Expat Entrepreneur: Jennifer Harvey Sallin in Switzerland
Holistic coach Jennifer Harvey Sallin advises other expat entrepreneurs to take advantage of the forward-thinking and supportive international community in Switzerland.
Name: Jennifer Harvey Sallin, MA, LLPC, NCC
Country of residence: Switzerland
Name of company: Rediscovering Yourself: Healing-Coaching-Meditation
Date of company launch: 20-12-2011
Can you give us a brief description of your business and how it is going?
Rediscovering Yourself (www.rediscovering-yourself.com) is a coaching collaboration with a holistic approach to healing, business and personal coaching, and meditation instruction. I am one of the coaches in the collaboration, and I am now based in Switzerland. I've been coaching for eight years, but this current collaboration is relatively new. It is progressing very well, with lots of support from other well-established coaches and therapists here, I am happy to report.
What do you like about doing business in Switzerland?
I have found a wonderfully supportive community of expats and fellow coaches, therapists, and holistic practitioners. This has generated endless creativity and courage for me.
What do you find most frustrating about doing business in Switzerland?
I find the rule-for-rule's-sake mentality of Swiss bureaucracy frustrating.
What hurdles did you encounter when setting up?
The biggest hurdle was the assumption of others that I absolutely need a "real job" with guarantees. I haven't lived like that for years!
How has the economic crisis affected your business?
I have been coaching for eight years, and started my first coaching business when I still lived in America. I have seen a lot of change in that time -- my business went through a big lull at the beginning of the economic crisis because clients were in panic about their money loss -- and then I was scared too!
I had to become really clear about what was important to me. That turned out to be good news because it gave me the courage in the end to face all my fears and to truly have a sense of who I am and what I stand for.
I've seen the same process occur in my clients -- people are becoming more and more clear on what really matters to them. In my business of accompanying others on their journey to self-understanding and enlightenment, well, this is an invaluable lesson for us all!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs setting up business in Switzerland?
Connect with other entrepreneurs, find a good business coach, take advantage of the forward-thinking and supportive expat community here!
How does running a business in Switzerland compare to running a business in other countries that you have lived in?
I have worked as a coach in America, Italy, and Switzerland. In America, life is more chaotic with constant distractions available -- sometimes it can be hard to focus. In Italy, it is harder to make things progress -- Italy has a rhythm of its own, and depending on where you are, the mentality isn't always open to personal change.
Switzerland so far, at least for my coaching work, seems to have a slightly better combination of open-mindedness and simplicity of lifestyle that supports my style of work. But, I still miss having a good Italian cappuccino every morning!
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