SoulCycle's Founders On Why Mistakes Are Like Paying Tuition

SoulCycle cofounders Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler know that messing up is part of starting a business. But rather than view their blunders as setbacks, they count them as the cost of tuition at on-the-job business school.

Mistakes come with the territory when you're an entrepreneur.

So when Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler founded the high-end gym chain SoulCycle, they not only knew they faced an uphill battle, but embraced the mistakes that inevitably awaited them.

However, the pair, neither of which had attended business school, devised a unique way of looking at their shortcomings:

"The biggest piece for us, is that we look at every mistake we make as tuition," says Cutler. "So since we didn't go to business school we just say 'oh, that's part of tuition, that's fine, so we'll learn from that.'"

Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler

This mindset paid off when the duo mistakenly hired an unsatisfactory contractor to install soundproofing technology in their first studio. Rice and Cutler say they learned from the experience, and now SoulCycle—with many of its studios tucked inside sensitive, old buildings—leads the industry in soundproofing technology.

"As an entrepreneur, if you let mistakes stop you you'll never open your doors," adds Rice. "I think a lot of what makes entrepreneurs successful is tenacity, and the ability to recognize mistakes, learn from them, and move forward."

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