Yuri Kruman is a corporate Employee Experience (EX) Consultant, executive coach, startup advisor, Forbes Coaches Council member and Forbes contributor. Yuri's consulting, advising and coaching portfolio includes speaking engagements and workshops.
How did you get into the industry?
I got my start by helping friends through interview and negotiation prep and talking them through career transitions, since I'd been through 3 (now 4) myself. One of my clients helped get me onto the Muse's coaching platform in exchange for helping him negotiate a higher salary to start there. From there, I just over-delivered to each client, built up a great reputation with testimonials and reviews and expanded my services, charged more and built a coaching and consulting business out of it. At one point, I got onto the Forbes Coaches Council and haven't looked back since.
Any emerging industry trends?
Coaching is a commoditized industry that has nevertheless entered the discussion as an employee benefit. There are ever more "Wendy's" (like in "Billions") working in top organizations and executive coaching has become not just a nice-to-have, but a must-to-have. There are tons of new platforms popping up all over to bring top executive coaches to corporations, not just individual consumers. New AI-powered software is driving instant employee feedback and much faster cycles of iteration for optimizing employee experience. This is where the "war on talent" stands today.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
Since there are already too many platforms for coaches and consultants, the "Fiverr"-ization of coaching and consulting is already here. Even for the top consulting firms, many advisory and other services they are used to delivering are now automatizing or becoming replaced by AI. Just as in medicine, law and business generally, the layers of middle management are getting eliminated, slowly, but surely. This means that only the top ones will survive and the others will have to become more professional, cheaper or just disappear.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
The vision came from changing careers successfully 4 times without any experience or connections, as well as from two failed startups before the current success. The future involves much more corporate consulting and training, writing and speaking, with more strategic, long-term, rather than tactical 1:1 work.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
Business is gearing up for more corporate consulting gigs, speaking at conferences and other longer, more strategic Employee Experience and HR Transformation work.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
Key initiatives are focusing on corporate consulting and building meaningful relationships with execs to offer them value in building amazing company cultures, improving internal and external communication through better story telling
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
The most difficult moment came when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer a couple months after I started doing the business full-time. Thankfully, she's in full remission for the last 15 months. There have been many other personal and professional setbacks due to the Great Recession, massive debt, living in NYC, 4 career changes, among others.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
I'm in the business of providing an ideal experience for my coaching and consulting clients. They most appreciate highly personalized attention, high responsiveness, deep industry insights and access to my networks, in addition to actual business insights that are invaluable in their due diligence for dream jobs and building successful businesses.
How do you motivate others?
I motivate others best through the power of my own story, with all its massive setbacks and challenges overcome through resilience, grit, faith, focus and diligence.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Career advice for coaches, consultants and trainers... Hmmm. Don't become a commodity!
What do I do best?
My two superpowers are language and psychology and helping others learn their own and those of their intended audiences. I help people communicate better in their own mind, as well as with everyone in their lives, creating a virtuous cycle.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Resilience, grit, optimism about life and insatiable intellectual curiosity, plus faith in G-d.
What are my aspirations?
My goals are firstly to be a good father, husband, son and friend to people in my life. Professionally, I want to help 1 Billion over the next 10 years to learn and apply the language and psychology of opportunity and success, find their dream jobs and/or build successful businesses.
My Biggest Success?
Personally, it's being a good father, husband and son, as much as I can be. Professionally, my biggest success (aside from always being a work in progress) is managing to build a successful consulting and coaching practice in only two years of doing this full-time, despite massive setbacks including my daughter going through 14 months of cancer treatments, among others. Without spending a dime on PR, I've managed to contribute to Forbes and Entrepreneur, plus get featured or mentioned in Inc., Fast Co., Mashable, BBC, PBS, many top blogs, podcasts and TV shows.
My Most Challenging Moment?
My most challenging moment, among many, has been dealing with my daughter's cancer diagnosis and treatments in the last two+ years (thankfully, she's cancer-free for a year now). While we got through it as best we could and emerged stronger, it took lots of faith, resilience and incredible support from our community to get through the experience, even if it took a toll on my wife and myself to go through this without having family nearby to help regularly.
"If you don't ask, the answer's always no.'"
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My Mom is perhaps my biggest role model, because she's lived through many incredibly difficult experiences (Soviet repression, divorce, two emigrations, dealing with anti-Semitic discrimination, a Ph.D. while raising kids, misogyny, politics, etc., among many other difficulties throughout her career, while raising two kids on her own). My other role model is her father, Grandpa Isaak (may he RIP) who fought in World War II, went through hunger, three emigrations, anti-Semitic discrimination, among many other difficulties while being a highly respected physician, amazing father, husband, grandfather and friend to many).
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Israel, Italy, France, Western U.S., Maine
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Chocolate and LinkedIN. #KiddingNotKidding
My Current Passions?
Writing (in the process of writing or finishing 2 books) and reading voraciously.