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31: Find your Zone of Genius with Yuri Kruman

Yuir Kruman- Business Breakthrough Podcast
Yuri Kruman has had a long journey to where he is now. After having four careers in a span of twelve years, he left his last job after being betrayed by a boss who was also a friend, to finally live his own life. In this episode we discuss how to find your best self and how to express that professionally. Whether transitioning careers, getting promotions or starting your own business, there are a few tools that can help you identify what is the right direction to go in and how to turn that into a profitable business. We also discuss the struggle of private consultants and coaches who aim to go into the corporate world, when the corporate world usually hires corporate-type consulting firms. Tune in to hear what can be done to make that jump from small time to the big clients.




My Guest: Yuri Kruman

Yuri is a Fortune 500 Personal Development Consultant, board member, startup advisor and official member of the Forbes Coaches Council and Forbes contributor. Yuri’s consulting, advising and coaching portfolio includes speaking engagements, workshops and advisory work on personal and professional development, focused on Employee Experience (EX), HR Transformation / Change Management, Customer Experience (CX), PR/Media and business strategy, impacting thousands of Fortune 500 and startup executives. A regular guest on top podcasts such as Entrepreneur on Fire, As Told By Nomads, Conscious Millionaire and The Blind Entrepreneur, he’s also been published or featured on Inc., Fast Co., Time, Mashable, PBS, BBC and numerous top blogs, TV and radio. In his corporate work, Yuri trains client teams on ways to maximize their EX, especially talent retention, learning and development using storytelling, branding and proprietary personal development strategies.


Pivotal Moments:

Yuri went to New York to get his Ph.D in neuro-science. On the side, he opened his first start-up, the first Jewish social network.
Left the Ph.D program to work as a paralegal, graduating from law school into the recession.
Didn’t find a law job, so went into hedge funds and finance, working with compliance and credit risk. Again, Yuri didn’t find fulfillment and left.
Tried a consulting stint in healthcare, which lasted for one month.
Talked his way into a job in finance and operations for a Health Tech start-up in Boston, that looked like a great opportunity with a large salary.
That job turned out to be a nightmare, Yuri had no experience, two micro-managers above him, and the task of changing the financing model for an entire company, plus, after one month, the director of finance left to India for four weeks leaving Yuri juggling all the balls alone.
Got totally burned out after eight months, talked his way out of the non-compete clause and worked for a competing company as a senior product manager.
Turned out that his new team was made up of extremely talented graduates of Harvard, but Yuri didn’t have the skills, technical knowledge and experience to compete, so he left after five months.
His best friend calls him with amazing opportunity to work with a classmate from college on a new start-up where he invested his time, money and skills into building the company from scratch, but was betrayed and told to leave at a particularly difficult time in his personal life when his two-month old daughter was just diagnosed with cancer.
Realized that he didn’t want to work under other people’s vision and terms, and that he had to get a job where he could fully express himself and his mind.
Started his own company, an executive career coaching company, and found for the first time that he had skills that were very valuable to others.
The early days of his business were a messy process with lots of mistakes, dead ends and wrong clients, made him realize that he had to escape the trap of becoming just another coach.
Became a premium coaching service for people who want to transform their career and their life.


The Advice:

Converting opportunity comes from the right motivation and the following methdology:
1. Life mission- the specific intellectual problem that you are working with or solving
2. Values – what matters to you and others
3. Outcome – what is the theme of your best contributon to improving humanity
4. Roles- the reactive role that you take when you are thrown off balance.


Being able to persuade others using langauge and pyschology, depends on being aware of who you are. You can’t move anyone else until you understand your own mind and you can move yourself.


When you are in survival mode, you keep moving because you need to have a job, you need to pay your expenses and put food on the table. You don’t have the time for self-reflection about what your mission and goals should be. All the answers are sitting on your nose, but you are not able to focus enough to see the answer. Instead, you are looking at everything else around you trying to figure out where to get your next paycheck from.


Everyone has blind spots and no one can ever have 360 vision. Get yourself a coach, but only a coach who has a coach (or five) behind him because everyone, including coaches get stuck at some point.


The easiest way to build a business is to look at your “Zone of Genius”:
1. Skills- what are you the “best in the world” at?
2. Experience- they say 10,000 hours… This is not an exact figure but gives an idea of how much experience you need.
Now you can identify the place where you are adding massive value, but it is totally effortless for you. That is where you start a business.


The Struggle:

Yuri is at the point of the big pivot: trying to move from private to corporate. He is trying to get clients the big leagues, but is finding that it is much easier to sell a bicycle to a teen than a car to an adult. Corporate firms are a lot pickier and tend to only hire coaches and consultants who are also from a corporate type backgrounds and part of other large corporate coaching/consulting companies.


The Breakthrough:

Yuri has so far been using his massive dataset of knowledge to help him. His current clients are people who have left large corporations, so he understands what these companies are doing wrong. Yuri comes to them with the proposition, “I’m working with all the people who leave your company. Hire me and I’ll help you keep them!”


Another method Yuri can use is to go the relationship way. He talked himself into most of his previous jobs using language and pyschology and one-to-one relationships. Using this approach, Yuri can slip in the side door of the large corporations instead of trying to bang the front doors down without success.



“Be careful what you wish for, it might come true.” 
“If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”


Resources and Links:

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About the author, Estie Rand

I love turning ideas into money, and helping others do the same. I help small business owners with everything from marketing to fiscal management, business plans to staffing, database architecture to work/life balance coaching and I love it all! What do you need help with today?

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