Abhijeet Kulkarni is the founder and CEO of Exuberant Coaching International and operates this business from Sydney. However, as the name suggests, he offers his services across the globe, having clients across multiple continents. He helps people (especially corporate and senior sales professionals, but not limited to them) overcome challenges in their professional and personal life.
The challenges could be due to Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities(financial/career/personal), fears, negativity, lack of motivation, lack of purpose in life, lacking clarity and direction and guide them to live a happy, impactful, and supercharged life. He offers multiple programs depending upon the issues a person is facing and the kind of customized solutions and duration required to resolve them. Today we got a chance to interview him, let’s know more about him & his journey.
We hope this can inspire you to become a successful person too! It is worth listening to a successful entrepreneur or to people who share their success stories. We can significantly learn many things from the experiences of them, by listening to their story.
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with him:
Q1) Tell us a little bit about your start-up and your journey, please;
The journey doesn’t necessarily begin when you officially launch your business. The seeds of starting something of my own were sown years ago. I worked in the Corporate for more than 2 decades.
After completing my MBA in Marketing, I worked in Sales & Marketing, the Mortgage industry, Banks, and finally in IT.
My rich professional experience included working in both Product and Consulting divisions, from the top 5 companies in the world to startups, from Junior to senior positions, and working in multiple countries with exposure to several different work cultures and people.
And although I earned well with a well-established career, I never felt happy and truly proud of my achievements in life.
I felt constantly stressed out, overwhelmed, anxious & fearful both in my professional and personal life. Then a specific situation in my life triggered me to grab an opportunity to start resolving my challenges.
After undergoing multiple transformation programs and with a lot of consistent efforts, I set myself up the path of a pivotal mindset shift like never before.
That’s when I also realized,
- I never seriously looked back at my life for enough learnings.
- I realized all through my career of more than 20 years in a variety of sectors, I was always mentoring and helping people, whether it was their work, work relationships, or personal life.
- That working in a variety of sectors, different cultures & ethnicities, hierarchies, several types of work environments had enriched me with unique capabilities! That I had experienced and faced several types of pressures and incredible situations!
- That I was a guide, mentor, a confidante for people around me, and my colleagues found me very helpful, approachable, reliable, and trustworthy.
- It became clear to me that by continuing to work in a job, I wasn’t doing enough justice to my tremendous potential, my passion, skills, creativity, and the constant desire to help others.
- The idea of quitting my corporate career and becoming a full-time Life Coach was born there. After completing multiple pieces of training, certifications, and lots of rigorous practice, I started with my own world-class coaching business.
The satisfaction, excitement, and joy of becoming a contributor to someone’s success in life are unparalleled!
Q2) What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
When I realized helping people was my passion, I decided to do that dedicatedly. A Full-time Corporate job would have limited me to do so. Also, Instead of working part-time in Corporate and remaining time as a Coach, I wanted to give my 100% to my clients and hence chose to become a full-time Coach.
The Corporate career did not make me feel satisfied with my life. It did not make me feel proud! I did not want to live my life for just paying my bills. My power surge is when people who engage with me produce results! I feel proud of them and myself! I feel humbled when they see me as a contributor to their lives. I have the freedom to choose my time and efforts for coaching. All this wouldn’t have been possible in a Corporate career.
Q3) How did you come up with the name for your business/startup?
As the name ‘Exuberant Coaching International’ suggests, I engage with people across the globe. The biggest force in human life is energy! The most impactful energy is the Youth energy and that’s what ‘Exuberant’ refers to. The abundant youthful energy that is created through my programs to power your life like never before!
You can achieve anything with this when channelized in the right direction.
Q4) What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
I help people overcome challenges in their professional and personal life due to Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities(financial/career/personal), fears, negativity, lack of motivation, lack of purpose in life and help them live a happy, successful, impactful, and supercharged life.
My programs include a broad spectrum of coverage across different spheres of a person’s life. But depending on the need, it can include covering a specific issue as well.
The programs vary depending upon the issues a person is facing, the kind of customized solutions required, and the duration.
Q5) Why should people choose your product/services?
I am 100% dedicated to my clients with my 1-on-1 service. I do this full time and not as a side hustle. With my rich and diverse experience across sectors, work cultures, and working with hundreds of professionals, I possess a strong understanding of different personalities and processes. This helps me in understanding and getting along with a person quickly.
I believe in helping people find a solution by themselves rather than me providing them one. This ensures the solution is long-lasting and they do not remain dependent on me when a similar issue is encountered in that person’s life later.
My programs offer practical, simple yet very effective techniques understandable by a layman. I also offer very powerful yet easy meditation as well as Mindfulness techniques. My services ensure a person’s challenge is resolved through a fusion of a variety of proven techniques and customized solutions. I feel fortunate that people find me genuine, easily approachable, empathetic, and trustworthy.
Q6) How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
Technology has ensured we can quickly reach millions through our expressions. Each one of us is unique. I utilize my uniqueness to project myself in front of people. When it is genuine, people feel it and they respond.
Most often, people approach me through my family and friends, social media, and other platforms as well as through my past workplaces. When I give my 100% and when I engage with someone with the determination of finding the right solution for him/her, that itself becomes my successful tactic.
Q7) What risks are you facing?
Every business comes with risks. The nature of the risks changes from time to time. When you learn to identify them and take smart actions to mitigate them well in time, you create the ability to sail through.
Q8) Did the pandemic (COVID 19) affect your business? if yes how?
There are more Insecurity, Stress and Anxiety, Employment issues, and their impact on emotional wellbeing amongst people due to COVID-19.
But these demons have been present in our ultra-busy lives for a long time. COVID-19 has brought them in front of us more. Due to the nature of my coaching programs, they can be done completely online with my 1-on-1 coaching with no geographical boundaries in place.
At present, I am already engaged with professionals belonging to more than 4 continents. COVID-19 has made people stay at home longer. So it is even easier not just for me but for my clients to sit back relaxed in their homes and enjoy this incredible process !!
Q9) Have you considered any alliance/partnership/funding?
I have not given a thought to this yet.
Q10) What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
- Ensuring everything I do is genuine, ethical, and creating a Win-Win situation for my clients.
- Client’s privacy
- I am responsible to make sure I do everything possible to resolve my client’s issue.
Q11) How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?
I love answering this question in a slightly different way. The beauty of my work is that I have the freedom to choose my schedule, my location, and my pattern. I manage my daily work time concerning the priorities that I set for myself.
A typical day varies depending upon how many program sessions I decide to conduct. But usually, it is inclusive of program sessions and other work activities, responding to calls, messages, and emails, Research, meditation and exercise routines, personal goal associated actions, and family time.
Q12) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
For most of my Corporate career, I defined myself as a stressful, anxious, risk-averse, demotivated, under-confident ‘professional’! I feared the smallest of things. When I discovered myself and started on my power journey, all those fears started to fade away.
Today, just like others, I become fearful at times. The beauty here is, I know how to manage this quickly and not just manage but to convert my fears into opportunities !!
You have to decide if you want fear to conquer you, or you want to conquer the fear!
Q13) What comes first for you; money or emotions?
Emotion channeled right creates success. Most often success creates money. You can earn money with less positive emotions but you cannot have happiness without positive emotions. Beautiful life needs happiness.
Q14) Tell us about your early life & How has been an entrepreneur affected your family life?
I completed my schooling in Nasik, Maharashtra, India and after completing my 12th grade, I graduated in Arts including General Psychology for 3 years. Only completing Arts graduation was a risky career option, hence I supported my career by completing a Diploma in Software Engineering(1998) and MBA in Marketing(2001).
I worked in the Sales & Marketing, Finance, and Mortgage industry with companies like Standard Chartered, Axis Bank, and HDFC Ltd.
I was soon hired by Oracle as a Business Analyst.
So here I was, formally a Bachelor of Arts, with an MBA in Marketing and Software Engineering Diploma holder working in Sales & Marketing, Financial Institutions and now entering the IT world with a global conglomerate.
After working in Products and Services based industry for various profile (Business Analysis, testing Consultant & more), I got chance to work in multiple countries & experiences different cultures, various work environment. My leadership exposure included managing teams of Business Analysts, testers, and UAT users amongst others.
For a less stressful and more rewarding life, I moved to Australia and was soon working in Sydney with an Australian company and worked hard for my way up.
After working for several years at various Australian companies, I quit my Corporate career and eventually started my own business ( as outlined in earlier answers).
For me, my family comes first! My wife & kids love my Coach life and I can spend more quality time with them. We are more outdoors as a family since I have become a Coach, as I can alter my schedule as needed. My wife has been a great support all through!
Q15) What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs??
- Direction, focus, and consistency!
- You have to take efforts to find out what direction you want your life to go in!
- Don’t just fit in. You are way more powerful than that!
- Don’t just keep reading the success stories of others! Become a success story!
- Focus! I cannot emphasize more. Especially in the technology-driven era, there are tonnes of distractions & temptations. Having a focus and staying away from distractions IS NOT boring! It means finding fun in the right things!
- No use if you do it once or twice or intermittently. Successful people do things consistently! Practice is progress.
- Become fast decision-makers! Don’t sit on it and overanalyze. Your mind will play tricks and paralyse your thinking otherwise.
- Go get it! Is my Mantra!
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