Keep reading to be inspired by one of the REAL classy and ambitious ladies who are driving change, inspiring others and making the world a better place. The more we know that other women are making the impossible possible, the more empowered we will be that we can do the same.
We were ecstatic to see how excited you all were to read about our top 20 Classy Career Girls of 2015 so we wanted to dive even deeper into these working women making a difference.
In this interview, we meet Shauna Mackenzie, one of the top personal branding specialists in the world by Huffington Post, a top 40 under 40 award winner, and one of the most influential women in business in Charleston, SC. What we really are excited about is Shauna introduced us to a new kind of diet that we had never heard of before. It’s called a YES DIET, a 30-day lifestyle cleanse to help us get rid of the word YES. We also very much agree with her that saying no more can help us stay focused on our true values and purpose in our careers and life.
So today we dig a little deeper into what success means to her, how she moved past frustrations in her life and her all-time favorite books!
Name: Shauna Mackenzie
Titles: Speaker, Content Marketer, and Communication Specialist
Education: Gonzaga University (MA) and University of Iowa Bachelor of Arts (BA)
What does success mean to you?
Being able to do the things that I love, with the people that I love, in a place that I love. Success is about a lifestyle, not a destination, and always has been for me. When I feel I have the freedom to do these things, I feel successful.
How do you balance work with your everyday life?
Over the years, I’ve learned to really listen to my body. I’m a believer that it functions to keep us in balance and when you feel off, it may be time to shift the weights and a take a break. Sometimes that means a break for a day. Sometimes that means a break for a week. I don’t operate much on routine so I’ll have intensive weeks of long workdays but then be able to coast for a few days because I just did more in a week than most would probably do in a month. I think knowing if you’re a routine person is key and also knowing that there’s not a right and wrong – so long as you feel good about what you are doing. I also know that I do best when I can match my work activities to the mood I’m in so that I don’t have to feel forced or pressured to do or not do things. That helps me to stay productive and efficient.
What motivates you to work hard?
Other people’s success. Not in a competitive way but an inspiring way. Whenever I feel stuck, frustrated, or in a biz rut, I just have to look outward and at the accomplishments of others. I find that so energizing.
Did you have any frustrations along the way on your career journey? How did you move past those?
Of course but they were opportunities in disguise. One of the biggest areas of frustration was realizing 3 years into my business that my personal interests in terms of what I liked to do within it had changed. Meaning, I found myself veering away from the client work and wanting to operate more IN my business, passing the client work off to other team members. This was a hard realization to come to because before I realized the truth of it, I thought I had made a mistake. I wasn’t seeing that I was simply evolving – I saw it as a bad thing. Like I either had to make it work because I started down this path (which would make me miserable – I attempted that for a brief moment) or start something new (which seemed overwhelming). Well, I didn’t have to do either. I was able to find a different way to work in what I already created. That took vision, delegation, and really being honest with myself and what I wanted.
What is your all-time favorite book?
Wow, this is a tough one to answer. I can’t pick just one so I’ll do non-fiction first: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. And for fiction, I love House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski – brilliantly composed and a style unlike anyone else you’ve ever read.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Also a tough one to pick just one! For cold weather, I love Asheville’s Grove Park Inn in North Carolina. It’s my cozy haven for relaxation. For tropical, the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas has been my favorite island spot I’ve been to.
What is your favorite restaurant/food?
Sushi, sushi, sushi. Take me to a sushi restaurant and we’ll be best friends for life.
What was your first job?
I worked in the dining room for an assisted living center as a waitress in high school. My first and only job all the way through high school.
What is your favorite TV show?
The Office for when I need a pick-me-up, Sex And The City when I need a background show while working, and Breaking Bad in terms of most-captivating show I’ve ever watched.
What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Be a tourist in my own city, Charleston, South Carolina. Whether that be going out to eat, taking a walk, or going to a play, I love spending time in the city I live.