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It’s never too late to reinvent yourself.
Just 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 week
  • 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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