A Business Coach on How to Improve Oneself:"If Everything Is Clear Why Don’t You Follow These Rules?"

Igor Dubinnikov, head of the AAA TRUST Investment Company and an experienced business coach, gathered together the most effective recommendations and techniques on how to become the CEO of your own life.

How to start improving oneself?

The first thing you have to decide is whether you want to change something or not. It is a wrong way when you say "I don’t know." Look into unknown issues by using a book and advices of people who are ready to help. There are plenty of personality and career tests that help discover your habits and character features and find out what fields and occupations suit you. I also recommend taking care about your own interests — pay attention to things you really like. Usually people ignore it; that is why it is important to fix it constantly.

For example, a high school graduate who is going to go to a university but knows nothing about occupations and fields — what he or she has to do?

He or she has to learn about modern tendencies in different fields. Then one has to connect one’s interests with disciplines that seem attractive. Good news is that all the information about it is open. For instance, Scolkovo and Russian Venture Company research professions of the future. There are also many books devoted to tech trends that will be relevant in 50 years.

What to do if someone wants to create a unique idea as opposed to reinvent the wheel?

The world’s history shows us that the first thing people do is copying. For instance, all modern music styles are based on imitation. Those musicians called "icons" started with readjusting songs created by their "teachers." Anyway all new things are based on the existing knowledge or mistakes done by previous generations.

Your recommendations look obvious. Are there some specific ideas in personal growth books and trainings? Why are they so popular nowadays?

Simplicity is the reason why people don’t want to use them. If everything is clear why don’t you follow these rules? Trainings give an opportunity to analyze oneself, to find out one’s priorities so as to start making decisions with one’s eyes wide open.

To reach something, you have to declare your plans, dream and write down ideas. Surprisingly, our unconscious knows more about us than we can imagine.

Personal growth trainings, couching, consultations including those related to career issues — all these things are effective, as they let us spend less time to understand ourselves. Usually we teach something for several years, then lose our interest and start teaching something else. An experienced coach, who is a professional, helps us spend less time.

Have you ever met clients who wanted to make their businesses more profitable but instead sorted out their feelings and finally made a decision to change their careers?

I want to use Vyacheslav Zilbelbord’s story as an example. He owned a logistics company, but then understood that he wanted to play the violin. He dived into a field he never dealt with before, and now he is a founder of a non-profit fund, which supports classical music education and one of the most famous organizers of violin concerts in St. Petersburg.

Modern life shows us that it is not enough to contribute to only one field to be happy. We go from mono-occupations to multi-occupations. Furthermore, a business, contrary to the popular belief, is more than building one’s own company. An entrepreneur is a person how provides socially useful activities, who is ready to solve public problems. And thanks to this aspiration one can earn money. Unfortunately, most people don’t ever think about giving back.

Please share some life hacks that can help improve oneself.

There are many books on this topic. Compare reviews and ratings and choose something. I recommend all books written by Stephen Covey such as the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, the 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, Great Work: Great Career and also his methods on time management. I advice to read the Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder as well.

Use textliners when reading. Audio books don’t work. Moreover, follow the instructions step by step, or you won’t get any results.

As I said before, use a notebook to write down thoughts related to your personality like advantages and disadvantages, aims and values. Remember that you need the notebook, not some separate sheets of paper that one are easy to lose.

Change your daily routine taking into account your targets. Pay a special attention to your wake up and bedtime. If you have an aim but don’t spent time for that during the first 72 hours, you are unlikely to come to get back to it in the nearest future. Keep it in thoughts when you make your plan so as to change your life.

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