My very personal WOW! day

Yesterday, Friday 13.01.2017, was an important day for me. I decided to go through the experience of a “Mastermind Day” for women in business.

What is it? Well, it’s very similar to the brainstorming events that I organize.  I joined it for two main reasons:

  1. I wanted to experience what it means to be in the “hot seat”, meaning that you explain what your main challenges and questions about your business are and you have a full group of highly committed women-in-business, as well as a business-savvy facilitator, giving you answers, solutions, opinions, ideas. Since I am offering the same kind of events (although organized and delivered “in my own way”), I felt it was imperative for me to get a sense of what is like to be a participant, instead of a facilitator.
  1. I wanted to get more clarity on what my next steps are and where I am heading to with Our Swiss Business. As you might know, I have already taken some important steps in this direction. I organized my personal “brainstorming event” with a group of business professionals, who gave me inputs about the many possible directions I might take with my business, and I worked on a survey, which is still circulating as I write, to better understand the needs of my target group. What I got from these two initiatives is a lot of ideas and options, but I now felt the need to understand where to start, and which concrete steps to take.

 

This is what I took home with me at the end of the day:

  • Although I already had a sense of the valuable experience lived by participants to Our Swiss Business brainstorming events from the high appreciation levels reported in the feedback forms, I have now no doubts that this format is just incredibly powerful. In just 30 minutes time of sitting in the hot seat, I could look at my business from a different perspective and I had an honest feedback from the other participants about what I am planning and on the best way to deliver it. Plus, I learned a lot from other people’s business challenges (e.g. launching a new online service, finding the best-selling tagline, building a “sales funnel” to convert readers into clients, etc.). To summarize it in one word… WOW!
  • Second, I got what I was looking for: from a long list of possible services, I decided to start with just one or two. These services are the ones that, based on the survey, are most needed by my target group (and my target group is made of the people I care the most about… “women in transition”, looking for professional satisfaction after a period of professional unhappiness). That’s what you can expect me to deliver in the next months. With time, I will add more services, but I had to start from somewhere and I wasn’t able to see what for the mastermind group members was so clear. I just had to answer two easy questions to get clarity on my next steps: who do you want to help the most with your business? What do these women need, which you can deliver rather easily and in a short time?

Thank you Sigrun, Alma, Daniela, Elin, Irene, Julia, Patricia, Sabine, and Uta for a powerful day!

What do they say about doctors? Doctors are so good at helping others, but so poor patients of themselves. That’s why they ask another doctor to take care of them…  The same is true for business people: you cannot trust yourself too much! You’re too much into your own personal situation or business to see it clearly.  30-min feedback from others will give you much more clarity than 30 days of individual thinking.

I am sure that sharing my own experience of participating to a Mastermind Day will be helpful for some of you. By the way, I have also made the decision that in the future I am going to talk to you about the process of creating and developing my own business. I am convinced (well… not only me: more influential people like Gary Vaynerchuk think the same) that documenting the process of developing my own business is likely more important to you than offering ready-to-use solutions. In business there are no silver bullets, you have to constantly consider different alternatives and choose the one that you think will work best for you in that particular moment. So, I am going to share with you what my challenges are and how I go about them. Like I did today, telling you how I got out of the overwhelming feeling of having to create 100 different products and services and not knowing where to start.

Now it’s your turn. Check out Our Swiss Business planned events to experience Your personal WOW day!

 

Gretel

Zurich Brainstorming (October 2016): we are so proud!

With our recent brainstorming event, Our Swiss Business planted the first seeds in the Zurich area. If you wonder what you missed just read ahead.

Following the call to “Create your Dream Job”, eight curious and brave ladies representing the countries of Mongolia, Italy, China, Mexico, Colombia, Finland/Palestine, Switzerland, and Poland/Germany joined us on a Saturday for some serious brainstorming. We met in a modern and comfortable space, located in a lively neighborhood (Flexbreite in Wiedikon). Isabelle and I could not wait to meet in person all these women, which we felt we knew already, as we had spent the weekend before discussing how to best support each of them reaching their goals for the day.

The very personal approach during event preparation (including a phone call and email exchanges with all in the weeks preceding the event) was clearly a winning choice: participants immediately felt in a safe environment, as they had already talked to one of us, they knew what to expect, and they had read a briefing about all other participants. On our side, we had a very clear picture of what each participant was looking for and had thought about the best approach for each individual case. So, after a few welcoming and introductory words…

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… we started working, divided into two groups. Each participant immediately experienced the power of brainstorming:  high level of concentration, individual thinking, creative ideas shared with the group, and in-depth discussions, facilitated by either Isabelle or myself. When we felt a shortage of energy, cold and hot drinks, chocolate, croissants and fruit were available for us. At lunchtime, we had a well-deserved break in a nice Lebanese restaurant, where tasty food was already waiting for us, and we had the opportunity to chat and relax.

The afternoon was dedicated to the understanding and application of a slightly modified version of the “Business Model Canvas”, a simple but powerful tool to analyse business ideas, quickly recognize their success potential, and identify where more thinking is needed. Most participants found this exercise very useful. As we approached the end of the day, we reorganized the brainstorming groups according to the maturity of the business ideas and we asked each person to choose a specific topic for the group to discuss. The last 15 minutes were dedicated to the feedback forms.

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What did the participants get from this event?

Here is a selection of participants’ messages to Isabelle and me soon after the day’s end:

“Thank you for the great workshop! A sign of a good day is going home tired but full of new motivation”

“I learned how to work with different ideas / how to choose the most realistic idea”

“I particularly liked the exchange / networking with others; the introduction toBusiness Model Canvas; the great atmosphere”

“It was an intensive but very inspiring day. You two have worked wonderfully! […] I have gained a lot: not only the possible business ideas, but also the enthusiasm I could see and feel from other women in the two groups. In other words, I felt the positive energy, which I missed during all my years of being away from the professional field. Therefore my thanks to you two is sincere and honest”.

“Thank you for all the effort in organizing and carrying out this event. I am happy with the outcome so far and you should know that this has helped me in the particular situation I am facing at this point in my career. I hope to be in touch again and continue the fruitful exchange”.

 

Thank you ladies for a great day… and see you soon!

Are you ready to explore how to turn your passion into a business? Check out our planned events.

 

 

 

 

 

Who will you meet at the brainstorming events in Zurich?

We want you to benefit as much as possible from the brainstorming events, we want you to achieve your objectives! This is why we have a whole team supporting you, a team made of professionals in different areas. Here we are:

Gretelimg_3621-small is the founder of Our Swiss Business and is active as community manager, brainstorming and mastermind groups’ facilitator. Before founding Our Swiss Business, she worked many years in international development organizations, where she led projects from conception to implementation, both independently and as a team leader. She strongly believes in connecting people’s minds to create powerful ideas and overcome individual challenges. She is a good listener, but she also knows how to push people into action. She will be present at both brainstorming events.

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Isabelle is a learning consultant and project manager, supporting competency development for marketing and sales in a leading multinational engineering company. She works with diverse businesses to develop their value proposition, facilitates workshops and supports organizations and individuals in their development. She is passionate about self-empowerment and promoting female leadership qualities. Isabelle is a critical thinker who enjoys challenges and encourages pursuing personal and professional growth by stepping out of your comfort zone. She will be present as facilitator at both brainstorming events.

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Gudrun has more than 30 years of international experience in Product and Marketing Management. She is experienced in business creation and launching products. She used to work in Germany, the Netherlands and since 1995 in Switzerland. Gudrun is running her own business with Marketing Services for a variety of branches (Lighting, Food, Tourism, Construction, NGOs, etc.).  During the 12.11 brainstorming event for small business owners, she will be pleased to provide feedback on Business Creation, Concept, Planning and Realization.

ellieEllie is a Brand Consultant and Copywriter, working with businesses to accelerate their growth, connect with their audiences with a heart-felt approach and represent a brand, which is aligned with their values and personality. Ellie has over 10 years of corporate experience in Finance, Project and People Management and Training. She started her online business and is specializing in empowering entrepreneurs to create a brand from the inside out. During the 12.11 brainstorming for small business owners, she will provide valuable feedback on branding, connecting with audiences, copywriting and related topics.

 Beabeatrice_wespi_3trice is your partner, when it comes to providing you with the relevant information to start your business with the right foot. She has know-how in founding a company, web presence, marketing, finance, insurance and legal issues – and she likes leading women across their borders. She will provide consultancy via skype to those participants, who sign up for it at the brainstorming event on 12.11.

 

 

 

Registration to next brainstorming events and Mastermind Groups now open!!

  • If you would like to start your own business, but you are unsure WHAT exactly to do: REGISTER NOW to the business ideas brainstorming event (Zurich, 29.10.2016) and find – or refine – a cool business idea, which is right for you!
  • If your business is surviving, but you would like it to blossom, REGISTER NOW to the brainstorming for small business owners (Zurich, 12.11.2016) and get answers and solutions from a group of women, small business owners like you.
  • If you are not able to get things done, SEND ME AN EMAIL NOW to find out about Mastermind Groups, groups of committed women, who are there to support each other and keep each other accountable (upcoming info meeting in Bern on 22.09.2016)

First brainstorming event: high fives! …and next? NEWSLETTER 25.06.2015

Dear ladies,

here we are with Our Swiss Business third newsletter!

What has happened in the last few weeks?

Our Swiss Business hosted its first Brainstorming event on 11.06 in Bern and I am proud to say that it was very successful.

Seven women originally coming from seven countries distributed in four continents (Australia, Germany, Latvia, Nigeria, South Africa, Switzerland, and USA) joined the event – rather impressive! We had a mix of women with a small running business, women with a well-defined business idea, and women looking for business ideas. We discussed business ideas and business strategies in the areas of food and beverages, tourism, event management, consultancy services, and wellbeing.

Each participant was the focus of a brainstorming session for half hour and received one-tFoto per NL_2o- one consultancy from our partner Beatrice Wespi for another half hour. In the rest of the time, people provided valuable feedback, insights, and ideas to help other participants. In so doing, they had fun and learnt lots that would be useful for their own business. Feedback forms revealed a high level of satisfaction of participants for both the brainstorming and the consultancy! Thank you to all attendants. If you are interested to see more about this event, go to www.ourswissbusiness.com/past-events.

 

Earlier, on 17. May, I was invited by the International Club Bern to talk about Women and Business in CH and introduce Our Swiss Business to a group of international and Swiss people interested in creating their own business, or, more broadly, in finding happiness and satisfaction in their professional lives. We had a very open discussion that I found enriching and full of ideas to better support women. Once again, thanks to all people who attended this event and who will attend similar events in the future: without you, it would be very difficult for me to get the pulse of your needs and wishes and to propose useful initiatives.

 

What’s next?

 

July

The next informational event that you may want to attend to know more about Our Swiss Business will take place on 06.07.2016 in Zürich: Building a Business in Switzerland made easier.

Where: American Women’s Club of Zürich Main Event Room
Time:   6:30 pm- Welcome Apèro
7:00 pm Speech/ Q&A

8:00 pm Wine, Appetizers and Networking
Hosted by: Professional American Women of Zürich networking group (PAWZ)

Cost:   10CHF PAWZ Members/ 15CHF Non-Members

If you would like to participate, please contact Hollyn Keller (hollyn.keller@2pluxx.ch).

From September

Something that came out of past get-togethers is that, in many cases, regular meetings would be beneficial to women, who are developing their businesses. Exchanging ideas, receiving feedback on specific questions, supporting each other, keeping each other accountable on actions taken to reach your goals would help many people, who otherwise would need to work in isolation and risk to lose motivation and drive along the difficult way of developing a business. That is why I am launching a new initiative, the so-called Mastermind Groups. We have a couple of spaces available for a mastermind group starting in early September in Bern. If you would like to attend a Mastermind Group in Bern or elsewhere, please contact me. As soon as we have enough people from the same city, we can start. If you want to know more, read here http://ourswissbusiness.com/events/.

In September I will also run a survey among all of you to set priorities on other types of initiatives that would benefit you. Stay tuned! Examples are thematic workshops on specific needs (e.g. financing options for your business, preparing a business plan, marketing strategies, information around legal/tax/insurance aspects, etc.), as well as concrete ways to help you find a business partner, if you are looking for one.

October / November

The next brainstorming events are planned on 29.10 and 12.11 in Zurich. These dates are very likely but not 100% sure yet – I will confirm late August/early September. Each event targets a different audience (business ideas seekers and small business owners). I am very happy to welcome Isabelle and Nadja, two professionals based in Zurich, who believe in Our Swiss Business and have offered me their support in organizing this event. Many thanks!! If you also would like to help, please let me know. Or simply book these dates if you are thinking to attend this event. I will give you more information and send you a link for registration right after the summer break.

 

Enjoy the summer and I will get back to you in September.

Gretel

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Newsletter 03.05.2016

Dear ladies,

You are about to discover what we have been cooking in April, which will be ready to enjoy in the next few weeks.

We had a stand at the Women’s Expo on 10th April, which was very well attended by interested (and very interesting!) women. A lot of curiosity about each other, questions and answers, ideas exchanges have made that day a special one. As a result, our community has become bigger, now including women from the Bern, Freiburg and Zurich regions. If you haven’t logged in recently, do so and discover many new women, who may share your interests and passions and whom you can contact in no time.

All our registered members have enabled us to organize the first Our Swiss Business Brainstorming Event on 11.06.2016 in Bern. This is something you don’t want to miss! It will be an exciting happening, with brainstorming groups built around your passions and needs. No matter if you are just starting to consider the perspective of creating your own business in Switzerland, or you have already founded your company. We have a stimulating offer for you!

During the event, we will be supported by Beatrice Wespi, a Swiss professional and networker in and around women and business. If you understand German, check out her websites and Facebook Group:

http://beatricewespi.ch/

http://smartwebsites.ch/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/gruenderinnen.schweiz/

Registration at http://ourswissbusiness.com/planned-events/ by 29.05.2016. If you have already decided to attend the event, please don’t wait and register now. Early registration will help us a lot with the event’s organization.

IMPORTANT!!! We need your support in making sure we reach a sufficient number of participants. Please share the Ads that you will find on our Facebook and Linkedin company pages. We will also post Ads on different groups on Facebook, Linkedin and Xing.

Facebook company page: www.ourswissbusiness.com/ourswissbusiness

Linkedin company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/our-swiss-business?trk=mini-profile

 

Moreover, we are keeping up our efforts to make ourselves known, especially within the international community. The two following events will take place in May / July:

17.05.2016 in Bern: Women and Business in CH

Where: Bruder Klaus Church Center, Ostring 1, Cheminee Room

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Hosted by: International Club of Bern

Cost: free for ICB members

If you are not an ICB member and would like to attend, please contact Graham Tritt (G.Tritt@gmx.net).

 

5. or 6. July (TBC) in Zürich: Building a Business in Switzerland made easier

Hosted by: Professional American Women of Zürich networking group (PAWZ)

If you would like to participate, please contact Hollyn Keller (hollyn.keller@2pluxx.ch).

 

Last, stirring news: we are collaborating with www.waxidea.com, an online platform thought to help entrepreneurs and creative minds develop their ideas into businesses.

On Waxidea you can work on your business ideas, get feedback from experts, find co-founders, brainstorm and discuss either privately or openly, complete your business canvas, and and and… The platform has users from all over the world, but it is specially thought for the EU and the team behind Waxidea is partially based in Switzerland. Most importantly, Switzerland will be the first “local community” we will develop together!

This should become the virtual discussion place for Our Swiss Business members, as a complement to face-to-face events. Look at it and start using it if you wish (it’s free!). It should be quite straightforward to create your idea and start working on it. Furthermore, we will be holding hands-on sessions and tutorials during our next face-to-face events. Of course, Waxidea team and I also stay at your disposal if you need any help. The platform will further evolve in the next months, so please share your feedback with me.

Thanks again for your interest in Our Swiss Business and I am looking forward to seeing you at any of the next events or on Waxidea.

Gretel

 

Newsletter 04.04.2016

Dear Businesswomen-to-be,

March has been a positive month for Our Swiss Business, despite a reduced activity due to the longest flu I have ever had in my life…

This month’s highlight has been Our Swiss Business first official event, held in Bern on 31.03.2016. The event, called “Become a Smiler:-) Take Action!!” has been attended by 13 professional, energetic and motivated women from 10 different countries. Despite having quite different personal stories and professional situations, we found that women (foreign and Swiss) face very common issues in dealing with the Swiss job market, as well as in starting or running an independent activity. Our Swiss Business was born to deal with some of these issues. I explained the services we offer and answered the attendees’ questions. At the end, some of us relaxed, laughed and enjoyed some music and a drink…

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We are getting prepared for the Women’s Expo on 10. April in Zurich. We are very happy to share a table with Start-up Frauen (www.startupfrauen.ch), which provides services for women entrepreneur, mostly complementary to what Our Swiss Business has been focusing on. You will find us at stand 54.

In the next couple of months, our objective is to organize the first Our Swiss Business brainstorming event, for women who would like to discuss business ideas together and/or get feedback on issues related to their businesses. When and where will be determined soon. The event will be as far as possible “tailor-made” on the profiles and wishes of the participants. If you are interested and you haven’t completed your profile yet, please do so here, so that we get to know your passions, skills, and wishes. More info coming soon!

This is all for now. Remember you can get in touch anytime for doubts, questions, needs, etc.

Gretel

Newsletter 02.03.2016

Dear Businesswomen-to-be,

Today we celebrate the first month since Our Swiss Business went online (02.02.2016)!! I am happy about what we have achieved thus far and I would like to thank you for contributing to it.

The biggest effort in this first phase is spreading the word out there about Our Swiss Business and reaching some of the hundreds/thousands of women in Switzerland, who have the potential of becoming brilliant businesswomen, despite, in many cases, having never thought about it before. Only with a “critical mass” of registered, motivated women we can organize successful brainstorming events and offer you the opportunity of finding the right business partner(s).

This is why we have lined up a series of events, to inform and motivate women like you. You are invited to any of these; just let me know by replying to this email, which one you would like to attend. Please invite your friends as well!!

 

31.03.2016, Bern

Become A Smiler:-) Take Action!

Please register before 20.03.2016 by replying to this email.

 

10.04.2016, Zürich

Women’s Expo Switzerland 2016

If you would like to visit the Expo, meet us and be inspired by many businesswomen from all over Switzerland, get your free ticket here

IMPORTANT: is any of you willing to help me out during the expo? Two / three people are better than one to network efficiently!! (I have just ordered nice T-Shirts and caps with our logoJ)

 

09.06.2016, Zürich

Event (title TBC) hosted by the American Women’s Club of Zurich and organized by the Professional American Women Zurich. Small entrance fee TBD.

If you would like to participate, send me an email and I will ask the organizers to save a seat for you.

 

Moreover, we are working to build partnerships with other companies/organizations/associations devoted to helping women develop themselves professionally. In this way, we aim at reaching a bigger audience and offering more and better services to all of you, by collaborating with others instead of starting from scratch.

We are currently in touch with www.womenbiz.ch, the Professional American Women Zurich, the Professional Women Group of Zurich, and others… I will let you know what we are up to in the next newsletter…

Do you know of any groups/associations/organizations all over Switzerland we may benefit from contacting? Please let me know!

 

Thanks again for your interest in Our Swiss Business and I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Gretel

Become A Smiler:-) Take Action! Bern, 31.03.2016

“BASTA” is the Italian word to say “that’s enough!”, “stop it!”,  “I can’t stand this anymore!!”

If you have ever said this word (translated in your own language) in relation to your professional situation (unemployed? underemployed? unsatisfied? unhappy?), then come to our casual and funny event. I will tell you how you can change the original meaning of BASTA!  into “Become A Smiler:-) Take Action!”, by joining Our Swiss Business.

Please note: Our Swiss Business is an initiative for women

When?

31.03.2016 from 18.00 to 19.00

Where?

Innere Enge Hotel or Marians Café (the nice Café right outside the hotel), Engestrasse 54,3012 Bern. The exact location depends on the number of participants (I will let you know).

A limited number of parking spaces is available right next to the hotel. Please use public transportation.

 

How?

Send an email to hello@ourswissbusiness.com no later than 20.03.2016

How much?

The event is free. You’ll just pay what you drink/eat.

And then?

After the event, you can stay and enjoy some jazz at the Jazztent (once again, free admission, just pay what you drink or eat).

 

Want to read first what Our Swiss Business is about? Click here

Meet us at the Women’s Expo Switzerland, Zürich, 10.04.2016

We are among the exhibitors at the Women’s Expo Switzerland 2016, which will take place on 10. April in Zürich.

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Click here for more info on the Women’s Expo.

 

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