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How I Thrive: “Shifting to an attitude of gratitude changes everything”, with Beth Vazquez of Recess & Results

An Interview With Ming Zhao

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The days I feel down are the days I realize I let my mind run away from me (and we all have these days), I my energy is “off”. To regroup, I spend added time in prayer, ask my husband to pray for me and with me, and focus on the blessings I have been given. I will often incorporate a gratitude walk (sometimes solo and sometimes with my family), verbally praising God for all the things I am thankful for. Shifting to an attitude of gratitude changes everything and being outside with the fresh air and sun on your face is a bonus boost!

At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s well being, 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 Beth Vazquez. Beth is a wife, “boymom” of 3 (ages 17, 4, and 2), and Christian entrepreneur learning to balance it all imperfectly with the grace of God. Founder of Recess & Results, Beth is passionate about faith, family, and fitness (in that order) and works to “save the world, one recess at a time” offering a worshiping workplace for others who also feel called to impact the minds, bodies, and spirits of children and families through entertaining exercise. Recessandresults.com


Thank you so much for doing this with us, Beth! 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?

Born #5 of 6 kids on a small farm in Nebraska, I have always been a dreamer and have always had this “gut” feeling I was made for more. As I was worked relentlessly (and successfully) to climb the corporate ladder in the fitness industry and then the MLM industry, God worked just as tirelessly to draw me closer to His purpose for my life. An entrepreneur at heart, I always had a “side-hustle” working in the background to fulfill this part of my soul. After having my first baby and feeling my vibrant new relationship with Christ quieted in corporate America, I realized God was calling me to offer my faith-based, purpose-driven side hustle to other moms like me. Still, I was earning a cushy, 6-figure paycheck and it took God pushing me in unavoidable ways to really go after the 2-fold mission He gave me to 1) “redefine work for the modern day disciple with passions for faith + family + fitness” and to 2) “save the world, one recess at a time” through play-based kids and family fitness programs. Today Recess & Results has a team of independent owners across the nation, running their own plug+ play Recess business in their communities and earning a praiseworthy paycheck while building stronger disciples. RecessandResults.com

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

I was selected to pitch on season 5 of Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch!

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?

I am a mompreneur who left a comfortable, 6-figure paycheck and started chasing my God-given dream full-time right before my 2 boys went on summer break from school. If you are a mom you understand why this is a hilarious mistake. However, this early mistake taught me important lessons surrounding the power of delegation, and shamelessly asking for help at home (something easier said than done for moms).

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

Be open to new ideas and to going against the status quo. Ask your employees / partners what matters most to them and do everything you can to include the most common answers into your culture. People who feel valued are productive, loyal partners. And think of as exactly that — partners.

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.

Exercise is essential to success. Many successful people will say they workout first thing in the morning — that is not me. My best exercise comes in 15–30-minute bursts throughout the day. I get “paid to play” with Recess & Results, so I am active much of the time already. Still, exercise is my favorite form of “me time” so I work in 2–3 sessions of Holy Yoga via YouTube each week (specifically Kristen Campbell of ChristiansDoYoga.com), my own strength training circuit, or I will also use Lucy Wyndham-Read’s 7 min YouTube workouts when I need to move but don’t have much time.

Fueling your body for success is also important. To have the stamina, energy, and mental clarity needed for business, you must have a body filled with proper fuel. I strive to eat clean and enjoy treats in moderation. I also supplement with Juice Plus to ensure I get the 9–13 recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit and I do my best to honor that.

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

Prioritizing time with God and exercise is exactly what allows my mind to thrive and act as filter for things that do not serve me. Staying grounded in these two habits allow me to tune out, turn away, and refocus on positive influencers.

Constantly learning (from credible sources) is also important. Whether it’s reading a book, articles, or listening to a podcast, it important to feed your mind. As entrepreneurs our minds are always going, but the most successful people have control of their thoughts. Too much negative influence results in a cluttered negative mind. An overflow of positive influence and truth results in confidence, resilience, and perseverance.

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.)

Each day I strive to check-in with God before I check my phone. I want to make sure I am grounded in Him and His plan for my life, without the distraction of the world overwhelming my mind first thing in the morning.

Playing worship music and singing praises with my boys on the way to school feed my spirit and soul and is my absolute favorite part of the day.

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?

The “First 5” and “Daughters of the King” devotional apps, and a balloon + playlist. A balloon and music always get the entire family moving and laughing, resulting in positive benefits to the mind, body, and spirit!

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?

Work looks different for me each day which I love! Some days I am out in the community teaching Recess & Results classes, somedays I am speaking to groups of entrepreneurs in the MLM or Fitness industries, and other days I am in the office focused on the strategic needs of the business. The days I feel most like a rockstar are the days that the work I do (as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur) bring smiles to the people I serve, and there is one critical factor in making this happen.

Iyanla Vanzant once told me (via Oprah’s tour) to “be responsible for the energy you bring to a room” and it was one of those pieces of advice that will stay with me forever. The days I feel most like a rockstar, like my purpose is being fulfilled, are the days when I consistently and purposefully bring positive, life-giving energy to those around me. This is a HUGE, and sometimes heavy, responsibility.

To ensure I can consistently pour this out, I must make sure that I am filled up first. For me that filling comes from the word of God, church, exercise, and the influences I choose to allow in my life.

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

The days I feel down are the days I realize I let my mind run away from me (and we all have these days), I my energy is “off”. To regroup, I spend added time in prayer, ask my husband to pray for me and with me, and focus on the blessings I have been given. I will often incorporate a gratitude walk (sometimes solo and sometimes with my family), verbally praising God for all the things I am thankful for. Shifting to an attitude of gratitude changes everything and being outside with the fresh air and sun on your face is a bonus boost!

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?

This is a GREAT question and one that is unique for mompreneurs. I have actually learned that trying to be someone different at work and at home is exhausting! I believe God called me to be the same version of myself in all environments he has placed me in, which makes balancing work and life that much easier! My line of work is unique and allows me to keep my priorities of faith + family + fitness + fellowship (in that order) in check at all times.

The biggest thing I have learned in maintaining balance is how to be fully present in both areas (but not both areas at the same time). The word will tell us that if we aren’t “hustling” and working every minute, that we will not achieve greatness. But the Bible doesn’t say that. Being the best caretaker at home means being fully present for the “mom-ents” that happen at home and being the best executive at work means being fully present there as well. When at home I put the phone away, turn off the distractions of work, and lovingly engage with family members. We make it a priority to eat dinner together, to talk about the best parts of our day, play games together, exercise together, and enjoy each other. When at work, I have to trust that my family is taken of care of so my mind can focus on the needs and purpose of the business. Leaving the executive at the door to me means striving to honor my God-given priorities. I schedule my priorities vs. prioritize my schedule and do my best to give each the focus it deserves in the moment.

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?

The opportunity to film Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch helped me thrive in ways I didn’t expect. It challenged me mentally, physically, and spiritually and gave me the opportunity to actively choose faith over fear time and time again. And so many blessings came as a result! First, the business insights I gained being in a room filled with other entrepreneurs waiting to film was priceless. Second, the lasting friendships formed with like-minded, motivated people are nothing short of a Godsend. Third, the expert feedback and advice I received from the VP of Entrepreneur following filming helped to catapult growth in my business and increased my confidence as a Christ-centered entrepreneur. The experience is hard to put into words but was truly lifechanging.

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. 🙂

At Recess & Results we have a Family Wellness program that includes a Praise-Dance Challenge. This is simply turning on your favorite, life-speaking song (right now we love “Nobody” by Casing Crowns”), and spontaneously dancing with your family as a way to start the day. It seems silly, but this simple act (which lasts 5 min or less) can have a dramatic difference on the course of the day for your family members. Morning routines can be rushed and stressful for a lot of families. Breaking out in dance brings a joyful energy that cannot be ignored. Smiles emerge, laughter erupts, endorphins (feel good hormones) are released, and the tone of the day is set. All you need is music and the courage to give it a try 😊

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

“If you shoot for the moon, HIT THE FRICKING MOON!!” — Beth Vazquez

In a gathering with other female entrepreneurs, I shared how I used to love the quote “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars”, until I didn’t love it anymore. I started to feel less motivated by it, and more like it was a way out… an excuse to hold back and to rely on plan b. I understand how a plan B can seem like a smart thing to have, but for me, it was a safety net that held me back from fully going after “the moon” which I believe is my true purpose and God’s plan for my life. As I shared this perspective, I saw many heads nodding and some tears falling, and that day, one of the ladies made a promise to herself to HIT THE MOON. 2 years later she crushed her goals and attributed it to her new favorite quote: “If you shoot for the moon, Hit the fricking moon!”

To me it reinforces my life verse, proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”. Sometimes the safety of the stars can become our own understanding and hold us back from believing in full faith, that if God called us to the moon, we will run the race to hit the moon and settle for nothing less!

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

https://www.facebook.com/beth.mueller.98

https://www.instagram.com/bethvazquez00/

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


About the Author:

Ming Zhao is an entrepreneur, business strategist, investor and podcast host. She is co-founder and CEO of PROVEN Skincare, a technology-powered personalized skincare company that won MIT’s AI Technology of the Year award and is backed by Y-Combinator and Stanford StartX. She is an immigrant, a third-generation entrepreneur, and a mother whose daughter is the same age as her startup. Prior to founding PROVEN, Ming was a private equity investor where she frequently worked 80-hour weeks, wreaking havoc on her skin and soul, leading her to pursue personalized skincare. She has an MBA from Harvard University and lives with her family in San Francisco, CA. Checkout PROVEN’s Skin Genome Quiz at www.ProvenSkincare.com.

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