Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Yuri Kruman, CEO and Principal of HR, Talent & Systems Consulting, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a full-service HR Consulting firm serving fast-growth startups and Fortune 500 companies all over the world.

Tell us about yourself

My mission is to help 100 million people in the next ten years to unlock and unleash themselves in life and business. The main prism through which I'm working to achieve this mission is through Human Resources, mainly working with fast-growth tech startups and Fortune 500 companies to build "adult" (strategic) HR and to build and deliver superlative, high-ROI Learning & Development (L&D) programs.

I am also a prolific content creator (author of multiple books, a contributor to Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Newsweek, and other top publications), as well as a top-rated leadership executive coach. I believe behavioral change is most effective when it comes through conversations with one's body (physical health), mind (mental models, life skills), other people (creating and managing relationships), and with G-d/the Universe (toward a meaning of life).

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the positive impact on thousands of people we've had through our work at HRT and Systems over the years, not just on C-suite execs and the bottom line, but on lives and careers changed for the better. It is incredibly gratifying to see people feel unlocked and unleashed at work and in their personal lives as a result of our work.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

In addition to the countless pivots, pilots, and sleepless nights that it took to get to where we are today, one of the hardest things about being a business owner is keeping the balance between delivery and impact, on the one hand, and sales and business development and content creation, on the other. Both are critical for the business, and finding a balance is quite difficult, especially at the start, given all the many fires going on at any one time.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't worry so much about websites, logos, and other formalities. Those will come in time. Focus much more on discovering as much as you can about your ideal client profile, their problems, and how to solve them. This will help you create an MVP faster and to find your first few clients, which is the key to the entire puzzle, revenue to sustain whatever trials and pilots you will need to undertake to get to the next stage and evolve quickly. Revenue solves many problems during the initial stages.
  2. Instead of selling constantly and ruthlessly, take a consultative approach first with your clients. Once you understand them and appreciate both the human and financial Xs and Os of business when sitting down with potential clients, you will have them naturally wanting to work with you.
  3. Offer an "audit" of whatever function you help with in business. This will help you to create a much-needed outsider's diagnosis of what ails the organization and offer a roadmap for solving the gaps and challenges you've identified.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Optimism is the sine qua non of entrepreneurship. But on its own, it's clearly NOT enough. The key to making it anywhere is constant calibration and re-calibration of both the "what" and the "how" of what you deliver, as well as the "who" of yourself and the people you work with. The human side of the business is vastly underappreciated by most business people, whereas it actually holds most of the keys.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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