Hello, I’m Evgeny.
I’m a founder coach.
I guide startup founders through the critical transition from founder to CEO as their startups scale — or help them exit gracefully with a renewed sense of purpose and peace of mind.
Taking your seat as a CEO is not a path suited for every founder, but for a business to grow, founders must evolve alongside it.
As the founder and CEO of Makers – Europe’s first coding bootcamp – I learned leadership lessons on how to run and scale a business the hard way.
I had the privilege of learning from some of the best founder coaches as a CEO. Being coached didn’t only change the way I did business; it changed me as a person.
After stepping down as Makers’ CEO, I became a founder coach myself, helping others walk this path.
Most importantly, always do the right thing
What is coaching?
When the walls are caving in for a CEO, their coach might be the only person in their life who can make them feel like they’re not alone, and that makes all the difference.
When my clients tell me what it’s like for them to run a business while juggling life’s challenges, they know I’ve been there.
I don't see my clients as weak, broken or ignorant. To me, they are whole, resourceful and brave.
Our coaching relationship takes us both on a journey of discovery and wonder in service of their agenda and growth.
Coaching is an equal relationship between two peers. When I’m coaching, I’m not advising, teaching, healing or mentoring – although I may occasionally share some of my experience with your permission. I rely on my intuition, curiosity and sense of wonder.
I bring in frameworks and exercises if and when required, staying attuned to the present moment.
We’ll work with the external (actions, goals, obstacles) and internal (self-awareness, inner drives and conflicts, needs and emotions). However, in my experience, many external factors take care of themselves once the inner game is seen and understood.
For this reason, I tend to look at the external (“how to close the investment round?”) alongside the internal (“what internal conflict is manifesting here?”).
I believe that it’s our responsibility to make the world a better place. I think that moral virtues are shortcuts to peace of mind and wellbeing (if shortcuts exist at all). I believe that our minds are constantly lying to us in predictable ways, and it’s worth examining closely what’s truly going on.
Years of practicing meditation have taught me that while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. It is the unavoidable result of resisting what is and being unwilling to let go. I believe it’s more worthwhile to build a company where we’d like our children to work than the most profitable business.
Coaching may well take us both into uncomfortable territory. It’s up to me to navigate the balance between challenge and support skilfully, yet the conversation still may get difficult for both of us.
In our coaching relationship, I will relate to you as a whole person and show up as a whole person. While we’ll primarily focus on your growth in a professional context, no area of life will be off-limits if it’s relevant to our agenda.
A combination of tension, challenge, non-judgmental acceptance, focus on self-awareness and growth, and an opportunity to explore every facet of life is what makes coaching a special growth modality.
This is why I coach.
How does coaching work?
Can we book a complimentary session first?
Yes. Please reach out on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange a coaching session.
What happens in a coaching session?
Every session starts with a quick check-in: how are you right now? It’s an opportunity to arrive mentally, pause, and pay attention to our mind, body, and spirit before going any deeper.
In the first session, we’ll talk about the goals for the overall engagement. This is the “big agenda” that will guide our work. At the start of every session, we’ll also define the “small agenda” for the current session and discuss how it links to the big agenda. It'll also be an opportunity to revisit the big agenda if needed.
At the end of each session, we’ll discuss what you learned and what steps you will be taking as the result if any. It will also be an opportunity to refer to the small agenda set at the beginning of the session and discuss how the session went.
What is the technology used?
I only coach remotely. I often use Zoom but will work with any platform you prefer (Zoom, Teams, Hangouts etc.). I often keep in touch with founders using phone, email, WhatsApp and Telegram in between sessions, often using voice notes, but I’ll work around your platforms of choice.
How do I engage with my clients?
With most clients we schedule a regular bi-weekly 60 or 90 minute coaching slot. In some cases we meet less often, and in others more often.
I also facilitate management offsites for founders and do 360 feedback reviews for them.
I ask for a 3-month commitment before judging progress as real change takes time. However, if you feel that the process is not working for you for any reason, I will refund all sessions that haven't been taken.
How is coaching different from therapy, advisory, consulting or mentoring?
Coaching is focused on the present and the future: what’s happening now and what will be different going forward. Therapy is focused largely on healing what happened in the past. Having said that, sometimes coaching will take us into a “therapeutic” territory if that’s the right thing to do. If I believe that you would be better served by a therapist, I will say so. Often, entrepreneurs work with both coaches and therapists in parallel.
Coaches ask open-ended questions without an attachment to the outcome. Advisors tell their clients what to do. Coaches support their clients in achieving their goals, but they are not accountable for delivering them, whereas consultants are accountable for the work they promised to deliver.
Coaches focus on helping their clients grow by reflecting on what we see, asking open-ended, honest questions, and holding them accountable. In contrast, mentors guide their mentees by sharing their expertise and experience.
How does a coaching relationship end?
No coaching relationship is meant to last forever. One of my jobs as a coach is to make myself redundant by helping you grow as a CEO, achieve your goals, learn new skills or transform yourself.
In the beginning, we’ll discuss our “big agenda”: the desired outcomes for coaching. Then, throughout our coaching journey we'll be tracking the progress you're making towards your goals, recommitting to our relationship to make sure it's still serving and supporting you.
At one point we'll notice that the initial goals have been achieved and the lessons have been learned. It'll be a natural point for us to discuss what's next for you after our coaching relationship ends.
Who are your clients?
These quotes come from some of my current and past clients who kindly gave me permission to share them.
"Evgeny has a rare combination of superpowers as a coach. He has the patience to listen, the compassion to hear me without judgment, the empathy and experience of someone who has been there and done it, and the tools to bring out the best in me."
Rory Stirling, Partner at Connect Ventures
"Whatever personal growth I may have found in recent months, I attribute to Evgeny. Time with Evgeny feels like an open conversation with your soon to be wiser self. I am one of the lucky few to have Evgeny on my team."
Ben Henley-Smith, CEO of cord
During the most challenging time of my professional career, I've been fortunate enough to have Evgeny in my corner.
His ability to listen, dig in deep and then have me reflect on the conversation in such a way that I can get strong value from it is unique.
Evgeny has improved me as a leader and as a person.
Øyvind Reed, CEO of Whereby
"Having Evgeny as a coach was a real game-changer for me. Every two weeks, I looked forward to having an external voice to speak to and it was even better he could empathize with being an entrepreneur and going through the phase of scaling up."
Timothy Armoo, CEO of Fanbytes
"Working with Evgeny has been a transformative experience. His approach is a combination valuable insights stemming from his time as CEO, fine-tuned listening skills, and putting your human needs first. Through gentle inquiry, Evgeny has helped me reach insights I could not have reached myself. The value of coaching work is hard to quantify, but I can't imagine doing what I do without his support. For anyone struggling with rapid growth, Evgeny is the best antidote."
Maciek Pizkorz, CEO of Apollo Scooters
"I always look forward to my conversations with Evgeny. His style has greatly helped me refocus my energies and complete some major goals in my busy schedule. From our sessions, I have grown more confident in looking at different approaches and focusing on taking action. In a time of one hour, I am able to view my situation from an entirely new angle, and suddenly valuable new perspectives on my current situation and new roads to solutions open up."
Christian Kerr, CEO of AiCore
"Working with Evgeny has supercharged my growth as a founder and i'd thoroughly recommend the same to any founder looking to sharpen their skills and keep up with the growth of their business. Evgeny's expert listening skills combined with his experience as a founder means he can help you work through even the most challenging situations. I often find my session with Evgeny being the highest ROI meeting of my week. "
Liam Young, CEO of Harper Concierge
"Working with Evgeny has really helped accelerate my business. Whether it's the day-to-day operational challenges of scaling a company or deeper, more personal or strategic issues, Evgeny finds the right questions to ask and always gets to the root of the problem.
Often somewhere very different from where you set out from!
Our fortnightly sessions give me clarity and purpose and I truly recommend Evgeny to any founder or business operator."
Gideon Chain, CEO of Ambie
"Evgeny is very calculated in his approach and will always help you to figure out the solution yourself. On the odd occasion, he will challenge you in ways that will really help!"
Malone Mukwende, founder of Black and Brown Skin
"Evgeny has consistently helped me to look beyond surface-level challenges that I come to him with by taking a step back to identify the true cause and confront that as opposed to simply finding a quick fix for an immediate issue (which is the approach a lot of coaches take).
He’s had a positive impact on me personally and professionally and I’d thoroughly recommend working with him."
Gordon Smith, VP Revenue at Hubble
"If you’re a CEO or a founder and you need someone to support you on your journey, Evgeny has the empathy and he can also challenge your perspectives. I'm so grateful for his support."
Kate Pljaskovova, CEO of FairHQ
"Evgeny is fully present. This gives him the ability to truly listen and help you get to the bottom of your problem by asking you questions. In our first session he helped me unlock and take action on things I was sitting on for 5-9 months"
Arunjay Katakam, founder of Inclusive Action Lab
"I wanted to find a coach who I trusted to have high internal standards for themselves which would match the standards that I want to impose on myself. At the same time I knew I needed someone with the empathy and patience to bridge the gap in the periods when I miss those standards. Evgeny has been perfect for this."
Peter Nixey, founder of Copyin and Intentional.
"Evgeny encouraged me to be more familiar with my true self and build a practical tool box, meaning I could take these profound learnings into all areas of my professional and personal life."
Georgina Harding, founder of Semaine
"In just a few sessions we were able to unlock and improve so much. I can't overstate how transformative his coaching was for me. In short, I'm a better person: more patient, relaxed, generous, and optimistic."
Ed Dowding, CEO of Represent.me
How do we start working together?
Drop me a line on email@example.com and let’s have a conversation.
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