I love to make the impossible possible
Kristina is a woman who knows what she wants and how to get what she wants. from a happy and healthy upbringing on very limited resources in Ukraine, and staring a new life in Germany at 19, not speaking the language and going back to school to gain the qualifications for entry to university, while doing a variety of jobs to fund it. Kristina’s determination to succeed and be the best has led her to running her own global business in consultancy and coaching, focusing on helping companies and individuals to achieve their peak performance, faster and easier. Based in Switzerland for the last nine years, we learn more here of the challenges Kristina had to face when moving to a new country and how she managed to build her own company to the success it is achieving today.
Tell us about your upbringing in the Ukraine and the best memory you have from your childhood?
My childhood was beautiful! Since I can remember I was outdoors, every single day, regardless of the weather. I climbed the trees, jumped in every water, hunted grasshoppers, spent hours on the swings, which should have saved my life last year. (I will tell this story another time). The expression, “bad weather” didn’t exist for me. When it was freezing cold in winters we only had to wear the right clothes but we spent every minute of our spare time playing outdoors. In spring when the snow was shining and melting under the warm sun I loved to jump on the melting water streams. One of the best things in summers was running and dancing in the warm summer rain and go to the lakes and rivers. All year long I got dirty, in summers my knees were always open and I run mostly barefoot.
My parents didn’t have much money. I think we were an average family with three children. But my parents gave me all the love they had. Only when I grew up did I realise that we were poor in terms of money, because I was raised by rich hearted parents. When I was very little my mom made our dolls because she couldn’t afford to buy ones. They were the most beautiful dolls I could wish to have! And my mom cooked fresh food for us. I loved to go to the market, it was simple regional seasonal food only and it was fresh and very tasty. There were no chemicals in the food, and nothing processed at all to buy. And these things I kept till these days: spending as much time as possible outdoor and being creative together with my wonderful daughter, never buy and eat proceed food but to cook fresh almost every single day for me and my family.
My parents didn’t have much money. I think we were an average family with three children. But my parents gave me all the love they had
What was your first job and how did you develop yourself to be where you are today, changing from working for others to working with your own business?
I had several jobs: I washed dishes in a Spanish restaurant, distributed newspapers door to door, worked on the assembly line, and sold ice-cream. All these jobs and more, I did while learning the German language and at school to achieve my qualification for university entrance. My very first job I had was in the Ukraine when I was 16. My mom managed to set up a very small business for the refurbishing of flats. Once she had an issue trying to find good people so my twin sister (yes, I’ve got a twin sister) and me offered to do the job. It was physically a very hard job, beginning very early and working long hours. Mom’s clients were very satisfied with our work. I worked during the week and studied at the weekends as education was very important to me. When I decided to study in Germany I knew my parents couldn’t afford the cost. While looking for job opportunities I didn’t want to become a waitress, knowing that late working hours would have an impact on my performance in the university. As I already had expertise in IT I decided to set up my own business. IT services and training were my focus in the beginning. Very early on I realised how much pleasure I have in sharing my knowledge with other people so I could see them achieve better results. For the first six years I focused on teaching adults in several IT topics. Still to this day I am getting emails from my clients sharing their success stories with me as a result of the knowledge I had the pleasure to share with them.
While working as consultant and manager, I had the privilege to work with great people and companies, to acquire strong skills and expertise in several areas. But I felt that there is one thing that can’t be fulfilled inside me: my desire of being an entrepreneur, and living my visionary streak. So I decided to go back to my own business. I combined my expertise with my passion to help others to their peak performance, both in their business and in their private lives.
What is your business today and the main mission you have?
I am running a global business in consultancy and coaching with a focus on helping companies and individuals to their peak performance. Headquartered in Switzerland, where I have been living for nine years, I’ve got business partners in the US, South Africa, UK, Albania and Serbia. And my clients are all over the globe. Being an entrepreneur I know the challenges we executives are facing in our daily business: Long working hours, crazy meeting and travelling schedules, high expectations (first of all from ourselves), high pressure to deliver no matter what, and motivating our teams and serving our clients at the same time. To increase the performance and wellbeing of entrepreneurs and high-level executives, I developed a K2 coaching programme which I adjust for each of my clients personally. As a result, you are more energised, in a better shape, more focused, and can deliver more in a shorter period of time, which means more efficiency with less effort and a better life-work-balance.
While working as consultant and manager, I had the privilege to work with great people and companies, to acquire strong skills and expertise in several areas.
My individual clients are all business people or executives and managers, and they are all very different, are facing issues in different fields in their lives, having very different goals. But they all have one in common: they appreciate the fast results they see from the coaching. Sometimes there are small things which can cause big changes. The art is to know what these small things are. And I am not only glad to know these small changes, I am even more glad to share my knowledge with my clients to see them being so happy with the fast and lasting results.
One of my students she is a very successful entrepreneur and she spends more time in the air flying to her events and clients than on earth. And she was even more surprised and amazed once we implement my K2 program for her and she saw the results very fast. My another client is a serial entrepreneur and coach himself. In our coaching sessions he was surprised about the knowledge he was missing and I could provide him to get better and faster results. With another client we are focusing completely on his performance increase in business. We reached now 20% and we haven’t finished yet. I would like to mention another client of mine who has an issue to find a balance between being a successful manager and a good father for his son. After our coaching he wrote me an email. Reading this email where he describes how wonderfully his family and his professional life changed to the best in shortest period of time I was touched to tears. Just to give you few examples.
This is what I do for you as an individual. And for your company I make everything happen faster and easier, saving significant time, effort and money. I don’t just solve problems, I eliminate them so they never come back. I could name many great examples and show wonderful testimonials to back this up.
Just to give you an example. Recently I’ve got a client, an SME in Switzerland. The company has beed facing particular issues for 18 months and they couldn’t solve them doesn’t matter what they’ve tried. Even involving big consulting companies didn’t help. I have been working on this issue for 18 days with my client and we not only solved the issue, which saved my client 7 Mio, on top we over performed by 200%.
I could move on and on with examples like this. When you would like to know more simply drop me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office (contact details on www.kristinaklassen.com) and let have a conversation.
What are the benefits of being a woman in what may still be a male dominated field?
When I was a little girl, most of my friends were boys. They even told me when I was about four years old that I gave them a good thrashing, which I don’t remember. And I promise, I don’t thrash anybody any more! All joking aside. I don’t think there is a benefit at all of being a woman in a male dominated domain. Business is business. If you’ve got the right skills and the right drive, this is what matters, not the gender.
What three life rules do you live by and how are you managing to live by this every day?
I’ve got only one rule: never follow any rules. But of course there are some things are very important for me to follow every single day. And as I made the experience the best things in life are simple so are my three „things“ I would like to share with you.
- Smile. No matter what. Some of my clients know me only smiling and they love it. Sometimes people are thinking I am flirting with them. It’s ok, I don’t mind. But I am simply flirting with my life because I love it and I am enjoying it so much.
- Be grateful. I am grateful for what I am, for what I have, for where I am, for who I am surrounded by. We all have so many things to be grateful for, but we are so busy striving for more. There is absolutely nothing wrong in striving for more, as I am too. But gratitude is the very first step to happiness.
- Leave my comfort zone. There are too many things we fear for no reason. As human beings we are programmed to fear the unknown. But at the same time we grow only when we face our fears, when we enter the unknown, when we change. I’ve just finished my skydiving course and did my first jumps on my own I have to admit, I love it! The next thing for me is climbing high summits. I love to make the impossible possible, in my private and in my professional life. For me personally and for my clients.