I have to admit, I never thought spinning class would make me a better business woman. I had heard that exercise was beneficial for mental health and for reducing the high levels of stress that you endure when starting your own company; but I didn't realize that an exercise class could give me tangible messages that would apply to my business.
Being an entrepreneur is difficult and it requires a certain amount of mental resilience. Day to day, you're juggling an enormous number of tasks, while trying to keep your eye on the prize and maintain your overarching vision for the company. There are ups and downs; so it can feel like a rollercoaster at times. One of the hardest parts is that your company is your baby, so when there are problems, they hit close to home. It can be very painful to have setbacks and hit roadblocks.
SoulCycle has given me tools to help me overcome some of the hurdles I am presented with in my startup life. Each SoulCycle class is structured in a similar way. The instructor starts off with a warm up, and encourages riders to "set their intention." Then, there is an intense period of pushing to your limits and "overcoming mental boundaries", which is followed by a reflection period at the end, where you "embrace change and learn from your strength." Although these phases might sound cliche, they closely resemble the entrepreneurial journey that I've been through over the past year. SoulCycle was started by two women, so I'm sure they instilled some of their entrepreneurial learnings into the classes.
Here are the five lessons that I have learned from Soul Cycle to become a better entrepreneur:
1. Build your mental strength.
You might think that you can't do something, but usually that is your largest barrier. Training your mind to be resilient is your biggest asset when embarking on an entrepreneurial journey. Being mentally prepared is half the battle. You are stronger than you think you are.
2. Invest in yourself.
When you get caught up in your business, it is easy to put yourself second and neglect your health, sleep, and nutrition. This is one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make. You need to invest in yourself to be the best version of yourself. Startups need strong leaders and you will be more effective if you feel good about yourself.
3. Strive for discomfort.
Getting outside of your comfort zone is key. You need to feel discomfort in order to move into the next level. When you're starting your own company, it is important that you don't stagnate. Often, what feels best isn't best for you and your business. Go sign up for the course that you've been meaning to take or download the organizational software that you have been meaning to implement. It'll be uncomfortable in the short term but help you a great deal in the long term.
4. Stay positive.
No matter what obstacles you hit in your startup journey, you need to learn to let go of these negative thoughts and focus your energy on the positive. You have the power to set your intention and decide how you want to feel. Take a moment out of each day to put all the negative things behind you and move forward. As my favorite teacher says, "Exhale and release your obstacles."
5. Fear can be a good thing.
Recently, I went to a class where the teacher said, "Get scared - you didn't come here to stay safe." This is exactly how I feel about being an entrepreneur. You didn't start your own company to stagnate or stay safe. You started your company to create something new and create change. Don't forget that. I know it is scary, but trust your intuition and go for it!
These lessons have helped me become a stronger businessperson. I hope they help other entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to reach their goals!