Meet Yuri Kruman - Corporate Employee Experience and PR/Media Consultant, Forbes and Entrepreneur Contributor, CEO of MasterTheTalk.com, Speaker, Author, and Startup Advisor
What is your best advice to a younger entrepreneur hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Don't do it (#KiddingNotKidding). In all seriousness, don't follow anyone's footsteps. You have your own story and your own "zone of genius." Learn from every person you encounter in person or otherwise, whose book you read or whose TED talk you hear. Learn for both the good and bad - what to do and what not to do when you're in a similar position or making a similar decision. The key is to learn from people who succeeded despite challenges similar to yours. Learn their best practices and apply them, as relevant to your situation. Never compare yourself to anyone, except to the younger, less wise and mature version of yourself. Take ownership of your story, language and psychology. When you have nothing else in the world, you always have control over your thoughts, speech and actions. Set up boundaries around your time and energy for emotions and decision-making. There are limited and non-renewable resources. Cut away people ad habits from your life that are anything but helpful to your life mission and values. The simplest way to start a business is around delivering a service or product that is easy for you to deliver/create, provides massive value to clients and for which there is significant market need. From that, you can create a product, service, brand, ideal client profile and unique selling proposition. Before you invest a lot of time and resources in building those, first see if you can actually sell something (maybe not even built yet) to one or even a few customers, for proof of concept. And remember, forgive yourself quickly and see failure as just quick iteration toward a working version.
What is your ‘genius space’?
My area of greatest mastery is the nexus between language and psychology, both my own and that of each intended audience. This is what underlies my executive coaching work, writing and speaking, as much as employee experience and PR/Media consulting work. It is remarkable for me to see what happens when professionals learn, then perfect their communication with themselves, as well as with other team members, clients, advisors, investors, vendors and other stakeholders in their work and life.
Voice inflections change. Posture improves. Amazing ideas flow. People become better, more open and creative versions of themselves, increasing productivity, engagement and work product quality, stimulating creativity and decreasing employee turnover, which in turn improves the bottom line. My motto in business is, ."Human First. Resource Second."
The work I do is my way of fixing the world, one human at a time. It combines several things I've always loved doing, including deep exploration of people's "founding stories" to help them find, pursue and monetize their life mission by playing Sherlock Holmes; helping people to improve their health by helping them find alignment and clarity in work and business; being a rabbi by providing unconditional love and actionable guidance to clients who lack it; being a super-connector between humans and the resources they need to be successful in helping others improve their human condition through their work.
Finally, at the very core of my work, I get to help people on a daily basis to own and tell their stories in a way that "clicks" and helps them create and convert opportunity for themselves and others, which creates a virtuous cycle.
How do you create a work/life balance?
In our times of super-connectedness and entrepreneurial workaholism, it's damned near impossible to find a "balance" between work and life. That said, there are certain things I do to set boundaries with clients even while going full-blast during work hours. Firstly, as an observant Jew, I keep the Sabbath every week, meaning I don't touch electronic devices and devote time to family, community and regular self-reflection. During work days, I steer all clients and discovery calls to my scheduler, which strictly blocks out time for evenings with family, gym visits, semi-regular dates with my wife and play time with our two daughters (4 and 2). Sundays are for day trips and work in the evenings to prepare for the week. As a consultant and coach, the lifestyle design purposely favors flexibility and being able to take time for an occasional ice cream with my kids in the daytime, if I feel like it. As with all things, it's all a matter of budgeting time and resources appropriately and having good help to take care of the home and kids.
There is never "enough" time to do everything one needs to as an entrepreneur, since there is always more one can do to add revenue, create more content, help more clients, etc. But if you don't set boundaries for yourself and with the people you work with, you will burn out quickly.
And so, in my case, there isn't so much "balance," as there is mindful integration between the two and strict boundaries to recharge and spend precious time with family, which is the reason I'm doing all this, in the first place.
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