Ruth Zukerman: "Riding High: How I Kissed SoulCycle Goodbye, Co-Founded [...]" | Talks at Google
So. Thank you for coming today what. Um what I love most and the, book is how, authentic, and how vulnerable you were which. I feel like when, someone's writing about their life they don't always want to write about the. Scary or sad or other. Parts, of it and I liked that you went. Fair with us in the book so, what why. Did you decide to take that kind. Of route and not make it be all like roses, and fairytales. Roses. And fairytales it's not real life and, it's boring. It. Was scary, to make, the decision to be so open and vulnerable but I just felt I feel, like it's the only way. People relate and, it's. Something I discovered a long time ago on a spin bike and, I started to talk. About personal, things up there I wouldn't, make it subjective. I wouldn't I would say, things in a way that it, would apply to everybody and everyone would immediately. Relate, to what I was saying and. Get. A lot out of it and know that all, the, challenges, that we face every day we're not alone that we're all facing them kind of together what. Made you ready, to write them em are. So. A lot of people throughout, the years always, would say to me you know they would hear my story and they would say you really need to write a book and I just say oh yeah you know never thinking would ever happen and it, really, just took one person who, said, the same thing and then I said yeah yeah and kind. Of dismissed it and he said no no you really need, to write a book and I'm going to introduce you to a literary agent you. Know basically helped hold me and held my hand and took, me to meet this couple, and, they, are literary agents, and I sat in their living room and they said tell me your story and I did and by. The time I got home I had a contract, in my inbox so that's. How it happened and what. Made you the way you wrote it I really, liked it you you, would shared personal things and you also made it about how you started to businesses, and all the lessons that you learned in it and, then you split it into three parts what, made you which were.
Reinvention. Rejuvenation. And more why, did you decide to break it into these parts and kind of make it a personal, thing and also throw in the business aspect and lessons that you learned I think. That well. First of all the reinvention, piece. Is a huge part, of the story and. Which. Is why I devoted. A whole section to it because I have. Had a lot of roadblocks. Along, the way it was not an easy ride. By any means to. Get to being. The co-founder, of both businesses, but I wanted. People to know and understand, and be inspired, because. No. Matter where we are in life we. Do all have the ability to reinvent ourselves if, we want to and I, started. SoulCycle when I was 48 and I started fly Wilin when I was 52, so, you. Know a lot of people are shocked at that and they can't, even imagine starting. A business at those ages but I wanted, to tell the story and let people know that anything's. Possible. So, rejuvenation. Came, from. Just. That starting, over again starting. Over again after, you've been burned or, hurt, or. Blindsided. And, knowing. That you, can pick yourself up and start again and. What was the last part rewards, reward yes I mean obviously for me it was just about as I, say in the subtitle, of the book it was just about kind of reaping, rewards from. This. Career, that I. Made. For myself. Never. Ever, fathoming. That, I would be here today. Never, went to business school had, didn't have a clue about how to run a business and. Really. It just it literally, all came out of following. My passion and. You started as a dancer I did and then, from, there, something. Difficult happened, in life which everyone, should read the book I'm not gonna give everything. You. Went through something difficult and that's kind of how you found spin yes, I. It's. Interesting because no matter what you do in life and you. Know whether you were a musician, or a dance or anything, growing, up and no. Matter what, path, your career takes it's it's so interesting, in retrospect. What, you bring to, your career. That, you might have learned when you were eight years old and so for me with we were talking about this today with dancing, I was. Constantly, in a dance class and I saw how. Gratifying. It, was if the dance teacher said, great. Job Ruth or like beautiful, Ruth and that. Could just make my entire day and that's just an example of, something that I brought to, the spin class because, as I said we were talking about if. Someone, says great job charity. That's, all you need and it gives. You almost a high for the rest of the day and so that, was just one small component. Of this, product. That came to be where at the end of the day people felt, better about themselves after, 45 minutes so. How does your method different, than. The when. You started taking spin at was, it a tree but the rehab Club mm-hmm, so is your method kind, of the instructor that you fell in love with fair they're, really motivated you and kept you coming back or yes you're kind of your own on, top both started, with the method of the instructor, who became my guru, and we. Were also talking about that phenomenon, where you go to an exercise class and you just really, become, obsessed, with one instructor, and then I did, with this particular instructor, in two years in he, got up in front of the class one day and announced that he was moving to Florida and I was like yeah. Like. How am I going even continue, with my life and, that. Was the moment when I decided I was just, gonna start teaching. Because I didn't like any other instructors, and I had, a background obviously, in dance and I had taught. Some group exercise, before that so I. So. I started teaching and then my five years of teaching in Reebok is when I really, kind. Of honed my, method, and added on to what he taught me and, really. Spent, the time observing, what people liked what they didn't like what they took - what motivated, them and those. Were really the formative. Years of. My class and then from, there you, formed, SoulCycle I did with. Elizabeth. And Julie and how. Long did that take from the, thought of you guys wanting to have a spin class of because you noticed that people that were going into Reebok to, take spend we're only taking, spent exactly you wanted to kind of you guys I feel like we're the.
Pioneers, Of this boutique fitness yes. You wanted to start this from, like when you thought of it how long did it take to come off the ground so. The. Fall, of 2005. Elizabeth. Approached, me she was a rider in my class and said. I want to open up a dedicated, boutique. Fitness, studio, that only has spin and. Are. You interested I, know nothing about spin, I would love it to be I would love you to be the face of the business and have it, be. All about your method and the way you teach and what do you think and I mean within, a nanosecond, I was like I mean it. Was a dream of mine I didn't have the the, capital. To fund it she. Did and. So. That was in the fall and, then, eventually. Julie, who was also a writer in my class. Was. Always, interested, in opening a spin business and she and I used to talk about it all the time but neither one of us had the money the money to do it so. I am a very loyal person and I, felt bad that it, was Elizabeth and I and there was Julie so I introduced. Julie, to Elizabeth thinking she'd be a great third partner and they had hit, it off and in, answer to your question we. Started really. Formulating. Our ideas. In probably, December. And we opened our doors in, April. Of 2006. So not that long yeah, yeah, and then it builds momentum and, then. There. Was a dissolution. Of partnership correct. And you still, taught there for a couple years after and, then, you. Were approached by two other. Writers. Yes. And then, flyable was, kind of born which I'm very happy about. So. How did that you know leaving. SoulCycle, to, go found, a competitor. How. Did that happen, so, would. The way things, went down at SoulCycle, I was very. Ready to leave. I met. As you said one of my future co-founders, who was in my class excuse. Me the other one didn't. He never took class but he was his partner, they were both in private equity and, basically. They. Saw. This business, in SoulCycle and saw, the you, know fronds of people, coming in and sat. And crunched the numbers one, day and said it's, real business, and wanted. To get in on it and so Jay one. Of them he. Is the one that came up with the idea, of attaching, a little computer screen to all the bikes or, you can be accountable, where you could know where your resistance, should be what your speed should be and they. Found, me and presented, this idea to me and. Initially. I was a little dubious. Because, I thought you know so much of my ride was about riding, closing. Your eyes going. Inside, tapping. Into what was going on tapping into the song on the playlist a, memory whatever it was and I thought well now if we have numbers I don't know it's distracting.
And Then we can't really do the mine, thing, and, so, I wasn't, really sure and they said we'll just just. Try it go into a room by yourself with, the bike and see, what you think and that's, what I did and within. 15, minutes I was like this is genius. And. The. Other thing that was so exciting about it was it just became such an obvious, differentiator. Between what. Was to become flywheel, and soul cycle so here we were starting. Second. In the market but it was such a different product, that I absolutely. Knew, there would be room for it so. How was it trying to I guess. Change. Your teaching method because soul cycle is so different as I will um. Was, it more difficult when, you had to add in metrics, and teach by numbers, and did that affect how you taught at all it. Definitely changed, the class that I had started it soul cycle but I was able to still incorporate. Some mind-body, connection. Stuff. With. The metrics, and I, so. Quickly, realized, that it was such a game-changer. In terms of as I, said being accountable, and then what. Happened was I started seeing the results, in people's bodies in, their. Joy. And gratification that, they they, got from this kind of class with these kind of, real-time. Results and. So. I, was. A fan you know from, the get-go I read, an article that, said the difference between people that write at soul cycle and, flywheel are that, why, will people are, masochist. I. Know. Some masochistic. It's. Just I feel like it's very type a you. Know its back it out yes, you're, bored, it's. Very definitely, why I'm a huge, fan of it. So. How do you pick your playlist is it just like your mood or is it based on the numbers beginning class or, how do you decide it's, so. Instinctual. Musics. Always has always been a really huge. Part of my life especially, being a dancer. Growing. Up you know I don't know music was my escape I had a kind, of very difficult mother which I talk about in the book and. When. Things got tough I would. Go in my room listen to music and I, ended, up really, learning a lot about all, different kinds of genres of music. Through. My father and the music that was always played in my household growing up and dancing, obviously, and, so.
Making. The playlist, was. Such a huge, part of, my. Enjoyment, in what I do it's, just I spend an enormous, amount of time making my playlists too much time but. I love it and so, very. Mood driven I would. Typically make a playlist from my class the night before and, then I would wake up in the morning and leave myself time because I would completely, change it the next morning so, again, way too much time spent on it but it, ended, up you, know bringing. Very successful, playlists that people really liked and. Making. Them eclectic, was really important too so hopefully, there was something for everyone in the class. So. Now. You then. You had flywheel, and you and David and Jay were, cranking. Along. Starting to become successful and. Then, Lu Frankford, became. A series. B investor, and you. See yeah sir a CEO okay, how. Did that Sheen said I nameks of when, it was the startups to. Then. Kind of become in a bigger brand, how. Did that change and it changed how you taught or the, dynamics, of the relationships, with n that, you had with the instructors, or, in. General because I know when Google obviously. I've, heard people talk about when. They were here before it. Became public the difference, in the culture then, when you become this giant company which five will now is yes, huge. Change. Lou. Initially, became a strategic investor. As Serie C and. When that happened. The. Change wasn't felt that obviously, because we, were all there David and Jay were there and we were still Lou, had input on decisions, but we were still making. Most of the decisions, it wasn't until 2014. When Lou. And his family, acquired, the business that things really, change so you, know within the first two months my two co-founders were. Out and that in. Itself was a huge adjustment for me and. It. Changed just, the culture, changed, drastically it, you, know suddenly I, mean, my original. Office. That I shared with Jay was an electrical, closet and, I. Mean, we couldn't even back up our chairs without hitting each other but, it didn't matter we didn't care and, then, this. Happened, the, company was acquired and, suddenly, were. In offices, that are a city, block long and, the. Whole culture. Changed, in that it just became much more corporate, so I suddenly. Was, in this environment where I didn't, even understand. The language it. Was kind of like. I'd. Be at a meeting and they'd ask us to turn in or hold. On our. Strategic. Operative. Initiatives. And I'd be like would I no. Idea what they're talking about and then someone whispered. To me it just means what's your plan and. Then I thought well why don't they say that like I didn't it was just such a shock. For. Me and and. It, was a real growing experience. Which. We talked to that too so. What, um what. Was. It like I, guess. When after. Lou took, over you, did talk about in the book that it. I'm. Trying to frame this correctly, not, that you were trying to be forced into a different position but the. Expectations. Of what your role were. To be had, changed, yes and where. You really enjoyed teaching you, were now kind, of pushing this business, role and that didn't, really make you happy correct. I found. The whole I, found. All the changes to be intimidating. Because it was just so out of my comfort zone and. Right. From the get-go, Lou. Kind. Of wanted to mold, me in a very different way and suddenly, my. Days were spent in meetings, after meetings and. A lot, of talking, and. You. Know ideas, but, but. Ideas that weren't necessarily, being executed, but, we would just keep having more meetings and, I, went. Into this business exactly. For. The exact reason that I didn't want to be sitting in a meeting all day and so it, just became really difficult and, I, just. Stood up one day and I said this isn't working for me and I had no idea how they were gonna react but clearly. They needed me so they, were open. To what I had to say and, through. That process I, really ended up going back to what, I did best which was being. In charge of everything that went on in, the in the four walls of the studio and you know training instructors, teaching classes. Being. Back. In charge of the method, and kind. Of all things creative, and that's that was my happy place so I did through. A series of events get back there, so. The other kind, of focus on the book that I really liked was you again, talked about a lot of personal things, the. Relationship, that you had with your, mother and your father that, was kind of a triangle this. Triangle theme I noticed a lot on the book so. It goes from your mother to your father. And with your husband, and, Philippe. Than. Julie. And Elizabeth. Then, give it and J keep going. And. Your twin daughters yes. Have, you notice this a lot like and, when. You're attracted, to certain situations if, there's some kind of trio that happens. Apparently. That is what happens and. You. Know as I also talked about in the book I started therapy a, long.
Time Ago, when. I was 35, and I'm 60, I'll, be 61 in, March, so. I've had a lot of years in in, terms, of learning about, myself and, I. Certainly. Am more aware than ever of the triangles, and really, hope I don't have anymore I. Really. Hope so, what. I'm what I really enjoyed is you. Definitely. Were, not you were not afraid to talk, about uncomfortable. Things and. How. You reinvented. Yourself and, it really. How at any age you can do that if you're happy you're unhappy with something you can change it and if you're passionate about something if, you, follow that things, will just kind of fall into place which I felt like happened, a lot with you do. You have any advice for other. Entrepreneurs who. Are looking, to start a business I do. I think you know we, all want to do that now we all want to be entrepreneurs, and come up with the next great, idea and. You. Know this concept. Of finding. Your passion is is spoken, about a lot and I think I always like to tell people that. You. Just don't sit down one day and find your passion it and. Sometimes. It comes to you when you least expect it and after. I gave up dancing, which had been my passion my whole life starting, from age 8 I never. In a million years thought, I would ever be passionate, about something else and. The. Reason why I found, spin. Was. Really. Because, through. A lot, of years, I just. Tried to be open to all kinds of experiences. And a lot of those experiences, were. Negative and didn't work for me you know I tried to work in an office and, as. An office manager at a catering company because I was interested in food I did that after I gave up dancing cuz I had no idea what I was gonna do and you, know what I hated it and I've learned that I don't want to sit in a desk so, that was informative. After. I as, I was going through the trauma of my divorce I. That's. When I found spinning, and I decided, one day again to, just head. Into that kind of intimidating. Feeling. Spin room at the gym I belong to. After. Several. Weeks of walking back and forth and, should I or shouldn't I and one. Day I don't know something, in me said oh just, go in there and try it and I did and that. Was when I found spinning, but there was a lot in between and, so I just think it's important, to have. Faith and know. That, you will find it and it. Might not happen when you expect it to, so. You. Recently. Left flywheel. Very. Recently, which. I saw in December what. Are. You most excited to get, into next or is it just kind of open-ended. Big. Breath. So. I'm in my non-compete period. Now so I can't really talk about what's, next and I don't know. Definitively what, it is I'm trying to, right. Now my process, is about, having. Actually, lots of meetings with different, kinds. Of people and. Figuring. Out what. People want, what people still desire you know we're in this age of everything. Going digital obviously. In people. Working out by themselves in their home which. Is really kind of the opposite, of what I've always done and so, getting. You, know a lot of gathering, a lot of information about, you, know how much is a, desire, is there still for the, group experience, and working out together in building a community. You. Know studying. Trends. Right now and, and. Letting. That kind, of help me get to that next decision so I really, don't know yet, um, it. Will be in fitness of course because that's what I do best and. We'll, see it's exciting. Touching. On that a little bit about working out at home I read, in the book that the owner. Will the person that kind of invented peloton, yes, approach, to you guys about partnering. And, was. It Lou that didn't want to go, for it, it was. He. Specifically. Said if we're, gonna get into that business we'll do it ourselves and. That's, that was his belief so. Do. What, what are your feelings, on there working at alone well. You know having the interactive, class as opposed to being in the room I mean I know how I feel about it yeah, look. I feel like obviously. It was a great opportunity for John. And. He's. Done incredibly well the, company's. Valued. At four billion I think it's never adding treading I just thought I'd have a treadmill yeah. An opponent yeah well so. Obviously. There's, a market for it and a need for it I. Still. Firmly. Believe, that there are enough, people out there who, want the group experience and.
Truthfully. So much of the success of both SoulCycle and flywheel was. The, building of this exceptional. Community, and the community, obviously, consists. Of people. Sharing, in this experience, together and, personally. And I could be wrong I just feel that in, this day and age of so. Much disconnection. And. Working. Out a loan or being. On our phones all, day I feel. Like human, connection, will never really go out of style and I think it's always a need an innate need for us and I. Feel. For that reason, there, will always be a market and. Enough. People out there who want to kind. Of go back to that and they feel that I'm. Just gonna say it I feel like in this huge. Expansion, that occurred for flywheel and soul cycle I think a lot of that got lost a lot of the community, and that high-touch. Customer, service and so I kind, of feel like there, is a need, to bring it back and I do think, that things. Go in full circles, so I'm thinking a lot about that yeah I definitely, think, that there's a lot more energy that you get when you're physically, in the class and, working out at home I just personally, for me if if. I'm, more, accountable, when I have people around me then it's just me by myself, mm-hmm and, I think a great instructor also motivates. You when. You're physically, looking at them and they call out your name like we talked about it motivates, you to push, even more to really really get. In the uncomfortable place um, right. Because it's the connection, you have with the instructor, yeah and yeah we'll go very far for that one instructor, yes. It's, amazing it's amazing that I, feel. Your. Brand or brands, because SoulCycle is like that I know really. Popular, instructors or classes will book, up the second, that it opens and people will pay extra to have the early, bookings that reason and I. Feel, like files' is a different kind of. Experience. And. I. It's. More motivating, to me when. I have a really good instructor, that. Keeps me accountable, physically. In class and I would by myself at home okay. Great yeah yeah, so. On to some fun stuff now in. The book you talk about. You. Know being able to travel more after, your children were older and you guys have a trip, so you take together and, how. Much you love to eat which is also why you enjoy, you. Know working, out so much what. Is been, kind of your obviously, I'm really into food we talked about this as well. What. Has been your most favorite. Kind of a food experience. Hmm. I. Mean. I'm. Not sure there was a specific. One but because my partner and, I were both equally, into eating good food literally. Every business trip we would take the first thing. We would do is check out the best restaurants, in whatever, city we went to so so. It was great so I had great dining. Experiences, in every city I went, um. Yeah. I mean the whole premise of flywheel because, of he and I was all about working, hard playing. Hard and we, were never about, deprivation. Or you, know cut, out this. Cut out that from your diet it was all about kind, of eating whatever you want drinking, and just. Working out all right on the flywheel bike the next day and. That was our mantra, so yeah. So it's just I mean it was one of the reasons like traveling was so much fun as we got to experience so many different kinds of restaurants. When, you guys are when. You were part of flight whilst oh and you were looking for. Instructors. Was there some kind of personality trade or like what struck you about who, you wanted to bring in to. Teach we. Certainly, hired. Instructors, who like to work hard and. Motivate. That, way by being as we, said. Aspirational. That was our word when we were looking for an instructor they, had to be aspirational, whether. It was because. Of their own physical. Prowess. Or. A. Certain, x-factor, that was so important, that is so important, in every instructor and, that was actually a part, of the personality. That was really hard to train they kind of either had, to have it or they. Weren't higher Abell so, again. Some dynamic, and their personality, that could draw a rider, in you know on top of their physical. Strength. Now, I know that fly, will recently, maybe in the past couple years at it I think it was previously called fly beats now it's called tempo, mm-hmm, and that. Is similar, ish to, SoulCycle, but it just has a little more resistance. Than SoulCycle does. Was. There is that kind of the reason you add at that and for people who were, more. Drawn to that kind of method but, also wanted the metrics, to go with it so. That was a really interesting learning, lesson, and the reason, is yes.
We Decided to add it because it was more about a rhythm ride which is how the, soul cycle ride is based. And we, thought well we should add it and then we can cast our net wider, and hopefully, draw, on some of those writers who specifically, like that kind of ride. What, I realized, in retrospect, was I kind. Of regretted, it because I feel like do. What you do well and really, represent the. Specialness. Of your product, and your ride and, don't. Feel, that you have to get, everyone, there there, are enough people out there you know especially in big urban cities. New. York obviously um, there. Are enough people out there to fill your rooms and why. Not just really, stick. To what you do best and, and. It's, just yeah it started to kind of dilute the product and I, wasn't. Really crazy about the idea to be honest with you how. Did, you decide. Which, locations. You would add it in to try it out just the bigger cities our. Initial. Way. Of identifying. Locations was just open next to a Whole Foods. Formula. Open next to Whole Foods and it always works. We, did. Mostly. Choose urban, areas we. Did however. What. We would do is we'd find an urban area a spot. Next to a Whole Foods and then. We. Would open in a suburb, close. To the air the, initial, studio. So, that we could farm, out our instructors, and they could actually teach, at both locations and, it was a great way to utilize. Our instructor, team so, we. Did add suburban. Locations, as well they. There. Were exceptions but. They. Some, did really well some, didn't we. Just found the, formula, of we, found it much safer to open in urban areas. More. Than suburban, areas and I. Think, that in urban for some reason in some suburban, areas, even if they were wealthy. Areas, people didn't want to spend money as much as they do in in, the city and, that. Was an interesting learning. Experience. As well I was, just gonna say when we just thought of this when we open in Scarsdale, for example, you, know I didn't think about the fact that and I learned this from our Scarsdale, riders, they. Would say to me we don't want to pay in New York prices that's why we moved to Scarsdale. So. They would complain all the time. What. What. Has been your most favorite experience, that you've been able to do because. Of. Flywheel. Or in SoulCycle like something, that you'd were like wow I can't believe this is happening I'm, writing the book yeah, I never in a million years, thought. I would ever be an author but ironically. And, this, kind of is consistent, with staying open to things when. I was going through I went through my divorce and, I was really a fish out of water had, no idea what I was gonna do in my life and I. Decided to, take a course in memoir, writing. Completely. Randomly, I knew, that I always liked to write but just, thought oh that'll be fun and so it's I never again, in a million years thought I would ever write a book or a memoir, but. It was just maybe, that was foreshadowing, I don't know thank. You so much for coming you're welcome thank you literally then such. It's such a great time talking with you today I'm gonna open it up for questions now if. You, want to walk up to the microphones. I'd. Love to hear more about the relationship, dynamics, is your co-founder is its soul cycle because it sounds like you were approached by Juan and that had brought the other one in and then sort, of you've wound up out of the mix and having found. That a start up where that we had a co-founder, break up over, time I'm just interested to learn like how did you or the things that you what went wrong and sort of what were the things you were looking for the, next time when you started into flywheel and maybe even, moving on now like what are some of the things that are top of mind as you think about your next venture mm-hmm, great.
Question, I have to be a little careful about, what, exactly happened, on. That, day. At soul cycle but, in. Retrospect. I've. Really. Learned a lot about, the. Dynamics that the three of us have and the mistakes that were made on, my part and it's. Been such a growing, experience for me learning through these mistakes and as I, talked about in the book and. As. Charity so aptly, pointed. Out the whole triangle, thing which, started with my parents. Really. Was. Replicated in, that business, partnership, and, I, ended. Up, being. Comfortable. In a role that unfortunately. Was comfortable, for me which was a role of kind, of taking. The backseat kind, of being. Overpowered. Being. What. Felt like bullied. And. Quite. Frankly not being strong enough at. Various. Points. Of the of. My time, it's all cycle not being strong enough to, stand up for myself and. Ultimately. It worked. Against me and I. Certainly. Had, a lot of learning, experiences. To bring to my next partnership, I'd fly well that was drastically, different, so, as I, talked about that, question, in the book it's it's really about. Self-awareness. And, doing. The work to get to know yourself however, that, plays however, that work plays out and not. Repeating, patterns, and not making. The same mistakes. Hi. There hi another, huge fan you got me through like, my pregnancy. And recovery. And the last eight awesome just. Thank, you thank you thank you so much you're welcome, and I. Travel, a lot for work and I oftentimes find myself looking hotels that are closer to 500 locations because, I know that, even in the change of my routine, I still, get the experience, I want in cardio. And we still feel like New, York and the energy, you need for the day um can. You talk a little bit about how the expansion, strategy, worked. With also making sure that you had the same culture, and energy and type of trainers they do differ a bit occasions. Yes you should and but, how you keep the consistency of the brand with, massive, expansion, so. I'm not gonna lie it's and you actually just pointed it out when when. The expansion got, to, a certain point and it was really, big. It, was hard it's hard to, maintain the culture and up.
Until A certain point, we. Were able to maintain it and I. Really. Feel, like that, change. Happened. When. We were taken over and when we, were acquired at, that point we had 22 studios, which still, a lot and. I, always. Say this it's not rocket science my, partner and I J, our. Third partner kind of stayed in the background and did more real. Estate in finance but J and I were in the forefront and, I was the face, and Jay was in operations. And really around the business and as, simple as this sounds Jay, and I were both are both, very. Nice, people, and. We. Have unfortunately. We both have this quality, where we really need to be liked by everybody which is not always a really, great. Quality but we, both had it and so there's. Such a trickle-down. Phenomenon. That happens, from the top and as. A result, we, just. Amassed. This amazing. Group of people and it, also had, a lot to do with how we treated, our employees, and we we. Considered, our employees, to be as important, as our customers, and it, didn't matter what your role was it didn't matter if you were mopping, floors or. You. Were a senior, VP, everybody. Was treated the same and I think that, because. Of that we just, ended, up you know, really. Great nice wonderful people, gravitated. To us and wanted to work with us and and that's why we would always call it the fly family, the fly fam because, we, all really felt like a family but no. Question as we, expanded. And the expand expansion. Continued, that's what I talked about before where. That. Specialness. Kind, of you, know was. Compromised, I also. Loved, studying all, things fitness trends - love, that you're into that as well what, are some of the studios, or concepts. Or things that you're really looking at that are doing it right right now and as you're, thinking about your future, what, insights, do you think you'd want to take from them so. It's interesting because, when. I hear, about other successful, boutique. Fitness. Businesses. We were talking about Rumble for example the ones that I hear a lot, of excitement, about are, again. The ones where, people are. Gravitating.
Toward, The community and so I've, heard that a lot about Rumble and there. Was actually a really interesting article I don't know if you guys saw it that came out recently in, Vox, and. She. The writer talked, about. This. Concept of expansion, and how, she. Talks a lot about flywheel, and soul cycle and. Talked. About her opinion was that they kind of lost their focus and. Identity. And she, spent. A lot of time talking about boutique, and how the. Smaller studios, that are coming up now are actually, doing. Better and people, are going back to that and so I found that really interesting in, terms of trends and things going full circle but, I. Hear. A lot about rumble, boxing. Seems to really be take taking, on I, do, feel, that you, know things have changed so, much since the, days of soul cycle starting, and flywheel starting, and. About. To lose my train of thought I know, and so. What's. Been happening again the whole full circle thing is a lot of these boutique. Businesses. That started boutiques started out as boutique, have, now expanded, their, modalities. And you. Know a flywheel, or soul cycle started adding a lot of different kinds of classes and now. We see, a lot of these studios, with five different offerings, and and in, a sense that feels to me like oh so, the the what, started out as a very, dedicated boutique. Business, has, now actually morphed, into the big box gym which is how we started in the first place so. If. I were to start again. Spoiler. Alert, and. I don't you know I have a committed to anything but I think that, if I did start. A brick and if I did do another brick and morter it. Would never be about one offering. Which is what it could, be about initially. But. I probably have two and that would be it I wouldn't want to make, it any bigger than that and. As. I said before I think that the. Community, aspect, and the connecting. With people, is never, gonna fall out of favor. Thank. You you're welcome that's. It, right. It I thought it was interesting yeah, and it made me look really good so I like that. Hi. Hi. First, of all thank you for making an Android app finally that was off okay you're welcome. I have two questions one is what is your personal, fitness routine, are you still spinning do you teach and, my second question is. There's. A lot of new trends in terms of virtual, reality where. Bikes are actually moving in the rooms or music, videos do. You think those are all gimmicks, or are, they actually. Contributing. Something, to the experience so it's hard to answer that without my own personal. Opinion. I you. Know for myself I they. Do seem, gimmicky, to me it's. Just my opinion um. I you. Know I let as I said I left flywheel at December 31st but, up, until December 31st I, was teaching six to seven classes a week I. Can't. Ever imagine not. Teaching, it's just what I do and, I. Loved. It and it never gets old and as I sing to charity I've been teaching on, it I've been on a bike for 21 years. Sadly. I hate to even talk, about this but I'm, nursing. A back injury, right now so a lower back injury so for. The first time in 20 21, years I'm off the bike and I'm not doing anything, except, going to physical therapy so. It'll. Be interesting to see if anything changes, being off the bike I mean I think one. Of the reasons why I've been such an advocate for spending is that it's actually so safe and it's low-impact and, people can do it at any age and you, know so whatever's going on in my back you know maybe it's a overuse. In just long-term, kind of situation. Hopefully it'll get better soon but, at the same time I am an advocate to mixing it up and not just doing doing. One modality. I, was, doing SLT, for a while and I enjoyed. That it's so challenging, and, then of late I've been incorporating, Pilates, into my routine because I think Pilates, is so. Challenging, but really effective, I want, you ask about the book which is your newest baby and what I'm fascinated, by, is obviously, you you've left an amazing, legacy but also as a business woman who's done very well as. You were thinking about the book and all the many things you can write about and I'm sure you had an eye on kind of the business aspect, of what is the most interesting how do you get the most viewers, and readers and what not how, did you decide what to cover, in the book and what to emphasize on how to position it the. Beginning. Sorry. The, genesis. Of the book really, happened. By me. Just, sitting down and starting. To write personal, anecdotes, that's, how I started, it I, worked with a collaborator, because, I really didn't know how to start and she posed.
That To me she said what about sitting down and writing, ten. Stories. That. Come to mind through. The course of your life and and so that's how I started and so, it really started, I think from a personal place and then. I, was, quickly able to, draw, lessons from, personal. Experiences. Lessons. That I learned in, life and, and then, applied, them to business so that's kind of how that theme, happened. And it really, you. Know came. The, whole idea. To do it that way just happen, really organically, and really, easily and, again. It made it was very. Consistent. With me because, I am, all about not. Being afraid of sharing personal, stories and that's. How I connect with people so, it just made sense. Absolutely. Much, more organic, which again made sense for me since no. Business except and. I don't have another question I just want to say you look amazing. Thank you. I. Have. To say I was a little disappointed because, usually comes out in my talks. That I'm 60, and it usually gets a huge response. Guys. Were like yeah whatever. So. Thank you. Are. There any more questions over, here. I'm. Also nursing, an injury and I'm a big-time runner so I said well that's re how terrible. That disruptive, is of your life. I. Wanted. To like learn a little bit more about, the marketing aspect of the. Flywheel brand I'm. In ad sales here at Google and I always think it's interesting especially, in a super. Competitive environment. Like Fitness especially, with the, tech like rise of social media and just all, of the community, aspects of it but how do you still make. Paid advertising, and paid, marketing, really work for your brand and actually, drive results I'd, love to hear more about that sure. So we. Never advertised. Ever. This, business so, word-of-mouth. That. We never needed - things have changed now and. It's. Interesting. Marketing. And branding, when, we I remember specifically, when we started, flywheel. We. Really, had, no idea what our brand was gonna look like and people, would say well what's your brand and my partner and I would say I don't, we don't know and. We just started. The business and the brand came, to us and you. Know through kind of trial and error and it, was just a way to figure out who we were and then we, actually hired. A, marketing. Team. To, work with us about a year. In and they. Were the ones who came up with the idea of never coast and I we, love that and so that really, became. A game changer for us and that was something we could really hang. On to and build, a, marketing. Plan from. Yeah. I have. A question about like the pricing, and how you came up with that because SoulCycle, to. Me seems like one of the first kind of boutique or the most well-known early. Boutique, places, and like. I was wondering how you guys came up with like the pricing strategy and having no memberships, and stuff like this at a gym, and then if you like if it was like a consciousness, is gonna change her mind and going to, flywheel. I'm just basically wondering like how did you know that people were gonna want to pay like, this. Type of money to do a boutique fitness class cuz it doesn't really seem like people were doing that before, purely.
Ripped It off from soul cycle, we. Did I mean we just seized looked, at their model as, to how they priced and. Replicated. It we knew that they were getting it because. The business was booming at that point when I left and and. So. That's how we did it however. Over. Time we changed, our. Our. Strategy. Because. They. Became in. Through, their pricing, even more, elitist. And we really wanted to move away from that I mean they, offered their super soul for. $70. For a 45-minute spin, class and we, couldn't that just wasn't us it wasn't our identity, and we really wanted. To. Build. A business that was about. Inclusiveness. And SoulCycle to us seem like a business, that was about exclusiveness. So, that. Was. Very, important. In how we went about our pricing, I personally. Was, not in charge of that, part of the business so I can't speak with. Too much detail, about it but um I know, that the membership idea, really took off for us and was and people love the membership, because they can really get in a lot of classes for a lot, less money, thank. You you're welcome what, I do love is that you, give, this been shoes for. Free rental whereas a soul, cycle I think it was like three or four dollars yeah and water yeah, yeah. Which is great because you don't have to bring anything with you which is amazing, and that was another way in which we started the business and figured out things was obviously. I was coming from soul cycle and so, what. Better way than for. Me to look, back on SoulCycle and and know what, worked and what didn't work and the, things that worked we we. Kept and the things that didn't work we changed, and one. Of the things I knew from the Ryder experience, was they, would come to take class and then Oh they'd, have to take out their wallet again to pay for water or take out their wallet to pay for shoes, and they really kind of resented, it so that was just. One example of, how we thought we're gonna do away with that. One. Last mission a good last question, so. We. Have a spin studio on the 14th floor I saw it once. Your back gets, back, in order what. Are the chances you come and teach us I was. Actually thinking about that I really. Am, no, I'm actually wondering if like that would interfere with my non-compete but, I mean, come on.
That'll. Work I never got to take your class I, would. Love to do it thank you for inviting me, I'm. Ruth we'll be upstairs, to sign books after, so, if everyone wants to queue upstairs she'll be finding, things and you can buy the book and thank. You so much for coming that's, a pleasure meeting you thank you. You.