Prati Kaufman is a marketing consultant, energy coach, expert networker—and an unintentional entrepreneur. MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price spoke with Prati about aligning her mission and tapping into a local and global network to build her business in the Hartford Region.
NAN PRICE: How did your entrepreneurial mindset develop? Did you always plan to be a business owner?
PRATI KAUFMAN: My entrepreneurial mindset began when I was a child. I grew up in a community that really focuses on business—everybody in my family owns a successful business except my father, who was a school principal. So, I learned a lot about business ownership through my family, but I never thought I would become a business owner.
When the time came and I realized I didn’t want to be in the corporate world anymore, it seemed like a natural extension to start something on my own. I took some time to understand who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do in my business before I created a business model and launched Prati Kaufman Coaching, LLC in 2018.
NAN: As you were building out the business, did you tap into local resources?
PRATI: I love that question because I feel I have a such a different story. Three years ago, I decided I was just going to go out and meet people. I did a lot of networking and connected with the Women’s Business Center at the University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center, which is where you and I actually met!
I have a marketing background and I was marketing myself by networking and through opportunities to lead workshops and be a speaker. I talked about mindset and marketing and how you have to understand your energy to grow your business. At the time, I had no business model. I didn’t know what I want to sell. I didn’t have business card. I didn’t have a website. I had nothing except my years of marketing experience. So, I build my business entirely through networking.
NAN: Tell us about your global connection.
PRATI: I’m part of a global community. I grew up in India and I lived in Dubai before I moved to America to be with my husband, who is from Texas. So, my community is global.
I recently added a digital marketing agency under the umbrella of Prati Kaufman Coaching, LLC. Now, I have an offshore team of subject matter experts in India. I’m more of a strategic planner and I can make the greatest strategic plan, but if it isn’t executed right, the client will never get the optimal results.
In business, the right team and the right collaboration is everything. So, I did some research and found this amazing digital marketing agency company in India, which I partnered with to bring their services to my clients here in the U.S.
I’m also global in my mindset—bringing all kinds of people together and creating diversity with different mindsets and philosophies—I think it’s very powerful for every business to have that kind of a team.
NAN: Now, let’s talk about your Connecticut connection.
PRATI: I love Connecticut and I support the local economy here. I always say, if somebody wants to have an immigrant talk about Connecticut, they should hire me! Of all the places I could live in America, Connecticut is home. I love the seasons, the local community, and the local businesses.
I feel like if I’m going to live here, it’s almost imperative that I support the local economy in any way I can, whether it’s shopping or working with local business. Knowing entrepreneurs often can’t get those kinds of big company marketing services, I knew I wanted to work with local entrepreneurs and business owners.
NAN: What are the biggest takeaways or lessons you’ve learned in your entrepreneurial journey?
PRATI: Number one, doing is better than not doing. When in confusion, do something, then you’ll know what not to do or what to do next.
The second thing is, from the beginning, you have to think like a CEO. I cannot emphasize that enough. So often I meet people who become an employee of their company rather than the CEO of their company. They think they need to do everything. They don’t know how to outsource. They’re not thinking big and they end up staying where they are for a long period of time because they’re not spending enough time dreaming and planning for their business. They’re just running the business. So, thinking like a CEO is important. You don’t have to control everything. Once you hire the right people, let go of the control and just breathe.
The third thing is letting go of the idea that you have to be working hard. That’s my favorite. Many people think you have to work really hard to get ahead. And initially I did that. I was working, working, working, and thinking: Why did I quit my job just to do this and never have any free time? I had to back off from that thinking process.
We all have 24 hours in a day. When you look at all the successful people, how come some are making billions and some are not making enough? It can’t be just the hard work alone.
I believe you don’t have to work hard. You just need to work in alignment. That’s how I look at things. We need to work in our business and on our business. We need to spend equal time doing both rather than just doing work without ever sitting back and thinking: Where do I want to go from here?
My last takeaway is to manage energy, not time. Like I said, we all have 24 hours a day. If somebody can produce a lot more in those hours, it’s because they’re managing their energy, they’re not just managing time. They know how to get into their “zone of genius”—understanding their strengths and weaknesses. They’re good at knowing how much to outsource and really good at managing what works for them in life.