1834 – Effective Strategies for CEO Coaching and Self-Awareness with Kris Kluver

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the President of Entrepreneurial Advisors, Kristopher Kluver.

Kluver Wide

Kris Kluver has carved a niche in strategic advising, guiding CEOs and entrepreneurs to envision and execute their goals precisely. Kris emphasized the importance of having a clear roadmap and the role of a strategic advisor in helping business leaders navigate the often-tumultuous waters of entrepreneurship. He shared practical examples and tools that have allowed his clients to succeed, highlighting the transformative power of a well-crafted strategy.

As a seasoned CEO coach, Kris understands the unique challenges that business leaders face. He shed light on the common pitfalls and how a coach can catalyze personal and professional growth. Kris discussed the value of having an external perspective to challenge your thinking, hold you accountable, and push you beyond your comfort zone. Kris's approach to coaching is not just about business growth but fostering leaders equipped to make impactful decisions.

Kris highlighted its significance in every aspect of leadership and personal development. He discussed how self-awareness can lead to better decision-making, improved relationships, and a more satisfying life. Kris shared insights on how to cultivate self-awareness and the impact it can have on your business and personal life.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Interview with Kris Kluver, founder of Entrepreneurial Advisors
  • Work in strategic advising and CEO coaching
  • Discussion of his book “Life on Your Terms: Discovering What's Next
  • Challenges of work-life balance for business leaders
  • Importance of self-awareness for business leaders

About Kristopher Kluver:

Kris Kluver is a distinguished facilitator, acclaimed author of “The Aspiring Solopreneur, Your Business Start-Up Bible,” and a seasoned entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience. His life's purpose revolves around aiding individuals, leadership teams, and business owners to achieve their dreams.

Kluver's commitment to relationship-building is evident through his 100% referral-based business model, emphasizing client success and fostering trust. As the founder of Entrepreneurial Advisors, a strategic advisory firm in the United States and Europe, Kluver guides organizations of all sizes in priority-setting, collaboration, issue resolution, and improved communication.

With a holistic approach, he employs simple tools and concepts to help businesses and individuals discover shared visions, master accountability, and form cohesive leadership teams for collective success. Kluver's diverse entrepreneurial background includes ventures in business consulting, real estate, online services, counseling, advertising, and financial services.

Harvard Business School-educated in Entrepreneurial Strategy, Kluver is also an Honorary Fellow at York University in the United Kingdom. He and his wife, Reka, also conduct couples retreats focused on strategic planning methodologies to align couples and help them achieve their ideal life.

Outside of his professional pursuits, Kluver channels his passionate and adventurous spirit into hobbies such as hiking, adventure travel, ultra-marathons, and global networking.

About Entrepreneurial Advisors:

Entrepreneurial Advisors (EA) is a dedicated strategy, facilitation, and coaching firm committed to empowering individuals and teams to realize and attain their aspirations. Utilizing proven tools, transparent facilitation, and seasoned collaboration, EA deeply invests in each client, measuring its success by the success achieved by those it serves.

The firm engages in a humbling daily experience of working with leaders, playing a pivotal role in channeling each client's passion, drive, and success. The genuine honor lies in contributing to the focus and realization of clients' dreams, making EA a trusted partner in the journey toward personal and professional achievements.

Tweetable Moments:

08:56 – “The biggest challenge with that is oddly it comes around for the individual seasoned leader to start giving themselves permission—permission to slow down a little bit and realize that just because somebody can, doesn't mean they should.”

04:11 – “We need to define what an ideal, spectacular life looks like first—physical, mental, spiritual, relationships, our partner, our family, our friends, and our resources—time, talent, and treasure. How we're leveraging those, but define what that success looks like first, and then incorporate the business into that.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Entrepreneurial Advisors website at

Check out Entrepreneurial Advisors on LinkedIn at

Check out Kristopher Kluver on LinkedIn at

Check out Kristopher Kluver’s Course at

Check out Kristopher Kluver’s Books at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Kris Kluver Kris, you are the founder of Entrepreneurial Advisors. Your website is Kris, thank you so much for joining us.

Kristopher (00:01:10) - Hey, Josh, thank you so very much. I'm humbled to be here.

Josh (00:01:13) - Yes. Well give us an overview of the work you do, the impact you have in the world and who you serve.

Kristopher (00:01:18) - Well, you know, I like to say I'm the the luckiest cat on the planet because I get to work with people that I love having an impact and driving it. I primarily in my quote unquote day job, uh, do strategic advising and CEO coaching, where basically I help turn around underperforming assets in the mid-market. It's an area that's been a lot of fun. And I've had some, some really solid success. I've helped multiple companies go from, um, entrepreneurial all the way to billion dollars market caps. But I also have multiple organizations where I help people who, uh, who've had their exits and they've achieved more than they ever thought possible. But then it turns out that they're sort of miserable sods and they're not happy with it. So helping people reframe and look at success in a different.

Josh (00:02:04) - Yeah. And so go ahead and let us, you know, a little bit more specifically because I'm sure there's some people may be listening to it and go, oh, okay. Leaning forward, tell me more.

Josh (00:02:13) - So what does that look like?

Kristopher (00:02:15) - Well, the challenge is, is, is a lot of people have played the game and done really well their whole life, and they ended up with a whole bunch of money. Maybe they have an exit, maybe they've hit that that stride in life where it's like, man, everything is going my way. But I they're really unfulfilled. And the primary reason is that we, as a society as a whole, tend to abdicate the narrative. We give it away on what success looks like. We give that away to the advertising industry, the social platforms, to the scarcity mindsets of others, to maybe even parents, peers, variety of those things. And, and rarely, you know, people get on that, that treadmill and they're just chasing the dollar. And then they they may get their exit and they're like, well, holy smokes, my wife doesn't like me and my kids don't like me. I don't like me. And and it's a matter of helping people to to transition and look at success in a different way.

Josh (00:03:09) - You, um, Kris, are also the author of the book, and I really am interested in this. Um, the the book is called Life on Your Terms discovering what's next. Uh, and I suspect that there's a lot of us that, uh, at some point in our lives, we are we're going to be asking those questions like, you know, I've worked my tail off. Here I am right here. But, you know, it's like I was actually even just talking about this, you know, about how often it's, you know, important for us to kind of keep that vision or those goals and where we're going. But sometimes, you know, we get so focused on the immediate, like, what needs to get done that it's easy. I admittedly, so I'll speak for myself. You know, it's like I need to make sure that I'm checking in with where I want to go and what my vision is because I, you know, I give me a task, you know, and I'm going to bust my tail working on it.

Josh (00:04:01) - But sometimes, again, I guess I don't maybe stop to think about, you know, the big picture and there's consequences to that if we don't know where we're going necessarily.

Kristopher (00:04:11) - Well. And the thing is, is one of the hot topics that everybody has a hard time with is work life balance. But the reality is, is, is I don't know that work life balance is even possible anymore. I think a healthy work life integration is. But to do that, we have to transition from a reactive state to a proactive state and look at success on a holistic level. And what I mean by that is so often especially business owners and senior leaders, they track and they focus more on building and driving the business, and then they try and make their life fit with that. And I think that's backwards. I think we need to define what is an ideal, spectacular life. Physical, mental, spiritual relationships, our partner or our family or friends and our resources, time, talent and treasure how we're leveraging those, but define what that success looks like first and then incorporate the business into that.

Kristopher (00:05:06) - And it actually you'll become more successful in the business. It's a lot of the CEOs I work with. I work with some publicly traded CEOs on a on a regular basis for coaching and helping them give themselves permission to protect themselves at the asset as the asset of the organization and look at things differently, helps them reframe that success in a different way.

Josh (00:05:32) - Now I'm on your website right now, Kris. And so I'm looking at like your services or like how you engage with your clients. Um, strategic facilitation, leadership and management training, strategic advisory. Can can you maKrisybe explain, like what kind of the structure of how you engage with your clients?

Kristopher (00:05:51) - You know, it's fun. I'm in the process of of reworking this. And I'm challenging myself to, to define where I want to go. And I actually practice this process myself. But helping my my gift is working with the high level C-suite and the CEOs, but helping them to to figure out what are those next steps and where do they want to go? Because the reality is, is for any of us.

Kristopher (00:06:15) - The skills that got us where we are today are not going to get us where we want to go tomorrow. And for us to grow through that. More often than not, there's going to be a little bit of discomfort. And how can you have somebody who can compassionately, but with ruthless consistently call you out and and help you challenge you to become the best person you can be? Because when those leaders become better leaders, when they stop being doers and they start transitioning to becoming teachers, facilitators, coaches, working on it instead of in it. And as cliche as that is, the the more that the business can start to accelerate and move faster.

Josh (00:06:53) - Yeah. Um, so, um, also to, um, you know, I mentioned your book. Um, can you tell me maybe just a little bit more about the book, who should be reading it? What the kind of the transformation that would take place. Um, and it's a, um, it's the book is a fable. It's, uh, so it's it's a story.

Josh (00:07:14) - Um, but I'm hoping maybe you could kind of give us a glimpse at, uh, you know, the the outcome there.

Kristopher (00:07:20) - Well, so, so in the book, there's, there's the there's two primary characters that get impacted. One is a younger person who is doing well financially successful wise, but doesn't feel happy and feels unfulfilled. And it's a different way of of redefining the success for that person. Another character in there is the owner of a private equity firm who's got more money than God and is losing the relationship with his spouse, and he's realizing and seeing the impact that that's having in the business in other ways. So so it really fits with anybody who primarily has the self-awareness that there's more out there, but they're not really sure how to achieve it. And and they're really questioning sort of the status quo on how people have looked at things. And they want to they want to live outside the box. They want to blow the whole damn thing up.

Speaker 3 (00:08:14) - Uh, you.

Josh (00:08:15) - Know, Kris, one thing I wanted to follow up on that you had mentioned earlier, and I think this really deserves to be, um, chatted a little bit more about is, is this idea of someone, an entrepreneur saying my life is out of balance right now, like I'm spending way too much work, or usually that's the case, right? And, um, you know, I'm wondering if maybe we could give them a little bit of grace for a moment.

Josh (00:08:40) - Um, in terms of, like, maybe they feel guilty. Maybe they've missed some opportunities. Um, they just feel out of whack. Maybe they feel a little burnt out. Um, can you stress that a little bit more? I'd really love a little bit more of your take on that.

Kristopher (00:08:56) - So. So the biggest challenge with that is oddly, it comes around for the individual seasoned leader to start giving themselves permission. Permission to slow down a little bit and realize that. So as an example, I spend at least 15 hours a week. I try and spend in the woods going for hikes, quiet time. Maybe I'm listening to a book or something, but it's it's giving people themselves permission to look and work on the business in a different way. And the biggest challenge is just because somebody can doesn't mean they should. So it is so easy to hide and busyness, slowing down, giving yourself permission and and being uncomfortable and saying, oh no, no, no, no, no, no.

Kristopher (00:09:39) - Who who can help me with this? How can I delegate? Is this really highest and best use of my time? And and being open and candid with themselves on that is is the challenge. So because I believe a lot of it unfortunately is self-inflicted. And the challenge is particularly for the senior leaders or owners, if that's the case, then that's the culture you're creating that goes through the entire organization, and it will. It's incredibly counterproductive versus when, when, when the senior leader can start to elevate to a different level, they start teaching everybody else in a very different way.

Speaker 4 (00:10:18) - Wow. You know, I don't think.

Josh (00:10:21) - That I've really stopped to consider that that how I model. Like if, if I have the personality where I'm the founder. So therefore I, you know, the buck stops here and I have to do everything. And I not only am I probably straying outside of my zone of genius a bit in terms of like my what the work I'm doing, but I think that that also applies to the fact that if they see me leaning toward getting advice from other consultants and experts, I'm modeling there as well.

Josh (00:10:51) - I had never really even thought about that aspect of it.

Kristopher (00:10:55) - It's it's helping senior leaders transition, like I said, to being those teachers, the facilitators, the coaches, empowering it. I use the the the analogy of the Last dance, um, from the Netflix series. Yeah, but Phil Jackson, no matter how good he was, could never get on the floor. All he could do was empower and build an amazing team and create a clear vision around that, and then meet his teammate and meet them where they were at to empower them to become the very best cohesive unit they could. Same thing with this. And this is where if you have a great leader who's always trying to go out on the field and always wants to take the ball and run everything else, all they're doing is showing everybody else. That's how I want you to manage and it's going to slow you down dramatically.

Speaker 3 (00:11:43) - Mhm. Yeah I love it.

Josh (00:11:46) - Um, Kris Kluver, um, you know to our friend that's been listening to our conversation and like listen I really appreciate what I'm hearing.

Josh (00:11:54) - Um, where, you know, I don't know if you can kind of maybe define who should be reaching out to you. Like, say, listen, if you're at this level, you know, or higher, but maybe not at this level, come talk to me like who who should be reaching out and what would you recommend their next steps be?

Kristopher (00:12:12) - Well, I appreciate that very much. Thank you. Josh. The the three primary things I look for if I choose to work with someone is number one, does that person have a self-awareness? Do they have a self-awareness that they're stuck and they're looking for help? Number two, they're dreaming and they're audacious as hell. They want to change the world. They want to grow like nobody's business because they're looking at things in a different way. And then three. Are they in an industry that has the potential to be disruptive? Is this something that has a potential to change in a very different way? When I have those three things, ideally it's typically going to be mid market which I define is 50 million to $1 billion.

Kristopher (00:12:52) - It's going to be in some cases it may be a private equity firm that's asking me to consider working with a with an organization. And there's ways we set up because because trust is critical on how we do that. I've had boards reach out to me, but it's typically the CEO is where I start and I will do consulting. It'll just straight coaching for a while. And then we build a very customized plan on what they need going forward.

Speaker 3 (00:13:17) - Yeah. Awesome.

Josh (00:13:18) - Again, Kris Kluver, um, your website, And then on the website you'll see a link, um, Kris, to your book, life on Your Terms Discovering what's next. Uh, again, it's a fable. You've got some great reviews on it and Ed, um, looks like a good read. So, uh, Kris, thank you so much for joining us. Loved our conversation.

Kristopher (00:13:42) - Thank you so much, Josh. And, uh, high level, if people want, they can go to Ente It's a little easier than the whole.

Kristopher (00:13:49) - Wait, wait.

Josh (00:13:50) - Slow down. Give me that one more time here.

Kristopher (00:13:52) - First three letters of entrepreneur. First three letters of advisor.

Josh (00:13:55) - Oh, e and t adv comm.

Speaker 3 (00:13:59) - Yes.

Josh (00:14:00) - Okay, great. Also, to our friend that's listening. Click around in your podcast app. You'll find where it's got show notes. You might have to click on the cover art or the information button or whatever. And we have a direct link, uh, Kris, to your website as well. Kris, thank you so much for the for the conversation.

Kristopher (00:14:14) - Right on. Thank you so much. Josh.

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