Posts Tagged ‘arena’

Rough Life? Look at the Stars!

November 8th, 2017

So you’ve had a bad day, a bad week, a bad…. And you’ve thought about it long enough: What went wrong, what was my part, what I had no control over. You know what went wrong (or at least mostly). You’ve gone through the grief process long enough. Now what?

Get out of Your Own Way

Take Action

Time to take back your life and the control you have over yourself and your future, Set-backs and failure are a part of live and wallowing is the first step to change. But don’t stay there, or your wallowing in your failure can become (self-)obession! So, look up-

Look at the Stars

A friend of mine told me last weekend that once when she was fired her girlfriend said to her, “You have two choices, burry your head in the sand and go nowhere or look at the stars.” My friend chose to look at the stars and all the uncountable possibilities in her life. She has never regretted her posture, nor has she looked back. Onward and upward! You, too, should look at all your possibilities. Maybe you know that the writer of the song “Jingle Bells” had failed at a lot of things before writing this world famous song. This particular song was sung at me in a refugee camp some three decades ago by little kids who didn’t speak English and had never seen snow. “Jingle Bells” is a testimony to looking up and seeing the stars.

Look at the stars!

Get Creative

Everyone has part of themselves that holds a childlike wonder. Find that part of you and your inner child will help you become more creative with your possibilities because part of creativity is experimentation and play with options, sometimes wildly crazy ones. On Monday I went to the Female Founder Summit in Zürich and one of the speakers talked about how the “outliers”, the “crazy people” are looked for by business angels and venture capitalists, at least some of these types prefer outliers. Those are the people who are in touch with the child within them and are ready to play a bit, to experiment, to do something new. Maybe you need to play games, more. Maybe a walk in the woods paying attention to the changing seasons would be more you. Finally, maybe you want to draw (or doodle) your future as you would like it, and remember to include all aspects of your life.

Know Thyself

Remember to take time to listen to yourself, the stories you tell yourself and check them for accuracy. Often we tell ourselves stories that are partially (or even fully) incorrect. Remember to fact-check those stories with your accomplishments, experience, training, goals, and values. Remember your emotions are 1) neutral and 2) fleeting, so do not make choices mostly on your emotions, although a “gut feeling” is not the same thing, and that you should consider. A good exercise on values clarification might be a good place to begin getting to know yourself better.

I can help you with most of these above activities as a coach, and am happy to walk through your failures with you to help you look at the stars.

I wish you a great time of reflection and star gazing!


Patricia Jehle  

8 start-up suggestions

October 17th, 2016

Starting a company: 8 suggestions and some Questions

  1. Begin only if you are passionate about your idea

You have to be more passionate about your idea than about earning money with it, otherwise you will not last the first few years of little or no growth. A client of mine is waiting for his website to go on-line so he can start and it’s already been six months of waiting for him. But he is passionate about his idea(s) and he will go the distance if he continues in the way he ha begun.

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

Is there a market for this idea/product? Will it generate enough income at a price that is reasonable for the target niche? Is the niche big enough to support your product idea in the long term, or is this a fad, which you will have to tweak or even give up in a year or two. Remember it may take up to two years to generate “real” money.

ALSO:  Do you plan to do this full-time? If so, how will you live until you start earning money. In other words, what is your budget and financial plan?

  1. Let others help you, and take advice; but leave naysayers out of the picture, at least until you have earned your first million-

You will have lots of people trying to tell you what to do and eventually some will give you wise advice. Ask for advice, but from those who are doing something like this- either on a small, or on a big scale. Ask for mentors from people who, as Brené Brown says, are “in that arena” too.

  1. Get a coach

For most cases, you will need an independent, non-involved party that will ask you good questions (and that is what coaches do, ask questions so you can reflect on your choices and decisions).  You will need this kind of help; trust me.

  1. Build in time for recreation every day and every week and every quarter, because burnout is easy to catch-

Burnout may even be the reason for you starting your own enterprise. The temptation is to focus so much on your idea that you don’t think about yourself, your key relationships and then you start to suffer. Build in time for self-care, for a healthy physical and relational life and your start-up will last past the beginning stages.

  1. Don’t give up; in fact, have a plan for if you feel like giving up-

Ask yourself, when things get tough, what am I going to do. Ask, when I am running out of money to grow, what will I do. Ask when I am tired and don’t feel like I can go on, what am I going to do.


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


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

It could be that your idea is a solo-preneur idea, but you are going to need people to call on for support and help, people you can also recommend to others when they need help: a web-person, an accountant (or at least software), possibly a lawyer, people who do things that help your business and are not in direct competition with you. For example, a client who is an interior designer, may want someone specializing in furniture building or interior sewing to be on the team.

Eventually, if your company is meant to have employees, you need to pick them well. Depending on if you have a partner or not, depends on the company structure. For example, one partner is the CEO and the other the CFO. I have seen this particular situation relatively often. If you are alone, one of the first people to on-board should be a CFO-type person. Money is not everything, but in a company, it is very important to watch all the numbers. Then there are the marketing and sales types, the technology types (both for running and for growth-development, depending on the kind of idea you have), logistics/operations, and strategy. In the beginning, people may wear quite a few hats, but as your company grows, the person will, hopefully have fewer and be able to focus on their strengths.

Allow your team to help you grow your company

Leadership is key and so is delegation and respect. You need to create a culture of positive growth and listening to you main team’s ideas and suggestions. Remember, if you want to grow you will need help. Let your team do that for you!


  1. Dream big. Think about the future of your company and your life-

Once you are on your way, you should continue to dream. What are your three, five, ten-year plans? What is next? And after that? This might be where a coach comes in, again, to help you broaden your horizons. Finally, here are a few more questions for you to chew on:

Is your idea reproducible? Franchise-able? What does the long term look like?

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

–I wish you much success!

This is the preface to my upcoming book: “Swiss start-up: What do you need to know and do.” Look for it soon!

 — and should you want to visit my site: –Or join my group on LinkedIn:

Patricia Jehle






Learning points

March 15th, 2016

What I have been learning these past few months:

I took a MOOC course with Stanford on-line recently called “Scaling up your Venture without Screwing up” and I found it very informative. I learned three main new ideas:

1) Business is a “ground war”

This means that, although vision and passion are great, every day hard work and persistence are key to business success. The daily chores of a business are not to be forgotten in the “ivory towers” of the CEO’s office, where dreams come true.

The vision and passion are what keeps the people going, but a ground war, where everyone is involved in the hard work of getting things going, keeping them going and moving towards scaling a business up, is what is the bread and butter of a company.

2) Pre-mortems are essential to change

Before one makes a change there should be a process of thinking ahead to the “what ifs”—What if t he scaling doesn’t succeed? What would/could happen to cause this? What else? And What more? Then what can be done to prevent these things from happening?

These questions can prevent failure and expensive re-inventing and re-tooling, etc.

3) Even the experts don’t know everything

Everyone, even the experts are learning and making mistakes—and then learning from their mistakes. Isn’t it a relief to know that it doesn’t matter that we make mistakes, as long as we learn from them, in the end. Not even pre-mortems can prevent all our mistakes from occurring. But we know, from history, that it is the getting back up, brushing yourself off and returning to that arena that makes you and your company a success.

What have you been learning lately?

Patricia Jehle   If you would like, you are invited to join my LinkedIn group: SMEs Grow Together


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

Who is in the arena with you? Who is on your team?

January 26th, 2016

Who’s got your back?


I have been reading Brené Brown, again, and this time her concept of supportive friendship struck me. We, you and I, all need people who “have our back”. Brené writes about those friends you know will be there, who won’t spill your secrets, but also who will hold you accountable. The listeners, supporters and the challengers. You do not need many of these kind of friends, but you need a few, as life is transient and in a transient society, people come and go, and move away. Often. So, who’s got your back?


Let’s look at this carefully:


The listeners: You need someone with whom you can have mutual listening and sharing, those with whom you express mutual empathy. I just had a conversation with a friend who is starting up a company and we discussed how hard it is for men (he is a man) to be open and vulnerable. Our social norms “train” men (and nowadays women) business leaders to be tough, but in the end it is not good for the person or the business. The leaders have been trained to avoid asking for help when it is needed. This lack of vulnerability is actually detrimental to business leading. We all need to be able to ask for and to offer help.


The supporters: We want someone with us in that scary arena, the metaphor that Dr. Brown uses for those of us seeking to do something, to be leaders, to make a way in this world. Those people with us are our supporters. Who do you have that will get out there and support you, and not either leave you in the lurch or tell people your secrets. These are those people who tell you that you can do it! You can, of course do it, but we need each other to make it, in a supportive environment. These friends also may give you just the contact or resource you need, not because it will help them, but it will help you succeed. These people are real friends.


The challengers: Our supportive friends also need to be those who kick us in the butt when it is needed and send us out into that arena again after we have blown it, or life has been hard. It’s those of you, of us, who get back up and brush ourselves off and get back in that arena who win. You and I can, but the ones who tell us that truth are those people we need around us. Who do you have that says, like the proverbial boxing coach, “Get out there and win!”?


What’s next? So, spend some time this week thinking about who has your back, and who you can trust. Then make the effort and tell that person thank you. Reach out and be that kind of friend, too.


Patricia Jehle www.jehle-coaching.comgladiator_arena_hdr-t2