One of Careerist’s three CEOs shares his journey with us today. Ivan will tell us what it really takes to make a business like Careerist work!!
What’s a day in your life like?
I usually wake up around 7 am, I typically take a hot and cold water shower (helps to wake me up), and I do some exercises like push-ups, sit-ups and other stuff. After that I check my messages and I try to respond to all the urgent questions I’ve received. Then I go to any meetings I’ve got scheduled, I catch up with my colleagues before their day ends and I contact some US investors in the middle of the day, so that they can reply to me by the end of the day (taking time differences into consideration).
I have two kids who are two and five years old as well. They go to daycare and school. This can sometimes make things more challenging in the morning because I have to do the school run, and this can delay what time I start work.
How do you find a balance between work life and family life?
I have three main areas of focus - (1) family, (2) business, and (3) myself.
All areas are often in conflict with each other and I’m constantly searching for the right balance.
I often find that I need to put a lot of focus on the business and that’s when my personal or family life starts to struggle. There’s no secret. Everybody must find their own way to balance out their life.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
To be honest, my motivation goes up and down. I always try to utilize different instruments to keep my motivation, my mood and my performance up. Sport is the tool I’ve found most helpful.
I’m a big Tony Robbins's fan and I try to go through his programs at least twice a year. I also visit his seminars and I work with my personal coach regularly.
My coach specializes in performance coaching, so everything I do revolves around goal setting. The coach usually sets goals for the year, and also for 90 days, which are built around my family, the business and myself. It helps me to find and to keep a stable balance in my life. Plus, it allows me to see where I should focus my attention a bit more.
I also have a psychological coach. It’s more like educational psychology, so we practice different techniques like how to do self-reflection, how to think about yourself and how to analyze your day, mood and why you are feeling this way. It also helps me to keep hold of my focus.
Careerist has three co-founders, so was it difficult to start such a business?
I wanted to work with people that I already knew well. And I’d been thinking about setting up a business but I didn’t have a clear vision about what I wanted this business to look like.
In March 2019, after attending a Tony Robbins event, I got a great idea and I contacted Maxim Gusakov, a fellow co-founder. Together we started firing off ideas about what we were going to do. I gave him a lot of energy and he started to build up the first version of the website.
I then called Max Globochansky because I knew he had great potential. Max wanted to help people to get into tech and I really loved his passion. He reminds me a lot of Tony Robbins himself actually, and he became our personal Tony Robbins. I knew him well and we’d been friends for around four years when we created the first version of Careerist (2015). I knew I could trust him.
We all had our own expertise and ideas, and together we formed a solid team of co-founders.
How do you avoid conflicts in the company?
I invest a lot of time in relationship building. Actually, it’s my style of management. I also work with my coach to help me focus on business relationships, so that I can make them better. I surround myself with people who can support me. However, this is not the style all the managers adopt.
The methodology I use for the company is called strength-based leadership. This theory stresses the importance of delegating duties and tasks that you are weaker at to other members of your team who can excel at these duties and tasks.
For example, I’m not very good at project management but there are members of my team who are excellent at this, so I delegate these duties to them because they can do it better than me. So, instead of me wasting time and investing in my weaknesses, I can invest in improving my strengths by becoming even more powerful in the areas that I know I do well in. This helps me to avoid conflicts with colleagues and I can, therefore, focus on relationship building.
In addition to this, we have psychology sessions for top managers and co-founders to go to if there is a problem. These sessions actually help us to work through different issues, and they help us to be open with one another.
When people don’t have this close relationship, they start thinking too much, they become distrusting of other people, and they start to lose sight of the common goal. This is when conflict occurs.
Do you think that every business needs a social media account to thrive?
I don’t use social media at all anymore. I actually stopped using most social media sites way back in 2013.
When I used Facebook I noticed that it would drain my energy and take away my focus. And that’s the main reason I stopped using it.
It’s kinda important to have some social media presence as a business. We do a lot of advertising on Facebook, Google and via Facebook groups. But I think that the importance of social media is overestimated.
Do you have any hobbies?
Sports and spending time with my family are my main hobbies. They help me to recharge and they change my focus so that I can relax.
Sometimes I hang out with friends. To be honest, I can’t stand big parties because you can’t have a deep and meaningful conversation. Watching some cybersport streams on Twitch helps to empty my brain, but short videos don't really work for me, I prefer watching videos that are long and significant.
Is being an entrepreneur hard?
Entrepreneurship is definitely not for everyone and it’s a hard, and sometimes painful thing to do. If you feel you’re comfortable working somewhere, perhaps it’s the best thing for you. If you’re not, you might have the potential to do your own thing.
I used to work at a nice company, and I had a successful career as a financial analyst. Then suddenly I realized I didn’t want to work in an office and I wanted to do my own thing.
People told me I was stupid, but I didn’t give up! I’m completely comfortable with where I am now and I’m happy that I persevered with my choice. Being an entrepreneur is a big deal and it comes with a lot of stress. You sacrifice a lot of things, and at the end of it all you’re not guaranteed the end results you want.
What are the top three characteristics of a successful entrepreneur?
Laziness, creativity and learning. If you’re lazy you think more creatively, and a combination of laziness and hard work can help you to learn and to move forward.
Thank you very much for sharing your story with us. Hope to see you during the next interview with the team!