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Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
Today's entrepreneur is Stephen Sokoler, founder and CEO of Journey Meditation, which is building the world’s largest meditation community, both online and off, with a mission to help all people live happier, healthier, less stressed lives.
Founded in 2015, Journey also operates corporate programs in 15 cities around the world, serving organizations such as Facebook, Disney, Nike and Morgan Stanley, as well as charter schools, hospitals and nonprofits.
The company recently launched Journey LIVE, a first-of-its-kind meditation app where users can begin or deepen their practice by joining daily live-streamed group meditations guided by experienced and diverse teachers. Journey just raised a $2.4 million round of funding.
Sokoler is a lifelong entrepreneur with numerous businesses created from scratch. He has over 10 years of experience building and managing profitable global businesses and he created and grew most recent business to $20 million in revenue and global market leadership position via rapid sales growth and tight operations. He has significant M&A and industry consolidation experience, as well a success taking products global with international expansion throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
He has strong sales and business development skills with a history of rapidly increasing both revenue and profitability. He's resourceful and adept at identifying opportunities and formulating and executing a corporate strategy and his key strength in providing exceptional service to ensure long-term customer success. He also has the ability to create and execute a powerful, inspirational vision. His core values include a focus on corporate culture, employee development and engagement, and building an exceptional work environment.
Sokoler has a Bachelor's Degree in finance and international business from New York University, where he graduated Cum Laude.
I am a(n):
Companies I've founded or co-founded:
If you are an entrepreneur, why?
I want to change the world.
My favorite startups:
Why did you start your current company?
I found meditation while living in Australia and it changed my life. After I sold my previous company, I decided I wanted to do something that could significantly improve the world. When I looked at meditation, I thought it was fairly misunderstood as spiritual, religious, difficult and confusing. I then thought we could bring it to people in a simple, approachable, secular way. If we met people where they are physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially, we can really have an impact.
What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?
Getting to work on projects that inspire you and can change the world is incredibly rewarding. The challenge is that can be very addicting and quickly overtake your personal life.
What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?
I think one of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs making early on is not being careful with their money. Investors are very willing to give you money when you don’t need it and way less so when you do. Make sure to make every dollar count.
What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?
1. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
2. Know thyself
3. As cliche as it sounds, enjoy the journey
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Journey Meditation is building the world’s largest meditation community, both online and off, with a mission to help all people live happier, healthier, less stressed lives. Journey LIVE is a first-of-its-kind meditation app where users can begin or deepen their practice by joining daily live-streamed group meditations guided by experienced and diverse teachers. Founded in 2015, Journey also operates corporate programs in 15 cities around the world, serving organizations such as Facebook, Disney, Nike and Morgan Stanley, as well as charter schools, hospitals and nonprofits.
You can download Journey LIVE in the iOS App Store