The MindFuel Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode 169: Psychedelics And Entrepreneurship With Beth Weinstein

Content warning: Mention of drug and psychedelic use

Beth Weinstein is a spiritual business coach who uses neuroscience-backed methodologies, body-based somatic therapy, spiritual teachings, and practical business strategies to help her clients grow their businesses and align with their purpose. One thing that is interesting about Beth is how she works with plant medicines such as psychedelics with her clients, which is something that I’m keen to chat about.

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That's why I always say to people: look, you have to just be aware of what you're getting into. Really be honest with yourself of what your intentions are and do your research. I ask a lot of questions like, where did you get this medicine? Who cultivated it or made it? What's in it?

How did you get started as an entrepreneur?

I did the whole go to college and get a job thing and I did what was safe. I got to the first corporate job that was offered to me because I just needed money. Even though I took the corporate America route for many years, I knew that was not my destiny. I just didn't know what business was that I wanted to do.

After a series of events, long story short, I was always on a pretty deep spiritual path ever since I can remember, ever since I was a kid. I studied psychology in college, and my original intention was to become a therapist. But I didn't feel like going to school for another eight years.

Around 2009, I was working for a company and I actually didn't mind the job, but it was kind of going nowhere and I really started questioning, what is life all about? So they laid me off after they got bought out, and it was the first time where I actually was like, oh, I hope I lose my job one day. Like, I really hope I lose my job, because I knew that I needed to hit the reset button and make some changes.

And so the day they laid me off, I booked this flight around the world trip and took a few months off. I went to India and Vietnam and Southeast Asia and all over, and I really questioned, what do I want for the rest of my life? I had this weird epiphany in Mumbai on the back of a tuk tuk, and so I said to myself, I'm going to make some changes when I get back.

So when I got back, I actually went to work for early stage tech startups. I made this total career change, and then I started a business with this girl that I was introduced to. It was her business idea and a friend put us together. And during that, it was something I actually didn't care at all about. It was actually medical scrubs company, and I was like, eh, I don't care about medical scrubs.

But I started to feel the feeling of, wow, entrepreneurship is fun. This is what I'm here for. I knew I got the bug. And so I worked with her on that, and we actually ended up not even really taking it anywhere. Then I started consulting for these early stage tech startups, and a friend of mine who is this highly successful entrepreneur, he's like, oh, I'm starting another business. Why don't you come and run it for me?

So I actually went and did that. I helped launch his business. And during all this, I was like, wait a second. I'm helping all these other entrepreneurs launch and grow, but I'm just being paid chump change, and none of them were ever my own visions. I liked them, but they were never my passion.

Over these years, I took up running big time. I was in New York City and I was always an athlete, and I was looking for alternatives to getting drunk every single night like most New Yorkers do. So I started really getting involved in the New York City running community and doing these running groups, and then I started running marathons and became really big into athletics and running.

And during that whole time, I kept thinking about how the clothes were being made. Like, why am I only able to buy from these 10 corporate brands? And back then, they didn't make anything cool for people that lived in the city, and they also didn't have anything sustainable. Everything was just like cheap crap.

So I had all these visions of how to make things different, and I kept thinking about this business idea. I kept saying, I can make a better short than this. I had been doing product development and production, and I knew this whole process to making garments. It started eating me away at my soul over the years for almost eight years, and I finally got to this breaking point in life where I said, if I don't give this a try, I will never be able to live again with my soul.

So I started this running apparel business kind of just for fun while I was also helping all these other early stage tech startups grow and scale their businesses. My business actually ended up taking off. And at the same time, I had lost a bunch of consulting jobs. So we got to that point of, you know what, I'm going to go for it. So I went for it.

And over the years of running that business and helping these early stage startups grow, I kept getting people constantly asking me like, hey, will you talk to me about how you started your business? Hey, can you tell me the tricks?

And it wasn't just friends. It was becoming random strangers from LinkedIn or friends' friends, and I would say yes to everybody. Finally, after a few years, I was like, God, people are constantly asking me for help with my business. But then what started happening is I even notice I would run into people a year later, two years later and be like, hey, how's that business going? And they're like, oh, I never launched it. Or I tried it and then I got stuck and I just gave up.

So I finally said to myself, because I also got really busy with my own business, I was like, I can't keep saying yes to all these people, especially all this time I'm giving. The next time someone asks me, I'm going to make them work with me for at least a few months and I'm going to make them pay me.

And that's actually how I got my first coaching client, even though I didn't even know what was coaching. And from there, it just started taking off through me helping people I knew. And through me realizing, I didn't know that people who ran businesses don't know what they're doing or people who want to start businesses have zero idea. I just assumed everyone knew as much as I did.

And then I was running my apparel business for a few years while starting up the coaching business, and it kind of got to a point a few years ago where I said to myself, first of all, my joy wasn't really in the apparel business anymore. I was really getting sick of talking about the same thing over and over and over. And this business, my coaching business was growing really fast, and it was so much more aligned with who I was on a deeper level. So I finally left the apparel business put it to rest a few years ago. And of course, ever since I did that, this business exploded even more and that's kind of the whole journey.

But it was a series of these weird synchronistic events and paying attention and listening. Looking back, I always say, don't make the mistake I made, don't wait eight years to start something. Because that was really stuck in the fear of how could I do this? But had I done it eight years earlier, it would have been so much better.

What kind of plant medicines or psychedelics do you incorporate in your coaching?

I started working with psychedelics very early on, and then I studied psychology in college. I was always on this path of mental and consciousness inquiry. I do believe it wakes up something in you - waking up your truest path, like your true purpose, your essence.

Essentially, I don't give psychedelics to anybody. I don't tell my clients to go do them, but what I started noticing was because I was very deep on this path for many years, five or six years ago, this client who was based in Australia also worked with Ayuhuasca, which I work with in addition to others. And I remember working with her and it really loving having a client that could speak to me openly about it, who I could speak to openly, who also was dealing with this idea of working with these medicines. Opening her up to these new ideas, of maybe I should be doing this or I want to start this business, and not really having anybody to help integrate these visions or these experiences into her real life.

I work with Ayuhuasca and Silicide and some other things occasionally, and just being around these communities for many years, and what I started noticing is people would sometimes have these really powerful psychedelic experiences, and maybe wake up to realize, I hate my job as an attorney and I really want to do art for a living... just making this up.

And I would see this happen a lot, but the missing link that I kept seeing was, wow, why is no one talking about this? To have these powerful experiences, but then they would just go right back to their day-to-day life. It was like as if nothing was changing. And I'm like, well, why are you doing all this deep level work on yourself?

You know, this work is not really like entertaining either, it's actually very like hard. Sometimes you would do all these deep work, other meditation or spiritual work, chanting, but then nothing would actually shift in that.

So I started noticing this for a few years, where I always make this joke about the people that either drink a lot of Ayuhuasca and go back to their life that they hate, or they drink a lot of Ayuhuasca and then they completely quit everything, decide to quit their job and they go give up everything they own. And then they get a guitar and go sit on a mountain top for two years, but then they realize like, hmm, I need to like come back to real life. Because neither way, like both extremes, aren't really working for them.

It's not about checking out of life completely, but it's also not about living this life that you hate. And that's where I was like, people need help integrating this depth of work into things like their business, things like what path are they on? A lot of my clients also are now thinking of how they can incorporate into their businesses.

So psychedelic integration coaching, which is kind of this new thing that hasn't really been around that long. I have coaching clients that are life coaches or leadership coaches who want to be able to work with clients on micro-dosing or working with depression, anxiety or trauma. And then also adding in like Silicide journeys. It's interesting how things are changing so quickly.

So I felt like, okay, there's a need for people who get it, who also needed to talk seriously about how would you make a business out of this. Because it's not just okay to go crazy with psychedelics. It's like, how do we actually turn it into something that benefits humanity? And that's where I just came in and started speaking very publicly about this.

On mixing business strategies with psychedelics in her coaching.

It's interesting, and I know this very well because I went through this as well. Most of my clients are either newer entrepreneurs or there are people who are shifting their current businesses. I have a lot of acupuncturists or body workers or yoga teachers who want to add in coaching or healing or additional psychedelic work.

The biggest issue that they face, which I faced as well is, this isn't just psychedelics. This is a lot of people on a spiritual path as well. They are scared of being seen out there, they're scared of the judgment because it's still kind of taboo and it's not legal everywhere yet. What will people think? What will my family think? How am I going to talk about this without getting in trouble? Are people gonna think I'm crazy or weird?

I went through this, and it took me about two years to finally start being comfortable with it. So it's the depth of going through this experience of coming out of the spiritual closet or coming out of the psychedelic closet, or even my clients that are coming out as a life coach. It's still a deep journey to go from being a corporate sales person to then talking about what's been hiding inside of them all these years.

So that's a big part of my program - is actually just that the depth in that mindset. But of course, learning how to speak to your potential clients, learning how to communicate, learning how to share your own story so that it resonates with your potential clients. I actually bring in a lot of holistic aspects of business. I do go over mindset a lot, and the basics like how to start and grow and automate your email list, how to create your own audience, how to market, how to communicate, how to attract in the clients, how to price package and structure.

Like all the masculine structuring of your business, of course that's needed, because you have to have that. You cannot be what you want to become if you're just so stuck on let's say one limiting belief that's holding you back for you because it can hold people back for years.

What do entrepreneurs need to be aware of before incorporating psychedelics into their lives?

This is a big one. First things first, I don't think psychedelics are for everyone. There's actually certain people out there with certain levels of traumas, and psychedelics can actually make some people worse. It's not a fix all for anybody, but if you feel a call to this path or you're already on the path or you want to go deeper, a lot of people are like, I tried mushrooms in college or at burning man, what I say is really, first of all, set your intention to be guided to the right teacher or the right group.

And this is just me personally of jumping into things without really knowing what you're getting into. Because even though most of them are safe, there's also very dangerous ones, especially if you're on an antidepressant or a certain things, you're not supposed to do psychedelics or else it can actually kill you. So just know the depths of safety, like safety first, meaning you have to be very aware of the risks and of course, the benefits.

I always say, look, if you meet someone who's not asking you about your medical history and what you're taking and your own intentions, I personally wouldn't do it with them. If you want to just do something on your own for your first few times, I don't recommend just doing things by yourself. I tend to be one of these people that only work with psychedelics for the most part in a sacred setting, meaning there's an intention, there's a setting created with music, with good people. It's not just for you and your trip.

It's deeper than that. For me, there's always some kind of an intention, and I actually do believe that's very important because it gives you the most benefits back. So depending on what your intention is, and for some people, it could just be like, hey, I want to stop being depressed. There's people doing psychedelics for anxiety, depression, PTSD. There's some people that just want to expand and see what it's like, and that's fine. There's no right or wrong.

Another thing to know is, for the most part, they're not always fun. If anything, they're majority not fun. Yes there are moments that are amazing and mind blowing and beautiful, but for the most part, it's actually work. Some nights can be very hard, you know, and I've had it. Even recently, the last time I drank Ayuhuasca was actually in Costa Rica.

And I thought I was gonna just lay around and listen to music and feel good. And it pounded me, like I was on my knees and keeled over for hours. I was barely able to stand. But of course it was amazing transformative experience.

That's why I always say to people: look, you have to just be aware of what you're getting into. Really be honest with yourself of what your intentions are and do your research. I ask a lot of questions like, where did you get this medicine? Who cultivated it or made it? What's in it?

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Links & Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Learn more about Beth at BethAWeinstein.com

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