Interview with Sammi Geraci-Yee

Sammi Geraci-Yee is Director of Community Relations in Centered & Arbonne; Executive Area Manager & Independent Consultant on sustainable healthy living; Yoga Teacher and Sound Healer. You can find her on her web, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or YouTube (for videos of her singing).

1. How did you started working remotely? How did you make the switch?:

As an opera singer, I’ve been “working remotely” since I was 17, often traveling to many performance opportunities for 2 – 6 weeks at a time. Additionally, my career relocated me several times within a 10-year span, spending time in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, The Villages (FL), and finally back to NYC, my forever-home. Up until 2019, my locations and travels were predominantly dictated by my career. However, after losing my mom to a 13-year battle with breast cancer in 2019, I decided to “retire” the opera career and focus on other worthwhile endeavors. Weirdly enough, it was a New Orleans ghost tour with my sisters about 2 months after my mom passed that sparked the idea of remote work as the right choice.

In typical New Orleans fashion, the ghost tour stopped at a bar that was across the way from a softball field where a game was happening. After a few moments of watching the game, I decided I would come back down to New Orleans specifically to play softball in the fall. Letting go of my ambitions in the opera world was scary, but made it easier knowing I had a global network business that I could rely on and take with me anywhere. So in September of 2019, I moved out of my Long Island City apartment, kept only what could fit in my car, drove down to New Orleans – my mom’s favorite city – and signed up for 2 softball teams. Serendipitously, one of my teams played on that same exact field I came across during the ghost tour months earlier.

2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?:

The main advantage of remote working is the ability to create my own schedule, which ironically can also be a disadvantage for me. I love working and filling up my schedule. But over the years, I’ve learned not to overbook my calendar with too much work and not enough playtime. At the same time, new surroundings can be a tempting distraction. Finding that healthy balance between work and play can be a challenge but I’ve found that developing and sticking to a routine (that you can easily pack up and travel with) is key.

3. Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?:
See my answer above…:-)

4. From what cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? What are your favorite ones?:

  • New Orleans, San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), Cape Coral (FL), Los Angeles, San Francisco, and most recently, Lake Tahoe!!
  • New Orleans and San Miguel de Allende are hands down my favorite. Unlike the other cities, I receive the most grounding and beautiful energy from these two places.
  • And of course, New York will be my forever home!!

5. From what type of places do you prefer to work? Home, coworking spaces, coffee shops, or others? Do you have any specific place?:

Although co-working spaces offer many positive benefits including community, I prefer being in my own space for the convenience of it, where ever my location may be, and I use Centered.app to simulate the co-working experience virtually. Yes, I do work with them, but I truly love and consistently use what we’ve created, especially when working remotely!! Centered helps me to hyper-focus on my work while receiving the energy of a global community all working alongside me. Not only am I more productive, but I have more fun too!

6. What places would you like to travel to while working remotely?:

At the moment, I’m eyeing a 25 Day Work and Yoga Retreat in Nicaragua. The Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are also up there on my list as well. Anywhere that is warm, on the beach, has yoga, and of course reliable wifi!!

7. What advice would you give to overcome the main challenges of working remotely? Share your remote productivity, communication, management, etc. tips based on your experience!:

Routine and disciple are everything! But even more important is your gut health!! If your gut health is wonky, it will be a challenge to stay disciplined in your routine. As science and medicine are slowly discovering, everything is connected to our gut. Our brain, our emotions, our energy levels, and most important especially right now, our immune system.

8. What tools do you use and are your favorites to work remotely?:

Centered is hands down my favorite productivity tool to get my work done anywhere. I loved it so much that I had to work with them to share it with the world. Centered combines 3 of my favorite things together – productivity, mindfulness, and music – into one cohesive tool. It helps me to tap into my Flow state and my best potential so that I can stay focused, navigate successfully through all the increasing distractions, and get my work done with ease, grace, and joy while also feeling the connecting energy with a community that is in Flow with me. At the moment, we are currently working towards releasing Centered v2 in the next few weeks. If you are intrigued, I would love to have you join our waitlist: https://www.centered.app/signup

Another one of my tools is Zoom, which has been my go-to video conferencing platform for the past 6 years. Funny enough, in the years before quarantine, people were extremely hesitant to jump on a Zoom with me because they didn’t know what it was. Now grandmas are zooming and I love it! Another tool that I swear by is Google Workspace. I love having all of my documents, spreadsheets, and presentations all in one place that I can easily access from any computer anywhere in the world.

The last tool that I want to share is the voice memo! In a world where people are inundated with emails and messages daily, I love to stand out amongst the crowd with a voice memo message. It makes the reach out meaningful and allows the receiver to hear the emotions and authenticity in my voice. Even more, it’s so much faster to leave a 60-second voice memo than to take 2 – 3 minutes to write out a message that looks lengthy and intimidating.

9. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?:

I’ve kept it simple over the years, and always maintained a permanent address at my parents in NY, my forever home and my home base for now. Since most of my family is here, I break up my remote work locations with a few weeks here and there in NY.

As far as my business goes, my parent company Arbonne handles all the product packaging and shipping to my clients in any of the 7 countries we are present in. Once clients set up an account on my website, they can do their shopping for their holistic wellness needs anytime, and then Arbonne does the rest for me, making it very easy to work remotely from anywhere!!

10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies making the remote switch?:

Work habits and routines are different for everyone. But creating and committing to ones that do work is not always the easiest, especially when you are in a new and exciting location. It takes discipline, the curiosity to explore new work habits, and the commitment to lean into the ones that are worthy.

For companies considering making their workforce remote, I highly recommend scheduling uninterrupted productivity time—at Centered, we have two hours of daily Flow Time. This time is respected and sacred; everyone here is able to focus without distractions. Centered helps everyone get into their Flow State during this time, increasing company-wide productivity!!

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