Ivka Adam received her B.A. in Economics from UCLA and her MBA from the Marshall School of Business at USC. She went on to become the founder and CEO of Iconery. Ivka is also a widely celebrated speaker on some of the most iconic stages and platforms including Women's Wear Daily Digital Forum Los Angeles, eTail West Palm Springs, Girlboss Rally, Women in Retail Conference and Create & Cultivate in Advertising Week in New York. She is a world-class hiker who has ascended to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Whitney four times, the West Face of Mount Shasta. She has also hiked the John Muir trail and the Trans Catalina trail.
Time Stamped Notes
[6:36] Ivka describes a 90 day personal development game which helped her put the accountability tools in place and helped her understand that communication is critical for accountability. In these games, she had a partner, she had daily check-ins and she had goals she was supposed to accomplish. These games provided her with great training at the beginning of her adult life.
[9:29] Ivka started her internship in 2001 at Ernst & Young. At that time, she was a 3rd year at UCLA. She ended up getting a fulltime role at Ernst & Young. Her experience has taught her to ignore thoughts of, "If only". She now chuckles at thoughts like, "If only I could be half as lucky as X person," or, "If only I could sell my company to this company," or, "If only I could get these investors that are as good as those." She knows she is good enough and she can set her mind, single focus on attaining something that she wants and she can make it a reality.
[10:59] Two things are necessary to make a goal into a reality. One, knowing how to tap into your intuition. Ivka learnt the second lesson when she was in Business School which is being single focused on the thing that you want to go after. While there she discovered that eBay had MBA internships, but they had never recruited from anyone who was outside of the top 4 Business Schools in the country and no one had ever had a product management internship. Ivka set her mind on getting the MBA internship at eBay and she put in the time and effort.
[14:09] Ivka was born into a family of meditators. Her parents became transcendental meditation (TM) teachers in the 70s with Maharishi. They then initiated her when she was 4. Maharishi introduced TM from India in the 50s. Transcendental meditation is a mantra-based meditation. It means that you are repeating in your mind a meaningless word that's given to you by a TM teacher. The basic practice is 20 minutes, twice a day. There has been a lot of science around supporting what the technique does for brain wave coherence, for rest of the body, and longevity. The initiation process in TM is very easy. All you have to do is an intro lecture that's about an hour and then three or four hour long checkups.
[20:43] As much as Ivka would like to say that she does TM every day religiously twice a day, she doesn't. Rather than berate herself for not keeping a super regular practice, she applauds herself when she does it, she recognizes the benefits. Ivka instead chooses to do things like go for a week every year to really dive deep. Her regular practice is one where she makes sure, on a regular basis, she is going deep for days at a time. She has found that this really helps when she comes back to "reality" to jumpstart that regularity again.
Ivka also takes about 10 days to get completely off the grid by going back-packing in the mountains. One of the best things about taking the time to go away for a week is she gets to see how her employees work without her being constantly accessible. She gets to see who steps up, who drops the ball. It's a really efficient way to see how her team works, how her company runs when she's not there. After the trip, she comes back happier, and as a happier leader, her employees are happier. Everyone should learn to balance their rest and activity. Don't brag about being on 24/7. It's not cool and it's not healthy. It's not good for you or any of the people around you.
[23:27] Ivka talks about the book, Why We Sleep, that she recently finished reading. Sleep is the magic cure for everything. It is so important to get that full 8 hours so you get all the deep NREM sleep, as well as the REM sleep which really takes care of the brain. One of the big takeaways for Ivka was the effect of alcohol on your sleep. Alcohol really hampers your REM sleep which is so important for memory and bringing health. In fact, there's an argument in a lot of research studies that anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder can be aggravated and even sometimes caused by a lack of sleep.
[26:16] Ivka talks about an intriguing study on the effects various drugs have on spider web building. Some NASA researchers in the 80s gave drugs to spiders and then watched them build webs. The spiders were each given caffeine, LSD, speed and marijuana. The spider on caffeine had the most disorganized, random spider web.
In this study, Ivka was able to learn lots of things about sleep and how she could improve her own sleeping patterns. She also knows now that there is no such thing as an actual sleeping pill. There are only sedation pills. They don't mimic sleep the way your brain waves are functioning on sleeping pills. So far, there has not be one sleeping pill that will actually cause you to have your brain go into proper sleep patterns. What it's doing is its basically mimicking anesthesia. You aren't really getting into really beneficial REM sleep that you need for memory retention.
All You Need is Love- Nancy Cooke de Harra
Why We Sleep- Matthew Walker
The Sleep Revolution- Arianna Huffington