Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people?
Kino: I love to laugh and while I’m a deeply spiritual person, I’m always ready to share a smile.
Adam: How did you get here? What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth?
Kino: It is through failure and challenge that I’ve grown the most. When I first wanted to publish a book, I sent my manuscript in to at least 100 different book agents and publishers. 90 of them didn’t reply. Nine wrote me back with scathing criticism. One said they might be interested but only if I was willing to rewrite and rework the whole concept.
When I dreamed of starting a new business, to open an online channel for yoga, with content filmed by yogis for yogis, it was an uphill battle. Our first website company took a massive deposit and failed to build the site. My business partner left just a few months after we officially launched. Larger, capital funded companies entered fierce competition with us.
The lessons I’ve learned through hardship have been about unshakable faith. If you believe in your dream and you’re willing to work for it, then you have the power to make it come true.
Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level?
Kino: The defining quality of a good leader is a combination of being willing to listen to and learn from different points of view, to be humble enough to admit culpability when you’ve made a mistake, and a commitment to place the interests of the group, community, company or country above personal self-interest.
Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders?
Kino: 1. Serve—Think about how you can best serve, not about how you can personally benefit. Let your work be about what you can give rather than what you can take.
2. Slow down to speed up—It can be tempting to rush through things in an effort to maximize efficiency, but by slowing down and dropping into your inner wisdom you can actually speed up the deeper processes that really matter. Instead of doing things fast, you will do things with a new and profound depth. A calm, focused mind is more efficient.
3. Self-care—Busy people often place themselves and their own well-being last. By taking care of yourself you not only assure that your best self is showing up, but as the leader you set the tone for everyone else to care for themselves.
Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?
Kino: Instead of hiding what you see as your faults, flaunt them. We have the tendency to keep what we believe are our weaknesses and vulnerabilities under guard. But in fact, it is often those very features that make us most relatable. Hiding things about ourselves is a fruitless exercise because eventually the truth comes out. Instead, by placing your entire self on the table from the beginning you share your authentic self and make real, meaningful connections that last.
Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?
Kino: Kindness. If you speak with a kind, compassionate and caring heart in each moment with each and every person you will make the world a better place.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Kino: I love going for a walk at the beach, especially around sunset. This has actually produced nearly all of my social media presence because I often take pictures and videos around sunset.
Adam: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Kino: There’s a fine line to walk between believing in yourself and letting the ego run rampant. If everyone in the world had a true dedicated spiritual practice, I believe the world would truly be a more peaceful place.