Our guest today is Mindbody, Inc’s President & CTO, Sunil Rajasekar.
Sunil has served as Mindbody’s chief technology officer since November 2018 and as its president since August 2020. With more than 20 years of consumer and enterprise experience, his work is focused on the company’s product and technology strategy, consumer marketplace expansion, and platform development.
Previously, Sunil served as vice president and general manager at e-commerce giant eBay, leading engineering and product management for the seller experience. He has also served as chief technology officer for Lithium Technologies and as vice president of engineering, product management, and operations at Intuit. He holds an MBA from the University of Toledo.
In This Conversation We Discuss:
- Identifying the signals of stress and the importance of mental health
- How Sunil adapted through two CEO transitions
- The complexities of the backend and how it differs from the frontend experience
- How Sunil competes with talent acquisition in the tech world
Connect with Sunil Rajasekar: LinkedIn
Mindbody – https://www.mindbodyonline.com
The Buddha and the Badass: The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work – Click here
Get Cameron’s latest book: The Second in Command – Unleash the Power of Your COO
Subscribe to our YouTube channel – Second in Command Podcast on YouTube
Get Cameron’s online course – Invest In Your Leaders
Our guest is Mindbody Inc.’s President and CTO, Sunil Rajasekar. He has served as Mindbody’s Chief Technology Officer since November 2018 and President since August 2020. With many years of consumer and enterprise experience, his work is focused on the company’s product, technology strategy, consumer marketplace expansion, and platform development. He served as Vice President and General Manager at eCommerce giant eBay, leading engineering, and product management for the seller experience. He has also served as Chief Technology Officer for Lithium Technologies and Vice President of Engineering Product Management of Operations at Intuit. He holds his MBA from the University of Toledo. Sunil, welcome to the show.
Thank you, Cameron. I’m happy to be here.
I’m excited to do this. I have used your app in a number of countries. I was over in Italy and we were like, “Where are we going to find yoga?” My fiance was like, “Let’s go on Mindbody.” I’m like, “They are not going to be in Italy.” You were. It was dead simple and clean. We show up, and the first thing the woman said to us when we walked in was, “Did you use Mindbody to book?” I was like, “Yes. This is amazing.” How many countries are you guys in now?
We are in a lot of countries. We have offices only in a few. We are in the US. We have offices in Australia and the UK. We are used in a lot more countries than the countries I mentioned. It is customers finding us on the web and wanting to use our software and be on the marketplace. I couldn’t even give you an exact count because it is not something that we have been actively pursuing. It has all happened organically, but it is close to 100.
Are you covering multiple languages and stuff on the platform, or is it all English?
We do have multilingual support. That is something we built quite early, and that has paid off.
What was it that got you to join Mindbody? After you tell us that, can you give us a walkthrough as to what Mindbody is for anybody who hasn’t heard of it yet?
Cameron, if you are okay, I will do that in reverse because why I’m here is tied directly to what Mindbody does. Mindbody is the world’s leading platform for the wellness industry. We have two pieces to our overall platform. One piece is the B2B software. This is software that the wellness business can use to run and grow their business. Think of it like an ERP-type of software to run a wellness business. This allows these wellness businesses, whether they are in fitness, integrative health, salon, or spa. It allows them to set up their classes or appointments, take online bookings from their consumers, set up their staff, and run marketing campaigns.
We launched Mindbody Capital, which allows these businesses to use our platform to raise money to run and grow their business. That is an example. We are continuing to add more functionality to our platform. That is everything from software needed to run and grow your business, engage with your consumers, raise capital, or manage your payments. It is fully functioning. That is one piece. We have the marketplace, which is what you were referring to that you used in Italy. Thank you for using our software. Feel free to use more of it. This is a direct-to-consumer play where we have a marketplace where consumers who are traveling are new to the wellness industry. They want to look at what options are there in the neighborhood.
They can go to a marketplace. It is available on the web, iPhone app, or Google Android app. You can use that app to do a search, find whatever you are looking for, and go ahead, book, and purchase. We have these two pieces. They are all integrated. It is part of one giant platform. I would break it out into those two pieces to explain how it works at the next level. I have been in Silicon Valley for many years. All of us in the tech industry are lucky to be here. There is no dirt of opportunity. It is true for everyone in tech and for me. I came to Mindbody for three reasons. Reason number one and the biggest draw to me was the space we are in. Everything I mentioned, the idea of being able to connect the world to wellness was appealing to me.
We all want to do great work in the fields that we are in, but we also want to have a big impact. Mindbody gives me and the rest of the company the opportunity to do meaningful work, do interesting work, work on marketplaces, AI/ML, and all these interesting things for all in services connecting the world to wellness. That was appealing to me. Wellness is something I focus on quite a bit. I burnt out early in my career. I ended up pivoting my focus when I was in my early twenties to wellness quite a bit. I realized I didn’t have an anchor point. The shift to wellness was meaningful to me. I started meditating every day and working out. I’m not the one to lift 500 pounds at the gym, but I still go. I do yoga and work out.
All that has become an integral part of my life. The idea of doing that at scale and helping others discover wellness is the reason number one and strongest reason. Reason number two is we have an opportunity to build a multi-generational company in the wellness space. The way I look at wellness is at the same level as healthcare and education. The whole world should have access to wellness. That is not the case nowadays. There is a small percentage of people who get to experience wellness. They go to classes and get a personal trainer, but it shouldn’t be exclusive. How do we make that available to all 7.7 billion people in the world? That is a big mission. It is good for the world that comes out of that.
We have the opportunity to build a multi-generational company that is at a Google, Facebook, or Amazon level. That opportunity was appealing. The third reason and this is a byproduct of what our mission is, which is connecting the world of wellness, is that the people who work at the company are different. They focus on wellness. They are motivated by that mission. It is not about, “What do we do for the next quarter?” It is about, “What can we do to further our overall mission.” I love the people that work at the company. Those are the three reasons.
I want to go back to something you said about flaming out with stress several years ago. Our timing on this is interesting. I was written up in the Wall Street Journal in the fall of 2020 as someone whose career flamed out because of stress. I was clinically redlining. I’m curious, what happened to you? What were the signals or the symptoms you saw now? Maybe you didn’t see them at that time that you can tell others to be aware of.
This was in my early twenties. I was living in New York at that time. When you are in your early twenties, you think you are invincible. You can do whatever you want and you are going to be fine. I had a high-pressure job. I was working at Oracle and crazy hours. I also had a lot of friends. Having fun was a priority too. It is for most people in their early twenties. I was trying to do it all. I would work crazy hours, work on the weekend, and go out every night with friends. I wasn’t taking care of myself and not watching what I ate.
A lot of times, even if your mind doesn’t know you are heading down the wrong path and you are burning the candle at both ends, your body will tell you. If your mind doesn’t tell you, your body will tell you at some point. That is what happened to me, Cameron. My body told me. I ended up breaking down. The stress was too much. I had irritable bowel syndrome. I ended up losing a lot of weight. I needed to take 4 to 6 months off to recenter myself and come up with a new system for how I needed to live. I wasn’t flaming out. It took me a while to figure it out. That was in a book I read at that point, which was a turning point for me. Coincidentally, the name of the book was The Mind-Body Connection by a person called John Sarno. The book was about back pain. Have you read the book?
No, but I know John. I met him at a Genius Network event. He talked a lot about his concepts for us.
I would love to meet him because his book was a game-changer for me. It helped me get back on a good path and recover. There was a time when I was like, “I don’t know if I’m going to come out of this.” I saw a lot of doctors. They said, “Irritable bowel syndrome means we don’t know what is wrong with you. We don’t know how to fix it. We can give you some high-level tips and guidelines. It is your nervous system being out of whack.” John Sarno’s book was the one that told me, “The thing that crosses that is the mind-body connection, and it is stress.” That is what got me going down the path of meditating every day, recentering myself, working out, and taking care of myself overall.
I had the irritable bowel syndrome stuff as well. I’m similar, like long hours, crazy days, drinking, partying every night, waking up at 7:00, doing it again, and thinking I was invincible. I weighed 40 pounds heavier than I do now. I was not a good look. Did you have that metallic taste or something at the back of your neck? Does that ring a bell to you at all?
No, I did not have that symptom. I couldn’t keep anything down.
I don’t know how to explain what it was, but it was almost at the back of my neck. It is almost like I was chewing on tinfoil or something. I talked to a physician about it and he said, “You are clinically redlining. Your body is secreting something to tell you to slow down.” It is scary stuff. You join Mindbody. Was it Josh and the board hiring you or Josh and the leadership team? What did they see in you that they wanted to bring you in?
At that time, Rick Stollmeyer was the CEO. He was the founder of the company. He stepped down around a few years ago, Josh took over as CEO, and I took over as President. He is the one who was my hiring manager. The board was involved as well. I don’t want to sound too presumptuous, but I suspect the reason why they thought I was a good candidate is I was open about my personal motivation for seeking this role. That was number one. Number two was the experiences I have had. I have been conscious about building out my experiences, the consumer space, and the enterprise I have worked in the SMB space.
I have worked in marketplaces. All of that was directly relevant to what Mindbody was trying to do. We have large enterprises that we serve, like Orangtheory Fitness and F45. These are large companies. We also have a lot of SMBs, Small and Medium-sized Businesses that we are serving. We have a marketplace. I have worked in all those spaces. There was a lot of direct applicability between my experiences and what Mindbody was trying to do. On a personal level, I clicked with everyone I met. Those are the three reasons.
How is the transition when you come in under that 1st CEO and a 2nd CEO comes in two years later? What do you think you learned? How did you have to adapt?
Josh came into Mindbody through an acquisition. He was the CEO of a company called Booker, which got acquired by Mindbody. He was already at the company when I joined. He was the Chief Strategy Officer at that point. He and I had built a deep relationship even during that time when Rick was the CEO. Josh does a good job of building out personal relationships, even before he starts leaning in on the work relationships. We used to spend a lot of time grabbing a drink or coffee. We ended up becoming friends and, in addition to being colleagues. The base was there. When Rick stepped down and we stepped into our new roles, it felt natural because we already had that relationship. It didn’t feel awkward or unnatural. It felt, in many ways, like a continuation of what we had already built.
On the B2C side with Mindbody, as a consumer, booking yoga, fitness classes, or spin classes is a clean experience. It is very Applesque in terms of its usability, clean, simple, fast, and easy. Is the backend clean or messy? You are making it look good, but is it tough on the backend, or have you got it dialed?
The reason you are asking this question leads me to believe you know the answer. It is not that easy. We have a lot of complexity underneath the covers. Mindbody has been in business for many years. As part of that, we have been building features, products, and capabilities over the past several years. There is a lot of complexity there. A lot of complexity comes from building out these modern experiences. There are also some parts of our platform that are older and how we make all of that work together. A part of our platforms is modern, like the marketplace you are using. Thank you for saying it is very Apple-esque. Apple is the gold standard when it comes to ease of use. There is a lot of work that has gone into that. Underneath the covers with the APIs and talking to the different systems, there is a lot of complexity.
I had that question done. How many years has it been in the making? When I was the COO for 1-800-GOT-JUNK, people used to think it was such an easy business. I’m like, “You have no idea how long it took to get to the night before we were the overnight success story.” When did Mindbody become that overnight success? Was it while you were there, before, or after?
There have been different phases for the company. Given how long we have been there, there have been multiple phases. I have spent a lot of time with Rick. There is a lot of folklore even within the company on all the stages we have been through. The first pivotal moment for the company was when Mindbody adopted cloud technology. At that point, everything was desktop and on-prem software. Rick, to his credit, made a decision. This was before Salesforce was a thing, and now the cloud is the default, but there was a time when it wasn’t. He is talking to others in the industry and others within the company. He was like, “We need to adopt cloud technology and move into the cloud.”
That was when the business took off because it made it simple for people to discover and install Mindbody and start using it. That was a key moment. Other moments were when the marketplace was introduced. We are going through one pivotal moment now. We announced the acquisition of ClassPass, which is a direct-to-consumer subscription solution. People can subscribe to ClassPass. It gives them access to tens of thousands of wellness businesses. They can use the credits they purchase every month to go to any of these businesses.
Are you guys VC-funded? Do you have funding?
We were VC-backed. We went public and then we took the company private. At this point, we are owned by Vista Equity Partners. We are PE backed. We have other investors, but Vista is the majority investor.
On the B2B side, I didn’t realize that Mindbody had that full B2B empowerment for all of these locations. What’s your revenue split in terms of percentages? What percentage of your revenue approximately would be B2B and B2C?
With ClassPass, it is probably 70/30.
I didn’t even know that existed, but now it makes perfect sense. One of my former clients and a member of our COO Alliance have a company called Loud Rumor. They do a lot of marketing for fitness locations like F45 as a client and Orangetheory. They can do a lot of their outbound marketing. These locations do need this software to manage and run their business and platforms. I didn’t realize you did that. Is it clear in the fitness space that is your nichÃ©? Did they all know that?
Yes. We are the most full-featured platform there is. We have been in the market the longest. We have the most market share. People view us that way. What they don’t all know is how much we are focused on this mission of building out a fully featured platform because our goal is we want to get to a point where our customers have one platform. They can use that for everything they need. It offers them all the capabilities they need. They don’t have to worry about stitching together several applications to run their business overall. For the wellness industry, all of this is grounded in us serving our customers.
When you are running a wellness business, whether you are a large business like Orangetheory or you are this tiny studio and you have two employees, where they are going to differentiate and shine is by spending time with their consumers and clients. Any time they are spending in the back office on a spreadsheet or trying to figure out how to make all these different applications work together is time they are taking away from being with their consumers. That is our goal.
How do we make this drop and simple so they can focus on running the business? One example I use quite often is Uber. There are pros and cons to the overall business, and we can debate that, but one thing they do well that we want to emulate is how easy they make it for somebody to be a driver on their platform. That was a time when you needed a car, insurance, and a bunch of things. They have continued to chip away to the point when they give out loans for you to get a car. They even give you the cars. You need to come in and they give you everything from the car, insurance, and clients. You are ready to go. You are in business.
We want to do the same thing for wellness businesses, where you come in with your commitment, expertise, and passion. Mindbody gives you that business in a box. Everything that you need to run your business, taking payments, setting up classes or appointments, and finding your clients. That is where the marketplace and ClassPass come in. We want to be that business in a box.
It is funny you brought up Uber. In the summer of 2008, I brought Tim Ferriss and Garrett Camp to Burning Man for the first time. I told Garrett that it was the stupidest idea I had ever heard. That was six months before he hired Travis to come in. I didn’t even understand what an app was, let alone how they were going to possibly build this thing out. My ex and I used to joke about the best way to make money is to start a religion or a bank. Mindbody Capital is going to be huge for you.
Everything we do is grounded on what we can do to help our customers. If we help our customers and they do well, we are going to benefit as well. This is all grounded in what benefit we can provide our customers. The reason Mindbody Capital was something we started looking at is COVID accelerated. For small businesses, getting capital has always been a challenge. There are some horrific stats around how long a small business needs to spend on a loan application. Even after going through all that effort, a small percentage of them get approved for the loan. Even for those who get approved, it is not the loan amount they get. It is a small loan amount.
That has always been a challenge. COVID exacerbated it. There were not a lot of folks willing to give loans to small businesses. Unfortunately, a lot of them went under. We wanted to help our customers with that issue and that is what led to Mindbody Capital. Mindbody Capital is a different model. It is not a loan. It is a way to give folks cash in advance of them getting the revenue. It is based on your future revenue. We have all your data. We know what revenue you are going to be generating in the future. We will give you a cash advance based on future revenue.
Is it like a factoring company?
I’m not familiar with factoring companies. I do know there is a negative connotation to those companies. I don’t want to say, “Yes, it is like factoring.” It is a cash advance based on your future revenue. There is no application or credit check. We give you the offer based on what we know about your data.
Hypothetically speaking, it is a $50,000 offer. You get to decide, “Am I going to pay it off over 6 or 12 months?” There is a fixed fee that comes out of it. The beauty of this model is it is a fixed fee no matter what. If COVID happens, there will be another shutdown. My yoga business needs to shut down for a month. The payment is deducted based on your future revenue. If you are close for a month, it will get pushed out. There is no increase in fee and negative implication. That is the model we have rolled out.
There is a company out of Canada called ClearBank that is doing something similar. I’m intrigued by it because my sister runs a company. She has 180,000 people playing co-ed intramural sports that tie into the Mindbody space. I’m going to talk with her about it. Do you guys have any relationship with Mindvalley? Do you know Vishen and his company Mindvalley?
A lot of the folks you have mentioned are people I’m aware of. On a personal side, I listen to Mindvalley Podcast all the time. I’m a big Vishen Lakhiani fan. One of my favorite books is The Buddha and The Badass, which he wrote. I also read some of his other books as well. Same with Tim Ferriss, who you mentioned earlier. I’m a huge Tim Ferris fan. I listen to this podcast every week. A lot of things they talk about, continuous learning and needing to focus on your mind and body and deliver complete life, are things that have had a huge impact on me personally. By extension, it is something I take into the company. We don’t have any business relationships, but they have an implication on how we think about the world and our mission.
I’m in Vishen’s book. He wrote about me and my vivid vision concept in his book. The reason I bring it up is I should introduce you if you are interested in chatting with him. He is a wonderful human. He has a great market. It is way small compared to what you guys are running with, but they have 2 million subscribers on their email list and marketplace that care about the mind and body space. They would be an interesting affiliate, partner, marketing partner, or channel for you guys at some point, or even a tie-in or to be on their podcast.
There is a lot we could do together. On a personal level, I would love to meet both Ferriss and Lakhiani. They had a huge impact happening.
I will introduce you to both of them. Vishen’s COO is also a member of our COO Alliance. In tech now, it has been tough in the Bay Area for technology companies to attract talent because Google, PayPal, and eBay are buying talent. It is almost predatory pricing. It is like predatory hiring. They are coming in and throwing money at all these people. How do you compete against them? How do you compete in that war on talent being a tech company? Secondly, has this started to become more of a global issue now that employees can live anywhere? Now you are living in Ohio and the big companies are going to poach you there with big salaries too. Are you seeing anything there at all?
The answer is yes to both. The fact is that there is a war on talent, especially in the tech world. With COVID, it is across every industry but it has always been there in the tech world. It has gotten even more intense. We do have a challenge with finding and retaining top tech talent. The thing we have going in our favor is the mission again. That is the number one reason why others come to Mindbody. This is a chance to help people connect to wellness and has a direct line of sight between the work you are doing and somebody feeling healthier, fitter, and more confident in themselves. That is meaningful.
I frequently talk about how we attract a lot of missionaries as opposed to mercenaries. That plays in our favor. Having said that, we do live in the real world. When folks come calling and they throw obscene amounts of money, it is a challenge. We managed to keep our top talent. We lost some along the way. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t lose anyone, but we have lost some. It is the reality of the world that we live in, but we have kept a lot of our top talent. It is because of this whole missionary versus mercenary point that I made.
When people deeply care about what they are building versus building some IT that matters to them. I was going to ask you about the impact of COVID on the business because 100% of your revenue got impacted by that. When your customers are operating fitness locations and they have to shut down for that period of time, what was that like for the business? How did you manage the emotions and the fear of all the employees that were freaking out? Walk us through some of that.
Our business was and is directly impacted by COVID because all our customers have storefront locations. These are yoga classes or salons and spas where they are bringing people in. March of 2020 was when this all started playing up. We all who have lived through this will remember March well. There was a time when I thought. “This is a quick thing. In a couple of weeks, it is all going to turn around.” It was around the end of March when it struck me that this was more serious than we thought.
We started seeing all the closures. Our businesses and customers all ended up shutting down quickly. Their business all went from 100 to 0 in a matter of days. I was worried. There was a phase where I was worried about our customers, company, and employees. They were signs even then that we were going to be resilient and things were going to come back. One example was a lot of our customers started getting creative. They started offering classes outside. A lot of them adopted virtual classes. We put out a virtual platform that our customers could use to stream classes or record videos and make that available on demand for their consumers. I saw how creative and resilient our industry was and is. That gave me a lot of confidence.
There is a personal experience that I had. I remember walking by a studio where folks were working out inside. This was a time when we were not supposed to be doing that. I’m not advocating for us to do this, yet we do need to be careful. Seeing people who are working out despite being asked not to told me that this isn’t something optional. Wellness isn’t optional but it is at the same level as education and healthcare. Folks are going to find a way. I started doing a lot of swimming and hiking.
It led me to believe, and I have a lot of strong conviction on this, that even though we have rebounded quite a bit, there is a lot more that is going to happen. We are not just going to rebound. It is going to be much higher than we were in 2019 pre-COVID. If anything COVID has proven, it is that we all need to focus on wellness like we were chatting about before the interview started, Cameron. It is not about physical wellness. It is about mental wellness. There is going to be a wave. A lot more people are going to be focused on the mind-body connection and focusing on that in addition to all the other things like family and work. Personal focus on wellness is going to be much more important. It already is, but I see that’s the thing to grow and it is going to be good for our customers and business.
The single biggest frustrating thing for me with COVID was the shutting down of fitness facilities, gyms, and yoga. I’m like, “These are healthy people trying to stay healthy. We are trying to shut them down and tell them to get medicine. This doesn’t make any sense to me.” The ClassPass acquisition, was that easy?
It is a big acquisition. It wasn’t easy. It took a while. We started the conversation a long time ago. We have been partners for a long time, and during those conversations, every once in a while, we would be doing these hard negotiations on contracts. At some point, we should think about how we bring these two together because it was complimentary. We are both solving to grow the wellness industry. ClassPass has a heavy focus on bringing new members into the wellness industry. That is something we have been focused on. There are a lot of synergies when it comes to our mission. Even though the words are different, if you look at our mission statements, they look similar. It is all about growing the wellness industry.
We approached it in different ways. We approached it from a, “We are going to help the businesses get up and running.” We have a marketplace for new people to discover. ClassPass was like, “We want to create this membership.” We know there is a big segment of consumers who are looking for that type of offering where they want to discover and try a lot of different modalities and then pick one. They are going to be somehow like, “I want to continue down that path.” They went after that segment.
The thing I keep telling people is there are 7.7 billion people in the world. They should all be participating in wellness. There isn’t going to be one model they are all going to be using. All 7.7 billion are going to use Apple Fitness. That is not going to be the case. Some segments will only want virtual. They like Apple and they will use that. There is going to be one segment that loves going to the yoga studio down the street, and that is all they want to do. Mindbody has solutions for those businesses and consumers. There are going to be some who want to go to their yoga studio, but they were like, “I also want to augment that with Pilates. I want a little variety.” We can support that as well. Some also want to do it virtually. We can support that as well.
It is not like there is going to be one company that solves the world’s needs. 7.7 billion is a lot of people and solutions. We are approaching it with a different lens, which is we want to help these SMBs, boutiques, and fitness and wellness providers. Those were the company we are serving. ClassPass and Mindbody are focused on that segment.
Were you merging these two companies together? Was it an acquisition and are they going to remain as a standalone under a parent company?
We closed a deal so it is still early days. The high-level thinking is there are going to be synergies. There are some customers of ours who will benefit from ClassPass. We want to make sure they are aware of that. It is optional, but we strongly believe that once they look at the value that ClassPass provides and back to the Uber model, we can plug them in with new consumers. ClassPass is another way to plug these businesses into new consumers. We strongly believe that once they learn more about it and want to adopt that, that is going to help our consumers. We will have ClassPass running the subscription business. That is going to continue, but we will continue to find synergies all in service to how we can help our customers.
How about merging the leadership teams? I will pick an example. You have CFO or a CMO. Let’s pretend it is CFO. For anyone reading, we are not merging finance together. We are using this as an example. How do you have the discussions with the finance group at Mindbody and ClassPass and talk about merging them together and who is going to get left out or replaced? How do you think through that and have those discussions, or will you need to?
Finance is an easy one. We do know those teams are going to come together. We are not going to have two sets of books in the medium term. It makes sense for us to have one set of books and one way how we do forecasting and planning. Those are coming together. Timing-wise, it worked out well because Mindbody’s CFO has been with the company for a while. Brett White is an incredible colleague. He made it clear that he was stepping down. He is retiring. When this happened, ClassPass had a CFO, Tom, who we like. He is taking over as CFO and the teams are coming together. There is going to be one finance team.
We are having a similar conversation across multiple functions. Some teams are going to stay separate. Some teams are going to come together. The way we are looking at it is we want to solve for accelerating the business and value we can bring to the industry. That is the number one priority. The integration will follow that. If it makes sense that we need to go fast in this area and bring these teams together, we will do that. We are not approaching it inside out, which is like, “We have these teams. Let’s focus on bringing the teams together.”
I want to go back to the 21 and 22-year-old Sunil. You are graduating from your undergrad. You are getting ready to start off your career. What advice would you give yourself back then that maybe you know to be true now, but you wish you had known at a much younger age?
Advice number one would be don’t burn out. I wish somebody had told me that I wasn’t invincible. I don’t know if I would have listened, but I wish somebody had told me that. Another thing would be don’t forget to have fun, be grateful and live in gratitude. Something I have tried to do ever since I burnt out, and I try to do it to this day. I have a gratefulness exercise I do every morning where I spend time thinking about all the blessings I have been given and the fact that I was born to the parents that I was born to. They were wonderful, my sister, my wife, and the kids. I spend time thinking about all of that and being thankful for all of that.
I also believe what you focus on is what is going to grow. It is easy to fall into that trap of, “This is a problem. I have this issue at work. I had this disagreement.” It is easy to get caught up in that, and I still do. It is not like, “I have ascended to a level where none of that bothers me.” That is when I think you become a saint.
This is why The Buddha and The Badass is a book that resonated with me because it talks about you can do both. You could be a badass when it comes to business and have aggressive goals, go after it, and work hard, but it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive from being empathetic, kind, and being like Buddha. I love the idea that you could do both. That is what I’m trying to do. For me, that is a daily challenge. There are some days where I do well with that balance and there are some days where I don’t. I get caught up in my own negative cycle. It takes me a focused effort to get out of it.
Sunil Rajasekar, the President and CTO for Mindbody. Thanks so much for sharing with us. I appreciate the time and insights.
Cameron, thank you so much. This was a great conversation. I’m looking forward to continuing it outside of the show.
Thank you, Sunil.