ShannonRae on Clarity, Power & Follow-through
Marni Melrose 0:00
All right, so today I have ShannonRae with me as one of our speakers on the summit. And Shannon, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, kind of where you came from and where you are now and how that's changed your life?
Yeah, first of all, thank you for having me. I'm super excited to be here with you.
Marni Melrose 0:15
Yeah. So, I think-- in business, I started in my - like, I was going to save the world and be a part of the Peace Corps and, I had this crazy vision about that. Ironically, you have to have a college degree and speak a second language, and I don't speak second languages very well. So, I forgone the Peace Corps and decided I was going to move to Southern California and just kind of work in domestic violence and in trauma work out there.
Marni Melrose 0:59
Where were you from?
I was from Illinois.
Marni Melrose 1:02
Illinois. All right. Okay.
Yeah. So, I moved to a border state where you need to speak a second language, right? Which all of which are signs, right? And I did it for about six months and realized that the system just wasn't working for me there was something broken about the system. And it was my first indication that I'm a systems thinker. I ended up in technology and .coms, before there was the people that we have today - Facebook and Google and when there was AOL and Netscape and people were trying to learn how to do email and what a website is way back in the day. And it kind of, gave me this bug, this bite for what it means to help companies grow from startup. For the last 20 years, I've been doing the same thing. I've been helping companies do turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions, expand their growth and ultimately help them grow their revenues, their profits and there margins by being systemic, like building a scalable system and how do you do that in a way that is in a culture - a progressive culture that you can actually sustain go the lasting company to grow. So, I kind of just fell into it with a completely different vision than where I am today. But, I think that what I love is that combination of building systems and companies and helping them grow, and I love business, but I also, love the human development side. So, I've also worked for many, many years in the trauma side as well. I just do it because I love to do it. It's side work and is give back philanthropy business. So, it's allowed me to kind of bridge the two together that ultimately, 15 years ago helped me build the Power Integration Center, which grew out of a consulting firm that I have as well. So, I've had a consulting firm for 25 years. We still help companies 2 to 10x their revenue and grow their businesses and handle those transition times. But, we also out of that realize really early in the first 10 years that we can build systems all day long. But, if people don't shift to actually sustain those, right, and we don't get the right people in the right roles who are ready to handle that level of growth, right? So, we would often build these amazing systems get companies to great places, and they couldn't sustain it. Within 18 months, they were back to where they started, when we worked with them. And so, I very early on in my young - in my 20s, I really needed to learn how to really help adjust to the people side of the business as well, whether that's getting the right people in the right roles, or really doing a level of leadership development that helps you not just develop a skill set in leaders but have you execute. How do you consistently drive those kinds of results through both mindset and execution and skill level that can sustain that kind of growth? So, here I am today with three companies, a nonprofit, doing work with trauma survivors. I've learned to integrate all of that together in a way that provides value for others, but also gives me the life, with the kind of meaning and purpose and freedom I've really been looking for.
Marni Melrose 4:11
That is so wonderful. You know, it's really funny, I didn't-- I didn't quite get that connection. But, that's how I ended up being a coach. I was in technology, and implementing all these systems. And then I was like, okay, there's a big elephant in the room. I can put these systems in all day long but if we don't fix that, that thing right there. We're not going anywhere and we ended up in coaching. Isn't that funny? That's awesome.
And we literally took - there was something that I had to just stop and ask myself a question in my 30s still was like, how am I without a business degree? Right. I had my master's degree in human development now, but without an actual MBA. How am I creating such extraordinary consistent results. We've worked in 23 different industries. We're consistent in our results. We have a 95% success rate. We take eight of nine startups to profitability, scale or sale. How am I doing that in my 30s with people who are in their 40s and 50s that have MBAs in really massive global brands and companies. So, what I realized is the style and approach that we take and how we develop leadership and how we feel that execution is really created was rather unique. And I didn't know that because I just didn't know any better, right? It's just the way I thought...
Marni Melrose 5:38
Got to love that, just pure.
Yeah, so we just we built programs out of it. Not everybody can hire us to come in and execute for them and run their company for them. But, a lot of people still need to do that with their people. And so, a coaching and training company got built out of it with all of that, work that we've done over the years to be really successful with companies to whom we execute it for?
Marni Melrose 6:01
That's awesome. That's awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that. And so, what has doing all of this... How has it benefited you personally and your family, tell us that?
Well, you know, the side story is that...
Marni Melrose 6:23
I'm in love with side stories.
I have lived through enough trauma to last me a lifetime, in my personal life. I - in my 20s, the same time I was growing that company got married to a man who had mental health issues and self medicated those mental health issues. We had two children which had some great years and then at the birth of our second child decided to self medicate his stress that came with all of that. Became a gram-a-day, crystal user. Yeah, and so I lived through this 18 month version of my life that was - I like to call my interesting left turn because nothing in my life led up to that and nothing since then has really looked like that. But, what's interesting is, he tried to kill me. I lived through rape, he stalked me for 18 months. It took a long time - he failed out of seven rehabs trying to get clean and sober. And as a result of that I also - our second child has similar mental health issues that I've lived with raising a child on my own, as a single mom for the last 20 years with a lot of mental health issues, similar to that. So, when you-- part of what I did, when I built that leadership development company was mirrored the same work that we do in the trauma field. So, we do the same work with trauma survivors and domestic violence shelters and things of that nature. So you know, what's interesting is everything that I've ever gone through prepared me to get through that and prepared me - it's the work that I do now. I mean, when people work with how they get a shaman, a coach and all of these things, which... It happened because of business - it actually happened because of the struggles and strife that I lived through in my personal life and learning how to actually use them in my holistic life as a CEO and as a business owner. You know, how do you take all that wisdom, spiritual, personal or business and integrate it into a weapon and make it - cultivate the life you want, based on the life you are given. Right? And take ownership for the - my part and all of that
Marni Melrose 8:07
The things that are perfect, right? I didn't ask you that before we jumped on the summit. But, you didn't know this. Actually. I had to take my son away from his father for three years for the exact same issue. It took him three years to get himself back on track and I left him when my son was one year old. So, it's like the universe sometimes brings people together and they are like what was that all about?
You know it's interesting Marni, I think the sad truth is that in working with such a diverse audience, right - I work with everyone from like, homeless woman in a shelter. One of the largest shelters in the West Coast to CEOs, who are driving these like fancy cars, their fancy homes and these fancy places and truthfully shit is all the same. We've all lived through stuff like how we respond to it, what we do with it, how we turn it around, is really the difference between a life of meaning and freedom and power and one of feeling controlled and victimized and so on. That might be, something as drastic as what you and I went through but it also might be simple, like a job loss or I've lost a bit and lost six figures. So, it can sometimes come from those things. A divorce, the loss of a child, I mean, I don't think anyone moves through life that I've met without getting touched or scathed in some way by some trauma that has shaped who they are and how they have learned to succeed through it.
Marni Melrose 10:14
Absolutely. And my mother used to always say and I use it still today - what doesn't kill you builds good character. And I tell my clients, I have a billionaire and a couple of millionaire clients as well and they have the same problems you and I do. There's no-- just like you said, you're working with a homeless person or with a billionaire, believe it or not we're human and so I think that that's part of your success is bringing that humanity into your work which is really good. Let's transition into clarity because I think I'm suspecting you have a lot to give on that. So, how do you find clarity for yourself or for your clients?
I think for me, it comes from two things. One is knowing my why, my unique reason for being here on the planet. I call it my personal brand. I know-- I have it in two sentences. And I know, that everything that I do, everything that I've ever done is tied to that as an anchor. So, for me that's guiding people and organizations through the process of knowing, connecting and owning the essence of who they are. Then, having grand and fulfilling relationships in the process. And so, that's my personal statement. It's what I know that no matter what I touch, no matter what I do, no matter where I'm connected to, it guides me. So, when I get lost, when I get confused, when things get thrown up in the air like they are right now in the world and the plan set isn't the plan we're given I anchor back to that why. Why am I doing what's important and the second thing that does it for me is anchoring to my sense of personal power. Knowing that I am a co-creator with the process and the journey that I'm in and so when I look back at the situation, my husband, or the loss of a business, it's easy to say that's someone else and to not take ownership but taking ownership first of all of what is mine and not taking ownership of what isn't mine, the process about ownership getting really present - like present to that why, present of what's going on with me, present to how I feel. Making a really-- I think the third thing I do is equalize it - you and I are not different, right? Like you said, we all put our pants on the same way doesn't matter what we make or what level of success we think we have We're still human, you know, we're all equal. We are literally - we're in a meatsuit, we're all going through life, we're doing the best we can. Then, really making a conscious choice. So, being strategic and being intentional and asking myself what do I want to do and knowing that I have the power to do that, but I always have a choice. I always have something I can do about it. When the pandemic hit, I was like, "Alright, this is it. This is where we're at like, What now? Where my growth opportunities? Where are my points? Where can I leverage things you know, where can I add value? Where can I be of more service?" When you look at those things in your life and in your business, everything amplifies everything and amplifies with ease and resources come to bear that you didn't understand were available. I've just found that that four step process always works for me. There the four principles of power, we teach, by the way, but they are these power, these points of power that we all have access to and they're this four step process that if you take yourself through it. Every single time, you will feel liberated no matter what's happening around you.
Marni Melrose 14:04
That's awesome. That's awesome. So, let's talk about that power piece. You know, and sometimes you can call it willpower. So, basically you get clear on something. Then, where do you find the power to go through those times when things aren't so perfect, right? Like right now, you might be going through, 'God, you know, oh, I'm going to give up on this business isn't for me, it's not working, everything's wrong.' Or, just having the willpower to get it done. What can you say about that?
I think it's a couple of things for me, one it's about purpose. Having a really-- to me it's not about just my purpose like I shared me having a clear why and why my vision is important, but what I mean by that is, knowing that everything has a purpose and turning everything into purpose and power for me. So, you know, when I look at what I went through with my husband, what I lived through with my son, living through chronic illness or losing a business - all of those things could feel random. The pandemic could feel random, why is this happening to me - losing my job, I can't eat. They're painful moments, don't get me wrong, none of that removes the pain, pain is part of the process, and it's necessary and valuable, but I think that's the piece. It's turning pain into value for me, and taking ownership of it and knowing that it has a reason it has a purpose, and it has value and constantly mining for value. And figuring out what that is, everything is a lesson and a blessing to me. If I ask myself that question, what's the lesson and what's the blessing? Where's the value and where can I leverage that value for myself and others? Everything eventually, sometimes sooner than others transfers into this amazing opportunity and all of a sudden I feel like, 'oh, I'm out of the chain and I can look back at it. And usually... I can't think of a time that hasn't, but I'll say usually because I don't like to say always, knock on wood, right? Usually, if one door closes, another one opens. So, as cliché as they sound, I've lived through enough shit to know that sometimes that's the only thing that got me through. It didn't just get me through Marni, it helped me rise, and it helps me achieve the level of success that I have. I found that somethings may slow me, but they have never stopped me. They've always-- maybe they felt like a detour, but they were actually an access point. If you just remember that, and you search for the access point, instead of seeing it as a detour - if you search for the purpose, instead of the pain - if you understand it's a process and you surrender into it and you find presence in the middle of that process, even when it's uncomfortable - All of a sudden these leverage points come and are available to you and this sense of inner freedom is immediately available to you. Then all of a sudden, everything that's around you the situation, the circumstance, the people, they fade away, and your own power starts to drive you through that. I think that's what's always gotten me through.
Marni Melrose 17:19
Beautiful, beautiful. And you know, for those who are on today, I want you to notice there's a thread showing up in every one of our speakers, that a lot of them are saying that when they do what they do things fall into place. And it's a trust in the universe or the process or whatever you want to call it, Is just going through it and things tend to work out. Right.
Marni Melrose 17:55
Yeah, I love that. So, let's talk about follow-through. Let's talk about some structures that you put in place. So, that once you've got that clarity, now you've got the power and the drive that's moving you forward. How do you make sure that you have that follow-through that you have not only commitments to others, but commitments to yourself to actually reaching that goal?
I think it's a couple of things. On one level, it's just character like I don't even know when I read this question had - I don't know how to actually define what wakes me up every day and drives me to a sense of commitment versus others. I still ask myself that question Marni about why am I persistent? It is the difference, I believe, first of all, I will say in every executive that I work with the difference between success and failure is their level of execution and their commitment.
Marni Melrose 18:48
I know this character - this sense of duty, this sense of responsibility, the sense of when I make a commitment to myself, 'My word is my bond.' And it has an impact, right? I'm a ripple effect - every minute of every day I'm a ripple effect. So, if I don't follow-through, if I don't execute what I said it was going to - I just completed a 10 day cleanse and I promise you on my knees on day six, I was like, I'm done. I don't want to do this why did I do this to myself. It is that sense of duty. There was nothing else. Like pure-- I'm like I want to eat. My body is physically painful...
Marni Melrose 19:33
I'm not having fun right now.
Yeah, I'm done I don't even care, right? But, I just went back to, I chose this for a reason there was something about me before I made this choice that was clear about this and this sense of trust in myself, duty to myself, commitment to myself and understanding that there's a ripple effect - a ripple effect in my life, and a ripple effect in everybody's lives that I touch and that people are counting on me. I'm counting on me. So, I think that's the inner fortitude that I have. But also, I honestly think way more than that. It's systems for me. I'm a metrics girl. I measure everything. So, I run my life by spreadsheets, I could tell you what's happening, what isn't. My finances, my financial, spreadsheets are in place for my business and my personal life. I literally know exactly why I'm doing what I'm doing and I know how to measure my success at it and I know where I'm at and trajectory so I know how to adjust to it. And...
Marni Melrose 20:32
If you can see the past, you can kind of see the future. And I was speaking again, just the other day with one of our other speakers, I find more freedom in structure. By putting structure in, I have way more freedom.
We've got time. I mean, I have 1000 more hours of my time because I know what I need to spend my time in and what I don't need to spend my time and I make decisions easier because I'm able to, see the dashboard, right? I can see what's happening and what isn't and that clarity around really important metrics, like levers that I know what the dials are - and I know how to turn this dial up and turn that dial down and paying attention to that helps me feel confidence in the decisions. So, it causes me to follow-through even when I'm unclear, like when I'm on day six or five in my cleanse and I am on my knees going, I'm done. I really looked back at why am I doing this? What am I measuring? I did this for health reasons, if I reach my metric or if I haven't reached my metric yet. I hired this practitioner for a reason. So, it's going back to those things where we get lost and things get really foggy, which they can do in life in business, and using those systems I put into place and those metrics I put into place to actually define whether I'm at my goal or not, and whether I need to keep pushing forward when it seems a little unclear or foggy and it helps me feel confident in my decisions.
Marni Melrose 22:01
Absolutely. It kind of goes back to why I'm building EntireTask. Because, I want to help people be able to see that clarity. I just haven't been happy with the tools out there to be able, to see that clarity. Most of the time, things are like, the forest is right here and, I'm like, I've got these thousands of tasks, and I can't see what's really important. And that's really, you know, one of the reasons I'm going through all of this is because I'm hearing these threads that are the same with all of the speakers. That's why I really love doing this. It's great.
What an amazing tool for people to have. To be able to have a big picture view of your tasks and what you're doing, what's on your plate and know what to do next. I mean, one of the biggest things that keeps us stuck in overwhelm, is that look of like, 'Oh my gosh, I have all this stuff. What do I do? Where do I go?'
Marni Melrose 23:00
That's most important. What is going to shift the biggest lever at this time and make the biggest impact? Absolutely. So, I'm having every speaker, give away a free gift, and I know yours is going to be awesome. So, tell us about your free gift for the attendees today.
Yeah, so what I find is that, about 80% of us or we spend about 80% of our time, every day on things that we don't control - we have no control over. So, it's similar to the idea of all of these tasks, right? We get overwhelmed, and overloaded by all of these things. We get our emotions wrapped up in them, we spend our time in them, we spend strategic resources on them. And they actually we have no control over them. They don't drive our results. They don't drive our relationships. They don't help us get clarity in uncertain times. So, what I'm giving away is this free mini course called the Circle of Power, which helps you identify - there's 10 indicators of control. 10 indicators that you're - what I like to call, outside of your circle of power, and you're spinning your wheels in the hamster wheel on things that you have no control over. They're things that would surprise you, you know a lot of people who say I'm not controlling and totally progressive, I feel completely liberated. You'd be surprised at how much of their day gets stuck and things they have no control over. Then we help you identify what are the things that you do have power in and how do you access those things? How do you leverage those things in your life? What are the four principles of power that you can use to kind of take yourself through a lot of this stuff that you asked me? You know, how do I go through that?
Marni Melrose 24:40
That is so perfect, you know what, I'm going to get your free gift because that sounds really... It sounds right along the lines of what this whole summit is all about. So, I totally appreciate you coming on here today, Shannon, and I wish you all the best it was it was wonderful.
Thank you so much. It's been an honor.
Marni Melrose 25:03