleship, etc) are workable and they allow you to focus on your one BIG thing

A good model for making a change will help

WHEN TO GO and TRY SOMETHING ELSE, either in or outside of the present business/job

  • Change is generally a good thing: it helps you (and the business) to grow and become more creative – people learn new skills and strategies
  • There is opportunity for growth (financial and personal)
  • You can become a disrupter and challenge the status quo
  • You have been misunderstanding the business/personal signs to keep on with the same old (here’s a most awesome TEDtalk on this: http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong#
  • Your pros now outweigh(even if they don’t outnumber) your cons to stay the same
  • The environment (culture, technology, economy, customer needs/demands) has changed and you must readjust
  • This one is BIG:

you can’t answer important questions, like, “Why are you doing this?  Why is x, y, or z happening?  How did you/we miss that?”

  • Your short cuts are cutting you and the business short and you are not doing “the job” right anymore
  • You have tried everything you can think of and it’s still not working the way it is now
  • KEY: The only things keeping you from changing or quitting is your prideand yourfear
  • You have continued financial and/or other major lossesand you do not see not much change for the future
  • And finally, your own priorities have changed and you have a different view of your business idea and your work

I hope this helps you with your change decision- to do or not to do.  Next timew, we will look at the change process, itself.

Have a very creative and innovative rest of your week,

Patricia Jehle

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

Work on your plan and find success

August 7th, 2018

Do you have a plan?

A plan for your business is half the battle of getting somewhere.  First, though you need to know your main WHY, and then, as you plan you need to set systems into place so that you can better focus on the important things.  I wrote the following for someone who is just starting to lead a company, here is a brief outline of the kinds of activities that should flow from your plan.

You need auto have a plan to succeed

Setting up a plan for projects and goals- breaking it down

Purpose    Objectives  Goals(SMART)     Steps         Actions

Purpose:  the why you are even doing this, usually a long-term answer (2-5 year plan)

Objectives (could be called BIG projects, or collaboration of smaller projects):  the whats that get you to the why(s) – usually a yearly plan that is logical in order and has a timeline

The Goals (could be called smaller projects)are the in-between whats and they are Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon (by the team), Realistic (can be done), and time-defined

Steps:  the specific ways to reach your goal, often made of several activities (or actions)

Actions: the concrete activities that make up a step and are (always) goal oriented- each action has a description (with who is doing it and/or who is in charge) and a predecessor action and a successor action, with reasonable date of accomplishment, resources needed, constraints and assumptions- deadlines should be early enough for a final reviewal, as learning takes place with reflection

Thus, youryearly planshould have two parts:

  1. On-going activities and
  2. Yearly project/objectives that change:

So, your Business Timelinemaylook like this:

2-5 Year Plan: Purpose and Objectives

On-going (annual, or other)     PLUS   One-time projects

Yearly Plan: (Purpose) Objectives and Goals- MAKE a TIMELINE

On-going (annual)                                One-time projects

Semester: Objectives, Goals and Steps (prioritized)

On-going                                             One-time projects

(Focus on activities)                           Focus on Goals and Steps (and milestones)

Take time to reflect, refocus, redirect and move on your goals

Quarterly:  Goals, Steps and Activities

On-going                                             One-time projects

(Focus on activities)                           Focus on Steps and Activities (and milestones)

Weekly (and daily): Activities! (prioritized)

Use the Eisenhower Matrix for decision-making, both at macro and micro levels (google it) & Use some way of making sure your goals are smart- here’s a good website: https://www.smartsheet.com/how-write-smart-project-objective

Have a great week working on your plan- remember, this can be adapted to other kinds of activities, too!

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

Reinvent yourself for Success!

March 20th, 2018

Re-inventing Yourself – a necessity for many, especially for those over 50, but it’s vital for others, too.

 

For many people facing job-cuts and company reorganization, reinvention is key for continuing in the work force.  Unemployment is the catalyst for many changes.

It just may not be possible, especially if you are at the top, to  do exactly what you have been doing at same level of seniority (and pay, at least in Switzerland).

You will have to reinvent yourself.  This kind of change is possible, but also can be difficult.

Yes, we ALL can change

Based on research, I believe every person is able to change until their life on this earth ends.  So, my answer would be a qualified yes.  I will tell you a story about myself that illustrates this qualified yes.

An example from my teenage years

When I was about 14 years old I was a typically shy teen: bookish, reserved, pretty good at school and pretty uninterested in (most) sports.  But I wanted to be more “popular”, to “have more fun” the way I saw others enjoying themselves.  So, for a while I observed those who I considered more popular that were having fun, and thought about what they did differently than I.  I came to a simple conclusion:

They put themselves forward and volunteered more, for one thing.  They offered to do things.

So, as of that day of realization I began to volunteer to do things for others, starting with easy things and then gradually getting bolder so that, now at this point some five decades later, I volunteer to do the hard things, like pitching at startup weekends (last weekend).

This change simply began by raising my hand and offering my opinion, my time, my voice, my energy, and my creativity.  It actually began at a youth camp with my offering to organize a skit for everyone to watch and playing the “lead speaking” role in it.  Each little success led to another trial of something a little bit harder.

But not every attempt was successful.  Some of them were, of course, failures. Yet, when I tell most people who know me socially that I am an introvert, they are surprised because I have learned to act extroverted, I have learned to put myself forward and the risk involved has become less difficult for me.

I really do enjoy parties and being with people nowadays, but I still love time alone and books more. It took time to learn how to deal with the energy output, to coach myself on how to “do” these kinds of relatively unnatural activities.

The qualification to the “yes, you can”

You can re-invent yourself with a qualified yes.  We all have our general personality traits and we work from a starting point of where we are at.  Yet, we need to challenge ourselves and not use the excuse, “I am introverted and can’t do parties or “I am extroverted and can’t work/be alone.”

We are all able to do a lot of activities we don’t think we can, if we try and learn and try again, and keep trying until we make it.  But those activities may very well be out of our “normal arena of comfort”.  These new activities may drain us more than other more typical to our personality activities do.

Change is hard.  Change will not be easy for you, that is true, but if you want to keep working after being made redundant (especially after he age of 50 in Switzerland), change will be necessary for your success.

Re-inventing your career

When dealing with joblessness over 50, it is vital to re-invent your career, instead of working only within ones’ experience, training and/or personality borders, you will need a “Career Swing” of some sort.  Lately this topic has become more important for my friends and colleagues as the business and the economic reality of Switzerland’s landscape has been changing.

Essentially what the issue is, is that you need a good change process plan, based on the environment, your (realistic) expectations, and your abilities and boundaries.

You may change your type of work, the way you work (perhaps as a consultant), or maybe you will start your own business.  This will, then start even more change processes.  Of course, you may have to learn new things such as more about networking and using social media, too.

And what about your business, if you have one?

Finally, sometimes you need to re-invent or re-vamp your business or business strategies.  This kind of inventory taking for business should be done quarterly or twice a year at the least —depending on the business results from the last quarter and/or semester.

I would love to have an email (or otherwise, perhaps a Skype or coffee) dialog about this kind of re-invention.  Maybe you are anticipating a big change, or are in the middle of it.  No matter what, though, when dealing with this difficult change process, remember to start by asking yourself what works for others, what has worked for you in the past, and what might work in the future, based on the present situation.

You will then be on your way to a different future, and maybe even in a different place!

Have a great rest of the week!

Patricia Jehle                    patricia@jehle-coaching.com and www.jehle-coaching.com 

Also, should you be interested in joining my LinkedIn Group, SMEs Grow Together, go here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402  or like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Jehle.Coaching/

Your Business Pitch

March 13th, 2018

Pitch it!  Passion is you Business’ Power to Grow, even in hard times

“Don’t ever Give up!”

 

Toss your ideas to the wind and see what happens!

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 startups and all the people who have managed to bring their ideas to fruition, I think of people who are passionate about the felt need that made way for 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 making a pitch.

What and how to pitch?

What’s in a short pitch?

The problem, your solution to it, and why you’re the one to do this.

For a longer pitch add

The facts (what you know about the market, the problem, the potential customers- eg a business plan in the making)

A short-term plan with milestones and a long-term vision

A Tip

Be humble (after all, you’re just starting up)- you want people to like your idea, but it’s you they will buy

When the hard times come your passion will recharge you

Even with your 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 another 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 to movement, then.

Your passion will be what separates you from the “crowd”

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, of course, 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 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 and that pitch you are working on.

So, what wakes you up in the morning and gets you out of bed?  Use that energy to talk about your idea.

Have a great rest of the week!

Patricia Jehle

ps: For those of you interested in what I do, I am a business coach focusing on managers, CEOs, leadership, SMEs and Startups, 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® or me coaching you can help you move onward and upward with your career, team, division and company.

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

blog: www.jehle-coachingexpat.com

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

 

Passion!

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

The PROCESS-

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

 

 

Healthy Work

February 5th, 2018

A heathy work environment can make you a very productive person

Are you working “healthy”?

January is a month where we turn away from eating and turn to healthy living.  We often take on new exercise regimes, maybe we change our eating patterns, we often do not drink much (or any) alcohol, and so on.  But what about at work?  Are we working “healthy”?  There are at least four aspects of work that can be heathy – or not, and here are some things you can do about each aspect:

A Healthy work environment?

How is the light in your workspace?  Can you add a daylight desk lamp to give you more energy?   Can you take a break and walk outside in the daylight for ten to fifteen minutes each day?

How is the eating situation?  Do you have access to healthy fresh lunches and snacks?  Do you need to make a plan to bring food from home?  Are you drinking enough water or healthy drinks, and avoiding sodas?

Are you able to get fresh air into your office space?  Can you “air” the room a couple of times a day to regenerate the oxygen levels?  If not, go take that walk!

Are you moving enough?  Research says you are more productive if you work in shorter bursts and then move a bit in between.  So, do you work for 45-50 minutes and then go get a drink at the water cooler, or go up and down a couple of flights of stairs?  Can you walk to where you eat lunch, if you eat out?  What else can you do?

Unhealthy work relationships?

How are your work relationships?  I have a friend who when one part-time colleague shows up, her environment changes so much that she feels very uncomfortable.  She has decided to avoid working when that colleague is there, if at all possible. I have another friend who was being used against her will for “office politics”.  She finally left that company, because she could not easily change the situation.  So, are you in a relatively good relational environment at work?  Yes?  Good!  If not:

  • Can you change the situation- either work at home more, work in another office space, or something else?
  • Can you talk to somebody about it who can help you change the situation?
  • Can you live with it?

If not, maybe you should start looking for a new situation, especially if the situation is making you feel unsafe, making you have sleepless nights, or making you ill.  My friend chose this route, maybe you should, too.

Are you working too much?

Some people may have to put in a long week every month or two, but if you are doing this consistently, you may be heading towards burnout.  Think about what you consider normal working hours.  Think about this, and then google the normal work-week for your country.  Are you within 10-15% of that “normal” amount most of the time?  Then I would not worry too much.  But when you are working 50+ hours a week consistently, most months of the year, consider what you can change, and do it fast!  Maybe you need a coach to help you find ways of optimizing your way of working, maybe you need to delegate more.

No vacations?

There are many people who really do not take their vacations.  Maybe it’s from fear of not getting everything done in time, or fear of getting too far behind while gone, or fear missing out on an opportunity.  When people make decisions based on fear, there is usually something negative (and possibly unhealthy) going on.  Watch out!  This can be a red flag!  Maybe you need to talk about those fears and find ways of getting around those issues.

We all need time away.  I have a friend who is (finally) taking 16 days to go away with her husband and leaving their business to be run by the team.  This is a first and she is hopeful it will become a more routine (at least once a year) activity. My friend really needs a break, as most business owners do.

When was your last vacation?  Did you take all your vacation days last year?  If not, why not?  Vacations are healthy ways of getting back not only energy, but also your creativity, which is needed for your work.  We usually come back from with fresh perspectives after a good holiday.

So, how are you doing at work, health-wise?  What do you need to change?  How are you going to do it?

Have a healthy work week!

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