The Floatworks Journey | FutureSeed Event | Chris Plowman | By Floatworks


I’ve asked Mel to put this float tank on
the screen so you can get a visual maybe you need to see it have a look round the corner but essentially we have flotation tanks which look like this which are actually quite massive It looks smaller but it’s the size
of a small car 9 feet by 6 feet and it’s full of 12 inches of water the
water is heated to your body temperature and it’s full of half a ton of Epsom
salt so when you close the lid what happens is there’s no senses there’s no
sound there’s no light there’s no touch because when you’re still you can’t feel
where the water begins and there’s a complete feeling of weightlessness so
all of your senses taken away and you float there for about
an hour and many amazing things happen What mainly happens is something called
INTEROCEPTION where you all the external sensors have disappeared so you
become very aware of your internal sensors Essentially that’s the scientific term for meditation because you become very aware of your emotions
you can very aware of any bodily tension and when you become aware of something then you can start the process of releasing it So this is what we do and
that’s what floating is. Floatworks is 27 years old in
this year 2020 which is an amazing achievement I’ve been looking into how
long companies usually survive About 50% of companies go out of business within 5 years The average expectancy of mortality rate for a company is about 10 years so to be coming to the end of the third decade is quite an achievement for
Floatworks. It’s very hard to start business and it’s even harder to keep it running for that amount of time I can’t take all the credit for that or very
little of the credit because I would have been 7 when it when it was So and I know I didn’t start it when I was 7 so my business partner Tim Strudwick He launched the company 1993. He’s been floating a little bit in London but it was quite esoteric like in somebody’s back garden or you know down an alleyway and he thought you know I can do this a lot better And he did it and He launched a Floatation Center in the
London Bridge and grew that to nine flotation tanks over the years which became the
biggest in the world So he’s quite an inspirational figure to me and during that time as well He also designed this pods because before they were look like coffins and they were not very user-friendly That’s why it wasn’t very mainstream because people didn’t want to get in. so he said look let’s make it look like a car because people like getting in
cars and he was he engineered this and you know it’s very beautiful and now
people love jumping in it. So that was fast forward to 2015 I was in banking and I was struggling a lot with anxiety depression I had a back injury which I
was really struggling with my physio directed me to go and try floating
because he wanted me to relax to help my recovery and I had a life-changing
experience where it was the first time in many many years where I’d figured out
how to switch off I just I felt my like I said my body I relaxed my mind and I
came out feeling better and I felt really shit for a long time so that was quite an amazing experience for me and I told my best friend to go and try it and
he did the same and fast forward a few months later we’d approached Tim to come and buy these pods and we decide he’s going into business together because he’d moved out of his old premises for a few months so he was figuring out what to do next And we decided to relaunch together we launched in April 2016 in Vauxhall. Me and Ed have been trying to figure out how to run a floatation center and now four years in
We’ve just a few months ago we opened a second site in angel
so we now operate 10 floatation tanks which is that makes us the biggest
provider in Europe at the moment It’s been a fantastic journey. So I just want to touch on the best bits of this journey Learning how to be an entrepreneur and how to do this. For me the best bits are seeing the impact that it’s had on people so that’s our customers We have 450 members at the moment and for example last year we delivered 20,000 floats and that was 7000 unique people and It’s amazing to see the impact that it can have on people’s lives like I said before I was in banking and the impact is really negligible in what I was doing sometimes negative when we’re doing this people are coming out of their floats just some of them having like these transformational experiences like I had that made me turn my whole life around and take on a different
career but even the vast majority people just come out a little bit happier and
less stressed and maybe you know if you become 1% happier or 1% less stressed That opens up the possibilities go
like this and we do that every day with the people that come and float with us
and that’s why this is so enjoyable Even it makes the hard bits worthwhile and then the impact that it’s had on the team and the people we hire we put a lot
of emphasis on our people because it wouldn’t be anything about them and we spend so much time and energy and resources on creating a culture that
allows them to express themselves and to grow and to learn new skills and we try
and create a bit of a family at Floatworks And when we see people really take
that on board and really become the best versions of themselves which fortunately
just happen so regularly again it makes all of this worthwhile Finally the freaky lessons that I’ve
learned from trying to be an entrepreneur The first one I’ve learned is PATIENCE After we first set up I got very impatient every day sat on my desk Wanting to open more sites wanting more customers wanting to hire more people more more more different And it wasn’t good for me I was very frustrated sometimes you know I was you know feeling depressed
again sometimes when I was always thinking about what I didn’t have and
you can’t control the outcome All you can do is do the right things every day and do something that you believe in which is my second learning which is to focus on day to day execution so have a clear plan and every day do the absolute best that you can do Try new things, learn every day, focus on that short term work ethic so if you have impatience in the short term you work
every day almost relentlessly delivered deliver deliver and you have patience in
the long term then that’s when the beautiful things happen a lot of people
have that inverted where they’re impatient in the long term they want
everything now like I used to They want a house or car or a different job or whatever and they have too much patience Patience in the short term which means
they’re lazy if you manage to invert that that’s how you get real long-term
sustainable results and the third thing I’ve learned is to ask and listen so
your customers are the ones that know what they want
there’s no good trying to tell them what they want because otherwise you might probably get it wrong and people are so receptive if you just say
to them whatever the businesses or whatever your venture is say to the
people that are interested what do you want me to deliver for you and they will
tell you and then you can do it and it’s easy if you do it like that rather than
trying to guess Rather than trying to create desires for them which they don’t have So the future of floating and Floatworks is very bright. Hopefully you see this movement towards mindfulness and people talking about mental health and relaxation which is amazing we want to
be at the forefront of that We want to be the
global leaders in floating and going into 2020 We’re looking to at least
double in size we have two sites now We want to set up two sites this
year we’re very very excited to be doing that and to be offering this service to
the world.

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