September 29

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Busy, Working Mother Opens Meditation Studio and App

By Mimi Maclean

September 29, 2020


Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath.

In November of 2012, Suze Yalof Schwartz’s mother-in-law taught her powerful three-minute breathing and guided visualization techniques that transformed her stress to calm. Blown away and wanting more, Suze’s mother-in-law suggested meditation. Suze’s search for a place to quickly learn meditation yielded disappointing results for a busy, working mother. At the time, Suze was commuting from Los Angeles to New York for her job as a fashion editor. All of the options she found were time-consuming and expensive. Suze wondered,?Where is the?Drybar of meditation? Somewhere you can walk in feeling icky and walk out feeling great.

This was when Suze thought of the idea for Unplug, meditation without all of the fluff or fuss. Diving into practice and business with only a little bit of experience and knowledge about meditation, Suze went in with an open and growth mindset. Suze took hundreds of hours of classes and courses, read every book possible, and listened to podcasts, lectures, and more from the world’s most famous meditation teachers. Looking back, Suze said, “learning how to do things [she] had never done before and then mastering it has been maybe [her] favorite part of owning [her] own business.” Take Suze’s story as an example to never be afraid to dive into something head first and learn as you go. It won’t be perfect, and you are going to fail. But failure is just a way to get better.

This week on the Badass CEO Podcast, Suze describes how she started Unplug Meditation and how it has evolved into the world’s first drop-in, secular meditation studio, and app with over 600 guided meditations and live classes. Unplug was designed for entrepreneurs in mind. Listen to this week’s episode for proof that you can unplug, destress, and decompress in 16 seconds.

Read Transcript

Mimi (00:01):

Welcome to the Badass CEO podcast. This is Mimi MacLean. I?m a mom of five, entrepreneur, Columbia business school grad, CPA, and angel investor. And I?m here to share with you my passion for entrepreneurship. Throughout my career, I?ve met many incredible people who have started businesses, disrupted industries, persevered and turned opportunity into success. Each episode, we will discuss what it takes to become and continue to be a badass CEO directly from the entrepreneurs who have made it happen. If you?re new in your career, dreaming about starting your own business, or already an entrepreneur, the badass CEO podcast is for you. I want to give you the drive and tools needed to succeed in following your dreams.

Mimi (00:59):

Welcome back to the badass CEO. This is Mimi McClain, and today we have Suze Schwartz, and she?s the CEO and founder of Unplug Meditation. She?s also the author of Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers. And she?s a creator of the unplug meditation app. Suze?s mission is to make meditation simple, powerful, and interesting enough so that everyone will want to practice it and experience the benefits for themselves. Okay, Suze, thank you so much for coming on today. I?m so excited to hear all about Unplug.

Suze (01:37):

Thank you so much for inviting me on this is going to be really fun. I?m excited to do this. I know.

Mimi (01:42):

So when I moved to LA, I remember you starting Unplug. So it has to be eight years, actually six and a half years. You probably were talking to me when I was coming up with the idea and, you know, studying and learning everything there was to learn about meditation. Unplug is the world?s first drop in meditation studio, so it?s pretty amazing what happened after those conversations that we had on the soccer field.

Mimi (02:09):

Right? Right. So what inspired you to do it?

Suze (02:12):

I was a fashion editor before this, so I used to work at Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, I was at Glamour for 14 and a half years doing makeovers on television shows and traveling around the world, covering fashion. And my husband decided to move to Los Angeles. He got this great job opportunity and he dared me to change my life. And I was like, okay, I?ve never not worked before. So I moved to LA. I was not working for six months. Like just trying to like figure out, you know, with the three boys settling them and the whole thing. And then I started working again and I was going back and forth between New York and LA. And um, one of my trips in New York, I was so stressed out my mother-in-law that really told me that I needed to breathe. And she?s like, just close your eyes. So I close my eyes and she now slow down your breath. And I slowed down my breath. And she said, now imagine yourself in your happy place. And I?m like imagining myself in Jamaica. And the next thing you know, I?m totally calm. I?m like, what, what did you just do? What is that? She said, it?s called meditation. You should learn how to do it. So I came back to LA, started Googling places to meditate. And I?m like, where?s the easy place cause everything was kind of eight week program, six-week program retreat, $1,400, four days intensive. I?m like, where?s like the Dry Bar, which is a blowout bar where you can like pop in and 30 minutes later you feel great. And I realized it didn?t exist. So I started Googling New York, Paris Milan everywhere in the world didn?t exist. So I said to my husband, I should quit fashion and I should open up a meditation studio. And he said, you really should learn what meditation is first. I?m like, yeah, I?m going to do that. And then I?m gonna do this. And that?s kind of how it all started.

Mimi (03:55):

That?s a great story. And what was like the hardest part starting out?

Suze (03:59):

I didn?t know anything about anything. I mean, to be honest with you, I learned everything as I went along. Like I, first of all, didn?t really, I knew about meditation, but not a lot. Right. I just knew I?ve always been interested in decorating. So I had a vision of what the space would actually look like. So I had to find the space and then I had to convince a landlord to let me move in. When I had no background at all whatsoever, I had to find the top teachers in the world to teach and convince them that this was a good idea because it had never been done before. I had to learn how to work a POS system, which is a point of sale system. I had no idea what that was. I had to buy retail. I never did that before. So like everything was a first, which made it so much fun. Now that I think about it, the best part about it was learning everything that I had never learned before. And just trying all these different things and, and becoming an expert in a lot of different areas because you have to be, you have to become an expert on software and you have to learn about what a P&L is, you know, profit and loss. Like I didn?t know any of that stuff. So that was, there were a lot of hurdles.

Mimi (05:10):

And where did you find that information from?

Suze (05:14):

Google. I went to university of YouTube. I remember at the very beginning, I said to a woman, I don?t know what I?m doing. Do you mind if I watch you as you bring up a sale? Cause I?ve never seen that before. Like I never really paid attention and she?s like, look, you will learn everything as you go. If you are worried about what you don?t know now, don?t worry about that whatsoever. If you learn as you go, you?ll become a pro. And that?s kind of how I started this business and I?m still learning. And actually what I find is that the learning is the best part of the business, learning how to do things I?ve never done before and then mastering it has been maybe my favorite part of owning my own business.

Mimi (05:58):

That?s great. Yeah. You?re always learning, always growing. That?s a great way to look at it. So did you actually ever teach a class right off the bat or did you just rely on experts?

Suze (06:07):

So what happened was I was taking hundreds of classes, doing all these different things. And then I hired this guy who was a famous meditation instructor. And I asked him to do our first ever teacher training, where I was going to train all the teachers to teach with the Unplug philosophy, which is simple, powerful, effective, and fun. I didn?t want it to be long. I didn?t want it to be boring. I didn?t want it to be lineage based religious. I wanted it to be like minimalistic, but powerful and inspiring enough that you would want to do it all the time. So he trained me at the same time and I ended up hiring a lot of these major mindfulness experts. And what I found was that people were not interested in mindfulness. They started preferring the guided imagery and guided visualizations and crystals and aroma therapy and soundbath and meditation, but without the suffering part. So it was kind of interesting. We had to kind of recreate meditation in a place where it was even more simple than it was before. So for instance, when I?m saying without the suffering part in mindfulness and in most meditation practices, it?s kind of like a, feel it to heal it, you get in touch with what hurts or the suffering, you go through it and then you rise above it. So the way that they?ll do that, and they?ll say notice that where you?re feeling pain or notice where the discomfort is. And what we found was that people didn?t really want to come and notice their pain and notice the discomfort they wanted to like feel better quick. So we said, notice how you?re feeling, which was great because then everyone who felt uncomfortable was allowed to feel uncomfortable. And everyone who walked in just wanting to experience something cool was allowed to experience something cool. So we kind of figured out different ways to language, the same thing.

Mimi (08:05):

That?s great. That?s great. So once you had it set up, how did you get your name out? Like, did you just email all your friends? Like what did you do to build the brand?

Suze (08:12):

Well, this is a great thing to tell anyone who?s thinking of opening up their business because they all go through exactly what I went through, which is you basically tell all your friends and everybody you know, and everybody?s like, I?m going to be there every single day. I want to do this all the time. And then you have the big launch party. Everybody shows up, you?re serving cocktails, they are so proud of you, you know, next thing you know, nobody?s showing up in the studio, you?re by yourself and you feel like, where are my friends? How come you would ever come again? Your friends are like, don?t want to even talk to you because they just feel guilty that they?re not showing up at your business. So what happened was it turned out that these like random people started showing up. None of which were my friends, people that I had never associated with before. Like there was a guy who came in who had tattoos from his ankle all the way to the top of his neck. And I never like hung out with a fully tattooed man. And it turns out he was the best customer and the best human being I?ve ever met. He actually had a gym across the way. He was a personal trainer. So he ended up sending all of his clients. He became a great client of mine, a great friend of mine. So that was like another gift of this is that it actually got me out of the mom bubble. It got me out of my comfort zone of surrounding myself with just people who are like me. And it forced me to surround myself with people who have different struggles, whether they?re suffering from addiction or, you know, depression or anxiety, or I don?t know, homelessness, or there?s so many different pain, like severe pain patients. The UCLA pain center was sending all their clients to us. And I never really hung out with people who can?t even move they?re so uncomfortable. So yeah, that was like another huge gift was that it wasn?t my friends. It wasn?t the clients that I thought was going to come to this. I had this vision. It would be like all this soul cycle people. No, it was not that it is like a come as you are a party every single time. And that?s what I loved about it. So it started really small, like five people showing up in a class, then 10 people showing up in a class by the end, there was like 70 people showing up at the class. I couldn?t even get into some of the classes. It was amazing. And they were filled with people that were really interesting. Like I crave meeting people from different backgrounds. I don?t want to surround myself with the same type of people. I already know my type. What I want to do is learn about the human experience and everyone. And it?s just, it?s been such an incredible gift because of that too.

Mimi (11:04):

Yeah. That?s awesome. I totally know what you mean. Especially with Beautycounter, I have grown that business and it has not been from friends and family. It?s just been from other people that are already interested in like safe beauty or, or whatnot.

Suze (11:19):

I?m friends with Greg. Actually. I used to do make-overs with Christy Coleman. Who?s the lead makeup artist. She went to NASCAR and we did makeovers together in the NASCAR pit.

Mimi (11:34):

Oh, that?s awesome. What a great story. Yeah, so it always takes, like, I always say it always takes twice as long and twice as much money to become profitable and to where you projected it. So did you find that to be the case or were you pretty profitable right off the bat?

Suze (11:49):

No, I wasn?t profitable off, but I was running lean, like super. I was the studio manager. I was parking the cars. I was the teacher. I was the basically, you know, doing every single thing. And then by like around six months we were breaking even, and then we were profitable.

Mimi (12:05):

It?s amazing.

Suze (12:06):

Then we started growing and then you start spending more than you?re making. So we?re now in growth mode. So we have the Unplug meditation app, which has all over the world and we had the first iteration, the second iteration. Now we?re on the third one. So we?re growing that, and that ends up being something that you spend a lot of money on. So sometimes when you start a business, you?re using your money and you?re like, okay, I only want to use this. And then people want to put money into you. And you?re growing faster than you even can imagine. And profitability seems like it?s far away, but you need that for growth. So I?m in growth mode right now.

Mimi (12:48):

So when did you decide to do the app? Like, was that because of code that or did you do it before?

Suze (12:53):

I did it before. So what happened was there was a client who named Yurone. He used to work at ESPN and he loved unplug so much. What was happening was more people were like, we?re going crazy over the unplug. They loved it so much that they would move to apartments closer to the studio and they would not even want to travel anymore for cause they were afraid to leave their teacher. And Yurone said to me, you know, I hate traveling now because I go to Lauren?s one o?clock class and I don?t want to miss her. Can we film her? You should do an app. In fact, he said, I also should do live streaming. And I?m like, Oh, the live streaming it?ll be so impersonal. I don?t want to do that. But I?m like, you know, let me, let me try. So first we started filming Lauren. Then another client was like, could you film Heather? Could you film Steve? Could you film so-and-so? So we started filming all the different teachers for the clients and it became very niche because they?re like, I want hypnosis for weight loss. Can you do a meditation for divorce? Can you do one for, so we were making these things because of what the clients were asking. And now we have a collection of over 750 meditation videos where basically you can search any single thing that you need. So whether you?re anxious, can?t sleep, depressed, you know, want to find your best self, want to find your life?s purpose. I could go on and on. You can just go into the search bar and type it in, get happy quick, feeling overwhelmed, whatever. And in 10 minutes, and under you are in a different state of mind, it is the most magical thing. And you feel like it?s like having your best friends in your pocket. These teachers are looking at you on the video. So you feel a human connection. It?s not just a voice in your head. It?s a human being. You?re seeing, that has personality, that you feel like cares and is connected to you, just like the classes. So it started growing, growing, growing, and now, wow. It?s like, we?ve people meditating with us in Tokyo. We?ve people meditating with us in Australia. We have people not only doing that, but like now they?re coming in, they?re doing our Unplug Meditation Teacher Training Program from all over the world. And then those people are rippling it out. So it?s just like, it has this ripple and the ripple is positive. It?s like when you?re in a bad mood, everyone around you is in a bad mood when you?re in a good mood, everyone around you is in a good mood. So like we are training people to be in a good mood and ripple that out. So that feels great. I have to say people come to us because they just, they want to feel good.

Mimi (15:41):

That?s awesome. And then how would you compare yourself to like calm app or other apps out there?

Suze (15:45):

Well, first of all, calm app and Headspace are two phenomenal meditation apps that focus primarily on mindfulness, which is a type of meditation that?s just cultivating awareness of the present moment and they?re beautiful apps. They?re audio based. So you don?t really see videos. You?re not like seeing the teachers. Ours is more like we have real teachers from our real studio and there?s over 75 of them. So you can find that voice that you like with Calm and Headspace. Yeah. Andy Puddicombe was a genius. He?s the voice or there?s a woman named Tamara from Calm and she?s the voice. So for us, it?s like we have diversity and different voices coming out at you. So we also have different modalities. So yes, we have mindfulness, but we?ve guided imagery, hypnosis, aroma therapy, crystal healing, meditation, tapping for not eating sugary carbohydrates. I did that one for me. That?s kind of what our app is more about. It?s more about a human experience and connecting with people personally and with the intention of making people feel better in 10 minutes and under. Oh and we have sound baths which are we just launched them.

Mimi (17:05):

I want to do that.

Suze (17:06):

Oh, they?re amazing.

Mimi (17:08):

Interesting. I would love to do that. And so wait, I also read that you wrote about, so where did that student to this?

Suze (17:14):

Oh yeah. Okay. So we opened up in 2014 and in 2017, I launched the Unplug meditation app and random house approached me to write a book. And I was like, okay. So basically I wrote Unplug meditation, a simple guide to meditation for busy skeptics and modern soul seekers. And that book is the best advice from our best teachers. And we explain all of the different styles and types of meditation and the science in a very simplistic and easy way. So if you start at page one and you end at page like 256, like three hours to read the whole book, by the end of that, you will get it 100%. And that?s what the goal was. It was like a great book for people who say, well, what?s the best book I should read to learn about meditation. I would say the Unplug book is the best book that you can start. Cause you?ll get an overview of all the different styles and all the different types.

Mimi (18:18):

Oh that?s great. Okay. So the other thing I wanted to ask was, and I?m sorry, this happened to you. So I hope it?s not going to regret trauma, but the two weeks ago, or whenever I was on your social media page and your Instagram was hacked and you lost all of your followers.

Suze (18:36):

I lost 70,000 followers in 60 seconds. And the reason why that happened was I got a direct message from Instagram, with the logo, with the whole thing. It?s an Instagram help office. You?ve been approved for verification check, which we?d applied for. You know, those blue checks just press enter. And you know, you?ll go through the steps and you?ll get your verification. So press enter. I put in my email password, next thing I know. So then I go to Instagram and I went on to the helpline. Cause there?s like a place where you can get help, but the app was broken. So there was no way to connect with the help office of Instagram, even on the website, no way, there was no one there to help you. And there?s no phone number. There?s no one you can call. And we were advertisers on Facebook too. So I reached out to Facebook. They?re like, sorry, we can?t help you. It was the weirdest thing. I ended up getting my account back because, well, actually there?s even more craziness to the story, which I can tell you afterwards. But I got it back because a girlfriend of mine who I worked with at glamour magazine had a friend, no, actually it was PR. And they used to do an account, you know, represent Instagram. So they reached out to someone on my behalf because she just felt that it took her. And then my mother?s boyfriends, he?s an ophthalmologist. Client?s son works at Facebook. So he was helping to say two people like helping me on the other end, how do they find it? Like, how are they able to get it back? What happened was that the hacker who also approached me as the helper who could help me get it back, which I believe is the hacker. The hacker was the one that became the hero, but we didn?t, I didn?t end up paying him a thousand dollars to get my account back. So the hacker takes your Instagram account and then he changes the name of it. Then they try to pretend that they?re the helper to help you get it back. It?s like they hold it ransom. But they pretend to be the helper to help you get it back. I noticed your Instagram was down. I can help you get it back thousand dollars. But then I felt like something was off with that. So it was like, I just can?t bring myself to do it. If I think that the hero is actually the hacker. So anyway, so a good clue was someone who was following me, who didn?t follow a lot of people noticed a weird name that she was following and that turned out to be my account. So I was able to find my account cause they just flipped it. Well, cause they changed the name. Yeah. But yet they keep the followers and sometimes if you don?t buy your account back, then they?ll sell all your followers to someone else and they could just change the name of it.

Mimi (21:40):

Right. So that?s what I thought he was trying to do. So then they were able to, Instagram was just able to go to that guy?s account and take it away from him or what?

Suze (21:47):

You had to quickly respond because they put their phone number as the response. So Instagram quickly changed it. But on the second that they send you the email, you have to immediately respond. So it?s not easy. So my advice is if you get an email that says, I want you to represent my band, we?ll pay you to post something, you know, to be an influencer or anything where you have to put your name and password in, do not, do not do not do that. That is just don?t do that.

Mimi (22:18):

Okay. So what other advice do you have? I?m sorry that you went through that by the way, it?s awful. I felt so valued when I was, I watched it live when you posted that? And I was like, Aw.

Suze (22:26):

It?s not the worst thing in the world, but I was thankful that I had a meditation practice because I wasn?t spiraling down, but it was frustrating. Cause we just signed this deal with Beachbody on demand and we wanted to promote it to our audience. And like all of a sudden the audience was totally gone.

Mimi (22:46):

Oh, talk about that. I forgot to bring that up. So talk about the beach body, if you can.

Suze (22:50):

Sure. Do you ever do beach body on demand?

Mimi (22:53):

I know what you?re talking about. I used to do, not the on demand, remember the tapes that Beachbody owned was it to T 95, whatever? I used to do those like 15 years ago.

Suze (23:03):

All of those DVDs are now on demand on TV. It?s a phenomenal platform and I do it all the time. So I reached out to the head of beach body on demand. And I said, look, you don?t have meditation. We would love to be your partner. And he?s like, Oh, we?re more fitness and nutrition. And then we got into COVID pandemic and everyone?s stressing out. Everybody has anxiety. People are not able to sleep at night. And his board members were saying, we need to help them. We need to like add meditation. He said, wait, I know someone who has a phenomenal meditation app. I?ll give her a call. So he emails me or calls me and says, you know what, let?s try this thing. So we created a 21 day program called Unstressed that is going to launch on September 21st. That?s awesome. And it?s being offered to his clients to the beachbody. Each body on demand has 2.2 million subscribers and 400,000 of those are coaches. So they?re people that are coaching other people to help them lose weight, exercise more and feel incredible. And they do these programs as groups like as if you know, like what you?re doing with beauty counter, you love beauty counter, and now you?re going to share it far and wide.

Mimi (24:20):

That?s great. Congratulations. That?s amazing that you had that opportunity and any other trips that you have or any other great things you have working on to keep growing.

Suze (24:30):

We also have something called unplug for business UFB is what we call it. So we basically, now that we?re a digital brand and we?re live streaming our classes cause we can?t hold physical classes anymore in the studio until the pandemic is over, we had to pivot, but we were also doing corporate classes where we would send teachers, not just to Los Angeles companies, but we would fly them to Portugal with Porsche and like different companies. Now we?re doing live streaming zoom classes inside corporations Unplug for business. And we?re also doing app sales. So like Conde Nast bought the app for all their employees. So there?s great app as their turnkey wellness benefit. So that to me is like, if I was to say what the big dream is, it would be that everyone could get Unplug in their pockets so that they can feel good the easy way. Cause it?s just, there was no reason to walk around, stressing out about the future, freaking out about the past when we only have the present. And it?s honestly so easy to learn how to meditate. The tools are there it?s as easy as a 16 second practice, which I can teach you if you want to learn it.

Mimi (25:49):

That?s great. Should we do it now?

Suze (25:49):

Yeah, sure. Why not? Ready?

Mimi (25:53):

Let?s do it. Yes.

Suze (25:54):

Okay. So the 16, second meditation practice is a technique that I learned from David G, who is the head of our teacher training program. And he?s a legendary meditation teacher and he teaches this to the military and he teaches it to police officers. And I?ve taught it to physicians at Kaiser Permanente and people work in ER rooms. And my kids use it all the time. I use it all the time. Why? Because it works. Okay. So you?ve probably been in a situation before where you?re so stressed out and you?re replaying the story over and over in your head. And maybe you can?t go to sleep because you?re so stressed about something or you?re just feeling anxious and can?t stop thinking about that thing. Has that ever happened to you before?

Mimi (26:41):

Every night.

Suze (26:43):

So this is a technique that we use to help you move away from that interrupt the pattern of stress. Cause it?s really just a pattern interrupt. So I?m going to stress you out for two seconds and then I?m going to show you how this works. Does that sound like a good plan? That?s great. Okay. I?ve got your back don?t worry and I want you to think of something stressful. I?m going to give it to you cause this one?s an easy one. You?re supposed to start your podcast, but the wifi is not working. You?ve got the biggest client of your entire life that you?re going to do this interview with. Do you feel that stress?

Mimi (27:21):

Yes. Okay. Let that be. I?m going to let you sit with that for about 10 seconds.

Suze (27:30):

This does not feel very good right?

Mimi (27:34):

No I?m going to throw up.

Suze (27:34):

Perfect. Okay. That means you?re in a good position for this next move. Okay. So start breathing through your nose to the count of four one, two, three, four, and hold your breath for four seconds. Two, three, four, and an audible exhale. Ed. I want to hear it. Two, four and hold two, three, four, one more time. Breathe in through the nose for four hold for four, audible exhale for four. And open your eyes.

Mimi (28:16):

That?s great.

Suze (28:17):

Were you thinking about that stressful thought when we?re counting, breathing at the same time?

Mimi (28:21):

No you can?t. Right? Cause you?re focusing on counting in the breath.

Suze (28:25):

Okay. That is like for me, maybe the greatest gift of all time, we all have 16 seconds. We all can do this. You don?t have to have religion. Doesn?t need to be at night. You don?t need to be spiritual. It?s a technique that works. And that?s just part of it. That?s just the beginning. But if you do that 16, second breath every single day or every time you notice yourself anxious or stressed and you, you choose to just anchor yourself into the present moment. Then the next time, instead of reacting to the stressors that come towards you, without thinking, you?re able to pause, and respond. And that is the gift of present moment awareness. When we slow down our breath, we send a signal to our brain. Everything?s okay. Even if it?s not, we soothe our nervous system and then we can make conscious better choices.

Mimi (29:28):

It?s amazing. I love that. I totally agree with you. And I feel like right now, this is exactly what a lot of us need being in quarantine. COVID stress right with our families and kids home all the time. And these teens are the ones who need it. The ones who are sitting on zoom all day long,

Suze (29:48):

But we made it too because you know, if we?re not calm, they?re not calm .That ripples out. And when they?re upset, it ripples to us. So someone has to stop the negative ripple and start the positive one. And that?s what unplugged meditation to me is all about. It?s about changing the narrative so that we project gratitude. Because when you split from an attitude of stress, anxiety, and you know, self pity and doubt, nothing ever good comes of that. Right? But when you decide to like choose to be grateful for what you do have, because so many people would die to have what we have. We have our grass, we have our health, we have our sight. I can see you. I can hear you. I?m lucky. Not everybody has that. So finding those things that we do have, and being able to like appreciate them is 90% of it.

Mimi (30:53):

Yeah. That?s true. Being grateful. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that. It?s a great tool for everybody. And so to end this, I would love for you to give some tips to an entrepreneur. That?s looking to either start a similar kind of concept. Like what does it take to be an entrepreneur? Are there any tips that you would say to somebody that?s debating about starting their own company or leaving their job and doing an idea that they have?

Suze (31:19):

If you have an idea and you think it?s great and you can?t stop thinking about it better to say, Oh well and have it not worked out, then what if I did this? What if I did this and look back with regret? So my advice would be go for it. Now that doesn?t mean you have to quit your job tomorrow and start a lip balm company. But what it does mean is you could keep your job and do the lip balm company at the same time. If that?s what you?re interested in, or you can like take that crazy idea because if it?s crazy and even if nobody else has done it, that?s an amazing thing. The best businesses are the ones that solve problems. Like for me, unplug solved my problem of me wanting to meditate and having it be short and sweet for new Yorkers and get the job done with like, you know, like, so what is it that you?re thinking about doing, what is it that you want to do? What are you Googling when you?re not actually working or doing what you?re doing? That?s the thing that actually interests you. What in your life is missing? What could be better, could be enhanced? These are all the different things. So I would say, don?t think too much because the thinking is a killer of more genius ideas than anything. There?s a book that?s called the five second rule by a woman named Mel Robbins. I highly advise anyone listening to read that book because she was someone who couldn?t get out of bed. She just was like miserable. Couldn?t get out of bed. And one night she was watching a rocket ship and it was five, four, three, two, one blast off. And she?s like, God, I wish I could do that. Getting out of bed. And so the next morning she said five, four, three, two, one. And she got up. So I five, four, three, two, one all the time. Like if I have to make a phone call, I don?t want to make I?ll just five, four, three, two, one, and pick up the phone and do it five, four, three, two, one. And do the things I don?t want to do if five, four, three, two, one, and just do all my emails for an hour, you know, do five, four, three, two, one, and stop hesitating. The hesitation is the killer. And you can learn to be great at anything. Nobody?s started off professional in anything. Everyone had to start from someone which was nowhere. So there was no one who started something great from somewhere. Everybody started from nothing.

Mimi (33:41):

Do you think you need to have like, experience? Like, so say if someone?s 22, 23, they just graduated from college. They don?t have a job. They have an idea. They?re able to take care of themselves at this point. Maybe like they have extra money that they worked during the summers or whatever. Do you think you need to have that experience to start a company? Or can they just figure it out and go for it.

Suze (34:00):

Figure it out and go for it. I mean, this is a whole new world. And by the way, when you?re that young, it?s the best time because there?s, you can?t lose anything. You already have nothing. So you can only go up. It?s different when you leave your job. Or a lot of people have this disease called I?m not enough. I made it up, but a lot of people think that they?re not enough and they can?t do this. If they can?t do that. Oh my God. I can?t tell you how many times I?ve heard that. So whenever somebody tells me the story, I?m like, yeah, she was like, nobody?s going to buy. I?m like, I don?t care. Just do it. Just do it.

Mimi (34:43):

You gotta go for it.

Suze (34:44):

Yeah. And by the way, like you?re going to fail. And failure is just a way to get better, you know, not everybody starts and is crashing it from day one. In fact, I don?t think I?ve ever met anyone who started and crushed it from day one. And most of the entrepreneurs stories you?ll hear are people who started and got crushed and then they crushed it. So, you know.

Mimi (35:06):

And you made it sound very easy listening today, but I know you probably had a lot of events or situations like you did with the Instagram being hacked, like that along the way.

Suze (35:18):

All the time, I mean like there are challenges all the time, but I?m not in it for the money. You know, I have to say, I wish I was. I wish I was a better business person like that and more focused on the money, but I?m in it for like the goal. And the goal is big. I have a mission and the mission is to share meditation far and wide with as many people as possible and show them just how easy it is to incorporate it into their everyday life. That?s my goal. I want to do this on a huge scale. I think if everybody meditated, the world would be a much better place. So that?s my goal. And I?m not going to stop until I achieve my goal.

Mimi (36:04):

I think the word meditating is scary, right? Like for me, like when I hear medicine, I?m like people said, do you meditate? And I?m like, no, I don?t meditate. But the fact that like I do what you just did, like with the breasts, like I do that all the time, especially at night to go to bed or in the middle of the night, I do that a lot. And I don?t even realize that was meditating. You know? So it?s like, it?s, it?s the word you think you have to have like this fancy room. And like, you have to kneel in front of some like alter or something like that. Like this like fancy concept of meditating and you don?t right. It?s just really unplugging.

Suze (36:35):

I think that?s a great concept because someone like you who probably should meditate or has been told you should meditate or whatever, that was me by the way. So it?s a similar thing. It is so easy to start a practice and people are intimidated because, and they rightfully so. They?ve heard that they have to clear their minds. Okay? That thought that you have to shut down thinking and clear your mind is enough to send people running for the hills. No one can clear their mind. No one can stop thought. We have 50 to 80,000 thoughts every single day. That?s about a thought a second. And they?re going to keep coming no matter what you do. So once you understand that there?s only three things that happen in every single meditation. One is we focus our awareness on our breath. Two is we let it go. We?re here in the now that?s the part where people are like, that?s the not thinking part that can last like a second five seconds maximum a minute. And then you go into planning mode. What am I having for dinner tonight? What am I going to do? Duh, I forgot to seek food out. Wait, I?m not meditating anymore. I?m going to come back to the present moment. Focus. Let it go. My mind, wanders focused. Let it go mind wanders. It?s like the more your mind wanders and the more you consciously choose to bring it back. That?s like doing a bicep curl for your brain and meditation physically changes the structure of your brain. There?s the Harvard neuroscientist named Sarah Lasar, who did a study of 50 year olds who had never meditated before. And they basically meditated every day for eight weeks for 28 minutes a day. And what she did was she photographed their brains. She did MRIs before and the MRIs after, and what she found was their memory increased, their executive decision making increased, their focused increased, and their compassion, increased those areas of the brain got larger. And stress and anxiety, which lives in the amygdala, literally shrunk. So these people physically change the structure of the brain and that age 25, your brain peaks. But after that, it slowly starts to decline. And what she found was that with these people who had never meditated before whose brains were down here, boom. They literally sharpen their brain like a pencil sharpener.

Mimi (39:09):

It?s amazing.

Suze (39:10):

Why is everybody not doing this? If this came in pill form, everybody would be addicted to it. And it doesn?t have to be long to be effective. And you can be 10 minutes a day or five minutes a day. And it doesn?t, you don?t have to sit like this. You can lay down in your bed. And I, I do a practice called RCM rise. I have pressed the meditation app. I click it, see, and then I meditate and then I get up and start my day. And that?s all I do are Sam. Let me unplug that him. That?s great. Well, my friend David G, who I told you about the teacher who?s on there, he?s amazing. He calls it RPM rise pee meditate and I changed it to RC, rise click meditate.

Mimi (39:52):

Oh my gosh. That?s so funny. Yeah. This has been amazing. I really appreciate your time. I learned so much and I?m very thankful you?re on today. And for anybody who?s listening wants to check it out. It?s Unplug meditation app and also her book is, I guess it?s Amazon or on your website as well. The unplug a simple guide to meditation for busy skeptics and modern soul seekers.

Suze (40:16):

Thank you. There?s two meditation apps. Just so you know. One is for the live streaming classes, which is the Unplug meditation app. And the blue one that it says UN that?s the one that?s filled with the videos and like the meditation.

Mimi (40:32):

Okay. So it?s two different subscriptions. Is that how it works? Or two different?

Suze (40:35):

One is a subscription for the app, which has all of those 750 plus videos with 70 teachers, um, on the app. And that?s like inexpensive and the other one is live streaming classes. So you can meditate with our teachers live as you would go to the studio. There?ll be like, you could book the classes for the studio. So you just book it and pay for the classes. If you were going into the class, we?ll go on zoom.

Mimi (41:01):

Got it. Oh, that?s awesome. That?s great. Thank you. Perfect. Thank you so much, Susie. I really appreciate it.

Suze (41:08):

Thank you. This was so much fun.

Mimi (41:10):

Thank you for joining me on the badass CEO podcast. If you enjoyed today?s episode, please leave a review and see you next time. Thank you.

Mimi Maclean

About the author

Entrepreneur and Angel Investor Mimi MacLean brings you business strategies, life experiences, lessons learned, inspiration, and advice for you to be your best Badass Entrepreneur Self.

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