« The Tony Robbins Podcast

Part 2: The SoulCycle Phenomenon | Behind the scenes with SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan at Business Mastery

2017-03-27 | 🔗

In this episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast, we are bringing you front and center to Business Mastery, where Tony recently led a panel discussion with the business leaders behind some of today’s fastest growing companies – companies that are simply on fire. Companies like SoulCycle.

Chances are, you’ve either been to SoulCycle or have at least heard someone raving about their experience. Because it has taken the fitness world by storm. And one of the key players behind this new fitness phenomenon is CEO Melanie Whelan.

Melanie has served as SoulCycle’s CEO since June of 2015. And in just this short time, she has helped take the company from 7 operating locations to 70 jam-packed studios across the nation serving over 4 million people a year. And they are still growing at an exponential rate.

So what makes SoulCycle such a powerhouse? How did they create so many raving fans? And how have they managed to consistently maintain their revolutionary customer experience while scaling at such a massive rate?

These are just some of the questions that are answered in this episode, as Tony and Melanie delve into SoulCycle’s innovative workout culture, their unique hiring process, and the customer experience that they’ve built so consciously that it has created raving fans in every location.


This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
If you're listening to this podcast, it means your hungry hungry, for change hungry for growth and ready to have a major breakthrough in your business as a partner Or founder, in more than a dozen businesses that do more than five billion dollars in revenue each year, Tony Robin just learned from the best in the world, the Steve wins Mark Benny, Offs and Peter goobers. What it takes to be successful weather then in business for decades or just getting started it's important to get help from someone who spend their someone is going to coach you through it. That's I totally is offering a free one on one business strategy session from one of his talk: business strategists, six hundred dollar value, complete Bree no strings attached. If you're listening right now go to Tony Robins, dot comes lassie eel and sign up for a free session with a totally robins trade business strategist, who show
business owners. Just like you to overcome the obstacles and set them on the path to success in a world where ninety six percent of businesses bail after ten years, you must know how to anticipate and how to take advantage. Take advantage of this offer today Hey guys Zanna so what you think about Milanese interview with Tony and MRS mastery to catch up with Melanie right after she got off stage. We talk but how she first heard about training, robins and also how his insights, tools and leadership have helped her for and ground herself while source go underwent massive growth. An transition we also got a chance to talk about her one on one experience with Tony and what believes is just so powerful about his events. Here's the back stairs interview. How did you here. How did you come into the twenty robins world? So we,
through a really challenging time with our business last year we were going through a lot of growth and a lot of change and a lot of transition, and I was looking for inspiration from other leaders who had been through something similar or coaches, and I was in my car- and I wasn't a lotta of podcast and I started listening to twenty robins, because I heard he really understood how to drive positivity potential. Things that we talk so much about its whole cycle and never forget where I was. I heard one of his podcast where he talked about starting your day with three practices of gratitude and how that weakens. You're mind in a completely different way of third framing your day, and it was thing that I started after I heard that it really helped me as I went through growth and change and transition in difficult times for the business which I think are, entrepreneurs and all Theo's go through to really frame and grow myself in what's good here. Yes, we have this scheme
Lee insurmountable challenge that were going through as a business or a team position, that how can we function without this person at the table? But if you, Billy frame it with what do we have in your personal life in within the busy what? What good is there? It just helps you framework, the outcome, and it's something that now we ve started with the team that we do as well. We open Oliver leadership meetings with what we call a soul light. Where are we call out and China Gratitude to a team or empty member around the table, and it just. I think that whole framework of thinking is it Nick it's under utilised and has so much potential, and so it was such an honour to be called to be a part of it, because I'm malleson to countless podcast and obviously watch the documentary and I'm such a huge van, not just of what Tony's created but he's magnetic energy, because that is really what so, so unique about him and so powerful for leaders to think about is not just about creating a vision and allocating resources and managing your team and innovation, but it's
by having this relentless positivity and energy to ensure facing challenges as he has just. There is no one like him in the world. So what was it like being on stage with him? And I mean that's all: that's seventy percent of their energy first, I was nervous that I was actually going to be so awestruck that I wouldn't be able to complete the task ahead of me so that we get that. I was able to overcome that the moment that we so so. Wonderful, whereas was in the green room before when he came back stage and said: here's what we're gonna! Do: here's, how framing out the time. What can I, for you to make this. Go there. That you wanted to go and, of course, when someone asks you that question Please, someone like tiny, robins, you're unprepared to answer it, and I just felt so humbled and great but he would even think what can I do for you to make this go better? it. You set us up for such a dynamic conversation that something that was so found among chemistry. You just Felix of this person cares about me obviously really respect him, actually just a lot of fun to be with him. He asks great question
you can tell he's really listening to the answers and queuing, ah that energy in the audience it feels like. There's ten thousand people out there actually dont know how many people are out there because it feels so energy and so at their summit, to give back to what you're putting out adjust just it was amazing. How would you describe as you done, competence in advance and end? There is a very distinct difference right between this audience and some other ones you probably have looking at. How would you describe this event? Is your time being here. What would you say to somebody if you were just calling home ending it? Hey, I just don't you ever wow, you know how would you describe it I think I would use the word that our panel talked about so much, which is its inexperience. Every detail has been considered and the energy flows through every aspect, whether it's a break, a dance party applauding for an audience member whose
the question or just the dialogue between all of us, paneless onstage. It's really inexperience conference these are typically redoubts a keynote speaker comes they report on the facts. There's a theme there's take away as people take notes, it's not an experience This is something that you walk out of feeling. Really. Spired and only having been here one day and walking through the hallways and high five in people and hugging people and just seeing the connections that have been. Read it over the last five days between all these participants that there's nothing. There's nothing like this. While there is, feels like. So there is a huge amount of parallel right in the energy and the environment. I think between what's going on here and what you felt right, part of your culture and then you mention right, you ve got the gratitude practice. Are there other things you ve learned from Tony that year sort of excited from a business perspective, Org personal kind of it
great into the company, given that the audiences seem very similar Gary. Let me think about that permanent in the park ass that I think resident aided with me. The most was all around potential and that's really what we create it's all cycle. We enable people to come into what is meant to be a physical experience, a work out on a bike and what the instructors do as lead our writers on these inspirational musical emotional in physical journeys. So when they come out the other side of the forty five minutes, they feel like they ve achieved more than they knew possible and they start to look at themselves in a different way. We say that sole cycle, the gateway to a completely different lifestyle. It starts with the work out, and then you start eating better sleep. The more you spend time with different friends? Maybe you too, will differently and really starts this whole change in your life, and, if you think about some of the things that tony talks about,
around unlocking the potential within yourself, viewing yourself differently in what change that can create, not just for you but for your family for your wealth for your business that's really what we're doing on a much more microscopic scale, because while he sees ten thousand people, we see fifty five people in a room but we're doing it across seventy locations, and so, while the collective is as great there's nothing, I don't think that you can to replicate when you have ten thousand people together achieving that kind of potential It's it's really unique, so you mention died and as vague, we were asking from audiences will, there's no philosophical near me and you can say, Where were you live a quota of one? So its answer, you guys have a lot of expansion ahead of you he's had a little bit more about that. We today we just opened the servants of the care, and so we just open
seven studio in Seattle? I mentioned on the panel that we never thought we would have more than twenty five soul cycles in the first five years, the business to be sitting at seventy and will open another fifteen this year and have eighty five by the end of the year it humbling and inspiring at it. It really informs us to say there's so much road ahead of us in terms of satisfying them demand for what is not just a physical product, but really something that is about experience and potential and all the things that we ve talked about. So I think we are focused on international expansion in the next year. We want open in Toronto and in Vancouver we're getting calls from all over the globe of other places that we can open, and so we are just trying to figure out honestly how to prioritize, because there is so much ahead of We want to make sure that were really careful, because we're scaling alive experience right every hour on the hour we treated as a curtains up curtains down production and the integrity. The brand really rests with our people, who are delivering this expiring
and number one question that we were asked by our investors very early on was how fast can either how many too many? How many can we open in a year, and we really feel like we ve hit the sweet spot around fifteen studios, because that's a lot of you but a higher and train, and then not just tryin- to get on the podium, but then to develop and encourage and feedback. And we have this large population both of instructors and operators. Now we want to make sure that we're giving them opportunities to continue to grow as well as hiring older people, underneath of them Our plan is seen to continue with this path about fifteen openings here now in domestic and international markets, which is really exciting even just to get to say you have your plate fall. So this actually brings me into what I was mentioned earlier: chinese idea of artist manager, leader an entrepreneur. So we can devise people into these three groups.
As your course skill as a business owner and for you from you know, based on your background, its clear to me that your manager later- that's that's your your core and you ve got a lot on your plate. Another unity scaling even more massively. Are there any particular challenges? Not since you seem like a really perfected, that course skill set. Are there any challenges that you faced personal within that that you ve had to overcome, as the company has scale, as you ve, taken on its massive responsibility and linking up hiring all of these teams? What are some things that use of personally feel like you'd improves or how to improve over the past few years? I think one of the challenges for company this growing this quickly is as your scaling your core business thinking about. What's next, and we talked a little bit about this
on the panel year, we have an internal philosophy we actually lifted from the Starbucks guys you have to be on your first bridge for defying your first ridge. Renovating your first fridge as you grow, but then he saw my needs to be working on the second bridge. What else is coming right? when you're growing really fast, and we operate really lean and we spend every dollar the company makes investing in growth and where capital intensive business it's hard to allocate the resources towards the second bridge when you're so focused on the first and I joke with the team that I feel that we are on a freight train laying the track in front of us just one track I had it at a time- and you know my background being in strategy and operations for the company for so long for me to sort of shift mindset to say. Okay, I used to think six to twelve months, salad in terms of team resources, planning innovation to nothing two to five years out. For the brand and less for the business has been a real mindshift for me and for what I've tried to do just build a team around me of skills, the comp.
Let me have ways of thinking that compliment me and I love having differing opinions on the table, because my viewpoint is just one, but one of the reasons I think we ve been so successful as we listen as a business Really? Well, I get comes from having to female founders, who are great listeners. I liked it. Listen alive and we must not let our writers and our team in just building that team around me to say. Ok, where do you think we're be going and then helping through channel that into a plan is where I'm starting to evolve. My role to be, but it's definitely been a growth challenge. For me, I'm evergreens it that listening is really the number one scope, the number one quality of a wonderful leader and most devalue trade and people, it's interesting when I interview a lot of candidates for all kinds of different pseudo managers. Instructors senior executives
listening to how they answer questions, but then also watching, as your answering a question as to how bear listening to you in one of the greatest listening tools is playing back, what you ve heard and if you can see that people are playing back of actually resonating with them. What you ve said than you never going to be a great listener and ultimately is called or to what we do. Our writers are always right and they always diameter and they always have the feedback exuberant. Leaving things. They're turning weapons podcast, is directed and hosted by twenty robins unmarried bucket, any is our editorial director, an occasional host, the pot just by carry song and teller Culbertson Jimmy Curve an angel dilatory are additional editors spot thanks to die, and I call for a creator review. Copyright Robins research, international.
Transcript generated on 2020-04-04.