Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast with Ariel Garten
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Introducing Ariel Garten
Today’s guest joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast is Ariel Garten.
without a doubt this lady is probably one of the most interesting people you will meet.
She is a psychotherapist, Neuroscientist, mom, former fashion designer, and the female founder and visionary of an amazing and highly successful tech start-up Muse.
Now if you have heard of muse then get this.
Muse tracks your brain during meditation to give you real-time feedback on your meditation, guiding you into the “zone” and solving the problem most of us have when starting a
Muse lets you know when you are doing it right.
How The Dots Joined Up For Ariel
When Ariel is not reading brains (literally) or investing in, inspiring and advising other start-ups and women in biz, you can find her on stages across the world, from TED to MIT to SXSW.
She inspires people to understand that they can accomplish anything they want by learning what goes on in their own mind.
As she says “My MISSION is multi-fold: To support women to be kick ass in business, to mentor start-ups, and to contribute to the cutting edge of neuroscience.
My desire is to help you do a deep dive in understanding your brain, how it makes you who you are, and how to help you manage the crazy that resides in all our minds.”
So how did something which seems so complex go from the thought, to the vision, to the reality?
And where can she see this technology heading going forwards?
Well let’s find out as when bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Ariel Garten.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Ariel Garten such as:
We talk about the initial factors of finding the cash and struggling when starting your own business
what is the point of being the richest person on the planet, if you can’t then help others.
We discuss how Ariel used to be poor at meditation and found this as he springboard for what has become MUSE
Why the majority of people are unhappy due to their inability to centre themselves in the present moment.
How To Connect With Ariel Garten
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Ariel Garten Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David, Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Good morning, everybody. Good morning, and welcome to another episode of Join Up Dots. Yes, we keep on churning them out. And we will keep on churning them out. As long as we’ve got interesting guests to speak to and today’s one is probably one of the most interesting people you will meet. She’s a psychotherapist, a new mo scientist. She’s a mom, a former fashion designer, and the female founder and visionary of an amazing and highly successful tech startup called muse. Now, if you haven’t heard of Muse being get this music tracks your brain during meditation to give you real time feedback, come on your meditation, guiding you into the zone and solving a problem most of us have when starting a meditation practice. Muse lets you know when you’re doing it right now, when she’s not reading brains literary or investing in inspiring and advising other startups and women in business, you can find her on stages across the world, from Ted, to MIT to SXSW. Now she inspires people to understand that they can accomplish anything they want, by learning what goes on in their own mind. As she says My mission is multi bold, to support women to be kicking ass in business to mentor start out and to contribute to the cutting edge of neuroscience. My desire is to help you do a deep dive in understanding your brain, how it makes you who you are, and how to help you manage that crazy that resides in all our minds. So how ditch something which seems so complex go from the fault to the vision to the reality. And Where can she see this technology heading going forward? Because he was my mind? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up with the one and only Ariel Garten. Morning.
Ariel Garten [2:11]
Good morning. I am fantastic. How are you? David,
David Ralph [2:13]
I’m very, very good. And I’m going to give you the biggest compliment but I can give anyone you know, in the United Kingdom we night people and we give them OBS and MBA, that this is bigger than that area. And in my household, we would say you are a freak, and a freak in our household mean somebody that has done something that all of us would sit around guy, how the hell How the hell did you do that? How did you do that? So you have got the highest order of freak. And that’s, that’s a testimony to you.
Ariel Garten [2:47]
Thank you so kindly. I think in my high school days, they might have written that on the bathroom wall be honoured twice.
David Ralph [2:54]
So so let’s get straight into it. Because it is really, really fascinating. And I’ll be honest, again, when i a lot of people come onto the show, they get pitched and I kind of overview and I think oh yeah, this is quite interesting. And then I started to do a deep dive into what you’re all about. And I thought, I don’t even understand how this operates. I’ve got no comprehension on this. tell tell us in layman’s terms as if you’re talking to an idiot Aereo, if you can go that far, how this works.
Ariel Garten [3:23]
So Muse is a brain sensing headband that helps you meditate. So it’s a clinical grade, Eg the same technology you’d find in a hospital or a research lab. It tracks your brainwave activity, and it’s able to give you real time feedback during meditation to know when you’re focused when your mind has wandered. So we’re literally reading your brain while you meditate to help you understand what goes on in your brain during meditation, and to guide you into the meditative zone so that you can stay there and get there more effectively.
David Ralph [3:55]
So did you start by wanting to meditate and being rubbish at it?
Ariel Garten [4:00]
along the journey? Absolutely. So I was a psychotherapist, I was a training and neuroscience. And as a psychotherapist, I’d be teaching all of my patients to meditate and be like you should meditate, it’s amazing. And they would never really do it, I would never really do it. Because I created these you heard my bio, I’m a person who wants to do a million things at once. And the thought of sitting down and doing only one thing and not thinking particularly for 10 minutes seems seemed impossible and painful. And it was actually through the process of building news that I was meditation practice. And I was finally able to feel like oh, that’s what you’re supposed to do. And now I get why this is so valuable. And now I get why I want to think about only one thing for 10 minutes straight every day.
David Ralph [4:45]
I’m so once you get this, and I imagine, well, in my head, there’s like a little light, or there’s a beep or something that tells you you’re in the zone. Do you kind of you know like those magical pictures where you hold them up and you try to say what you look like and you can’t do it and then suddenly, you can’t ever not do it is it like that where once you suddenly realise the position you should be in, you kind of think I don’t actually need news, I can just do it myself, I have got the super power.
Ariel Garten [5:15]
I would say it’s more like going to the gym and you aspire to you know, lift 20 pounds, or you’re inspired to do something that somebody else is doing it the perfect form and your crap at it, and then you get a trainer and then they show you Oh, if you you know, pull up in this way, put your hand position in this way, then you’re going to do it and the first couple times you do it’s still hard with the trainers, they’re encouraging you and then you’re like, Ah, this makes sense. And then you just get better and better and better and better.
David Ralph [5:40]
And can it be translated? Is it always going to be meditation? Or can we translate it into things where some of us want to be better at maybe, maybe sexy time? Aereo? Can Can Can we get one of these, but that lets us know that we’re doing things right.
Ariel Garten [5:56]
So maybe we should back up a little bit. So this technology was originally used with the concept that you were able to actually control technology with your brain. So I was working lab in the early 2000s with Dr. Steve man and my eventual co founder Chris m&e. And we had an early technology that let you by putting a single electrode on your head, that you literally control stuff with your brain to be shifting your brain state, you’d be focusing or relaxing. And we could see that change in brain state, and then translate that into an output. So if it was a light as it would focus, the light would get brighter. We make concerts, we could make music with your mind. And so by focusing on relaxing, we could attach a sound as the output to it. So some folks to go, I need to relax.
Or whatever you programme it to do,
David Ralph [6:50]
you don’t seem like a scientist, to be honest. At this moment, you don’t seem like a scientist, she you’ve on one level, I’m sticking with you here.
Ariel Garten [6:59]
Awesome. And what we ultimately realised is as cool as it was to control technology with your brain, we weren’t really doing anything that was that practical, you know, you can turn on and off your lights with your hand and much more effectively being can do with your brain. And the stuff we were doing was still even that was, you know, a far cutting edge of technology, it was still extremely limited in what it could do. But what we recognise through this process is that we’re teaching people how to focus how to relax how to monitor their, and manage their brain state. And we can actually show people what was going on inside their brain. Well, they didn’t recognise the real killer app for this was not controlling the technology outside of ourselves, but controlling the technology, in our own selves, the technology in our mind learning to actually control our own brains. And when you learn to understand how that operating system works inside, and you learn to manage and control it more effectively, you can be much worse.
David Ralph [7:57]
Well, I can imagine you can and so but like stars and musicians or anyone that has to sort of get into that zone disappear. Well, I imagine they’re all using this already.
Ariel Garten [8:09]
Oh, totally. There are NFL teams that use it. Gold Medal winning Olympic soccer teams that use it on National Baseball, on and on and on two tonnes of sports stars who use it. writers, artists, as well as psychotherapists, clinicians, average humans, it’s a tool, it’s used by hundreds of thousands of people regularly,
David Ralph [8:31]
you’re going to be the richest person on earth. Oh, yeah, this is
Ariel Garten [8:34]
this is hope not.
David Ralph [8:35]
This is can be astounding. I’m still blown away with Amazon Echo. But I can just speak to it. And it does things for me. But I could actually even start controlling things, you know, just by looking at them get can can use without sort of going into the realms of stupidity, can this be taken into sort of the Dark Zone, Could somebody use base and Ben star, using it for bad stuff a real
Ariel Garten [8:58]
I know. So it turns you can’t really read that much from somebody’s brain. This is a sensor that’s on your forehead, it’s just like putting a penny to your forehead. So we’re just detecting shifts in the electrical activity of your brain, we can really only see shifts and state. So we know when you’re focused, we know when you’re relaxed. And we are very, very, very focused on making sure that technology is only ever used in ethical ways.
David Ralph [9:27]
Anyway, but I if I’m relaxed or focused, when you do sort of naturally know about or perhaps you don’t?
Ariel Garten [9:34]
Well, the amazing thing is that you actually kind of don’t, sometimes you do, and you can have an awareness of when you’re if you’re relaxed or really focused. But if you want to then you know, enhance your state of relaxation or enhance your state of focus, it’s very helpful to have a tool that in both let you know and actually teach you how to get there in this laser focused way. And it’s hyperledger
David Ralph [9:57]
because my family think I’m to relax based on the I only have to watch 30 seconds of any programme and I’ve got my eyes closed, and I’m asleep. So I could wake up and they could watch this, this sensor on me. And then they could give me the evidence because I always say I wasn’t asleep, I wasn’t asleep, I can tell you exactly what’s happening in that programme. And then secretly A day later, rewind it, and then I realise I’ve missed an hour and a half, well, I swear blind, it was seconds. So they could they could put that on me and get a sense of how relaxed I am.
Ariel Garten [10:27]
Yeah, it’s actually not so much about telling you if you’re focused or relax. It’s really teaching you the skill of meditation. And so meditation is very specifically focused attention. Meditation is the scale of being able to focus your attention on one thing, notice when your mind has wandered, and then return your attention back to the single pointed object. So typically focus on your breath, your mind wanders, you notice your mind is wandering, and then you return to your breath. So you’re falling asleep example, you’re doing a terrible job of meditation, because you are not being aware of your own internal state, you’re falling asleep, you’re dead. That’s it. Now, years later, you don’t realise what’s going on. And so what we do is we meditate as we build the skill of mindfulness, the ability to be mindfully aware of what’s going on inside of us.
David Ralph [11:13]
Because I had Reiki ones, which is the closest sort of meditation I’ve ever had a bank. And I was so tired when I went in there, but the woman said, You know, I have put you in this meditation state. And I didn’t want to be horrible to her. But I thought, you know, I could have fallen asleep on that wall up there that there was nothing to stop me closing my eyes at that time. So what what is in meditation state? What is what you gain from that moment that that that zoning, because I never got to that point, I don’t understand, really. People always say to me, you should meditate, you should meditate, but I don’t get it. Do you suddenly get a big recharging your body? Do you? What What does meditation really give you?
Ariel Garten [11:51]
Sure. So it’s not magic. It’s not like all of a sudden you’re zapped with the sensation. It’s a process of learning. So the definition of men meditation is actually a practice or training that leads to healthy and positive mind states. So in the focused attention meditation that I scribe, you’re focusing your attention on your breath, your mind wanders, notice that your mind is wandered, and then you choose to return back to your breath. So you’re actually focusing your attention on a single point in training your mind. It’s not that your mind goes blank, which is the conception that most people have meditation, like, I’m just going to be like meditating going to be the zone like, well, Mike, it’s going to be like, awesome. That’s not it at all. It’s like, like going to the gym, it’s a training, you do this,
David Ralph [12:33]
I thought that he was that that total blank, nice, where nothing was bothering me.
Ariel Garten [12:38]
It’s not. It’s a single pointed, focused attention in a focus. So there’s lots of different forms of meditation, the one that I’m describing is focused attention meditation, which is the first one you often learn and a really good example to talk about. And so why this ends up being so valuable, is when you put your attention on your breath, your mind wanders to a thought. And then you notice your mind is wandering to the thought, and you choose to take your mind off the thought and put it back to your breath, something super magic happens. And that is for the often the very first time you’re choosing the contents of your own mind. So most of us just kind of go through the world with our brain thinking us we have a whole bunch of thoughts in it, we assume that they’re just there, there’s nothing we can do about it. And we follow blindly what our thoughts are telling us and we follow the trains of our thoughts. Often those thoughts are negative, repetitive, ruminative not very helpful, but we just kind of follow them along and there’s not much we can do about it. That’s not actually true. Until once you take your mind off of the wondering thought and choose, if you choose to put it onto something neutral, like your breath, you have just changed the relationship to your thoughts. You are no longer at the mercy of autopilot and mercy of the brain thinking you, you can actually choose to get off the thought train and choose the contents of your own mind.
David Ralph [13:55]
Why this, this is blowing my mind and I am I’m clinging to it, I’m alive the way that at the end of each sentence, you go a bit kind of mystical in which which leads leads me excitedly to the prospects of where we’re going with this. So I want to take you back to two questions. And I’m going to jump back in classic Join Up Dots stage. Now the first one I asked you was about sexy time. So is this not gonna be any part about I can’t get this in my Christmas stocking this year to improve my performance going forward?
Ariel Garten [14:27]
Well, let me think about this, so you can improve. Meditation has been demonstrated to improve many facets of your mind and body. So you know studies and meditation have talked about its ability to improve your attention, decrease your stress, improve your GMAT scores and improve your physiological functioning. And, you know, possibly potentially even improve blood flow to various regions. I don’t know, man, I haven’t seen that study, it may or may not be out there. So I cannot comment meditations ability to improve sexy time. But oh, here’s the thought. here’s, here’s here’s where I’m going to join up the dots for you. I’m hanging
David Ralph [15:07]
on this. I’m hanging on everything you say here.
Ariel Garten [15:10]
Okay, so meditation improves the skill of mindfulness. And the definition of mindfulness is present moment attention of your thoughts, feelings, sensations and experience in the world. There’s an amazing study out of Harvard that shows that 46.9% of the time people’s minds are wondering, you’re thinking about something other than what they’re actually doing. And that makes them unhappy. And the study went on to say that if your mind is in the present moment, the thing that you’re doing or if your mind is wandering is actually a better predictor of your happiness than the activity that you’re doing. So you could be doing your favourite activity in the world, sexy time for some. And if your mind is wandering, you will be enjoying it nearly as much as if your mind was actually thinking about the thing that you were doing in that moment. So for you know, the person that’s lying on their backs to ceiling, wondering if they should be paid a ceiling beige or grey. Having your mind elsewhere is not going to be nearly as enjoyable as having your mind fully engaged in the present moment in the activity that you’re doing. So in that roundabout, Securitas, what circuitous way, perhaps even sexy time gets
David Ralph [16:17]
really brilliant, I’m gonna I’m gonna buy for I’m gonna buy it and see what I can do. Because without giving you too much information, I think I think most men like to keep their minds elsewhere to make it go a little bit longer than they think of number plates of cars I once had, and their favourite football teams and things like that. But but that’s, that’s a, that’s a different storey altogether. So the other question that I wanted to ask you is,
Unknown Speaker [16:43]
I said, Dave,
David Ralph [16:45]
I said to you about the being the richest person in the world, and you went, No, no, I don’t want that. Why would you not want to be the richest person in the world Aereo.
Ariel Garten [16:55]
Um, because there seems to be a hierarchy that’s implied for that if you’re the richest person in the world, that means that you have everything and you haven’t yet given it back or given it away. So I have no problem with through the course of my journey, amassing a shit tonne of money. But, but to keep all that money for myself is really pointless. Like, what is the point of being the person with the most wealth when there are people around you starving when there are people around you who need things. So if I would have money, it would really only be to redistribute it in a way that I would consider to be equitable. Not that I would really know what the best way to redistribute is, but you’d have to take some good guesses.
David Ralph [17:35]
I think I would never be the richest person in the world due to my wife having a habit of of spending spending spending. So it’s, you know, it’s never gonna bother me, it’s never going to bother me. I never get to that number one point.
Ariel Garten [17:50]
But you will have made somebody else particularly possibly very happy in the process.
David Ralph [17:54]
Delighted, delighted for those few seconds. But let’s play some magical words now. And then we’re gonna come back to actually away from the meditation process into actually MTG he built his business. fascinating stuff. He’s Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [18:06]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [18:33]
Now, amen. Question there, are you doing what you love is a slight, crazy time you wake up every morning, so excited about this, or is it like most of us, but we do stuff. And it might seem great from the outside, but inside is a little bit flat, every now and again.
Ariel Garten [18:51]
I’m, I’m doing what I love. I’m so so so blessed and have a lot of flexibility and freedom to continue to choose to do what I like. When I started. When I started with my co founders, Chris and Trevor on this crazy journey of muse, it was just the freedom to do exactly what you want. And to have a grand vision and to be able to follow it through. And throughout my whole life, I’ve been blessed enough to be able to have a vision or an idea and have the energy, the passion, the temporal freedom, the lack of responsibility. I only had a child at 36. So it a lot of career building time part of kids, which was very helpful, you know, and I was just able to have ideas and but have the courage to do it have the knowledge in myself that I could probably figure it out and just one forward and believe that I could make it happen. And with that belief actually bring incredible things before she
David Ralph [19:49]
did you need your partners is because most businesses say you know, a struggling business is a solo printer, you always need a team around you.
Ariel Garten [20:00]
So I’ve done it a few different ways. As a starting as a psychotherapist, I was in private practice, it was independent. As a clothing designer, it was independent, but I had a lot of I had a lot of support. But it was really just sort of my vision and my desires. With news. It was a team effort. It was myself or from Chris three co founders. And I think I was the one who really had the passion and the vision. I was like, Come on guys, you can do this. And they’re like, Okay, if she says, So that sounds cool. Let’s get it let’s get all get on this train together. And they were invaluable. There’s no way that we could have succeeded without all three of us. We used to describe ourselves as Trevor was the Christmas the engine, he’s the engineer. So if you you know, match and make things go, I was a gas pedal. I’m like, Yes, like, let’s see it, I can see it. Let’s go. Let’s go. And Trevor, what’s the break? He’s like, I’m doing proper documentation to this, have we create this with a lawyer? Or can we get screwed in 50 ways with this. And all three of those people says we’re essential to make the magic that occurred.
David Ralph [21:04]
Because that’s a key part, I’d be like you, I’d be like, come on this, this sounds bad. Let’s just do it. That’s brilliant. I wouldn’t think about the legal terms at all. And so have you had difficulties moving forward has some super villain in each layer under a volcano come out of the woodwork and say I’ve already done this, I’ve already done this. And I was about to take control of the world.
Ariel Garten [21:26]
So we have had silly things like we have, I don’t know, over a dozen patents and we had somebody show up with with a patent that really was not particularly relevant and say you have to pay $1 million to live this patent, he literally seemed like a little toady troll. I wouldn’t describe him as a supervillain i think i think troll might be more accurate. And he’s a patent troll. And in which case, you know, all of that great legal documentation that Trevor spearheaded us and creating and legal frameworks that we were able to put into place effectively, as our team grows, became very, very helpful. So you really needed all the pieces. And I was the CEO, for the first seven years was, you know, the grand bold vision. And over time, I brought on people who had actually worked in a corporation before. totally crazy concept. Derek Luke, came from research emotion, they made blackberry and he became my CEO. And then when I stepped down from maternity leave, he became the CEO of the company. And so over time, as it evolved, you know, you needed both the clear, clear vision, and the incredibly seasoned operator who knows how to manage a team of 50 people and have HR liability policies, and all that kind of crap that I had no interest in paying attention to what other people care deeply about, and we’re happy to, you know, have oversight with it. So I’m grateful.
David Ralph [22:53]
Well, I can imagine you are Yeah. But in in this sort of first couple of years, when you are building up the business, and you’re investing back into the business, and you’re probably not getting a lot of profit in? Was it a struggle time? Did you have to sit down with each other in Hooters and go, let’s just have another beer. This is all we’ve got left.
Ariel Garten [23:16]
I don’t think I’ve ever entered a Hooters. But there were there were definitely times where it’s like, Okay, this business doesn’t make money, Trevor was working a second job. And at some point, there was a big like, I have to quit my job to do this full time, like, Where is the money going to come from. And we managed to be very scrappy, and creative and get some early contracts and government funding and grants and things that were able to support us. And basically, I had just kept pouring money out of my pocket. Luckily, I had some success in previous businesses, it was really just sort of me funding it saying like, this is going to happen. And by the time we actually got our first real funding round from the venture capitalists, we looked back and I just couldn’t believe how much I had Welcome to business without realising it. Just because it’s like, I know this is going to happen, this can happen.
David Ralph [24:05]
Which, which is such a big win, isn’t it to have that kind of passion and that commitment. But of course, we also see people on the other side, but do the same thing. And it fails miserably. So would never been a tipping point when your mates would have said to yet, just keep your hands in your pocket. Yeah, we’ve done this for too long, or do you think it never got to that point, it was always close enough to see the success.
Ariel Garten [24:33]
We were so lucky. And I don’t know what created our magic combination. But everywhere we turned it kept Yes, we got a lot of no’s along the way. And I was very good at just not hearing them. But there was so many yeses at first, like so much media hype around this crazy technology we’re building. And then we got this massive project at the Olympics where people control the lights in the CN Tower with their brain from across the country. And then, you know, we’re making crazy things like thought control, beer taps, stuff that didn’t work as products that was fascinating enough that people weren’t interested in it. And we could see, you know, that we could take this to like clubs and entertainment and marketing companies to do experiential marketing campaigns. So we’re always what we were doing was so fascinating to everybody else, that people wanted to be engaged and wanted to support us and wanted to see a successful. And so really, at every stage was a seed forward. And I’d get crazy emails like, Hi, do you want to come, you know, keynote this, you know, the biggest web conference in Paris? I’m like, how do you guys even knowing I exist? This is nuts. or an email from Deepak Chopra, once who created meditation tools, saying, Hi, Arielle, this is Deepak I would love to meet you. I’m like, This is crazy. And I find myself having breakfast with Ashton Kutcher, my now investor. And I’m like, This is crazy. Long, entire way. It has always been as much as I could do big in so many ways greater than I could have dreamed up.
David Ralph [26:03]
But I think that’s the thing, isn’t it? I think there’s possibilities of you know, and the unknown possibilities of the unknown when I was reading your stuff, I started to think, number one, I don’t get this. Secondly, how did she get this? And thirdly, what could I do with this technology? And I think that’s what excites people, isn’t it? It’s the, it’s the passion is the mission. I always talk about the Martin Luther King’s speech, you don’t remember any of it, other than I have a dream. And that’s the only bit I think anybody can ever quote, whatever we talked about, I don’t know what he was talking about. But I have a dream. And that’s, that’s what yours touches into is this ability of doing something new and exciting, which you don’t see very often.
Ariel Garten [26:48]
Yeah, it really is. And you’re right, I can’t think of a single line other than I have a dream from an okay speech, which I think I’m now embarrassed at having just admitted that. But it is about the excitement of having a dream and being able to see the future. And so I had no, no background in technology and no real background and business. But I could see that this early technology that we’re using the lab with a single eg electrode, that good control stuff with your brain, I could see that it could come out alive, I could see that it could be commercialised, I could see the application. And in some cases, our dreams were bigger than the reality of what the technology could do. But we are persistent. And we kept pivoting and shifting to try to find the right product market fit for our tech. And we kept dreaming and ultimately we’re able to make something that although it may not seem as crazy to like as controlling computers with your mind. It’s something that actually has a much greater impact on humanity. We’ve created a device that can read your brain in real time will you meditate and now in our next device also reads your heart, your breath in your body gives you real time feedback on your mind and body during a meditation practice to help you sensitively understand what goes on inside yourself, and be able to manage your mind, manage your internal dialogue, manage your insecurities, and to go forward and really live a more effective life. In so many ways, the tool that we’ve created is a manifestation of our desire to help everybody live their dreams. To help everybody get the negative storeys out of your head, like, Oh, I’m not good enough. Oh, I can’t do this. Oh, I don’t know. And to have a way to move those storeys aside, have a clear palette, clear plate, and know that you can actually accomplish whatever you want.
David Ralph [28:42]
Now one of the things that I always touching on on and there’s no getting away with it, you’re clever, you’re clever, and you’re a lot more clever than I am. I don’t
Unknown Speaker [28:52]
know how much.
David Ralph [28:54]
Absolutely true. Now, what I do know about life is the more that I talk to people, the more clever people realise that they’re just touching the surface. It’s almost like you open a door of possibility. And you realise, actually, I might be the cleverest person in the room, but I know barely anything I because I can see what needs to be done. Do you find that the same when you when you look at stuff, it’s almost like you’ve got too much knowledge of what could occur. But you haven’t got enough knowledge to make it a co as quickly as you want.
Ariel Garten [29:27]
So I think my ignorance has been very helpful in this process. And I think if I knew everything I needed to know, I would have never done this, because it was actually so hard. And so I was able to just have enough knowledge to be dangerous, and not enough knowledge to hold myself back. So I was able to say, Hey, I see that this is possible. And yeah, sure, you know, we can figure out manufacturing, we can figure out all these things, and low, somebody else will figure out that other part. Whereas if you if you really sat down and thought it through, it would be so biggest to be overwhelming. And I think what I didn’t know was in many ways, quite helpful, because it allowed me to be optimistic that this would be easy and possible, because I could at least see the end of it without having to worry about the hundreds of thousands of details that I was not aware of, in the middle. So it meant that this took a lot longer than I ever imagined it would. But it meant that this whole time I could be blissfully naive and believing it was possible. And that blissful belief just had such deep conviction that it brought along the experts who could fill in all the other books. And by having experts that could focus on their own little piece. The entire project was never too overwhelming for one person to have in their head.
David Ralph [30:50]
I had a guy on the show back on about 280 episodes. He knows my early days. And he was a guy called Tom Palladino. And I never forget him, because he was the first one of what I would class. The honoree freaks, that the people that are doing something, but flow blows my mind. But I think to myself, well credit to you, you go for it. And he was an expert in something called Scala energy, I remember. And he was saying that he had the ability to light up a light bulb from New York to England, just by I think it was the power of his mind as well, just by thinking or something. And at that time, I thought to myself, I don’t understand that. Now, after five years of doing Join Up Dots. I think I’m like a second cleverest person, I can’t do anything about it. But I’ve seen so many angles of coming at these problems. But I literally, I think I could do it myself. Aereo I think I’m going to do it myself and create a new device.
Ariel Garten [31:48]
Awesome. What’s your device going to do?
David Ralph [31:50]
It’s going to keep me awake during a box set of Netflix? Or at least get me food and Netflix box sets as quickly as humanly possible. Did you? Do you ever have that problem? When somebody says, Oh, do you want to watch this and you look at it and got 44 episodes, now I can’t be bothered. But if you could just whizzed through it by having it sort of beamed into your brain. That’d be brilliant when it
Ariel Garten [32:11]
would be brilliant. So my husband has the capability to listen to any podcast at 2.2 times speed. So if you could replicate whatever is going on in his brain, and then you know, just ramp it up a little bit further, you could get through things and a third of the time. And he’s a clever guy as well.
David Ralph [32:29]
I did a podcast the other day, actually. And I’m quite an excitable guy. And I listened back to it. And I was even shocked by how excitable I was on this podcast. And so literally, I would sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks EP, you know, two and a half, I was on such an excited high. I thought to myself, what what happened to me, I don’t understand what I was doing. So why let’s get back to you again. Okay, so you’ve created this amazing thing. But I’d like to go back to you being a mother. Now. what’s what’s I don’t wanna get too. So personal man. But was one of your primal things, was it a real thing that you wanted to do it?
Ariel Garten [33:07]
Yes, it was deep, deep, deep drive, to have a child. But I wanted to have it in the right context and the right time. And so I spent seven years building my business my first paid. And then when it was at the point where it was operating, essentially on its own, it could, the train was leaving the station, whether I was on it or not, it was growing, it was moving. I felt like I could stand back and have a child. And I stepped down as CEO, somebody else replaced me. And I was able to make the time and space in my own life in my own brain to do the next thing that I wanted to do, which was to nurture life in this world. And so now I continue to be a part of the business very actively, but I don’t have the level of responsibility, which means that I need to have a cradle in my office, I never wanted to be Marissa Mayer nursery, next to my desk, and how old is your child now?
Unknown Speaker [34:02]
My little boys three,
David Ralph [34:04]
three. So he’s at that perfect age when he’s he’s because up to that point, they’re just like a potato, and they, they don’t give anything back to you. But free is brilliant in it.
Ariel Garten [34:14]
Well, I’m so excited for it, I will have to look forward to now David, thank you. But I’m definitely enjoying this moment theories, amazing. I’m learning so much seeing the world through his eyes and through unbelievable creativity. You know, if I say that I was naive, and not understanding how the world worked, like how, how, how, what I was going to do could work. I could just like I could see the end, but all the middle pieces didn’t matter. He really teaches me to just let go of everything that I think that I know, you know, he’s looking at the world brand new, for the first time and creating models and structures and like, you know, he’ll take a toilet paper roll and, and use it in 25 different ways. Whereas to the rest of the world, it’s just a toilet paper, oh, because you’ve labelled that is bad. And that’s what it is, and you throw it out. And so he’s really taught me to be able to look at the world, brand new and to have an incredibly creative approach to how things can be different and how things are not necessarily what we believe them to be and are fixed at old ways. And that, you know, that allows for an incredible freedom and a lot of opportunity to improve the way that we do things in life.
David Ralph [35:26]
Yeah, I say sounds blissful. When he’s at that age, when he thinks that you’re, you’re, you’re a goddess, and everything is perfect. And I remember I used to come home and my kids, now I’m teaching them my son to drive but they used to put my shoes on and put my coat on as soon as I got back from work. And look, I’m Daddy, I’m daddy. And now they just become an idea. Which you know, they used to run to the door, as soon as I come home, or if you went to the toilet, I want you to come with you. If they went to the gun, you know, they wanted you all the time. And now you have to hunt them down. And you always point them on their tablets, their their side, we’re on their tablets. So yes, enjoy, enjoy, because it will change, it will change.
Ariel Garten [36:08]
Yeah, and so really, you know, when I think about having created the perfect life, a lot of it was to then be able to have career success and do amazing things that impact in the world and then actually make the choice to become very small and focused in loving my family being with it and being with my little one. And that’s, that’s a that I consider my next success that I’ve been able to make the time and space to do that.
David Ralph [36:35]
I love it. When you talk I can really get real humanity about you, I can feel this, like this. There’s a love that just exudes from you. And it’s coming across on the podcast, you deeply care about people, it doesn’t matter if it’s your child or whatever you deeply care about the world don’t you?
Ariel Garten [36:52]
all true. It’s very, very true. I, I sometimes find myself, you know, and myself a lot of the bank the other day and I was staring at the bank teller, and I was looking at him with love. And I realised that I was just guys, I don’t know 20 is not like particularly attractive, not not somebody you think of loving, but I just like felt such a connexion of humanity to him. And I realised I should probably stop because he might think that this is weird. And I was just so so engaged in like just loving him as a human. And, you know, so rarely do we do that or recognise that we can do that, that we can just allow ourselves to see the strangers around us on the street as amazing, wonderful humans, no matter who they are until the sense of love for everyone and for everything.
David Ralph [37:41]
Oh, please tell me you don’t ever lose by Ariel please. And if we ever meet, I want absolute adulation and love I wanted directed at me in like a tsunami of Ariel coming towards me.
Ariel Garten [37:56]
I am sending you a huge big virtual hug now and the day that we need to you know, it will be completed arms around.
David Ralph [38:03]
Yeah, you wouldn’t want to do it. Today, I’m recording in a very, it’s very sweaty in here, I can’t have the fans on at the moment. So I’m, I’m half stripping as we go. So just before we start to move you on the to the end of the show, what I want to do is play the words that Steve Jobs said back in 2005. And really, really powerful, really inspiring. And of course, a Join Up Dots up the whole episode. Here he is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [38:29]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [39:03]
Now never have those words meant as much to anyone as I would imagine they mean to you because you really did have to not only find the dots, but in many cases create the dots to get to where you have.
Ariel Garten [39:17]
Yeah, so for me, you know, my early path was all over the place. I was very fascinated by art and by science and people are like, how could you be both an artist and a scientist, I’m like, they’re kind of the same thing in my head. And I you know, I had a line of clothing when I was little. And I was like 16 years old, and I had a job in a research lab. And I went to school for neuroscience. But then I also got into the very prestigious drama programme at our college and wanted to do set design. And I’ve always bounced between these worlds of art and science. And I hadn’t thought about them as dots, I’ve thought about them as threads. And so I followed the threads of art. And I fall in like creative things and experiences for people. And I followed the thread of science, understanding how the world worked, and then into the mind understanding how the brain works. And it was really in the creation of news that I feel like those threads wove themselves effectively into the beautiful tapestry that they were to come into this device that both is built on incredibly deep science and technical knowledge, and neuroscience, and also is an amazing, beautiful experience of the human and the self, that allows the self to, you know, see itself and transform. And so it’s very clear for me how all of these dots through psychotherapy, neuroscience design, clothing design, where you’re reflecting on the self and the muse, the device that we created as it’s also a piece of the wearable object. So the fashion design actually ended up coming to fruition through this device as well. And as much as I can see the the tapestry that has been woven, and you know, the impact that it now has, over thousands of people. Um, I can also begin to see how that tapestry, or those dots might bleed out into the future and other things and opportunities, most of which I cannot yet see from here. You know, I’m I’m 39. So as much as looking back and joining up the dots, it’s like, Okay, this is the pinnacle of my career, I know, I have another four decades of creation to come in front of me.
David Ralph [41:23]
I meant, do you feel older than 39? Because I was a bit surprised that you said 39. Because when I’m looking at all you’ve done, that’s a hell of a lot that you’ve packed in.
Ariel Garten [41:32]
It really, really is I was incredibly efficient in my younger ages. And I really always felt like I could do everything simultaneously. So I had like an art gallery and a clothing store and a career in real estate. And I had all of these things simultaneously. And it’s just like, yes, you, you can follow all of these paths. And everybody was I was like, you need to choose one thing. I’m like, No, I don’t, I can just do it all totally. Okay, I can just follow my passion and all of these directions and keep planting seeds.
And it really worked.
David Ralph [42:03]
It did, it worked extremely well. Well, this is the end of the show. And this is the bit that we called a sermon on the mic when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Aereo. What age would you choose? And what advice would you give us when we’re gonna find out because I’m going to play the music. And when it beats you up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Ariel Garten [42:51]
Hey, hello, beautiful, wonderful little eight year old, Arielle, I have to tell you, I love you. So so so so so, so much. And if I was to give you a piece of advice for what’s ahead of you, because you have no idea what’s ahead, I would let you know, first of all, it’s going to be amazing, going to be wonderful it’s going to be it’s going to flourish beyond what you could imagine. And in order to allow it to flourish and unfold. I want you to know that you should never be held back by anything negative in your head. You may have voices in your head that tell you, you’re not good enough or this kids at school who might make fun of you or insecurity around what you’re wearing. Don’t worry about any of that those are all normal human feelings. But they are not necessarily the truth of the situation. The truth of the situation is that you are always no matter what your brain says you are always capable, beautiful, competent, and able to absolutely flourish. So if anybody ever tells you anything, even if it’s a voice in your own head, you don’t need to you shouldn’t let me know you’re going to be wonderful. And you’re going to be kind, kind to other people. And always bring people along in your journey, believe the best in them and give everybody the opportunity to shine, you will shine brightly. And you will shine even brighter with the people around your shining to go forward and love your life. Love every moment of it might not always be good, but that’s okay. You can still love it because you are experiencing. Because in that moment you have the opportunity to be alive, and feel what it’s like to be shitty, frustrated, upset, heartbroken, that is living. And you should appreciate how awful it is just the fact that you get to feel that because you are alive. And to know that there will be moments of incredible highs that will eventually follow that every moment has the opportunity to be different from the moment before. You can always make a different choice if you don’t like where you are or what you’re doing. Just take a step in a different direction. And love you so much. And just love life. Love people love yourself. Here’s Yeah,
David Ralph [45:16]
powerful stuff. powerful stuff. So what is the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Ariel Garten [45:24]
One moment I need to recover after that. I just met my younger me Give me a second here. So if you want to follow up with me, you can always find me on Instagram at Oreos, musings Twitter, Arielle garden. And of course, if you want to learn about us, and what this funny thing we’ve been talking about this whole time and how it can help you. You can go to choose news.com
David Ralph [45:49]
Oh, yeah, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you’ve got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up those dots and connecting our past is always the best way to build our futures. Arielle, thank you so much.
Ariel Garten [46:07]
Thank you, and we’ll talk to you in a few years once I’ve created a couple more dots.
David Ralph [46:14]
Now, wasn’t she an absolute delight what a human being just lovely and warm and caring. And just know I felt really strongly connected to her. Through that show. I just wanted to give her a little bit of a squeezy hug and say, you know, thank you for everything. lovely person. Now, if you are interested in any of that course go across Balboa. If you’ve got any dreams or aspirations in your head that you’re, you’re inspired to do but you think that you can’t do it. Men listen to that podcast all the time, because I didn’t know how to do it. In fact, nobody knows how to do any of the things that they end up doing. They just kind of little by little, try things and mess around and scrape money here and scrape money bear and little by little it gets a bit stronger people start believing in them. And then things like come together. It’s like the success vacuum. Little by little things start coming into your orbit, which allow you to fulfil your dreams. But of course, you gotta start and you got to find your passion and you gotta be happy. And all those things can make magic occur. Until next time, thank you so much for being here. I will see you again very very soon. If you want any helping anything, come across to Join Up Dots. We’re adding more stuff on there to help you get to where you want to be. But until next time, I will be here. See you later. Bye bye.
David doesn’t want you to become a fated version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.