Egor Kirin is CEO of Agro.Club, Inc.
Firstly, can you give us a little bit of background about your business journey?
I began my career as a business analyst at Monsanto (now Bayer) and rose to executive positions in my late twenties. At 31, I started my own business and created Agro.Club Marketplace, a global digital solution for grain trade.
What role has self-belief played in your journey as a business leader? How has it influenced your decision-making and overall success?
Without self-belief, I would not have built a successful corporate career or a profitable global business. I would say that my faith in myself, based on my entrepreneurial mindset and professional skills, made it all possible.
Can you share a specific moment or challenge in your journey where your self-belief was tested? How did you overcome it and what did you learn from that experience?
I’ve been tested hard and am still being tested, as it takes time and many iterations to polish the business model and gain the infamous product-market fit. What really helps is to stay persistent and not give up when things go unexpectedly wrong. I also have a motto of my own: "There are always reasons to win, and there are always excuses to lose. You choose!" So I always try to focus on solutions rather than problems.
How do you cultivate and maintain a mindset of self-belief amidst the inevitable ups and downs of life?
In order not to panic over the inevitable ups and downs, you need to remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes. As R. Kiyosaki once said, "Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success."
Are there any specific strategies or practices you follow to boost your self-confidence when facing uncertainties or setbacks in your business?
I remind myself of everything we already achieved, regardless of how many people did not believe in us and how many external factors were not in our favor. However, we persevered and made it happen.
Furthermore, thinking of the successes of other inspirational people helps remind me that everything is possible and there are no boundaries except the ones in our heads.
How do you handle self-doubt or negative self-talk that may arise as a business leader? Do you have any specific techniques for reframing negative thoughts?
Confidence and risk-taking are part of any entrepreneurial journey; nonetheless, many times you find yourself in a moment of doubt or pessimism.
It is normal, as even the most successful of us are still human beings. What is important is to not let these feelings control you. Self-pity over how life is hard and everything works against you is an easy escape instead of fighting and finding solutions. Losers swim in the ocean of self-pity; winners take control and move forward.
Having a strong support system around you is also critical.
Sometimes you need just a few good words from loved ones to shake off negativity and move forward. Similarly, a lack of support or even dissupport can really drown you. So be smart about who you surround yourself with—no toxic or negative people.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who struggle with self-belief? How can they start building a stronger sense of confidence and belief in themselves?
Focus on small wins, celebrate them, and use them as building blocks for your confidence. Gain confidence outside of work.
What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? Go do it, win, gain confidence, and apply this confidence at work.
Help the people around you. Their appreciation and support, as well as your own self-fulfillment, will make you stronger.
Don’t self-pity, and stop thinking that you are not confident.
At the end of the day, it is all in your head, so it is important to control it and take charge.
Have you ever encountered external skepticism or negativity regarding your business ideas or decisions? How do you stay grounded in your self-belief despite external influences?
All the time!
You always hear "This will not work", "Noone needs this", "It has been tried before", bla bla bla. As discussed earlier, it is important to stay focused, get feedback, adapt, and ultimately move forward.
What is harder to handle is when people close to you don’t believe in what you do and don’t support you.
I faced this as well. This will really test your inner strength and ability to persevere. Sometimes, proving these people wrong can be a good motivator in the short term. But long-term, it is critical to surround yourself with like-minded people.
Are there any books, podcasts, or people you'd recommend checking out for anyone who wants to change to a more self-confident and belief-rich mindset?
I really enjoyed reading "Principles" by Ray Dalio. The book covers how to make decisions, seek the truth, and set the processes together to succeed.
Finally, what are some practical tips or exercises you can recommend for entrepreneurs to strengthen their self-belief and mindset on a regular basis?
- Develop your personality in as many directions as possible. For example, learn to negotiate or a foreign language; master an innovative technology or start using a new technique; practice running a meeting or a festive event; etc. - Be sure to keep yourself in good physical shape. - You will definitely be lucky if you work hard and invest a lot in yourself. Quantity always turns into quality. - Get to know successful people. - Surround yourself with like-minded people. - Read good books.
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us here! Where should people follow you to find out more about your work?
My LinkedIn profile is at https://www.linkedin.com/in/egor-kirin-08878a25