MindValley Founder & CEO Vishen Lakhiani joins the Yahoo Finance Live panel to discuss the latest outlook for the mindfulness industry as more Americans turn to meditation to deal with the impact of COVID-19.
SEANA SMITH: We want to switch gears here, I should say, and talk about the growth of the personal developments and also the mindfulness industry due to COVID. And for that, we want to bring in our next guest. We have Vishen Lakhiani. He is Mindvalley's founder. And Vishen, it's great to have you on the program.
Just talk to us just about the growth and the interest that you've seen in your business over the last several months. Because I think we have all had discussions, whether it's with our friends, with our colleagues, with our family, that there has certainly been this renewed focus on mindfulness and really putting ourselves and our health first.
VISHEN LAKHIANI: Well, I got to say, when COVID first started, it was a very nerve-wracking time for our business. Because like any other company, we had no idea what was going to happen. But what we found is that business absolutely boomed. We grew 60% gen on gen over the last one year.
And this growth was very organic. Just, the number of people coming to our website, the number of people subscribing to Mindvalley just accelerated beyond our wildest expectations.
ADAM SHAPIRO: So what kind of things does a client get if they engage with you?
VISHEN LAKHIANI: That is a really good question. So what we try to do is we try to provide all the education that regular schooling forgot. Schools, primarily in the Western world, are obsessed with two things. They groom you for a good career and to earn a living, but that's a tiny fraction of what it takes to be a human being.
I mean, there's so much more we got to learn, how to have healthy relationships, how to be better parents, how to take care of our health, eating, nutrition, our body, our mind, our soul. Even performance-related skills, how to get in flow, how to speed read, how to improve your memory. Mindvalley, we try to create the best programs in the world with the best teachers in all of these different dimensions.
SEANA SMITH: And we have a banner up on the screen right now saying that the mindfulness industry is expected to hit $9 billion by 2027. What are you doing just to capitalize on that market potential there and, I guess, separate yourself from some of the competitors in the field?
VISHEN LAKHIANI: Well, what we're doing-- see, we're building a human to human AI that doesn't just train you on the best content for you, our AI analyzes your goals. You see traditional education is based on a curriculum designed typically by a government. In our case, we liberate people. You come up with your goals, you put in your journals, you put in your learning. Our AI understands that.
And then we deliver the right training for you. But we go a little bit beyond. We're then able to predict the people in your neighborhood, in your city that you are likely to want to be friends with, to maybe go in a relationship, to maybe connect with. Because these people are going to help you get to your goals.
Education is not just about learning. It's about proper meaningful connection with human beings who can uplift you. That's where we make a difference.
ADAM SHAPIRO: This sounds great. What about, though, that old-fashioned one on one mentor interaction? I mean, I can think back, I was 21 years old, and his name was Danny Dean, editor of the Niles Ledger, who said, Adam, remember, your readers, your audience, they're the most forgiving people out there. If you make a mistake, ask for forgiveness. What about that interaction?
VISHEN LAKHIANI: So mentors are amazing. Mentors are amazing. And I'm so glad you brought that up. So much of online education right now removes the mentor. It's one directional. It's like Netflix but educational. You're watching a video.
Now, what we do is we actually connect people. When you get on Mindvalley, you're not just watching a video, we are able, using our human AI engine, we're still about 12 months away from really fine tuning it, but we're able to predict who you should connect with in your vicinity, bring you together in a conversation over coffee, say, at the local Starbucks, and then even give you questions to ask each other to create that bond.
It's about rich human connection. Because human connection elevates everything, elevates your happiness, it elevates your health, it elevates your performance at work.
SEANA SMITH: What role do you think corporations should play in all this? Because I think, as we make the shift from working from home, there's a lot of uncertainty. There's speculation that many people are not going to be going back to the office. So that shifts your whole mindset. It shifts how you operate on a day to day basis.
I guess, is there anything that you think companies and corporations, employers can be doing to better assist in all of this?
VISHEN LAKHIANI: 100%. OK, so there are so many studies that show that your performance at work is correlated to the strength of your social connections. Gallup did a study on something like 20 million employees. And people who answered yes to the question, does my supervisor or someone at work care about me as a person, they were far more engaged, they contributed more to profitability.
There were other studies by Harvard that showed that if you have a best friend at work, you are seven times more engaged in your job. Now, all of this is telling us that human connection matters. But when you're working from home, that connection can be tough. What we're trying to do is create a culture of collaborative personal growth within companies.
So employees come together, and on the Mindvalley platform, they pursue goals to maybe train for a marathon, to lose weight, to practice mindfulness. Employees help each other out. They support each other in their goals. And it brings back human connection in this age of alienation.
SEANA SMITH: Vishen Lakhiani, great to speak with you. Founder of Mindvalley, we wish you all the best.