This week Blair and Theresa welcome the Founder of The Marketing Muse 360, Shauna Smith. Shauna shares how she found the calling to help others and lives “Success is freedom, peace and having time with family”. Shauna believes that to have a dream team is to have peace, and provides some important tips she uses with her own virtual international dream team, including team building activities during meetings to bring them together, advocating for them to strive for leadership roles, and enabling her team to achieve their goals. Shauna hopes to instill to all of us that love belongs in business, we need to listen to the cues in our life, and that failure is a good thing.
About the Guest
Shauna Smith is the Founder of The Marketing Muse 360. TMM360 Marketing is a small branding and business development firm that primarily helps tech start-ups, and women in business. TMM360 assists with jump-starting their business activity through effective marketing and branding strategies. She is also a business and branding coach. In 2020, she launched a new business called “Virtualive” with her business partner Joie De Luzuriaga from the Philippines, where they have essentially become global virtual assistant matchmakers. She has written two books “7 Secret Ways to Brand Yourself” and “How to work Virtual Assistants.” She is passionate about inspiring business owners to build long-standing, rich relationships in business.
About the Hosts:
Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. As a pioneer in the industry, she brings more than a decade of experience to her clients, which includes global wellness, entertainment, and lifestyle brands. Blair has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards, and more. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including CBC Radio, CEOWORLD Magazine, She Owns It, and Thrive Global. Blair is also the #1 best-selling author of Pulsing Through My Veins: Raw and Real Stories from an Entrepreneur. When she’s not working on the board for her local chamber of commerce, you can find Blair growing the “I Am Resilient Project,” an online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.
Theresa Lambert is a High-Performance Lifestyle and Success Coach, Speaker, and Bestselling Author of “Achieve with Grace: A guide to elegance and effectiveness in intense workplaces. She founded her coaching and consulting firm, Theresa Lambert Coaching & Consulting Inc., to help ambitious women succeed with more elegance and less struggle so they can lead with focus and nourish themselves to the top. Drawing from her nearly 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and most recently her 6-year tenure as the General Manager of Nita Lake Lodge she brings both a real world view and proven applicable tools to support her clients. Theresa has been recognized as a business leader in Whistler’s Profiles of Excellence, featured in Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, Hotelier Magazine, and Beyourown, and spoken at Women in Hospitality Leadership events, including Empower Her. Originally from Stuttgart, Germany, Theresa now lives in Whistler, BC where you can most often find her on the golf course in the summer months or relaxing by a fireplace in winter.
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Ever wonder what success actually means?Theresa Lambert:
How do you getBlair Kaplan-Venables:
it? And how do you keep it?Theresa Lambert:
We all want it yet sometimes it feels only some of us get to have it.Blair Kaplan-Venables:
Hi, Teresa Blair here. We are two badass entrepreneurs, bestselling authors, coaches and business mentors, who have had success filled success, questioned our own success and reclaimed it. Let's be real for a hot minute. 2020 has been a roller coaster ride, and many of us have started to wonder if they'll lose the things that made them successful. So we got curious, Ron real about what success is truly about?Theresa Lambert:
Can you put it in a box?Blair Kaplan-Venables:
How can you get it?Theresa Lambert:
Can people take it away? Or are you the one with the power?Blair Kaplan-Venables:
Does it mean the same to all of us? Or are we the ones that create it?Theresa Lambert:
From PGA golf bros to doctors, CEOs, entrepreneurs and spiritual mentors. We get together to meet with successful people from around the globe to dissect success for vibrant conversations and interviews. Make sure you click the subscribe button on the app store because each week we will drop a new episode to bust through the myths around success and dissect its true meaning. Who's ready for the most badass and massive uplevel in their business? It is back what's back momentum land Teresa's signature six month business and mentorship accelerator is now open for enrollmentBlair Kaplan-Venables:
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Hello Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of dissecting success. I am super thrilled we are here today with Shawna Smith. Shauna is the founder of the marketing amuse free 60, a small branding and business development firm that primarily helps tech startups and women in business. So awesome. She assists really with jumpstarting a business activity for effective marketing and branding strategies. And let me tell you, she's amazing at what she does. When she's not helping clients with her branding, doing it for them. She actually coaches, businesses on their brand to help them really bring their personalities into what they do, which I think is such a fabulous thing to do. And that is not everything she does. Can you believe it, this woman does more. In 2020, she actually launched a new business called Virtual life with a business partner, Joy delusory Yaga from the Philippines, where they have essentially become a virtual assistant Matchmaker, like that is pretty cool. And we might have to dive into that as well. And Shawn has also written two books, the seven secret ways to brand yourself and how to work with virtual assistants. So, so amazing. And I know her well, because we are in the same virtual networking team as well. So I get to hang with Shauna, every Wednesday. So without further ado, Shauna, welcome.Shauna Smith:
Well, that was a heck of an intro. You know, when you hear the intros, you're like, wow, I really did all that. That's super cool. I appreciate it. And I'm also honored to be here with you to cool chicks. I haven't listened to your podcast, and I feel honored to be here.Theresa Lambert:
Oh, we are so so thrilled to have you shot. So let's dive right in with D juicy question a let us know what does success mean to you?Shauna Smith:
Well, well, success means to me, well, the two words that I look for in everything is freedom and peace. Right? So freedom to make choices. So that would be on the monetary side. You know, for money reasons. We do what we do to serve others. But you want the money to be able to make choices to go to places help people go on trips to have to take a break. And from the P side, not having to worry about paying for things, having great partners, having great collaborators. One of the things that I'm looking for now to continue with my version of success is to build a dream team, right? Like it's one thing to work for yourself and you have all these wonderful ideas, but it can get lonely by yourself. And I have a blast when I have a team that's one on one and we're all in the office, getting goofy creating amazing things together. And I have had that before. And I was ultimately happy doing that. So for me success is being able to have the time with my family to be able to spoil them, make choices have the peace of mind to know that I'm taking care of to grow any business that I want to, and that I have a group of people to work with.Blair Kaplan-Venables:
Hmm, good answer. I want to talk about building your dream team. Because this isn't something I don't think we've talked about in you know, in in our series yet, series is this series, I don't really know, season in our episodes. And we talked to a lot of entrepreneurs, solopreneurs intrapreneurs, who have left their businesses to start a business, and you are obviously a serial entrepreneur, I love that you've written books, I've loved everything that you've done. And I want to talk more about what is your dream team? What is the purpose of those roles? And why why is it important to build this dream team? Let's talk about that. Because to me, I think there's a lot of value in that as someone who's had their business for 13 years, I've just started bringing on, I'm going to say team members, but they're more partners, I don't want to have employees, I'd rather have relationships where I can refer work to and outsource. But I want to know what what you have to say about dream teams. And do you all get matching costumes?Shauna Smith:
That will be so epic, okay to have matching costumes. So for me, I think of I'm a big, I'm a big fan of thinking Grow Rich, the book, my business is basically built that was my first business book. And anytime I get together with people, especially if it's a partnership, I go through that book together to bring us together. But one of the concepts in the book is mastermind. And what I know to be true is when a group of people come together on the same mission, and they're committed, amazing things happened from that magical mind that is built from everybody just coming together. And so my dream team consists of the certain players that you would need like on an Avengers, like you know, in order to get the bad guy, you need to have people who do all kinds of stuff, they had to fly and go through things, somebody who's got to be Professor X to make sure all the superheroes are under control. Somebody's got to be like the funny one, somebody the sexy one, like you got all those characters and in business, you got your project manager, the one who can keeps everybody together, you got your creative directors, you have your strategist, you have your people who can do graph for me and my business. But in all businesses, I do believe you need a project manager. And even if that's a virtual assistant, that someone that keeps things on task, including the owner, because the owner can get a fly off the rails too, because we get all creative. But I will say the project manager, or the leader in any of my businesses that I've had, has been the glue that's kept us together, and also made us be able to go to the next level. So and then I need all those people to be authentically themselves. However silly, the nerdier the people, the better for me, because I am a huge nerd, people don't realize it. But believe me, I do some nerdy things behind the scenes. And I like a whole group of people who just have these odd things about themselves. And even my team now, which is all Filipino. We are very dedicated. And one of the things that we asked for we were looking for to new people on the team. Were asking, Are they ready to be part of our family? This is what we say behind the scenes because Are they ready to lock in with us and go forward? Or is this like a job on the side? So for me, I look at it as a family dynamic. And everybody's parts of the puzzle is important for the full mission. So I don't know if that answered the question. But I've had so much fun building teams and it it makes me forget about anything bad in business or the challenges. I don't even think about that long because we're having too much funBlair Kaplan-Venables:
here. First of all, you are the sexy one. Okay, yeah. That was a great answer. And I just, you know, where are you? Let's talk about where are you based out of because you have a virtual team like VA is virtual assistant. You have businesses and one of them is like a virtual assistant matchmaking company. You mentioned that your team is all are they all in the Philippines?Shauna Smith:
They all are. So the virtual assistant team my business partner is in Philippines where we source talent. We source talent from Africa and the Philippines but she manages the recruitment side. And in my marketing side we have all Philippine Filipinos actually, and I just brought on a kind of vendor from sky Caitlyn, so she's going to be kind of the team as a part time strategy person, but in the state, so now because COVID Calm down, I am getting one of those glass offices in the middle of like a startup community. So I am going to have a videographer full time a Podcast Producer, and probably a graphics person now we'll be the ones on the ground here, doing crazy things in the office, and you know, crazy and crazy content. So your ex, kinda,Blair Kaplan-Venables:
you're in the US. And you have 10 Atlanta. Yeah, Atlanta, which is directly the opposite side of the continent, me and Teresa.Shauna Smith:
I know,Blair Kaplan-Venables:
I know. But I think that's brilliant. Because, you know, COVID, really, I called them, you know, when COVID started, I called it the remote work revolution, like, holy shit, people need to pull up their socks, we're going to be working from home. And the two weeks lasted many, many more weeks than two. And now offices are opening and businesses are seeing, you know, a return to the office or a hybrid model, or people are staying remote and the whole world has shifted, and with what you're building is you're providing this assistance where people really need that glue when they're like, Who is that glue in my organization in my business that that? How do I find that virtual assistant, you're providing that tool? And I think that's brilliant.Shauna Smith:
Well, thank you, I appreciate it. I, I've always had them. Since I've had I've been in business for 14 years now, believe me, it was a lot of fumbling and bumbling going on during that whole thing. But I've always known about remote workers, I always have Not to mention, I'm just a very international person. So I've always looked into that kind of thing. I just thought everybody else knew about it. Until one day, I started asking people and they were like, Oh, I don't know nothing about that. And then I had the fortune, the the blessing to be invited by my actual virtual assistant at the time, her father invited me to the Philippines. And I toured, I don't know how many cities. But everywhere I went, someone was in my WhatsApp asking if they could have an opportunity to work with entrepreneur. It didn't matter if they were my Airbnb person. She was like, my aunt wants to work in the US, can you help us like it was a massive, like, they saw me as an opportunity to do something really cool. It wasn't about money as much as an opportunity to work with really cool people in the US.Theresa Lambert:
That's awesome. I love that Shauna and, and I'd love that you shared that just now because I was feeling this hit to ask you, you know what the intention was behind building the team and bringing people in from the Philippines and from Africa. And now a person from Scotland and, and you know, because when you spoke about building this dream team, and you spoke about, you know, taking them through the thinking Grow Rich book and getting on the same page and understanding, you know, the cultural side and what you expect, but also the quirkiness that you want people to bring, which is what I love so much about your story, because we're looking for people that can diversify the skill set, while at the same time have this common connection. Right. So here you are building this quacky team, where everybody has a little bit of a quirky fun side to them, but just spread across the globe, from countries that I know are looking for opportunities to be able to, you know, work with people in the US, and that may not have the same opportunity sometimes that that we have being on this, you know, being on the continent that we're all on, whether we're on two sides of it or not. Right. So that is so awesome. I mean, you know, tell me like, what sort of your vision in terms of helping the team built their success, like, I feel like there was moreShauna Smith:
your team within the entire team or just the team for the entire team. So the entire team. So I'm a huge advocate of leadership. And when I have my first real estate business, which when I didn't know, I was the CEO, until I want to being the CEO. And I was like, Oh, why are you guys listening to me? And I realized I had something special that I it's, it's not something you can explain. But I just call myself the Professor X of the Avengers, right? I'm the person who can round up superheroes and get them to their best level, right? This is kind of my my gift for my team is I want each individual person to achieve whatever it is their goal is, but also have the love Now I use love a lot in my team meetings. So two things I do my team meetings, we always do exercise before meetings like grateful exercise, what's your favorite food, whatever it is that I can do to break their walls down so that they can talk to one another. And when we get on our zoom meetings. We do that grateful before every meeting so I really want to get them to a healthy place internally. And then let them feel like they have a playground of a family that they can express their talents. And I allow them to make mistakes so that they can grow, because I know I needed that. And then I offer them an opportunity to be with me or with the plan as long as they want. So they never have to worry about Oh, is this just like some one day idea? No, this is a life plan for me, like the marketing and the virtual assistant business is, if I'm going to spread wealth across the world, it has to go on for many, many years. So in order to make a real big impact. So I know that was a loaded question. But I think you guys, I'm really passionate about that part.Blair Kaplan-Venables:
I think that's a great answer. You just said you want to spread wealth. What is wealth?Shauna Smith:
Again, the same things for me the opportunity to have make choices, so they have freedom and peace. And for people in other parts of the world. They don't spend their money like other people like for us. We like money to buy nice things, clothes and stuff like that. But when you talk to people in other countries, they're spending money to take care of their mom, their dad, their Grandma, if they buy a car with the money, that's major. Okay. But a lot of people in other countries, they actually take care of their parents and stuff like that. So for me, for them to be able to do more of that. That really makes me feel very happy. I mean, I've shed a lot of tears with some of the stories. I have one VA that I think every week, she just comes in my dm and says, Shawna, I did not know I could be this person. A year ago, if you told me I'll be working as a virtual assistant, I just you just has changed my life. And she does it every week, in a way that's so like, emotional that I'm like, Oh my god, I can't believe that we're really doing this. And so it's just a lot of joy. This is what I need. I need that joy around the work because I'm a workaholic anyway, right? So because I love it, like I don't even see, what else am I doing unless I'm with my family exercise and being outside. I just want to do this site plan outside all day. I don't know if you ladies experienced that. Like you just you remember, as a kid, when you played outside all day, that's back in the day, kids don't do that anymore.Blair Kaplan-Venables:
We still do that. Okay? We all do that.Theresa Lambert:
We all play in the playground, on playgrounds, the outdoor playgrounds, I mean, I work outside all the time, you know, talking about safety and my walk into the playground. Right? I'm doing it like I mean, you know, I think we're all at heart, also, content creators, right? Like, I'm outside, I also get inspired to share something like something will come into my mind. And then here I am snapping photos, to show my perspective, right to show what sparks my inspiration. And so I love though, you know what you like you brought in that and something that I just want to touch on, because we talk a lot about, you know that the hustle is dead. And something recently sparked me to, to think about this. And just something you said that, you know, you love to work. And it's really interesting, because I think that for me, there was a very different feeling behind, you know, sitting on myself, and creating something beautiful, because I really feel called to create like that, to me is pleasure and joy. I don't consider that work. Right. And that the idea of like hustling, right? Because sometimes I think we can we can get really confused between, you know, what does it mean to build a business, right? Because this whole hustle hard and sweat and tears and grind and you know, push for your pain? Kind of, you know, idea, right? Like it has been glamorized. And then on the other side, you also have two people that are like, just lean back, and everything will flow to you. Right, like, and that has also been glamorized. And so, you know, I'm, I'm sort of fascinated as I continue to see things popping up and the extremes and the extreme perspectives. And so I just realized, for me that I'm such a golden middle person, like, for me, the key word is balance. And my balance looks very different to somebody else's balance. And I think that's really important to understand. But like you, I love what I do. And when I feel creative, and when I feel inspired, I don't care what time of day it is or what I'm doing, unless, of course, I'm with people, right? Like, I'm not gonna be like, excuse me, I'm gonna leave the dinner because I had a creative hit. No, like, I might make like a quick note on my phone, right? So I remember but, you know, this, this whole idea around when we actually do work that we love. It doesn't feel like work anymore. Because it's really what we do is just an extension of who we are. And that's what I always felt. It should be and I don't need to hustle in that. I just show up when I'm called to show up. And in a short amount of time, you can accomplish a lot, right? But it's really interesting. So just tell me as somebody who loves that work, like how have you found yourself to be in this place now, where you really what you do is really an extension of who you are, and you love it. And you're building this team, right? Like, because I think that's really neat. Compared to, you know, the like, I just wanted so bad, I just hustled my butt off, and I work all the time kind of philosophy.Shauna Smith:
Well, I, you know, so funny, I really finally just got what you said, what you always say is about doing work with grace, I finally just hit me, like, you know how you heard something the whole time. That's what it was. That's what you mean, the whole time, you've been saying that it, it's the same work. But when you put the word hustle on it, or Oh, I gotta grind till I shine all these kinds of things. It makes it heavier, right? And then you feel like, Oh, I'm in the grind, like, You're late night and all this stuff, you don't really have to be you just get up and do what you do. Because this is what you do. Right? And so your question was, how did I get here, which is so funny to me, because, honestly, I remember when I my first networking group, I went in, and I had built a website because I had lost everything at my house. We lost our home, everything. And I said, Okay, God, if you get me out of this, I'll dedicate my career to helping other people for the rest of my life. And he got me out of it in 24 hours, it was miraculous. So I knew I had to do what I had to do. And so for a year, I built this website, and something happened. Like I had poster boards all over my house, it was the weirdest thing ever. I had no idea who I was, I was just I, my brain was on like 20,000. And I walked into this event. And I was the first and I was the only black female there, I think I might have been the only female actually. And it was a real estate group of older white guys, which is cool. Like I don't I don't really deal with all those things. But for audience purposes, setting the tone. And I raised my hand, I said, I have a website. And I have people looking for houses, and the whole room lined up to talk to me. And I was like, What is going on? And that started. And from there, I've had a lot of leadership positions are set on a lot of boards, I've gone through a lot of turmoil, I've lost a lot of things gained a lot of things. And I feel like, every time you lose, you gain this armor, like, Oh, I lost this. And you do your thing, you fall out, you get upset, and then when you heal, it becomes this piece of armor that now nobody can touch that. Right. So every time you do this, you become this. I don't know. I can't explain it. But that's how I feel. And so along the way, I'm a big believer in reading and personal development. Okay, so that's another thing that I think and I just finished some NLP. And that really blasted my brain to another place. Honestly, I'm still kind of trying to gel back to myself from that. But I think that's how I got here is by one doing what Oprah actually did was just ask God, like, what am I what's my job, and you're gonna, and you're gonna have to put it in a big sign. Because I can't hear small signs. It's got to be a big knock me on the head. What am I supposed to be doing here because I'm not going to try to do this myself. I did that about seven years ago. And that's how I move. If I get a sign that says you need to turn over here. I do that. But for now it's been I need you to shine the light of other people who have gifts because they're not using them. I need you to do that. And I need you to spread wealth. These are my messages in my head.Blair Kaplan-Venables:
That's so beautiful.Shauna Smith:
I feel like it's a quirky like crazy.Blair Kaplan-Venables:
No, that's how I roll too. I look for signs. I asked questions. And the answer is all around us. I look for little signs and like big signs are two are very obvious. Like, I think I understand that on a deeper level. You know, going back to where you started that was you lost everything. How did you lose everything? And if you didn't lose everything, where would you be today?Shauna Smith:
Oh, good question, right? Because that was very scary. I was married at the time three kids and three dogs. And we had this big house two cars in suburbia. And we didn't have the foundation set right we were we didn't know like we didn't know about all the insurances you need to have somebody was become injured. And at the time. My husband was the breadwinner like I was. I think I was waiting tables guy Because I was trying to figure out what I was wanting to do, right? Because I had hotel management experience. And I went to school for human resources, but I just was waiting tables because I was like, What am I even doing with myself right now. But when he got hurt, it was like, our life fell apart day by day to like, I think 60 days later, we had no power on nothing. And it was like I was stuck. I was like, why don't you move? You have you can work. So why are you still sitting here? It was like, I couldn't move until I said that statement that day, like, I need, I need you to help me get out of this because I don't I can't figure out what's going on. And that did change everything. And actually, if that had not have happened, I don't think I would have been catapulted into that promise. You know, because I, when I make those kinds of promises, I take those very seriously. So I think that changed my whole life. Honestly, the loss, that big scary loss, also changed my life, to be who I am now.Blair Kaplan-Venables:
You know, I think that's a such a great way to look at it. I do a lot of work on resilience. When I'm not a social media marketing expert, and mentor. I'm the founder of I'm resilient project. And I've been gathering stories of resilience from around the world for about two years. And we're just in the process of publishing our first book. And, you know, what you're saying is something that I've been really, you know, about being resilient. It's something that I do. Laugh? Is it launa? So why don't we actually have a special guest for those of you listening? It's launa. It is, Shawn is I believe grandchild. granddaughter, yes. granddaughter. Yeah. And she she has been quiet, but she wants to join in the conversation. Laura, what is it that you have to say?Shauna Smith:
She saw Well, when she saw you guys's face, she was like, Oh, no, it's not for me to say something. Oh, I want to say something, you got a couple of seconds to say something anything? No,Blair Kaplan-Venables:
oh, okay. She might pipe in, she might have some wise words. But I was just gonna say like, resilience is a superpower. And we all have this ability to be resilient. And the way you are moving about, you know, your life and the choices that you're making from, you know, being in such difficult challenging times, and moving forward with how you're, you know, showing up in the world, and that you're not just showing up to make money to provide for you and your family. But you've created a way for others to provide for their families and to survive. You know, it's, it's your jam, not a lot of people do that. And I think because you've been through such hard times, you're able to give back in such a grand like a grand gesture way, you're able to do more than the average person. And, you know, I just want to say like goldstar goes to you, because a lot of people wake up, put their head down, go to their nine to five, they're miserable, that's that they spend their money on the house in the car, there, you know, have to work after dinner, they're not happy. And you went through this huge losses, huge challenge. And from that you rose from the ashes like a phoenix. And not just that, but you brought along a lot of people with you on that rise. And I think that's brilliant. And thank you so much for sharing. And what I you know, what I as we wind this down, and I feel like we can talk to you forever, especially because I'm also marketing mind. And I love jamming with other marketing peeps, especially you know, especially people who've been through been through some big changes, because I understand that I understand what it's like to have a you know, big life challenge and apply your lessons to business. And I would love to know, what advice do you have for people who are on their path to success?Shauna Smith:
One, I would definitely say I have a couple things. One, love belongs in business. Don't be afraid to feel the love of whatever you're doing and whoever you're doing it with. That's what you should be failing to listen to the clues of your life, because the clues of your life kind of give you what direction and where are you where you should be doing. Because I feel like just like all the things that I went through, got me here. Some people do all these different, like businesses because it was an opportunity. But they they actually have a purpose and a plan. They just have to look for the clues of their life, to see which direction they should be going. And lastly, failure is a good thing. And although it hurts, in the moment, it will pass. You know, I know people feel like oh my god, I just lost everything. Oh, the power is gonna be cut off. All my cell phone is gonna be off, oh, we can't pay our mortgage, all that will pass. You will survive it and you will be stronger. Do not give up because perseverance is really I think one of the secret sauce of being successful. Because if you can get through it and not give up and just I'm gonna go back to a nine to five, that's when the magic starts. The Magic actually starts. After so much failure, the sprinkle dust starts to happen. And these things start to fall in place, like me going to the Philippines for a whole month, and just things fallen into my lap, because I worked hard for it, not for those particular things, but for a lot of other things. So that would be my advice. Just keep moving forward, and listen to the clues.Theresa Lambert:
I love that Shauna loved the lungs into business. Listen to the cues of your life and failure is a good thing. Oh, wow. Well, Shana, that is amazing. I don't think there's anything that needs to be said. We may just have to have you back in season two of dissecting success.Shauna Smith:
Absolutely. ThatTheresa Lambert:
is a thing even. But it's such a pleasure speaking with you, thank you so much for you know, sharing your wisdom and your light. You know, you have such a beautiful energy around you and I, I know people will feel that by just listening even if they don't see it. And we're grateful that you were with us. And with that being said, He's out everyone. Have a great day, and we will be back next Tuesday. Hey, that's a wrap for another episode of dissecting success. Enjoy this episode. Make sure to subscribe to black hat on Venables and Theresa Lambert's podcast dissecting success on the App Store.