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Yigal Adato, Founder of Legion of Leaders: “I was just waking up, getting to work, no goals, no vision”

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Meet Yigal Adato, a successful entrepreneur and leadership coach. Yigal ran a very successful pawn shop for over 15 years only to realize he was completely miserable in his personal life and wasn’t really going anywhere in his business life. Then, he embraced his inner self and turned his business and personal life around 180 degrees. Tune into our today’s podcast and learn how!


Negotiation Tactics? Make the Other Guy Smile!


Yigal was the Vice President of Cashco Pawn Shop for 15 years. Naturally, I assumed, the guy must’ve learned a thing or two on negotiation throughout that period. After all, each pawn shop customer is looking to get the most money out of whatever they want to pawn.


So I asked Yigal about it – and the answer surprised me. It turns out that in order to make good deals with pawn shop customers and leave both sides happy, you need to break the moody atmosphere first.


“They walk in needing money. All of them. So if they walk in angry, you couldn’t really negotiate with them – you don’t have them on your side,” Yigal said, “So we would crack jokes! You know, we’d have the ‘joke of the day’ and say something funny, and they let down their guard. And once they let down their guard, it is much easier to start the conversation.”


It turns out not all pawn shops operate in a way depicted on Hardcore Pawn: the TV show illustrated the business as a constant, fierce battle between two sides.


Yigal’s shop wasn’t hardcore at all: “We were blessed with having incredible customers, great clientele. We were very sought-after in the community, we would give back to the community. [Only] once in a while we would have a difficult client.”


“Yigal, I didn’t get married to be alone”


Even though Yigal Adato found himself successful in the pawn shop business, he didn’t feel fulfilled in his personal life.


The break point came when two things happened almost simultaneously: his wife confronted him – saying that she didn’t get married to be alone – and Yigal’s father, who was only 58 years old, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia.


“So I started to look around and I was like, ‘all I do is work, work, work’ and I’m not really paying attention to what’s happening in my life,” Yigal shared with us, “So, I realized I have to be honest with myself. […] I was just waking up, getting to work, no planning, no goals, no vision strategies, nothing – just going day by day.”


In fact, there wasn’t much financial stimuli for Yigal to reconsider – the economy was great for pawn shops, and business was booming.


“Once I sat down to be honest with myself, Chase, I realised that I wasn’t operating at my full potential,” Yigal told us, “So I started looking into myself, how am I working as a leader, how do my employees see me, how do my vendors see me, how do my customers see me. And then we started to really change in the company.”


If you’d like to learn how Yigal transformed his personal and professional life, tune into our podcast at the top of the page!


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