Archive for the ‘Start-ups’ category

One life: many careers?

November 28th, 2017

More than one career? How do you deal with it?

Are you a slash? I am!

A slash is someone who has more than one career, who perhaps, has made a second career out of a hobby or passion. A slash can transition you from one stage in life to another or it can accompany your other career through most of your life.

I am a slash and I have friends and family who are also slashes:

My cousin Mark, for example, is an engineer, project manager and coming up towards retirement. He also, along with his wife, makes soda, mainly rootbeer, in a huge pole barn next to his house. Mark Glewwe of Glewwe Castle Brewery produces black cherry, cream, orange, gingerale, raspberry gingerale, and ginger beer besides the spicy adult-flavored rootbeer. He has been doing this for years and is quite famous among the Minnesota rootbeer and other specialty soda fans. Glewwe Castle Brewery is doing well, so well, in fact, that local beer breweries and bars have begun to order his soft drinks for their customers’ use. What is next? Only he and his wife, Laurel, are in the know. We Swiss relatives are hoping for a “factory” here!

My second cousin, Eleanor Glewwe (niece of Mark’s), is a two-time author of YA science fiction and fantasy, publishing with Penguin/Random House. In her other slash, she is getting a PhD in linguistics at UCLA. Her books, Sparkers and Wildings are quite thought provoking and still fun to read. Eleanor may have other slashes in her future. Her personal website says it all: “I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Maryland and Minnesota. I have a BA in Linguistics and Languages (French and Chinese) from Swarthmore College and have also studied at Université Stendhal, Grenoble III. When not doing linguistics, I write books for children. My hobbies include playing the cello (and, more recently, fiddle), folk dancing, shape note singing, and singing in Datvebis Gundi, the UCLA Georgian chorus.”

My friend Doug Brouwer is a pastor and an author. After a very successful 40-year career in ministry, both in the US and Switzerland, Doug is retiring early to concentrate on his other passion, writing. I was honored to have been in a writers’ group with Doug a few years ago. Besides books, Doug writes a blog, too:  http://www.dougsblog.org

Another friend, Sarah Tesnjak, is a singer, a furniture restorer, and a budding coach. She hopes to also add speaker to her slashes. Sarah has also been an event planner and who knows, maybe she will add this to her list of slashes again one day. Her business is called Simply Transformed.

Another friend, Daniel Gargliardi-Paez, is a surfer on the Swiss National Surfing Team, has his own business finishing/shaping and selling surfboards in Switzerland called Force Line Surfboards, Intl., and is a very successful computer specialist the Apple® Team on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich.

Hats off to other friends, colleagues and (former and present) clients who have slash careers: Mary Yee, Dilek Cansin, Selime Berk, Olivier Pirlot, Kate Pendergrass Norlander, Holger Hendricks, Brian Sparks, Dina Ioannou, Albert Klein, Jeff and Kristen Kidder, Urs Rey, Melissa Kurtcuoglu, so many others, and especially the supposedly “retired” Dr. Prabhu Guptara.

Now for me: besides being a writer/blogger, I am a business coach/ business communications lecturer and a sometime speaker. I am also a mentor and coach/helper of start-ups and artists and other creatives. What pays? Most of it, because I do what energizes me. Besides teaching here are some of the activities (besides teaching, writing and speaking) that have filled my time recently:

  • General business coaching
  • Executive and management coaching
  • Career and job transition coaching (both at beginning and middle management levels)
  • Life and career choices coaching (for young people, but also for those who are making decisions after about 10-15 years of work)
  • Moving into management coaching
  • Expat coaching (intercultural transition and adjustments)
  • Time management coaching
  • Decision-making coaching
  • Conflicts at work coaching
  • Burnout coaching
  • Coaching people with slash careers
  • Start-up business coaching (both regular and creative businesses)
  • Starting a coaching business coaching and mentoring
  • Assisting friends who are artists and creatives
  • Masterminds (a kind of small group coaching)
  • Life Coaching

So, are you a slash? Maybe I can help you manage some of the and highlight the benefits. Even if we don’t work together at the moment, at least you have a new name for what you are doing: you can say “I have a slash career – one person, multiple jobs.” You are not schizophrenic, you are multifaceted!!! Now you have a name for “what you do”: a slash career. Enjoy the variety!

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

 

 

 

You need a “why” that keeps you going

May 15th, 2017

 

You need a passionate “why”

Passion is Perseverance’s Power

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

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

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

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

 

When the hard times come your passion will be your battery

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

 

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

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

You “why” is key to success

Have a passionate week! Know your why!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

Work-life, a balance?

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

Are you working from home a lot?

Do Two things

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

 

What are your values?

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

 

Some questions

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

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

 

Talk about it

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

 

Some more questions

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

 

Boundaries!

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

 

Suggestions

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

Set boundaries when you need to that fit all parties involved

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

 

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

 

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

 

Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

 

 

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.

 

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

 

blog: www.jehle-coachingexpat.com

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

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

 

Ps- I invite you to my LinkedIn group, SMEs Grow Together, here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402

Time for a reflection check-up on your personal and professional goals

February 27th, 2017

Reflection Check-up

It is almost March and perhaps you should take some time for a reflective check-up. It is important to regularly reflect upon your goals and check your progress to make changes and keep on your chosen course. First you must ask yourself questions.

 

Ask yourself

Questions and reflection can help you be better at work- and at home. They help you remember what is important for you.

 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

 

  • What are my goals (yearly and quarterly) and where am I at regarding them right now? What changes need to be made to reach those goals, or do I need to re-work the goals?
  • How am I doing with my work and personal relationships? Where do I need to change here?
  • How am I doing with boundaries? Do I have enough time and energy to get my work done and have healthy relationships?
  • What am I doing daily for me, for my health and well-being?
  • How has my attitude been lately? Do I need an adjustment in attitude? How can that be best achieved?

 

Let’s look at a few of these activities for the rest of this blog, namely boundaries and “me time”.

 

Boundaries- at work and with others:

At work:

  • Make sure you are able to work in an environment where your values are honored.
  • Make sure you and all people at work are valued and respected.
  • Make sure you know your physical, mental and emotional limits.
  • Make sure you are able to and (if possible) are expected to communicate your needs.
  • Make sure your environment allows you to express boundary violations.
  • Make sure you have a set of “what ifs and thens” for when boundary violations happen. Be prepared.
  • Make sure the structure at work is clear for all.
  • Write out your boundaries for that specific work place.

 

Personal life boundaries:

  • Know and name your limits.
  • Know your weaker areas and work on them to grow and gain confidence.
  • Know and be able to visualize your goals.
  • Be your own best counselor (if you cannot, get one).
  • Trust your decisions to be right for you.
  • Remind yourself that no means no.
  • Expect to be respected.
  • Expect to be honored and not “used”.
  • Be able to be authentic and vulnerable at appropriate times.
  • Make sure you have time for you. (more about this below).

 

You can add to either of these lists with what is best for you. But remember setting boundaries is way of setting up a barrier against “losing yourself”- to others or to the “system”. It keeps your identity intact.

Me time

Finally I have a list of activities you can do for personal “me time”. It doesn’t have to be done alone and in fact some of the items on the list are social, but remember even extroverts need time along, to recharge and think things through.

 

Activities

  • Read what you want.
  • Watch a TV show you have chosen yourself.
  • Exercise, your choice.
  • Take a walk (perhaps with your dog, if you have one).
  • Take a course that interests you.
  • Work on your hobby, including making something.

 

Much more could be said about these issues. In fact, books have been written. But enough said here- just remember to reflect and ask yourself questions and that this time of year is a perfect time to do it.

 

Enjoy your week and be productive and healthy!

 

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

 

 

 

 

 

Check your idea

November 14th, 2016

 

Scaling Lean

amleancanvas

 

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!

 

Business – quit or continue?

October 31st, 2016

Hold your cards? Or Fold them?

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

image-1

Business is a lot like gambling, and oh-so-long-ago a famous country western singer, Kenny Rogers, wrote a song called “The Gambler”- I have known it since my childhood. One of the phrases is “You’ve got to know when to hold them (cards)… know when to fold them.” When to keep playing the hand you’ve been dealt and when to quit.

 

When do you continue on your chosen path and when do you change and do something new? That’s the question.

 

WHEN TO HOLD THEM:

 

  • Your idea is great, your strategy is perfect, you are doing the right things and life is good, or looking good, at least
  • You – and your team – have the right competencies (or are willing to learn them, fast)
  • You are focusing on the most important things, the ONE thing really (always remember that 80/20 principle)
  • You have a decision-making process already in hand to decide if and when change needs to happen and you are willing to change
  • Your systems are workable and they also allow you to focus on your one thing
  • Your income is greater than your expenditures- remember to always keep score of your “takings”, as the Gambler would say
  • You are still very passionate about your idea and you are moving forward with it

streaming-poker-free-online-live-match

WHEN TO FOLD THEM

 

  • You are misunderstanding the signs (here’s a most awesome TEDtalk on this: http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong# )
  • You idea becomes more important than anything else, including other people, especially those close to you. (are you willing to lose everything to make your idea succeed, and if it still fails, what will you have left?)
  • Your cons now outweigh (even if they don’t outnumber) your pros
  • You can’t answer important questions, like, “Why are you doing this? Why is x, y, or z happening? How did you miss that?”
  • Your short cuts are cutting you and the business short and you are not doing “the job” right
  • You have tried “everything” and it’s just not working
  • The market has changed since starting and the future is not looking positive
  • The only thing keeping you from quitting is your pride and your fear (this is a BIG ONE)
  • You have continued losses with not much change in sight, even with bootstrapping and cutting costs everywhere
  • All that extra work you have done has not made a difference and you still have little to show for it
  • Your priorities have changed and you have a different view on your idea
  • There are probably other very good reasons, too.

 

If you do it, QUIT with a STRATEGY in Mind

 

Seth Godin wrote abut quitting in The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) and in it he mentions the difference between a cul-de-sac and a dip, pointing out that when you face a “no way out” situation with a business, it’s time to cut losses and move on to something new.

 

Make sure you have TIME

Sometimes you just need a break, a refocus and then you can continue, perhaps with only slight changes. If this is possible, it may really help your business idea. Take that time, refocus with a coach, mentor, or a mastermind board and then continue moving.

 

 

WHEN YOU DO QUIT; DON?T GIVE UP: REFOCUS, STRAIGHTEN YOUR SHOULDERS, and MOVE ON TO SOMETHING EVEN BETTER

 

Mistakes are part of being human, and it is no shame to make them. Remember a failure is not forever and it is (usually) part of your future success. The moment you learn from your mistakes is the moment you are on your way to the next better idea. The moment you accept it isn’t working, admit it and move on, you are already moving in a positive direction.

 

Remember, quitting the wrong activity enables you to start the right one. Your next idea might just be the perfect one, and if this present one is weighing you down financially, with your time and energy, emotionally, you may not start the next best idea.

 

A positive attitude of winning, even when you fail, is the key. Be true to yourself and your values and abilities; think positively about yourself even if you fail. Accept and own the quitting and then move on. Be thankful for what you have, what you have learned and remember that the next idea might be your best.

 

As Kenny Rogers puts it in his song,

 

Every gambler knows

That the secret to survivin’

Is knowin’ what to throw away

And knowin’ what to keep

‘Cause every hand’s a winner

And every hand’s a loser…

 

May you next hand be a great winner. I wish you much success with it!

 

Your fellow business gambler,

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehl-coaching.com

 

www.jehle-coaching.com

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.

Remember:

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: www.jehle-coaching.com –Or join my group on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

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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.

seven-levels-of-communication-class-presentation-7-638

Enjoy your company growth, and should you want to visit my site: www.jehle-coaching.com –Or join my group on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402

Have a great rest of the week!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com