Kristina is an innovator, advisor, business strategist and vision actualizer. She is a serial entrepreneur at heart with a passion for building, scaling and growing companies and brands. She helps a wide ranging variety of clients identify, curate and execute strategic partnerships, recognizing and capitalizing on new trends, innovating both products, services and entering into new markets. Her specialty is hyper-growth, B2B, creating long lasting relationships with a passion for taking dreams and ideas to reality. She is trusted by leaders in a variety of industries from financial services, real estate, software (SaaS), EV, renewable energy, aviation, telecommunications and start-ups. Having emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 13 from Ukraine she started her career at 16 years old on Wall Street on a trading desk and went onto being instrumental in creating and build a corporate strategy department at a major Fortune 500 financial services firm, assisted in leading institutional relationship management with the largest US investors and starting a boutique Private Equity/Venture Capital firm of her own.
Where did the idea for Trident Advisory come from?
I was having a chat with a fellow who is a serial tech entrepreneur discussing what makes a successful startup, and differences between small and large firms. As we spoke it became clear that there is a gap in the market between the resources that large corporations have vs smaller firms. Smaller firms, family offices and funds who are nimble, and need to grow and pivot quickly need guidance and 360 strategic growth however don’t have access to it. This is how my company was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Usually I wake up around 6:30am, meditate for 20-30 minutes and do some form of exercise: yoga, walk, run or stretch. Then I go over the day with my team and begin executing
How do you bring ideas to life?
The first step in inspiration. Once an idea is born I hone and nurture it. By carefully examining the idea, utilizing my 360 degree method, running it by credible, believable people in the space and seeking thoughtful disagreement (something I learned from Ray Dalio). Once the idea is polished, much like a diamond, it’s time to ‘set it’. I do this by sitting down with my team and going through what the ultimate vision is, then reverse architecting the steps to get there, looking at all angles (what could go wrong and derail it and how to we mitigate that risk)
What’s one trend that excites you?
NFTs and smart contracts. They have the potential to and are already changing the world, how business is done and how content and IP is monetized.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Exercising and meditating as soon as I wake up. How you set your mind and body sets your whole day. I learned this from Tony Robbins and Sadhguru.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in yourself! When you have a hunch – go after it. Oftentimes we get an idea and dismiss it because it’s ‘silly’. Some of the best inventions came out experimentation, during a vacation or even while taking a shower. I would add that once you have the idea you must research it. Execution is 80% of the key to success.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That you can combine femininity with being a strong business woman. In our society many people think that women should suppress their feminine side and be ‘cold and hard’ in business. I couldn’t disagree more. I have done business both ways and can attest to the fact that you will get much further with embracing your nature than trying to suppress it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Set goals. Once you do, break them down into bite-sized pieces and component parts. Get an accountability partner. Surround yourself with people who believe in, inspire you. Add people who are a bit ahead of you so you always have that stretch goal. I also cannot stress enough how much mindset and positivity is important.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Believing in, curating and growing my network and relationships. This is the most precious commodity we have, along with time. One can make money but one cannot ‘buy’ relationships. Relationships are created and nurtured over time with careful consideration, delivering more value than is expected on a consistent basis. Also being kind – this is undervalued in our society. Take that extra step to be kind, whether a person can help you or not.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I don’t think we have failures as much as we have learning experiences. Failure is only defined that way if you let it define you, don’t learn anything from it and let it bring you down. I ‘failed’ in my first company which was a holding company with a private equity/venture capital approach. For a while I thought it was a failure then I re-framed it and grew tremendously both professionally and personally.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Look for problems to solve. Scratch your own itch. Take a minute to stop and think, what do I wish existed that would make my life easier? That’s how companies like Uber and Airbnb got started.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
On CRM software for my business. It’s imperative to have a system that organizes your inbound prospects and streamlines workflow.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Virtual Assistant! Can’t live without them. Also Google calendar and Bloom which is a mental health app. My VA keeps me organized which is key to an entrepreneur. From scheduling, setting reminders to prioritizing my meetings, follow-ups and to-dos.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant and “12 and a half” by Gary Vaynerchuk/ Gary Vee
What is your favorite quote?
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Einstein
- Be yourself.
- Believe in your weirdness/uniqueness
- You were born with a gift that no one else has and it is your duty and mission to bring it to life.
- Struggles are an opportunity to grow, evolve and transform. If you look at them that way.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.