Influencing the Influencers — Ilana Zivkovich on The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast

By December 20, 2019Podcasts

This week on The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast, Wes welcomes Ilana Zivkovich, Co-Founder and CEO of Werq — a leadership-advisory firm working to “to fuel the development of top-caliber teams who deliver real results.” Werq clients come from a wide array of industries, including real estate, private equity, CPG, healthcare, higher ed, and more. Zivkovich is also an experienced executive, certified executive coach, and licensed mental-health professional and is known for her exceptional public speaking and coaching abilities.

Ilana’s journey to owning her own company is fairly unconventional, even by entrepreneurial standards. While she grew a taste for entrepreneurship from a young age, Ilana studied social work, out of a desire to help people. But through executive coaching and leadership development, Ilana discovered that these two loves could become one. On the podcast, Ilana walks through her whole journey, from gaining a hunger for entrepreneurship to her rapid rise to executive-level success to the culmination of her life’s work — WERQ.


“What is the big picture?… And what am I going to do today that’s going to be the most important thing in getting me there?”

“[You have to ask yourself], what is most energizing? And what is most draining? Chances are, if it’s draining, it’s not going to be the thing that takes me to the next level anyways.”

“All of my failures happened exactly as they needed to, so that we can learn and continue to grow.”

“My success is from surrounding myself with people who are better than me, all the time.”


2:52: Ilana discusses early influences in her life that drove her towards entrepreneurship, including seeing the freedom her father gained from self-employment.

4:19: Zivkovich retells a single, formative event that took place after college graduation that ended up pushing her in the direction of executive coaching.

6:59: Ilana shares the emotions of sitting around a table, as a young 22-year-old, with other older members of senior leadership.

8:40: Ilana discusses how her company — Werq — came to be and speaks about her company’s energizing first engagement.

11:46: Zivkovich explains how the generosity of an angel investor helped shift the direction of the company to working full-time with C-suite executives.

14:36: Zivkovich shares how she prioritizes one opportunity over another, though admitting that this activity does not come easy for her.

16:16: Ilana walks through the struggles of finding her first client and mentions the point when she realized her company was beginning to scale.

18:52: Ilana describes how her company was confident of its success from the beginning, though unsure of what form that success would take.

20:48: Ilana spends some time reflecting on past mistakes but now views these mistakes as opportunities to grow.

23:08: Ilana discusses dreams of radical expansion for her company and leaves the listeners with one final piece of advice.


Originally aired and posted on The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast.

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