Deepak Chopra at Inc. Founders House during SXSW in Austin. Photo: Dennis Burnett
Amid the frenzy that is South by Southwest, Deepak Chopra offered this advice to entrepreneurs: Slow down.
“We live in a hustle culture, where everything is about success,” the meditation and wellness icon said in a Sunday interview at Inc. Founders House in Austin. It’s “exit, exit. exit, until the final exit, which is called death, and most people are still hustling, and life has gone by.”
Wait, Deepak Chopra and Inc. magazine? Yes, Chopra is an entrepreneur. He recently sold his Chopra Global integrative health company to The Healing Company, a new business founded last year. While the deal’s terms weren’t disclosed, the Healing Company estimates that the transaction will be worth $20 million over five years, according to Bloomberg.
Chopra spoke onstage with Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk on a range of topics, including the recent sale of his company, his best tips for founders, and his views on opportunities in the health and wellness industry. The session was also livestreamed.
Omelianuk asked Chopra how he knew it was time to make his first business exit. Chopra, who turned 76 in October, said that he was preparing for the final chapter of his life, in accordance with Indian cultural traditions. While an acquisition is often a hallmark of success in entrepreneurship, Chopra said, it shouldn’t be a founder’s main driver, especially for fledgling startups. He said that in his experience, entrepreneurs often discuss their exit strategies in the same breath as selling their idea.
“Don’t start off dividing the loot before the train has been robbed,” Chopra said.
Instead, Chopra recommended that you practice being in the present. Further, he said, become an expert in your field, or have your experts stay on top of the marketplace. Rounding out his take on what makes up a good company: a shared vision and incorporating maximum diversity into your organization.
Looking ahead at future trends in the wellness space, Chopra said there are still ripe opportunities in technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. He pointed to the creation of electroceuticals, digiceuticals, and metaceuticals–wellness treatment in the metaverse.
“I see it as a future for chronic illness, mental disease, and self-regulation,” he said. “So that gave me the idea that virtual reality is a metaceutical.”
What exactly is a metaceutical?
The recipient of a smiley face emoji, Chopra explained, receives a hit of dopamine. Imagine, he said, what can be accomplished when you create avatars that interact with one another to make an ecosystem of joy. One day medical and wellness companies could create treatments in the metaverse that deliver physiological benefits and are therapeutic.
As his parting bit of wisdom, Chopra encouraged entrepreneurs to stay joyful.
“We need a pandemic of joy,” he urged, before getting a round of applause.
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