“Approach these practices with the right mindset, avoid trivialization & instead, create deeper appreciation for their true benefits.”

Boulder became a haven for Vladi Davtchev’s when he settled in the area in 2021. Quality time spent outside of work is an appreciated ethos that’s reflective of his European upbringing; an experience he hadn’t encountered while living in other parts of the Western hemisphere. He’s far from alone. Work-life balance resonates with nearly every resident who resides in the city beneath the foothills.

But choosing balance doesn’t come without its challenges. For Vladi, it involves a deliberate mindfulness practice to create space for spontaneous connections; ironically, something always on his to-do list. As the CEO of Dreamix, a leading software development company that specializes in end-to-end software solutions, he’s in charge of growing the company’s North American portfolio while recruiting new members to the team—a fairly demanding work-load for a father of three. So he found a way to weave it all together.

Whether engaging with members at Kiln or discussing software operations with the Director of the World Trade Center, his practice, shaped by the Wim Hof Method, assists individuals in conquering mental hurdles and finding balance—a complementary match for start-up founders and business leaders alike.

Entrepreneurial Ventures

Vladi was born an entrepreneur. A mindset he gives his parents full credit for. At the age of sixteen, Vladi would join his fathers company as a salesman; one of the first private companies in post-communist Bulgaria.

Encouraged by his parents to pursue higher-education in the U.S., Vladi joined PaineWebber Brokerage and sold stocks, working without a salary for two years before cutting his teeth in a handful of corporate jobs. It was through these experiences that Vladi learned about his true calling. From 2003 to 2019, Vladi and his wife returned to Bulgaria and spent nearly two decades building and expanding companies including Prestige Business, which eventually sold to Office 1 Superstore, HelloHungry, a food delivery service acquired by GrubHub in 2018, Matrax, a sleeping good distributor, and an investment firm where he currently sits on the board of directors. 

After exiting Hello Hungry in 2018 (and finally taking a moment to breathe), Vladi discovered the Wim Hof Method. Prompted by curiosity, he dived head first into the fundamentals of the course, taking on challenging techniques like one-handed planks, extended ice exposure, and other techniques to ignite a deeper understanding of mental resilience. “The method helps you become the observer of your mind–cultivating a non-reactive mindset,” shared Vladi, “It creates a mental shift from victimhood to self-mastery.”

“The method helps you become the observer of your mind–cultivating a non-reactive mindset, it creates a mental shift from victimhood to self-mastery.”

Beyond Ice Bathing

Vladi describes WHM as a natural journey to unlocking one’s innate forces. Consisting of three fundamental components—breath, cold exposure, and challenging the mind—WHM prepares the body and mind to face stressors effectively. Scientifically, exposure to cold weather triggers alkalinity in the blood, reducing carbon dioxide saturation while inducing the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Contrarily, constant negative stress, far too common in today’s work-force, can lead to chronic low-grade inflammation, altering the body’s biochemistry for the worse. That’s where breathing and cold immersion emerge as an anti-inflammatory practice; bringing the body back into homeostasis or balance. 

Amidst all of the countless obligations of everyday life, our relationships are neglected, leading to poor health. However, Vladi’s class tackles this problem head on by promoting genuine connection. “Beyond its physical effects, WHM shows us valuable insights on how socialization can have an effect on our mental well-being,” he shares.

Vladi goes on to address the misconception around ice-bathing, emphasizing its depth beyond a passing trend—”it shouldn’t be used as a self-care checkbox.” His intention with each class is to presently surprise, maintaining a reserved stance as to not create undue expectations. “The controlled mind reminds us that we hold the reins of our destiny–we can shape our lives and futures consciously,” shares Vladi.

During a recent session at Kiln, participants went ‘all-in’ by embracing their vulnerabilities. Guided by Vladi’s reminder, love, too often forgotten, remains the most powerful energy on Earth. Vladi shares his greatest joy lies not in observing participants conquer their minds over a single session, but in their sustained practice beyond the course’s conclusion. Many participants will return months later to share their transformation.

What is your Ask and Offer for the Kiln Community?

Ask: Vladi encourages others to open up to the world and share the immense pool of love, respect, and knowledge it holds. Coupled with creativity, hard work, and a challenged mindset, we can unlock our full potential. All the love, all the power!

Offer: An introduction of the fundamentals of the Wim Hof Method to all local Kiln members and an open ear to connect with others about their personal stories and experiences. 

Get in touch: vladidavtchev@gmail.com

Why do you Kiln?

I Kiln because I gain energy by socializing with people. I really enjoy building teams and the space at Kiln resonates with my own aspirations.