Payal Kadakia is the definition of a disruptor. With a $1 billion company, ClassPass, she upended the fitness industry on a simple premise: Instead of paying for access to one gym, pay a monthly fee and drop into classes of all sorts. The ClassPass story began in 2011 when Payal, an MIT grad and avid dancer, spent over an hour searching online for an open ballet class in New York City. There, an idea was born.

Payal has always loved dance. The idea of having a passion in your life became a driving force for her—it gave her confidence and identity, and it was something she fought for her entire life. She says she was “that girl” who asked people to come to her dance show when she was 25 years old. She held onto her passion.

Fast forward a couple years when Payal was working in the music industry. She was studying ballet at the time, going to class after work, and she wanted to try something new. When she couldn’t find which class to go to after staring at 10 websites and the screen for so long, that’s when she realized if she really wanted to help people stay passionate about the things they love, she needed to build something that could help make it easier.

Listen to the full episode to hear Payal’s story and discover the traits that got her this far.

A few lessons from Payal…

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