“There is no greater feeling than loving what you do.” With Ming Zhao & Vanessa Gordon

There is no greater feeling than loving what you do. For me, I love every single moment, including the most challenging aspects. Sometimes I feel that I am the only one going through certain challenges and the emotions that follow with them. At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed […]

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There is no greater feeling than loving what you do. For me, I love every single moment, including the most challenging aspects. Sometimes I feel that I am the only one going through certain challenges and the emotions that follow with them.

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 and 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 leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing.

As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vanessa Gordon.

Vanessa Gordon is the Founder and Publisher of East End Taste Magazine. Her writing has appeared in many prints and online publications including Modern Luxury, Psychology Today, Long Island Pulse, Thrillist, Sag Harbor Express, The Independent Newspaper, and many more. She also has a radio segment with Long Island Radio Broadcasting’s 102.5 WBAZ.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

I originally went to school for English Writing and studied Teaching English as a Second Language, which I received my Masters degree in and New York State teaching certification. After a few years of teaching and tutoring, I became pregnant with my first child and experienced such severe morning sickness and had to quit my jobs. After my daughter was born, I decided to stay home full-time and focus on my writing.

From there, I wanted to create my own online outlet and choose what to write and when which eventually formulated into East End Taste. It transitioned into becoming an online publication just a couple of years later and has been growing ever since.

I always knew I wanted to be my own boss, and that in and of itself is a dream job for me.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My husband has been steadfast in his support of my endeavors and my career. From the very beginning, he has guided me in all the right directions. He not only been the financial backbone of the business, his level-headed personality and approach is what has positively shaped not only East End Taste, but myself as a business owner.

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?

The most humorous mistake I made was holding on to expectations and thinking that starting a business would simply grow from my creative ideas.

My business is in many ways self-taught. I never knew anything about graphic design, web design and development, and knew only minimal facts about SEO. There are many moving parts to the business and there are many details I have to keep track of. Over time, I taught myself how to stay as organized as possible and have enlisted the help of some excellent contractors and freelancers.

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

There is no greater feeling than loving what you do. For me, I love every single moment, including the most challenging aspects. Sometimes I feel that I am the only one going through certain challenges and the emotions that follow with them.

That is not the case. The more I have spoken with other business owners and freelancers, the more I realize we have much of the same concerns, fears, and obstacles. We are in this together but always remember to stay true to yourself and never EVER give up. Nothing that is worth it is ever easy.

Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

Growing the business and our online community not only took several years but many different types of interactions and coincidences. I have spent countless hours attending meetups, networking events, etc. I never miss an opportunity to share my business, what I do, and how I can help others with my business.

I am very receptive to inquiries and am very easy to work with on so many levels. With a focus on social media, I always like to share relevant content from local businesses. Then their reshares and cross-promoting have helped a great deal. I am very grateful for that support.

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 and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart.

You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

I make sure I exercise every single day. I own an indoor exercise bike, free weights, and Pilates reformer, among other types of fitness equipment. I exercise for at least 30 minutes and do a variety of weights, cardio, and flexibility-focused classes. Even just ten minutes can be very fulfilling and self-rewarding. For me personally, as long as I get a ‘good sweat’ every day, I am happy.

I only started recently investing in my beauty routine. I don’t overcomplicate things, but I make sure I have a great exfoliator for my face and body, an oil-free moisturizer, and body oil for shoulder and back massages. Lastly, I always make sure my nails are always manicured. It is a practice I have held to since my teens. I have come to be known as someone who always has ‘flawless fingernails.’

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

I write letters to my penpals. I have three that I correspond with regularly. I either send a postcard, note, handwritten recipe, or thought. At the end of the week, these are placed in an envelope and are mailed off. This practice is so near and dear to me and there is truly nothing like getting a handwritten note, photograph, or physical card.

I give time to myself. My routine is simple: herbal tea with honey, a wellness-focused magazine or book, and a notepad is always nearby. My head is always so full of thoughts that I am constantly jotting ideas down.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Honor yourself: put yourself first and treat yourself to something special at least once per day. Perhaps it is a small piece of chocolate, getting your hair done, taking a bath, listening to your favorite album. Honoring yourself is loving yourself.
  2. Practice maintaining food posture. I take three minutes 2x per day to stand up against a wall to correct my posture. I also do bicep curls standing up against a wall. That helps to reset myself very quickly!
  3. Choose a favorite perfume. Wear that perfume around the house and when you go out. I just started doing this and love the extra identity I have created for myself.

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

I personally have loved listening to my Peloton instructors, especially Cody Rigsby’s classes and when he says “get your life together” after each exercise blast. His words are so much fun, and I instantly fell in love with his teaching method from the first class I took of his in January of last year. He

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

I literally laughed out loud reading this! But I must say this treatment was amazing. Vaginal Steaming. I don’t want to give too much away, so I highly encourage you to look it up!

As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire 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 would love to inspire a movement where people take time away from electronics or the computer and start writing letters again. I would love to see the penpal and postcard world grow and grow. I love writing letters and love hearing from new friends.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

Pertaining to this topic, I would love to meet and exercise with Richard Simmons. I grew up with his videotapes in my home and used to dance along to his workouts as a young child. I love his kindhearted spirit and his smile is larger than life!

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

Please find me on social media @EastEndTaste and @HamptonsInteractiveBrunch. Please also follow along via #EastEndTaste.

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

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