SoulCycle Founders: You Know Your Business Better Than Your Critics Do

Editor’s Note: This story contains one of our 10 Best Business Lessons of 2013. For the full list, click here.

When Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler founded the high-end gym chain SoulCycle, they faced an uphill battle. Their friends, for starters, told the cofounders and CEOs that their emphasis on indoor spinning was a dated idea.

“He said, ‘I don’t have the heart to tell you this, but you know spinning is dead,'” laughs Cutler, recalling the conversation.

But Cutler and Rice felt differently. “We were like ‘Well, I think we can still do it. I think we can still reinvent it,'” she says. “‘I think we can still create something we want as the user.'”

Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler

And reinvent it they did. Soul Cycle has since been named one of Fast Company‘s Most Innovative Companies In Fitness of 2013, and was recently featured in our December 2013/January 2014 issue, as it continues to take the fitness world by storm.

“There will always be naysayers around,” says Cutler. “The truth is when you put intellect together with your gut, you’re going to get there.”

“I think the lesson, when people give you advice, is that you need to trust your own instinct,” adds Rice. “You know your business best.”SS