How I Thrive: “I make an effort to verbally speak out loud all that I am grateful for, no matter how small”, With Ming Zhao & Lexie Smith

…I spend my time with others who uplift and inspire me instead of those who may tear me down or leave me feeling drained. On a day-to-day basis, I make an effort to verbally speak out loud all that I am grateful for, no matter how small. Even ten seconds of verbal reminder can help […]

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…I spend my time with others who uplift and inspire me instead of those who may tear me down or leave me feeling drained. On a day-to-day basis, I make an effort to verbally speak out loud all that I am grateful for, no matter how small. Even ten seconds of verbal reminder can help me realign.

At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep, preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving women who have gleaned and are practicing their own philosophies on maintaining their wellbeing.

As a part of this series about what successful women leaders do to thrive, both personally and professionally, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lexie Smith, Founder of THEPRBAR inc..

From winning Shark Tank brands, to some of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America, Lexie Smith has helped countless companies and entrepreneurs gain accelerated success through the world of Public Relations. With nearly 10 years of PR and Marketing experience, both for agencies and in-house, Smith has been recognized as top “20 in their 20s” and “Brilliant PR Experts under 30”. In 2019 Smith founded THEPRBAR inc. to establish a fun and inspiring brand that empowers entrepreneurs and small businesses to build their own empires.

Thank you so much for doing this with us Lexie! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path and to where you are today?

Well, if you check my 5th grade yearbook it says, “When I grow up I want to be an oscar-award winning actress.” This just goes to show, dreams change haha.

My career in Public Relations began concurrent to obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) in PR and Journalism. Recognized as a leader amongst both the undergrad and post-grad community, I was recruited to serve in various positions of leadership including, but not limited to, the National Society of Leadership, President of the National Broadcasting Society, and elected Student Senate Officer, all while rapidly growing my real-world client roster. Before the age of 20, I was representing brands such as Angry Birds, Family Guy, and Cabelas, to name a few. With full-time bicoastal job offers waiting prior to graduation, I decided to move from Oregon to Santa Monica to join a public relations agency most notably known for representing winning Shark Tank brands.

After two quick promotions, I was soon recruited to serve as the in-house Director of Marketing and PR for a hospitality group with properties located across Los Angeles. While indeed glamorous, I eventually became burnt out of the LA-lifestyle. Thus, I moved north to Ventura and made a drastic pivot into the world of Telecom where I eventually became the VP of PR and Marketing for the fastest growing telecom in America. While the company (GeoLinks) was amazing, I eventually reached a point where I could no longer ignore my desire to break out on my own. 200 ideas later, I came up with the concept for my company THEPRBAR inc. where I coach small businesses and entrepreneurs on how to DIY PR and marketing.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

That’s so hard! I guess I find it interesting (or rather I didn’t see it coming) that before THEPRBAR inc. I went from having a career in LA going to glamorous parties and rubbing elbows with the rich and famous, to publicly speaking at my state’s Capitol and Washington D.C. on social inequality issues to a room filled predominantly with older men, all within a 5-year span.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Oh there are SO many! A funny one that stands out in my memory happened in my early twenties when I was filmed for Beyond the Tank (flop sequel of Shark Tank). To prepare for my “world-wide” debut, I spent probably a paycheck’s worth of money on clothes, hair, and makeup. When the premiere night came I was all riled up with a bunch of family and friends only to find out I was not in a single scene. YUP, I got completely cut haha. Mind you I was a principle in the story line and spent days filming! While I was slightly devastated at the time, I now love to use the line “I was almost famous”. I guess you can say this taught me a great lesson in moderating personal expectations and ego-bruising recovery.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture and work life?

Adapt the motto, “work to live” rather than “live to work” and your culture should quickly follow suit. Encouraging a healthy work-life balance will lead to happy and healthy employees.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive in three areas, body, mind, and heart. I’d like to flesh this out with you. You are a very busy leader with a demanding schedule. Can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

These are really simple but paramount. First, I try to get enough sleep. That’s number one. If you aren’t sleeping, your body can’t heal, simple as that. How I sleep leads to my second habit and that’s disconnecting from technology at least 30-minutes before bed. For me, I do that by reading.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

I take screen breaks throughout the day. Once I start to notice my energy depleting or my eyes begin to glaze over, I get up and walk away from the computer, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Secondly, I listen to podcasts whenever I’m doing mindless tasks, such as cleaning. This keeps my brain fed with new knowledge and information while my hands are busy being productive.

Finally, can you share with us two routines that use to help your heart, your emotional or spiritual life to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

I have worked really hard to surround myself with people who help support all those things. AKA I spend my time with others who uplift and inspire me instead of those who may tare me down or leave me feeling drained. On a day-to-day basis, I make an effort to verbally speak out loud all that I am grateful for, no matter how small. Even ten seconds of verbal reminder can help me realign.

When life is very busy, and you cannot stick with your ideal routine, are there any wellness practices, rituals, products or services for your mind, body, or soul that you absolutely cannot live without?

Recently I have grown to love essential oils and crystals — you don’t need time to tap into their benefits thankfully. If I’m feeling down, I have a very specific playlist on Spotify that does a pretty dang good job of putting a little pep into my step. But ultimately, I am still very much on a personal journey of learning what routines can further uplevel my wellbeing.

All of us have great days and days that are not as great. On days when you feel like a rockstar what do you do? What does that day look like, and what did you do to get there?

For me it’s almost completely mental, and it honestly starts from the moment I wake up. On days I feel like a rockstar, I started by deciding in bed that morning that the day ahead was going to be great. From there I eat right, workout, stay positive, practice gratitude, and almost always have some serious pump up jams blasting at one point or another.

In contrast, on days when you feel down, what do you do?

As I mentioned above, I find music and crystals incredibly powerful. Past that, depending on the scenario, I confide in my husband or a friend, allow myself to cry, and give my dog some extra hugs. I always try to remind myself of all that I have overcome thus far and that this too shall pass.

Do you have a story about the weirdest, most bizarre or most humorous wellness experience, treatment, practice, or practitioner that you’ve ever partaken in? If you do, we’d love to hear it.

I hope this counts but I did the PR for a yoga event one time and invited my mother to join in on the event. It was intimate, probably 30 people or so. In the middle of the event, while the teacher was leading us through something very relaxing while simultaneously telling us his life story, I heard a loud and jolting snore-like cough sound. I looked to my right, and my mother was passed out snoring loudly on her yoga matt. She namastay’d herself to sleep. Embarrassing? (Yes, because it was a work event.) Hilarious? Abso-freaking-lutely.

You’re a high achieving business leader, and you also have family and loved ones that may require a different side of you at home. How do you leave the executive at the door, and be the most loving caretaker at home?

Well I can’t say I always do so successfully but honestly I feel I have a very “loving nature”. It’s actually more difficult at times to turn that OFF in scenarios when I need to put my more formal “executive hat” on. I find working towards mastering the art of self-forgiveness becomes essential.

Is there a particular practitioner, expert, book, podcast or resource that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

I would say it’s a culmination of powerful women who have taken the entrepreneurial world by storm. Thought-leaders like Jenna Kutcher, Rachel Hollis, Amy Porterfield (and their podcasts) have provided powerful inspiration and reassurance that my dreams are attainable. Listening to these ladies reminds me of all that is possible.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’m not saying this is or isn’t the most important thing in the world, but something that really fires me up is gender inequality in the workplace. While yes we have made significant strides, I can’t wait to see the day where people are treated, promoted, and paid the same regardless or gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. I have been honestly gut-punched so many times throughout my career both personally and in support of a friend to learn how drastically different men are compensated than women of equal if not more experience and worth.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Whether you think you can or you think you can, you’re right.” — Henry Ford. This lesson is relevant each and every day in my life and serves as a needed reminder of the power and importance of mindset.

What are the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

On Instagram and Facebook @THEPRBAR_inc.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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