At Journey Meditation, we’re all about community. Through both our app, Journey LIVE, and our Corporate Mental Wellbeing Program, we connect people to each other and themselves. We’re proud (and amazed) of the members that make up our community, and love learning more about who they are and how meditation plays into their life.
In this Journey Community feature, we’re chatting with Chris Adamo, Chief Business Officer at WhereBy.Us, a media and technology company that helps the world’s curious locals understand and explore their cities. Whether it’s through his business ventures, his move to Miami, or even the Hawaiian shirt on his back, you’ll learn that Chris is bold in everything he does.
First thing, let’s talk about your background! Where are your from and what shaped you?
“I was born and raised in Queens, NY. I’m a city kid that was basically an only child with divorced and working parents, which left me with ample time to myself. My mom and I moved around Queens a lot so it forced me to become great at making friends with all types of people. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything else because it gave me such an important skill set that has defined my career and life. Early in my life, I was also defined by playing baseball. It helped me see the world at a very young age, which being from modest means, was an exceptional privilege. Fast forward to after college, I took a few typical corporate type roles at CVS Pharmacy, New York Life Insurance Company and 1800 Flowers.com before catching the startup bug in 2015.”
Tell us about your move to Miami. When did you go and what have you learned?
“I spent 31 years in New York before moving to Miami with my wife, Rand Wolfson, who has been the Yin to my Yang. For my entire life prior to leaving New York, I always took the safe and conservative options since I was raised in a lower middle class family. I was used to working paycheck to paycheck. It wasn’t until we landed in Miami, where we were able to get a little breathing room, that I started to take some chances by investing in myself and others. Most would think that leaving New York would present less opportunities but I’ve found it to be exactly the opposite. Miami has helped me find my inner confidence and expand my cultural experiences.”
And this thought is what fuels WhereBy.Us?
“Yes, I firmly believe that people can thrive faster in emerging cities due to the fact that the barriers to entry are lower, networks are substantially more open, and there is a power of discovery and connection on the internet. This is directly part of the mission and growth that we put into our WhereBy.Us cities like Miami, Seattle, Orlando, Portland and Pittsburgh.
My role with WhereBy.Us is around building relationships for us around the country with partners for civic projects that need to be made for locals to help their cities evolve and adapt to their growing populations. We’re in a city renaissance. It’s exciting to be able to live anywhere in the world these days and have access to the ample opportunities that often you could only find in big cities.”
Besides being known for your work with WhereBy.Us, you’re also known to sport bright Hawaiian shirts every single day. What prompted you to make this change and continue it?
“My wife had found one of these Jams World Shirts at a vintage store back in 2012. It fast became my favorite shirt as we had just moved to Miami and I was ready to drop the New York working class uniform I had been trained to wear at office jobs. One day, we met legendary manager Shep Gordon,The Supermensch, who had spotted me at his birthday party and asked if I was wearing a Jams World. I quickly said yes and asked how did he know. Well, he informed me that he has a closet full of them in Hawaii. Once I knew there were more of these amazingly designed shirts, I started buying them on ebay and made them my daily uniform as sort of a social experiment. That was December 1, 2016. A few months into wearing the shirts daily, my Father caught a rare virus that wiped out most of his memory. It left him unable to remember us, but he did remember my shirts. So, there I was with a new reason to continue the streak. After a few months of treatment, he was able to get back most of his older memories but these shirts became part of me.”
How has relatively small change of sporting bright Hawaiian shirts impacted your life and happiness?
“There are several perks to wearing such vibrant shirts every day. First off, my morning choices are super easy, allowing me to clear out that daily decision. Second, I have a built in ice breaker that makes people smile and have a reason to spark a conversation. Third, I instantly make an impression, hence there is no need for a business card anymore. All of these perks directly lead to happier and more engaged life!”
Now, let’s chat about your experience with meditation. How long have you been doing it, how often, and how did you get into it?
“I’ve accepted that with my self inflicted hectic schedule, I’m basically the poster child for someone who needs to have meditation as part of their daily wellness routine. I have been trying to make time to meditate for the past few years. I used to (and still do) find it hard to sit still to meditate. I’ve experimented with mantras, visualizations, and have flat out fallen asleep. It’s been tempting to want to give up, but I’ve developed a daily yoga practice where I lead myself through the positions that my body seems to call for each morning and night. Meditation has become part of that as a way to stretch mentally!”
How has meditation benefited you professionally?
“In my work life, meditating combined with a practice of essentialism, has helped me begin to focus on my biggest opportunities that match with my passions and strongest parts of my skill set. Visualizing and understanding what I’m good at and delegating what I’m not has come directly from having spent more time in a state of stillness.”
How has meditation benefited you personally?
“Personally, which has melted into my professional life, meditating helps me see things in a slower pace and allows me to think through situations where my Type A, Scorpio personality would have normally jumped to conclusions and reactions. This has helped with all types of relationships, especially in my marriage and in my entrepreneurial and community building life.”
How has Journey LIVE helped make meditation a part of your life?
“I love the feeling of a group setting for the live classes, as well as the varying styles of the Journey LIVE teachers. I find myself forming a mental relationship with each of the leaders. It’s also super helpful to be able to drop in at any time. Since my schedule is so unpredictable, It’s nice to know I can tune in and tune off whenever I can find the time.”
Article photo credit: Jams World