Amy is a Keynote Speaker & Yogi & Boxer
Amy Vetter returns to the podcast from episode 104 to talk about her passions in yoga and playing bass guitar as well as taking on a new hobby in boxing! Amy also discusses why its more important to focus on having hobbies than trying to be the best at them!
• Committing to your hobbies as much as your work
• Playing bass in an adult performance group
• Taking up boxing
• You don’t have to be perfect at your hobbies to enjoy them
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Welcome to Episode 290 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday Edition. This is John Garrett. Each Friday, I follow-up with a guest who had been on the show a few years ago to hear what’s new with their passions outside of work and also hear how this message might have impacted them since we last talked.
I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book is being published very soon. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites. Check out whatsyourand.com for all the details or sign up for my exclusive list. You’ll be the first to know when it’s coming out.
Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every Wednesday and now with the Follow-Up Fridays, and this one is no different with my guest, Amy Vetter. She’s a keynote speaker, CPA, yogi and technologist, and now she’s with me here today. Amy, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Amy: Thanks for having me.
John: Absolutely. This is exciting. I remember the first time when we recorded was in person at Accountex in Boston.
Amy: That’s right. Yeah. You were having trouble with your equipment or something, I’d say.
John: Because it was my first in-person interview. Like, how will I even do this? No one has ever wanted to talk to me in person before, so it was groundbreaking. It’s awesome to have you back.
Amy: You do exist.
John: Exactly. I’m a real person. Now I do my rapid fire questions in the beginning, right out of the gate. Here we go. First one, if you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?
Amy: I don’t watch either, so I’ll just assume Game of Thrones because people talk about it so much.
John: All right. Okay, okay. How about a favorite cereal even as a kid?
Amy: As a kid, it was Cheerios, but now I actually eat really gross granola with pumpkin seed, flax.
John: Oh, no. Childhood Amy is embarrassed for you. Yeah. You can’t put enough of your own sugar on that to make it go, but you know what? It’s healthy. How about heels or flats?
Amy: Heels. They’re not as comfortable, so, heels for working, flats for fun.
John: Okay. All right. How about a favorite Disney character?
Amy: Favorite Disney character. Well I’m going to say one but I don’t think she’s Disney.
John: Counts for me.
Amy: Wonder Woman. She’s not Disney.
John: Right. I feel like Disney owns everything anyway.
Amy: I don’t want a princess. I want —
John: Right. You want somebody that’s kicking butts and taking names.
John: I hear you. I hear you. All right. How about cats or dogs?
John: Dogs? All right. Two more. How about a favorite place you’ve been on vacation.
Amy: Oh, I have so many. Well I would say everywhere in Italy, Santorini. In the United States, one of my favorite states is Utah. It’s just gorgeous.
John: Yeah, yeah. It’s really gorgeous. The last one, toilet paper roll, over or under?
Amy: I don’t care. People make issues about that. I just don’t care.
John: Right. Just as long as it’s on the —
Amy: Exactly. That it’s been refilled.
John: Exactly. It’s not sticking up on the back of the toilet or whatever. Yeah. That’s awesome. Very cool, very cool. Episode 104, when we talked in Boston, it was a lot of yoga and playing bass guitar, which is pretty cool. Is that still stuff that you’re pretty passionate about and actively doing still?
Amy: Absolutely. I think, with anything, you have to make a commitment to things that you really enjoy just as important as your work. Yoga, even though I own a yoga studio, it’s work but it never feels like work. I think what’s really important is that you’re finding a way to maintain your own practice even if it is your work, whether it be meditation or mindfulness activities. The bass guitar, I’ve been playing consistently since. Not that I‘m really any better, but I really enjoy it.
John: That’s all that matters. Right?
Amy: At the end of the day, when I’m playing rock, that’s all I care about. I play as part of a — it’s an adult performance band. I actually pay to play, so it’s not like anyone’s hiring me for gigs. We’re playing Queen this season, and it’s just fun, challenging music so I’m enjoying it. I have started up boxing.
John: What? Okay.
Amy: Yeah. That has been fun. My son and I decided to pick something new to try together and so we signed up for TITLE boxing. That actually has been a lot of fun. It’s my yin and yang.
John: Right. That is the opposite of yoga.
Amy: Sometimes you’ve just got to punch stuff.
John: Right. Okay. I can get into that yoga.
John: That’s so fantastic. What made you choose boxing?
Amy: It’s something I’d never done before. Actually my older son, whatever they call it, like when you have a man crush, with Michael Jordan. He did the Rocky movies and the Marvel movies and so my son started getting really into it. Then my younger son and I were trying to pick something new to do together, and we’re like, let’s do that. Let’s try boxing. We do it once a week and have a lot of fun.
John: Yeah. Is it mostly hitting bags or —
John: Each other?
Amy: When they start with the cardio and the ending — I don’t want that. I just want to hit the bag.
Amy: Any class where that part is shorter, I just want to go in and hit the bag.
John: Is that like the big, long one that weighs almost like a body weight?
John: Yeah. As opposed to the little speed bag.
Amy: Yeah, that was my Mother’s Day gift last year was new boxing gloves.
John: That’s so great.
Amy: Then another fun thing that we incorporated was — so my older son graduated high school last year, and I was trying to think of what to get him as a gift. He always, his whole life, has walked around beatboxing around the house and so I’m like, I’m getting him a DJ set, getting him something he totally doesn’t need that he could just have fun with. So he’s been learning to DJ and then I told him I’m giving him his first gig. So he has started to DJ my yoga classes.
John: What? Okay.
Amy: It has been so fun to do together. Then I’d give him new challenges with music because he doesn’t know our fun ‘90s music because he’s playing all current music. I’m like, you’ve got to throw something for me and my classes first.
John: Right, right.
Amy: He’s like, “Snoop Dogg? Was that some — yup, Snoop Dogg, Beastie Boys, yeah, throw them in.
John: That’s so fantastic. So cool. What a great Mother’s Day gift, boxing gloves. Did it come with the macaroni glued on like an elementary school kid made it?
Amy: No. They were the real thing just in gold. I have gold boxing gloves.
John: There you go. That’s so great, so great. Also cool, even the guitar, like you said, you paid to play, but so what? So many of our passions, we’re paying or not making money with. It really doesn’t matter, right? Because it’s something that you’re doing for you, not for everyone else.
Amy: I think that’s the thing you have to let go off with any of this stuff is you don’t have to be the best. Because a lot of times, what prevents people from starting something is like, well I’m not good at it or I’ve never done it. I hear it all the time when people come into the yoga studio. I’m not flexible. I’m not this or I’m not that. Well you can’t be anything unless you start. Who cares if you’re not perfect if you’re enjoying it. At the end of the day, all I wanted to play was rock. I don’t care if I’m perfect or I’m the best. I get to play at these fun concerts.
John: Yeah. Exactly. I just want to play some Queen.
John: Is that too much to ask? Then when I’m done, go punch something really hard.
Amy: Exactly. Wow, what a picture we’re coming up with me here.
John: I’m just picturing you with the bass with your boxing gloves on. I don’t know what kind of chord you can do with the boxing gloves, not much.
Amy: I don’t think much, but it might sound just the same.
John: The sound has got to be good for plucking.
Amy: Yeah. Right.
John: That’s super cool though that you did get out of your own way for that, and it’s enjoyable.
Amy: Well I also think you can pick something with both of the things, even the DJing with the yoga and the boxing. It’s like, just because you find something that works for you one year, doesn’t mean to not go try something again. Or if you’re getting really good at something, break the learning and teach yourself to be a beginner again. That was part of this was just like, okay, want to shake it up. I’ve got a workout routine that I really enjoy, but why not try something new and not be perfect at it again and just see if I liked it.
John: Yeah. What’s been the hardest part for you?
Amy: I would say it’s obviously you walk into anything new and there are always people there that are the die-hards that come all the time, that practice all the time, that are so good, and you’re trying to figure it out. Especially with guitar, I know when I started, they told me it was a beginner’s program. I show up, and it’s all these men with their guitars that are amazing, but they had never come out of their basement. So they’re saying that everyone’s at the same stage but, no. I was really a beginner, and these guys were playing ridiculous, amazing on their guitar. That’s one of those things is that you just realize it just doesn’t matter. I don’t have to be as good as them. I can still play my part and figure it out. That’s all that matters.
John: Right, and you’re part of the collective when you’re in a band anyway. It’s not a solo for you. Occasionally there’s a bass solo but not usually.
Amy: Not too many. I can hide.
John: Exactly. When I was in the marching band in college, my very first time on pre-game, I didn’t play a single note because there’s 60,000 people in the stadium and they’re all going to know if I’m out of line.
John: Not a single one of them is going to know if I played the wrong note or none at all. If you get half of them right the first time, that’s great. You’ll come back. You practice a little bit. It’s enjoyable for you. Like you said, it’s not like you’re getting paid. You’re not at the amphitheater where people are like, “I paid $100 for this.” No, you didn’t.
Amy: No, I am actually paying them to do it.
John: Right, right. Exactly.
Amy: That’s what I constantly remind myself, is like, don’t feel bad. You’re paying to be here. The other thing is I think it’s just hard when you’re a Type A personality and competitive by nature that when people are better at you than things, you immediately start talking yourself down or making yourself feel bad. You have to keep reminding yourself, who cares? Literally, I’m never making a career out of this, and if I’m enjoying it, that’s all that matters. At the end of the day, if I’m getting a release from it and it’s making me happy and it creates joy for me, then that’s all that matters.
John: Right. That’s such a huge takeaway for everyone listening, is that’s why you’re doing it is for the joy that you get. If someone else doesn’t like it or whatever, you’re not the best, you’re not supposed to be. You’re doing it for your own enjoyment. Yeah, that’s such a huge takeaway, such a huge takeaway. Have you seen examples of companies, of places that you’ve been around that are encouraging people to share their “Ands” those hobbies and passions outside of work?
Amy: Well, you know that I do the B3 Method. That’s the Business, Balance and Bliss. I’ve had a number of companies hire me, and I think what has been so interesting is watching what happens after and people really explain their hobbies. One in particular that just popped into my head was someone that started painting because of the talk, and they were like, “I really want to get back to painting.” They came back and had a whole event with their team, and it was a painting event but it was blindfolded painting.
John: Oh, wow. Okay. That levels the playing field quickly.
Amy: Right. So, at the end of the day, everyone could just enjoy it, and shifting spots and painting on other people’s paintings. Again, was just shaking up the whole thought about, does it have to be perfect and is it collectively fun? I think when you can bring those challenges into the workplace where people can bring in their own interests, it’s so important because you learn so much more about people than when everyone is always talking about work. When they can come in and can showcase their talents or their hobbies and everyone can participate, even if it’s not something everyone enjoys, then it’s someone else’s turn.
John: Exactly. Because that’s what really lights people up. It’s rare people work that lights people up. They’re good at it, and they do it because that’s what pays the bills, but what really lights you up is punching stuff and playing bass guitar and doing yoga.
Amy: You are totally ruining my yogi persona.
John: You’re breathing deeply while you punch —
Amy: I’m doing breathwork while I’m punching the bag, yeah.
John: That’s what lights you up, and that’s cool. What lights someone else up is different. There’s no reason why we should think that everyone’s the same because they’re clearly not. Awesome to hear that example that people can easily do where they’re at now. Yeah.
This has been so much fun, Amy, catching up. Man, I feel like I should sign up for some boxing now. Next time I see you at a conference, I’m going to have to duck. Whoa.
Amy: I haven’t hit people, just bags.
John: There’s always a first.
Amy: There’s always a first. Yeah.
John: There’s always a first. Right. So, it’s only fair that since I rapid fire questioned you right out of the gate, that I now allow you to be the host of the show. If you want to rapid fire question me, I’m in the hot seat. Whenever you’re ready, fire away.
Amy: All right. What’s your favorite hobby instead of comedy, besides comedy?
John: College football and eating ice cream, and at the same time is heaven. Watching college football is the best.
Amy: Is it cookies and cream ice cream or mint chocolate chip?
John: Between those two, wow, that’s a tough choice. Oh, man.
Amy: I’m really asking challenging things.
John: Those are very hard. This is deep. Yeah, I guess I’ll go cookies and cream on that one. I love ice cream that has chunks in it because then I can get more calories in each sitting.
Amy: I mean if you’re going to do it, you might as well just go all out.
Amy: Mountains or beach?
John: Since I live in Colorado now, I guess I get the mountains all the time, so I think the beach is a little more special. I’d say beach simply because I have to get on an airplane to go to it, so it feels like a treat. Maybe I’m spoiled because I can just go in my backyard and look. Oh, there they are, the mountains. If I lived on the coast, I’d probably say the opposite but, yeah, I’ll say beach. That was really fun. Now I need some ice cream. Gosh, I’m starving.
Amy: I know. You’ve got a craving now.
John: Totally. Well this has been so much fun, Amy. Thanks for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Amy: Well thanks for having me, always fun.
John: Very cool. Everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Amy in action or maybe connect with her on social media and be sure and listen to her podcast, you can go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there, and while you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture.
Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.