It’s never too late to reinvent yourself.
Ruth ZukermanJust ask Ruth Zukerman, one of the original cofounders of SoulCycle (arguably one of the most successful spin class companies anywhere) and who, after  a devastating exit from the company, picked herself up and built Flywheel Sports, offering spinning classes with a “where everybody knows your name” ethos, and a big focus on technology and metrics. And, it turns out, this isn’t the last chapter—at all!

Ruth Zukerman, Co-founder of indoor cycling businesses SoulCycle and Flywheel Sports and author of the book “Riding High: How I Kissed SoulCycle Goodbye, Co-Founded Flywheel, and Built the Life I Always Wanted”, joins Socialfly Co-founder Courtney Spritzer in the MouthMedia Network studios for a conversation about building her company and her journey to success, along with a surprise and a brainstorm.

In this episode:

  • How Ruth made the decision to leave her lifelong passion, dance, behind and how she found a new passion and career through spinning
  • Ruth’s first experience of being intimidated by spin classes at the old Reebok gym, and the epiphany of pushing herself to go to her first class
  • Why the combination of exercise, music, and a pack mentality resonated with Ruth’s dance background
  • How an inspiring spin instructor’s move to Florida prompted Ruth to become an instructor herself and led to a whole new career path
  • The out-of-the-blue offer to be the face of a new boutique spinning studio gym: SoulCycle
  • How Ruth brought students from her old gym to the new studio despite its rough-around-the-edges feel in the beginning.
  • How the brand’s strong identity got started from the get-go
  • The hard times early on, from leading classes for six people to teaching 22 classes a weekRuth Zukerman
  • How Ruth’ brought a therapeutic and spiritual experience to SoulCycle
  • Flywheel, Ruth’s departure from SoulCycle, and starting a new brand from scratch
  • The ways Ruth has changed her focus with Flywheel to bring spinning to a wider audience The liberating aspect of starting a new brand built around inclusiveness, and the challenges of differentiating from other studios
  • How metrics played a role in building Flywheel’s branding and also opened the door to more male clients
  • The branding challenges early on, and how they developed the “Never Coast” mentality.
  • The organic way a buyer was found after his daughter brought him to a Flywheel class
  • How much can change from the initial decision to sell a company and handing over the keys
  • Ruth’s difficult decision to leave Flywheel
  • The lessons Ruth has learned along the way, and actions she would take in hindsight to protect herself
  • The importance of trusting your gut and your business partners, but not at the expense of risking your own position
  • How sometimes being genuinely prepared to walk away from a deal can be the best negotiation tactic
  • Ruth’s book “Riding High,” and why she wants to tell her story now.
  • Her hopes that the book will inspire people and start their own business and learn from her mistakes
  • The importance of bearing your soul and being intimate with the ups and downs of one’s life in order to reach and inspire others
  • The aftermath of leaving Flywheel and getting off of the bike for the first time in 21 years, and how Ruth is rediscovering herself
  • How Ruth has tried to be present and an inspiration for her daughters, and how that has set them on their own paths
  • Plus, a 60-second brainstorm on how Ruth can promote herself and her book

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