Rising Through Resilience: Siwat Siengsanaoh of Recoup Beverage On The Five Things You Can Do To Become More Resilient During Turbulent Times
An Interview With Savio P. Clemente
Learn to be comfortable in the unknown — with age and maturity I’ve learn to be comfortable not knowing all the outcomes and having all the answers. As long as you and your team are working towards obtaining the answers.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Siwat Siengsanaoh.
Siwat is co-founder of Recoup Beverage, a NYC startup beverage company. Recoup is a ginger-powered health and hydration beverage geared towards daily wellness and post-workout recovery. Every bottle of Recoup has 2 tsp of ginger, the amount used to support muscle recovery, aid digestion, and boost immunity. Siwat is a serial entrepreneur, who has experience starting numerous companies which include a magazine company, a mobile social networking app and a music discovery app.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
I was born in NYC and grew up in Northern New Jersey. I spent the first the 3 years of my life in hospital and by the time I was 12 years old I had 10 major surgeries, one of them being open heart. As a child and a young adult, I was always intrigued by two things: my own health and a desire to take my ideas/thoughts and turn them into something tangible for people to use. As I got older, I realized that these ideas were my way of looking out into the world and wondering how things can be done better. From the beginning of my professional career I’ve always been torn between two careers, earlier on I worked in healthcare and after work I would focus on various entrepreneurial ventures. These ventures help to solidify my desire to solve problems and create better products for people to use.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Recoup’s origin story is by far the most interesting story of my professional career. The origin of Recoup goes all the way back to my childhood healthcare experience. I spent the first few years of my life in the hospital. My mother’s ginger-based remedies played a big part in my recovery and the memories of these home remedies is what eventually inspired Recoup. In the years to come I would pursue a degree in applied physiology. I’d also find myself working in the same hospital I grew up in working with children with heart and lung disease. During this time, I discovered numerous studies using ginger to promote muscle recovery, digestion, and immunity. From there, I started working on the first version of Recoup in the kitchen of my tiny Manhattan studio.
Looking back on these series of events, they make sense now. However, that wasn’t always the case as I spent quite a bit of time wondering if my career decisions were going to make sense in the long run. Ultimately you have to believe that your choices will make sense in due time. The takeaway is that your career path is never going to be a straight path and you should be ok with that. As long as you’re working on identifying what motivates and excites you, you’ll ultimately find yourself being drawn to things that will put you on the right path.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I believe that Recoup’s mission is what makes us stand out. We believe in the power of plants to help people feel better and live well. Our mission at Recoup is to be a supportive partner in people’s wellness journeys by giving them great products that can help them reach their wellness goals and live healthy lives.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
It’s difficult to share one story, and I can’t just narrow it down to one person. I will say that there are handful of people that have helped and supported me along the way. For example my close friends that I’ve known most of my life have been a great soundboard for my ideas and dreams. There are also mentors/advisors from school and previous jobs who have helped point me in the right direction whenever I encountered challenges or needed professional guidance.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
I would define resilience as the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity. Some characteristics/traits that coincide with resilience would be:
- A growth mindset
- A strong understanding of yourself
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
The definition of courage is the ability to do something that frightens you. I believe we should always try to do things that we have some sort of hesitation towards. By doing this we end up becoming more resilient. Acknowledging things that we are fearful of allows us to give credit to them, and once we do that we can then figure out ways to overcome them.
Courage and resilience are also different in that courage can be short lived while resilience usually consists of a longer timeline. Someone may have the courage to quit their job and change their career path, but it takes resilience to continue to redefine themselves and excel in their new career path.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
My Asian parents who migrated from Thailand are the best example of resilience. They saw an opportunity for a better life in the US, and they decided to pursue it. They faced many obstacles and challenges along the way, yet they continued to push through ultimately providing a better life for themselves and their family. I’ve always looked up to my parents and I’ve learned so much from them. They’ve taught me the importance of setting goals, being discipline in working towards those goals, and never giving up on your dreams.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
There have always been people telling me that starting Recoup was impossible. People have said that the beverage industry is very competitive, just look at the beverage aisle at your local supermarket. It’s hasn’t been easy, but I am willing to accept the difficult task and I look forward to overcoming the challenges and obstacles that lie ahead.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
I see my childhood health experience as a setback. For others my situation may have led them to a more cautious and sheltered life. Fortunately, my parents encouraged me to take risks and seek adventures through extracurricular activities that challenged me mentally and physically. As time progressed, my health improved, and I was able to live my life no different than most of the kids I surrounded myself with.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
Having played competitive sports for most of my life (from the age of 13 up until finishing undergraduate school), I’ve learned to be mentally and physically resilient. Since childhood I made the decision to focus on one sport and that was soccer. With the help of my father (and eventually trainers), I spent most of my free time practicing and it became part of my daily routine. As you move up through the competitive spectrum, your skills and mental strength are continuously tested. I believe my time playing soccer has taught me all the necessary features needed to build resilience (i.e. grit, growth mindset and perseverance).
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Be grateful for what you have; take time to appreciate what you have and what you’ve accomplished so far.
- Learn to be comfortable in the unknown — with age and maturity I’ve learn to be comfortable not knowing all the outcomes and having all the answers. As long as you and your team are working towards obtaining the answers.
- Continue to do things that challenge you (mentally and physically)
- Meditate. This will help you learn to be fully present and focused on the tasks at hand.
- Surround yourself with people who push you to be open to new possibilities.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would love to foster a community rather than a movement as movements can be short lived. I would love to foster a community based around Recoup’s mission which is to help people feel better and live well through modern plant-powered remedies. My co-founder and I believe that modern day life is a workout, and we need to make sure we check in and take care of ourselves both mentally and physically.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)
I would love to sit down with Simon Sinek. I’m a huge fan of his books specifically “Start with Why” and the “Infinite Game”. I would love to have him elaborate some more on concepts such as:
Just Cause, Have Worthy Rivals, and the Courage to Lead.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can follow and connect with me and co-founder on our website: www.recoupwellness.com
And you can follow us on instagram: @recoupwellness
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!