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A Soul Cycle class is a crash course in startups


Countless articles and listicles have been published about how many CEOs and squillionaires wake up before the sun and exercise. Endorphins blah, blah, health et cetera – this isn’t that, but it does come with a happy clappy exercise content warning.

In our first hours in Manhattan, the RealEstateTube team did a Soul Cycle class – and by the end of it, we found ourselves still far from home, but in a very familiar place.

The first thing you’ll notice when you step into a Soul Cycle studio is the sense of urgency and smell of grapefruit – a confuzzling combination.  The staff are pleasant, but they’re clearly in a hurry – everyone is.

When ‘CEO Steve’ and I queued at the counter of enthusiastic spinners, we realised “on time” is too late for a front row seat. We came in on the opening beats of the first track, navigating our clip-on shoes in the dark. We were starting unprepared, with the wrong bike set-up.

The class gathered momentum as the instructor shouted, we sweated and I wondered how it was possible to pedal so hard and stay in the one place. Do you see where I’m going with this? The stifling, exhilarating 45 minutes of spinning felt a lot like the early days of a business.  If you’ve ever toiled on a startup venture, you’ll recall that heady mixture of adrenaline, exhaustion and fear.

It was during a particularly bass-heavy rendition of Bruno Mars “Teach me how to Dougie” that I came to this conclusion, and the lessons of the hour lasted long after Paolo Nutini sang us out the door.

  1. Show up early, warmed-up and dressed for the part.
  2. Be consistent
  3. You’re in the room – stay there

If you’ve paid stacks of money to be at a conference, meeting or an exercise class, stay in the room. You paid to be there, so if you’re mind and body aren’t there in spirit – you may as well have gone for a walk.

Imagine how much more you can get out of that meeting, class, conference if you’ve had a warm-up, plenty of water and a stretch. At the end of the ride you’ll be sweaty, dishevelled and tired anyway, but if you’re on your game you’ll also be stronger, fitter and ready to go again.

By the way, we’re heading to Soul Cycle again tomorrow – it’s addictive like that.



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