Today’s episode is truly special as it was the very first episode recorded in human form, live with my guest Steffen Hoffman in his home in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. And let me just start by saying he had just done Ayahuasca the night before and he shares that journey with us!

He’s a multi-disciplinary artist and visual storyteller. His passion is in conscious creation.

He has led design, creative, tech, and product launches for both startups and large corporations, including Rythmia, RLOVE, The Honest Company working alongside Jessica Alba, Salesforce, and AOL. He has founded both tech and product companies, including Openly Human, Klova, Metastory, and Hipster which was acquired by AOL.

I have never met someone who is this talented in so many different creative skills. And if for some reason you needed an extra reason to stay with us through the end, Steffen performs for us with a epic little handpan session aka he plays the UFO drum for us.

LISTEN to this pod right here by clicking play or choose your favorite listening platform below. You can also WATCH the video podcast below that! Check out the show notes at the bottom to get more details about the contents of this episode. Enjoy!

Show notes in order of appearance:

  • This is the very first episode being recorded in real-life form, not over a video call. And we are in Costa Rica with Steffen Hoffman.
  • Ayahuasca Wednesdays. Steffen shares his experience with his ayahuasca journey the night prior to this episode recording.
  • Growing up in a poor family and how that shaped him
  • Steffen’s rock band
  • Steffen’s first entrepreneurial gig, a brick and mortar design agency.
  • Hipster, Steffen’s photo-sharing tech startup that was acquired by AOL.
  • The experience of being acquired by AOL.
  • Making it in life?
  • The Honest Company and working alongside Jessica Alba
  • Conscious brands: marketing vs actually having an impact? And does it matter as long as the impact is truly there?
  • The story about Openly Human, a clean deodorant brand created by Steffen.
  • Sourcing conscious ingredients
  • Conscious business brands to the advancement of humanity and improvement of our ecosystems.
  • Where humanity stands today.
  • Rythmia: a high-end Ayahuasca retreat center.
  • Rhytmia’s mission and how they’re doing it.
  • Steffen shares his top two traits for a conscious leader to embody

Visit  and find  Steffen Hoffman on Instagram.

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Below is a transcript of the video podcast created by Seb’s Robot buddy, Zekton. He tends to make mistakes so please forgive him if you find errors or some funky sounding sentences. For the real deal, watch the video or click on your favorite audio Podcast platform above! Enjoy!

Sebastian Naum (01:47):
Yeah, man, this is, uh, our very first episode being recording in real human life form. Yes, sir. As opposed to, you know, like a video call or zoom call. And so I’m excited to have you on welcome to the show Saturday full welcome man. And I mean, I’m just so happy that you’re here and you’re one of my good friends in LA and I moved to Costa Rica. Now we’re enjoying nature home. This is your, this is your land right here. They were shooting it right at my spot here. I love it. I love it, man. Well, you know, I want to start right with a, with a question. I want to ask you a question right away. Cause let’s get through some people have, uh, thirsty Thursdays and then some people do taco Tuesdays and then there’s Iowasca Wednesdays.

Steffen Hoffman (02:36):
I like the alliteration.

Sebastian Naum (02:39):
So before we get into conscious business talk and talking about some of the companies you’ve been involved with, like the honest company and, um, you know, openly human and rip me, um, what came through and last night’s Iowasca journey. Uh, every journey is I’ve had about 60 or 70 Iowasca journeys at this point. And um, sometimes

Steffen Hoffman (03:00):
People get the question of why do you keep on going back to it? Aren’t aren’t you healed or didn’t you get enough? There’s always something there. Uh, every time you sit down with the medicine, you’re at a different phase in your life, uh, you have different issues that you’re dealing with, different traumas that might arise and, and really you’re exploring your consciousness. It’s it’s infinite. So there’s many places to go. And, uh, last night in particular, um, I’m one of the moves that ghettos. So I play with the other, the musician, a musician. Yeah. Uh, and we play medicine music in Iowasca ceremonies. I play the piano in hand pan. We also have a flute player. It’s got a nester, amazing percussionist, William Shane on guitar, Ronnie on guitar. And it’s just, uh, we have a beautiful bond there amongst the musicians and the most beautiful thing about it for me.

Steffen Hoffman (03:47):
And what I, what I get every time is you, you drink the medicine, the people that are drinking the medicine as well. And you’re connecting at that energy. You’re connecting at that level and it channels through you. The music just comes through you. So whatever you’re feeling at that time channels through you, you’re sending it out in this beautiful vibration that these other people feel very deeply and you can guide their experience. And there’s, there’s really nothing like it. Uh, I’ve, I’ve become a better musician from, uh, doing plant medicine and playing in that state of consciousness. I’ve gained a lot of confidence just man, little over a year ago, I was super shy to play in front of any anybody super shy. Um, I would just get super nervous and then thought I wasn’t good enough all these things. And just being in that state, that was my practice with it.

Steffen Hoffman (04:35):
I was like, I want to build my confidence around expressing myself creatively and, and not being ashamed of it and just stepping into that truth. And that’s what it really helped me to do. And so I feel like I’ve become a better musician, both at the confidence, like I said, and you just flow with it, you know? And it’s, it’s always a recalibration every week to, um, so if you feel a little bit like you’re off your path, a little bit of misalignment just puts you right back there, you know, and gets, gets you focused, giving you confidence in other areas of your life as well. Yeah. I would say in my personal life, social life of just being myself and not being afraid to be myself, even if that is, I tend to be more quiet on the quiet side. I’m okay with that. Now I used to be like, Oh, I wish I was more social. I wish I could talk like this and do this. I’m like, no, you know, I feel our words are almost powerful weapons. And I often like to engage in conversation. I feel it’s necessary. I don’t like to fill up the space with words a lot of the times. And it’s just helped me like really embody that and be okay with that. Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (05:39):
So anything specific that came through last night? Like if we’re anybody that has never done it, no idea I’ve never done it. Right. So what is that like? How does it start? How does it end? Is there something you can describe? It’s hard to describe with words. I imagine it’s really hard to describe

Steffen Hoffman (05:55):
With words. There’s not really words for yeah. Cause you’re going to a place where there aren’t words that can really, you don’t know what these things are. It could be higher dimensions and things that you’re seeing in higher dimensions. And, um, you just can’t describe it. It’s a lot of feeling stuff from one of my ceremonies around feeling last night in particular, we were talking earlier is the, the, the sacredness of, of my work and my practice and what I use to make that happen. Uh, I create a lot digitally. So my computer, as, as you brought up that my computer has been my most, um, important object in my life to really create my art and do my designs and all that kind of stuff. And, uh, I set up my piano. I have my computer there and in the maloka and I was, I was like wiping off my computer and I, I felt gratitude for it, uh, this machine.

Steffen Hoffman (06:44):
Yeah. But, uh, and then at that moment I was like, this is a sacred object because we think of sacred, sacred objects is maybe it’s quartz. Maybe it’s a necklace. Maybe it’s a Sage, things like that. Yeah. And my computer, I felt like the sacred connection to it. And that, that like shift in that mindset of the tools I use, regardless of if they’re digital, if they’re from the earth, whatever it is. Yeah. Um, treating them with that honor and respect. And I feel that really comes out in the energy of my work as well. And um, every time since doing medicine, what, what has taught me is to whatever you’re designing, whatever you’re creating, whatever you’re sitting down and doing, um, do it to the best of your ability. And in my case, since it’s a lot of design, I always think I’m going to make an amazing piece of art. This is going to move someone. This is really going to, um, inspire someone for other things. And, uh,

Sebastian Naum (07:40):
No matter what that is, whether it could be something simple, that simple tasks that you’re doing, simple creative tasks,

Steffen Hoffman (07:45):
It is if it’s designing a paid ad, doing a brand guide, uh, creating a video, even something more artistic, like writing music, I just go with that same mindset of like, this is a sacred space and visiting the channel, this creativity I’m reaching from source, it’s running through me to push this out and that’s going through my mind the whole time I’m doing it.

Sebastian Naum (08:06):
And the only way to really truly do it with that type of intention is with lots of presence you need like the maximum amount of presence. You can have to be able to channel that.

Steffen Hoffman (08:15):
Exactly. Yeah. The maximum amount of presence flow state to get into that flow state. You really just need to put the blinders on and just get super focused. Love that. Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing that. Of course. That’s cool.

Sebastian Naum (08:28):
And, uh, w what did we just eat before we started doing the show?

Steffen Hoffman (08:32):
Well, I wanted to say one more thing about plant medicine. If, if you guys are looking, uh, for a deep healing and transformation to work through traumas, I know it’s been a challenging past year for, for a lot of people. Um, I’ve just, I found Iowasca, it’s such a healing plant. It’s, it’s from nature. It’s this as Sarah, the shaman says, it’s this concentrated drop of nature that we’re infusing and our bodies too, to connect the physical and spiritual worlds. And it, it, it, it helps on so many different levels. Yeah. Highly recommended it. Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (09:08):
We’ve known each other for several years now. And we got, you know, stoked that we got to work, share the same worst space together. We’re working the same place, really super dope creative space in LA. And we’ve had a lot of great conversations and, uh, you know, something that has come up. I remember talking about iOS because I was always very inquisitive and asking you questions is a lot of things come up. Right. And so, and, and you essentially, you’ve admitted to the fact that it’s not necessarily a shortcut to having done the work. It’s like, it’s exposing things that then you need to take action on and continue to do the work on the things that were exposed, as opposed to just like, Oh, it’s just a fix for somebody thinking, Oh, I’ll just take some, my WASC and my life is fixed.

Steffen Hoffman (09:51):
Yeah. No, that’s only half of it. The other half is the integration. Yeah. So taking that wisdom and everything you receive from your experience and integrating that into your life. Yeah. And that can be the most challenging part. I also think it is, it is a shortcut. It’s like a shortcut to happiness. It’s not a bypass. You’re not bypassing your issues. You’re taking them head on, but just in a more direct way. Got it. Um, so that’s why it can be challenging for a lot of people. It can bring up past traumas stuff from your childhood stuff from years, zero to five. And you, you work through it, you relive it. I think that’s why it’s so challenging for people because it also, uh, your ego dissolves a bit and it’s a lot of surrender and trust the medicine that she’s going to work through you and show you the things that you need to see.

Sebastian Naum (10:36):
Yeah. Speaking of that, is that, uh, going into, you know, going back to you growing up, um, did that do that for you? Did it bring up a lot of things? I know you’ve had a, you know, a rough growing up and that’s probably shaped who you are today.

Steffen Hoffman (10:50):
Yeah. Yeah. Completely. Uh, and I’m very grateful for all the experiences I went through and the most humbling thing to me. And I always say this with friends that I’m talking to him, I was like, you know, it’s cool, man. Like everything had to happen in our life. Just the way it did just for us to be sitting here right now, if anything happened differently, we wouldn’t be sitting here and enjoying nature, doing a podcast.

Sebastian Naum (11:11):
Butterfly effect is real man. It’s,

Steffen Hoffman (11:13):
It’s so real. So like everything matters, you know, uh, in my childhood, but in particular, we grew up really poor. Um, we were on food stamps, section eight, every government program you can think of, uh, my dad left when I was five and he wasn’t really in the picture. And it was just my mom trying to raise three kids. And she was doing the best that she could with what she knew, how to do. That’s one thing that plant medicine and this more spiritual path I’m on has really taught me is that empathy for my parents and their understanding that whatever they’re going through, they might’ve got handed to them from their parents or their, their parents’ parents. So when you’re healing yourself, you’re also healing your, um, and it it’s, it’s traumas you’re working through for the future of your generation and lineage. Uh, so,

Sebastian Naum (12:02):
Hmm. Yeah. I mean the more you’re healing. Yeah. Pass that on. Okay.

Steffen Hoffman (12:05):
Yeah, exactly. And, um, just, you know, living in poverty and knowing what it’s like to be at zero and not having that safety net, uh, my mom had to work and she was in a band. She was playing gigs and stuff. So me and my brother and my sister were on our alone alone a lot. Yeah. I was being left at home alone since the age of four. Yeah. And, uh, so I really felt like, um, I’m just raising myself, you know, I’m on my own. And I, you know, I never had much sadness as a kid. It didn’t hit me like, Oh, this is, this is strange or something like that. It only happened when I became a teenager, I was really like, Hey, maybe this could be better or something. Uh, but, um, yeah, so I developed this independence. I could just do things on my own and be okay with it.

Steffen Hoffman (12:48):
So as an adult, what that translated into in my professional path was just learn it, dive in. You know, if you, if you have a vision, um, learn the tools and skills necessary to make that vision happen. And I think it’s one of the most rewarding experiences for me as a creative is to you have this blank canvas, whether it’s an empty Photoshop file or an actual canvas or a new Ableton file, whatever, whatever it is, whatever you’re making and to start from zero, and then you just have this finished product and you look at it, you listen to it. Other people react to it. That’s such a fun thing for, for me, but, but yeah, I, I took the, uh, that, that life experience of, of, of it being hard, but it gave me this massive independence. So it, I almost became fearless to be an entrepreneur to really pursue my goals.

Steffen Hoffman (13:37):
Even if I had like a cushy job well-paid I wouldn’t stay there long, you know, in my twenties I’d be like, no, I have this fire inside. And I feel like I want to go and do my own thing. And along the way that you pick up, I picked up web design because I needed a website. You know, I didn’t have the budget. You weren’t a band first though. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m trying to kind of jump in a few levels. Yeah. What kind of music were you playing? Yeah. Uh, so I was in a band, uh, man, since I was like 1816, actually. Uh, and it was local bands. We were, we weren’t too big, 2006. We played warped tour, which was that’s cool. Yeah. I think I may have a pop punk band, you know, that’s like the pinnacle. Yeah. We all just on a few dates and

Sebastian Naum (14:23):
Legit may have been at 2006 warp tour. I’m not even kidding you. Yeah, because we were 20. Yeah. Cause we’re the same age. Yeah.

Steffen Hoffman (14:30):
I could have been there in a band. The band needs stickers.

Sebastian Naum (14:35):
Oh yeah. Websites. It’s a business.

Steffen Hoffman (14:37):
Yeah. MySpace layouts at that time. So yeah, actually that’s where I got all of my front end coding skills, my space layout. So all of this that I was that dude, I was, I was really curious in it. You know, I kind of, I drew a lot when I was younger and I express myself in that way. So I was like, yeah, I’ll hop in and do this. And then I learned a little bit of like design stuff. And then I started working at a local, a web design company in my town. And that’s where I learned more of the coding, how websites all work together. And I was like, you know, I think I can do this on my own. So I was 21 right before I graduated college. I opened up my own design agency and Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. That’s where I grew up. Yeah. Cinch creative media. And it was right on the main street there. It was me and a few of my college friends

Sebastian Naum (15:23):
You had to, and it was, I mean, it was clutch that you had an actual spot. Yeah. The main street. And I didn’t realize design agency, but now like you can’t even picture, like where would the cares where they are essentially. Yeah. I mean, I’ll actually look at huge agency or something like that then needs a brick and mortar and a main street, but still cool.

Steffen Hoffman (15:40):
Yeah. It’s a little small town. Yeah. And, uh, that’s where I really got a lot of my chops with, uh, the business side of things going out and getting sales. I had to meet the clients. I had to sell them on what I was creating for them. And they had to go home and learn it because a lot of things I’d be like, I think I can do that. Um, so yeah, I just go home and learn it. I was working a ton and I didn’t even realize that at the time, because I feel like I’m kind of an old soul and with, with how I grew up, I kind of grew up quick and I had that independence. So I kind of felt like an older guy anyway. Even, even at a young age, I was always kind of like the, I guess the parent feeling in the group.

Steffen Hoffman (16:19):
Yeah. And, uh, it was, it was just really beautiful cause uh, I got to learn so much and, um, realize what I really liked about that. And I really did like the design side. I love the branding side. Um, and I decided at that point to, after a couple of years of doing that, to work at this startup in New York city called next jump and I was a designer there working in the city, it was my first job. And uh, I just got more hooked on the whole startup aspect, but it was the first place that I worked at w where they did fundraising and they created these products and it was really cool to see that process. So a buddy of mine was out in LA and he’s like, Hey, me and a friend are going to, we’re thinking about doing this startup idea.

Steffen Hoffman (17:02):
Do you want to do it with us? So I was like, sure, that sounds great, man. So I was working on it and decided to move out. I just quit my job. I had a little bit of money in the bank, packed up my 95 Volkswagen golf and did a road trip. It was very, very spontaneous. And I’ve always kind of been that way. Like when I, when I get the feeling in my gut, I listened to it and I I’ve always done it in this home in Costa Rica. Yeah. Random during quarantine. Yeah. I was like, I think I want to do this. I love it. Uh, so, uh, yeah, just moved out to LA and that’s what kicked off this, this startup path for me. Um, well, let’s just start startup called, well, I came out to LA, we didn’t know what it was.

Steffen Hoffman (17:42):
We just had a concept. Uh, it was men like hyper-local questions and kind of like a hyper-local Cora or something like that. Uh, yeah, it wasn’t too cool. But what was cool with that? We were just grinding away in this downtown office in LA, like fold-up tables, fold up chairs. We had no, no money. We just had a lot of drive and some talent and we put up a splash page. It said, something’s cool is coming to your city. And hipster was the name we decided on it’s good name. Um, for some reason that got a lot of buzz, we had tons of people signing up to our list. Cause we’re like, what is this cool thing? We made it very secretive. And we’re strategic about like, yeah, you don’t know what we’re building, you know, it’s this magic thing, come check it out soon.

Steffen Hoffman (18:29):
And it caught the attention of some investors as well. And we met with them and explained to them the product yet. No, we’re building a product. Yeah. And uh, sometimes with investors, it can be a little bit of a domino effect if one person jumps in other people are more likely to jump in. Yeah. And that’s what happened to our case. We were able to raise kind of like pre-product at that point we had, we had a kind of a beta thing. We got South by like trying to show it off to, uh, and they, yeah, we, we were able to raise about a million dollars. I think I was 25 at that time. Yeah. That’s yeah. And that was such a cool experience, man. Cause I come off from, I started my first business work at a startup and do my own startup now. And uh, it was just such a beautiful process to go through. So after that we moved up to San Francisco, did the whole Silicon Valley thing. We hired a few engineers and built out hipster. It was ended up being a photo sharing app. Okay. Yeah. And that was right around the time when Instagram was just taken off. Yeah. Similar. Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (19:32):
Similar social platform essentially. Yeah.

Steffen Hoffman (19:35):
And we had a little office right next to Zenda skin, a tech crunch and all those places right there, right there in San Francisco. And we’re doing that about a year and uh, AOL acquired us after, after uh, six months to a year of being live in the store. So it was just also fast, you know, I mean, at this point, this is like the dream at this point. Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (19:59):
We just got acquired by AOL and you’re probably thinking like first startup, I made it man. Like this is it right? Like it equates happiness in a way you might like knowing probably not, not real, but yeah, that, that was a point in my life.

Steffen Hoffman (20:14):
I really felt, um, vindicated, maybe the wrong word, but just like, like out of, you know, struggling so much and coming from, I was like this poor kind of fat kid in, in Pennsylvania, low self that wasn’t a bubble,

Sebastian Naum (20:28):
It’s like a vortex. And by like, I got to see some fat Stephan pictures. Yeah.

Steffen Hoffman (20:32):
I’ll show her. Yeah. And uh, yeah, I just never thought I even a mounts or anything really mad it places, this false ceiling, uh, when you live in places like that sometimes. And to be out in the Mecca where tech is and actually have a thriving hot startup. Yeah. That’s awesome. It was so amazing, man. Yeah. I was just going along with it, working my butt off along the way for sure. You know?

Sebastian Naum (20:58):
Um, so you got acquired by AOL. Yeah. You’re now you now have new bosses because you were no longer you essentially, right? Yeah.

Steffen Hoffman (21:06):
So they, it was, it was an Aqua hire. They hired our team for the talent. They broke us up and we were working on different teams there, the corporate world, especially AOL, you know, kind of a dying tech company. It wasn’t, it wasn’t for me. And I felt more of this startup passion. Right.

Sebastian Naum (21:21):
Interesting concept though, because I, you know, I know you and I have talked about it before, but you know, you get acquired you’re, you’re this brand, this baby you’re creating for, you know, a year plus. And then you go in and you’re super excited and all of a sudden it basically dissolve, they dissolve that product and they just bring you in for your talent. It’s super disappointing. I imagine in a way, I mean like cool that they bring you in for their talent,

Steffen Hoffman (21:45):
But the baby’s gone. Yeah. Um, it was definitely an experience in that just, uh, that they often say like what’s coming is going and that’s, that’s definitely a view point of, of Buddhism nothing’s permanent. So it was a big practice in that I spend all this time on something and, you know, it’s gone. And as you, and I know that’s the startup world, man, you put in your heart and soul into something just doesn’t work that’s often than not.

Sebastian Naum (22:13):
And even more for you as in the creative space, you know that, um, it’s something that, you know, one of my close friends, um, they they’ve done a lot of, they do a lot of creative builds for events, for big brands and things like that. And I remember having great conversations with them and then me and being like, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a weird feeling. You get to put a bunch of time, energy and love into creating something really cool for a cool brand for like Coachella, for example. But then three days later, they, it gets torn down. It’s very much that like you build this thing, but then it’s no, it’s not permanent. And then it’s gone. Yeah. It’s very interesting feeling attachment to that thing.

Steffen Hoffman (22:51):
Yeah. But I think it works well for me though. Uh, because I, I like hopping from thing to thing and that’s kinda how my brain works too. Yeah. So, uh, I just love the creative aspect, not necessarily the maintenance aspect. Uh, so once that was done, I was like, cool. What’s the next thing like I have to maintain this home brother. Can’t just jump away. I know, I know I got a dog now. That’s probably come in the shot at some point. You guys can hear the beautiful birds out here. Yeah. So Steph,

Sebastian Naum (23:21):
Uh, there was after that you ended up leaving and then, uh, tell us how you got involved with the honest company.

Steffen Hoffman (23:26):
Sure. Um, well first,

Sebastian Naum (23:28):
Why don’t you tell us some people may not have heard of the honest company.

Steffen Hoffman (23:30):
Yeah. So the honest company is a clean, personal care brand. It was started by Jessica Alba back, man, I think maybe 2012, 13, something like that. So a little bit after the Aqua high came back down to Santa Monica and my partner in that company was got a job as the engineer, at the honest company, he’s like, Hey, swing by and let me know what you think. And yeah, we hit it off and they liked my work and we’re like, yeah, we’d love to bring you on. So I was working there for a little while and then pause actually came back a little bit later. I went to a different startup, came back there, uh, to build honest beauty. And I led the digital launch of that. It was the whole design of it, uh, the, the website, the app, which was cool. Cause it had this like real time augmented reality try-on feature. So Jessica had these different looks and you can see what that looked like on your face. So put makeup on you. So me and the engineers had a lot of fun. Yeah. I bet. I bet. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, and, and that was just, that was cool. I was there about a year, year, a year, year and a half. And I got to know Jessica really well. We were like cube mates. And

Sebastian Naum (24:44):
That was going to ask, what was that like working with Jess kava?

Steffen Hoffman (24:46):
It was great, man. I mean, like she always respected my work and like, like my work a lot and she was always super nice to me. And we we’d have meetings a lot to talk about honest beauty. It was like every other day, you know? So we’re just bouncing ideas off one another and she’s very engaged. Um, really like, like a good leader on the leader. She had great ideas and meetings too. Like super good ideas. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. So, so I learned a lot from her and just that confidence in the, in the workplace, like stepping into your truth, owning that out. So she was fun to work with. Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (25:20):
That’s cool. So the honest company, maybe you could say is your first, your introduction into like conscious business in a way, right. Or a conscious, driven, impact driven brand. It’s all about the ingredients and things like that. Yeah. In general, from a perspective of conscious business, how much do you feel that a lot of it can be marketing versus, you know, really like the impact that they’re trying to, you know, cause, and it’s not necessarily about the honest company, but just in general. Right. And then at the end, does it really matter as long as the impact is real, if they’re doing it for their marketing or not, you know, uh, you know, it can be a mix. Yeah.

Steffen Hoffman (25:59):
You know, I’m honest was really good about trying really hard to make their products as effective and clean as possible because sometimes when you use the natural ingredients, they’re not as effective for act. Um, so there’s a fine balance there. Uh, but they, they did work really hard for that. I feel there is a lot of greenwashing that goes on, uh, where it is just smoke and mirrors. I would say the best way to really know if a company is legit or not, as far as how clean they are is just look at their ingredient lists. Yeah. Um, and you mentioned this site skinny, it gives you a whole readout of how toxic is this ingredient. You look at the ingredient list and you really know, because if there’s a few red flags there, it’s like, all right, this company is not what they say they are, but it’s a clean five ingredient lists. You’re like, okay. You know, if they use organic even better. Yeah,

Sebastian Naum (26:48):
Yeah. For sure. And then I’ve got here and this is, um, hopefully human, Oh, natural deodorant spray. And I was, I feel like I, I saw almost every step of this process cause we were at this point we were, this is after you left the honest company. And um, yes sir. So tell us about this pretty beautiful and awesome product that you created

Steffen Hoffman (27:10):
For sure. I’ll give a little bit of backstory of how I got there. As you mentioned, I was at the, I was at the honest company and uh, yeah, I got exposed to the personal care world and I just saw how toxic it really was. That was a big part of their marketing. And their thing was we were a lot cleaner look how bad this stuff can be for you. Um, so when I left there, I just had a lot of energy to do my startup things. So I actually went into tinctures. I partnered with an Alchemist, Scott, Phoenix, amazing smart dude. He was my greatest teacher at that time in my life. He’s a legit Alchemist.

Sebastian Naum (27:47):
Yeah. I have that name and that’d be legit.

Steffen Hoffman (27:49):
And alchemy is really the Trent transformation of something. In this case, it was plant materials into a tincture. Yup. Um, but it’s a really beautiful practice. It’s very, time-consuming, it’s a, it’s a very high vibe way to make tinctures. We actually made [inaudible], which is a special type of tincture where we add the plant back to the tincture after it’s done, we burn it down. So it’s zero waste, really cool stuff. We were up in Portland doing that for about a year and we had a lab set up. I lived upstairs. We did, uh, he, he did workshops of alchemy and making tinctures and working with herbs. And we made a line of tinctures that were, uh, incredibly efficacious, amazing blends stuff like Dreamcatcher was for your dreams. We have flow for focus, spark for energy. And they all mushroom in urban fuse. A lot of aryuveda curves, adaptogenic, herbs, and mushrooms, uh, and those blends.

Steffen Hoffman (28:43):
And that gave me a lot of knowledge and respect even further for the plants. Um, and at that time I had, I started doing Iowasca and plant medicine, having a practice around that. Um, so yeah, it was just, it was all leading you down this way. I think the Iowasca was talking through me and I was like go to the plants. Uh, I became vegan, uh, at that time and had a whole plant-based diet. So that gave me a lot of the, the background of the plants and what these things do and how to make them and a little bit of the manufacturing. Yeah. Uh, both doing it at home and working with manufacturers. Uh, so that led me to believe that the tinctures were a little heady. I think for most people, like if I say sporadic tincture, you’re like

Sebastian Naum (29:25):
The heck with that. Hey,

Steffen Hoffman (29:28):
Uh, so we, I decided to make a product still the same high vibes, still really good ingredients, but what’s something that everyone is familiar with and what’s, what’s something that’s ritualistic, something they can use every day because that makes for a good business model because people will always come back. Um, but it’s also a big way to make impact because it’s something they go to every day

Sebastian Naum (29:51):
And you have to, it’s a very dirty industry.

Sebastian Naum (29:53):
Hey guys, I just want to remind you that you can get more content like That’s a bastion N a U And you can also get a ton of other marketing resources from myself and my agencies ranging from SEO to social media, influencer, marketing, branding, animation, web development, and more again, that’s a bastion Thank you. And enjoy the rest of the show.

Steffen Hoffman (30:15):
It’s very dirty. A lot of the fragrant space is really dirty. Um, and just how dirty it is. It’s, it’s pretty sinister and their ingredients. They can just put fragrance. Yeah. And they don’t legally have to say what that is because it’s their IP correct. Intellectual property. And that’s where they put all the toxins. That’s where they put all the carcinogens. Yeah. So not even listing their full ingredients. So whenever you see fragrance go away from that product,

Sebastian Naum (30:40):
How hot, I mean, it’s, I only got one side. I got to get the other side. It smells so good, but I love this. How hard is it? How hard is it to source clean ingredients? Because like, why isn’t everyone else sourcing cleaning readings? Why is most of the stuff we consume? You know, just stuff, things that are bad for our bodies that for health, why does everyone do it?

Steffen Hoffman (31:04):
I think manufacturing it’s expensive. It’s expensive. Yeah. A lot of the manufacturers are set up to make things cheaply and use cheap ingredients. And they’re not really incentivized to go more organic or source more organic because their customers aren’t asking for it a lot. Yeah. I would say that’s probably the most inhibitive thing is just cost on a lot of stuff. Um, yeah.

Sebastian Naum (31:24):
Yeah. It’s disappointing. I feel like, um, I don’t know, you just, we’re seeing a new wave of conscious businesses and we’re seeing people more and more, you know, evolved and caring into what they consume and what they put on their bodies, you know, and hopefully that’s, you know, that’s a changing, you know, the change of the guard in a way from, you know, the old capitalism into conscious capitalism in the brands of conscious ingredients. Yeah. And, uh, you know, I don’t have all the answers for that, but I feel that although some things may be more expensive on the outside. I think there’s always ways to move things around and shift things around and how maybe they’re more expensive, but that’s also providing other jobs for other people that wouldn’t normally have those jobs. Right. It’s like a cycle that, yeah. Yeah.

Steffen Hoffman (32:14):
Yeah. And, and openly human’s case, uh, just back to your previous question of like, why not, why don’t we have more clean stuff. It’s also harder to come up with the formulas because a lot of these fake things they use help it bind better than open congeal or they look a certain way. Yeah. Um, even other deodorants, like acts, for example, their first ingredients butane and their spray deodorant, which is, it gives people and they only add butane to push it out of the can. It’s just for aerosol. It’s not even part of the formula. That’s crazy. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so yeah, it’s just a little bit harder.

Sebastian Naum (32:51):
You sold it by the way. Definitely human congratulations. Thank you. Epic, great feeling to sell something that you’ve been involved with from the ground up, and you did it with conscious ingredients. You’d something you put your heart, you know, behind what you stand for. Right. Um, love it when you can really use your own product. You’re like, I love this, you know what I mean? That’s cool. Um, and then, so we’re hearing we’re in Costa Rica, you work at a place called [inaudible]. Yeah. Kind of full circle back to the, you know, plant medicine that we were talking about earlier. That’s why, you know, iowaska, Wednesdays is at Rhythmia. So tell us a little bit about Rhythmia.

Steffen Hoffman (33:28):
Sure. Um, Rhythmia is a plant medicine center and Guana Costa Costa Rica, which is one of the five blue zones in the world. And what’s the blue zone. The blue zone is a place where people live longer, healthier lives. There’s a lot less mental illness, a lot less cancers, things like that. And there’s a lot of people who live to be over a hundred here. So it’s a very healing place. Rhythmia is a very healing transformative place. There’s it combines ancient wisdom with modern healing modalities. So in addition to the plant medicine, you’re able to integrate throughout the week with workshops from the top thought leaders like Michael Beckwith, Gregg, Braden, uh, amazing people that come in through there. You also have breath, work, yoga, uh, amazing food. And it’s all in a luxury setting. So you, you don’t have to, but previously you’d have to go out into the jungle and track miles and have mosquitoes and bugs and drink medicine, you know, and be on your own. Now you can do it in like a luxurious place here that is still, you still go just as deep it’s just as healing. And I really see the transformation of people that come through at the beginning of week to the end of the week. They’re different people. They’re, they’re reborn.

Sebastian Naum (34:38):
They have some mission. What is the mission of Rhythmia?

Steffen Hoffman (34:40):
Yeah, the mission of Rhythmia high level. Like when I talked to Jerry, the founder over there we’re good friends. He always says like, we’re changing the world by changing people’s minds. Okay. And that’s, that’s high level. What what’s happening. Cause what I’ll ask it, does it helps change your mind. It’ll change your perspective on things, the story you tell yourselves,

Sebastian Naum (35:00):
Because we are our stories.

Steffen Hoffman (35:02):
And once you change that story in someone, then they, they start changing the world because they start acting out this new, new found perspective. Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (35:09):
Yeah. What kind of people do you have that come in with? What kind of stories and what kind of stories do they leave with

Steffen Hoffman (35:15):
All kinds? There’s all, all walks of life, man. We have people from all over the globe, England, Russia, coat poster, Riga in North America, Canada, and all ages. I think we’ve had people like 18 to 80 something of, wow. Yeah. So it’s it’s for everyone. Families come down and do it together. Couple couples come down and do it. And it’s anything and everything. People struggling with drug addictions, struggling with suicide maybe, or, you know, just having dark thoughts, depression. Um,

Sebastian Naum (35:48):
You probably have millionaires coming in that just are struggling with finding meaning or purpose.

Steffen Hoffman (35:52):
Exactly. There’s, there’s lots of really successfully, financially successful people that come in just super unhappy. Yeah. You know, and realizing money’s not the answer, what can I do to really change my life? So it’s a mix, you know, it is a bit, uh, it is a little bit pricier than other centers. So, um, the demographic tends to skew that way a little bit. And I really love that approach actually, to being a center for people’s first step into plant medicine, uh, cause getting those types of people down here, those are the movers and shakers in the world. They’re the ones who have businesses. They’re the ones who can really make a change as long as they get their story. Right. And this helps them get their story. Right. And then they go out there and start making changes. And we hear that all the time that these previously just like the founder over there, they had these non-conscious non-intentional businesses just to make money, um, manipulative, you know, not, not really heart-centered and now they’re inspired. And I see the changes they’re making in their own companies to be more conscious and to lead with your heart and give to charities and set up certain programs at their job to give back. So it’s so beautiful to see that feedback where someone comes in thinking a certain way, doing a certain type of business and they come out cool. Being a conscious leader.

Sebastian Naum (37:07):
That’s awesome. That’s awesome, man. How important do you find conscious business to be in playing a role in the advancement of humanity and the improvement of our ecosystems?

Steffen Hoffman (37:20):
I think it’s, every business is going to have to go that route. Yeah. Every business. Um, it’s the only way to make the earth sustainable for all the people that, that, that are peopling here on earth. Uh, we’re just going to have to get to that point. I really do feel like water is going to become a scarce resource and climate change is very real and that’s happening rapidly. So I think we’re going to be forced into it and we’re going to be forced into lifestyle changes, which I’ll happily accept. It’s just like minimalizing, making things cleaner, having them be more heart-centered uh, I really feel like that is our purpose here on earth is to expand, grow, and learn whatever our consciousness, our soul needs to learn here and conscious businesses and leaders can as time you’re mad as human as humanity. Yeah. Yeah.

Steffen Hoffman (38:14):
And, um, it helps us fulfill that purpose and I feel that’s what we’re all going towards as a species. And that’s what the medicine is teaching me. That’s what I feel like I’m seeing. And there’s this interesting car to chip scale. I’m really into a futurism cosmology, things like that. So the Carter chef scale is the evolution of societies civilizations from zero to four. And it’s based on how much energy they can harness. So at zero just have us, or we might have some horses, you know, as we’re going towards one, once we’re at one, uh, we can harness the power of the atom. So nuclear fusion. Okay. Um, once we go to two, we can harness the power of the sun fusion. Hm. Now that’s the power of the solar system. And then once we’re at a three where, uh, enter interstellar travel dif different stars and at level four that’s you can travel different universes.

Steffen Hoffman (39:11):
You know, there’s nothing that can hold you here. So that’s like a futurist scale of where, uh, civilizations go towards. And we’re right at the point, I believe we’re at, uh, Meteo Kaku says we’re at like a 0.7 0.8, which is the most volatile time in civilization because we now have access to the atom and its power to destroy ourselves, which is something that should be, uh, really, you know, taken lightly, being careful with it, you know, in the right hands we gets in the wrong hands. It could be a bad thing, but we also have these primal minds still. We still have these kinds of Neanderthal, like thoughts, these primal thoughts, like our consciousness hasn’t really ascended so much yet. So we’re at a point where we could either obliterate ourselves or we can transcend, we can get past that and, uh, evolve as a species to type one where we really become more of a hive, mind, a global community, uh, with all the same goal of just expanding consciousness. Do we see that in our lifetime? I don’t think in our lifetime. Um, and again, a lot of stuff I referenced, I love me to yoke Haku. I would check him out. He’s an amazing speaker, really funny guy. Uh, so a lot of this is stuff I’ve, I’ve read from his books. I think he says about a hundred years. He’s thinking, okay. Uh, and we’ll see, are we gonna kill ourselves or are we going to prosper? Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (40:35):
And to tie that back to what, you know, why that came up, talking about conscious business and that being part of what can help us evolve as humanity. Uh, definitely. I think it, like you said, it has to go that way for just about every business. Yeah. For us to really be able to survive. I think as a species, I think all in capitalism has to be conscious capitalism. Um, otherwise it’s just, it’s just greed and greed has gotten us to so many,

Steffen Hoffman (41:03):
You look at big, big pharmaceuticals science. Those inherently are really good. It’s just, it’s just how we have carried them out

Steffen Hoffman (41:13):
Through agree. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. It’s using them in the wrong way. Yeah. But using the right way. Massively beneficial.

Sebastian Naum (41:20):
Yeah. What instrument do we have back here, staff? Yeah. Is it the spaceship?

Steffen Hoffman (41:25):
You’re wondering, it looks like a spaceship. It’s actually a hand pan, uh, originally called the hung drum is from, uh, Scandinavia. Nice. So, and it’s a fairly new instrument. It was created in the year 2000 and there’s a lot of makers who kind of make their own thing. I got this from this amazing maker in downtown LA Hamsa, hand pants, go check them out. And, um, man, I, I play this in ceremony, something about the tone and the resonance of it’s just very healing. Yeah. Awesome. That’s part of my healing with music too, is I treat us therapy for myself when I’m also learning a fun skill at the same time. And this one here I can just zone out for hours. Play probably play a little bit towards the end.

Sebastian Naum (42:04):
Yeah. We’re going to close out with a little bit of that. But before that, um, you’re clearly a conscious leader. I’ve always seen you that way. And I know you, you, you are that way you embody it, you carry it out. You feel the same about yeah, thank you. I appreciate it.

Steffen Hoffman (42:18):
So he always has, he’s always positive, like Optum optimistic and just always a fun guy to be around. You know, when you’re in the room, you’re just like, all right, thank you. I’m happy, man.

Sebastian Naum (42:28):
I had very many plugs for myself and my own podcasts. I appreciate that. Now I know you’ve done that. I mean, um, but you know, I really mean that about you. What do you feel are two of the most important traits that a conscious leader must embody today

Steffen Hoffman (42:42):
With every action that you do looking at it? Is this coming from a place of love? Is this something coming from my higher self or that my higher self would do? So just keeping yourself firmly rooted in that mindset really changes everything for you. And you realize how many things you might do that aren’t love or aren’t coming from that place of love or aren’t coming from your higher self. And it can be frustrating because you’re like, man, I have a lot of work to do. That’s that’s the space I get into a lot.

Sebastian Naum (43:11):
I’m like, so you do that when you’re doing things, you check yourself.

Steffen Hoffman (43:14):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I checked myself in my head and this is the lesson from the medicine. It’s like, is this coming from love? And if it’s not, uh, you know, something’s gotta change. Something’s gotta change. Yeah. And uh, rom Doss, who’s also a great spiritual leader. He has this song, this mantra that he uses called, I am loving awareness. And I listened to that a lot. Listen, a lot of his talks and just always be in this state, this presence of loving awareness, like everything around you is love you. You were aware that it’s love you are loved yourself. The awareness is key. The awareness is key. Yeah. It’s interesting. It’s tough. But I would say, yeah, like always checking yourself. This is coming from a place of love. So that was number one. Number two is, listen, listen to your intuition because it’s very powerful. It always guides us in the right direction and just become a good listener of your

Sebastian Naum (44:11):
Yeah. I mean, so I want to speak to that a little bit because something that’s been coming through for me a lot over the last couple of years is listening to my intuition, but I’ve always been an intuitive person, but I’m not sure. I was really figuring out when I’m actually listening to my intuition or when it’s just it’s it’s is it sometimes it’s hard to figure out is this intuition, this is my brain. And one thing that I started learning over the last couple of years is that my body, my actual physical body is actually channeling intuition. And I’m feeling it constricting versus, you know, opening and you know, and that could be a lot of the times it could be, um, that could be what anxiety and fear can do for people. Like there’s, there’s a purpose for anxiety and fear is supposed to inform you, right. Obviously if you have anxiety and fear constantly all the time, there’s something else going on. And it’s probably also trying to inform you about something else going on in your brain and in your emotions and things like that. But intuition, uh, I think has been big for me, discovering a different way to understanding what the intuition is. Do you have a way that, you know, when something is intuition versus your brain rationale, maybe

Steffen Hoffman (45:24):
Yeah. It’s usually the first thought the first set, right? The first feeling you get from it. Yeah. And uh, sometimes it can be a physical reaction, just like, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a room with a certain type of energy or, you know, uh, that you just are like repelled by it. You’re like, I don’t want to be here. Yeah. And it’s instant, you know, right away. Um, so I would say that th that’s it right there, at least for me is just like that first, before you even think about it. Cause really our thoughts can be dangerous. Our thoughts are what causes the fear. You go and do something that’s not inherently fearful. It’s just, we think it might be. Yeah. It causes the fear. It’s the thoughts. So before those thoughts even have a chance to enter, you get a feeling in your body and just like try to listen to that and hone in on that and have a practice of like, when you go to certain places, you do certain work, you might have a new client coming on. Just be like, what was that gut reaction I got from this guy? And that’s usually the correct one. Okay.

Sebastian Naum (46:19):
Yeah. Well those are two great traits operating through and out of love,

Steffen Hoffman (46:23):
Always in listening to your intuition. So spoken as a true conscious leader. So thanks.

Sebastian Naum (46:29):
That’s death, man. Thanks for being on brother. You’re truly a, a such, such a conscious leader and keep doing you, but you know, if you’re watching or listening or not done because Steph’s gonna play a little bit

Steffen Hoffman (46:44):
And I did want to plug my music. I have a Spotify account. Am I a artists, a more Mia Fati? I just do it for fun. It’s a passion of mine. Um, but it’s there. So

Sebastian Naum (46:56):
Please. Yeah. Say that again. We’re gonna have it in the links. We’re going to have it in the links. A more Mia [inaudible] yeah.

Steffen Hoffman (47:04):
I’m mortified. He was actually coined by Nietzsche and it means like, love your faith. Love, love. What’s given to you. No matter what it is and what path are you going? Just love it. So I added the Mia, which is like, makes it possessive like me. So it’s like loving my fate. Cause that’s the vibe I was in. I was like, all right, I’m really trying to be in this yeah. On this path. So thanks again, Steph. You had the mammogram.