Cultivate Lasting Symphony (CLS) was created by Craig Siegel, a self-described “ordinary man from New York,” who transformed into an extraordinary coach, speaker, and motivator. Craig began on Wall Street and then built two 8-figure businesses from the ground up before finding his calling with coaching and CLS. CLS is about cultivating that edge that gets clients, in Craig’s words, “on fire.” CLS aims to help clients become the creator of their lives, transform from reactive to proactive, and learn to exist in a bubble of serenity amongst the world’s hardships. It is Craig’s vision and mission, through CLS, to support others in facilitating the transformations and breakthroughs to become the next-level versions of themselves. Siegel offers a Moonshot Masterpiece Experience for clients and has recently signed a podcast deal for The CLS Experience.
OB: Thanks for chatting with L.A. STYLE today, Craig! We hear you have an incredible story, and we can’t wait to learn a thing or two as well about mindset, especially in this strange and taxing year. Can we start with the basics–tell us a little bit about yourself and your company, Cultivate Lasting Symphony.
CLS: Absolutely. Cultivate Lasting Symphony (CLS) is a play on my initials. But what it means is to acquire that edge in life. Let me explain, to develop that “it” factor. To be able to revamp your mindset and expand your map of the world. To be able to adjust your entire perspective. To see abundance and opportunity where you once saw limitation. That’s what Cultivate Lasting Symphony is about and I’m proud to say it’s been my life’s work using the world as my oyster and gathering inspiration from all facets of life. My journey was filled with unbelievable triumphs as well as times of uncertainty and unfulfillment. Ultimately, It all brought me to this moment. The pandemic provided me with a much needed moment to reassess and redesign my destiny. Fortunately, the stars aligned and the writing had always been on the wall. Finally, I put it all together, and the rest, as they say, is history. We are transforming lives and helping people reach their potential and fulfill their passions. It’s been the ride of a lifetime.
OB: We know that, to you, mindset is the key to success–both physical and mental. Tell us a little bit about why that is and how we can start implementing it in our daily lives?
CLS: You see it’s simple. The mindset is the key component to achieving massive success in any endeavor, or none at all. How you perceive what’s possible for you is a result of your perspective and your mental map. Your world is based on how you see it. For example, two years ago, I had a lot of built-up energy. I wasn’t fulfilled at my business, even though it’s lucrative. As a result, I began to challenge myself, mentally, and physically by dabbling with running. I went from not being able to complete a mile without stopping to then conquering four marathons that very next year. And here’s the kicker, let me be absolutely vulnerable and straight up with you, I’m not super athletic. I was never a runner. But I believed that I could conquer the voice in my head, as well as the perception that I’m not a runner. And so I conquered the NYC Marathon. Then from there, I challenged myself even further. I decided I wanted to break four hours, which in the running world is a thing. I did that on my third marathon in San Francisco last year and then I shattered it last November in Philadelphia in the pouring rain with a PR of 3:39. Did I improve my skillset? Sure. But what I really did, was readjust what I perceived to be possible for me and 26.2 miles. This is exactly why I believe mindset is absolutely everything.
OB: You really showed us this in an example when you ran four marathons in the last year–when you don’t even consider yourself an athlete! Tell us about these experiences and how you got involved with something most people will only dream about completing.
CLS: At first I wanted to be a beacon of hope and inspiration for my best friend, my father. My dad is currently in a battle with cancer. Something that I also believe can be affected by a positive mindset. And I wanted my dad to continue to fight. So I decided to conquer the NYC Marathon in his honor. We did this, and I’m very proud to say, my dad is doing as great as he can be. The challenge of running was something I became addicted to. It provided several outlets for me. Running became my best friend, my mentor, my therapist, and a platform where I could really test myself. So after NYC, the vision became clear. I was going to break that four-hour mark. This led me to travel to Lubbock, Texas. Let me be clear. I failed at this goal in Texas. I came up a little short. No big deal. I embrace adversity. I’m very comfortable with obstacles. So on my third marathon a few months later, in one of the toughest courses in the country, I showed up. I did my thing. I broke four hours in San Francisco. As you can probably already tell, challenging myself often is a big piece of my life, and so I began to expand my map of the world. Although unrealistic, 3:30 sounded sexy to me. So my brother and I went down to Philadelphia a few months after San Francisco. I’m very humbled and proud to say that although we didn’t break 3:30, we ran a tough and beautiful 26.2 miles in the pouring rain at a personal best of 3:39. Is my running journey complete? Stay tuned.
OB: What was the most interesting marathon you ran? Any crazy stories from life on the 26.2-mile track?
CLS: Crazy stories come with the territory. NYC being my first, I can tell you this, hitting the wall is not a myth. I had never run farther than 20 miles in preparation for my first marathon. Your body absolutely does go to war in that distance. I do, however, love it so much. San Francisco was really challenging due to all the hills, specifically the Golden Gate Bridge, which we ran over not once, but twice, on the course. I can tell you when I crossed the finish line of that marathon, I was very happy to have finally broken four hours. However, I was beaten up. In Philadelphia, I felt zero pressure simply because I had already broken four hours and I was running in a state of gratitude feeling light and free. The monsoon provided a fun and exciting plot twist, but trust me, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Having my brother there to cheer me on that weekend was very special. In conclusion, each course, each specific marathon, is a journey in and of itself. Each one with a unique and exhilarating experience.
OB: What advice would you give to someone who feels they are rock bottom?
CLS: The way I see it, rock bottom provides two very important choices. Each one with its own version of terrifying. You can bounce and ricochet off the bottom and begin to spread your wings and generate creativity. That can be pretty scary. But you know what’s terrifying? Doing nothing. Staying the course. Waking up 6 months or even 6 years later on that same path. That’s what should haunt you. So my best advice for someone who feels stuck, like the walls are caving in, is as follows. Change your perspective. Assemble a strategy and begin to take action. Begin to condition yourself with new habits and a revamped mindset. Gather momentum. You will begin to fly. I’ve been at rock bottom. It’s not a fun place to be, but what I did learn is that there is always a move to be made.
OB: How have you transformed the mindsets and lives of some of your clients? What have their journeys been like?
CLS: I say this as humbly as I possibly can, but every single one of my clients has manufactured a breakthrough in some way. I utilize techniques such as modeling and anchoring which enable a client to enhance their map of the world. By redesigning their mindset, they gain clarity and direction. I also put a tremendous amount of effort into elevating my client’s level of confidence. Because you see, here’s the thing, people don’t need to be saved, they just need access to their own power and how to utilize it. Thankfully I have perfected my ability to communicate this to my clients so that they want to improve their lives.
OB: Finally, L.A. STYLE cares about giving back. How will you use your success and knowledge to help make the world a better place?
CLS: That’s a phenomenal question. All I’ve ever wanted to do since I began CLS was help people. I want to make the world a better place, as cliche as that sounds. The support and response towards the CLS movement has been so humbling and beautiful. Right now my team and I are organizing our very own foundation called Special People Rise. The vision for this organization is to supply young kids with mentorship at an early age so that they can be guided and have a compass, and most importantly, the direction in their youth. When you’re young, you tend to be a sponge and a bit of a product of your environment. So my thought process is to supply as many underprivileged kids as I can, with a support system so that they can have a map and guidance. Special People Rise has my heart and soul poured into it. It’s coming soon. Stay tuned.