8 suggestions for start-ups


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.


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?


3. 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.


4. 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).  Trust me on this.  You will need someone like this.


5. 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.


6. 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!


7. 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!


8. 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?  These issues and more will be discussed in the next chapters, especially regarding starting a business in Switzerland, where I have lived for over two decades.  Enjoy the book, and the great challenge of Swiss Start-ups!


Patricia Jehle

Jehle Coaching

Contact me at patricia@jehle-coaching.com



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.


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!


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


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.



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!




For more on my WP blog, go here: www.jehle-coachingexpat.com  one of my latest is below:

 February 2018 News

What’s new?  It’s a new month, and soon it will be the season of Lent and that hails the coming of spring.  Time for a check-in!


What’s new for you?


I am doing quite a few new things:


Starting a new semester teaching Negotiations

This semester is one of the semesters where I will be trying new practice negotiations, one of which I will write myself.  Teaching negotiations is one of my favorite courses to teach.


Speaking three times with three different topics at the American Women’s Club in Zürich

I have volunteered to speak on sustainable eating (March 12th), on bouncing back after a set-back (March 13th) and I will give a Reformation Tour (March 14th).  What a wonderful opportunity to share some of my passions!


I’ve recently been to quite a few interesting events

January 17th I went to the 13th Wirtschaftssymposium Aargau- an excellent afternoon of speakers and networking.  For me the highlight was André Blattmann’s talk on security.

January 18th Was the SVC Prize Award Ceremony for best SME in Zürich- with the Schibli Group winning a much-deserved first prize.

Then I took a helpful Case Study Writing course for professors at the FHNW.

On February 1st I was able to be part of the audience in TEDx Selnau and one of the talks I enjoyed most was that of Dr. Lijin Aryananda’s discourse on simplicity in development (of robotics, mostly, but it can be extrapolated to most problem-solving issues)


I will go to a few more exciting events in the near future, all before Easter!

In two weeks, I will once again attend the Geneva Writers’ Conference.  Each time I return with ideas and new writing projects.

The weekend after that I will attend the Forum Christliche Führungskräfte in Fribourg.

A friend of mine, Hoger Hendrichs will be heading up a new effort for Christian startups in Switzerland, and I am very much looking forward to it:



Supervision is on the horizon

I will continue my journey of extending my qualifications this fall, and I am very thrilled about it.


But some things remain the same


I still love (and do) coaching

I had hoped for one or two more clients and that has happened, and I continue to enjoy each session and every new issue and client.


I still love learning and writing

My love of learning has been re-confirmed again in the case study writing course and the other courses I have recently taken.  I still wish one could be paid to learn; I’d earn a million.  Writing is such a passion of mine, I blog, I am in the midst of writing books, and now I am working on case studies.  Even the few podcasts I have done have been a joy to write.


I am and will be a Hygge fan

I now ask myself the kind of mindful question that a Dane may ask.  Hygge is all about coziness, but it is a very mindful way of life.  As the weather takes a colder turn again, I am happy that tonight is “Pancacke Tuesday” (Shrove Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, literally “fat Tuesday”).  As a family we eat way too much: scrambled eggs, pancakes with maple syrup, and fried bacon.  After all, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and the start of Lent.  I read in a book that Lent means spring (or spring is on its way).  So, time to finish fattening ourselves up for winter.


Well, that’s my news.  What’s new with you?



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