We had the good fortune of connecting with Shana Yao and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shana, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
The single most important decision for me, even before deciding to work for myself, was the decision to believe that I was put on this earth for a reason. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, I had a successful career as a retail and shopping center Marketing Director, directing the marketing for high end shopping centers in Los Angeles, and Rodeo Drive. I loved what I did – being able to use my creativity and vision to plan and implement large scale events like the Official Tree Lighting of Downtown LA, working with many nonprofits and contributing over $50,000 to spcaLA, and especially working with thousands of international, national, and small local retail stores to help them increase sales. Work Innovating and implementing industry changing ideas came easily to me, and I loved every minute of it. Until 2009 when the economy crashed, and that ended my 25 year successful corporate career. Becoming an entrepreneur is not for everyone, and I was not ready for it.

My biggest lesson from it was learning that if you do venture into it, it will be the greatest self development life class you will ever have. Through a lot of success and a lot of failure, after many years, it wasn’t until I “found myself” that I truly experienced success – not just externally but internally. Instead of “trying” to make my business as successful as possible, I was given a chance to zoom out to my life. I believe our real job in life is to become the person we are meant to be – on earth – and that decision must be made everyday. For all of our life. Life, business, being an entrepreneur, or an employee, is not easy. Life will have it’s ups and it most certainly has it’s downs. But the day you can decide you are here for more than just a job, more than just to make money, is the day life changes.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a Conscious Business Strategist. I work with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them uncover their vision, and create marketing strategies that align with their strengths and help them succeed in their business. I have found that being an entrepreneur is not for everybody. After spending many years growing my own social media, doing videos, and teaching, I found my strength in writing and working behind the scenes helping small businesses create and maximize their success. Your business should feed your soul, and for me, trying to show myself on social media, robs me of my passion for what I do and who I am. You are so much more than what you do. And the world – social media – works hard to steal your one most precious gift – TIME. Do not let it. You CAN have a successful business and life with the right, conscious, and aligned marketing strategies.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I don’t think it’s so much about where you go, as the quality of time you spend with your best friend  those you love. We could just hang out in a park or go on walks in nature, and I would be happy just being with them.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mentor and friend Marc Ching. He is the owner of The Petstaurant in Sherman Oaks California, and the owner and Founder of the animal non profit Animal Hope and Wellness. I met Marc many years ago, and meeting him changed my life. A healer, an animal lover, a deeply loving and savvy entrepreneur, Marc taught me to stand up TO myself. Marc taught me how to pick myself up when I was down, and face my fears head on. He taught me resilience and believed in me when no one else would. And most of all, he taught me compassion. His work with animal parents and selfless ability to want to help people, made me change the course of my career so I could help people.

Website: www.holisticgenius.co
Instagram: https://instagram.com/total_genius
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shanalynnyao/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shanalynnyao

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.