We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Cohen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factors behind my success have been learning and iteration. Through Kirtan Leader Institute I have been training students all of the world to learn how to step into a practice they love, sacred chant, in a deeper, more personal way. We teach them how to chant at home, and share with others. We even guide some of our students to create albums, tour and play at yoga/music festivals. For over a decade, after each program (private sessions, live and online classes, group training intensives) we ask, what worked? What didn’t work? What was missing? We ask that of ourselves (as teachers). And, we ask the students. These questions help us see what really works, and what we can improve. Continual improvement over time has led to what those in the tech world call “the miracle of iteration.” Doing, learning and iterating has been a huge factor behind our success. And, it gives us a competitive advantage in the marketplace as our teaching materials have been worked out in practice (not merely in theory) at ever higher levels of quality. With the onset of COVID-19 there has been a tremendous amount of learning as we pivoted to put all of our classes online. Each new class goes through a process of being designed, offered, iterated, and is upgraded in an ongoing manner. Our learning helps our students learn, and this is what allows them to reach their goals with the heart-opening practice of sacred chant.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As I mentioned earlier, a huge challenge this year has been the way that COVID-19 has prevented us from holding live (in person) classes, events and trainings. Thankfully we had launched an online branch of our school in 2019, and we quickly pivoted to move our teaching fully online. In March we had one online class. In November. we now have six, with four more in development. Along the way we have expanded our online marketing efforts with interviews, virtual events, free classes, a new website and the release of my fourth full length album. I think we’ve shown resiliency, and this is a story many successful businesses are telling in 2020.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Pre-Covid I would take friends to Steamboat Springs, Boulder, Denver and Manitou Springs for food, yoga, music and dancing. Right now I’m encouraging everyone to put safety first and engage within their social bubble and online.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This year I am very grateful to Danielle Beutell and our digital marketing team at SoulPwr. They have been a tremendous support during our pivot to a fully online school.
Other: www.soundcloud.com/mikecohen, www.MikeCohenKirtan.com
Stuart Williams, Hulya Kurt