Anand Kulkarni is an experienced life and business coach, dedicated to helping people and business owners find happiness and success. He is on a mission to make a difference in every life that crosses his path.
Here, Anand speaks to Start Your Business about his journey to where he is today and his tips for living a happy and fulfilled life, both in business and at home.
Can you tell me about your background and career so far?
I graduated with a degree in science from Mumbai University. I have a rich experience working in the field of Life Insurance for almost 25 years. I worked for a national insurer during the monopoly era and at a private life insurance company after privatization giving me a deep understanding of both the worlds! I did my best to establish different branches at the private life insurance company. My journey has been wonderful with many achievements across both companies. My team was strong, positive, supportive and were always ready to take on new challenges. This was one of the reasons for my successful track record. When I set up new methods and introduced innovations that resulted in a robust distribution, both companies rewarded me for my achievements. I speak about this at length because it was all this experience that ensured I was financially sound, which allowed me to pursue my entrepreneurial journey in training, coaching, and education. I knew I wanted to head in this direction even when I was working and often conducted motivational workshops across hierarchies in the world of insurance. In 2012 I became a full-time entrepreneur and my roller-coaster journey began!
In the past, what were the things that you valued most? And how has that now changed?
My competitive spirit and flair for new ideas, along with expert implementation has been the main reason for my growth. I am intrinsically motivated to break my own records and each time I break a personal record, I gain valuable new insights, reaching new heights year after year! My team has always been with me to support and take up new challenges. As a team, we were an example in the insurance industry and the past achievements and milestones we achieved are remembered even today.
What do you focus on the most now?
I started training in life and business coaching in 2012, and heavily focus on contributing to the lives of individuals and business owners. Achieving next level growth for both individuals and business owners is possible, the proven methodology that I use in my coaching truly helps them to achieve their desired success.
Being an entrepreneur can be unstable and unpredictable. How can one deal with the pressures of starting their own business? Well, I believe that if the objective and purpose is clear, the hurdles and barriers don’t matter! The roller coaster rides associated with the entrepreneurial journey in my life was not an exception, but my resilience and never-say-die attitude kept the journey going. Strong support from family and friends alongside my own dedication helped me stay focused. I also advocate for sound financial planning before people take the leap. The fear of a stable income is real. If it’s unplanned, you will want to return to your job and settle in your comfort zone. But if you’re determined, you must forge your path ahead until you reach your destination.
Why did you start coaching? And what is your main aim?
When I wasn’t getting the results I desired, my confidence ebbed. My journey was getting unbearably difficult with each passing day. One day, my mentor (my inner voice) told me, “you can’t give up like this, take charge of your life!” Entrepreneurship requires resilience and tremendous energy to face small challenges.
Self-coaching is the only way to overcome the loss of confidence. I enrolled for a coaching program by investing from my savings, paid unrelenting attention, learnt the art of self-coaching, and armed myself with different methods to coach others and help them overcome their challenges. These areas are relationships , decision making, next level growth, leadership, the correlation of risk and reward and, most importantly, connecting to your true self without losing enthusiasm. When I coached a few of my friends, I could clearly see the results. Of course I didn’t earn any revenue, but the sheer joy on their faces and the happiness I could help them find reassured me that I should continue my journey. I saw many family-run businesses with strained familial relationships. Their concerns mostly involved maintaining the business, lack of a professional approach, and the fear of losing control of their business. This is where I stepped in. My coaching helped many business owners overcome these challenges and emerge victorious. My niche is working with individuals and business owners and my previous knowledge made my journey very smooth and happy.
Now, I am focusing my energies in supporting family-run businesses and individuals to overcome challenges and lead a happy life. Leading a life fullof meaning is the essence of achieving satisfaction. How to lead a meaningful life is an art, and one should learn to understand and implement the same. The key to leading a meaningful life is always being aware of what’s happening around you. You need to practise this, but once you’ve honed this skill you’ll be well on the way to leading a satisfied and meaningful life.
What has been your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?
Changing my mindset from being comfortable in my stable job to taking on risks that a new business brings was my biggest hurdle. Like always, my self-coaching helped me to overcome this fear. Other challenges have included procrastinating, overcoming negative thoughts, overcoming my ego, and accepting that I had to start from scratch. I overcame these by self-coaching, reading, and learning from my peers. I also hired a coach for myself who acted as my mentor, which helped keep me accountable while investing in my own skills.
What has your proudest moment been so far?
My proudest moments are when my clients update me and let me know that the coaching they received from me has got them the desired results and they’re now happy in the way they’ve shaped their life. I’m particularly proud when clients say they have found new meaning to life. This has become a personal experience worth cherishing and living for. I am happiest when living my life’s mission of making a positive difference in every life that crosses my path.
If you could give someone three tips to remain happy and maintain a sense of direction while working full time, what would they be?
1. Your past is in no way a direction for your future. You can achieve whatever you want, provided your intention is powerful and meant for making a difference to the section you live and work in.
2. Happiness is a choice; it is a pure choice and one should make a conscious effort to choose to be happy. It’s an internal matter and not dependent on anyone else.
3. Clarity and focus are the key ingredients for achieving excellence. Being clear on what your purpose in life is and then working towards that purpose is the secret. These three points, if paid attention to, will surely help individuals and business owners achieve excellence.
What are your plans for the future?
I wish to lead my life with the pure intent of helping individuals and business owners achieve excellence! If I am chosen by the almighty to support and help all those who come in contact with me, I will give my best to live up to his expectation and thereby make them happy and prosperous. By doing so, I shall achieve my goals and aspirations, too.