In the days of telephone books, it was a shot in the dark to gain clients by cold-calling random numbers.
When Vishen Lakhiani tripled his client base thanks to the phone book, however, people started to notice.
At first glance, Lakhiani seems to have some sort of super power. Clients come out of the woodwork for the business coach and MindValley CEO. Is it luck? Hardly. Years of tapping into his intuition through meditation and focused brain channeling work has trained Lakhiani to find success anywhere.
Even in the pages of the phone book.
When Lakhiani sat down with Jay Shetty on a recent episode of On Purpose, it immediately became clear that he’s not interested in cornering the intuition market. If anything, he’s the opposite of secretive. Today, he throws all his energy into training and equipping others to achieve the full potential of their workforce through smarter, safer, and stronger work.
According to Lakhiani, work that is both fulfilling and productive begins in the mind. His life’s focus is charting that course for others as they strive to make the shift happen.
A Self-Made Man
Vishen Lakhiani discovered power in an unlikely place – his father’s bookshelf. The elder Lakhiani never went to college. Instead, he relied on books about self-help and personal development to grow his skills and cultivate his brilliance. A voracious reader, Lakhiani didn’t think twice before using the books on his father’s shelf to embark on his own knowledge journey.
“I would spend so much of my free time just going through these books,” he said to Jay Shetty. “At the age of 14, I discovered meditation. I started meditating three times a day. Then I started exploring other aspects of the human mind. I got fascinated by things such as intuition and being able to control my dreams.” Soon, his attention turned to concepts like energy healing.
“When I was 17 years old, I taught myself creative visualization,” he told Jay Shetty. “I taught myself how to access deep states of meditation.” Little did he know at the time how this practice would serve him down the road.
Vishen Lakhiani wanted to use his visionary strengths to build software. Unfortunately, he found himself stuck in the rat race of Silicon Valley at the wrong time.
“I went to Silicon Valley because I wanted to build software to bring people together in communities,” he explained to Jay Shetty, “but my timing sucked. First, the dotcom bubble burst, and then September 11 happened. All of the sudden I was out of a job. The only job available was a dialing-for-dollars job.”
Although the largely thankless job didn’t spark joy for him, bills had to be paid, so he took to cold-calling lawyers to sell them software.
Lakhiani took a class to brush up his meditation and intuition skills as a creative outlet. Returning to those roots allowed him to come full circle, and he began tapping into his intuition in his new position. Instead of calling every lawyer in the phone book, Lakhiani listened to his intuition to guide him on who to call.
It worked, but was it a fluke or a flourish?
“I have an engineering mind,” he told Jay Shetty. “I had to test this. It was pure data. I doubled my sales. I started refining the technique, and I doubled my sales again. Then I doubled my sales again. Next thing you know, at 26, they make me vice president of sales.”
Although grateful for his success, Lakhiani wasn’t satisfied. He used meditation and intuition and saw advancement in his own life and company, but he was haunted by the fact that so many were missing out on its benefits.
Day in and day out, Lakhiani came across highly talented people who worked so hard, but failed to experience their full potential. A study1 by Professor John Mihalasky of the New World College of Engineering helped him process the disconnect.
In this study, Mihalasky found that the CEO’s intuition played a huge part in the success and profitability of a business. CEOs who tested high on intuition evaluations had better profitability. No brainer, right? But it was Mihalasky’s findings on something else that really caught Lakhiani’s attention – the idea of “negative intuition”.
Mihalasky described negative intuition as something that causes people to second-guess their thoughts or decisions. Even in something as simple as a coin flip, those with negative intuition would second guess their choices.
“If their mind was self sabotaging, the self-sabotage correlated with lower profitability,” Lakhiani explained to Jay Shetty. “Not only did it show that if you are intuitive, you have better success in life, there's also this concept of intuitive self-sabotage. You are choosing not to listen to your intuition because there's something in you that's telling you to sabotage yourself and this leads to lower profitability growth.”
Nowhere To Go But In
“Tell me how you've been able to break down intuition for people who go, ‘I like that it works for you, but maybe you got some woowoo spiritual stuff.’ You speak to CEOs, you speak to business leaders, you speak to celebrities … How are you able to make it feel real to them?” asked Jay Shetty.
Simply put, Vishen Lakhiani says it’s his life’s mission to make intuition simple and accessible so more people can tap into it. His company, MindValley, a consulting firm for CEOs in search of growth, was born out of this passion.
Though many come to him looking for more success or profitability, Lakhiani makes sure each client leaves with something more – a healthier and more empowering workplace. He’s convinced success is derived out of health, and motivating companies to take that stance is moving them in the direction of both healthier workers and higher profitability.
Lakhiani’s clientele has run the gamut. He’s consulted with everyone from celebrities to small business owners to CEOs of massive corporations like Nestle and Coke. MindValley’s framework builds on the foundation of using intuition to transform leadership and is committed to ushering in a new way forward for the workplace. Lakhiani lays out these ideas in his new book, The Buddha and The Badass.
“This is no longer a book on company culture,” Lakhiani explained to Jay Shetty. “It's a book on how to bring spirituality into the job that you do. This book suggests that it's not just about endless introspection. It's about going within to understand what you need to do out in the world, and how to shift the world for the betterment of everyone involved.”
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Climbing a mountain is hard work as it is. Choosing to forego the path can make it seem nearly impossible. Some business owners take the hard route, thinking their work is only valuable if every ounce of effort is expended. Lakhiani suggests there’s a better way forward. In his opinion, Steve Jobs was the perfect example.
“He wasn't the hardest worker,” Lakhiani told Jay Shetty. “There are so many hard working CEOs, but Jobs was able to do something that most human beings cannot do. If you study Jobs, you will notice his favorite book was not a book on business. It was an autobiography of a yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. It was a book on the concept that our minds are tapped into a higher power and when we download insights, we can shift the fabric of the world.”
“When you get to a level where you're tapping into your inner resources,” he continued to Jay Shetty. “You do not want to practice hard work. You want to practice stillness. You want to practice being able to tap in and download it and take smart action towards those ideas.” And that, says Lakhiani, is what made Jobs successful and intuitive.
It may seem like a far-fetched idea to think you could wake up to a dream job every day. How many people can say they truly live the expression of their passion? Vishen Lakhiani insists that this can and should be reality. He’s living his dream by helping others access their life-changing potential.
The most beautiful expression of intuition and self-awareness is what Lakhiani calls a soul print. He believes it’s important to really stop to consider how you’re living your life and identify whether you’re being true to yourself.
“Every single one of us is here as a soul having a human experience for a specific reason,” Lakhiani said to Jay Shetty. A world of possibility opens up when a person taps into that specific reason. Lakhiani encourages people to look within and ask themselves the important questions.
“What are the values that your soul embedded in you that you have yet to fully express because you're not living your own life?” Lakhiani said to Jay Shetty. “You're living the life that the media, that the politicians, that the world tells you, you have to be. First you’ve got to identify your soul. Once you identify your soul print, you become magnetic because now your soul is shining true.”
Lakhiani walks CEOs, companies and their employees through the process of finding their soul print. Once a person knows who they are at the heart level, they’re able to more easily ensure they build or find a company that aligns with their passions and values.
How does this soul print extend to the greater company? Lakhiani quickly shared three actionable steps with Jay Shetty from his book, The Buddha and The Badass that help CEOs and business owners learn how to create the environment that makes it possible for team members to find their soul prints.
First, define a clear mission and get everyone on board by giving them knowledge.
Next, make time for personal growth.
“Personal growth should be your number one thing,” Lakhiani stated to Jay Shetty. He believes so strongly in this that he takes each new client out for lunch to learn what makes them tick and help them identify how they want to grow and who they want to be. His own team at MindValley values and utilizes books, coaching, and professional input in their quest for both personal and company-wide improvement.
Third, nurture a company community. It’s not a given that a sense of community will grow organically within a company, so MindValley doesn’t leave this to chance. Lakhiani believes there is an art to creating a healthy ecosystem within a company construct that allows people the freedom to grow and connect in deeper ways.
Fourth, allow people to be powerful. Lakhiani believes that giving people a way to be powerful and to do powerful things in the world helps provide significance, which is absolutely vital to have when the going gets tough.
“This formula,” Lakhiani told Jay Shetty, “transforms teams and transforms companies, and that transformation is like rocket fuel for the health and success of the company.”
Time and time again, he has helped companies experience success as they reframe their understanding of health and teamwork to focus more on intuition, personal growth and development, and cohesive team structure.
“You have an incredible passion and drive to unite humanity and challenge the status quo,” Jay Shetty said, complimenting Lakhiani. These days, Lakhiani’s message is vital. He’s not afraid to challenge companies to take a hard look at the effects of their decisions. Then he helps them move forward in more respectful and responsible ways.
“We need entrepreneurs who are willing to heal the planet and create products and services that make us a healthier species, help reverse the effects of global warming, make us more compassionate to one another, and help us protect other species on this planet, ” Lakhiani told Jay Shetty.
In closing, Jay Shetty urged listeners to pick up Lakhiani’s book.
“It's going to change your life,” he said. “It's going to change your organization. And most importantly, it's going to give you the imprint to live a successful life. No matter what you do, whether you're an entrepreneur or an employee, it’s going to change you.”
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on, “How to Live From Intuition and Accessing Information From Outside the Human Brain” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.