Robbie Bent – Co-Founder & CEO Othership

Episode 261

During his lowest point, Robbie Bent, Co-Founder and CEO of Othership, turned to meditation and breathwork. Now, he’s sharing these powerful practices with the world through his company. Learn more about his inspirational journey and company on this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time, can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone, it’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I’m thrilled and super, super inspired by our next guest, who has an incredible, incredible company that I know you want to know about. His name is Robby Bent, and he is the co founder and CEO of other ship. And it is an incredible story. And not only the company is incredible, but also the reason why he started the company. I’ll give you a little taste of it. After battling addiction and the challenges of his first company, Robbie discovered all the benefits of meditation and breathwork. And now he’s sharing these practices, and really helping lots of other people actually benefit from what he’s been inspired by and learned himself. So in addition to having a physical location, currently in Toronto, he is going to be opening some US locations. I’ll let him share a little bit more about that. And he has an incredible app that features over 500 breathwork exercises that are just absolutely amazing. So we’re really excited to have Robbie here to talk a lot more about really the science behind the breath, work and meditation and how it can benefit you. So welcome Robbie

Robbie Bent 2:06
Thanks Kara that was an amazing introduction and super grateful to be here.

Kara Goldin 2:10
Yeah, so good. So I’d love to talk to you about and hear a little bit more about leading up to your entrepreneurial journey. What was what was early, Robbie all about? I mean, did you always know you were going to open your own business? Or what did you What did you think you were gonna do?

Robbie Bent 2:28
No, absolutely not. You know, that’s, that wasn’t even I wasn’t one of these people. Like, oh, I was born to be an entrepreneur, and I was trying to do all these things, I really was pretty insecure as a child. And so I loved money, and this idea of, of success. And so to me, like success, and money meant, hey, I’m lovable. And so my dad worked really, really hard. And success was important to him. And so I sort of saw that as my role model. And my mom had a lot of anxiety with us as kids. And so it was very important. You know, we went to good schools, we worked really hard. You know, the, the track was you want to be a doctor or a lawyer or a banker or an engineer, you need to, you know, you need to work hard in life, to be safe. And so as parents, and you know, I’m expecting my first child, now there’s that, hey, I want my kids to be safe, so I don’t have to worry about them. And so to me, that, you know, was internalized as, okay, if I do well in school, and I make money, I’m lovable, I’m good enough. And so really, I just My goal was like, Okay, I want to go and be successful, like, how am I going to do that as fast as possible? And so I went into business because my dad’s in business, and then you know, we’ll okay, if you’re in business school, or those kids do, and I saw investment banking, so I’m gonna do that. That’s like, what the smartest kids do. That’s where the most competition is, you’ll never really thought like, Huh, that’s actually working 120 hours a week, nobody seems to be healthy, terrible environment, they’re telling you in the interview, it’s a terrible environment, people are rude. Like, maybe I’m not gonna want to do this. It was just, you know, this is what I need to do to prove that I’m a good person to myself and my family and parents and, and friends. And so it was very much a fear based insecurity attitude that kind of drove all my decisions through high school, university early career.

Kara Goldin 4:11
That’s crazy. So what was your first job then out of school?

Robbie Bent 4:14
Yeah, my first job was investment banker at a school I was in Toronto and moved to Los Angeles. And you know, I did two years as an investment banker, and then two years at a hedge fund. And, you know, same stories, you’ve heard like, 90 hour work weeks staying at work the entire night, and you know, having a coffee in the morning and you’re still in the same clothes. The next day. I remember. I came in once made a mistake in a presentation and my boss, like literally threw a stapler at me, and was like, just kind of thinking like, Hey, this is normal. You know, when you look then to, like, luckily, that Job was it was it was lucky for me because they just pay you more and more each year. And so it’s like, oh, well, okay, I’m making four times as much at this job than anything else. I should just keep going. And then there’s like, you know, they get you it’s very good. appetitive so you kind of like, try to get to the next level. And during my time there, the Lehman Brothers subprime mortgages, this credit crisis happened. And the hedge fund I worked at exploded, and I kind of came in one day, and they’re just like, Hey, your division has been sold off, you know? And I’m like, Okay, well, what does that mean? For me? Yeah, that kind of looked will means like, you’re out of a job. And guess what, there’s no finance jobs in California at all now, because it’s like disaster. And I kind of looked around and was just like, people who are 10 years older, 20 years older, I didn’t see anyone I wanted to emulate. I didn’t see. And this is a generalization, it’s probably not true across all financial firms, but I just didn’t see a lot of family values, a lot of health and wellness were kind of just wasn’t inspiring to me to go forward. And so thought, Okay, I want to I want to make a change now. And this is when I got into entrepreneurship, but again, not for the right reasons I saw, you know, Facebook, I’m using Facebook and hear about Mark Zuckerberg, this kid of my age, and like, you know, as an investment banker, this guy’s going into meetings with sandals, and just, it’s going crazy. And so I’m like, all I can, I can do a startup, you know, but it still was the goal was like, I’m gonna do a startup to make money, which is, you know, at 24 years old, fine, it was very naive, not realizing how much significantly harder it is than what it was doing prior. And so founder, co founder in Toronto, and then built my first

Kara Goldin 6:30
tech startup. And what year was this? This would have been

Robbie Bent 6:33
in 2009 2010. And 2010. Yeah.

Kara Goldin 6:37
So after the 2008 recession, I mean, you took us through that a little bit, you were, you know, at a bit, it sounds like you’re at a bit of a crossroads. So you get to decide, and you’re gonna go and do the startup. So what was the startup?

Robbie Bent 6:50
So we built a telecom platform that allowed you to switch carriers seamlessly to not pay roaming. And so what that means is your US customer with an 18 T sim card, we built this virtual platform that you would plug into and when you went to the UK, you would automatically get a Vodafone SIM card, and so you wouldn’t have to switch Sims, and at this time, it was, you know, roaming was like 10 bucks for a meg of data. And so you would travel, use your phone, and the bill would be like five grand. And so we went to a whole bunch of angel investors who are spending a lot of money on travel. And we did this man in the middle of thing where we’d give them a new SIM card, and we would pay the fees and they’d get an you know, a text saying, Hey, you just saved 95% on this phone call would have cost you $900 With a TNT, but it cost you 10 bucks. And so that’s how he actually drove interest, and raised money for the first version of the prototype. And so we actually built that out until works very similar now to Google phi. And what happened to the company then. So that was a huge journey. So I didn’t know anything about startups. And so if you’re an entrepreneur listening, that’s the first step is you just get going. And so I thought, you know, naively like, oh, I can just figure it out. And this was in Toronto, at the time. So it wasn’t in Silicon Valley, we were building hardware and software, it was like a really hard problem. And I thought, oh, man, I don’t know how to do this, I need help. And so we hired a whole bunch of senior people from from telecom huge mistake people from 5000 person organizations to like a seven person team, I didn’t know anything about lean startup. So it was like, oh, you know, it has to work an iPhone and Samsung, and if someone’s going to the US and Mexico and China has to work in all those countries. And so we built this massive solution, I ended up spending, raising and spending $25 million to get it up and running. And like the product just wasn’t good enough, you know, it would sometimes break when it went into a phone, which means we couldn’t sell it at retail. In some countries, there would be blackout service. And it just would have been, by the time we actually ended up getting it built, which was like a miracle that we did. And I’m like super proud of roaming prices had declined. 90% just been two years, like working through this building this thing and the product was good, but it wasn’t great. And so what I learned from that was, you know, if I just focused on iPhone, for customers in Toronto, going to the UK, that one customer segment, and like we built everything, the billing platform, the hardware of the SIM card, the software, we should have just focused on one thing and rented the rest. There’s just huge learning for me as an entrepreneur of like, what, you know, what it means to raise money, what your commitments are, when you should do that, to focus on product first talking to your customers, which we were just talking a bit about before, like we kind of have this idea of if we build it and the prices are 90%, you know, decreases then people are just going to come Sure. huge learning experience ended and failure. It was super hard for me because for two years, I kind of knew it was going to fail or like had this feeling in the pit of my stomach of this isn’t gonna work. And you know, my parents had invested some money a bunch of friends had invested money, I put in some money, everything I had, you know, I had an apartment at the time that I couldn’t really afford and was just nervous, like, what happens if this fails. And you know, a lot of my friends who stay in finance are getting more and more successful. And because that was so important to me, and my identity, and I was insecure, like having that uncertainty and doubt for that two year period was just like gut, wrenching the fear of failure. And when the company actually failed, you know, had to layoff, everybody would take equipment from a data center to put it in another data center to try to keep it going. And finally it fails. In that moment, you know what it was, it was so funny, like, failure itself isn’t so bad, the fear of failure is 100 times worse. So as soon as you know, the company failed, yes, there was some period of me like I had to move back in with my parents and their basement, I was also struggling with addiction, which we can we could talk about, but I kind of, you know, at least then there was hope, because it was, okay, well, this thing that’s not going to work, it hasn’t worked. Now, what’s next, you know, and so when you’re in a bad situation, oftentimes, the fear of the failure is much worse than the failing and then finding hope, again,

Kara Goldin 11:04
I think that that’s a really, really important thing that you just said, and I totally agree. So it’s, it’s a, you know, we, we worry so much about how it’s going to look to others. Right, and, and how it’s going to feel and and it’s usually much less impactful than we actually ever imagined. And often, there’s so many lessons that come out of that time, too. And obviously, I think you being a serial entrepreneur, now you’ve learned a lot of things, you know, you’ve got your journey, and you’re actually doing something that, you know, will actually help a lot of people as well. So not to say that your other startup wouldn’t have. But I think it’s, it’s pretty interesting. I’m a huge believer, too, that experience isn’t necessarily the thing. Hiring, over priced experience people from an industry, it, it might work, but often it doesn’t, because they’re sort of trained to think a certain way and, and kind of, you’re dealing with their journey. And especially we made that mistake in hiring executives from Coca Cola, and Pepsi. And, and they were not our best hires, frankly, and, and it’s created problems along the way it created doubts, you know, shifted us in certain lanes that we shouldn’t have been going in either. And, and, and I think oftentimes, that’s what happens, you know, it’s sort of the big company story versus you trying to change something changing industry, more than anything else. But so, so interesting. So you touched on that, then where, you know, you moved in with your parents, you were in a bit of a dark space? Do you want to talk about that? Like, how did you finally realize this,

Robbie Bent 12:58
you have sort of like this whole time, my mind was on autopilot. So you know, why do you do what you do, and you’re in high school and in your 20s, a lot of times these emotions come up, they’re unconscious, and you act, you know. And so it was important to me to be cool with my friends, and as I mentioned, to be liked, by others, and at the same time, I’m really geared for stimulation. So I love intense work, I love extreme sports, I love new and exciting and traveling and danger and risk and all these different things. And so I actually loved drugs. And so I really struggled with stimulants. So I would, you know, it seemed like normal behavior, because that’s what friends I grew up with, and Toronto were doing. And as we got into the company, I started to get older, you know, to deal with the stress, I would start drinking on a Thursday night for dinner, and then I would disappear for for two days. And so it started doing coke and wouldn’t sleep for 48 hours. And so that behavior, which Okay, fine and, you know, university was was, was feasible, I could handle it. And you know, even in finance, it was less so but I got really into it as the company started to decline, and I just had no outlet and no knowledge of any practices or modalities I could use. And that’s what happened. And so it would, you know, this doubt of the startup combined with what you feel like after not sleeping for two days, it’s almost suicidal in some cases. And so I didn’t know how to quit, I tried, you know, Alcoholics Anonymous, I tried cocaine anonymous to try therapy. And I just couldn’t get it across in my mind that like, Hey, you just need to quit drinking alcohol and like, one, like, this isn’t for you. You know, it isn’t for me at that time, and started listening to Tim Ferriss and just realize, you know, in my parents basement, I need to change I need to change my environment completely. And so I ended up moving to Israel, and in Israel, I learned about the pasta meditation 10 day, Silent Retreat. And so for many people listening meditations, notoriously difficult, right, like sitting down with calm or headspace, I’ve downloaded it. I’ve used it a few times. I struggled to make it a daily habit. The really interesting thing about a 10 day retreat is this too. years of headspace in like one, go. And so you actually really feel it. If you think of it as a skill, you feel what it’s like to learn to meditate. And so the the analogy is if you play a guitar, and you pick it up, and you know, you play it once a week, it’s not fun, you’re kind of, hey, I suck at the guitar, I can’t play a song. And that’s sort of what meditation is, until you experience something like that. So I did that. And a lot of these feelings of why I needed to be successful to be love, they start to be unconscious, and it’s like, okay, am I really making the best decisions? Because in your day to day, you just get up, you’re fighting fires, you know, your kids need to go to school, you’ve got 50 things to do. What about your finances? What does this person think it’s never ending into, you’re just on autopilot. And so that was the first time in my life where it took 10 days, 10 hours a day meditation, no phone, nothing coming in, and you go a bit deeper of, hey, maybe, you know, I was actually responsible for this, and I can change it. And at that retreat, I also learned about psychedelic medicines. And so I tried those as well. And that’s what really was the catalyst to realize, like, Hey, I should I want to make a commitment to stop drinking. And since that time, I’ve been sober now, now six years, and that was a big catalyst on a path forward.

Kara Goldin 16:15
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Robbie Bent 18:40
Yes, the two things happened and so so one which was really interesting was the person I went into the psychedelic retreat with was really into crypto is a friend of mine from school. And he had just said, Hey, there’s cool stuff happening in Silicon Valley should come out and check it out. It’s it’s called Aetherium small like cryptocurrency it’s pretty cool. And so that was a step change in me thinking of I want to do something to make money and be successful. I just thought in my mind, okay, this time with what I’ve learned about myself, I’m going to just be around good people, people that are my age that are hungry, that are like really interested in what they’re doing. And when I went out to San Francisco, like just fanatics about crypto and I started being Wow, these people are so smart. You know, you had, like professors from Stanford, and, you know, people from all the leading tech companies and I was a bit starstruck of wow, like, look how passionate these people are about this technology. And so I ended up just, you know, sleeping on his couch, going to tons of events night after night, really like talking to 1000s of people in that space to try to understand what was happening. And it led to a job at Aetherium, early on building community working on grants, which then, you know, rapidly exploded. So when I started I think theorem was, you know, kind of sub $6 and there’s just been a meteoric rise to, you know, largest smart contract platform. In the world, and within a two year period, I went from like absolute low. And a lot of it was was luck, you know, just making making the right choice trying to follow my gut. You all of a sudden, like, I’m working with my heroes and around the smartest people and living in Berlin and San Francisco and going to all these events. It’s so exciting. Everybody is such such high integrity, because it’s a new space. There’s so much innovation. Financially, I’m doing super well, I met my wife. And so I kind of, you know, tied all of that back to meditation and psychedelic work. So the daily practice and you know, I was so burned because I felt I went inward and did those practices myself, it like changed my whole life. So I’m really passionate about teaching people, you know, practices that we’re going to help them make behavioural change as well.

Kara Goldin 20:48
So cool. So how did that then ultimately, I mean, did you did you stop working at this point to decide I’m gonna go do my own thing, or I mean, what was kind of the sort of

Robbie Bent 21:04
crazy like, just such a wild story, so you know, it my wife and I, we go to bath houses. So in, you know, San Francisco, we’re talking about Archimedes. That’s what we would do on the weekend, because I didn’t want to be around alcohol. Our first day, she’s a dietician. And she loves Rhonda Patrick and was like, hey, like, they’re all these people are talking about the sauna and ice bath and like the longevity benefits, like let’s, let’s go try this. And I was like, Well, okay, that sounds like a cool date. So that was our first date, second date. And we’re like, wow, like, it’s such a good conversation, no phone, just really connecting, especially on those first dates. There’s like a bit of nerves, you know, people reach for alcohol. And because we connected so deeply, we started going every week bringing friends. And I noticed something about the ice bath. It was you know, and I found out later it triples norepinephrine in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for like mood, attention, vigilance. So you are in a meditative state, like everything just fades away. And so it’s like, wow, this is like, you know, all my friends are struggling to meditate. But this is kind of meditation on autopilot, like what is happening here. So I got, you know, went down to research hole started did the Wim Hof training went to a bunch of his events. And he’s this like crazy guy who’s like the The Iceman they call him and, you know, he’s he can do three hour ice baths and like, ran marathons in the Arctic Circle. He’s a legend. Yeah. And I started my water and my house didn’t go cold enough. And so we built me and, you know, three of my best friends and my wife built an ice bath in our backyard. And we just started having people over every night for fun was like an ice bath and a fire. And at that point, we noticed, wow, something really special is happening here. Like people who normally struggled to meditate are like getting into the zone and letting go and feeling amazing. And you know, people started becoming friends dating, you know, getting married. And all of a sudden, that backyard turned into 300 people in a whatsapp chat coming every single day to use a space. And we’re like, Well, this is crazy. This is crazy. And then so it becomes winter. We live in Canada at this point. And so we’re like, I wonder if we could turn our garage into a space. So we put a sauna, an ice bath in a tea room in the garage. And that through word of mouth grew to 2000 people coming like residential streets, like every day, 4050 people coming in. And I kind of saw that I was like, Well, this is really cool. But it’s still a side project. It was just something I did, because I’m really passionate about the hot and cold and the breath work I had learned and teaching it to people. And then COVID hip. And so that was a whole thing where we, you know, obviously we had to shut down. And so the breath work that we had learned and we’re teaching in classes we started doing online, and just for free, you know, saying like, hey, people are struggling, come to this thing. And what people started asking for was, you know, I’m really feeling isolated. I want a party with my friends. So you’d make electronic music, these really great DJ sets my partner’s musician, and we put them on Friday night, have everyone do breath work and kind of like move and dance. And the responses were so strong, like it grew from 20 to 50, to 100 to 500 to 1000 people joining and then people asking for the recordings, which we put on YouTube, and that became a course. And then the course did 100,000 in sales. And then people were like, Hey, I use this every day can you make it into an app and so family business no experience building a direct to consumer product my wife was just like, I want to do this I want to learn it took total control designed this entire amazing app. And then my two partners made all the content so we scripted everything we made the music, added the breathing and with a goal is to make it fun, like make make wellness accessible. So you can listen to this music where it feels like you’re listening to your favorite Spotify set, but then you’re breathing along to it to create state change. And that’s sort of the difference between meditation and breath work is awareness which is difficult for people versus state physiological state change. So pushing the gas pedal nervous system for energy, or pushing the brake when you know you need to relax after work or get ready for sleep and then And things just really exploded from there.

Kara Goldin 25:02
So how long was your the first time you went into the ice bath? So like the first time that you hopped in, because I think to people who have never done it seems very daunting, right? Like I do that, you know, and and like how I don’t think I could handle it, or I’ll have a heart attack.

Robbie Bent 25:21
All right, honestly, the, like, 95% of people are nervous. And so if you thought the average person, it’s, Hey, this is cold, I hate the winter, I’m not gonna like this. I don’t like cold water, what’s the point. And so we really start by explaining the why. And so hot and cold therapy. hydrotherapy is the number two thing you can do for longevity and, and healthspan after fasting. And so if you think about it, you’re putting stress on your body, your body’s becoming stronger, it’s called core basis, very similar to exercise, we train our bodies or body gets stronger. So through hot and cold retraining our vascular system, reducing inflammation, boosting our immune system by 2x, boosting our metabolism. So it’s very important that people understand the why. So it’s like, Okay, I’m going to do this thing. It’s scary. It’s only scary for the first 30 seconds. And what we teach you is when that fight or flight response hits, so 30 seconds, Daniel, I don’t want to do this, oh, man. And we started to teach you to use your breath to slow the exhale, to move your nervous system from fight or flight into rest and digest takes about 30 seconds to a minute, and you hit this bliss point where you’re like, Wow, this actually isn’t needed anymore. I’m in it, okay, like, I’m in a meditative state now. And so what happens is, over time, the more you do that, you’re not in real danger, but your mind is in perceived danger. And so it’s very similar to response to anger, anxiety, you know, but when that stuff comes in your normal life, you can’t really train for it, right? Like you’re angry, it’s too late. And so you’re teaching your body is when that fight or flight happens, you know what it feels like? And you can use your breath to slow down and so you don’t react. And so you’re building emotional resilience. And so when we finally teach people that explain it, like, Oh, I get it, okay, it’s gonna be hard. I’m going to catch my breath. One minute, and I’m okay, we use samples, essential oils, intention setting. And I’ve seen, you know, 75 year old couples come in, go in together first time, no problem. And I would say probably 95 out of 100, people end up making it through the two minutes, and 90 of those 95 are nervous. Yeah. And then when it’s done, you feel like, wow, I accomplished this in a group, everybody’s high fiving. And you feel alive.

Kara Goldin 27:31
Yeah. And so two minutes is like the first, first round, and then and then you get people moving up to what point usually

Robbie Bent 27:39
just to honestly, like to their their becomes this battle of all I’ve done to like you do three, but there’s not really significant benefits after so we don’t, it’s very non competitive environment, it’s, Hey, you know, one minute, you’re gonna start to feel the benefits that second minute is when you can really get deep into a meditation. And after that, it’s great. Like you’ve made it, you know, so two minutes is just sort of the goal at all times.

Kara Goldin 28:04
And your app is amazing, by the way. So it’s, it’s so great. And just the breathing and the the music and everything about it is just absolutely terrific. What do you think is like the toughest part of starting this company? I have an idea, but I, you know, I’m so curious, what you would say is really the hardest thing and what you maybe lose sleep over as you start to think about building this company.

Robbie Bent 28:33
So one, the first was getting people on board. So we had, you know, like if I say, hey, you know, one thing we just didn’t touch on is the garage has now during COVID Become a space itself. And so we built out a 50 person sauna for ice baths, a tea room, and it’s a space for classes, and people are like, What do you mean? Classes, you know, what’s a sonic class, they’ve never heard of it. And I’m seeing in the garage, you know, we’d have a class on anger. And we’d have six people come in and you’d share something you’re angry about, you go into the song, the lights would go out, you know, music would be playing and you would scream as loud as you can to release anger. And that’s a common psychotherapy technique that’s used and so there’s like, science backed evidence is great for feeling anger in your body and releasing it. And so the results for that were so powerful, and I saw people who were struggling with addiction and were struggling with anger, like change their lives. And so I knew that like this, this concept of like, emotional regulation, hot, cold and breath is extremely powerful, but telling that people like what are you talking about, like you have a garage, sign even an app, it’s like you’re doing zoom classes and I’m, I’m, you know, so excited because this changed my life and I’ve seen it change hundreds of people’s lives. And so that was really challenging to even my friends. I’m like, Hey, do you guys want to invest? We’re opening this thing nobody invested except for one friend the same one who got me into crypto who like you knew he like I see what you believe in it. So that was the hardest part was without and actual space sharing and without the app, like sharing the vision of how powerful these things were. So that was like, you know, I had hundreds of calls and punches in the gut every time people were like, I don’t believe in this and you know, but we just stuck with it and focused on our customers of like, okay, I can see the change in these people and how pumped they are and how much they want to be part of the community. And so just watching that made me care made us care so much about building an amazing experience. And now, we have the opposite problem. So we open three months ago, and people who are heroes of mine in the health space, you know, Ben Greenfield and Dave Asprey are using our app. And it’s just so clear how much energy went into, like every session, like we’ll just think about a session on forgiveness, you know, we’ll read hundreds of scripts, we’ll spend every single word, placing it at the right time, using the right music to like cue forgiveness. And it’s just hearing people and watching them and their experiences is so amazing. But what’s hard now is we’re trying to build this amazing app, and launch a whole bunch of spaces at the same time. And with that many spaces you can think of like, the it’s a hospitality experience, right? And so when you come in, what is your experience of the door, you know, are you created, and these experiences are so deep, somewhere on fear, release, anger release, if you’re going, you’ve got to create an environment for people that are safe. And so when the owners aren’t there, how do you make sure a 10 out of 10 for you know, all 200 people that day, they feel safe, they feel welcomed, the facilitator explains these, like complicated concepts in the same way that the founders could. And then how do we now do that across multiple cities at once? So the biggest problem now is just maintaining product quality and passionate with the next, you know, 30 people that we bring on to kind of scale out?

Kara Goldin 31:44
Yeah, no, I think that the experience is, is definitely such a big deal. I know, a friend to head open Kimpton and, you know, he talked about that, too, it’s like, you know, they’re a big company now, and, and not private anymore. But it’s like, you know, how do you replicate that experience? And, and, and really grow in a way that makes the consumer know that it’s a consistent experience? So it’s, you’re thinking about it absolutely. correctly. But I also think you touched on the education of this, it’s like, you know, it’s, it’s a scary thing, right? At first to a lot of people or breath work, I don’t have time to breathe, like, why would I do that, you know, like all of these things going through. But I think when you capture the consumer that has gotten it, you were the consumer first, and you get more of those stories out there. I think that that’s a really powerful thing for people to hear about those and understand the changes that they can see from it. And I think, definitely over the last five years, I mean, you and I touched on, you know how there’s other things that are kind of like it that are launching, but they’re not exactly I mean, that just increases the, you know, the understanding, right? So you don’t have to do as much education, as I always say to people that it’s even when we were launching our product tent, nobody understood, like, why do I need to unsweetened flavored water, there’s these diet drinks out there. And it seems so apparent to me that people should be giving up diet sweeteners. But it was, I had the same thing where friends were like, I don’t know, I really liked my diet soda, it’s just fine. And they didn’t get it now. They’re like, Oh, my gosh, I should have listened to what you were doing. And I had no idea. And so being a visionary entrepreneur is It’s a thankless job. Right? And it’s, it’s hard. And it’s, it’s a lot of what I talk about in my book as well, just getting over the doubts and the doubters. Because those increase, especially as you start to, you know, try to get the product moving and out there. So anyway, I think it’s really incredible what you’re doing and what you’ve done and your experience, obviously and shutting down a company even though I’m sure that was hard before. That’s, that’s just learnings for this next one for sure. So you’ve done multiple startups now. What is success for you? Like, when you think about what you want to get out of this? I mean, obviously launch in the US you’re getting ready, hopefully to launch in New York and Los Angeles and and I can’t wait for them to, for your business to come to the US. But how will you know that you’ve succeeded?

Robbie Bent 34:39
It’s a really hard question, isn’t it? There’s this issue of like enough, right? Like, what is the math like to some degree? This was never meant to be a business. It was something we’re just really passionate about and started with us helping you know, our neighbors as a way to hang out for something we wanted. And so now we have this beautiful space first of its kind And in North America, you know, all these things I thought would make me super happy. It’s in the newspaper, it’s on this podcast. It’s like it’s a bonafide success. Yeah. Like, it’s, it’s there. And so part of me still like, wants to not do it in the US stage. It’s as a small town Canadian kid, can I like, go to the big city and make it like, that’s the dream, right? It’s like, I go to New York and make a successful business there. So there’s, there’s that driving me. But I know, once that happens, there’s nothing it’s not that just feel it’s like long term fulfilling. And so I think what I’m trying to wrap my head around is, is what drives me the most. And the reality is being in the space with customers that if you came to Toronto, and you’re like, hey, I want to come do this. And we went to one of my favorite classes, the pride of like walking you through the check in the smells in the space, the feeling of the tiles on your feet, the feeling of the fire, the perfect music, playing the lighting, and just watching your smile and thinking you’re getting one thing when really, it blows your mind. And it’s such a much deeper experience in watching and connecting with you doing that I will never get tired of that. So for me, it’s just continuing to make this experience better and better and more fun, more people bringing them in and just watching their faces, like making that impact, because that’s healthy motivation. And it, you can feel it like we’re having a first party for all people who’ve been more than 25 times. And the goal was, if you come, you know, to the space, I can guarantee you your mind is blown. Like we have just five star reviews on Google left, right and center. But the real magic moment happens if you make a new friend. And so we came up with this idea to have this free party 11pm to 2am with this idea that like partying can be silver and healthy. And so we invited all our customers, and we’re gifting them all with specialty hats, if they’ve been 25 times. So they know who’s been 25 times and specialty robes for those who’ve been 50. So you know, like, Well, those are Oh, geez. And then we’re driving everyone into a community chat. So like they become friends. And the idea that so many people like me who are struggling with alcohol and looking for their community as other health driven people, like entrepreneurs, people into meditation athletes, biohackers, where do these people go at night, you know, and so to see that unfold, and see the friendships, that I think will continue to be impactful. And so I’m really trying to just not be driven by ego and like, you know, if you hear a competitor’s opening, or like, oh, no, like, they’re gonna get to it before us. And that’s there for sure. That’s like that insecurity piece of me that right? Like, you know, I’m still struggling with, but I’m really trying to lean into just the impact the feeling, being in the space, like if I, you know, this business is so different than those first ones, because I can get strength, I can just go in the space and talk to people. And anytime I do that, instantly, all the overwhelm just drops. And it’s like, okay, I’m doing the right thing around these people. It’s helping, and it feels good. And so that’s kind of what I would that for me success is just being in that feeling as much as possible.

Kara Goldin 38:01
Yeah, no, definitely. It’s it’s a, you know, the one other thing that I want to say when, when you, I used to think that when competition comes around, I mean, we launched an entirely new category, really, as that’s what you’re doing, right? You’re launching? People? Yeah, there’s a lot of education around it. All those things, when people are launching things that are competitive, maybe they’re sort of competitive kind of things that just increases the consumer awareness. And all you can do is focus on you, right, and what you do and making your business better. And I think that, you know, what I always knowing what I know, today, and what I share with entrepreneurs, it’s focusing on what you can control, and then also, just, you know, staying alive, right? Like, that’s the key. That’s the key thing, because if you focus on what everyone else is doing, and all the noise around that, then you’ll lose in the end, so. So really, really incredible. Robbie, you are doing, like amazing stuff. And I’m really excited for everything coming up and the new locations coming to the US soon. So other ships app, I mean, just download it from the App Store. Anything else that you want to share with people that Toronto location is open now if you’re up in Toronto?

Robbie Bent 39:25
Yeah, absolutely. And so if anybody we have a scholarship program, so if accessibility is an issue, my Twitter handle is at Robbie vent one and we can put it in the show notes. And if people want to DM me for access, we want to make sure it’s affordable. You know, at the end of the day, the really cool thing about your breath is a tool, you can just use it anytime. And so happy to make that offer to any of your audience that might not be able to afford it and just know that yeah, you can follow us in our journey. I tweet about everything we’re doing when we’re opening and we’re always doing breathwork concerts and events around the US and stuff. So definitely if this resonates would love to frack for and actually came up someone I’d never met from Seattle. He’d heard me on a podcast, he drove 25 hours and got an Airbnb for two weeks and came every day because he was so excited about it. And so we’d love that kind of stuff. So if you this is like, yeah, love this reach out. And Absolutely.

Kara Goldin 40:16
That’s so great. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Robbie. And thank you everyone, for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Kara Goldin show. We’re here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, where we get to interview amazing founders and CEOs like Robbie who share their stories, lots of disruptors as well, that really chat about lessons, I promise, I only search out and invite the best to come on to share about their challenges about sometimes their failures and what they’ve learned. So definitely check out the other ship app as well. It’s really, really terrific. And you can definitely find Robbie, what did you say your social platforms are?

Robbie Bent 41:08
Yeah, so it’s an add Robbie event on Instagram. And at Robbie event, one on Twitter.

Kara Goldin 41:12
Perfect. And I’m at Kara Goldin on every platform. And also if you haven’t picked up a copy of my book on daunted it’s also available on Audible too. And we’re here every Monday, Wednesday and brand new. We’re also doing Friday where we get to have incredible interviews just like Robbie. So thanks, everyone. Have a great rest of the week. And thanks again, Robbie. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening