VividLife’s Ed and Deb Shapiro welcome Tami Simon, founder of Sounds True North America’s leading publisher of spoken-word spiritual teachings to discuss the future of business: purpose, profit, people, and planet
In 1985, at age 22, Tami Simon started Sounds True, now a multi-media publisher, with a dream, a tape recorder, and a $50,000 inheritance she received upon the death of her father. Though she had no business experience and only a vague idea of what she wanted the company to be, Tami had her guiding principle strongly in place: to “disseminate spiritual wisdom.”
In the early days, Tami began by recording conferences and interviews with teachers like Ram Dass and Stephen Levine. She broadcasted portions of these recordings on a radio show that she hosted on Boulder County Public Radio, and then made the cassettes of the entire recordings available for purchase.
As the years passed, Sounds True established their popular direct mailing catalog and in 1990, moved away from conference recordings to audio programs recorded in a studio setting. This led to the evolution of Sound True’s signature style—unscripted recordings that capture the charisma, energetic transmission and “living wisdom” of the teacher.
In the years to follow, Sounds True expanded into bookstores, developed audio learning courses, engaged in profound donation programs including the prison library project, began distributing spiritual and healing music, produced its first videos on spiritual practice, made ownership in the company available to long-term employees, launched a book publishing division, made downloadable content available, and recently launched its first live webstream event.
Twenty-two years, over 600 titles, and 2 million catalogs per year later Tami has grown Sounds True into North America’s leading publisher of spoken-word spiritual teachings, and one of the world’s very first organizations to operate along genuinely Integral principles, with the emphasis on “multiple bottom lines” of purpose, profit, people, and planet.