Joa Rivas on Clarity, Power & Follow-through
All right. So welcome to the entire life series. It's no longer the entire life summit. We turned it into a complete series, and we do one of these interviews every week.
Today I have the lovely Joa Rivas here with me. We met through Ajit Nawalkha and Neeta. So tell us, Joa, how you became an entrepreneur. What made you decide you wanted to become an entrepreneur and all that fun stuff?
Get to know Joa
Okay. Hi Marni. Hi everybody. That is having the opportunity to listen to another story.
Like our life is full of stories, and I am only here very excited to share my story as a human and how I became who I am now and very excited about how I'm building myself to be the woman of the future. So I think this is something very interesting when we think about that, we are building our story. So to tell you my story, as you see, I have a Spanish accent, I speak Spanish as my first language.
So I was born in Venezuela, and in a very small family, my parents are still in Venezuela. And something in me always told me that the world was a big world, and I wanted to explore the world. So when I was 19, after I became an adult bachelor in education, I was already a teacher at a very young age.
That was the only requisite to leave the country. My dad didn't allow me to leave unless I had a career completed. So I have mine. Yes. My dad was very strict to that point. Like as long as you finish a career, then you're okay to go.
What's funny about that. I left home when I was 19, too; I went to New Zealand.
And then you are Canadian.
Yeah, I'm living in Canada, too, so we have that in common. The difference is that I'm coming to Canada, and you actually left Canada.
That's it. So basically, New Zealand is a beautiful place too, but you do need to have a strong desire to leave your comfort zone. Right? So that was the first thing my dad told me. As you leave the country, you are going to Splore alone, and I'm not going to support you anymore.
There is no way to support you. So I'm going to be there calling you, the conversations, but I'm not going to be able to support you financially. So I knew that risk. I took the risk, and I started my journey. I'm 35 now, and since I was 19, I've been traveling the world in over 25 countries. And it's been a beautiful journey exploring not only the outside but the inside of the world. The inside. My inner world.
So in this process, I've been developing the skills to make me happy and to make me feel on purpose with my life. So now I am a wellness coach for the past ten years. I incorporated my education into learning and teaching for adults. And every year, I try to add new skills. So I'm also a time massage therapist.
I do a lot of emotional work for my clients. And then the physical work is the one that most of the people approach to me because everybody wants to have a nice body. But the body is being guided by the mind. So it's very important to have a very, very healthy mind. So for a healthy mind, the simple technique that we all use is breathing.
So, breathing connects us to our purpose and our essence. It sounds really easy, but it's all about habits. So I should create a habit in the morning to breathe. That's the beginning of taking the ship in the direction that you want the ship to navigate. So that's what I've been doing for ten years now. I have been a yoga teacher, Pilates teacher, and working in communities, small communities in Canada, and also in Australia and Singapore.
And I'm very, very happy to be able to spread these talents around- and learn and learn. I learned so much from others, so I love the process of teaching by learning from others.
That's awesome. And so, where has been your favorite place to go so far in all of your travels?
Yeah, that's always the question.
When you hear somebody that travels a lot, they always want to know what's the best place that I visited.
Or maybe a few of them.
It is really hard because from all this process, and I'm coming from a very, I would say, experiential wisdom. Like when you live, you get this wisdom, right?
So maybe when I started traveling, I could mention places in particular. But as I keep traveling and I keep growing as a woman, I know that I'm only, but people ask me this, always my answer is this: I'm only feeling grateful to be able to witness other people's culture. So from that position, I'm nobody to say this is better or that's better.
I'm blessed and grateful to be able to enter the culture and see and witness it. So that's what I would say because I think their beauty in every single land of the world. And every culture has something to admire. And from that position, I'm actually so so grateful.
I'm so grateful. Especially nowadays, we are with the beginning of 2021, when we have so many restrictions. So when I think about what I did in the past, I'm only grateful to be able to see with my eyes all this beautiful diversity of cultures.
And it is being able to have the experience, a hundred percent.
Yeah. I was just last week in Puerto Rico, and it's so true, you know? There are like little pieces of everywhere where I've been all over the world. It's like, I liked that. And I liked that. And I like that.
So in your travels and, and deciding to support yourself and not be an employee, but be a business owner, what made you decide to be a business owner and to take life into your own hands and create the life that you wanted to create. What drove you there?
I think it's just the leadership little butterfly that is always being in me, in myself. I think as I have the opportunity to explore the world as a Venezuelan woman from the outside, I see that it's a lot of injustice in my country. So as I see the injustice, I feel like we don't know what we don't know. Right? So as soon as you start learning, you realize that you can actually develop your own brand as yourself. And then, in this way, you can create what you want without others telling you what to do.
So I think, from that mindset, I think that's how I developed my own brand because I realized, okay, I have these skills; I can place them together into a system and then become my own captain of my ship. Right? So that's what I decided to do ten years ago when I started on fitness and wellness. I started adding skills, and then it slowly built my independent business, a freelance business. And I'm always connecting with other networks. Like I have a naturopathic doctor connected, I have a massage therapist, physiotherapist, and I have a network that always is supporting the process; but we all have our independent desire and projects working separated.
That's great. That's great. And so, Joa, what helps you to find clarity for yourself or for when you're working with your clients? What clarity processes do you have?
Joa on Clarity
Yeah, that's a good question because the only thing we need to achieve anything is to have a path. So like a roadmap, you have a roadmap; we have to have a very clear vision, right?
So the vision. Literally, imagine you're wearing glasses, and they're all foggy. You kind of know where you want to go, but you're not completely clear. So once you clean the glasses, the lenses, then we can see with clarity while we want to go. And to do this process, I think we need to do introspective work, where we have to actually take our time and sit down and write down. Write down is very important to express what you have in your mind, express it with words. Can you express it, can you feel it? First, can you feel it If you really feel it, then you connect to your intuition, which I believe we all have intuition as a human? I think it's one of the most beautiful talents that we have, and we can really connect to our intuition as we breathe.
And the vision will come as sensations in your body. And they're actually schools of intuition, and now there's been more studies that say that intuition is very important to learn and to actually develop the way to connect to our intuition. It comes as a gut feeling. Like we know when something is going wrong, we feel it right in the stomach, and that's totally true. Our body actually chokes, and you can actually go to the washroom. You can feel that maybe a sensation in your, in your hands, even your body temperature can drop simply because you're connected to your intuition at that moment. Right. So I think that it's very important to learn and to develop and to actually be curious to a study about intuition. Like how can I actually strengthen my intuition?
So from that position, you can actually develop clarity. Once the intuition is there, the clarity will come in a written paper. Usually, I just write it. I write my goals, and I usually break down the goals for the big vision. Visions come to me at this moment and even, when I was a kid, on dreams, like clear dreams.
I used to have dreams with messages. And many messages and repetitive dreams and, since I'm a little kid; and even now, like lucid dreaming. So I think that's a very, very powerful tool that I have as a human, and I think we all have that. And there are ways to improve these connections for clarity.
And the second one is meditation with breathwork. I'm not telling you to do any particular breathwork, but I'm just maybe waking up that interest to learn about breathwork. Once you practice this, you may have specific flashes in your mind connecting to either your past memories or your inner child.
It could be that particular sense of where you belong, and that comes all about breathwork. It could be maybe one instant on the breathwork that will bring clarity to you. It happened to me in 2016. I was in Singapore practicing this methodology of breathwork, but it's in India, and I had to do 40 days of practice for 40 minutes on an empty stomach.
So it was very serious. Yeah. I was taking it very seriously. I was exploring really deep meditation methods, and I literally got connected to this light, into that moment that you gave me such clarity that I cannot explain. I just went into a trance. And the clarity was specifically with, with images, with voices that were explaining to me what was, for me at that moment, the reason of, of the, of my, of my intention in that time.
And I still being kind of putting together and downloading all that clarity that I got in that time. So, those are like really strong clarity times, but eventually, as you practice daily, you can always revalue your vision and see if you are actually making plans and following through to get to your vision.
So, yeah, that's a very important question.
Absolutely. Yeah. And you know, just like you're starting to use EntireTask now, and that's how we're, starting to develop a relationship here too, have you work with that too. And that's one of the things that I did inside of EntireTask is that when you create your vision and you create that vision board, right?
I always recommend that people spend at least ten days looking at that board every day and feeling that feeling of what their life will be like when all of those pictures come to life. Right? And the more emotional those pictures are, the better. And so yeah, what you're saying, it just kind of goes right along with that.
That's so perfect. And so what about power? Like when we think about- or you can call it willpower too. I'm sure being a business owner yourself, you've had those days where you're like: things are difficult, and it's not all the time, but every once in a while, as a business owner, things are not always perfect.
There are things that we need to get through. And what is it that helps you to get power? What helps you to get, to continue on with that vision that you once had? What are the things that keep you going forward?
Joa on power
Yes. Well, let me tell you Marni. I am a personal trainer, and when you say power, my brain always brings back into the book what power is.
So power is the combination of speed a strength. So that what power is. When you are actually going to train, it's like; you could follow a system, like a power system. Basically, for that system, you are using strength with spirit. So it's like a powerful movement—same thing. The power from action comes from speed.
So like a very, very strong fast speed and the strength. Right? So I think those two, we have to build the muscle. Like we build the muscle in our body, we build the muscle in our mind to create that momentum. So I think the power comes into like inspiring. Having that big vision in my case, my vision is huge.
I want to be a female leader that can create a change in 1500 kids in Venezuela. I select the 1500 kids because I want to just see that happening and in the future would be bigger, but so far, that's my big vision. Right? So then I have to go back by segments and see how can I break down this big vision into small visions?
And as I work on it with the power to be there, I realized, wow. This is a big vision. I'm going to need a lot of people and volunteers to be able to do this with me. So this one was started four years ago as a vision, right? That was my vision. It told me, look, you gotta be a female leader. You are going to do this, but it was so complicated and complex I have to break it down into small goals, tasks, employees, and all of these. As EntireTask coach, I love this system because I've been doing it in my own way—writing down on vision boards every six months and creating the planners and all in the paper. This is a great tool to have because sometimes we lose the papers.
To be honest, I travel a lot. And when I travel, I usually take pictures of the vision boards, and I have to throw them away. So this is a good way to keeping everything digitally and be able to also assess the changes.
To change. Yeah. Like for instance, for me, my idea was to move to Puerto Rico right away. And now I'm like, okay, I have to backtrack a little bit because my family doesn't want to go right away and make sure that I have everything in line for making that move at the right time. And yeah, a hundred percent I'm right there.
But I think the most important, again, it's to have the clarity, the vision, and then without getting overwhelmed...
...just getting excited. It's very important to, instead of getting overwhelmed, just have that word excitement, right? And then keeping that feeling in your heart, knowing that's going to happen, but we have to have patience, then we can break down that big vision into projects and small goals.
Absolutely, and I think what helps me, and probably what you're saying too, is that, when I get overwhelmed, that's the whole reason I break things down, because then if I break it down into smaller pieces, then the overwhelm starts to go away. Right? Then it's like, okay, I can just do this one little thing.
Oh, I can do that other little thing, and this other little thing and, "Oh look, now that whole project's done," and now I can move on to my next project. But if I look at that, and especially it sounds like your vision is really, really big, and if you look at that whole thing, you're like, "Oh my gosh."
Yeah. What? To be honest, I'm a wellness coach, and I'm always thinking, how can I serve the world? So these months of January, starting the month, instead of me talking about new year resolutions and all this like repetitive dialogue for January, I have been feeling people with a lot of anxiety, a lot of scarcity, a lot of stress. And I've been thinking, how can I serve the world?
What type of content do I want to bring for awareness? Then actually, if you open my Instagram, @joafitness, I've been talking about planning the whole month before I actually started with EntireTask. I started planning because I realized, look, it's not about how much stress you have.
It's like, what is the cause of the stress? And the cause because you do not have an organization, you really don't have an organization. So like, like I think this is an epidemic. The epidemic happened. Let me tell you because our routine of life has been changing so much. Like back in the day on a regular day, which is not going to happen again in a long time, we used to have a routine. We used to- like robots. We used to wake up, go to work, come back to sleep. That's not happening anymore. So people need to have, they need to have amazing organization skills, especially those mothers at home. They have the kids there 24 hours at home. They're studying at home. They're doing the school at home. The mom has no boss anymore because now the mom, she can do- she has certain hours to work, but now she has to like supervise herself. So we all become our own CEO. Somehow, even those people that are working for companies they still working somehow in their own time; because they don't have the pressure of having the boss looking after them or having the managers. So I know this, like I'm telling you, as a wellness coach, this is the first thing. I feel anxious, not depressed. I don't feel that it's much depression. I feel it's like, "I feel anxious". And the energy is gone from thinking about the future but thinking about the future without clarity. Because you just thinking about the future like, "I have this, I have this", because I know what is my next step. I know where I'm going to go. So that you're saying instead of getting overwhelmed from these, this mind that is not clear, we can actually stop the moment and then write down how can I create a plan that makes sense. And these mini-goals. You feel so good when you tick, when you tick the mini-goals, right?
I love that! Yeah. Yeah. Like when you go into EntireTask there, you notice how it slides to the right. I love it when it slides to the right. I'm like, "Woohoo! It's gone!"
So good. That sense of achievement. I recommend adding all the mini-goals, including the self-care, you know, like an image is a must, so add it there. You know, like, supervise every single task until you are able to create a habit. But it's very important. It's super important. You can check my Instagram; it's all about planning, methods for planning.
Like, are we actually, instead of working for three hours, can we just like work for segments of 45 minutes, right?
Yeah. They say from a scientific perspective that 90 minutes if you're doing deep work, you can handle 90 minutes. Right? Of deep work, but not beyond 90 minutes. You have to have a break, but if it's not deep work, it can easily be 45 or it can be 25, you know, and give yourself a little break.
So it's really, you know, to create EntireTask. I had to kind of look into that. Right? And that's one of the reasons that I put in there so that you have the areas of your life. So that you can say, 'Oh, I want to work on production right now. Right? Or maybe I just want to work on household stuff right now.
And so that you can like pair it down. So, you know, I can just do this block. I have this much time, and I can just work on this one thing. And yeah, I agree with you on that. And another thing I'll add to that is like, I have a whoop here. Do you know what the whoop is?
Tell me about it, tell me.
Oh my God. I love this thing. It tracks your heart rate variability. And so I'm getting older now, right? I'm 52. You're 35. And you know, now it's harder for me to sleep. Right? And so a friend of mine, actually one of my clients, my billionaire client, he's the one who actually put me onto this. And, he calls it a dominatrix because it's always telling him what to do.
Yeah, what it does is it helps you to know how your body is responding to stress and how much sleep you need every night. And so I've got so much better at managing my sleep, and it's made a big difference in going to sleep well.
Totally. Part of my wellness coaching is to help to organize the day of my client just because they get overwhelmed.
Again, with so many things to get, especially those mothers. For sure. I'm not a mother. I just admire all the supermoms, and shout-out to all the supermoms are doing such a good job now with the kids at home. That's a big, big task. And I understand how overwhelming it could get, and the distractors in the night can really affect your melatonin release in the night.
So I remember one time I was going to my acupuncturist with a lot of pain on my body and in, in charity as well. And then my doctor was about 85 acupuncturists from China. He tells me, well, how come you're so stressed? And you are a yoga teacher. You're supposed to be happy. You know, like what happened.
I mean like, no, you know, work, you know, I'm going to sleeping properly. So he's like, remember that they have 24 hours, eight hours of work eight hours, of sleep and eight hours of for creation, eight hours of play, I was like, Aw, this is interesting that's 24 hours. So yeah, many times we don't balance our hours properly.
I tell my clients to make sure that there is a season that changes, especially for us when it's winter, our days are shorter. Like now it's 4:00 PM. It's already dark like that.
To change our schedule of activities. Right? So normally you're going to sleep at 11. Perhaps within winter. You go to sleep at 10. So you can start earlier during the day and take advantage of the lights, right? Want them to organize your schedule per season? Once you leave in the hemispheres that we have these seasonal changes, I think it's important to organize our year in quadrants, right?
So we have four, four quarters each quarter represents. Our goal and every goal could be achieved in that way. So you can see the entirety or year, display on four different quadrants. I think that it's very important for us for you that you're like right. Almost on the tropical, then you probably have an amazing year, no,
It's not; there's not a lot. San Diego. There's, there's a little seasonal change. In Puerto Rico, there's even less seasonal change. There's like it's either beautiful or raining. And here there's very little rain, but it gets windy and a little colder. But other than that, it's like 73 all the time here in San Diego.
I love San Diego. Yeah.
Yeah. So, I agree with you. And last year, when I started Brian Johnson's optimize coach program, I took up. One of the things that they suggested there. And I walked 10,000 steps a day with my little puppies, or at least if it's not every day, I try to do it like a minimum of three times a week.
So just walking with my dogs. They're so happy, and around four or five o'clock, they're just like, Hey, it's time to go. So that's, that's another way to, you can, you can have you know, somebody that you walk with. To encourage you to go.
Yeah. Yeah. For sure. That's a task to write down every day and to teach, right.
That's like mental health physical health.
Yep, exactly. And so the the final thing that we ask in this is follow-through. So what do you do that helps you now? You're, you're clear now you've got power. And what helps you to follow through with what you've decided to do?
Joa on Follow-Through
What if I know through again the, the the tool has to be easy to, to follow through.
If it really sees me I could re-arrange in my case. I am going to follow through no matter what because my commitment is a bigger power source, right? Like my commitment is out of my own body. It's. Actually, my commitment is with a community in Venezuela. That's my company because if I succeed, they succeed.
Right. So I already time if I feel the motivated or anything, I would think about like, what about the dream about taking care and volunteering with these kids? Like, what is it? So then that's my biggest power is. Being able to create a change in a community that is needed keeping it going for them.
Right? Sometimes some, I guess what I hear from you is that sometimes if you don't keep it going for yourself, if you have something greater, you'll keep it going for them.
Yeah, definitely. I think it's important to find that source and be prepared for changes because in my case, I always tell people this is my second podcast of the year, but I cannot forget of a big event that happened to me last November.
I had a niece who I was running my entire life around since she was 12. And unfortunately, in November, she got sick. And unfortunately, she passed away. I remember. Yeah. So this is a very, very hard event that it changed completely my, my future because I was planning every step to bring her to Canada and offer her an amazing life here.
And she was also part of the, of that plan. She knew where she was like putting on her efforts to become a great athlete, a great violinist. So she was part of this, of this dream that I had in my head. And the same as when I got divorced, these can change a lot. Right. So we need to be prepared for these things.
And that's probably the hardest thing that happened to me after my divorce because every time events like this happen, Our dreams are like they're, they, they feel like they're broken.
They get all jumbled up, and now you're like, Oh, okay, well, Oh, you know, okay, we're not doing that anymore. Now we have to do this.
So yeah. It's the same like I have to re restart my life from scratch when I divorced in 2013. And the only way for me to start was actually going away to Australia and finding myself and, through that process, finding a new journey towards the nonprofit of Venezuela, the same way now. I mean, that process is very gentle with me as an aunt and for my sister and my family.
How can I still follow through, right? How can I see through my, my, my purpose, and my intentions? So it's been very interesting, and I feel now it's even more important to have tools to reset the plan, you know because it has to reset the plans. Like I never considered having kids because my niece was like a kid for me, like my daughter.
So now I'm actually open. Maybe having a child of my own kid, my own child, because things change it, you know? So I think it's important to know and know bringing like, like darkness, but also to tell everybody, to tell the real things, right.
Yeah, you have to, but you know, this whole. Coronavirus thing, you know, nobody was really planning for that.
And so life will give you some of these things and some of these things are not perfect. Some of these things are difficult and, and so, yeah, you're absolutely right, is being able. And, and that's another reason that I made the board that's coming up inside of EntireTask. It's gonna; we're going to call it.
I think I'm going to call it the manifest. So that you go in there and you see, you know, your goal is 25 years. And, and then remember I showed you that board of how I'm going to make it look that manifest board kind of goes along with creating something, right? So that then you can say, okay, well, I need to push this back in time.
Because I need to pull this other thing forward in time, so it allows you to kind of move stuff around as you need to so that it still makes sense going forward because you know, life, life gives us these things that were, you know, okay, now we have to deal with that.
Now it's very uncertain. Our future is very uncertain.
But that doesn't take away that we are still can dream big visions still. Like I always, I think because I know we're about to finish our call. I, if you guys could stick to the end of the call, thank you for listening to my story. I know it's it is a little bit too much about me, but it's important to know that you are.
Yeah, but it's also to know that it's not as easy and as simple as it sounds like with open downs and events could change your entire plan, but your vision should still be there. Yes. Because when even this happened, it's like, I still, I still, we try to do my best. I'm doing my best. Not only for my niece.
She still is part of my legacy, and I still have a project with her. She's like the main cover of a Saturday. Afternoon kids version that we have for educating the kids online. And she's actually the main cover. So somehow, I still bring her into my dreams, even though she's not alive, physically, she's alive in my project.
I see it as a source of love. Right. And then, at the same way, I want to continue still bringing. My, my plan. My plan is still there. As long as I'm breathing, I'm able to fulfill my dream. So that thing, that's my last message to anybody that is using to these, if you are considering to, to own and to, I would say to.
The one, like in these 20, 21 to finally own your, your actions, I would definitely recommend you to take a tool and this tool EntireTask is definitely a great tool to use. It's a very friendly tool, and I don't think it's something that you will do in a rush. I would recommend you to take your time.
Absolutely. And perhaps I start building your, your, your plans. At least it's something that you have to revalue anyways every week, but at least try to take your time and start developing. What are your biggest projects to start? And then, from there, start adding your tasks and little mini goals here and there.
And then life will be much, much easier. So thanks for this interview and for being able to expose who I am to the world. Yes.
Yes. And also, we love to have everybody who comes on to give a free gift to the people who are listening today. So tell us what your free gift is today.
My free gift. Well, look, I am a hyper woman.
I love moving. So the first thing I can invite anybody that is listening to this call is to join my sexy strong legs group. My sexy strong legs group is a 15 minutes break that I offer every day for those people that are working in the office at home, that they, 15 minutes, I stop working and move with me.
So the movement is about sweating, and just checking your body is four days of the movement. And one day of meditation and stretching. And do it for me also to be honest, because sometimes I'm sitting for long hours and it's like movement, and I think that's for anybody if you want to join the group is called sexy, strong legs, and you just have to send me a request on Facebook.
It's the only group called sexy, a strong legs.
I'll put it; I'll put in a link down below our interview here. So, you'll definitely see it. That's the first.
And the first one, and it should go into my Instagram @joafitness. I have ten days of meditation where I show you how to breathe in different ways. So you can actually practice different ways to breathe and extend days also for free there.
And really just contact me, and I will try to see how we can work together. I always have ideas. So for that, No worries, on Saturday mornings, we got one call at 10 30 where we interview entrepreneurs, and we bring them through to this show. And then they talk about their stories and some like ideas.
And they share their gift with us. And then at 1:00 PM, we have the kids version where little kids take the leadership of being a host and the leadership to lead the calls, which I love. That's great. That they're adorable, and they interview. People, about mental health and like see things that really matter at this moment.
That really important to talk about. So thank you, everybody.
Thank you. Yeah. Thank you so much for coming on today. JOA. I really look forward to working with you in the future.
Thank you so much.
Okay. Bye, everybody. Thank you.