Hello our beautiful friends! We are back with a very interesting topic, as we discuss something we all should talk more about because it is an essential part of our life – aging. Normally, the society doesn’t look positively at aging, but in today’s episode we’re going to discuss how to deal and embrace the fact that we all are going to age, and age gracefully.
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/58
This episode is inspired by one of the questions you sent us over Ask Us Anything. And the question was, how do we embrace our beauty as we age?
We all consume a lot of social media and are exposed to beautiful, inspiring, successful and young people, and for that reason we couldn’t help but compare ourselves to them and care so much about how we look. It’s been proven statistically that we’re more attracted to younger personalities – even fashion magazines and marketing campaigns put a spotlight on the young models. Somehow, all humans are obsessed with youth.
When we observe people on a public eye, we tend to notice that a lot of them are trying to reverse their aging by getting botox, fillers and a lot of plastic surgery, in a way, that they deny the fact that what is happening with them is real. Mimi believes that’s totally up to us to carry ourselves differently and to spread wisdom as we age to a younger generations. And this message is the following: there is so much beauty beyond the superficial things.
“It’s important to embrace aging with grace and beauty, and not focus on the fine lines, but on what’s inside” – Mimi Ikonn
Mimi walks us through her personal awareness of how she has faced and embraced the fact that she is getting older. This is quite a personal and intimate story, but Mimi believes that you can resonate with her thoughts in one way or another. Mimi is a natural beauty advocate, but she wants to make sure that she has absolutely zero judgment towards people who get plastic surgery, bottom, fillers and anything else done. As her favourite quote goes, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Before deciding whether she needed to get fillers in her smile lines or not, Mimi was doing a lot of inner work and asked herself if she really wanted to do it and why she needed that. And the answer was always the same: insecurity. “We, women, think we are not good enough, so we need to do this, because we are not loving ourselves the way we are right now, consequently, we are not perfect”, Mimi explains.
“If you do something with yourself because you are not good enough, not beautiful, not perfect this way, then by doing this you won’t help yourself, because then you’ll need more injections and corrections. It’s quite obsessive” – Mimi Ikonn
Long story short, Mimi accepted herself the way she is. Mimi is all about self-love and taking care of herself. She believes we can take a look at the alternatives that can help us preserve our youth and help us age gracefully. This is there Mimi is leaning toward herself as a woman in her early thirties. Mimi is sure there is no magic pill, and anything that sounds too good to be true is usually too good to be true.
Let’s face the truth: the reality is unavoidable. And it’s better to embrace the aging, because the moment we fight something is the moment we actually suffer. The more we’re going to change ourselves superficially, the more we aren’t going to accept ourselves and will try to change more things. This will end up in a waste of energy and time. Mimi is sure that the choices we make on ourselves are inspired by our self-awareness, will power and belief system.
“Going back to us as humans, the reason we are here is to procreate,'' Alex reminds. This is a deep subconscious code that makes us more valuable. And, in reality, we are still those simple creatures. However, with the awareness, we can go beyond that and decide for ourselves that we aren’t defined only by that. We are at the point of life when we can create our own meaning in life.
“At the end of the day, what will really help you move gracefully through life is these fundamentals of meaning, purpose and delivering value to the world and outside yourself” – Alex Ikonn
The way we can move beyond the superficiality of aging is of understating what is our deeper purpose and what is our deeper meaning as a human being. This is what will light us up inside and give us that grace. When we focus on superficiality, we make it your purpose; and the moment we can move beyond it and create a higher purpose and meaning for ourselves, we will be able to make the choices aligned with our values.
Both Mimi and Alex are sure that there is so much beauty in this world – like spark of the joy that comes through the person’s eyes. This is something we should challenge ourselves to see more: the deeper beauty. The moment we embrace the beauty in ourselves, we will be able to see this beauty in others. “Because what you judge in other people is what you judge in yourself”, Mimi sums up.
Hello our beautiful friends! Today we have a very special guest on the podcast. Jess Lively is a world traveler obsessed with consciousness, neurology, and helping people connect to the guidance within them through her podcast, The Lively Show. Today we go deep and explore the concept of the inner voice, and discover how it can guide us to live our dream lives.
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/57
Originally from Ohio, Jess started her career when she was fifteen with a jewelry business in Rochester, Michigan. After graduating from the School of Business, she started her own company Jess LC right away, transforming the accessory company into a successful full-time career in Chicago. Then Jess realised her real authentic passion laid elsewhere, and it took her years to find her authentic path.
“While studying at School of Business, I found myself being unhappy. And I realised – if you are not happy now, you probably won’t be happy in 20 years doing the same thing. I wanted to help the other unhappy people struggling to find their path to joyful and happy life.” – Jess Lively
Jess had an American dream come true – she had a beautiful home, two dogs and a husband, but then she let it all go. When Jess and her partner were about to have kids, both of them understood they wanted different lives. Listening to her inner voice, Jess became aware she wanted another life – the one where she could get whatever she wants and go wherever she wants without the financial stress.
“By having the experience of living the life you dreamt about allows you to let it go and move forward” – Jess Lively
After that life transition, Jess realised that the real life force is our heart, and the real life force of the element of consciousness of who we are is intuition and wisdom. Fascinated by the gift of the inner voice, Jess started journaling and having dialogues with her inner voice. “My mind had no other way of having peace other than defining the inner voice in me that had peace”, Jess reveals.
If you want to change something in your life and you feel really uncomfortable for a long period of time, then that is the most golden opportunity to find the inner voice that will lead you to the peace of your mind. How you can achieve it? First, Jess advises, you have to change your perspective from thinking to listening.
“The difference between thinking and listening is that you don’t think of the answer, you listen for it. Your mind should stop for a moment and listen in silence to your inner voice. That’s why the only option to find peace is to go outside your mind” – Jess Lively
Implementing meditation and breathing practices into your life, as well as having deep conversations with yourself and understanding why are you upset about something, will help you to be fully and authentically unafraid to live the life that you dream about.
Tune in now and discover some amazing advice Jess has shared with us in this truly special conversation. We are so excited for you to discover how you can live your best life by allowing yourself to be led by your consciousness.
Here is what else we have talked about:Growing up observing our parents as examples Where the values we grow up with come from Power of being aware of our values and using them in our advantage Going through divorce and building our own path How to be in touch with our intuition, consciousness, and inner voice Listening to our inner voice and intuition to make the leap Living in the unknown How to connect all the dots of our life by looking backwards The power of journaling, asking questions and exhaling
Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode with Jess Lively, you can find out more about her here:
A book that we mentioned in this episode:
Hello our beautiful friends! Today we are connecting with you through another exciting and powerful ‘Ask Me Anything’ episode, full with important messages and reminders. We take the recorded questions that you’ve submitted on our website and we go deep with our answers.
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/56
In today’s inspiring episode we are talking about wandering, exploring life opportunities and becoming digital nomads with Doone Roisin and Pierre Antoine de Preux, a power couple that travels around the world, connect inspiring people together and work on projects that bring them fulfillment. So, let’s dive into it.
Full SHow notes at: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/55
This episode is a very interesting, unusual and deep experience, as we have a very special guests today, Tata and Marina from Mayan Elders. We have collected the most inspiring and sparkling insights from our conversation – such as facing death, facing fears, connecting to our inner child and living with love and peace. So, let’s get into it.
This episode is full of ancient wisdom and the ultimate trut. No matter who we are, how old we are, death is something we can’t escape – everyone will face it. And the beauty of this subject, the beauty of life is that you need both. Life is so special because death exists. We also talked about gratitude and why this is one of the most important aspects of our lives.
Our friend Lazo Freeman introduced us to Mayan Elders and they came with Tommy, one of their students and translator. Tommy was the conduit in this deep conversation, as we discussed a very uncomfortable topic – death. Our relationship with death is what we learn from our culture, so let’s dive into this mystery and learn some wisdom from other cultures and see the other perspective that we need to value more.
“Open your mind towards other nations and cultures – there is so much wisdom” – Alex Ikonn
Why death is the transformation of spirit?
The Mayan ancestors knew that they had to die. But death for them wasn’t the end, the punishment. The day they died, the body and the spirit were being separated, the spirit was being reincarnated and found another body for another life. And life continued. Mayan Elders believe that the body is born here, it grows here and here it finishes its mission.
From Mayan’s cosmovision, death is one of the very important energies. That’s why they believe that death is nothing more than a physical change, transmutation of the spirit that, once separated from the body, keeps moving on and doesn’t die. For Mayans, the spirit isn’t gone, the spirit is transformed into your light, into your guide, into your starts and will take care of you.
“Today we need to eliminate this fear out of our heads, because not to have doubts means not to be worried, so we will be living in a happy life and will be happy with everything. When we are worried, it makes us sick, and sickness kills us. So, there would be a good life for all humanity if we could eliminate fear and live in peace, harmony and love” – Mayan Elders
Why spirit and body have to walk together?
In Mayan’s culture, death is the duality of life. Everything is double: there exists day and night, there is a woman and man, so there exists death and life. But physical death isn’t the actual death, because often we are alive, but are dead inside. That’s why Mayan Elders teach that spirit and body have to walk together.
We can be alive, but if we aren’t walking together with our soul, then there is a disconnection in duality of our spirit and body. Then there is fear and doubts, sickness and depression. That’s why death is a transformation – it’s the change, the separation.
Why do we fear death?
Religion taught us that after death, our soul goes to a place where it gets purified and cleaned, the paradise. For the Mayan Elders, the paradise is here, in this life, so we have to live in peace and harmony. Inside their cosmovision, gratitude is the answer to how to live this life to the fullest and be connected to our own spirit.
When we are grateful for what we have in our lives, when we are thankful for another breath of life in the morning, for everything that surrounds us, when we show and actually have this respect and gratitude, then we are connected to our spirit.
“When we don’t have all those fears that society or religion want to put over us, we understand that the paradise and hell are right here, on the Earth, and we create them by being connected to or disconnected from our spirit” – Mayan Elders
Why there is a disconnection?
Tommy shared a very interesting example – when we pray, we keep asking for something. And when we have it, we don’t even notice that and don’t show enough respect and appreciation. The reason there is a disconnection is because we have experienced a shocking experience, an accident, a deep suffer or fear.
We surround ourselves with pain, depression, fear, anxiety, sickness, and disconnect from our inner child, losing the perspective of love, harmony and gratitude. That’s why the Mayan Elders believe that, basically, the disconnection comes because of our own disconnection from gratitude. When we manage to do this reconnection, it all comes back.
Where the fear comes from?
Fear is like a shadow for humanity, they believe. We have to search for the root of our fear and our vicious circle. Very often it comes from mother’s womb, when mother had a deep fear or a spiritual disconnection, then this fear comes to the child as well.
We can go to any kind of psychologist and treatments, but if we don’t have this connection, then the fear comes back. The Mayan ancestors have a ceremony of healing and negotiation with the spirit of fear, but the healing itself is in finding and identifying the root of the fear, they believe.
“Gratitude is our tool to solve all the problems” – Alex Ikonn
What are the suggestions for people to reconnect with themselves?
You make a meditation and try to answer why you have some physical or emotional disconnection. You have to start working with your inner child. When your spirit is searching for body, this is the moment when you feel loneliness and a lot of sensitivity, and you feel like you’re crying. It’s important to go deep with yourself, in your thoughts, and come to your inner child and ask him or her to come back.
“We want peace for humanity. The lesson we want to share with this world doesn’t come from books, it comes from our wisdom, knowledge, experience and spirituality” – Mayan Elders
For Mayans, the brain is the nest of the spirit, and heart is the throne of the spirit, and the spirit is God and it moves them. The Mayan communities are walking around the world and delivering the message of peace, unity, equality and love. They don’t speak about God, they speak with him. And Dios – God from Spanish – means ‘Thank you’ in their language.
Right now Mayan Elders are planning to start a crowdfunding project to raise funds for creating a bridge between the Mayan world and the modern world. 22 different tribes will come together and will share their wisdom of life in one book and give it to humanity, to help people understand themselves better and bring all the knowledge that was damaged throughout the time. If you would like to support Mayan Elders, email Tommy directly: email@example.com
Here is what else we have discussed:How death can make us be aware and appreciate life The importance of reconnecting with this planet Earth and with ourselves Life with love and peace Why we should reframe our fears The reason we are disconnected from our inner child Life in Mayan tribes
Find the books and movies we mentioned in this episode here:Movie Coco Audiobook Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van der Kolk MD
Travelling, building new relationships, getting a new job, giving and honest feedback or speaking in public — all these situations require you to go outside your comfort zone. And here is the dilemma: one part of us wants to stick to our comfort zone, while the other part strives to face challenges, have unique genuine experience and grow. And, as Seth Godin explains this, our lizard brain – the primal part of us – wants us to stay safe and keeps us far away from any changes.
There is a relationship that we need to have with ourselves, Alex believes. And by that he means the understanding that, by nature, we are all designed to seek comfort, because our lizard brain wants us to be safe and not to die. However, with this thinking, we will never actually experience anything in life. And let’s be real: a lot of people prefer to stay in the comfort zone. And the reason some of us don’t get that job promotion, or the reason we aren’t in a relationship with the person of our dreams or we don’t experience what we want to experience in life is simply because we are in a comfort zone.
“The most oldest part of our brain – the lizard brain or the primal brain – protects us from changes and strives for our safety. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of that part of ourselves that wants us to stay safe and survive. We don’t have to deny it, we have to understand it and learn more about it, so that we can be aware of what actually holds us back” – Alex Ikonn
Coming from the background of immigrants moving to Canada, Mimi and Alex started everything from scratch. And all the adversities they have faced allowed them to build strong and beautiful relationships, be here today where they are, do what they love and live the life they have always dreamt about. That’s why the Ikonns family believes – and knows it for sure – the feeling of discomfort is normal. Actually, it is the signal of growth.
“Depending on how you interact on this discomfort,'' Alex explains, “it will go one place or another”. We must be aware that we can’t expect growth without discomfort. So, it’s also about reframing our relationship with what that feeling is. If we give up in power of the resistance voice that holds us back, then how do we expect to grow, prosper and change?
Alex mentions the great example of working out. When we exercise, we build our body by tearing our muscles apart. And the reason we become stronger is that our muscles tissues will then repair and rebuild and become stronger. First we make them uncomfortable, then we tear them apart, and when we work out enough, we then create that growth. So, that’s why Alex is sure that feeling discomfort means getting stronger is the very basic law of nature.
“Life is always changing, pushing you to grow and step into new stages of your life. The moment you shy away from that is the moment you stop growing” – Mimi Ikonn
Have you ever asked yourself the question of why so many people struggle with the idea of how to grow their relationships and careers? The reality is simple: in order to have a better life, we will have to face the challenges and the discomfort, and go through them. And one of the most important things to keep in mind is to always be honest one with another in relationships and face challenges together, and not be afraid to talk through what you think or feel.
The reason so many marriages and friendships fall apart is because with the time the parties just stop talking to each other and they don’t actually want to bring some certain things up. But, here is a great reminder: we will not be able to grow in our relationship unless we will be able to face challenging situations together. When we are able to do emotional work by truly listening, opening up, giving each other enough space, being vulnerable and accepting our own fault, we will defuse the conflict and have that massive opportunity to build a stronger bond.
“So many family relationships, friendships, marriages come to the point then someone just don’t want to face the challenge. Unless both parts are ready to work with this, be honest and open, they cannot experience growth” – Alex Ikonn
Alex believes that life throws us in challenges, because it wants us to teach a lesson. That’s why we also have to be open to the adversity. The moment we bring that awareness of discomfort, it’s really the moment for us to see how we can make the best of it and what we can learn. We are our own habits, we build them every day. So, in any situation of growth, we will face discomfort. By focusing on it and seeing it as a real opportunity, we will build this healthy habit of getting outside our comfort zone and become a little better.
And another kind reminder: the reason we are here is not to hide, is to live.
Here is what else we have talked about:How being courageous in all areas of our life helps us face challenges and become better The consequences of staying in a comfort zone and not taking responsibility for our choices The power of facing reality of life and discomfort How giving a feedback creates an opportunity to have deeper, stronger, fulfilling and beautiful relationships How giving more freedom to your children will help them become stronger Power of placebo energy
Books we have mentioned in this episode:
Linchpin - Are you indispensable? by Seth Godin
Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
In today’s episode we dive into the life story of Dennis Malamatinas, a Greek man that has served some of the world’s most iconic brands as CEO of Burger King Corporation, Smirnoff Vodka and Pepsi-Cola Italy, Dennis shares with us business strategies and his life mindset. Join us in this beautiful and inspiring conversation.
Born to Greek parents who emigrated to the jungles in Tanzania, Dennis holds very vivid and picturesque memories about his childhood – the animals, the noises and the nature. In 6 years, he ended up moving back to Greece. However, growing up watching American movies and getting fascinated by the concept of American dream life made Dennis dream big and move to the United States at the age of 17.
It was September of 1972 when Dennis as a teenager had arrived in Chicago with $300 in his back pocket, the cash he earned from working on building sites over the previous two years. He tells us “Greece was too small and I knew that America was my dream. It was tough to make it happen, but I did it”.
Working 16-hours shifts as a kitchen hand in a restaurant, Dennis was determined to make his dream life happen. In fact, one of the first things Dennis learnt about the United States was that the harder he worked, the luckier he got.
“Nowadays, people expect quick success, but you really have to work hard in life. I knew that I had a dream, and I worked for it. I was never jealous for anyone. To me, it was a motivation if I saw somebody who had a Cadillac or owned a beautiful house. I always thought ‘That’s great, how can I do it?’”
Ending up with an MBA from the University of Chicago School of Business, young, ambitious and extremely hardworking Dennis got a position in Procter & Gamble, and soon moved to Switzerland, where he met his beautiful wife.
When his two kids were born, Dennis had to admit that he wasn’t earning enough. All of the sudden, the major corporation Pepsico came forward and doubled his salary, offered him options and a big title. And guess what Dennis Malamatinas did? He accepted the role and moved to Pepsico.
In one year, Dennis was promoted to the CEO of Pepsico Italy. For him, work has always been a combination of two things: performance and people’s skills. “The people I respect are those who are actually great with developing and building teams, and delivering results. In the end, the corporate world is tough and roofless. And if you don’t deliver more than you are expected, you won’t going to make it”, Dennis points out.
Eventually, Dennis ended up being a CEO of Burger & King globally at the age of 41. But, unfortunately had no time for his family. This was the pivotal moment to make a decision to let go of ego and greed. Dennis knew: what his kids needed the most was not money, it was time and love. So, he put his family values as the main priority, resigned from his position and has never regretted this since then.
“Whether it is for life or for business, my strategy is: clarity, focus and priority. I am very clear with my life and with my priorities, and that’s what makes me happy every day. The family and the chance to have a real quality time with my kids was very important to me. In the end, we are not just parents, we are friends, and we are bonded together”.
Dennis Malamatinas’ life and business advice:The 9 to 5 environment is not enough. You need to know what is expected from you, and if you really want to make a mark, deliver more than just what is expected from you. Dealing well with people is key. You need to demonstrate your bosses or to the whole corporate environment that you can deal with the people, you can build teams, and you are a real team player. Luck. And by that Dennis means to have a good mentor or someone who can spot and support your talent. When you are hungry, extremely hard-working, determined, and you deliver results, then people can count on you and offer you something unique. In life, you don’t need excuses, you need solutions. And you can always find the solution. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, money can buy you choices. And in the end, we shouldn’t forget that life is about choices and what you make out of it. Keep it simple.
Here is what else we have talked about:Differences between European and American work mindsets What makes you a great worker Being jealous of the other’s success How to understand that you need to stop How to balance family life and corporate environment The reality of “I’m doing that for my kids” mindset Why the biggest achievement in life is your family
Books we have mentioned in this episode:Linchpin - Are you indispensable?
Show notes https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/51
In today’s episode we chat with a long time friend and founder of the remarkable skincare brand of her same name - May Lindstrom, about her real life rags to riches Journey.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode with May Lindstrom, you can find out more about her here:
It’s truly rare to find someone who has a perfect relationship with their own body. It seems it’s something we all have to work hard on. In today’s episode Alex and Mimi explore some ideas about how we can start connecting with and treating our bodies much better.
Just like in our episode on Relationship With Money where we explore what money really means to us, we are looking at what our bodies mean to us… And it should be a LOT. Our bodies are EVERYTHING, they come with us everyday on our journey through life. Whether it’s over working or suffering a hangover, our bodies are sure to ask us “PLEASE don’t do that again”.
We suffer from back pain from sitting at a computer all day, sleep terrible from when we’ve been looking at our phone screens too long, pass out when we don’t eat or get obese when we eat too much. We’ve all heard it before - our body is our temple. After this episode we hope you’re inspired to start treating it as such, because the rewards are incredible when you and your body are in sync.
Often, it’s times when we feel we’ve lost touch with both our emotional and physical health, that we spiral into abusing our bodies. Which can seem counter intuitive. Sury we’d like to do good things to make our bodies feel better. But no that’s when we reach for a pizza or stay up way too late leaving us tired the next day. And all of this follows a few small habits that starts to stack on top of each other. Bad habits become you. This is why Alex and Mimi have their morning and night time routines available for everyone on YouTube
The good news is that things can get better and habits like these are easily changed one step at a time. Let’s start with the pillows of a healthy body.Food & drink Movement Exercise Rest
It’s the biggest illusion that it’s expensive to eat healthy, most people that say that are often spending twice as much on junk food or alcohol. eating healthy can be cheap.
Use Mimi’s method for not overeating… be much more conscious when you’re full. Don’t eat until the plate is empty, listen to what your body is telling you.
The food we eat affects our gut bacteria - also known as our microbiome. Ever heard the saying think with your gut. Well, science shows us we have neurons in our gut too and they heavily affect how our brain works. So be careful if you’re fuelling the good bacteria or the bad bacteria.
Sitting all day is the worst. It’s recommended that every 1 or 2 hours we should be on our feet and walking around for a few moments to get the blood flowing around our bodies.
It’s amazing what a small walk can do to improve you thoughts and keep you trim, many of history's greats like Einstein were known for solving some of the greatest problems in the world, by walking.
Try a standing desk or even get more fancier by using a treadmill desk.
Mimi recommends aiming for 30 mins 3 times a week, something that will get you sweating and get your heart going.
Alex likes the 7 minute workout for convenience, lets face it everyone has 7 minutes available, since consistency is key, this should be a habit you start today.
Another app you might try is Sweat
Seems counter intuitive that rest could make you look and feel better, our fast paced world has made it seem shameful to want a lay in, but sleep is essential.
Ask anyone who trains at the gym regularly and they will say their days when they’re not working out are just as important for muscle growth and body developments.
Try black out blinds and using blue light blocking devices or apps to help restore your circadian rhythm and introduce the sleep hormone melatonin.
It’s incredible to notice but it can’t just be coincidence that whenever we do something good for our bodies, it just so happens it’s (for the most part) better for the environment too. From riding a bike to work instead of driving or eating less meat and packaged foods, when we adopt these powerful habits into our lifestyle we can change the world, not just ourselves.
We advise that after listening you take stock of all of these things.. jot them down in your 5-Minute Journal Ask yourself; what is my relationship with my own body and what am I doing to make this relationship better. Trust us, your body will thank you later
Books mentioned:Your Body keeps The Score - Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by van der Kolk M.D., Bessel
Today we have a very special episode – the tables have turned and now it’s time for us, Alex and Mimi, to go deep and unpack our life journey. Interviewed by Aaron Alexander from Align podcast, we talk about entrepreneurial lifestyle, meaningful work, healthy relationships and life fulfilment. Tune in now and discover how we have been able to design our dream life.
In today’s episode we chat with our long-time friend Naila Abbasova, a beautiful human being who goes after her dream life and wanders the world looking for meaningful life-transformative adventures. In this episode, we unpack Naila’s life journey and discover the reality of moving countries and secrets of staying joyful, optimistic and excited about life.
Naila Abbasova is a great example of being a “regular” person, working on a “regular” job, and then risking it all to move to London, find the dream job at Google, open a business and enjoy life to the maximum. Tune in now and join us in this very open, honest and vulnerable conversation.
Similar to Mimi, Naila was born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan. At the age of 16, Naila and her family moved to Canada leaving everything behind. This huge step into the unknown future had a fundamental impact on her. As Naila arrived to Canada being a 16-year-old young girl brimming with confidence and inner power, she knew that this was her golden ticket to life.
“I have this obsession for standing out and being remembered. Nowadays, I want to be remembered for being happy, being the kindest person to anyone I have worked with, to be empathetic and make other people feel comfortable” – Naila
Being proactive and applying for multiple scholarships, Naila got the best university experience. Pursuing her obsession to be remembered for something big, she participated in different student organisations and travelled a lot around Europe. By that time, she became a real experiences catcher with innate desire to explore, to go out of the comfort zone and to bring joy to everything she does.
At the age of 25, Naila made a drastic decision to move to London. Stepping into what looked like a dream path after graduating from the university, Naila soon found everything that used to excite her becoming dull. After spending one week in Portugal surfing and doing yoga, Naila managed to find the peace of her body and mind. Looking at the calm waves of the ocean, she felt that she needed to move to Europe and escape the robotic lifestyle of Toronto. The next day she applied for her UK visa.
“When you move to a whole new different life, give yourself time to get adjusted to your new reality and let go the preconceptions of what you thought your life would be, and then start building something new without judging” – Naila
With survival mode kicked in to the highest, Naila moved to London, got the job at Selfridges and found a charming tiny flat few steps away from Regent’s Park. However, the reality of moving to a new country was tough, especially when it was her first experience of living alone. Dealing with loneliness, adjusting to the new realities and accepting the things she didn’t know, Naila realised that it was only her responsibility to program her life for the better.
Naila came to London with a genuine belief that everything would work out. And it did. Now, working at Google, designing her own clothing line and having endless meaningful experiences of observing the beauty of life and nature, Naila and her husband have finally found their comfort place in the city that never stops. Answering the question of how to stay excited and joyful about life, Naila advises to ask yourself whether you want to waste your precious time by being upset.
“On bad days I just have an “adult” conversation with myself and answer 2 very simple questions: Is it worth my attention? What is the worst that could happen at that point? And by going through the worst case scenarios I just move on from that. You need to understand that you have a choice whether to be happy or not, and eventually everything that happens is your choice and your responsibility only” – Naila
Here is what else we have talked about:Programming your mind for the better How to squeeze most of every experience Why childhood is a huge part of one’s personality and how it reflects on one’s adulthood How to get a scholarship How being honest, transparent and vulnerable during the job interview will help you get your dream job How to change the mindset of “I’m not going to get it” to “I will do my best and go for it” How to negotiate to get your dream apartment Why it is so important to be very precise with your desires How commuting to work can push you to change your life Reaching out for help during the most difficult times Being proactive in building meaningful and deep relationships Overcoming fear of being judged by people you love The power of networking
In today’s episode, Alex and Mimi talk about a very controversial, yet so essential and important topic – Can money buy you happiness? Coming from experience of having nothing and now being able to live in abundance, Mimi and Alex reflect on their life journey, questioning how money has played a part in their happiness.
As one study has showed, money can buy you happiness up to a certain degree of an income – let’s say, 75.000 USD/year –, but what happens after that? Does money really affect your happiness? Does it make a difference to your wellbeing, life, mindset, personality? Tune in now and you’ll find out that and so much more life wisdom in this very deep episode.
Both Mimi and Alex have come from very humble beginnings, growing up with a concept that money will solve all the problems and buy them happiness. Years later, after starting Luxy Hair business that brought them 1 million US dollar revenue in the first year and made them financially free, Mimi and Alex understood – paradoxically, money couldn’t buy them happiness.
“Being more comfortable with spending and realising how to properly spend money and not just blow it, mindlessly spending it on material goods, I realize that money can in a way amplify your happiness. I don’t know if it can buy you happiness, but it can definitely add to your experiences and bring you joy”. – Mimi
After years of reflection about themselves and observation of what really brings them joy, Alex and Mimi discovered that happiness comes from buying experiences – not material things, and not only for yourself, but most importantly, for people you love and care about. And here’s the lesson the Ikonns family want you to take away: ultimately, the whole meaning of life is about creating, giving and sharing unique and beautiful experiences with your community.
Have you ever wondered why people pay premium to go and watch live events, music festivals, sports games? Why? Because of the desire to share the experience, “Because there is something very tribal in our DNA about doing that and having that tribe experience” Alex explains.
So, going back to the question does money buy you happiness – it doesn’t, but if you spend it on establishing new relationships, building your community, creating, giving and amplifying experiences, then it makes you feel happier.
The mindset Mimi and Alex have is always asking themselves what really makes them happy, so that they spend money accordingly. They spend a lot of money on experiences for themselves, their family, friends, people they love, travelling, good food, rent. For them, the material possessions are the last on the list.
Obviously, there is nothing wrong with possessing lovely material things. It’s important to understand that the whole concept of how money can bring you happiness is highly specialised for each person. The decisions Alex and Mimi make come from a personal understanding of what makes them happy and how they want to live their life day to day.
“The most important thing to ask yourself is: What brings me the most happiness? And I’m really grateful for being able to design my life in a way where I choose to live, work and commute” – Alex
Here is some practical advice that can help you feel happier:Know yourself and discover what activities and things really bring you joy and happiness. Figure out if the place/city you are living in really makes you happy. Use your money to build social relationships. Create experiences for people you love, create wonderful moments together. And remember, by planning an experience you actually live an anticipation of happiness. Audit your spendings of the last year and see what brought you more happiness: material things or experiences.
And just a kind reminder: Mimi and Alex are not here to judge, they are here to help you create awareness of what can help you bring closer to happiness and your dream life. Going through these conversations, thoughts, exercises and being honest with yourself, you are able to know yourself better and understand what is really important to you.
Here is what else we talk about in this episode:Difference between how money can bring you happiness if you are an extrovert or an introvert How sharing experiences with other people can intensify your happiness Why so many people gravitate towards the idea to be in a community How your lifestyle impacts your level of happiness Does material things bring you joy Sustainable aspect of consumerism Difference between high quality timeless products vs. fast fashion trends How the concept Pay Per Use will help you justify your purchases How to audit yourself, your spendings and your level of happiness.
Show Notes https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode47
Today’s episode is a deep dive into inspiring journey of a British entrepreneur and manager leader, Richard Turnbull. Driven by the passion of solving problems and making a real difference in other people’s lives, Richard founded The Restored, the most effective solution that builds a solid foundation of good health, based on sleep, nutrition, movement and mindset.
Inspired by Tim Ferris, Richard Branson and Tony Robbins, Richard’s story is like a manual for young entrepreneurs and artists brimming with business ideas, those striving for purpose, and wanting to deliver unique value. So, make sure to listen attentively and take notes.
Since childhood, Richard was inspired to create something incredible, something that is bigger than himself. After graduating from the University of Reading with a business degree, he got a “safe” corporate job in a prestigious firm, and soon found himself taking the path that was getting him further and further from what originally inspired him. In his mid-twenties, Richard and his wife Naomi took a career break and did a-round-the-world trip to have enough space and time to think what they actually wanted to do in their lives. And he found the answer – to be an entrepreneur.
“There is no idea that’s going to work effectively and long term that isn’t something that you’re personally struggling with. People who want to create business just need constantly listen to themselves and detect what they aren’t happy with, what they wish to see different. That is your chance, that is your opportunity.” - Mimi
He went back to London, found a job in a start-up team and gained exciting practical experience. But his two children changed everything. Around this time, Richard began struggling with sleep and realised that he wasn’t delivering enough value in his work. He got a “stable” (in theory) job, but found himself feeling so tired and broken. So, he took action.
Richard started doing some entrepreneurial things in the evenings, which was a real sanity blessing. Being a big fan of modelling what other people had already done, he realised that his purpose is to solve problems. While struggling with back pain, Richard came up with the idea of creating a seat cushion. Thinking of how to turn this idea into an actual business, he found his mentor while surfing on Tim Ferriss blog. After coaching and starting to sell his products on Amazon for the European market, in just over a year, Richard’s business took off.
“A secure job is an illusion. You can fail doing something you are not passionate about and loose all the securities. So, why not go after the things that you are passionate about and make it succeed?” - Richard
Despite the huge success in his business, Richard didn’t quit his job. He had a deep and unconscious fear that he couldn’t sustain his family if he would leave the “safe” job, because there is always a risk that all this success can stop tomorrow. After doing Tony Robbins exercises and facing his real limiting beliefs, Richard realized that safe job is an illusion and it’s impossible to avoid risks completely. Instead, there is always a way how to mitigate risks. So, he created a 6-months-living-expenses rainy day fund and decided to go after the thing that he was – and still is – passionate about: creating incredible things that can really bring the difference in people’s lives, working with an amazing dream team and delivering a unique value.
Here is what else we talk about:3 types of entrepreneurship Importance of standing out and doing something interesting How having role models can help you design your own business model How parenting transforms your life The role of perfect timing and luck in the entrepreneurial game Vital importance of identifying your niche market How to reach out to people and give them unique value The power of mentoring and coaching Finding your limiting beliefs
Why 20% of effort will govern 80% of your results
Show Notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode46
In today’s episode we chat with Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram – AKA, Fully Raw Kristina – as she takes us on her emotional and spiritually transformational life journey of being a fully raw vegan for the past 14 years. Kristina is an extremely vibrant, service-oriented and passionate human being, whose glowing energy and health speak for themselves.
Named as one of the most influential people in Health and Fitness, Kristina’s story is compelling, powerful and so inspirational – from weight loss to preventing diabetes, founding the largest co-op for fresh produce in the USA and starting a massive movement of raw vegan lifestyle. It is not just about commitment to eat raw fruits and vegetables, it is about conscious choice to rebuild yourself completely, live the best of your life and go deep with yourself. In this episode, Kristina is not afraid to share her vulnerabilities and past traumas. For her, there is a lot of bravery in being vulnerable and sharing her own story. In fact, this completely raw conversation is a true healing and therapy for every soul.
Born and raised in a multicultural household with a Lebanese mother and an Ecuadorian father, Kristina’s childhood protagonist was Birdie (Berta), an angelic, passionate and most caring woman who took care of Kristina since the day she was born until she left for college. By serendipity and choice, Birdie raised her as if she were her own daughter, that provoked a deep misunderstanding and disconnection from Kristina’s mother. It took years (and a special course of Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg) to reveal her pain and overcome struggles with relationships with her mother, which now are prospering.
At the age of 18, Kristina was struggling of Type 2 Diabetes (Hyperglycemic) because of having an unhealthy diet based on Lebanese traditional cuisine (basically, olive oil everywhere and zero fresh fruits or vegetables). Now imagine that you are 18, you are always (and most probably forever) sick, your weight loses extremely and you are just out of the hospital. When a stranger approaches you in Whole Foods and offers you to go completely raw vegan and eat peaches for 2 weeks in a row, what would you do? Well, Kristina opened to this dramatic change in her diet and completely healed her body from Diabetes in one year and a half by eating a fully raw diet. Since then, July 15th of 2005, she never looked back.
"After 6 months of doing this, I felt better every single day, and I NEVER, never came back. Eventually I felt liberated. "
However, Texas and Kristina’s family were not prepared for something completely different like raw veganism. Struggling with society’s criticism and misconceptions, Kristina felt so inspired by the healing power of raw food that in 2007 she ended up opening her own grocery cooperative, Rawfully Organic, at different locations in the Houston area. For stable 11 years, Rawfully Organic served 50,000 people and became the largest co-op for fresh produce in the USA. By the time she had to close Rawfully Organic doors in 2017, Kristina has already started her YouTube Channel – that now is a massive platform for inspiration and learning – where she shared her knowledge and basic raw recipes.
After being completely lost and traumatised by Rawfully Organic closure, Kristina started her own journey, the journey of finding herself, trying new things, sharing and being of service. Now she is coaching people on how to start, heal and maintain a raw vegan diet and hosts retreats in beautiful destinations like Bali or Costa Rica to help people learn about raw food lifestyle, how to do yoga, meditation and go on adventures. What FullyRawKristina does is basically emerges people into this new world and provides Tony Robbins-style raw food coaching for re-educating yourself and taking responsibility of your health.
"I have never had an overnight success in my life. It’s always been a slow, steady growth and work. The most important thing you can do is to be consistent with your message and continue creating. I am still preaching the same thing I was preaching 11 years ago."
An artist, expert in health science and one of the largest raw vegan digital influencers, Kristina points out that the majority of people who decide to go for raw vegan lifestyle seek physical benefits: loose weight or get younger. But, what she has learned through the years is that if you come to this important life transformation with wrong reason, you are not going to last. “You have to be truly dedicated and consistent”, she insists. For Kristina, vegan lifestyle is more than an ethical choice to make a conscious commitment not to consume animals, this is a lifestyle that brings a lot of beauty to your life.
Here are 5 sustainable tips on how to adopt this lifestyle:Start with one fully raw vegan meal a day. Make sure you eat enough – there is a significant volume difference. Raw food is higher in water content, but lower in calories, which means you do have to eat more to sustain yourself. Learn how to feel good, be happy doing this and connect back to yourself. What you do should come from love, passion and willingness to learn more. Remember that even if you do this lifestyle, you have to be compassionate and not judge others.
Here is what we talk about:
– How having an honest conversation can help you change your relationships with parents
– How to set a healthy example for your kids
– Why pills will not heal your disease
– Struggling with society’s misunderstanding and criticism
– Why so many people stay away from eating fruits and vegetables
– How fears and mindset of money prevent people from creating abundance in their lives
– Why it is essential to find balance in life and create a space for yourself in business
– Why it is so important to support local organic farmers
– Organic produce difference between farmer’s market and grocery shops
– Big corporations VS. small businesses
– Top mistakes in becoming raw vegan
– How re-educating yourself brings unique life experience
In today’s episode we chat with one of the UK’s most inspiring people, former gang leader and u-turned public speaker, poet, musician and rehabilitation leader - Karl Lokko. Whether it’s visiting Necker Island with Richard Branson or attending the Royal wedding, Karl’s remarkable journey is a far cry from his Brixton Badlands past.
Karl is one of the UK’s most connected under 30 year olds, he now holds a platform for true change, helping thousands of youth to escape the gang culture on the very dangerous streets of South London. As a former gang leader himself, life hasn’t always been so easy. Infact his u-turn is nothing less than truly breathtaking. And his journey to get to where he is now, even more jaw dropping!
From the age 12, Karl found himself on the wrong side of the tracks when his bicycle was stolen a few too many times. In his defense he formed his own gang of misfits, something Brixton wasn’t short of. A product of the Windrush generation decades before him, he was used to seeing displacement all around him. Which gave everyone and anyone a reason to fight.
“There’s a reason for rage, they so won’t that scare you straight? Well, If what you’re doing is because you are already scared, that is going to fuel your rage” - Karl [17:35]
Unfortunately the violence didn’t stay on a scrappy playground level for long. By the age of 14 he had already witnessed his friends being shot, been shot at himself and carried his own knife wounds as battle scars. Scars that he held as a trophy to go with the ‘strike them before they strike you’ mindset that permeated both his gang and the culture that followed - with or against him.
“There’s a lack of remorse, everyone can feel our pain ‘cause I’m feeling it, everyone else becomes fair game” - Karl [16:00]
But his story isn’t only one of a bleak distraught childhood, in today’s episode you’ll hear the remarkable story of how Karl turned his back on the violence and literally earned himself a seat at the table with some of the world’s most powerful and influential people. Karl now heads up a charitable organisation that transforms gang members into respectable citizens, helping them see life outside of gangs. Or as Alex calls it, his “love gang” - “goosebumps” as Mimi puts it.
“I was inspired by bible stories of sheppard boys throwing rocks at political, economical and cultural giants called Goliath. Those emails were my stones and i had to throw them out there” - Karl [47.30]
We are truly honoured to talk with Karl. His giant heart, kind nature and switched on intelligence shines light on what you can do if you really put your mind to making a positive change, both in your life and others.
We talk about:The disaffected difference between class and race that still exists in society today How gangs and street violence are a product of circumstance Anxieties can lead to displacement Your enemy is also a person, how to look into their eyes and see from another perspective The only real enemy is yourself and your choice in how you react to situations Why the only answer to the problem we face is love How you can form your own love gang Why we should be turning societies liabilities into assets and help displaced people find a purpose Going behind enemy lines with an open heart, walking the path to a ceasefire Finding a support system in the most influential people in the world How speaking with confidence puts you at the same table as powerful people
Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode with Karl, you can find out more about him here:
Butterfly Effect - Youtube video by Karl Lokko
Today we are connecting with you again through another exciting ‘Ask Me Anything’ episode. We take your recorded questions that you’ve submitted on our website and we go deep and get totally honest with our answers.
We felt truly energized by your questions, not to mention that we recorded them through our new, super professional microphones for even better sound quality. This week we are answering 4 extremely important, interesting and diverse questions.
Here’s what you guys asked:How to win the battle with passion, is passion important to grow your business? Where would you recommend to live and why – Portugal, France or Italy? How to deal with environmental anxiety? How can women obtain self value, other than in superficial things?
How to win the battle with passion?
It might sound surprising, but if you want to grow your business – you need to forget about your passion. You need to understand the main differences between passion and purpose. The first step is to always find the purpose, why are you doing this? Knowing the purpose of your business is what makes the difference and gets you results.
Next to purpose there is a need for consistency. In this episode you’ll hear more about the formula we use called QVCA – Quality. Value. Consistency. Authenticity.
“When you are creating content, you have to break it down, it needs to mirror, not your passion but what people care about, and that is the value you’re giving.” – Alex
Where would you recommend to live and why – Portugal, France or Italy?
Moving abroad is always a big step in life. To make sure you are choosing the right country, you need to make sure about your requirements and the possibilities of being there are aligned. Mimi shares her experience with all three countries – the affordable and great vibe of Lisbon, the romantic but more expensive beauty of Paris and the always refreshing adventure of Italy.
Living abroad is a great thing, however, get ready for the challenges you might face.
“Putting yourself out there, being challenged will make you grow.” - Alex
How to deal with environmental anxiety?
The environment is something we care a lot about. We do understand the limit of our planet and want to secure that our daughter Alexa will grow up with less environmental challenges than us. Even though the topic can be very upsetting, we do see that things are improving.
What we all need to understand is; that every single person can make a difference. Start to shop at farmers markets, reduce the use of single use plastic as much as you can, buy only when you really need something, or maybe eat less meat – every small step counts.
What it is important to remember, is that it is OK to be imperfect. Getting more sustainable will be hard in the beginning, but it is totally fine to make little mistakes from time to time. The most significant thing is that you are trying and doing the best within your circumstances.
“There are so many ways to become mindful about changes we can create. Most importantly becoming aware and taking responsibility. Getting people into your community and create change. Nobody else can do this.” - Mimi
How can women obtain self value, other than in superficial things?
The way we look is the outside shell of a beautiful and diverse person inside. Sexy does not mean the look – being sexy means to be confident by yourself. When you find your confidence, you are becoming more attractive for people around you.
Mimi’s book: The Bingo theory can help you to find the right balance between your feminine and masculine side. If we balance it well, we will grow and become the best version of ourselves.
What is your vision of powerful person? By answering this question to ourselves we remove ourselves of the stereotype of women or men – we are all equal, with the same purpose, to love and be loved, and live better lives while helping others do the same.
“Being comfortable in your skin that is to me a vision of every woman. A strong woman, who can carry herself in confidence.” Mimi
Books and resources from this episode:
Abundance - The Future Is Better Than You Think (Exponential Technology Series) By Steven Kotler
Bingo Theory - A revolutionary guide to love, life, and relationships. By Mimi Ikonn
Today on The Ikonns, we have one the most fun couples we know, Dana and John Shultz from the infamous blog - The Minimalist Baker. Dana and John have been running this hugely successful blog since 2012, putting out quick simple recipes 3 times a week, non stop for 7 years.
Just like looking in the mirror of Alex and Mimi’s life, Dana and John have followed a very similar but also as unique of a journey, to get to where they are now. Which is running a hugely successful and highly creative platform that allows freedom and flexibility in their lives whilst helping others.
They both come from very humble beginnings, a few miles apart from each other, in tiny villages of around 3000 inhabitants or less, in Texas U.S. Eventually meeting each other while studying in the only slightly bigger city of Wichita. Alex and Mimi dive into the Shultz’s romance story, one that nearly didn’t exist as John was, at first, stuck in the dreaded friend-zone.
As their studies drew close to an end and they realised they wanted more to life, ripping off the bandaid and piercing their comfort bubble they decided to get married and the very next day they moved to Portland.
When they arrived they stumbled upon Portland’s creative scene, finding a community that would show them just how different life could be. This is where the couple would catch the buzz of the exciting and rewarding world that is entrepreneurship and would pave the way for their new careers.
“I used to think it would be cool to meet all these cool and interesting people, until I realised it’s much better to GO DO cool and interesting things, as you get good at what you’re interested in you start to become surrounded by cool and interesting people” - John [14:40]
Unfortunately their move was badly timed and coincided with the recession, making it very difficult for either of them to find work. This came as a blessing in disguise as it forced Dana to get creative, allowing her to find the world of blogging. She set up a lifestyle blog and John found yet another job that he hated. After not too long they returned back to Texas and John went back to studying Law even though he didn’t want to become a lawyer; as he says
“Law school is the most expensive way to find out you don’t want to become a lawyer”.
“Starting a business together was one of our best decisions for our relationship, it forces you to have difficult conversations. This gave us a better way to communicate with each other outside of work hours and strengthened our relationship” - John [41.22]
So after years of not channeling what they really wanted and falling short of their pipe dreams, they decided to visualise what they wanted and picture themselves 20 years on. They made solid plans on how to achieve their goals and set about making them happen. This started with taking stock of what was working and what wasn’t. This would mean a rebrand for Dana’s blog, now focusing on quick simple recipes - 10 ingredients or less and all prepared in one bowl.
John set about using all his geekiness to develop the perfect site, with consistency and true effort, The Minimalist Baker would prove to be a recipe for success.
Here’s what we chatted about in this episode:What’s it like to founder a company with your partner and work together as a couple every day How to get out of the difficult friend zone, for John and Alex Why women should take the lead sometimes Ripping off the bandaid and bursting your comfort bubble The correct way to make connections in a new city How to earn money through creativity, even during a recession Another dropout lawyer story Use your skills to get hired and use the money to fund your own thing Stop thinking about the money and think about the happiness Turning a problem into a niche marketing strategy How to budget a bootstrapped business Cutting your expenses to lengthen the runway for success How to be just as happy with nothing by doing exactly what you want to do
In today’s episode Alex and Mimi chat about a concept that has proven itself time and time again, throughout both their business and personal lives. May you might want to sing along like in the Disney movie Frozen, as we are going to be discussing - Letting Go.
Whether it’s waiting for a friend to reply to your important message, asking someone out on a date, to sending a business proposal to client or applying to go to University / College. We’ve all felt the fear of losing out on the one thing we’ve been dreaming about. Often a thought that we’ve put so much energy behind can have us attached greatly to the outcome and even more often this leads to disappointment.
We see it in depressed people or people who hold low value of themselves, disappointment seems to be everywhere these days. Too much of this is wrapped up in misread expectations and clinging on too hard to your desires. Maybe you lost your partner or your job and you just can’t seem to;
‘LET IT ALL GO’
“You might fail at this at first and that is Ok, you have to keep getting up and doing it because eventually it will work out” - Alex [9:00]
Alex and Mimi share how they’ve had to overcome this time and time again, from negotiating the sale of Luxy hair to walking away from relationships that were not good for them. Mimi shares her Vipassana story and how she learnt the importance of equanimity:
Equanimity - nouncalmness and composure, especially in a difficult situation.
"she accepted both the good and the bad with equanimity"composure, calmness, calm, level-headedness, self-possession, self-control, even-temperedness, coolness, cool-headedness, presence of mind.
“I understand you really want this and it’s your desire, but because you want this so badly, it’s probably not going to work” - Alex [8:00]
Whether it’s someone bullying you or you’re simply not happy with your job or relationship, or looking to find the perfect place to live, there’s so much you can take away from this episode.
Here’s what we get into:Attachment is most obvious during challenging times The truth can hurt sometimes but it’s that pain is your bodies way of showing you to change The importance of meditation and a still mind during times of conflict Conflict can be with yourself not just with others How desperation seeps into your interactions, how to communicate your intentions Sometimes you have to face losing it all to get your dream life Outcome dependency reduces your negotiating powers Letting go isn’t an instant strategy, it’s a mindset that takes time to become effective Only you can set your real value
Letting Go - The Pathway of Surrender by Dr. Hawkins
Linchpin - Are You Indispensable?
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode41
Today’s episode is a classic tale of rags to riches, with Denys Zhadanov, VP of Marketing at Readdle. Readle is a successful app company with over 100 million downloads and a legacy that extends beyond the launch in the App Store, all the way back to the beginning of iPhone.
Having only just turned 30, he is so young given his accomplishments and his early adoption as one of the first creators of Apps, some that have gone on to inspire the technology we take for granted today.
We dive into Denys humble beginnings, raised in a small village in the Ukraine, his father worked as a communications engineer for the KGB and moved around from country to country until it’s collapse in 1991. He gathered huge inspiration from his mother's determination to accomplish something great, as she went from consulting farmers to becoming governor of the region where they lived. This would set him and his brother up with the right mindset for creating their business later in life.
In 1998, him and his brother got their first pc and got to work almost immediately, geeking out on the potential of this new technology and learning to code, by the time the first iPhone dropped in 2007, they’d be one of the first people in the Ukraine to own one and set about making it easier for others to use it, by offering a cloud based solution for things that the iPhone couldn’t do as standard. All the things our phones now do off the shelf but back then didn’t, including apps similar to what we see in DropBox and Google Docs now.
Their creativity earned them a prize place on the front page of the App Store on the day of its launch, and as a personal invite directly from Apple, they have been a huge help in the Readdle’s success. In the first few months they had 60,000 downloads and made their first $20,000, which they invested straight back into the company. Bootstrapping their way to the staggering success they’ve achieved today.
Here’s what you’ll learn:From a shared room in Odessa to becoming a Silicon Valley tech giant Hard work, intelligence and a whole lot of good luck and good timing How positivity and high energy keeps connected with the right people Redesigning how we email with Spark Email app Innovating fast is the only way to stay ahead, the real David and Goliath story. How to become an early innovator that inspires industry leaders like google and apple. The correct way to think about the future - with 100 life goals. People will share when you offer something with real value Why it’s much harder to find peoples problems than most think. How you can accomplish half of your life goals in 1 single year! The correct way to cold approach a business connection
Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode with Denys, you can find out more about him here:
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode40
Produced by Jason Sanderson - Podcast Tech
This episode should come with a WARNING, you’ll probably learn more here about how to run successful businesses than ever before... and this was a delight to record too. That’s because today we are talking Marcia Kilgore, the super successful serial entrepreneur of brands like Bliss Spa, Bliss Labs, Soap & Glory, Fit Flop and the revolutionary new Beauty Pie. We can clearly see she is doing everything right. We find out what?
Originally from the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, she grew up with very humble beginnings. She and her sisters suffered a sad loss of her father around the age of 11, causing the family to further struggle. But her mum instilled the rule of never complaining - about anything! She’d boldly explain “There are people out in the world that have no legs and have it way harder than you”.
With this her mum instilled the practice of gratitude and a friend of the family also brought her attention to the importance of discipline, when he introduced her to his gym. So from an early age, these life lessons kept her feet planted safely on the ground.
“By the time you turn 18 you are your own thoughts, grab a book and take responsibility for them” - Marcia [57:28]
She applied to Study in New York when she was 16, and on arriving in the US her plans fell through, so she found herself on the streets of NYC needing to earn money fast. Already being a regular at the gym, she used her previous bodybuilding competition experience to land herself a personal training role at a fairly prolific gym, which put her in front of many minor celebrities. Including her clients Douglas Keeve and his then partner Isaac Mizrahi of fashion fame. This opened the door to access super models who she’d eventually practice her new hobby on, having recently trained in facial therapy.
Word spread fast and at the heart of it was Marcia’s politeness, kindness, warm and friendly service. She sums it up by saying it’s all about delivering the goods and being positive. Oh and the details, people come because of the smallest details. She write personal thank you notes for every client she had.
“It’s up to you to deliver the goods, don’t be half assed about anything, be full assed. Did you ever had a hair colourist call you the next day and ask how your hair is doing? Well if you did, do you think you’d every go elsewhere ever again?” - Marcia [32:55]
She quickly went from a small one room studio with film stars like Uma Thurman sitting and waiting in the halls, to a 3 room studio, then a 10 room and finally a 24 room studio with a booked up schedule 18 months in advance. They’d always be cultural icons like Oprah Winfry, Madonna, Calvin klein and Courtney Love, amongst many more, as regular clients. Then after a decade of building this business from the ground up she sold a stake in the company to french company LVMH, which allowed her to expand into skincare products, creating Bliss labs. Countless skincare products later, under a few different umbrellas like Soap & Glory, Soaper Dooper, Marcia shares her secrets to getting your products stocked on premium shelves, from Harvey Nichols to Douglas and around the world.
Her’s what else we chat about:
Taking responsibility for your own mindset and actions
The power of reframing - “you say she’s not interested, I say she was on vacation and missed it”
How business is not just about the details, business is THE details
Hobbies can grow into big businesses very fast
The markup of most beauty brands and not putting the customer first
The value revolution in her new company Beauty Pie
Avoid defensiveness at all costs
The early bad experiences that shaped Marcia’s entire business strategy.
You can find out more about Marcia here:
Books here:The Work… of Byron Katie, An Introduction.
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode39
Produced by Jason Sanderson - Podcast Tech