Keren Eldad (“Coach Keren”) is an executive coach and trainer working with media personalities, founders, teams and executives at organizations such as NIKE, Estee Lauder, Salesforce, Twitter and more.
Her mission is to advance teachings that help people cultivate personal agency, a positive self-image, and a strong sense of purpose so they can thrive as individuals and in teams. Keren’s work has been featured in numerous leading media outlets, including: The Harvard Business Review, CNBC, The Today Show, and in 2019, Goop named her one of the 11 life-changing coaches of the year.
Her first Tedx talk, “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know,” has been viewed over 250,000 times, and her second, “Why You Should Pray for a Midlife Crisis,” will debut at TEDx Harker Heights in 2022. She holds gold-standard International Coaching Federation credentials (PCC) as well as advanced academic degrees from The London School of Economics and the University of Jerusalem.
Keren lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, Ryan, and their four pets.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode
- What the midlife crisis has to do with business success
- Why MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS means MILLION DOLLAR BOUNDARIES
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Stone Payton: Welcome to the High Velocity Radio show, where we celebrate top performers producing better results in less time. Stone Payton here with you this afternoon. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast executive coach and trainer and founder of With Enthusiasm Coaching, Keren Eldad. How are you?
Keren Eldad: I’m great Stone. Thank you so much. It’s such a joy to be here.
Stone Payton: Well, it’s a delight to have you on the show. I’ve got a ton of questions. I know we won’t get to them all, but I’m thinking a good place to start would be if you could share with me and our listeners mission purpose. What are you really out there trying to do for folks?
Keren Eldad: Oh, with enormous pleasure. So first, high velocity is definitely my speed, but my mission and purpose is to help other high velocity, high achievers avoid living a life that is without purpose and overstretched and overstressed and help them find meaning and purpose as well as an accelerated path to career super started.
Stone Payton: Well, it sounds like a noble pursuit to me. One of the things that I came across in my notes, you have a very unique, I’ll say, perspective on this, on this whole topic of midlife crisis. I know you did a TEDx talk on it, and I want to learn more about that. But yes, speak into that a little bit. Your perspective on midlife crisis.
Keren Eldad: Well, I think that the midlife crisis is actually extremely related to business, and that’s also because most of the people I meet in executive coaching happen to be in this apotheosis of life. If we’re very generous, we’re talking about 35 to 55 years old, right? It’s a very wide age range, but that’s when most people start to find real success either as an entrepreneur, solopreneur or as a leader. So I had to look at the midlife crisis because it was part of what was making people so miserable. We did have to look at those factors and my understanding of it is exactly like you can take work from misery to meaning. You can also take your midlife crisis from midlife crisis misery to meaning, or as I like to call it, a midlife awakening by doing the same thing you would do as a business leader, by facing the truth, by facing the brutal facts and having the courage to work through them so that you can eliminate them from your path and rise easier. I know that’s a little bit succinct, but we are going to have velocity there. Stone So I hope that helps answer your question.
Stone Payton: Well, it certainly helps me, and I’m sure it does for our listeners as well. I got to know what is the back story? How did you get into coaching?
Keren Eldad: Well, I got into coaching through my own midlife crisis at the age of about 36. To my to my recollection, and I think the best of my analysis, I started to come up against a life that looked absolutely perfect on the outside and felt like garbage on the inside. I had the dream job. I was a highfalutin C-level executive at a big company. I was married to a tall man, which apparently is the gold standard, and I was living in a very large, very pretty house. So I thought, I have it made. But the truth is I was feeling absolutely rotten on the inside. The job was great. And again, very, very nice, as I’ve said so many times in my own talks, but it wasn’t lighting me up from the inside. And I knew I had this nagging feeling that I could do much more in that part of me was being repressed there. Part of me was certainly being repressed in my marriage, which was abusive and absolutely intolerable. So even though it looked great on Instagram, it was really miserable and the house was nice, but it was in Zurich, which is not my kind of city because I’m really a deep, diehard New Yorker. And now, as you know, a die hard austinite I live in Texas, so it just wasn’t my speed on all angles. And in order to unravel from that and really create with enthusiasm coaching, create a life that was based around my purpose and my meaning, and that really I followed with audacity and courage. I had to first burn everything to the ground. That’s what I mean by face the brutal facts and have the courage to create a life that really means something to you because it’s exactly how I created my business.
Stone Payton: Okay, so let’s talk about the work a little bit. Who are you working with? What are you trying to help them accomplish and maybe even share some of what you’ve learned in that process?
Keren Eldad: I serve two groups of people. The first is high level executives, C-suite executives at the teams of big companies like Nike, Estee Lauder, Luxottica, but also hedge funds, VCs, big tech companies, well funded startups. The second class is entrepreneurs and solopreneur. And what I’ve learned is it actually takes a lot more than just resilience to get to the top. It takes a lot of suppression and overachieving behaviors that start to backfire at a certain point. And all of these people have almost all of them have those in common. They have behaviors like people pleasing, like invulnerability, like never taking a day off, the addiction to being busy as part of their patterning that got them to where they are. Except at a certain point, they all realize that it’s actually not working anymore. And what got you here won’t get you there. In the words of Marshall Goldsmith. And that’s essentially where coaching comes in. Coaching comes in very handy when you start to understand that if you really want to reach another level of your potential or your potential, you will have to take off those modes and turn to a different set of modes.
Stone Payton: So now that you’ve been at this a while, what are you finding the most rewarding? What’s the most fun about it for you?
Keren Eldad: It’s the meaningful connection with people and seeing them light up at the end of the process, seeing them live a different kind of life. You know, I got into this for the same reason people start hiring coaches to become more successful and to help very successful people be more successful. But that’s not really the outcome in coaching. It’s that you become much happier. You truly have a life that is meaningful to you. You actually slow down rather than speed up. You know who you are. That deeper connection to see that in another human being, to see another person really live in a way that is now eager and not in pursuit. I live for that.
Stone Payton: Well, I can see it in your eyes. And I know our listeners can can hear it over the airwaves, your your passion for the work and how much you personally get out of it and the value that you must be delivering for your for your clients. How do you get the new clients? How does the whole sales and marketing thing work for a person like you, a coaching practice like yours?
Keren Eldad: I’ve been very lucky. Stone. This is a referral business. This is almost entirely referral business, though. I speak all over the world now and I have some following, so it makes it easier, of course, for people to find my work. But ultimately, I think that people who hire you want to know that you’ve helped a couple of people in their sphere, and once you have done that, you really begin to build a referral business that is much more continuous. In the beginning, the first thing I did was I just reached out to my entire LinkedIn list and said, I’m launching a coaching business. I have six available spots. Here’s what it is. Are you interested? And I was lucky enough to somehow sell that out. I guess people were ready for me to, and from there it really just continued to grow organically.
Stone Payton: Have you had the benefit of of one or more mentors to kind of help you navigate this terrain of running a coaching business?
Keren Eldad: Absolutely. Nobody does anything alone. I am a huge fan of coaches, as most most coaches are coaching junkies. I would never have been here without the teachings of magnificent teachers who included Tony Robbins, Jensen, Caro, Esther Hicks. Just amazing, amazing coaches that I got to see live or work with one on one who helped me enormously. But also I learned from my clients in the first years of coaching, I took everything to heart and really understood what they were asking for and built the skill set around what they needed. I’m an Israeli, and as you might hear from my sexy accent and I come from a military service like all of us, and I learned that really the great honor in life is to serve others. It’s not to serve yourself. So almost everything I’ve ever done has been learning in the field from my fellow combatants what they need to really become the strongest warriors they can be. And I think that’s sort of how how collaboratively this has become what it is today.
Stone Payton: So my business partner and I lead Cantor. He’s the founder of the Business Radio Network. We’ve had the pleasure of doing live onsite broadcast at a few of these TEDx events. Neither of us have ever been invited to present at a TEDx event, but I have absolutely been. I guess mesmerized is the right word for the way that those that those talks are produced and distributed. I would love to hear about your experience. What what was that like presenting at a TEDx event?
Keren Eldad: Well, I just did my second and it actually went live last night. So I’m obviously in a particularly good mood about TEDx. It’s a great thing. I’ll tell you what the secret is, is the secret to all public speaking because most of the speakers at TEDx are not professional speakers. I am a professional speaker. It’s part of what I do for a living. The secret is rehearse your ass off. I hope I can say that. Sure, I apologize for the profanity, but rehearse much more than you think. You need to rehearse because you’re going to get the jitters. You’ve already been at these things. You know that the room is black. You know that there’s very low visibility, there’s enormous amounts of light on you. And the reason it makes you more nervous is simply just that the circumstances of it and how high stakes it is. You got one shot, you’ve got 15 minutes, get on the stage and get off the stage. And so over rehearsal is the the way to go about this. And so if anybody is interested in out there giving a TEDx talk first, do it. Research the process, You will figure it out. Anybody can do this. And second, have a great idea so that you can actually get a TED talk. And once you do rehearse more than you think you should.
Stone Payton: So I realized that you have a great many irons in the fire, as my dad would say. But I got to believe. And so I’m going to ask, is there a book in you? Do you think you might you might write a book?
Keren Eldad: I think so. I hope so. I would really like to talk about the midlife crisis some more because it’s real and it’s aggressive. And if it goes haywire, especially in very powerful people, it can be very chaotic for enormous amounts of people. So it’s my hope that we bring this to the forefront. I hope I do for middle age what Renee Brown has done for vulnerability. We make it a good, positive thing rather than a big bummer. And yeah, I’d really like to talk about entrepreneurship in general because, you know, my biggest thing, stone, is when I went through my midlife crisis and Lost really got divorced. I lost my job too. I was jobless for a very long time. I realized something that’s very fundamental, which is this old idea of the American dream that we all have, that we think that life is somehow going to be linear if we go to college and then get married and then have a picket fence and then get a labradoodle, it just doesn’t exist anymore. And I think that the new American dream is onto. If you will make life what you make of it. And in that sense, I hope there’s a book in me about choosing yourself and choosing the way of entrepreneurship to.
Stone Payton: Well, I have to believe that there is. And of course, looking through my lens, I’m kind of a one trick pony. I think there’s probably a radio show in you, too. So since you’re not doing anything else, I think that would be would be marvelous. The topics that you speak on, the topics that you that you coach on, they’re so fundamental. They’re so, so important. So I encourage you to continue to pursue that. I’d love to to try to help out some of our aspiring coaches or maybe some of our folks that are just getting started in the coaching arena. Have you come across I don’t myths, maybe a little bit of a strong word, misconceptions, preconceived notions that you’ve discovered. You know, that’s just really not the the case or some do’s or some don’ts. Any counsel you might you might offer some of our aspiring coaches, I’m sure, would be more than appreciated.
Keren Eldad: The biggest misconception about the coaching industry. And thank you so much for allowing me the chance to speak about this is that it’s a snake oil industry. This is still a wild West as this is a very young industry. It’s 20 or 30 years old, is a formal industry. I think the International Coaching Federation or governing body is only 20 years old. And so there are, I think, 200,000 working professional coaches, consultants in the United States, and most of them are not accredited or formally recognized accreditation by the ICF. And that’s one of the things that’s helping this mythology of this is a snake oil industry. It’s just not that way. This is a professional profession that has the highest standards and the highest ethical standards. Whether a certain type of accreditation speaks to you or not is not for me to call. But there are certainly enough people here in this industry who are academically informed and who conform to ethics and norms. In other words, we could lose our accreditation if we break confidentiality or other cardinal rules of coaching. And it is also a methodical process with measurable, tangible results. So it’s my hope that anybody out there who is worried that they’re perceived as someone doing something, woo, get over it. We’re not. There are enough of us who are doing this formally and for several corporations and large organizations, and we do things by the book here too. So that’s my first thing for for coaching. The second is that it’s hard. Yeah, I mean, it’s supposed to be hard. That’s not a myth. That’s true of anyone starting their own business. But if you’re talented and obsessed with what you do, you will get there.
Stone Payton: Okay, so back on the other side of the of the desk or the table, if you will. If if I think maybe I’m in search of a coach. You know, I have enough self-awareness to say, you know, I’m not where I want to be. I don’t even know that I know what to look for in a coach. What questions to ask before engaging a coach. Any perspective on that.
Keren Eldad: The questions you need to ask are not of the coach there of yourself. The most important question is am I coachable? Am I coachable? Is am I willing to say, Can you help me do another person? Coaches will not be able to help anyone who is not ready to believe that they don’t know everything and haven’t tried everything. It’s not. It’s not a place from which you can teach anyone anything. But if you’re at a place where you understand that you’ve tried a lot and you’re not getting the results you want, then a coach would be very helpful to you. And then the only other question you have to ask yourself is while speaking to coaches or engaging with coaches or coming across coaches, is does their voice, their story, their background speak to me? This is a very sacred and special relationship and you do have to really like and respect the person before you. Coaching is a form of mentorship, so you want to also admire the path that they’ve traversed, not just talk to somebody who looks cool. I hope that’s helpful, but that’s certainly how I chose my coaches. Their their voice resonated with me. Their life story resonated with me, and I knew that I was going to be in very good hands. I also was finally stone at long last in my life, in a place where I knew that I didn’t know everything and I really needed somebody to help me.
Stone Payton: And it’s been my experience in conversations not dissimilar to this one, that most of the coaches that I have had an opportunity to speak with. They too have coaches. I mean, they continue to sharpen their soul.
Keren Eldad: Yeah, all the time. I mean, again, I told you, we’re coaching junkies and we don’t know everything and we really live in that space of I don’t I don’t know what I don’t know. And a coach can always help me. We all have blind spots. It’s literally like driving a car you just can’t see peripherally. And most of the time all of us are so involved in our own lives, we definitely don’t have that high above perspective. A coach can give that to you very quickly.
Stone Payton: So I didn’t ask you at the top of the show, but but I am a little bit curious. Anything in particular that compelled you to to name it with enthusiasm coaching?
Keren Eldad: Yes, because that was the name I gave to my transformation. I went from like all of my life feeling sort of gray to feeling turbocharged. And the word I could find was enthusiasm, living life, turbo charged, excited, eager, satisfied, rather than met.
Stone Payton: All right, If listeners would like to reach out and have a conversation with you or somebody on on your team, what’s the best way for them to connect with you? And let’s make sure that we give them an easy path to tap into these TED talks and just learn more about your work.
Keren Eldad: Well, thank you so much. Well, I’m at k, e, r e n elder care and all that. And as I told you, it’s caring with two E’s, which is unusual. But again, I’m from Israel and that’s the best way to reach me to book a consultation or to to check out any of the materials. The last TED talk is called Why You Should Pray for a Midlife Crisis, and I hope you enjoy it. It is. It’s 24 hours old, so I hope everybody takes that one. And if they’re it’s relevant for their category.
Stone Payton: Well, Karen, that is the very next thing that I’m going to do this afternoon. I’m going to the living room. I’m firing up the TED talk and I’m going to listen to that. But it has been an absolute delight having you on the program this afternoon. Thank you so much for investing the time and energy to share your perspective and and thank you for the for the work you’re doing.
Keren Eldad: Likewise. Thank you so much. Stone This has been an enormous pleasure.
Stone Payton: It is my pleasure. All right. Until next time, this is Stone Payton for our guest today, Karen Eldad, with with enthusiasm coaching and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you in the fast lane.