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Conversations with the Inspiring Casey Van Zandt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Casey Van Zandt.

Casey, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Hi, many call me CVZ, and I am the work-life balance queen.

I was crushing it in the corporate world and climbing the ladder at a breakneck pace; I experienced a health crisis. Knowing full well that something had to change, I decided to re-invent myself and my career – on my own terms.

When I initially walked away from my executive level corporate career, I thought I’d be a full-time yoga instructor and share my work-life balance message on the mat. Little did I know, that more people were trying to be yoga instructors in LA than actors at the time, so I was in for a rude awaking.

It worked out perfectly, as it always does, because I had a plethora of business skills and experience that shouldn’t have been thrown out to waste, so I began to put these skills to use pretty quickly.

As it turns out, a whopping six years later, I do teach two public yoga classes a week at YogaWorks in Santa Monica along with a few privates. I’m spending most of my time. I call it my day job, as a high-performance mindset coach and business consultant. I’m uber-committed to helping successful leaders, executives, and corporate teams operate at optimal performance levels, banish burnout and balance their work and life.

I’ve mastered this whole work-life balance thing and feel so blessed to share this work through my empowering yoga classes, international wellness retreats, and in the business world – pinch me, please!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The yoga portion of my business wasn’t as smooth as I initially set out for it to be, but it’s a pretty neat story.

My practice was/is sacred to me because it was a big part of my healing while I was recovering from a health crisis. Intuitively I felt and feared that if I taught full time, I might not even like yoga anymore. Honoring and staying aligned to those feelings, I spend over five years subbing and waited for the perfect class that would work for my schedule and in my location. It was probably around the five and a half year mark, I released getting my class in meditation and accepted that I wouldn’t get my class. I released it and was okay with it. I said to myself I am super happy subbing and the business is booming, I’m doing great, etc. The next week, I was offered my permanent class at the perfect times at my desired location that was close to my office. Just like anything when you let it go and stop focusing on it – it sometimes just shows up! So, the yoga part of my business worked out more perfectly than I could have ever imagined.

As for the business side of my biz, that was a breeze for me because I was already an expert and established in business. I leaned on a lot of skills and experience to bring that to life relatively quickly.

My advice to anyone just starting is to be open to how new opportunities show up for you. Don’t be married to how you think your plan will go down. Stay open. Six years ago, I thought I’d be a full-time yoga teacher and as it turned out what I thought I wanted was only a fraction of what the universe/God was opening up for me. Had I stayed stuck in that initial vision/dream, I would have missed out on a variety of opportunities to tap into my genius zone and support multiple industries with my work-life balance message. Rejection isn’t always a failure, although at the moment it can sure feel like it, rejections are nothing more than redirects. Stay open!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into CVZ Consulting story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m a high-performance mindset coach and business consultant to leaders, executives, and corporate teams. I genuinely believe that mindset is what separates the best from the rest so working with me will give you an opportunity to excel in your performance. My clients learn a variety of tools to use during their day to day lives, and they see excellent results. Imagine having a coach/consultant in your pocket that you can send a quick audio message for support right before you go into a big board room pitch or you’ve got a colleague that triggering you. Having access to a coach/consultant is critical particularly in stressful times, and that’s something I offer to all of my clients. Sure, we have our set one on one meetings but where’s the coach when the real stuff is going down. I take on a limited number of clients so that I can assure everyone has VIP treatment and has access and support from me. One thing that sets me apart from others is I have an extensive corporate level background so whether you’re an entrepreneur, a small or medium or even a large organization I understand the struggles from a business perspective as well as the employee struggle. I’m able to support clients both on the business front and the employee support front.

I teach a slow flow level 1/2 at YogaWorks on Main Street- Bungalow in Santa Monica. I’ve partnered with a cello artist to provide live music, and he’s there most nights as a bonus for my students. I focus a lot on teaching students how to use breath as a resource for calming both on the mat and off the mat when it counts. Come see me on Mondays and Wednesday at 6:30 pm-7:25 pm.

You can also join a small group of entrepreneurs and me, executives, creatives, and thought leaders in Bali for the retreat of a lifetime. Treat yourself to paradise and take your mind, body, and spirit on a SOUL-VACATION you deserve and connect with other like-minded super awesome humans. (August 31, 2019 – September 8, 2019)

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Never be afraid to ask. If you notice someone on social media, reach out and complement their work. They might not be able to mentor you, but they may be able to put you in touch with someone that would love to or has the bandwidth to do so. Remember, we are all people, regardless of the success level, so say hi and introduce yourself. You’re no different than the person you’re reaching out to except they may have something success wise that you want to experience. Many people, not all, operate under the general rule that there’s room for everyone to succeed. If you cross someone that says no or doesn’t respond, that’s just one person. Don’t get discouraged – on the next. We all had to start somewhere, and chances are the established successful person that you’re’ reaching out to has likely done the same at earlier stages of his/her career and continues to do so and will likely throw you a bone. Be yourself – don’t fangirl/fanboy – don’t be pushy!

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Image Credit:
Kornelius Bascombe, Marcia Lee, Janice Liou, Katiana Johnson, Tony Florez

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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