Monthly Archives: March 2018
RockMe! Retreat

I mentioned in my post Simplify Your Digital Life – On Reducing Complexity” that I learned a few more principles about how I work with the companies I encounter as a small business and private individual. Maybe this helps you to improve your customer experience too.

Reduced Clutter Equals Better Choices

When you consider simplifying your life there are certain standards that you expect. One example that comes to my mind is a website for a seemingly simple transaction such as buying a ticket or sending flowers. In both cases, those websites were overly full of information and had too many options. I probably just clicked what I thought was right, did not read the fine print and made mistakes.

Treat your Costumers like Intelligent Humans

Another site annoyed me in the last part of the buying process where I had invested already about half an hour selecting and declining additional options because they did not tell me that the delivery cost would be added at the end of the transaction. You probably think that this is normal and that I should not be surprised. I understand the principle, but what I did not like was that the delivery cost about 100% of the product. That was way out of proportion and did not make sense to me. I would have expected that there is a standard service with a delivery (a bunch of flowers). Maybe it’s my inexperience with such transactions but I gave feedback. I got a reply but it did not help…but at least I did not have to speak to a robot again.

Consumers should not be treated like idiots. I am happy to spend money but I want to feel that my money is well spent and in a lot of those cases I wasted either time or money because of lame processes or lack of customer service. I often wonder then why employees take no pride in their work, why they are not trying to make their customers happy, why they are not communicating better. The only explanation I have is our corporate culture. If we want to create amazing customer experiences, we also have to create better employee experiences. I think we also need to give our employees more freedom to make decisions to support the customers, like the lady who helped me at the SNCF counter. I also think we need to hire Generation X customer service representatives into shared service centers, who do not treat a 45-year-old like their best friend or their worst enemy and who have the patience to explain a process step by step.

As a Customer Give Feedback

These days, if I come across a bad website or a bad email marketing newsletter I give feedback. I know that I have not been asked to provide feedback, but I know that most of the time it helps me a lot. There are so many misunderstandings in written communication, we all come from different places and for most of us we feel challenged to communicate in our mother tongue, let alone in a second or third language.

Customer Service of Humans Tops Everything

I was annoyed by SNCF, the Novotel, and other sites because they did not allow me easily to reverse a transaction that I made in good faith. I lost money and time. While I am writing this post I am sitting in the same hotel that had annoyed me a few months back. I did not book it. There is no better option either. However, this time I was not expecting service and I was wondering if anyone would talk to me about my 1-star review on TripAdvisor. I even did not have a functioning credit card as a guarantee for them. BUT my experience is amazing. I needed help as I am unwell. I got free medicine and a fresh lemon for tea. The kitchen staff gave me lemons. I was treated friendly and could choose the floor and have a great view now. I am almost considering to reverse the bad review…but then logging in to Tripadvisor took too long again. Maybe I leave it there for a little longer to keep them on their feet.


Kind regards

Angie Weinberger


Guest post by DAVID NEWGASS

Finding a job in today’s global landscape can be a daunting task. With so many qualified people vying for the same position, it can be challenging to envision ways you can make yourself stand out.

If you are looking to give yourself an extra edge, here are four types of training that will prepare you for today’s global workplace.

1. Technical Skills Training

No matter what technical level you are at, there are always areas of your skills that you can improve. Technical skills are those that include the knowledge of doing things such as data analysis, content writing, social media management, coding, programming, etc.

This form of training is fundamental to your employee education as it is the key to knowing how to do your job right, technically. Even if you already know how to do your job, it is almost guaranteed that there is still more for you to learn.

By engaging in ongoing skills training on a regular basis, you will ensure that you are staying up-to-date with the latest developments in your field and that you are well equipped for today’s global workplace.

Look for training that utilizes a full range of blended learning solutions on sales and management skills development topics, including videos, e-learning, podcasts, and online support solutions.

2. Soft Skills Training

How you act in your position is just as crucial as what you actually know – that’s why soft skills training is so essential for growth in your career. Soft skills pertain to the personal attributes that enable employees to interact harmoniously and effectively with other people in the workplace, including management, co-workers, and customers.

Having a gap in primary soft skills among company employees affects company success significantly and increases turnover rates.

Whether you are a new or existing employee or are just trying to get your foot in the door, soft skills training is useful as it demonstrates that you understand and appreciate one solid fact — that soft skills are an effective way to build an efficient, respectful and collaborative workplace culture.

Some soft skills to consider improving include:

  • Communication skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Leadership skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Time management
  • Ethics
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability

3. Taking NEBOSH Courses

The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) develops syllabi, assignments, and exams to Accredited Course Providers who then create training courses to prepare candidates for NEBOSH qualifications.

For those who are looking to work in health and safety positions, a NEBOSH qualification is often required. For many, their career progression is closely linked to enhanced NEBOSH qualifications.

As the UK’s most popular health and safety qualification, the NEBOSH Certificate is very well known and highly regarded, making it an ideal choice for those looking to launch a career in safety. Companies are realizing the importance of health and safety training and are favoring potential employees who have obtained this knowledge.

To get started on the path to obtaining an online NEBOSH certificate, you do not usually need any formal entry requirements.

4. Taking IOSH Courses

In today’s global workplace, health and safety are top priorities and primary objectives for firms, not only in hazardous fields such as mining and construction but also in occupations that are considered low-risk, such as banking or real estate.

For this reason, if you are serious about ensuring that you remain a vital and valuable member of your team, you should future-proof your career by refreshing and updating your knowledge and skills in health management.

Taking an IOSH course is one of the most significant ways you can do this, as this learning module is created by top international occupational health and safety experts. With this, you can be sure that the curriculum will be aligned with world-class standards and up-to-date strategies.

It would be a great addition to your cache of capacities as a mid-career professional, whether as a supervisor, team leader, manager, or any other role where you have to oversee other employees.

If you are a company owner who is considering hosting one of these online employee training sessions, remember that they save you time and money, as no one needs to be scheduled to give the lessons with every new update or batch of new hires. You can also train multiple locations at various times for no extra cost.

They guarantee informational consistency across all levels, so you can rest assured that everyone gets the same information and training, and they provide employees with easy access to information, reducing uncertainty, misinformation, and error.

About the Author

Owner, Managing Director and Big Kahuna at Wise Global Training Ltd
David Newgass

Dave Newgass is the owner and Managing Director of Wise Global Training Ltd. Born and raised in a small California coastal fishing town but now living in the United Kingdom, Dave’s goal is to ensure that clients are not only happy with the IOSH and NEBOSH online courses they purchase from Wise Global Training Ltd. but are also happy with the total experience as a whole.

Editor’s Note: If you would like to measure your success in improving your skills, you could join the Global People Transitions’ second pilot group for the RockMe! App. Still free until 30 June 2018.

Guest post by Jacqueline Vicario

Some say Feng Shui is the Chinese art of arranging the furniture in your home. But I can assure you, as a certified Feng Shui consultant (FSS), it really is so much more! It’s all about your own energy and where you put it. What does this have to do with spring cleaning? It’s simple: The outer order reflects your inner order. Meaning: If I am unhappy with myself and the world, or feel tired and worn out, my home usually looks like a bomb has struck with things lying around everywhere. After I clean it all up again I always feel so much more satisfied than before. I now feel ‘clean’ inside and am ready to conquer the world again.

Winter is a time of rest and darkness. It is the last season in the lifecycle, representing stagnation or even death as everything slows down and freezes. In those days I get lazy and love to curl up in a warm blanket on the sofa and do as little as possible.

Once the days get longer and temperatures begin to rise the yearly lifecycle starts all over again. Spring is the time of birth and growth. What better time to turn new ideas into projects? But before I can start my new projects, I want to get rid of the old dirt and all the unwanted, unloved stuff. This is where my spring cleaning comes in.

Remember how my outside (the home I live in) represents what my inside looks like? I admit that during the winter I put things into drawers just to have them out of the way quick. After a while this disorder starts to irritate me. It’s now time to do something about this mess!

Then I realize there is soooooo much to do, but where do I start? When I think about it I get overwhelmed, don’t know where to start and end up doing nothing at all. I feel like I will never ever get it all done, that it will take me forever and right now I just don’t have time for this…

Here are some tips that really help me get started with my spring cleaning:

1. I start small and decide to do only one thing at a time.

If I decide to clear out only one drawer today (not the whole commode!), then I usually get it done, because the goal is reachable within a short amount of time. Usually the energy comes while cleaning and if I have time to spare I continue and do another one and another and before I know it it’s all done. If I don’t have the time I just do the next drawer the following day.

2. Throw away the things you don’t love anymore

When going through my stuff I find all sorts of things, that I had forgotten about and I ask myself:

  1. Do I still love it?
    Yes = keep it / No = on to the next question (valid for all questions below)
  2. Does it raise good/happy memories when I use it or look at it?
  3. Will I ever need it again?
  4. Will I miss it when it’s gone?

If I say YES, I find a good place to put it and go on to the next thing.

If the answer is NO to all these questions, then into the trash it goes. Sometimes the item still looks new and I am reluctant to throw it out, then I either sell it on eBay/ etc. or ask around if anyone can use it or who may love to have it.

3. Sort out your Wardrobe

The same goes for my wardrobe. Here I ask myself the following questions:

  1. When was the last time I wore this? If it was more than 2 years ago out it goes
  2. Do I feel/look good when I wear it? If not, out it goes.

4. Treat yourself after reaching the set goal

After I finish cleaning out that one drawer or my wardrobe, I treat myself to a nice little break. This could be a cup of tea on the sofa, or 30 Minutes of reading in my favorite book or just put my feet up for a few minutes and congratulate myself.

Clearing out old stuff gives me space and energy for new things and ideas. Cleaning up is actually step 1 of my professional Feng Shui advice. Before you rearrange any furniture or paint any walls its important to clear out unloved and unwanted things.

If you are interested in learning more about Feng Shui or wish to have a professional Feng Shui consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can also visit

Looking forward to meeting you and happy spring cleaning!

Kind regards


Jacqueline Vicario

Jacqueline Vicario
Dipl. Feng Shui Beraterin FSS since 2013

Jacqueline was born in New York, N.Y. USA to Swiss parents, who were interested in iGing and Feng Shui.  Raised half in Switzerland and half in the USA but calling Switzerland her home for the last 30 years. Works as an Administrative Assistant and Feng Shui Consultant

FSS = Feng Shui Schule Schweiz

Martina has not been able to find a new job for six months. It’s not because of her qualifications. She is well qualified and has work experience. It might be her self-confidence and that she gets nervous in interviews.

She thinks one of the reasons for her lack of success at securing a job is that she is very realistic about her skills and when asked in an interview she is honest. I guess successful candidates aren’t always honest. That’s the message she got.

Successful people are better at conveying who they are and how they work.

I have made a small mistake in my earlier career. I worked away and assumed that someone would notice my great performance. Colleagues were promoted faster and earned more money. Then one day, one of my former managers pointed it out to me. She asked me how my current manager would notice that I was working hard while I was in a different country.

I got better at communicating to my manager what I was doing and how I contributed to the success of the team. Had she not told me I would probably still sit in that same office, doing the same job. I asked for weekly meetings with my new manager and  even wrote quarterly summaries of what I had achieved. This not only led to more praise and faster promotions, I also got more self-confident and daring. I was even headhunted.

Another manager showed me how to improve my self-branding. She recommended a number of great books to me. All managers who really helped me move forward were women. Maybe because they understood that we tend to be more critical towards ourselves and that we do not always sell ourselves in the best possible manner.

I am very grateful to those managers. As I care for Martina and you, I want her and you to succeed.


  1. Write a weekly reflection for yourself at the end of the week. (You can use the RockMe! App for guidance).
  2. Share your three weekly achievements with your manager.
  3. In your 1:1 tell your manager what you have accomplished and where you struggle. If you don’t have a 1:1 do it in writing.
  4. Share more than you take. Share your knowledge in your internal yammer and sharepoint.
  5. Share your knowledge on LinkedIn, highlight interesting posts to colleagues and start guest blogging.

Have an inspired week ahead
Angie Weinberger

How to make friends in Switzerland

“Why did I not learn more about Finance?” I repeatedly asked myself since I started my own business and will I ever get my head around the financial side of the business? Will I ever get better at managing cash flow?

It didn’t make sense to me. I was good with computing cost projections and balance sheets for expats. I can explain the difference between purchasing power parity and cost-of-living index. I can tell you how COLA relates to foreign exchange rates. I was excellent in Math as a student. So it’s NOT that I don’t like numbers.

My issue was more that I lacked the practical understanding of a “good housewife”. I didn’t know how much a liter of milk would normally cost in the supermarket. I didn’t know those little secrets of saving money in Switzerland such as the fact that Migros and Denner are essentially under the same corporate umbrella but you can buy twice as much food at Denner.

When I was working as a Global Mobility Leader, I had a good paycheck. In Germany, I would even go grocery shopping in the “bio” shop Alnatura. My mother would say that I might as well go shopping in a pharmacy. For me, this meant “quality of life”. It meant that I would not be stressed at the cashier on Saturday because five other people were in line behind me.

There was another issue why I stopped learning more about finance, investments, saving money when I was employed: I had a bad relationship with money. Money stinks. Money doesn’t make you happy. When you have money, you don’t talk about it. I had all sorts of relationship issues with money.

This article is for you if you started out as a business owner or if you feel that you need to heal your relationship to money. And if you are not a female but you feel you need to get better with money, you may read this article as well. Let’s try to understand a few basics of finance and financial independence.

Maintain one spreadsheet called Cash Flow Plan

If you want to run a sustainable business, work with a cash flow plan. It can be a simple one, but you need to have your finances in order. In the early days of my business, I asked my BFF (who is a Finance guru) to review my business plan. She explained that I would just need to ensure that there is a cash flow in and that it is bigger than the cash flow out. Easier said than done, but I still use that same plan in year nine.

Moving from a monthly fixed income to a fluctuating income

When you are used to a certain lifestyle with a fixed monthly income you rely on that paycheck a lot because you tend to tailor your lifestyle around your consistent monthly income. If you are unemployed or if you start out as a freelancer you have to get used to a fluctuating income. You probably had 100’000 CHF in your bank account as a starting capital and reserve and in my experience, you will need that in Switzerland in your first two years in business (unless your business is a hobby).

Finding finance information that you actually want to read

This is a challenge I have addressed with bankers several times already. Most financial information is written in a way that no one wants to read it. Some of it does not even make a lot of sense. I received a weird letter the other day and sent it back with edits and side comments. The main message was: We could not deduct money from your account but there was a lot of fluff around it. It took me a while to understand why this company wrote to me. I have started to read the Cashguru blog now, so at least I know what is going on at the SMI in Switzerland.

KPI’s for MNC’s might not fit for small businesses

I studied Finance in college, so you would think I get it but most of these models relate to MNCs, not small businesses. This knowledge does not really help in practical matters such as where to buy in bulk or how to maintain a cash reserve. The most important KPI I remember from uni is the relation between borrowed capital and your own capital. Now, if you start out, you might just want to use your own capital. That’s a lot smarter than lending. For the years ahead, you need to find a healthy ratio between investing and earning. That’s all. Don’t forget that in Switzerland if you have a sole proprietorship a lot of your reporting obligations change at the magic 100k CHF turnover mark.

Learn Vocabulary

If you want to appear financially competent when talking to your bank manager, financial advisors, insurance brokers, mortgage providers, or lawyers, you need to know a few basics and speak their language. For example, you need to understand interest and how it works. Also negative interest, debt, and how you get into debt. What is an advantage of a mortgage versus paying rent? How do open and closed investment funds actually work?

I agreed with my bank lady, that we would meet in person once a year to go through the main issues and look at my risk profile and discuss my financial planning for the year. I enjoy that I have a personal contact and someone who helps out in case I need urgent support with online banking.

Learn about budgeting

In the early years and even before I launched GPT, I used to spend more than I earned. I applied “Reaganomics”. What works in politics, does not really work for a small business. At the time, I did not really understand that this investment could hinder my potential for getting out of the red figures in the long term.

I sometimes took bad financial decisions. For example, I started to pay myself a salary too early. I listened to an advisor and should have listened to my gut feeling. Remember that other people’s experiences in the business world could be biased. They have opened their business many years before. Switzerland has also suffered from the global economic crisis.  Often the Swiss have access to networks that foreigners will not really get into. Also, men might have faster results than women because of unconscious biases of their buyers.

Depending on your type of business, you should have a current account, which balances your company and your personal investments and costs. I would advise that you separate your private and company accounts.

Dealing with a cycle of costs

My business is cyclical and once I understood the cost and earning cycle, I could prepare myself better for the downtimes. For example, I have a lot of annual invoices in January but January is often a slow month.
It’s generally better to split invoices into smaller parts. Often, when you ask the insurance provider they are willing to support you on a payment plan. If you want to be ahead of your costs, you should ask for larger invoices and pay them as soon as you possibly can.

Learn to manage cash flow

One cardinal rule I have broken a little bit in 2017 was that I try to pay all my own vendors in advance so that they would always get their money. It means that I have to budget their quarterly invoices too and it happened once or twice that I had to put a service on hold because of lack of funding.

Another principle I have developed is to check my account twice or thrice a week, sometimes even daily. I try to issue an invoice as soon as the service has been delivered or as soon as the booking has been confirmed.

Many large relocation companies and training agencies have very long payment periods. I suffered greatly from these in the early years of my business. I had delivered a service but sometimes was only paid 60 to 90 days later. In some instances, invoices got lost in cost center discussions and bad processes. Once I got paid two years later only. Now, I am more careful about the agreements in the contracts and I try to follow up on outstanding invoices faster. I use a “Small Invoices” to manage my invoicing process.

Read and study

Even though Finance is not my favorite subject, I found out that if I research more about a topic, I can reduce hassle and costs for my business. For example, I clarified how the VAT-system works when working across borders. On invoices I received from service providers outside of Switzerland, I asked them to change their invoices so that my company would show as responsible for VAT. I also found a good rule for issuing invoices for service providers located out of Switzerland. In my first year claiming VAT back on a company car paid my rent and expenses for a month.

Review your Pricing

I review my pricing every year and check if my services are still at the price level where I feel I should get paid. It is not always possible for me to insist on a certain rate or price but I got a lot better asking for it. I see a lot of women who undersell themselves or do not even consider that they could earn more. In my RockMe! program we define a financial goal for every client.

Buy local where you need service

I buy local where I need service. Everything else I try to order online. You might be wondering why I need to have human interaction to buy a mundane product like toner, paper or pens. The reason is that for me these shopping trips are a pleasure. I like to go to the “Papeterie” and browse what they have on offer. It’s not just a transaction.

Invest in yourself the most

Over the years as a company owner and Managing Director of I allowed most of my investments to be investments in myself. I enjoy having a beautiful working space I can go to and hang out in all day. I love to go to seminars and invest in my skills and knowledge. I know that I have to be better than average in order to stay competitive and that requires that I keep up to date with technology, knowledge in my field and update my skills constantly. Maybe it’s time to go to a Finance course.

Money and Food

I noticed with a friend recently that money and food have a lot in common too. If you tend to overeat you might also have a tendency to overspend. I am currently fasting from certain foods and from money. It means that I try to reduce my spending to the bare essentials. It helps once in a while to have an empty fridge, to buy only what you really need, and drop the coffee at Starbucks or the wines at Bohemia

Angie Weinberger

PS: Are you struggling with how to set your price tag?
Check out these PRICING articles on my blog.

HireMeExpress – From desperate to confident as a Minority Expat Partner. 

HireMeExpress is the online course that will get you from desperate to carving out an income and feeling at home in your new country. Sign up here to find out everything you need to know in order to land a job in Switzerland or another market you are not familiar with. We will send you our 19 Fresh Resume Checkpoints and further material such as videos. In case you have any questions you can email us via