Sounds of wisdom

Tags: Good Living

CEO of multimedia publishing firm, Sounds True, Tami Simon talks about being on the path of spiritual curiosity over the past three decades

Sounds of wisdom
In my bucket list of people I would like to meet in this lifetime, Tami Simon is one of them. The publisher and CEO of the multimedia publishing company Sounds True, she was a college dropout when she started her company at the age of 22. Nearly three decades later, Sounds True is now worth $12 million. The company publishes audio courses, books, podcasts, music and DVDs by diverse teachers like Pema Chodron, Eckhart Tolle, Daniel Goleman and Brene Brown. Named by Inc 500 as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the US, Sounds True is a pioneer developing content and tools that aids in spiritual awakening and personal transformation.

Q. The Sounds True story is fascinating. How did you know at such an early age that this was what you wanted to do?

I think I am going to compare it to falling in love. The idea of Sounds True came to me at 21 when I was at the crossroads. My father had just died and left me an inheritance of $50,000. I had been actively involved in praying for quite sometime asking for guidance. Someone I was interviewing told me to invest that money in myself. As I was walking out, I heard the words “disseminate spiritual wisdom”. When I heard these three words, I fell in love with a calling. I felt like I was walking on air. The words were a gift. When you ask for guidance, you also have to listen carefully. Like any other long relationship, there are always ups and downs, but when you renew your vows you come back into the fray somewhat stronger. I would say Sounds True and I are in a long and committed relationship.

Q. Your podcast series, Insights on the Edge is a rich source of free and inspiring content. How can we become better listeners?

I prepare by becoming familiar with the material. In the studio, I take a few minutes to centre myself and then I listen. I do have a sense of what ground I want to cover. I am looking for cues of what I am really interested in or what I don’t completely understand or sometimes on areas I might disagree upon. I then seek to clarify. All that listening is happening somatically in my body and there is an inner reaction. I then look to unpack a point that triggers that reaction. Whole body listening is at the heart of any true conversation.

Q. What has stayed the same and what continues to change with Sounds True?

At 21, I was imagining that Sounds True would be Hermes delivering wisdom with wings. There was an idea of this accelerated delivery service. One of the things that stayed the same is that I am always trying to make sure we bring forth the depth, complexity and challenge that is part of the spiritual life. When people go through a time in their life that is difficult, they are actually in the midst of reckoning with what life is really about. The depth of the message and the material we publish is to aid transformation at a core level in people’s lives. We can change some of our outer circumstances, but at our core, it is always about our identity and how we can evolve to become more connected and interdependent.

In terms of what has changed, I would say our delivery format. Technology is a powerful communication tool, which can aid spiritual practice. Our audience is much more global today with 25 per cent of sales outside the US. Our content is delivered physically, digitally and through apps on your mobile.

Q. Any plans to take Sounds True into the workplace?

Yes. We are looking at a new initiative that is called Well Being at Work and plan to bring programmes so coaches and teachers can use it at the workplace. It is sad to see the insanity in the corporate world. We don’t seem to have a reference point to what is a sane existence anymore.

Q. You have been following the evolution of spiritual curiosity and practice for three decades. What are your insights?

It is important that each person finds a path with integrity that is aligned with their talent. You could term it a calling. For some, it may seem very lofty and important. For others, it could be taking care of one other person whom they love. It is important to be wholehearted by not holding back. We can’t always measure the influence or impact of our words and actions.

One conversation can change someone’s life. But I believe we do know when we are acting with integrity. Many of us know when we are slightly off the mark. When we are not coming forward or held back by fear. We can fix us. We actually can. Even when we sometimes despair about the world, I know that I am going to give everything to be part of the solution.

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