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Podcast

Expat Focus Podcast

Podcast > 2019

2019

Becoming An Expat Entrepreneur



 

After her first child was born, and she decided she didn’t want to go back to full time work, British expat Melitta Campbell dived head-first into entrepreneurship. She set herself up as a freelancer in Montreux - a French-speaking part of Switzerland. She quickly picked up work, and then more work... and then, running a successful business and being a stay-at-home mum became a bigger challenge.

Years later, Melitta is on to her third business and she passes on her lessons learnt about focus and balance and asking for help, as a coach to other women who are working for themselves.

If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur in Switzerland or elsewhere in the world, Melitta has some sage advice.



Carlie: Hey there. It’s Carlie with another episode of the Expat Focus podcast.

If you never anticipated becoming an expat, you may have never anticipated becoming your own boss either. After her first child was born and she decided she didn’t want to go back to fulltime work, British expat Melitta Campbell dived headfirst into entrepreneurship. She set herself up as a freelancer in Montreux, a French-speaking part of Switzerland. She quickly picked up work, and then more work, and then, running a successful business and being a stay-at-home mum became a bigger challenge.

Years later, Melitta is on to her third business, and she passes on her lessons learnt, about focus and balance and asking for help, as a coach to other women who are working for themselves. If you’re just starting out as an independent in Switzerland or elsewhere in the world, Melitta has some sage advice.

Melitta, what was the motivator for you to start your own business in Switzerland?

Melitta: At the time, I was working in private banking in Geneva and I had a fulltime job, which I did 120%. [chuckles] I loved my job, and I’d worked really hard to get up to the leadership level. I worked in marketing communications, I ran the internal comms department, and I’d just, six months beforehand, been given a promotion, so I reported directly to the CEO. And I was so chuffed – I mean, that’s what I’d been working my entire career, to reach that kind of level.

And then I had a baby. [laughs] And I fully expected to go back to work fulltime after having my child, but yeah, when they actually come along, the reality changes. And the more I was with her, the more I kept thinking, “I just don’t want to leave her fulltime.” So, I was looking at part-time options. And also, finding childcare here, in Switzerland, is really tough. When I went down to the local creche to see if I could put her in there, they were like, “Yeah, sure. It’s an 18-month waiting list.” Like, who knows they’re going to have a baby nine months before they even get pregnant? And apparently, people do put their name down years in advance, and then, if a place comes up and they don’t have a baby yet, they just say, “Oh, not yet.”

But you don’t know this at the time, until it’s too late. So, I couldn’t work at my job part-time, because it was a fulltime role – I ran a department. The CEO was very kind, he said, “Well, we’ll find you something to do.” But I didn’t really want to leave my daughter for a job that someone’s made up for me. [laughs] If it was following my heart and my passions, I thought, okay, that’s something.

But instead, what I thought I could do is perhaps work freelance. So, I happened to be having lunch with a friend who works in communications ot Nestle, I said, “Maybe I could just write a newsletter for someone, just to keep my hand in and go back to the office later.” And she happened to know someone that was looking for someone to write a newsletter. So, like, “Oh, my goodness!” It was kind of the sign I needed.

So, I contacted that person, and it turned out to be a friend, who was delighted to work with me. So it all kind of fell into place. So, that’s what I started doing. My daughter was five months old at the time, I had no clue what I was doing, I had no idea if I could do it. I worried about everything. And I really worried if people would take me seriously with a baby under my desk. But nobody even ever asked. No one asked about my situation at home, no one asked if I could really do this, if I really had time, which was my big worry, and I was just waiting for someone else to pick up on that, but no one ever did. So, yeah, that’s how I got started.

Carlie: It’s a bit daunting, isn’t it, working for yourself? It sounds really good in theory – you’ll be at home with the kids all day. But that child needs attention sometimes, and you can’t sit at your desk necessarily the whole day play both roles al the time.

Melitta: Yeah. My first daughter was a dream, I have to say. She would sleep for two hours at a time, four hours in the afternoon, so I actually had quite a lot of time on my own. I mean, I was tired, [laughs] so some of that time was spent sleeping. And then you’ve got other things to do as well. But it did give me a good chunk of time that I could spend on freelancing. And I didn’t have that many clients to start with, so it worked out perfect. But yeah, as my client demands grew, it became more challenging. Every client always came back and recommended me to someone else as well. So, before I knew it, I had too much work, almost. And then my second daughter came along, and she was a nightmare. [laughs]

She just didn’t sleep. She was crawling on … you really had to watch her all the time. Then it became quite challenging. At the same time, my husband took on a new role and had to travel quite a lot. He was already travelling, but we knew when he was going to go away. But this new role, we never knew. It would be like: he’d come home on a Friday, “Right, I’m off for two weeks on Monday.” Okay.

So it all became very difficult to manage, and I did find myself in a position where I was looking after my kids and I was working every second I could, often till 2 o’clock in the morning. And I was exhausted, and I didn’t have a support network around me, because I was building a business abroad. And I came very close to burnout. At first, I didn’t really want to admit it to myself, because I didn’t know what else I could do. I wish I knew then that things like business coaches existed. [chuckles] Because I just didn’t have anyone to turn to. And it was only at the point where I had an emotional breakdown in the school carpark, and … I was just there to pick up my kids, and I just couldn’t stop crying, and a friend got in my car and she said, “Go home, take the rest you need, and I’ll take the kids. You go home and take whatever time you need. I’ll take the kids after school as well. So don’t worry about it.”

And I got home and I was just like, “How did this happen?” From that point on, I started to rethink things and build my business a bit differently, and it really highlighted that I’d moved away from what I enjoyed doing, so the work I was doing was very much led by my clients’ demands, and it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing personally.

So I wasn’t really enjoying my work. I had not set any time aside for myself, and that was perhaps my biggest error. And I’ve learned that you really need to plan out time for yourself and self-care and your health. Because I definitely wasn’t healthy – I was surviving on frozen pizzas. And to make that your first priority, because entrepreneurship and health really do go hand in hand, and this life balance doesn’t just happen. You have to create it yourself, and actively manage that as well. So you kind of need to be your own best boss and schedule time for yourself and your health, and to reach out and ask for help as well.

Because since I did that, so many friends and my husband became … like, said, “No problem, I can come home early a couple of evenings a week to give you the time you need,” to do whatever, just to go out or to take an exercise class. And I found some babysitters that could help me when I needed a bit more concentration time in the day. So, I restructured everything. But it was a really tough time, but it really taught me what it takes to succeed, and it’s not selfish to take time for yourself. It’s really self-ful, you need to do that.

Carlie: How difficult did you find it asking for that help when you realized you’d reached limit, or gone over your limit, by the sounds of it?

Melitta: Yeah. It was hard. But I don’t know why, [laughs] looking back. I think, as women, we tend to feel that we need to help everybody and it’s our responsibility to care for everyone. And so, asking for help is kind of letting other people down. But it’s definitely not the case at all.

So, that was all six years ago now, and since then, I ask for help all the time. With everything. And it’s great. And it’s amazing, people love helping you. Particularly friends, when you’re running your own business, they don’t really know how they can help out. But if you go to them and ask, “Could you do this for me?” Or “Could you do that?” They are over the moon. People love to help out their friends. And people with complementary expertise are very happy to share that with you. So, I’ve got some great relationships.

I recommend [08:58] these days to create a success circle, which is anywhere between one and five people who get what you’re doing, who are on the same mission as you, and they will provide you support if you’re at a point where you’re like, “I just don’t know what to do next,” or you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. You can pick up the phone, speak to them. And people who you’re willing to do the same thing for them. And you really need that success circle. I didn’t have that in my first business. But I’ve created it in my second, and now in my third, it’s what’s helped me to keep evolving as an entrepreneur, because where you start out is very rarely where you end up.

As you learn, and you grow, and you discover what your clients really need, and you discover what you really love to do. Business can change quite a lot, and it’s great to go with the flow. But yeah, that’s the biggest change I’ve made, is I ask for help all over the place. [chuckles]

Carlie: So, you’re three businesses in now, to working for yourself in Switzerland. Looking back, how much experience and knowledge did you have of the Swiss system when you decided to go it alone? How aware … did you know where to start?

Melitta: I had no clue. [laughs] But I … I can’t remember who I asked. Somebody told me I need to register with the AVS – it’s called different things in different parts of Switzerland, because we have three national languages here, which adds an extra layer of complication. So, I went to an accountant to help me set up my structure, and she helped me to fill out all of the forms in French correctly. Because my French was okayish, but not good enough to answer and make sure I send exactly the right things, because there are certain things that they’re looking for, and if you don’t say the right things exactly, then they might not agree for you to be …

So, I set myself up as an independent. And now it’s pretty easy to do. Because you can even do it retrospectively. You need three clients. And the reason they ask for that is to make sure that you’re not being employed by a company or a company isn’t sort of trying to sidestep their obligations to help you with your insurances and things like that by making you work as an independent. So you need three different clients, so that’s why they say you can apply retrospectively, because you find your clients first, you start working first, and then you apply to run your business.

Carlie: And your clients can be … do they have to be in Switzerland or can they be anywhere?

Melitta: I think they can be anywhere. As long as you’re invoicing from Switzerland, I think they can be based anywhere.

Yeah, then you fill out your AVS form, and that was it. It was very, very simple. There’s nothing to pay either. I think I paid my accountant 500 francs, which is the same as 500 dollars, to help me with that process. And for that, she did my first-year accounts and set me up with my accounts system as well. So, yeah, that was very reasonable.

There are other structures where you have more of a limited company, and you have to put either 10,000 or 20,000 Swiss francs into that – that’s the investment in your business, you can use that money. [12:04] it’s recommended necessarily, because you kind of always have that buffer and the protection. Yeah, so there are other ways. But if you are just working for yourself and billing directly, then setting up as an independent is a great option, because as I say, you can start doing it, see if it works, and then apply retrospectively. As long as you do it by the end of the year, then that’s find with them.

Carlie: Coming from an office, a fulltime Swiss office environment, to working for yourself, what did you find was advantageous and what did you miss, from not going to an office everyday and having an employer?

Melitta: I definitely didn’t miss the early mornings, [laughs] because I used to have to get up at six o’clock in the morning to get ready, get the early train. I had an hour commute to get to Geneva from where I live. So I didn’t miss that at all. But my boss was great, and he was an amazing mentor, so I definitely missed that. And I missed my team. They were my dream team, they were awesome. So, yeah, that working on your own can get quite lonely. I think it’s very different now. When I started 11 years ago, there weren’t all these coworking spaces and Facebook wasn’t really as active as it is now, and you didn’t have these Facebook groups where you can find amazing people locally. So, I was very much alone.

But now, it’s very different, and I definitely don’t feel alone at all. I’ve got some amazing friends I’ve made through Facebook, I’ve got my success circle, I’ve got different networks I’ve plugged into. So, yeah, now I’m far from alone. [laughs] It’s gone completely the opposite way. But at the time, that was quite difficult. And I know quite a few people find that challenging, working on your own and …

It’s quite a lot of pressure, because my first … I set up a communications consultancy, so I was freelance writing, and also, I was consulting large companies on how to start their internal communications department, how to develop their internal comms strategy, all of that kind of thing. But the first person to ever check your work is your client, whereas when you work in an office, you can always run it by someone else and get someone else’s opinion. And if you’re not quite sure what to do, there’s always someone to turn to. But when you’re on your own, it’s kind of a bit nerve-wracking. You send it over, and you just have to keep fingers crossed.

And invoicing as well – that was always a challenge. Because you know the price you want to set, and what’s fair for your work, but you have no idea what their expectations are, so you just have to send out your invoice and hope it’s okay. And when they come back, and say, “Yeah, no problem,” then you’re like, “Darn it! I should have asked for more.” [laughs] But it’s part of the process anyway.

Carlie: I guess being a leader in the communications department previously, you would have had a good idea, when it came to setting your pricing, of how much you could charge or what was an acceptable market rate?

Melitta: Yeah. I think actually, I could have set my prices a lot higher. But of course, I knew how much we would pay for a consultant, or a trainer or a coach, that kind of thing. So, I did have good ballpark figures. But yeah, sometimes, when you’re writing it out, it feels like quite a lot, and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is a lot of money!” But it was … no one ever came back and said, “How much?” [laughs] It was … it always worked out fine, but I just … it was a bit nerve-wracking sending out those invoices.

The mistake I made was I didn’t have an entrepreneurial mindset as much as I needed to. I still had quite an employee mindset. So, what that meant was I didn’t really set up a business at first, I created another job. When I was talking earlier about how I was really led by what the clients wanted for me, and the contracts that came in, and I said yes and did everything. Instead of saying, “This is my service, this is how I operate, this is who I want to be working with, this is the impact I want to be having,” and creating products and services around that, and then seeing which of the clients’ requests fitted in with that. So, that’s definitely how I do things now. I don’t take on … there’s a lot of people I don’t work with, because they just don’t fit with how I know I feel good working and how I can get the best results. So that was a mistake.

And also, the other thing is when you’re an employee, your company invests in you. They tell you, “Oh, you’re going to go on this training course,” and they pay that for you. I didn’t really invest enough in myself when I started my business. And maybe that’s how I was in this kind of totally isolated bubble and didn’t realize that there are coaches that could have helped me to really realize and nail down and get clear about what exactly I wanted to be doing, what my passions were, how to align that with my skills, and where I’m happiest working, and develop a business, rather than just becoming a bit of a slave to my clients really. [laughs]

I think those are the two things that if people are starting out for the first time, I really encourage them to invest in their self-development. Even if it’s not a massive amount of money that they invest in themselves, to definitely invest time in reading and meeting people and networking and all of these kind of things. And to really make sure they create themselves a business, and not another job.

Carlie: Are there any cultural aspects of working for yourself in Switzerland that you need to keep in mind when it comes to communicating with clients, finding clients, chasing invoices, and that sort of thing?

Melitta: I worked a lot with the international community and international businesses, so in terms of invoicing and chasing, it was like it would be anywhere else, I think. But the big thing here in Switzerland is it’s definitely who you know and who knows you. So, the networking is massive. You will struggle to build a business if you don’t get out and network personally. Because you need at least a small handful of people who are willing to recommend you and refer you, to get you started, and then that process continues.

My first client was so happy with the work I did, he went and sent a message to everyone he knew at Nestle and at other companies who worked in communications, to say that I was now available, that this is what I did, and he was really delighted with my work. And that one referral meant that over the next seven years, I had a lot of work coming to me. I found other work through LinkedIn and other connections I made and my own networking efforts, but that one email that he sent out was huge. So you need to network so that you have people who [that I can] trust you and will do that for you. Because in Switzerland, it’s very much … the work goes to people who other people know or have been recommended personally.

Carlie: And is there anything about running your business in Switzerland that has caught you by surprise? I know you used an accountant when you set up your first business. Here in France, for example, if you have a business website, you must have it in French. Then you can also have it in other languages, but the main website must be in French. Is there anything like that in Switzerland that you need to make sure you’re adhering to?

Melitta: I think it’s pretty easygoing actually. I haven’t come across any rules like that. Maybe I’m going to have them knocking at my door, saying, “Oi!” any moment. [laughs] As long as you pay your taxes, they seem pretty happy for you to run your business as you want. The networking is a big thing.

My second business was a product business, so it was retail. And that’s quite difficult here. Because people are quite conservative, they’re very loyal to their brands and they’re slow to change. So, you really have to engage with people on their terms – so you can’t go to their house, they can’t come to your house, [if you feel] like doing that. It has to be at a professional, nice setting that they will go to. And it’s a long game.

So, I think if someone’s setting up a product business, to make those personal connections and do a lot of networking, do a lot of local events where people can come and experience you … but to recognize it’s going to be a long game. People aren’t just going to jump in with two feet and say, “Yeah, I love this product, I’m going to buy it!” Even if they love it, they will still take their time. They might just buy a small product at first, and see how that feels, and come back for the next one.

And they don’t really like freebies. So, they don’t … I ran competitions and things, and expats would jump in and … expats love competitions. But the local Swiss people were a bit skeptical of competitions. They were like, “Why are you trying to give me something for free?” If I gave out free samples, they were a bit skeptical of that as well. So it’s much better to think in terms of how can you get your product out there in small ways first. So to personal events, outside the home, where they can come and meet you, and give them starter products, starter packs, so they can engage with your brand in a small, safe way first, and then stay in touch with them but in a very personal way, to help build that.

And ask for their advice and their feedback. They’re very good at that. If you ask them, “Could you give me some feedback on these products and who you think they would benefit?”, then they’re very open to that kind of thing. They like to be helpful and share their advice, but yeah, they’re quite slow to change their ways.

I know some other people with a product business, and they felt, “Yeah, I’m going to sell this product, because it’s amazing,” and people were just going to jump on board. But they don’t.

But once they do, then they remain very loyal. So, it’s a long game, but it can be worth it.

Carlie: It must feel extra satisfying then, when you can crack that Swiss market and actually have Swiss customers as opposed to a very large expat customer base.

Melitta: Yeah. Because the expats are great. When you have a product business … mine was luxury skin care that was natural, which is … lots of expats love that. A lot of the women had disposable income and time on their hands, so they were perfect. But they move on. [laughs] So you did all that, you’ve built this great customer base, and then they’d all just disappear at the same time.

So you do need to build up your local customer base at the same time. And yeah, I built up some amazing friendships that way. And it does feel … yeah, it’s very satisfying, when you can break through to that market and build great clients who don’t just feel like clients, they’re more like friends and supporters. If you can get in with a few Swiss people, they are brilliant at recommending you. And that’s very much how the business works here, as I mentioned. Once you get a few happy Swiss customers, they are very happy to talk to their network about you as well. So if you start small and keep at it, and work at giving amazing customer service consistently, so you build up that trust, then that can really explode your business. But it takes time to get started.

Carlie: How important is it to tailor your business, especially, as you said, if it’s product-based, to the area of Switzerland that you’re living in?

Melitta: You can never get to know your clients too well. Well, it has to be relevant. So unless you’re selling socks, you don’t necessarily need to know what color socks they wear. But the more you understand about what their aspirations are, what they’re trying to achieve in their life, not just related to your product but in a wider capacity … because you really need to be able to speak to them in ways that are meaningful, and show that you care. Because people don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care. And that makes a big difference. With the local market, I think that customer care and attention is very important for the Swiss.

I’m in the French-speaking part, which is pretty laidback compared to the German-speaking part. I’m not sure how the Italian part compares. It’s probably somewhere in between. I know in the Swiss-German part, it’s even more difficult to build up these relationships. But at the same time, I have done it. I’ve got a couple of Swiss-German clients, and I say they are just so loyal and lovely. And very supportive. They kind of need to adopt you. [laughs] And once they’ve adopted you, they will do anything to help you. But that process can be quite long. Where I live, in the French-speaking part, it’s pretty much 50/50 Swiss/international community. So it’s a very open-minded area.

There are other parts of Switzerland where it’s not so international at all, and so they’re just a little bit more … not necessarily suspicious, but it takes them longer to understand your motivations and where you’re coming from. Because they really … trust is a very important thing for the Swiss, I think.

Carlie: Melitta, on the practical level … I guess you’re from a two-income household, so the pressure may have been a little bit easier or a little bit less. How did you manage when you decided to go it alone, on aspects like health insurance, making sure you had a steady stream of income? Other things that you take for granted, just come along with having a full-time job, like holidays. How did you compensate for that? Or did you have to compensate for that?

Melitta: Yeah, there are a lot of expenses here in Switzerland, so you do need to make sure that you set yourself up with a business that makes it worth it. Because otherwise you will very quickly get into debt. Service-based business are brilliant, because there’s a lot less outlay than a product business, for example. And if you are doing a product-based business, then you need to make sure it’s a product with a very good return and a good margin. I know there are some options out there, and the margins are like 5%, 10%, and that’s just never going to be enough to cover any of your expenses, unless you have a partner that can cover all of that and you’re just doing it for fun, basically. But then it’s more of a hobby than a business.

Yeah, it’s definitely a consideration, how much you need to earn versus how much you’re going to spend out, because there’s obviously the business expenses, then all these personal expenses on top of that.
I was fortunate that my husband could cover the early days, cover me for that. In my first business, it wasn’t really a problem, because I was earning probably as much part-time as I was earning fulltime. The freelance writing and consultancy is very well paid here. So that was great. And I was fully employed for pretty much seven years.

And in terms of holidays, I don’t really take holidays. I know some people might think, “What? That’s crazy!” But I work very part-time, because my kids are in the Swiss local school system, which is a bit nuts. So they come home for two hours at lunchtime, my eldest daughter sometimes comes home for three hours. Then they only go back to school for like an hour and a half in the afternoon, and then they’re home. So your day is very fragmented.

So I have a bit of help a couple of afternoons, so I get two full days. But the rest of the time is very disjointed, so you have to build your business around that. So with their holidays … I kind of work part-time during the week anyway, which means I can be at home with my kids.

So during the holidays, I do the same thing. I do reduce my hours, but I will put in a little bit of time. Because when I’ve taken a complete break, then I’ve lost complete momentum in my business. And it took me a few months to get back. So it just doesn’t work. But I can just reduce my time and just put in half an hour, an hour a day, to keep the momentum going, keep my … my mind’s in the game. And just help with the mindset and momentum part of the business.

Carlie: So you started with a communications business. You then moved to a product-based business. What’s your third business?

Melitta: My third business is kind of a cumulation of the other two. What I found was really from the early days, so many women were coming up to me and saying, “Gosh, I wish I could do what you do. I would love to work, but I couldn’t work in an office and manage my life and my kids. That wouldn’t work, but working for myself would be perfect. But I could never do that.”

And I think a lot of women have this idea that they couldn’t do it, it’s too much, they’ll wait till the kids are older, or till the kids go to school, and then it’s like, “I’ll wait till the kids go to university.” [laughs] But you’re losing years of your life.

So I was always a bit upset about that mindset. I was like, “Well, of course you can. You don’t have to start an empire. You can start somewhere, and even with just a few hours a week, you can really start a nice business.” So that was always on my mind, and when I worked in [corporate] I set up a women’s network. That was kind of what gave me the courage to start on my own as well. Because I had, time after time, women who said that if they had their time again, they would do anything to work part-time around their kids, because they don’t get that time back, and it goes really fast. And they’ve realized that what they got from their job was not as good as what they could have got from being at home with their kid.

But you know, you learn these things in hindsight. But I took that hindsight and that’s what gave me some of the courage to start my own business.

So, I always wanted to work with women. Three, four years ago, a lot of women started to come to me and ask for my advice, and say, “I want to start off on my own, but I’ve no idea where to start. I’ve got a few ideas. How do I know which is the good one? How do I connect with customers? How do I even start to sell this? And I don’t like selling.” And all of these things, the fears that they had.

I could see that with my skills that I’d built up … I had all of that, and my business and leadership background, plus, at that point, nearly ten years of entrepreneurship as well, running my own business and understanding that it’s not about having the perfect plan. Of course, you do need a bit of a business plan, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve, you need to have all that clarity, and you need some kind of marketing plan. But more than that, you need to have the clarity of what it is that you want from your business, who exactly your clients are, and putting that together to build a business, and not just another job for yourself. You really need to be able to communicate and have this connection with people, if you’re going to build a successful business – particularly, that connection and communication is so important in Switzerland.

And then, finally, you need the confidence to be able to put that into practice. Because you might know what you need to do in theory, but then, stepping outside the font door and making that happen is something else altogether. And confidence is something that I’ve worked on a lot myself, because I was always very shy. I’m an introvert, and my early days in Switzerland, I would just kind of sit in the corner and just smile. [laughs] I found it very difficult to engage, because although I’d made some strides with my shyness, while in business, starting again with … in French, and then with children, it all kind of … I lost a lot of confidence again, and had to start again.

But I started public speaking, and that really helped. I joined a Toastmasters club, and that really pushed me outside my comfort zone on a regular basis. So, with that, I built a lot of confidence. And I’ve been studying confidence a lot.

I started my third business to help women start a business that they love, and understand how to get their clarity first, so that they can … every decision they make is then aligned to their values, aligned to what their clients need, and can really help them build this beautiful business. I help them to understand how to balance their time, so they can be super-productive and get the confidence from that, but also have the time they need for themselves and their family, or the other passions they have. And to learn how to communicate with impact and influence. It’s really bringing together all the skills I’ve learned over the last 25 years, and putting that together in a package that’s going to help other women to start a business they love, and keep growing that, and enjoy the process, and avoid a lot of the stress and overwhelm that’s often associated with entrepreneurship.

Carlie: Finally, what would be your top piece of advice for anyone looking to go out on their own?

Melitta: So … come to me. [laughs]

I think the biggest piece of advice is do ask for help when you need it. It really is the easiest way to get started, and it gives you a lot of confidence when you know you’re doing the right things, because you’ve spoken with someone else. So you could either go to someone, a coach like myself, or a trusted friend or family member in your network, someone who is fully on the same page as you and backs your passion.

Also, to get clear, to have that clarity first. I see so many people start a business, they get going, they start with their marketing, which … their marketing really needs to come almost last, it’s one of the last considerations when starting a business. It’s very important once you’re up and running. But they kind of start getting out there and telling people what they’re doing, but they haven’t yet got it clear in their own mind what they’re doing and who exactly they’re targeting.

So then they’re not getting results, they feel like they’re treading water, and they’re doing all the actions, but they’re not getting any results. So you definitely need the clarity of purpose first – the clarity of purpose, clarity of vision, clarity of your clients. And then bring that together in a clear suite of products. And yeah, communication and networking and connection is really important in Switzerland as well.

So, that would be: Ask for help; get clear; learn how to communicate. Then it all sort of comes together from there.

Carlie: That’s it for this episode. If you have any questions for Melitta or want to share your own experience of working for yourself while living abroad, head over to expatfocus.com, follow the links to our forums and Facebook groups. Check out our other episodes for interviews on all aspects of expat life all over the world. If you like what we do, please leave us a review, on Apple Podcasts or however you listen to the show. And I’ll catch you next time.

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2019

 
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