Today’s small business owner is Shana Yao, the owner of Your Marketing Mastermind. She’s a biz strategist/mentor with a unique perspective on creative businesses (I should know – I’ll be working with her next year!). Take it away, Shana!
Tell me what you do!
I’m a business and marketing strategist and CEO and Founder of Your Marketing Mastermind. I work with people to design their business based on their strengths, talents, and life experience and put it into a long term, profit-generating business model.
Why did you choose to create your own path instead of having a traditional career?
I actually didn’t do it on purpose. I had gotten laid off in 2009 due to the economy, and because my background was so shopping center specific (I was a shopping center marketing director for 15 years) I couldn’t get a job.
I did contract work but continued looking for full time employment making 6 figures like I was when I was laid off. But I couldn’t get hired. After many years, I think I became irrelevant to the traditional work environment.
Then I got a chronic illness – connective tissue disorder that caused me to develop a colorectal problem, causing me to be in the bathroom for up to 6 hours a day. It became clear I couldn’t even take a job if I did get one. So I had no other choice but to start a business.
Have any of your previous jobs or experiences prepared you for running your current business?
I have been in business and marketing for 25 years – specifically retail and shopping center marketing. I have worked with thousands of businesses and many different business models and it was my life to understand consumer behavior in addition to designing marketing programs to not only attract people but to authentically engage them.
I was responsible for million dollar marketing budgets, operations, managing a staff, connecting to the community, and individual store owners.
What inspires you to keep going when it comes to your business?
The people I meet who are just like me – brilliant minded people with incredible lives – stuck in the thinking they have to do everything “Right”. They never knew they had a choice to choose their identity, and they don’t know how to get that brilliance out into a profitable and authentic business.
What do you do when you doubt yourself?
I move past the emotion and focus on the people I help, and on my dog Harlow. They move me past self-sabotage.
Could you give me a glimpse into your daily schedule?
I’m OCD (literally) so I live this everyday –
Up at 6
7:30: Running with Harlow
8:30: Laundry, connection to my private community and online, breakfast, then bathroom, shower
(this is where my main intensive audio training happens)
12 – 4: Work
4 – 7: Dog park
7-10: Work and eat
10: Walk with Harlow
How do you get productive?
I have a schedule that works with my life and I stick to it.
What is your favorite business tool? Why?
My laptop. Because I wouldn’t have a business without it.
What are three items that are currently on your to do list?
- Finish my Beyond the Mastermind program (I already have people that want to do it!) (Editor’s note: me included!)
- Finish my Beyond the Mastermind content
- Order another pair of jeans because my current ones are so old they are ripping Can’t seem to get to shopping!
When you aren’t working your butt off, what do you like to do?
Work IS fun! And walking with Harlow.
Tell me something unusual about you.
I have 2 dislocated thumbs (from my condition), I really believe your real job in life is to become the person you are meant to be, and I shed tears in private when I think about how wonderful my clients are.
Give a short, actionable tip to help others build a life that they love.
Move toward what inspires you. It will always lead you to the next thing you are meant to do.