Hello our beautiful friends! Today we have a very exciting and long-awaited guest on the podcast – Kanwer Singh, professionally known as Humble The Poet. In this honest conversation, we dive deep into Kanwer’s life journey and discover how a child of Indian immigrants and a school teacher turned into creative personality, author, filmmaker, Hip-Hop and spoken-word artist, whose ideas and messages challenge conventional wisdom.
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/66
Hello our beautiful friends! We are back with another exciting Ask Me Anything episode. This time, we discuss something that most of us don’t want to face – our internet addiction.
Let’s admit this - there is something about new technologies, the Internet and social media that makes us feel connected with the rest of the world. The issue is, if we overdo it, we become addicted and can injure ourselves. In this conversation, we share our tips on how to consume social media mindfully.
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/61
In today’s ‘Ask Me Anything’ episode, we’re going to answer these 3 fundamental questions:Are there any boundaries on the Internet? How to use technology and not to be used by it? How to consume content in social media?
Are there any boundaries on the Internet?
Nowadays there is an infinite amount of content and, therefore, scrolling has become infinite. The way social media tools are designed, Alex explains, is to get us hooked, because the more time we spend on social media, the more money these social platforms gain, because they capture our attention, and attention equals money. And this is the currency we all play with – attention.
How to use technology and not to be used by it?
Alex’s recommendation is to set limits for yourself. iOS programs like Screen Time help monitor how you consume your gadget and be aware of how you spend your time. You can even set parental control on yourself and set time limits on using different apps with Downtime feature. Alex assures that the best way you do your best work is by not multitasking. He suggests to turn off distracting notifications and do just one thing at a time.
“We have to look at the root cause of why we are addicted to being distracted from our reality” – Alex Ikonn
Alex thinks that a lot of as pass out because of the loneliness in some way or another. In order to change this, we need to follow these steps:Become aware Take responsibility Take action
How to consume content in social media?
Mimi believes that we have to be mindful about the fact that social media consumption is like food consumption. We have to become mindful consumers, we have to limit ourselves and care about the quality versus the quantity. Mimi explains that we should come at the first place, and the consumption of social media and content creation come after. The resistance voice make us doing all indulgences that, over a period of time, are going to ruin our lives and will make us be incapable to do things that truly matter.
Both Alex and Mimi believe there is a lot of value that comes with the Internet. Social media in itself isn’t evil, it can be so positive and beneficial. But, in order to create some healthy boundaries, we all need to learn how to curate people and content we consume on a daily basis.
“We need to implement mindful consumption of individuals that inspire us rather than individuals that make us compare ourselves to others” – Mimi Ikonn
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
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 we are talking with our friend Yalda Alaoui from EatBurnSleep.com. We chat about the incredible journey she’s been on and how she healed her body into remission after suffering from a near terminal immunity condition. She shares her challenges and paves a path for other to follow by optimising these 3 simple things:Eating right Sleeping right Exercising right
“Yeah..we’ve heard it all before a 1000 times”, BUT Yalda’s story is living proof of how drastic life can become when you don’t take these 3 things into consideration.
“It’s only when we are at our worst that we look for problems to the solution, I’m teaching people that prevention is a much better approach” - Yalda - [38:45]
Born to both Morocan and Iranian Parents, Yalda moved to France when she was 12 and immediately started having dietary issues, the junk food that she was now regularly eating, was a stark difference from what she’d grown up with back in Morocco.
At 15 years of age she found an interest in economics, finding a subject and a lens through which she could understand and see the world with. This led her to studying at the London School of Economics and EDHEC Business School. And was soon followed by a very stressful job working on a trading floor in capital marketing.Ulcerative Colitis Auto-Immune Haemolytic Anemia
The unhealthy eating and a stressful job, along with a failed pregnancy then signaled to her immune system to finally shut down. In 2007 she developed two life threatening auto-immune diseases:
The latter causing her hemoglobin measurement to fall to 4 (usually reserved only for patients in a coma). After being admitted to hospital, countless blood transfusions later, the doctors struggled to get to the bottom of the underlying cause. This pushed Yalda into extensively researching health for herself. A ten-year recovery lead her to sharing her knowledge, making a full career change and a full recovery.
She eventually got to the route corse while searching for ways to ease her chronic inflammation, by cutting out all foods and starting again like a baby. She Added 1 food at a time, narrowing her eating options to only foods that didn’t cause her problems. This was only the start…
Here’s what we get into on this episode:What is your microbiome and how to avoid destroying your gut health? 60% of you neurotransmitters are in your gut? So let your belly think for you! What is leaky gut and what happens when your body tries to fight back? The importance of walking everyday. What happens when your body’s natural defense doesn’t know how to turn itself off? How stress plays a role in your immune system? The benefits of collagen powder and bone broth. Why lifting light weights are more important than the big heavy ones. Fermented foods, the most common in the healthiest longest living societies. The Vegan Myth - Why not all meats are unhealthy, just the processed ones. Why we should be choosing whole foods and dropping dairy / wheat / nightshades?
Show Notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode22
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 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
Fresh off the plane, in today’s episode Alex and Mimi chat about their observations, having just spent 3 weeks in North America. What are the main differences between North America Vs. Europe.
“Americans take ice cream soooo seriously, how do you even choose?” - Mimi Ikonn - 22:00
The USA is the land of plenty, everything is BIGGER! There is more of EVERYTHING. From credit cards to what’s on your plate, either in a restaurant or baked at home in a tiny oven.
Alex chats about a friend who moved from London to California, just so his Billion Dollar dream could be recognised. Meanwhile, Mimi gets chatted up in the supermarket over what breakfast cereal does she like.
“The cities in Europe are designed in a way to get you walking, to move, to be active and mindful”
- Alex Ikonn - 18:47
Having travelled to many places and lived on both sides of the Atlantic, Mimi and Alex have great insight into just how different the 2 cultures can be. Here’s what they get into;How people spend their money, which culture has the most consumer driven society? Do you have a billionaire mindset or are you being conservative with your cash? Where do Alex and Mimi get approached the most? Who speaks the loudest, who is most respectful? Public transport Vs owning a car. Food portions, even a salad in the US is enough to feed an entire family. What’s in your kitchen? We want some Patatas Bravas! Yum! How to notice disruptive industries when you realise something is missing in a culture? The empowerment of youth through social media.
We didn’t want this episode to be political so please, don’t take offence if you live in one of these countries. We haven’t meant to choose a favourite here, since we love both - EQUALLY! These are just some generalised observations from spending a lot of time in both places.
“I like to find differences, it gives color to life, as long as people live in peace and harmony” Mimi Ikonn - 33:30
Actually, we know there’s something for everyone in both places, but it’s not until you explore the world that you really see for yourself where YOU fit in. We really encourage you to travel and see the world for yourself, maybe your expectations and realisations will be completely different to ours but you only know if you go find out. Explore - with love and an open heart!
Find resources mentioned in the show here:Greta Thunberg (Twitter) - The 16yr/o Swedish climate change activist, Pepper Pig (YouTube) - Peace and harmony for all the world.
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
It’s important to note that this lifestyle won’t be for everyone. For most people, at 8am they go their different ways, off to a different job, eat lunch with different friends and rejoin their partner come 6pm when it’s time for dinner. The idea of talking shop with their partner in bed can be a huge turn off. Keep work in its place and keep the loved ones as far away from it. It’s just never been the case with Alex and Mimi.
“If you don’t have a common vision, I’m not sure how you can do anything in life, never mind be in a relationship together” - Mimi [7:20]
The ikonns met while working in a bank, so their working relationship far extends their loving relationship. Luckily they’ve found that working together is not only easier but actually proves more productive.
Since starting their first business together, they’ve coincidentally both pulled in the same direction towards a shared goal, each taking on their own challenges with their own unique skills and both have thriving with different strengths. For Mimi she wouldn’t do so well, if she had fulfil an operations manager role, but for Alex, he can be passionate about making sure the business wheels are well greased. Yet Mimi loves to be creative and in front of the camera, often creating the vision and lens through which direction the business is seen. This is harmony for them.
I don’t need to do anything, I GET to do things, It’s a complete mindset shift. When you GET to do things you appreciate them more and your work comes from a different place” - Mimi [11:40]
Even though they both work so smoothly together, it’s also important to note, they both take responsibility for their own self growth and managing what they bring to the table. It’s important that they aren’t relying on their partners to get their own job done. Alex recalls how in the beginning he was working 2 jobs in the business, both his own role and being Mimi’s video editor. This caused friction after a while because he couldn’t focus on the tasks he was meant to be doing. This is a huge lesson to learn. Find your strengths and what you bring to the table, do that and get someone else to do the rest.
Another big takeaway we just shined the light on is transparency in relationships and in business. It was so important for Alex to communicate that the video work wasn’t his job, same when the couple chose to stop working from home and get an office elsewhere. Sometimes there’s distractions in business especially if you have a baby in the same room… So communication is key towards growth and navigating the inevitable business challenges.
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode38
In this episode Alex and Mimi chat with the good friend and regular visitor to the Ikonn household, but a first time guest on the show, Lazo Freeman. Lazo is so inspirational to us and a fantastic transformational healer that you need to listen to. He has infinite wisdom that we love.
Born in Iraq to a mix of both Kurdish and Arab parents, Lazo tells of his difficult and challenging first few years in life, having crossed mountain borders on the back of a donkey - to fleeing Saddam's soldiers on their uncles murder charges - to spending weeks in a romanian prison. Laza’s start to life was anything normal by our western standards.
Finally he ended up in the UK, where he was excelling in chemistry classes and studied Biomedical engineering at UCL in London. After a short time he realised there was more to life than lectures and decided to train in body transformation. Making a connection to his desire of helping others. Although quitting an engineering degree was a big deal for his family, small things like this no longer bothered him. After all, life could be a lot worse than living in London.
“Inherently i can be very lazy, but all of a sudden i just shift and I end up performing on higher level” - Lazo [9:30]
After witnessing only 50% of clients transforming he quickly realised that exercise wasn’t the key. That he needed to look deep into the psychology and mindset that makes for a deeper, more solid transformation. He hit upon a working formula, that the decisions we take are not intellectual and that most decisions, especially successful ones are rooted in emotion.
Unfortunately, a lot of the negative things in life, especially things that hold us back are also rooted in emotion. So Lazo set about finding ways to clear out the soul, including shifting both current and past life traumas and toxins.
“Our highest quality vibrational thought is one that is conducive of our greater good” - Lazo [36:48]Positive tears - Crying because you’re happy. Negative tears - Crying because you’re upset. Neutral tears from the soul - These are the type he urges you to regularly find.
Lazo shares his 3 crying styles:
He combines this with meditation and the correct way of breathing using the Wim Hof technique from your diaphragm instead of shallow throat parasympathetic breathing. He even guides us through his own inspirational, truly amazing meditation. Practice this and we are sure you’ll be impressed.
“We all have different perceptions, what else are we not seeing because humans don’t have the senses or aren’t tuned into it? The process is like cleaning a mirror and seeing a deeper picture” - Lazo [26:00]
Here’s what else we get into:Healing is all about unlearning Alpha and Beta consciousness - which is critical and which is trance like Intuition is your real tutor Journalling opens your heart Consciousness is like playing music that is in tune with the universe Opening your heart is a treasure chest Early experiences and cleaning out trauma. Finding the signs that your body is telling you, you’re off path
Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode with Lazo, you can find out more about him here:
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode31
Alex and Mimi are joined today by an important guest and great friend, Vanessa Branson.
Vanessa is the founder of Marrakech Biennale, a cutting-edge contemporary Visual Art, Literature, and Film festival in Morocco. She is the owner of Eilean Shona, a tidal island near Loch Moidart, in Scotland, She is also the owner of El Fenn a luxurious hotel in the heart of Marrakech, a trustee of the British Moroccan Society and a trustee for the Virgin Unite, a charitable arm of Virgin. If you’ve not guessed it yet, she is also the sister of the Infamous Richard Branson.
Show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode26
As parents, seeing Alexa grow and develop so quickly, like others Alex and Mimi have seen the true magnitude of change. But to some people, change isn’t always welcomed so easily, some people fear change. Change can be a huge deal. This is the topic of today’s episode.
For the most part we don’t remember our early lives, but it’s in those moments seeing a baby grow into a child and develop a character and soul of their own, that you can truly appreciate how change is happening. Much faster than you could ever imagine.
“A lot of people leave comments on our videos, saying please don’t change… like that’s a bad thing” - Mimi Ikonn [4:00]
In meeting with an old friend Mimi asked ‘so what’s new’? She was shocked at the reply she was given ‘oh, nothing new’. Maybe for some of us we aren’t mindful that change is happening all the time, whether we perceive it or not, But things change, ALL THE TIME.
Change can be a good thing, but a lot of us naturally fear it. When we know change is coming it’s like being confronted with the flip of a coin. Will it land on the good side or the bad? So many chose to not flip the coin, avoid it as much as possible, staying right where they are. Safe and sound. In their comfort bubble.
“Paint a picture of where you’re going and know your journey, give yourself a roadmap to your goals” - Alex Ikonn [16:35]
Again it’s about reframing. Change could be giving yourself a chance at a new career and finding a new passion. Others might say ‘I got fired and lost my job’. Which in Alex’s case, is true, this actually happened. Proof of the importance of embracing change. He was so happy to be working in banking and would have probably stayed there forever had he not been fired. Lucky that wasn’t to be and life forced his hand and he got to choose a better life.
Understandably there are evolutionary reasons and our trible nature at play here, that we need to be aware of. Also the story we tell ourselves keeps us firmly rooted to the spot. Think about how many times you’ve said out loud ‘oh, i just don’t do that’ or ‘oh that is not me’? While often having never tried.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us” - Marianne Williamson.
The process of transformation and trying something new is DIFFICULT, unfortunately it’s a challenge that a lot of people aren’t willing to work through by choice. After returning from their first trip to france, Mimi realised this. She set about completely renovating their home. Days and weeks of living in the mess reflected her own internal struggles at the time with mental health issues she was going through. renovating wasn’t going to be easily fixed in 1 day. Fortunately hard work and persistence paid off and the apartment looked as beautiful as she’d imagined. Eventually all the internal mentality hard work also paid off too. Remember not all change happens quickly and is usually a work in progress.
Here’s what we talk about today:From getting your heart broken to losing your job, there’s always a brighter side. Embrace change, use it to your advantage The only way to enjoy life is to not fear the change that is always happening Change at the speed of light, like Moores law, everything is getting quicker Be perceptive and mindful of what changes are happening around you People’s capacity to grow and adapt is one of life’s remarkable wonders Getting to the good is often through a VERY MESSY journey How to stop creating comfortable habits of staying the same Journalling, creating your goals and a road map to them Change leads to a better stronger you
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode29
In today’s episode Alex and Mimi explore what many would say is the most important thing in life... MONEY!! But does having more of it make you happy or do we just need to create an abundance mindset? What’s your relationship with money, we’ll find out in this episode.
Both Alex and Mimi have come from very poor upbringings. Even though Mimi would describe her family growing up as middle class, the middle class Azerbaijan is way below the lower class in the US or Europe. Alex’s family life was very similar growing up in the Soviet Union, they both lived in 1 bedroom apartments where their parents would sleep on the sofa, while all the kids would share a bedroom. Bargain hunting and penny counting was the only way to simply put a meal on the table.
This is a very deep episode that explores the mindset shift that you have to undertake if you want to go from not having any money to what to do when you finally get some. And every step in between. Foodbank’s to Kensington.
“Money wants to go to people who have a need to do something with it, people who put their money to work rather than consuming” - Alex Ikonn [37:30]
The main lesson Alex and Mimi want you to take away from this, is moving your mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance. We all know of situations where people have lost friends or even family member from a dispute over a relatively small amount of cash. Clinging onto every penny won’t get you anywhere in life. Similarly, we know that when we feel full and our basic needs are met, our mental energy and focus is available to be put to work and attract more money and opportunities into our lives.
Now this doesn’t mean you should go out and max your credit cards, if you even have a credit card, nor should even contemplate a payday loan. Negative compound interest is your worst enemy and will hold you in debt for a long time. Remember that spending future money is still money you will have to earn at some point. If you can’t pay it back today, there’s a good chance you’ll find it difficult to pay it back tomorrow.
The good thing is compound interest works the other way too. So paying off your debt and then saving can gain you some great interest over time.
“You affirm and reaffirm to yourself everyday what you manifest” - Mimi Ikonn [20:50]
Back to the abundance part… this really is a game of reframing the conversation you tell yourself. Are you regularly saying:
A - ‘I couldn’t ever do that, I can’t afford it’
Or are you saying
B - ‘I choose to invest my money elsewhere, spending to fulfill a specific purpose’.
Are you saying you are ‘broke’? This genuinely means you feel you are broken. Let’s be clear, we don’t believe you are broken! You should be saying ‘You are working on fixing your financial future by actionally taking steps in the right direction’.
Do you see and feel the difference in these two ways of talking to yourself? If so this is only the start.How do your parents talk about money? This shapes your own financial values Don’t believe you’re saving if at the same time you’re in debt Valuing your own worth and developing the idea of feeling full How to not lose relationships over money When is it a good time to rent or buy, why it’s better to rent in a big city How the richest people are less consumers than you think Become an investor in yourself and reap the rewards Visualisation and putting in the hard work Being wealthy is living in your means and not spending more than you earn Money and energy, it’s all about a transfer from one form to the other.
What we also cover in this episode:
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode28
Welcome back to The Ikonns, That’s right we dropped the word ‘Experience’ but this episode will only be dropping one thing - Deep and thoughtful answers to your deep and thoughtful questions.
Here’s what we get into:How to overcome the dark period of the life and find positivity Why the 5-minute journal should become the part of your life The real meaning of failures What does it mean to belong somewhere How to make parents with difference values and culture to support How to get your authentic voice and create authentic content
If you heard your voice on this today’s show - wooohooo! We appreciate you so much. Glad we had a chance to chat with you. If you’d like to have your question in our next Q&A’s please head over to https://www.ikonns.com and press the red recording button on the home page. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode, you can find out more about Alex and Mimi here:
And here’s where you can find 5-minute journal by Intelligent Change
In this Episode Mimi and Alex revisit the golden vault again with this special audio version of a very popular video, originally published on YouTube.
They go head to head, 15 rounds in a game of relationship tag with quick fire questions, sharing each other’s best and worst. How much do this entrepreneur couple know each other?
You’ll hear all the juice behind this relationship; From Mimi’s messy habits leaving hers socks everywhere, to Alex being stuck in his airpods and not listening properly. To romantic gestures and affectionate smooches, favourite traits and first opinions
Hear what they can’t live without... or what they wish they could live without - “that red lipstick”
“Stress Is The Biggest Killer - I Love MY Airpods”
What was the last argument they had, What was the last text message they sent to each other and WHO WEARS THE PANTS IN THIS RELATIONSHIP?
Hear all this and so much more.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode with Alex & Mimi
Intelligentchange.com - The Five Minute Journal
Full Show Notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode17
Produced by Jason Sanderson - Podcast Tech
Have you wondered on how we plan and book our travel? Find amazing places to stay around the world? In this episode, we reveal our secrets on how we do this.
In this episode we share 10+ years of their travel lifestyle and give you insights from their very best curated experiences.
We all know that feeling of getting off a plane for the first time, arriving at our destination, being so hungry and tired, we literally blow a bunch of our trips budget in a tourist trap restaurant in the cities main square, just to fuel our desperation.
The No.1 tip any traveller should hold to, is prior planning. Alex researches the heck out of every detail before he even book the flights. Infact, the flights aren’t the first thing he looks for.
It’s essential to find the right place in the right location, that is at the heart of your interests.
Are you looking for a beach holiday, a city break or something in nature. All of these options come with their own unique requirements, and planning is the only way to maximise your experience whatever your interests are.
“Travel is the way to self discovery, each time you do it, you know more about what you like, what suits you and what your tastes are” - Alex Ikonn [11:00]
Alex and Mimi share all the tools and secrets they use to make every trip like a dream experience. And you can do it too.
You’ll hear this and much more:How exploring your own city for new experiences that you didn’t know were there, can be just as fun, rewarding and cheaper than travel Why you should set your expectations before you go? Be realistic. Budget Vs Luxury, when is it time to drop the lower quality option? From maps to flights, hotels and restaurants, Google should be your first choice tool for travel. Get a clear idea of the location before you choose by pinning your findings to Maps and Pinterest Visualise your surroundings in advance with street view. Prepackaged vacations are fine if you want a lazy, no pressure vacation, but they don’t maximise your possibilities. How staying with a host can be much more rewarding than getting your own place It can be cheaper than an hotel if you split the cost and rent a villa Find the worst reviews, don’t only read the good ones. Check if there is going to be issues you don’t want to deal with Never trust Trip Advisor, find your own curated referrals. Blogs are your friend. Use a business account to collect fly points Price matching and cross check every option Check airlines directly, some of the cheapest flights aren’t on comparison sites, same with hotels The last minute myth.
Where to stay tools:
Our top 3 Luxury curated stays:
Flight finder tools:
Alex and Mimi talk to Valeria Lipovetsky about her journey as one of the fastest growing and engaging YouTube content creators who has grown to almost a million subscribers in less than 3 years. In this episode, Valeria shares amazing advice on life, business and relationships for you to implement into your dream life.
As a late starter to the blogging world Valeria talks about her first exposure to YouTube. How at first she battled her beliefs, that she might not be good enough and after spending her childhood trying purposefully to be invisible, she soon realised that no one ‘does her’ better than she does. Every voice can find an audience.
She takes us behind the mindset changes that needed to happen to become who she has become today, sharing stories of how her introversion shaped her into a better observer, who could step back at any moment and see a much deeper, bigger picture.
Her story is one of taking action for herself, finding her own voice and the best ways to communicate it with authenticity.
“I had to be that saviour, I had to be my own hero, no one is going to come save you” - Valeria
Here’s what we get into:Mindset vs self-awareness - how taking power into your own hands stops the world from deciding on your behalf. How copying others isn’t enough, that only your authentic self can win We question does balance really exist? Visions vs making an actual change - the need to be consistently taking action and judging yourself only on one simple question - ‘have you done your best’? The importance of over communicating in relationships and some great tips on how to avoid slowly destroying a good one. Blind motivation Vs contextualism - who should we be really learning from. Dealing with haters. Using ego and criticism as a mirror for growth.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode with Valeria Lipovetsky, you can find out more about her here:
Full Show notes at https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode12
Produced by Jason Sanderson - Podcast Tech
Jim Quick is one of our smartest friends and is one of the world’s leading learning experts and brain coaches. He regularly works with A-list celebrities, movie stars and learns people - how to learn more effectively.
After suffering multiple brain injuries as a child, he was named the boy with the broken brain. So he had to do one thing to fix himself, he’d become the genie of learning, instead of a wishing for more wishes, he’d grant wishes to learn how to learn.
“That boy over there is the boy with the broken brain” - Jim’s school teacher
Having suffered a second traumatic accident as he woke from a coma to einstein's face on a mug of tea, he realised that we aren’t taught how to learn, that just like a super computer we need to learn how to program it. While struggling at college, Jim found a new perspective on his broken brain when a mentor turned him onto reading a book a week. This was the moment where his poor grades at school stopped getting into the way of his education.
“If you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them” - Jim Kwik
His technique for memory development includes building a mind palace, which is a technique used by the ancient greek to remember long speeches and performances. To do this you have to implement 3 things:Creativity - the brain learns by being an active creator, not a just consumer Imagination - making the invisible - visible, so dream big! Strategy - planning a route to get there.
Jim shares some valuable advice on why it’s important to build your memory, including; how the most successful people that get rewarded, ALWAYS remember people’s names. They know the secret; that nothing sounds sweeter to someone than hearing their own name. Try it yourself next time you’re in a coffee shop, but don’t be surprised if you end up getting a discount. People put trust in you when you use this fantastically simple technique.
Meet Jim’s M.O.M. And remember her…Motivation - why would you want to remember anything, the importance of rewards. Observation - it’s not retention that is the problem, it’s paying attention that matters. Mechanics - The tools to remembering - diet, meditation, physical and mental exercise
Jim treats presence like giving a gift. To be present to someone’s words is like giving them a present. He says the best way to listen is to just be silent and stop thinking of how to add your own piece.
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood”Stephen Covey - 7 Habits of Highly effective People
You’ll learn Jim’s 10 key tips to super learning and high performance brain function:Good brain diet - treat what you read and information you consume as seriously as the food you put on your plate. Killing Ants - “Auto Negative thoughts”, positive environments shape how we remember. Movement - When the body moves, the brain grooves. Brain nutrients - how eating an healthy diet can support brain function. Positive peer group - surrounding yourself with 9 smart people, you’ll become the 10th. Clean environment - a messy house = a messy mind. Sleep - Consolidate your long and short term memories allowing your brain to learn. Sleep - Clean the plaque from your brain. Clear that next day mind fog. Sleep - Dreamers are creators, the best inventions started in the land of Zzzz’s. Protect your brain - wear a helmet when riding a bike, avoid sleeping next to your phone.
Wow, Sleep snagged 3 out of 10 there, but Jim really does value sleep as a huge import role to brain health, reminding us that we dream for about 3 years of life. Imagine if you started to journal all your dreams, just how much creativity you could manifest. He shares the importance avoiding your phone for the first hour of your day, starting off small with better morning habits. He even recommends the 5-minute journal as a great way to get started in the morning.
“Technology is meant to be used, when we use technology out of habit or boredom, we have to ask which of us is being used, and who is the tool?” - Jim Kwik
There’s so much here in this interview, here’s what else we get into:Starting out your day without being wired for distraction Begin with the end in mind Speed reading tips from someone who has read a book a day for 6 years Stress management tools How consistency compounds over time Why self-love and self-care are not selfish The importance of teaching what you learn as a way to learn better Doing the difficult thing makes life easier Collective consciousness How your big life questions are probably someone else’s questions What you practice in private becomes what you’re rewarded for in public How knowledge in and of itself isn’t as life changing as you think
“If you fuel yourself on other people’s opinions, you’ll soon run out of gas” - Jim Kwik
Hope you enjoyed this today’s episode with Jim Kwik, you can find out more about him here:
Resources and books from this episode:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Powerful Lessons in Personal Changeby Stephen R. Covey
Power of Positive thinking - by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
Mimi’s Morning Routine video
5 minute Journal by Intelligent Change
Produced by Jason Sanderson - Podcast Tech
It’s easy to paint a picture of someone living their dream life and imagine it must have come easy, on a plate.
In this GIANT MUST LISTEN episode we find out the TRUE JOURNEY of what it takes to build a multi-million dollar business and then hand it over to someone else.
Alex and Mimi takes us behind the scenes and share their humble beginnings, ups, downs and everything in between. This is the journey you’re going to hear;Meeting each other while working in a bank in Toronto, Canada. Living together at Alex’s mom’s house. Alex studying Business school at nights while working full-time at the bank Mimi working many jobs and helping her family. Mimi dropping out of College. Alex getting fired and Mimi quitting the bank. Building a credit score, using debt as an advantage. How a near wedding disaster brought them a market opportunity. Soaking up knowledge from working in other businesses. Hiring the right employees and management that make business easier. Living in other countries and becoming location independent. Making money in your sleep. How the 4 hour work week made sense... and when it didn’t. Passion, growth and a founding members departure. Depression, happiness and when realities start hitting. Moving to London and operating a company from across the ocean. Finally Living their dream life after persistence. Building your company into an asset. The decision to sell Luxy Hair.
All this and so much more.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode, you can find out more about Alex and Mimi here:
Produced by Jason Sanderson - Podcast Tech
Show notes @ https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode3