Last Friday was a typical day for Elizabeth Motta: She finished work, grabbed her groceries, and went to the boxing gym for two and a half hours of intense training.
Motta's planning to enter Belles of the Brawl, an event to raise money for the fight against cancer. She says that her boxing training honors two people: Her father—who got her interested in the sport—and her mom's best friend, who is currently fighting cancer. She plans to enter Belles of the Brawl in 2021 or 2022, a goal that has her in the gym for countless hours, conditioning her body and preparing for a full-body onslaught.
She can't wait.
What does success look like to you?
Success means I'm able to add value to everything I put my energy into. I bring that into everything in my life.
At work, it means I try to connect with people emotionally and make them feel comfortable. Sometimes, my clients tell me their personal stories, or what keeps them up at night. If I've been successful, they trust me to help them plan for their short and long-term goals.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My father, who I lost when I was 19, was the biggest influence in my life. We used to watch boxing together and he taught me about the culture of boxing. That shared love has turned into one of my passions.
My father used to quote Maya Angelou: "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel." That is something that I carry with me as a single mom. I might not be able to provide my son with the best of the best, but if he feels loved and cared for, I know that's what he'll remember.
My father taught me that everything you put your energy, time, and effort into should have an impact. You must be confident in knowing that you have the best intentions. If you're at peace with who you are and what you bring to the table, everything will be okay in the end.
There have been moments in my life when I asked, “Why me?" I needed to change that negative thought into a positive—“Why not me?" Reframing those thoughts made me feel like a true fighter—in life, in the ring, and through all my personal and professional obstacles.
What do you consider the most valuable piece of advice you've ever received and where did it come from?
My current manager, who is one of the most influential people that I've met, gave me some great advice: “Control what you can control, and that is your time and energy. Make sure that you give your heart to everything you do, and people will see that you care. When people see that you care everything will fall into place."
He gave me this advice around the time that I had what I like to call "My comeback." Everything was changing around me, but where I ended up was up to me. I needed to make sure that my story didn't end there. His advice gave me a way to direct that process.
What is the biggest obstacle you've overcome in life?
In 2018 I hit my reset button—well, I prefer to say I hit my refocus button. Sometimes we have a plan but sometimes life has a plan for us. At that time, it was an unexpected move and a sudden change in my career and my life.
I was living in Tampa when I connected with a great opportunity over a thousand miles away. Three weeks after my interview, I was moving to Boston with my 2-year-old son.
Needless to say, moving to Boston wasn't part of my life plan, but it forced me to grow as an individual. It changed how I was parenting as a single mom, and how I was working day-to-day. What's more, it all happened really quickly—within 30 days. It was scary and frightening, but it gave me opportunities that I would never have otherwise experienced. Now that I look back, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Work-from-home, go to the office, or a mix of both?
I like working in the office, but I think that the transition to working from home was easier because of our advanced technologies. With online scheduling and other digital tools, we're able to provide for our clients without having to sacrifice anyone's health.