Advice, Entrepreneurship, Growth

How to Stay True to Your Mission as You Grow Your Empire

By Nina Zipkin

When Melanie Whelan joined SoulCycle as the company’s chief operating officer in 2012, the popular fitness brand had only eight studios. But over the course of three years — using her past experience at Virgin and Equinox – she helped grow the business from a handful of locations in New York City to 50 in seven markets around the country.

In 2015, she stepped into the role of CEO. Under her leadership, the company continued to expand, recently opening its 90th studio.

But as proud as she is of what she and her team have accomplished, sometimes the demands of being the CEO take her away from what motivates her the most.

“I think the hardest part is not being in the studios every day because it’s such an inspirational place to be,” Whelan told Entrepreneur. “We say you learn more at the front desk in 30 minutes than you do looking at it at a spreadsheet or presentation all day in the office.”

When Whelan starts to feel overwhelmed and discouraged, she says that stepping back into the studios and interacting with the riders and her staff keep her feeling like she can tackle anything that is thrown at her.

HERE is how to make sure everyone is invested in the company’s long-term goals!

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