If you’ve been following My Swiss Story for a while, then you must know that the “Entrepreneur of the Month” Series is the closest to my heart. Via this series, we aim to bring out interesting entrepreneurial stories of women from all across the world to inspire, educate and motivate our readers. So, keeping the tradition of supporting and celebrating women entrepreneurs on this platform, today we have yet another story of the wonderful Kelly Brändli – a dating and relationship coach who’s found her purpose, helping men and women find their “Happily Even After”. After speaking to her a couple of times and also after putting together this article – I was fascinated by her journey, the ups and downs, career changes to finally finding her purpose!
Intrigued to know more about her business in this off-beat sphere? Read on as she gets candid about the nitty-gritties of her life, business, and passions.
Q: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself
I’m Kelly Brändli, originally from the beautiful West Coast city of Vancouver, Canada. I’m a mother and stepmother of 2 boys (10 and 11 years), as well as a Dating and Relationship Coach with a passion for helping men and women find love, and create extraordinary relationships after divorce, or as an adult child of divorced parents.
I moved to Switzerland in 2001 with my then boyfriend shortly after graduating from university. Within a couple of years, I found a great new career in the pharmaceutical industry, got married, and fell in love with the country and all that Europe had to offer.
After a decade in the corporate pharma world, I started to feel like I “had it all” and then, almost overnight, my life changed dramatically, and my marriage ended!
Q: Tell us about your current business
Following the end of my marriage, I realised how lonely it can get when you don’t have someone to share your life with and all your family are abroad. Eventually I started to date again. After a few failed relationships though, I realised I needed to do something different if I was ever going to have the type of relationship I truly desired.
My own journey led me to work with a Life Coach, a Matchmaker, and finally to study the science behind dating and relationships. One thing I realised is that very few people understand the challenges of finding love after divorce, or even as an adult child of divorced parents. Many of us simply didn’t have the role models growing up to teach us how to build lasting, loving, and happy relationships. Our parents did the best they could, but if we weren’t shown the right way, we’ll likely struggle in our own intimate relationships.
Today, I have a new purpose in life, and I help men and women find their Happily Even After. For some it’s after their own divorce, and for others they’re adult children of divorce who have always struggled with relationships and never could figure out why.
When I work with clients, my overall goal is to help them find “The One” and to create a healthy, loving, and not only good, but extraordinary relationship. I incorporate both Dating and Relationship Coaching as well as Matchmaking in my work.
There are three key areas I focus on:
- Letting go of the past
- Learning to become The One so they can Find The One
- Updating their Dating Strategy for today’s modern dating world
Q: Tell us your story, how did you come up with this idea?
This isn’t my first business; I first became an entrepreneur in 2009 after moving to Austria.
Starting that business was driven out of a personal need. My husband had taken a job in Austria and initially we decided to have a weekend marriage. He planned on living Monday to Friday in Vienna and coming home on the weekends. After about 6-months of living this way, his trips home became less frequent (you know how this ends!). I wanted to save our marriage, so I decided to quit my job and move to Austria to be with him. I looked for several months for a new job, but having worked in the International Pharma industry, I had neither the skills nor the language to work at the national level. I simply wasn’t employable in Austria.
Now in my early 30s, and having built a successful career, I had a lot of experience and knew a lot of people. Initially I started out as a Marketing Consultant, and within a few months I was running large international projects and needed to hire teams to deliver. Being able to leverage my network and work on a short-term project basis uncovered a gap in the industry that I decided to fill. That’s how my Temporary Staffing company was born.
Like any business it had its ups and downs. The first few year’s things ran pretty easily. Then as time passed, and because I was no longer inside the industry, it became harder for me to get new clients. After having my son in 2011 it was clear that things couldn’t continue the way they were, and so my husband and I agreed to relocate (together) back to Switzerland.
Things got better after the move but then, in June of 2013, my husband came home from work one day and while I stood at the top of the stairs waiting to welcome him home, he dropped a bombshell…
“Kelly, I’ve decided to move out, I don’t love you anymore and I need to find myself” he said.
You can imagine the shock I felt! You see just earlier that very same day we had met for lunch and discussed having a second child and moving to a bigger house!! That day marked the end of my marriage, and the beginning of a nine-year court battle over custody and money. You can read more about what happened here.
It took me a couple of years to get back on my feet, and in 2015 I was fully back in business and things took off again. My company grew and grew, I hired a team, and by 2018 I was turning over multiple seven figures. Life was great and I was loving it! It was hard work being a single working mother, but I felt like I had found my grove and my career was back on track.
Then as we all know, COVID hit!
Suddenly no one was hiring, and all the major Pharma companies started to let go of temporary staff. Almost overnight my business was gone, and I was on the edge of financial ruin due to overhead costs and plummeting revenue. I had to make one of the toughest decisions any entrepreneur ever has to make – to pull the plug!
Okay, it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but it felt like a MAJOR decision at the time.
Today we all know the term PIVOT and that’s more of what I did. I used all the skills I’d acquired (networking, search, selection, and matching) and turned my recruiting company into a Matchmaking company, helping people find love instead of jobs.
With all that I was going through in my personal life, and all that I’d learned, it was a perfect next step and something I was totally passionate about.
Q: What is a day like “in your heels?” or if you wear Flats (like me)
I try to get regular exercise several times a week; I find it helps me to stay focused and grounded and gives me the energy I need for the day. For that reason, I usually start my day with some form of exercise, be it yoga at home or heading off to the gym for a workout.
As I grew my business mainly during the pandemic, I work almost exclusively online via Zoom. This has allowed me to work with clients all over the world, and while most of them are located in Switzerland and Europe, I also have clients in Asia, Canada and the USA. Now, with the easing of the pandemic, I have more and more requests for in person coaching and live events, so I’m planning some changes for next year to make that happen.
I coach clients on a private 1-1 basis, as well as through my different Dating Mastery Group Coaching Programs. So, my typical day is a combination of coaching sessions mixed in with what I call “Breakthrough” calls. These are calls I have with people who want to learn more about working with me. They’re intended to help them “breakthrough” all their excuses and stories, so they can finally see the truth about what’s really going on and what has been standing in their way of love.
These calls can be life changing for people because they always learn something major about themselves. People often feel these calls are magical; they can’t imagine that someone can relate to them and understand their struggles so quickly. This is the true power of having such a focused niche in my business. Because I’ve worked with hundreds of men and women, and have deeply learned the patterns and common problems they come up against, I can spot them quickly. This experience is of immense value for my clients and, combined with my own personal experience, forms the secrete to my success.
Q: For women entrepreneurs/leaders/content creators, what specific advice would you have?
Having been self-employed for over a decade, I’ve found that having a strict schedule in my calendar is key to loving my business and not being overworked. It helps me to have time for all the things I want and need to get done during the week.
Years ago, I didn’t schedule my time well and would take meetings and meet with clients when it suited them. This meant that my family, and especially my self-care, fell short. I spent many years frustrated and close to burn out, and sometimes wanting to give up because it felt like I worked 24/7. Although I’m far from perfect with my time management now, I am 200% better than I use to be, and I don’t get overwhelmed with wearing so many hats anymore. Given the work I do now, it’s especially important that I’m present for my clients and multitasking has no place in being present.
I’m also so grateful that I was an entrepreneur when I went through my divorce, as well as raising my son as a single parent. The flexibility I had to take time off when he was sick, or when I wasn’t doing well mentally or emotionally was invaluable. I really believe that has been one of the greatest contributors to me thriving over the last decade. I’ve also coached a couple of clients to start their own businesses as they go through the process of their divorces and rebuilding their lives, because it’s been so beneficial for me.
Being an entrepreneur has really helped me build the life that I wanted to live after my divorce. I’ve now met the most amazing man who’s also an entrepreneur, and we share a life, a patchwork family, and an office together. We both run our own separate businesses but get to enjoy morning coffee together, occasional long lunches out of the office, and the chance to continually invest in our relationship as a couple.
If you’d like to like to learn more about Kelly and her business, watch her free webinar “Happily Even After – Finding Love After Divorce or as an Adult Child of Divorce”.. You can also visit the website at https://kellybrandli.com/ for more information on her coaching and matchmaking services. The testimonials on her website speak for themselves!
If you are a female entrepreneur or know one whose story needs to be heard, we’re waiting to hear from you.
Are you enjoying our content? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments sections. Stay tuned for more resources, our editorial panel is talking about – swiss travel, ex-pat living, mental health, nutrition, wellness, autumn, and activities for children. Stay well and stay with us!
To read posts from October, click here