Category Archives: meditation

Episode 62: Workplace Happiness is Your Best Business Strategy



According to Gallup, American employers lose $450-550 billion a year by failing to create positive corporate cultures that foster accomplishment, autonomy and appreciation in the workplace.

Employee Unhappiness leads to:
• Higher turnover
• Excessive absenteeism
• Poor customer service
• Theft
• Workplace bullying and violence
• Increased workers compensation claims
• More on-the-job injuries

…and a myriad of outcomes that have no line item in the budget, but still reduce productivity throughout the workplace. Engagement, job satisfaction and worker happiness matter to the bottom line.

This talk will give employees and managers the skills to create a positive work environment through simple adjustments and practices anyone can do, no matter the workplace. Whether in an office, a hospital, a restaurant, classroom or construction site, these techniques work!

In the U.S., the average loss due to unhappiness and disengagement is $3,500 per employee per year. When it comes to happiness, is your workplace above or below average? Can you afford to let it stay that way? Make happiness a priority in your workplace today, and reap the rewards tomorrow.

Bio:

Valerie Alexander is a renowned expert on happiness and inclusion. She is the founder and CEO of Goalkeeper, a tech company that builds micro-social platforms to amplify happiness, whose first product is Super Happy Couples. Valerie is the author of the Amazon #1 seller, Happiness as a Second Language and a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of personal happiness, happiness in the workplace, and the advancement of women. Prior to her current work, Valerie was a securities lawyer, an investment banker, a V.P. of Business Development for two companies, and a screenwriter and film director. She can be found at SpeakHappiness.com and invites everyone to watch her TED talk, Why We Must Train Our Brains to Expect the Unexpected.

https://twitter.com/speakhappiness, #SpeakHappiness


Episode 35: Cannabis vs. High Tech



A Side by Side Comparison of the Two Industries discussing their similarities and differences. How well do high tech experiences transfer to the cannabis industry? How do the obstacles differ? How are they similar?

Rich spent much of his career in high tech and online ventures. The last few years he’s been involved in the cannabis industry. Although all new business startups share significant similarities, he’ll contrast the unique challenges, the future trends, and the possible opportunities.

Bio:

Rich Rygg started his career at tech giants IBM and Hewlett-Packard gaining big company and big iron experience. Eventually he ended up in the online industry in 1990 well before the Internet was released. He lived through both the rise and deaths of online companies like CompuServe, Prodigy, and AOL, as well as the birth and growth of the Internet and the many companies that have come and gone.

He opened the first AOL office in California, but shortly after joined the early top #3 Internet site GeoCities where they raised multiple rounds of VC funding, went public with a successful IPO, and then were acquired by Yahoo! He moved to Palo Alto, and launched a number of Yahoo! properties. Since then he’s been involved in many startups, ranging from online sites to telephony technology, to hemp oil, to soccer, to licensed dispensaries. He recently returned from a strategic consulting project in China related to its One Belt, One Road initiative.

Always curious, he loves the startup process and opportunities in the early stages of any industry. On Saturday mornings you’ll likely find him watching English Premiere League soccer at Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena, YNWA.

Speaker email: RichRygg@gmail.com


Episode 05: How Prioritizing Purpose Makes All The Difference In Creating a Lasting Business



“Technology will change our future as much as all the religious and spiritual leaders combined.” ~ Dan Brown

With exponentially increasing attention options and rapidly decreasing attention spans, it can feel like a helpless struggle to get people to engage with our products and services – not to mention foster long-lasting loyalty. In a systemic marketing machine built on reeling people in with perceived value, the only way to have any possibility of sustained engagement is from rigorous focus on tangible value – and that all beings at the core of our business. Our government recognizes businesses as people, and we need to start doing the same thing. We want to spend our time with people who make us feel happy and important, so why would it be any different for the businesses that are asking us for that same time and engagement?

As the innovators, entrepreneurs, creators, and builders of technology, we have the opportunity and obligation to apply our talents and tools towards cultivating a world that chooses Love over Fear at every intersection. Establishing this baseline is requisite to create a deep and lasting connection with our customers, suppliers, distributors, employees, families, and everyone else that is touched, influenced, and effected by our business creations. We cannot take for granted the power that comes with being able to have our products, services, and ideas literally reach billions of people across the globe, and our professional endeavors will reap the benefit of appealing to the the highest good that we all strive to access in our lives.

Bio

Eron Zehavi is the Founder and CEO of Wellnest, a holistic wellness lifestyle brand and local digital marketplace to easily and affordably connect yoga teachers with students for personalized 1-on-1, small group, and corporate yoga  sessions. He was previously the Co-Founder and Chief Rewards Officer of Swagbucks, the web’s largest and most engaged rewards and loyalty community with over $160 million is distributed rewards. Swagbucks grew bootstrapped for 6 years and raised $60M from TCV in May 2014. Eron is also a socially conscious investor and consultant, working with companies who’s Missions are focused on creating a more healthy, compassionate, and joyful world.


Episode 03: Innovation and Meditation: An Introduction to Mindfulness



This introduction to mindfulness will elucidate the whys and wherefores behind resurgent the popularity of this “Once and Future” technology. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the “Father” of secular mindfulness, describes the practice as, “Learning how to focus attention on moment-by-moment experience with an attitude of curiosity, openness and non-judgment.” ABC News Anchor man (and author of 10% Happier), Dan Harris says it this way, “The ability know what is happening in your head, right now, without getting carried away by it!”

In this first exposure, I’ll de-mystify and normalize meditation, offering practical ways to integrate a consistent practice into one’s life; both at work and at home.

I will also go over the eye opening neuroscience behind hundreds of mindful-awareness studies, demonstrating its “broad-spectrum” effects against stress, depression and anxiety. Other findings, presented in the Keynote, demonstrate that a consistent meditation practice improves attention, boosts the immune system, reduces emotional reactivity and promotes a general sense of health and well-being.

Bio

Nick Stein is an award winning TV producer and show runner who has worked on countless hours of non-fiction television for myriad networks and production companies. His list of credits run the gamut from a Smithsonian series on the oil boom in North Dakota, to a National Geographic/Peter Gabriel World Music Special. He created ESPN’s Amazing Games and was the series producer of 40 episodes of Discovery Channel’s hit Monster Nation.

Stein was also ran the highest rated series in the history of the National Geographic Channel – Border Wars. Spanning 4-years and 56 hours, he and his crews gained unparalleled access to the hottest areas of the US/Mexican border, embedded with the operational units of Customs and Border Protection, ICE, DEA and the U.S. Coast Guard.

In that role he spent the better part of four years (56 episodes) deeply embedded with the tactical units of a various federal law enforcement agencies, including CBP, ICE, DEA and the US Coast Guard. Stein’s persistent reporting on the human suffering of “ illegal” immigrants, cartel drug runners, unaccompanied children, overburdened agents and officers, and others, left him depleted and burnt out.

Seeking relief while working in Montreal, Canada, Nick availed himself of a highly effective secular form of meditation – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – a science based contemplative system developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Grateful for his newfound equanimity, Nick brought his practice back to California, taking myriad courses at UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC) and going on silent retreats. After 2 years, he was accepted into MARC’s Intensive Practice Program (IPP), and later, intent on teaching, Nick gained entrance into the Engaged Mindfulness Institute (EMI), a nationally renowned secular mindfulness certification program.

Because of his work at the border, Nick has dedicated himself to finding ways introduce the techniques and ideas behind mindfulness to the men and women of Law Enforcement. Working with the mindful-policing pioneer, Lt. Richard Goerling, Nick has co-taught a series of ½ day seminars at regional security conferences around the country. Nick has also worked with inmates inside LA County’s Men’s Jail and is slated to work with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Chaplains in Georgia, as well as Border Patrol Agents in South Texas.