Episode 254 – Belicia Cespedes

Belicia is a CPA & Snowboarder

Belicia returns to the podcast from episode 37 to update us on her latest hobbies including snowboarding, travelling, and going to the shooting range! She also talks about how she has noticed a change in co-workers making a point to bring their full selves into the office!

Episode Highlights

• Less tennis, more of everything else
• How her co-workers got her into snowboarding
• Close call at the shooting range
• Boating
• How her hobbies make establishing relational connections easier
• More people are bringing their full selves into the office

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    Welcome to Episode 254 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-up Friday edition. This is John Garrett. Each Friday, I’m following 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. So 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. And don’t forget to hit subscribe on the podcast, so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. This Follow-up Friday is no different with my guest, Belicia Cespedes. She’s a Senior Associate in the Forensics Services at PwC. Now, she’s with me here today. Belicia, thank you so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Belicia: Of course, happy to be here.

    John: No, this is awesome. I remember the Episode 37. It’s so long ago. It doesn’t even seem like it. But anyway, I’m glad to have you back. I’d do the rapid-fire questions up front now. So I’m going to start you out. Here we go. If you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?

    Belicia: Harry Potter, even though I’ve never watched it.

    John: Right. It just seems less scary. How about cats or dogs?

    Belicia: Oh, don’t even ask about cats.

    John: There we go. All right. How about a favorite place you’ve been on vacation?

    Belicia: I just got back from Utah. That was gorgeous. I highly recommend to everyone.

    John: Yeah. Okay. I live in Denver, so it’s the Utah junior.

    Belicia: Pretty close.

    John: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. But beautiful rock formations in the mountains. It’s amazing. How about hamburger or pizza?

    Belicia: Ooh, hamburger.

    John: Oh, okay.

    Belicia: Especially if it’s a buffalo hamburger.

    John: Ah, there you go. How about more diamonds or pearls?

    Belicia: Let’s go diamonds.

    John: Okay. Okay. How about what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

    Belicia: I’m going to go cookies and cream.

    John: Nice. Solid answer. Yeah. This is an important one. Last one, toilet paper, roll over or under?

    Belicia: Ooh, wow. Over.

    John: Okay. All right. Sometimes, people say under and I guess those are the cats people.

    Belicia: They’re weird.

    John: They’re the cat people. But when we chatted Episode 37, we talked tennis. Is that still something that you’re playing regularly?

    Belicia: It is. It is. Unfortunately, a couple of my other hobbies have started to inhibit it a little bit. Snowboarding would be of them.

    John: Awesome.

    Belicia: And I took a bad fall. So my serves haven’t been prime lately. Tennis is still up there for sure.

    John: That’s great. These other hobbies, so snowboarding being one?

    Belicia: Yeah. I do it actually a lot with people from PwC that I work with.

    John: Oh, that’s even cooler. Where do you like to go? I mean I know you’re in California, right?

    Belicia: Yeah. Mammoth Mountain, it is unbeatable.

    John: Yeah. There you go.

    Belicia: Even for some of the mountains in Colorado. Sorry to say but it’s true.

    John: Exactly. You know what? I’ve seen Mammoth Mountain, but I haven’t been for snowboarding. So next time I’m out there, I’ll bring my board and then we’ll go. We’ll see what happens. So what made you want to pick up snowboarding?

    Belicia: It was actually some of the people at PwC that couple of them own spots up there. So we just go up as a big group and have a ton of fun together. So really, it was them that got me into it.

    John: That’s great. So it’s getting out of the office. It’s hanging out. They invited you and they’re like, “Yeah. We want you to come along and be a part of this.” Then you’re like, “Well, if I’m going to go, I have to do it.”

    Belicia: Exactly. And got to be good at it.

    John: So how many years have you been doing this?

    Belicia: Last season was my first dedicated season. I’d really probably just say a year at this point.

    John: Yeah. And you’re good or are you doing half pipes and all these jumps and stuff?

    Belicia: I’ve gotten up to black diamonds, but I wouldn’t say I’m great yet.

    John: Right. No, no. I’m the same. I just started two years ago. Yeah. I just want to just do a small jump and not die. I take a picture in the air. Then I guess it doesn’t matter if I landed properly because you got the picture in the air.

    Belicia: Get the photo evidence. That’s right.

    John: Right. Exactly. And the thing that’s so crazy to me about snowboarding versus skiing is that the board doesn’t have to be perpendicular to the mountain because you’ll probably run into somebody. You’ll be going way too fast. You can almost go sideways and it’s just as good, which is weird. That’s really cool. So what were some of the other hobbies that you picked up?

    Belicia: Now that I actually have a little bit of money, I can actually spend it on things.

    John: Right. Exactly.

    Belicia: So traveling and — yeah, it’s been very nice. I did a little bit of boating and got a handgun recently. So those have been things that I added to the list as well.

    John: So just go into the range and target practice, things like that?

    Belicia: Yeah. Exactly. Actually, the first time I took my gun out to shoot it, I could’ve potentially blown it up. But good thing I had a friend there who stopped me before shooting again. What happened was that the bullet got stuck in my barrel because it had been wrongly loaded. Yeah. Good thing he was there to say, “Hey, let me just check that before you blow your face up.” Yeah. That was a good save.

    John: Yeah. For sure. Safety first. Then the boating, what kind of boat?

    Belicia: Oh, it was a little speedboat. I just took it out on a couple of the lakes.

    John: That’s really cool. And that’s got to be a fun release, just getting away from work.

    Belicia: It is, especially with all the water there. You can just dive in and swim in between your boating with nice day jams going on.

    John: There you go. Okay. Okay. I see what’s up. That’s very cool. Do you feel like any of these new hobbies give you a skillset that you use at work or a mindset or any way it helps I guess with the release. With the boating, that’s certainly a mindfulness thing, but any of the other things?

    Belicia: Yeah. I think there’s a lot of conversation and relational connection that you can just make a lot simpler when there’s a wide variety of things and stories that you can glean from. So whether it be relationships with the people that I’m doing that with — for example, the snowboarding — we go with directors to staff that just started. So that’s always good to be able to easily connect with anyone. But then on the trip to have analogies and stories to share just makes relational connection a lot easier.

    John: Definitely. Because I mean you could only talk about work so much before we’re done talking. And I imagine that the people that you share those hobbies with, you have a different relationship with those people than just everyone else in the PwC office?

    Belicia: So true. Yes, 100%.

    John: That’s really cool. Do you find that other people are sharing more or that you’re more in tune with what people’s hobbies are since being on the show?

    Belicia: Yeah. I think so. I think there’s been a really good maturity that’s happened in people’s lives, a little bit more of just wanting to bring their full self to work. So I find those conversations a lot more common. Maybe it’s because I’m also getting more comfortable with them, just breaking down all the stereotypes of being in the business office and being professional and only talking about things that are applicable to your project. It’s been really cool and has really contributed a lot to even just the daily enjoyment of my job.

    John: Yeah. Because I mean I was the same way. When you start out, you model behavior or you act the way you think you’re supposed to act. Then you realize — like for you pretty quickly, which is great. It’s just, “I don’t have to be that way. I can just be me,” because that’s the best version of you anyway. It’s that. So I think that’s cool that that’s happened. Do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that might think that, “Hey, my hobby or my passion has nothing to do with my job.”

    Belicia: I even would just take the financial freedom piece of it and say — encourage people that, “Hey, you’ve worked to get to this point and now have hopefully more financial freedom. And it’s really fun to be able to enjoy that without constantly thinking about how you need to spend every single dollar on certain things. So I think taking just a little bit of risks even there and enjoying that would be fun.”

    I think last time, I shared a quote from G. K. Chesterton saying, “An inconvenience is just an adventure wrongly considered.” And there’s been a bunch of things that even with the boating day or with hiking days or travel days, there’s been a bunch of little things along the road that’s like, “Wow. this could be really annoying right now.” But then it just becomes a really fun story later, like almost missing that last tram or running into something, getting caught in the narrow part or the shallow part of lake. It just becomes really fun, stuff you can laugh about later.

    John: Yeah. Definitely. Because I mean other people have probably done it too.

    Belicia: Hopefully.

    John: Exactly. Right. Or they’re lying. But that’s such great advice. Don’t be worried about every six minute block. There’s always more hours to be worked, always, always. But you’ve worked hard to get to this point and enjoy it. Before we wrap this up, it’s only fair that I allow you to question me if you’d like, so we’ll have a little bit of fun.

    Belicia: Here we go. All right. Do you say caramel or caramel?

    John: Wow. That’s a really good question. I think it’s caramel. That’s how I say it. Yeah.

    Belicia: Caramel? Good choice.

    John: Okay, good. I was worried that this interview was going to be over.

    Belicia: Oh, it’s done. Goodbye. Taco tasting or wine tasting?

    John: Wine tasting all day.

    Belicia: Okay. And what about the favorite thing about yourself?

    John: I get to talk to Belicia. Does that count?

    Belicia: Sure.

    John: I won. I just won. I just won everything. The favorite thing about myself, oh wow. That’s a really hard question. I guess I’m 6’3” so I’m just tall enough to get things off the top shelf but not too tall to sit in an airplane.

    Belicia: There you go.

    John: I don’t know. That’s kind of handy. I can spot people in a crowd pretty quickly, but I’m not freakishly tall where everyone’s like, “Oh, you must play basketball.”

    Belicia: There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. It takes three.

    John: That was super fun. Thank you so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Belicia: Oh, absolutely.

    John: Yeah. Everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Belicia in action or connect with her on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. 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.


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