Arsen Ryabukha, Business Relations: ''It is madness to be always in stress state''

One of the leading business coaches tells about how an entrepreneur can achieve the results and not turn into ‘’electronic’’

Business Relations is one of the oldest companies in the Russian market of consulting and corporate training. Among its clients there are MTS, BBDO Group, Red Bull and other major Russian companies. Business Relations coach Arsen Ryabukha consults athletes in addition to businessmen. Realnoe Vremya discussed with the expert how — and whether it is necessary — to go towards the results in business and sport when there is no strength.

Arsen, you have consulted athletes and businessmen since 2005, and judging by your workshops and blogs it can be concluded that you use one and the same approach. Do I understand it correctly?

In fact, no matter what task a person solves, it is important his or her skills and knowledge, the attitude, approach, perception of the situation at the moment. Why do we often tell about sport in the company? Because it is a very pure and beautiful model of any achievement. In sport, everything is very simple. There is a goal, start, finish, there is a period, and you fight with yourself, with a sparring partner, with seconds. Here there is no deception, the scoreboard always tells you in the end if there is result or not. Life is multifaceted, and people find loopholes, calm themselves saying: I didn't want it anyway, I'm fine, come up with their own theories why they wanted but failed. Sport, in its turn, is a clear uncomplicated model, so we often use it.

On the other hand, we do promote sport. At our trainings, people give up cigarettes and alcohol in a few days. I think we do a good job, this is one of the reasons why we focus on sport.

There is another reason. If a person has not resolved some questions on the physical level, it is difficult to solve other problems. If a person is in poor condition — sad, depressed, then the brain at this moment becomes to feel sleepy.

Are businessmen and sportsmen similar?

I did not compare, I do not know. But they work in fundamentally different areas. The athletes are only interested in their ''playground''. They usually have the everyday life questions of life solved: they are transported, housed, fed. They do not have to choose a new path, to make decisions, they are only interested in questions of achievements on their ''track''. The business tasks are more diverse: there are the interests of other people, a business can grow and can shrink, competitors come, employees leave and so on.

Why do we often tell about sport in the company? Because it is a very pure and beautiful model of any achievement

Exactly. In this multitasking world, there is a feeling that the modern person who is looking for development, they are always in the paradigm of efficiency, productivity, results. Can they get exhausted? What if they do? How to find motivation to go forward?

One should not look for motivation. If I do something with joy, most probably, it is natural. If I need to be persuaded for something — obviously there is a problem. I think it's important to learn how to relax, not to be in a sort of wild stress state all the time. This is stupid. For example, today before a master class I went to a swimming pool (not for the result but for joy), was in the sauna, went to the nature, rested. It is important for me to fill myself with what gives me joy and happiness, that gives the strength to run another ''100-metre dash''. But to make yourself an ''electronic'' with objectives — then something alive, natural, spontaneous will be lost. The other extreme is to lie down and to meditate on the couch. In society it is not a good model. We live among people, close people expect something from us. So if I want to live among such people, so I need to be able to play as a team, achieve goals, find balance between my own and their interests.

In your blog you have a post about Bjørndalen — the person who won everything. What to do with such ''luggage''? If I understood you correctly, you believe that final winnings do not exist, one should always achieve new ones.

Of course.

Isinbayeva jumped 5,05 m. It is probably impossible physically do more for her. What to do with such results?

But it is always possible to jump not only up, but also sideways, to master new types. Of course, there are physical limits. But each person individually decides where to stop and what horizon to choose. Either you stay in your ''sport'' and continue to train to reach a new highest possible goal, or you master another sport. Or you can go in ''physical education'' for other loads. But it often happens in different way. People say ''I have achieved everything'' and remain standing still, continue to work in the same position, only this time losing heart and reducing the speed in half. He ''has done it all'', reaching the position of chief manager and believes that ''it is impossible to reach more anyway'', and then decides to sweat it out. With this approach, at some point a person ceases to be chief manager because he or she is dissatisfied, because it becomes ''toxic'', he or she is unhappy, unsatisfied, the person begins to make excuses on task, stops to be proactive, lowers the bar. At this point, the person also acquires experience. But it is the experience of a whiner, martyr, a tough and unpleasant person. It is individual choice — to be happier or to be more unsatisfied and unhappier. It is only necessary to understand that the experience of whiner is very dangerous. The further it gets the more difficult it is to get out of it.

Once you said that you constantly look for new challenges for yourself: run marathons, recently you have climbed Kilimanjaro. Many businessmen do the same. Although, if they are successful, obviously they face a great amount of challenges. Why do you need to generate new ones over and over again?

I don't know about others, but I want to see a lot, experience the diversity of life. Of course, ordinary life also offers challenges, but they lie on the same plane. I'm not looking for extreme, but I was wondering what makes people be into the theme of conquering mountains? I wanted to know what I would face on Kilimanjaro. Of course, I was faced with fear because I had absolutely no idea that would be a next step. Then I felt a sense of victory. It's up to us to choose, fear sometimes saves us but sometimes limits.

You took with you your 10-year-old son. In the blog you described in detail how he overcame all obstacles with the only purpose to go with you. How do you think — our children also need such challenges? Or they should be created artificially?

The way my child interacted with obstacles prompted me that he needed this challenge. When he overcame one difficulty, the second, the third, I realized he would overcome everything on the mountain. How other children would act I don't know. Someone maybe does not need such challenges. They should not be created artificially.

''I'm not looking for extreme, but I was wondering what makes people be into the theme of conquering mountains? I wanted to know what I would face on Kilimanjaro.'' Photo:

How to find out what training is useful and what is harmful?

I don't know how to do it. I always recommend to go for a promo event, which is inexpensive or free, and listen to a coach. If you listen and understand that you want to be with this person for a couple of days, to talk to him, if after that you feel better, inspired, if there are new thoughts — then it is your training and your coach. A player plays in Spartak and sits on the bench, and transfers to another club and gets in the national team – it means that he has found his coach. If you feel that the coach tells a ''nonsense'' and ''you yourself know everything'' — there is no need to go there. It's not a bad coach, just coaches are not for you. Another thing is that trainings are of poor quality, where the trainers tell you how you need to act. A person shares his problem, and he is told — get divorced! Your business doesn't succeed — give it up! Such trainings are dangerous. For one person advice might work out but it can hurt ten people. How can a person from outside take responsibility and determine the fate of another person: to divorce or not. Unfortunately, often people are willing to listen to the coach, consider their point of view less important than his. ''He said to get divorced and I did,'' I have heard such nightmare many times. Later, however, I clarified, ''Did you do the right thing?'' ''No, it was a stupid thing!''

By Aygul Chuprina

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