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“Why it’s really important to remember people’s names” with Lee Braun of Perspire Sauna Studio

I make sure to remember people’s names. I really stress the importance of my Team’s doing the same. It’s important to make people feel remembered and hold space for them, as it’s our primal need.

As a part of my series about leaders who integrate mindfulness and spiritual practices into their work culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lee Braun, CEO & Co-Founder of Perspire Sauna Studio.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you please share your “backstory” with us?

At 25 years old, Lee left his career in Construction Management in pursuit of making a difference in the health & wellness of the world, co-founding the first ever infrared sauna studio concept in 2010. Over the last nine years, he has successfully and carefully grown the business from a single studio to a multi-unit national franchise with the goal of making infrared sauna and chromotherapy accessible to the world.

Now at 34, Lee is a pioneer in the wellness space, bringing infrared to market years before trend. He saw early on that there is a societal epidemic of stress and an overdependence on pharmaceuticals — and how infrared can help get to the root of these issues and make a difference in people’s wellbeing.

“Sometimes those routes are necessary but we [Perspire] are here to encourage people to take a more natural, holistic approach to treat their medical needs (first) and we provide a space and technology to do so.”

Now through franchising Perspire, Lee is striving to enlighten the masses on the benefits of alternative health solutions, infrared and chromotherapy, empowering guests on their health journey but also the studio owners [Perspire Franchisees] to greater fulfillment in business and wellness. He has assembled a team and built a brand that is making a transformational modality accessible to communities across the country.

What role did mindfulness or spiritual practice play in your life growing up? Do you have a funny or touching story about that?

Growing up in Michigan in the 90’s, I don’t think mindfulness was something that I really grew up with. It wasn’t until I moved to California in 2010 did I really start to pay attention to how mindfulness could be practiced.

How do your mindfulness or spiritual practices affect your business and personal life today?

I make sure to remember people’s names. I really stress the importance of my Team’s doing the same. It’s important to make people feel remembered and hold space for them, as it’s our primal need.

Do you find that you are more successful or less successful because of your integration of spiritual and mindful practices? Can you share an example or story about that with us?

Mindfulness enhances your chances of success for sure. By being more present in each moment we are able to more fully think and act in a way that is most beneficial for that situation. By staying in tune with Spirit, Source, Universe, God, whatever you want to call it, you cultivate deeper awareness, compassion, kindness, peace and empathy. By living from this place, your exude a radiance and you naturally attract what you desire and need and one experiences inner and outer fulfillment or “success”.

What would you say is the foundational principle for one to “lead a good life”? Can you share a story that illustrates that?

When I think of “leading a good life”, I immediately think of my grandfather and his incredible ability to make anyone feel seen in his presence. He is so effortlessly aware of people, and can connect with them in his own special way. I think it’s his genuine interest in getting to know anyone and everyone. He strikes up a conversation with everyone he meets and takes the time to ask questions unhurriedly.

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?

It’s got to be my grandfather, Barry Jacobsen. I’ve mentioned him a few times but he has truly been such an inspiration and source of support for me in my journey — and taught me so many lessons along the way. He’s influenced me and my brothers so much — we all strive to be as helpful and kind as him. My 80 year old grandfather is relentless in his pursuit of helping others and often has to be talked out of getting on a 12’ ladder to help his neighbors trim their trees.

Can you share 3 or 4 pieces of advice about how leaders can create a very “healthy and uplifting” work culture?

We have a few “policies” in place that are conducive to a healthy lifestyle. For one, our Team has access to incredible infrared sauna sessions and we encourage our teams to use IR frequently. We’ve also set up partnerships with other local health & wellness based companies and studios where staff can drop-in to any class such as spin, boxing, H.I.I.T., floats and/or yoga — it’s important that everyone has access to a variety of ways to make themselves healthier and feel good.

We also have semi-flexible work hours at our headquarters, allowing our employees to feel empowered in managing their time and in taking care of themselves. This leads to a greater feeling of autonomy and an overall better quality of life.

It’s really important to be mindful about what we are putting in our bodies as it greatly affects our gut and brain health and therefore how we are experiencing the world throughout the day, performing at work and engaging with others. Whenever we are doing our weekly group lunches whether they be out or catered in, we chose establishments that offer organic, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options to accommodate everyone’s individual dietary needs and so they can make choices that will positively impact their wellness and make them feel their best.

At corporate, in our weekly Monday all-hands meeting, we each go around and share something we are grateful for and something we are anxious or stressed about, allowing each other to open up and center ourselves in gratitude. This leads to more empathy and compassion for another. It sets a really good tone for the week.

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. :-)

Well I feel incredibly grateful to be offering infrared sauna therapy in a more accessible way. In growing, we’re really incubating a moment toward alternative wellness solutions here at Perspire, making infrared sauna and color light therapy available to diverse communities across the country and globe. It’s been a very rewarding journey already and I’m so excited to be seeing this come to fruition. I love being a part of the inner healing that alternative wellness can provide people who are looking for something more. Pretty much anyone can benefit from IR Saunas and it’s effortless so there’s no reason not to try it and see if it’s for you.

How can people follow you and find out more about you?

You can follow the Perspire Sauna Studio brand on Instagram and Facebook. @perpsiresaunastudio

Thank you for all of these great insights!



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