"Business integrity is a reflection of how we live our lives" says Cyndi Weis. In order to be a conscious leader, Cyndi has always prioritized her own wellbeing. She's also been able to build a business to elevate the consciousness and wellbeing of others: first through yoga, then nutrition and later a focus on meditation. Now she's reaching out to business leaders to raise their own consciousness while also helping them to create corporate cultures that have a positive impact on wellbeing. In a world where "everybody's got too much to do and an inbox that's never empty, the master tool for stress is pattern disruption." When Cyndi talks about meditation as a way to disrupt that stress and overwhelm, "people are desperate for it." Best of all, more and more studies on meditation are showing that "the benefits are profound for something that's free, doesn't take a lot of time and doesn't take much education." Cyndi is a teacher of many things: meditation, yoga and nutrition among others. She first learned yoga from her mother at age 12, while her entrepreneurial success can also be traced back to childhood, including starting as an Avon cosmetics salesperson at age 15 and becoming the top salesperson by age 16. She went on to found several business before bringing together her interests in yoga and business when she founded Breathe Yoga and Juice Bar, which has grown from a hobby to seven locations and a new spin-off store "Breathe at Home."
[1:00] The entrepreneurial drive that started with lemonade stands, selling pencils and eventually as an Avon salesperson at 15 years old, reaching #1 by 16!
[2:30] How selling is "doing people a favor...saving people time because I've done the research for them"
[3:15] Introduction to yoga at 12 years old from her mom, an early-adopter of wellness practices
[5:00] Cyndi's entrepreneurial ventures prior to Breathe: "Fit Company of Rochester," "L’Avant Garbe" and as a dietician - "I love to shop and I love to share, which we call selling."
[7:00] The first Breathe location and early growth: "The business has always been driven by what I wanted to do, what I wanted to share and what I think is missing in the community...I was never looking for a way to make money. That was never my goal...What is it that I love and what do I want to spend my time doing?"
[9:00] Working with her daughters: First employing them (and their friends) in high school, then when they were gone for college and other jobs, "As Breathe was growing, they watched the fun I was having, the challenge that I was undertaking and that it was something that I was super passionate about and invested in."
[12:20] Growing to multiple locations
[13:30] Infusing a culture of wellbeing into business - "It follows the passion and the true authentic reason for why I do what I do...I have not had to think about how to create integrity in the business. I've always tried to be in alignment with myself. At the end of the day I want to feel good about the decisions I'm making and the way I'm living my life. The business integrity is just a reflection of how we live our lives as people."
[16:00] Bringing wellbeing, meditation and yoga into the corporate world - "Breathe delivers it in a very user-friendly way."
[19:00] "Everybody's got too much to do and an inbox that's never empty. The most important master tool of stress is pattern disruption...I don't have to sell it too hard. People are desperate for it."
[22:00] Don't have time? Try a 16 second meditation
"People want an antidote to stress. The studies are there. The benefits are profound for something that's free, doesn't take a lot of time and doesn't take any education."
[27:00] Helping companies integrate stress-reduction strategies into corporate culture
[29:45] Cyndi's personal practices and routines that contribute to her wellbeing
[33:20] Conscious Reflection: "Occasionally coming back and asking yourself the questions that matter: What do I want my life to feel like...at each different phase I might not want what I wanted before."
[36:30] The hardest thing about growing a small business into a larger business? How to pass the baton.
[37:45] How not having a business degree may have helped Cyndi grow Breathe
[40:00] Integrating purpose and philanthropy into the business at Breathe: "Rather than give money, I'd actually love to see people take advantage of yoga and meditation."
[44:30] Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:
"Creating a business out of something that you love"
"Say yes and sweat it out later"
"If not you, then who?"
[46:30] The future for Breathe: more corporate outreach and meditation: "I'm so committed and passionate that I feel that I can share it from that authentic place and that's why I like to go out and talk about it."
[48:45] "I don't have a 5 year plan. I'm open to whatever seems like the right next step."
Learn more about Breathe at www.breatheyoga.com/ and about their offerings for Workplace Wellness at www.breatheyoga.com/About/Workplace-Wellness.