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Video Credit: Calm

As a young entrepreneur, Michael Acton Smith had some bold ideas.

Communicating that vision to investors? That was a bigger challenge for Smith, the co-founder and co-CEO of mindfulness and meditation app Calm. The app launched in 2012, when mindfulness was significantly less popular than it is today, and didn’t gain significant traction until being named Apple’s App of the Year in 2017. Since then, Calm’s growth has skyrocketed: The app is now valued at more than $1 billion.

On this episode of Inc.’s What I Know podcast, Smith reflects on the difficult, often frustrating years between Calm’s launch and eventual success. Part of it, he says, was his inability to tell the best possible story about his brand’s potential future. His solution: constantly taking small, actionable steps toward realizing that future.

"You do need that wild vision," says Smith. "But you also need to get out of bed, roll your sleeves, and do that critical execution work every single day to get to each step of many steps on the journey."

Listen to the podcast episode to learn how staying disciplined about your goals--and experimenting regularly--can can help you turn your craziest business ideas into reality.

Comments

Rated
7.5
Richard
ELITE
1349 comments
15 August 2020
The app launched in 2012, when mindfulness was significantly less popular than it is today, and didn’t gain significant traction until being named Apple’s App of the Year in 2017. Since then, Calm’s growth has skyrocketed: The app is now valued at more than $1 billion.
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Rated
7.5
Did You Know
CONTRIBUTOR
26 comments
3 August 2020
Alex Tew & Michael Acton Smith are the Calm Founders. Calm is the #1 app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation, with over 50 million downloads and over 700,000 5-star reviews. Calm is honored to be an Apple BEST OF 2018 award winner, Apple's App of the Year 2017, Google Play Editor's Choice 2018, and to be named by the Center for Humane Technology as "the world's happiest app". Learn the life-changing skill of meditation, Get more restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, Exclusive music to help you focus, relax, sleep, Video lessons on mindful movement and gentle stretching, Audio programs taught by world-renowned mindfulness experts and Nature scenes and sounds to enjoy while relaxing, sleeping, working or studying. Tamara Levitt is Head of Mindfulness at Calm, where she writes, produces and instructs Calm’s meditation and mindfulness programming. Tamara has always been a questioner, seeking answers to help navigate this rollercoaster of a world we live in. At the age of 18, back when mindfulness was yet to grace the covers of magazines, she discovered meditation while in a clinic for eating disorders. This entry to meditation set off a decades-long pursuit that has defined much of her life. For the past thirty years she has studied meditative practices and traditions such as Mindfulness meditation, Vipassana/Insight, Shambhala, Zen, and Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist teachings. She has studied with meditation teachers such as Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Gen Kelsang Zopa, Lama Catherine Rathburn, Virginia Hamilton, Michael Stone, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Shinzen Young, Jeff Foster, Jim Bedard, Randy Baker, Venerable Hwasun Yangil Sunim, Philip Starkman, Matthew Brensilver, Vinny Ferraro, Sharon Salzberg and others. And while she doesn’t claim that meditation fixes everything, she credits this practice as transforming her life. In her role with Calm, Tamara’s mission is to support others to live more gently, authentically, courageously and compassionately. She also places a high importance on sharing the principles of mindfulness in an accessible way that stays true to original teachings. In addition to her role at Calm, Tamara is a musician, writer, and speaker. She is the author of two children’s books, Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands and The Secret to Clara’s Calm. Both are published by Wisdom Publications.
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