Maddy Ciccone: “You have to be willing to show your face and talk”

Lip Gloss — I don’t remember when this started but when I have a bad day or just feel off I usually go treat myself to a lipgloss at the end of the week. It is so silly and could even be .99 Wet N Wild but something about putting that on and walking around or walking proudly […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Lip Gloss — I don’t remember when this started but when I have a bad day or just feel off I usually go treat myself to a lipgloss at the end of the week. It is so silly and could even be .99 Wet N Wild but something about putting that on and walking around or walking proudly out of CVS or Walgreens just changes my state. It even got to the point where if my riders and friends knew I was having a bad day they would send me Venmo dollars to go “get a gloss.”

At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s well being, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing.

As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maddy Ciccone a.k.a MaddzTaddz.

Maddy grew up in East Greenwich Rhode Island and attended college for Entertainment and Music Business in Nashville. She is a former Executive Assistant to Hollywood’s finest but decided to ditch her desk and trade in the Red Carpet perks for a pair of cycling shoes. The rest is kind of history!

Along with teaching, she likes to call me somewhat of a self-taught social media guru… it’s kind of her thing!

She loves how she can connect with so many people outside of the studio, and truly believes it’s been a major key to her success so far!

Maddy is partnered with the fastest growing hair care company in the country, it’s been a wild ride and she wouldn’t change it for anything in the world! She is also avidly out and about coaching and public speaking every chance she can get to help EVERYONE on their path to greatness while being… joyful, loving and above all else, fearless.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

It was quite the journey. I originally landed in LA after college having finished an internship on The Ellen Degeneres Show and from there worked a myriad of jobs both on the corporate and creative side of Hollywood. I eventually steadied my course a bit as an Executive Assistant working at XIX Entertainment. From there I skipped around with some other larger creative/ advertising agencies but it really never clicked for me. I never made it to middle management or higher-level management. I remember at my final ad agency I was waking up to workout at 4:30 AM everyday before work and then I would go to the gym after work. One day a girlfriend kind of just looked at me and said “ Why are you not working in fitness or something you’re so INTO it! I guess I had never really given it a thought because I was chasing some LA entertainment career dream. I had worked at Equinox as greeter for a little while but fully diving into that world never really occurred to me. It was more of a hobby then. When I was let go from my last ad agency I applied to SoulCycle to become a manager. After countless interviews and shadow days, I thought I got the job in Beverly Hills. Wrong. So I had to go work at another agency for about 6 months and then was let go from there at some point. I was done with LA. Fully ready to be like this was cool but I am good. I saw a job opening for a management position at SoulCycle in Boston and applied for that hoping it would take me home and with a job (I grew up in Rhode Island so Boston would do!) I got a call from SoulCycle saying they no longer had the opening in Boston but if I would like the job in LA they had a position for me. I started as an Assistant Manager at our West Hollywood location and went on to open our West Coast HQ in Culver City. When I was working in the studios I was riding all the time with everyone I could possibly experience and some of the more Senior and Master instructors would ask me to ride up for them. This is when the instructor teaches and inspires from the floor while I am up on the podium demo’ing the class. I loved doing this and after a while many people were like “You should teach!” It was never my initial thought going into the job but eventually, I auditioned and was granted a spot in our training program the Summer of 2016. That’s when everything started to take off. I moved to NYC for our training program and then eventually was placed back in Boston, as they needed a new instructor in that market at the time.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

David Zint and Pixie Acacia who are both Master instructors in Los Angeles really stick out in my mind as people who really went to bat for me and gave me the opportunity to really shine on the bike before I was given the shot at auditioning or handed a mic pack. When it comes to the Bike and SoulCycle, they definitely come to mind! I also can say my life was deeply changed when I read a book called “Spirit Junkie” by Gabby Bernstein, which I never would have stumbled on had I now met my lovely friend Britt Deanda. I actually met her through one of my previous relationships and she is a super yogi and co-founder of Elevate the Globe.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?

I feel like it’s really hard to pinpoint one because there are so many little fails when it comes to teaching, most of the time people don’t even know it but you certainly do. One instance that comes to mind was I accidentally forgot to shut my mic off when I went out of the room to grab one last thing before starting class. I was joking with the front desk staff and said something like “This class is so hard I don’t even know if I can ride it.” I feel like I was half kidding but when I walked back in the room everyone was silent and staring at me and I was like…” Oh you all heard that didn’t you?!”

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

It’s all about creating community and consistency. Something I say a lot is it’s simple, not easy. People get very discouraged when they don’t see success right away. I think people are so obsessed with the highlight real and what it looks like when you presumably “make it,” they forget what it takes to actually get there or they simply weren’t with you on the whole journey and are just now seeing you when you’re at the top. I joke a lot of times (because it’s funny in hindsight but at the time was pretty brutal) I used to teach a 4:30 PM timeslot in the city to 6 people. People don’t seem to remember that though or talk about that they just see me now and think it’s all “easy peasy.”

Can you share with our readers some of the strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

You have to be willing to show your face and talk. A lot of people want to build a brand but never post or don’t show up as a real human being in their stories and people just don’t connect. Don’t get me wrong I love great filters and pretty pictures and well laid out aesthetics just as much as the next person but if you don’t comment back when people engage with you or answer their direct messages, you won’t really build. If you can make people feel seen, heard, and appreciated that is when you will see your brand/ page/blog, whatever skyrocket.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview.

In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart.

You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

Baths! I feel like this is looked at as childish or something or maybe people think it’s passe but I’m always so perplexed by people that don’t take baths, especially athletes. No not ice baths, I’m talking the whole shabang with lush bath bombs and candles and even snacks. If you get one of those fancy wooden bathtub caddy things you can even catch an episode of Riverdale or Ozarks or whatever other Netflix option there is out there. It is truly heaven.

I’m also a big Acupuncture person. The woman I go see here in Boston is a miracle worker and I float out of her office whenever I have work done. You have to find someone that’s cool and witchy, a real healer type shaman-esque, otherwise, it’s not the same experience in my opinion.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

I started using The Start Today journal when I went to see Rachel Hollis and many others I admire at her Rise Business conference in Charleston last November. It has absolutely changed my daily routine for the better. I can’t picture life without it now! I used to think the whole waking up and having a gratitude practice was silly and now I am a 100% believer.

I came up with a little saying recently “I’m the best version of me by the Sea!” When my head or my heart need healing or a space to just BE and feel absolutely at peace it’s by the beach. Doesn’t matter where or how but when I am near a body of water and can stick my toes in the sand and maybe even fall asleep and wave up to the lapping surf, that’s a special kind of treatment for me.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Lip Gloss — I don’t remember when this started but when I have a bad day or just feel off I usually go treat myself to a lipgloss at the end of the week. It is so silly and could even be .99 Wet N Wild but something about putting that on and walking around or walking proudly out of CVS or Walgreens just changes my state. It even got to the point where if my riders and friends knew I was having a bad day they would send me Venmo dollars to go “get a gloss.”

WashYour Hair — I get that it sounds very easy to do but honestly when you have clean nice hair it’s the best you can feel. Like when you go to DryBar and get a blowout or when you have that fresh haircut after leaving your Hairdresser type of feeling.

This one’s pretty wild and more for warm weather and summer vibes but there’s no better feeling than putting your socks and running sneakers before the rest of your clothes. It feels kind of wild and crazy and sexy to have nothing else on except your shoes. If you’re feeling extra wild put on your airpods and the song “Good Morning” by Max Frost and try to tell me you won’t have a fancy-free day, I dare you!

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

I kind of touched on this briefly before but the book Spirit Junkie saved my life! I really truly believe that. I was a “Hollywood” assistant at the time and recently out of a bad break-up, I was drinking and partying and on a very dark and twisted path. When I read that book something flipped in my brain like hitting a switch in terms of what I was doing with my life and having to clean my act up for lack of better words. That book then led to another personal development book and I found myself getting certified to teach yoga and my Friday nights weren’t always at the newest hottest clubs but spent at a sound bath or local mediation studio for some kind of spiritual workshop. It was the text that started this whole journey to “finding myself.”

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

I mean you’re asking the girl that used to attend Daybreaker dance parties before dawn in a gold sparkly onesie and a wolf hood what she considers bizarre! I haven’t had any weird body scrubs or waxing treatments… yet. I wouldn’t really say bizarre is the best word but I dove off the deep end when it came to chasing the coolest most eclectic places to practice yoga or sing bhakti and dance while I was in LA. One of the places II miss the most was this little Studio in Santa Monica called Bhakti Yoga Shala and every Monday we would have Kirtan and sing and dance for hours. It was really something special.

As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Being a nice human being. Like… just be kind. Treat others the way you want to be treated and stand up for people who are not treating others with respect and love. Again, I keep it simple but this is something that seems to be extremely relevant right now especially with it being Pride month and coming off of the George Floyd riots and Black Lives Matter movement. For people to stop living in hate and fear and start turning to LOVE. I think fear just breeds more hate and then that spirals to some dark and nasty places. Love and gratitude above all things. If we can learn to live like that I think the world will see some change for the better. It’s personal and has to start inside in all of us before it can spread and we can see true change happen.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

I really think it would be Rachel Hollis. I was watching when she was talking about meeting Oprah and how insane that was to her and I couldn’t help but think as I was watching like “Rachel that is what you are to me!”

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

On Instagram @MaddzTaddz and My Podcast: MaddzTaddz Beyond the Bike

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


“Identify your specialty, then build your brand around that.” Ming Zhao & Callie Gullickson

by Ming S. Zhao

“Share something vulnerable about yourself. ” With Ming Zhao & Johanne Jacobsen

by Ming S. Zhao

How I Thrive: “Just get started with something; Put one foot in front of the other”, with Miiko Shaffier

by Ming S. Zhao
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.