What is your story? Or in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?
All my life I dutifully did what I was told. I was a model daughter and friend, then a citizen, a girlfriend than an employee.
I became a marketer and was working in various corporate environments, the last being commercial aircraft. I worked hard and lived for the weekend, like everyone else. By the time I was in my thirties, I became very unfulfilled and depressed, which baffled me because I was doing everything “right”, what society defined as successful living. I started to think that I was broken, that something was wring with me and it all peaked with a breakdown in the shower one Monday morning before work. I hated everything about my life! I realized that if I was going to survive within that context that I was going to have to do more activities that brought me joy. But at the time I didn’t even know what that meant so I remembered the joy I felt as a child. I recalled the freedom and fulfillment I felt when I played and when I expressed myself through drawing and creative writing so I began doing those activities on my off-days. The joy I felt doing things I loved uplifted my energy so I did more of it. Before long, and with the support of family and friends, I began to design and manufacture greeting cards containing messages that expressed the value of joy. What started out as a fun hobby quickly evolved into a dynamic business, due to the positive and creative energy that was behind it.
I know, live in my Happy Place. I have never been more fulfilled and, frankly, more successful. I learned that real success comes from our individual unique expression, our secret sauce, our innate being and that we have essentially been “bamboozled” into valuing everything according to someone else’s judgment.
Living a full and honest life currently requires more courage than it should. I am determined, as a living example to others, to live “upside-down” where the messages of my heart are louder than the messages in my head, and where play and joy are the portals through which innovation, personal/business success, financial sustainability, and fulfillment enter.
What message do you promote?
My business byline is “Return to your Happy Place.” We promote that the times when you are who you really are doing what you really want to do are your most powerful. It’s when you are your most happy and most valuable, go figure. Not being in your Happy Place is what I believe fosters today's epidemic adult-onset doldrums. There is an upsurge in depression and anxiety caused by the pressure to be someone else. Shaboo Prints is here to remind you of the value of you, and it uses play as the unassuming method to reaccess your superhuman potential again.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
I walk my talk and lead by example. I am following the messages in my heart and my dreams, not only for myself but for others who silently hope their dreams could come true. I call myself an imginovator and social expressionist , making a business out of my freedom of expression. My business is an extension of me, so I work daily to keep it honest through its products, messaging, and tactics. I break through personal fears every day to accomplish what I was born to do, and I do so encouraging others to do the same. I network with businesses that share a similar mission and foster the public wellbeing. I distribute a weekly v-log SHABOOST Weekly. It’s published Sundays to help set a positive tone for the viewers’ week ahead. In the Weekly I use the products of Shaboo, all of which contain positive messages, to provide a motivational thought. I also share my own challenges so viewers can witness my personal and professional process towards success. I created an online program The Power of You on Video helping small business owners create public messages using the Apple hardware and software they already have. I also discuss the value of their story as a success magnet and help them develop an honest video presence. I publish articles that share various aspects of my story to connect with and inspire other men and women to keep on trekkin’.
Out of everything I listed above, I would say the biggest way I LEAD UP is being fully and honestly me publicly—in my life and business—no matter the barriers, pressures, and judgments of conformity.
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to
My development is a process so I will never feel that I have completely overcome my struggles and I love that; it keeps me striving. The events of my life are propellants, they keep me moving and, through freedom of choice, I try to point myself in the directions I want to go. With that said, I daily struggle with invisibility. I learned to use it as a youth and operated with it through adulthood. In those previous stages of development, invisibility made me feel safe. The irony is that doing what fulfills us, being who we were born to be, makes us shine and stand out. At first, shining made me nervous because I thought that if I sparkled it meant I took the light from someone else. That belief was shaped by social lies. I have learned since then that my shine does not cast a shadow, rather it brightens the sparkle of others! I am still not 100% comfortable with being seen. I think there is an amount of ingrained fear of getting hurt if I am seen but I am learning to live with it and I like the feeling of empowerment when I move through negative default messages.
I also struggle with old messages of self-worth. I come from a very educated family and yet I still experienced the double-standard between males and females. I was handled very differently from my brother, than my male fellow students, then my co-workers. It affected my ability to speak up (the ol’ invisibility cloak) and expect fair value exchange. Now I understand that my input is valuable and I expect an equal return on who I am and what I offer. My value is not an opinion, it is a fact that friends, partners, and colleagues are expected to recognize. This is a universal truth that, unfortunately, is not taught externally, but learned internally.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
I enjoy the cause and effect of seeing the good that occurs by doing what I’m made to do; reawakening people to their happiness through play and creativity! It has tight me that we all rise if you offer the real you to the world. When I see someone smile or laugh at our images, or when I get a message that someone used our product to make themselves or someone else feel better, it supercharges me. I want to scream to the world, “I love you!”
How do you SHOW UP?
I am literally dropping my cloak of invisibility by owning a business that has a social mission. Not only have I stepped out from behind the proverbial curtain but I am trying to share my process so others can be inspired to be seen and valued too. I am finding my voice and learning to lean in. Ironically, the more I do that the more value I can bring to others, go figure.
Each day I am committed to leaning in a little more. When I do that, I feel the boundaries to my life expand and so the process of showing up in greater measure every day is perpetual. I am sometimes scared but always grateful for the vastness of my life. I feel that when I blow out the walls of my own confinement, I put holes in the confines of others.
If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be?
If someone tells you that you don’t belong they are lying. If you don’t feel that you don’t belong then you are lying to yourself. To deny yourself your potential is to deny the universe of its potential. Self-doubt occurs when you are trying to put value to something that is not in alignment with who you really are. Live big and play hard!
How to connect with Veronica: