The legend of Jochen Schweizer: Tips for your business adventure

Would you like entrepreneurial tips from a real legend? Then fasten your seat belt, because this case study is going to be turbulent! Digistore24  spoke to the extreme sports pioneer and trailblazer of Germany’s bungee jumping scene – Jochen Schweizer. This case study gives you the essence of the interview and will show you how Jochen Schweizer overcomes challenges, conquers his fears and which principles he uses to recruit the best employees for his team. As a bonus, you’ll get Jochen Schweizer’s number one top tip at the very end.

Jochen Schweizer’s principles of success

Jochen Schweizer has built a million-dollar business in the area of experience vouchers which have been distributed online since 2004. In 2017, he created an entirely new world of experiences in the form of the Jochen Schweizer Arena, which not only attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and hundreds of corporate events every year but is also the awesome headquarters for his team. How did he achieve this success? Jochen Schweizer has decided to share his principles of success with Digistore24:

  • Determination and goal orientation
    “I have not achieved my goals through ambition but through determination. As soon as I decide to achieve a certain goal or to realize a specific project, I give it my all.”
  • Adapted winning mentality
    “You must never compete in order to win second place because then you have already lost. You can only win when you compete with the will to succeed.”
  • Treat a problem like an interesting challenge
    “… because the problem is not the problem — the problem is our attitude about the problem.”
  • Operational excellence: Always do your best
    “If you want to be successful, then adopt the basic attitude of always giving your best in any situation. For me, this basic attitude not only applies to my professional life but to my life as a whole: When dealing t with other people, my friends, my wife, my children, I always try to give it my best. Sometimes, my best is not enough. I myself am not good enough and often make mistakes — that’s life. But I can always be sure that I’ve given it my all. And besides, if I hadn’t made certain mistakes, then my life probably would have unfolded in a much more comfortable way. But I also wouldn’t have had the chance to master these challenges. They helped me to learn and grow. That’s how my mistakes actually made me who I am today.”  

Jochen Schweizer’s tips for all aspiring entrepreneurs

Jochen Schweizer likes to get involved with promising start-ups. From 2014 to 2016, he participated in three seasons of the VOX start-up series “Die Höhle der Löwen” (Germany’s version of “Dragon’s Den”). In interview with Digitstore24, he summarized his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

  • Make it clear to yourself that you already are an entrepreneur
    “You already are an entrepreneur — the entrepreneur of the life that you are building for yourself. If you make it clear to yourself, then there are no more limits to the entrepreneurship of your professional life.”
  • Do what you love “My business idea grew out of my passion for adventure — money and fame were not my strongest drives, but adventure. The things that you like doing are the things you’ll do often; The things that you do more often are the things you’ll do well.”
  • Search for new ways and take risks
    “If you want to live a fulfilled life,  you have to continuously improve yourself, get out of your comfort zone and take risks. If you want to be an entrepreneur, then you have to be ready to try out new things, accept uncertainty and take risks.”
  • Search for challenges and master them
    “Nothing gives you more self-confidence that remembering challenges you’ve already overcome. Mastered challenges give you courage and help you take risks with a winning attitude. Courage is nothing other than trusting in your own abilities.”

This is how Jochen Schweizer overcame the challenges at the beginning of his journey and what lessons he learned for life

“To realize my very first business idea, I had to overcome my fear of heights and climb very tall trees. I was ten years old and I sold silver-sprayed mistletoe twigs on the Christmas market for 35 Deutschmark. We’re talking about the ‘60s and I was just a kid, so it was a lot of money.  That’s when I discovered money grows on trees. You just have to climb them. This became an idiom and a synonym for the rest of my life. Potentials and opportunities are everywhere, but to get them you have to climb.”

How does one overcome the fear of the challenges posed by the digital era?

“You first have to understand that the fear of failure has nothing to do with digitization. The inventor of the steam engine had to master similar challenges as a web architect today. The challenge when starting a business is always the same: You create a case study of the situation and analyze and evaluate the market, i.e. the competition and customer needs. If you’re brave and creative enough, you can find an entirely new market niche and create new customer needs. And then it depends on two things: Success is built on creativity combined with the absolute will to perform.”

Jochen Schweizer's best principles for building an excellent team of A-players

“I choose my employees depending on their ability to always give their best. Here, things like great training or an academic education play a secondary role for me. We need people who want to get things done in the real world.”

Jochen Schweizer's number one tip for retaining valuable employees
  • Offer a good work/life balance and a certain amount of cool
    “Employees no longer only care about their salary. People now value a good work/life balance, as well as a healthy and cool corporate culture. For example, it was important to me that our office is located inside our experience arena and that the adventures and experiences become tangible for my team. My team also gets immediate, unfiltered feedback, for example when hundreds of happy B2B clients go to a hotel or hop on busses in the evening beaming after a cool conference or seminar.”
  • Pass legal benefits on to your employees
    “According to German tax law, employers can give their employees up to 44 euros per month tax-free in the form of benefits in kind. What does this mean? Firstly, you’re offering your employees a significant financial benefit: After all, every employee can get up to 600 euros tax-free every year. It’s a tax-free salary component that many companies don’t know about and thus don’t use. Secondly, such a contribution can emotionally bind your employees to your company if you are creative and  give your employees something special. If your employees can say that their employer has treated them to a helicopter flight followed by dinner — then that’s something really, really cool.”

→ Why bother retaining employees?
“These days, qualified individuals no longer apply to companies but companies actually apply to qualified individuals. Once you have the right people, you naturally want to keep them. Companies compete with one another for the best employees. Here, factors such as job security and salary are decisive, but they aren’t everything. A cool brand, a great work environment and experiential value are all additional advantages.”

Fun Facts about the Jochen Schweizer brand’s flagship – the new Jochen Schweizer Arena:

600 employees of a B2B client was the largest group to book a teambuilding event at the Jochen Schweizer Arena

Over 850 B2B customers & corporate events in the first year and a half since opening

  Over 600.000 B2C customers in the first year and a half since opening

  20-million euro construction investment in the Jochen Schweizer Arena

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