Every business or idea started with a watershed moment. A moment in time where you, as the leader, became inspired to do what you do. Talking with people about their watershed moments can be truly inspiring. By recognizing our watershed moments, we’ll have a foundation that will help to build a resilient attitude and perspective to defend against any negative situation that may arise.
We must remember our watershed moments. Ruth Zuckerman, founder of SoulCycle and Flywheel, knows all about these watershed moments and the way hers created the resiliency to chase her passion. She went from dreaming of dancing for a living to a desperate position after letting that dream die. It was in this moment she felt a push to join a daily spin class, which led to her starting SoulCycle. She recalls her watershed moment this way, “I feel that I was so desperate for something at that juncture in my life. As I said, it was traumatic, and I wasn’t really experiencing much pleasure. And there was something, there was kind of an energy I felt from the [spinning] room, from looking from the outside in, [it] felt very intense and focused, and group energy and community.”
She eventually joined the class, which led to her becoming the instructor of the class, which in turn led to her starting SoulCycle—an all spinning fitness center. Her watershed became her passion, “…my main motivation in wanting to bring this to a bigger audience was to simply be able to spread the wealth and let other people experience this too…” she recalls.
All business leaders’ watershed moments should follow this path. Our watershed moments begin our journeys to chase our passions. And when the bumps come, that watershed becomes a source of resiliency. Ruth defines resiliency in this way, “Resilience means not giving up, sticking to your core passion and beliefs and trying to maintain a certain hopefulness when things feel really bad or are feeling hopeless. It’s having faith and, at the end of the day, having faith in yourself.”
Creating resiliency is something that every CEO-minded person needs to have. Ruth is a great example of this and her story spans from watershed to resilient. But, it also goes a step farther. When you have that watershed moment, even through the resiliency, you still have one thing that must happen to grow your business: you must take risks.
Risk taking is second nature to some and scares the daylights out of others. But risks are a natural part of growing a business. Feeling the nudge from the universe to move your company in a different direction requires that you be in tune with your soul and the soul of your company. This connectedness will allow you to analyze these decisions in light of the passions behind your watershed moment. Risk shouldn’t be shied away from, but celebrated as a way to take your business, emanating from your watershed, to newer heights.
In summary, Ruth Zuckerman taught me a lot in our conversation. She inspires us to:
- Define our watershed moment and let it guide us.
- Allow our passions and watershed moments to create a resiliency in our business practice
- Permit ourselves to take risks in line with our watershed moments, trusting our resiliency
Our watershed moment is the reason we do what we do. It powers everything. It also permits us to take risks. So remember: take risks. Try something new. Be resilient.
To hear more of my inspiring conversation with Ruth Zuckerman on the Think Big Podcast, click here.