Shannon Susko Blog

Are you AWESOME everyday? 3 Foundational Rules to live by……..

Shannon SuskoAug 08, 2017

I am with my 14 year old son, Cain, at the #PremiereProgram in Orlando, Florida – the largest global performing arts program dedicated to showcasing Actors, Models, Dancers and Singers to industry professionals who specialize in kids programming between the ages 5-20 year old.  The courage of these young people blow me away. Absolutely blow me away.

Cain is part of the 14 and Older group that is known as the 6000 Group.  This program kicked off today – with 6000 Group Coaches David, Mark and Shortstop. 

Coach David kicked off by asking the group of 14-20 year old aspiring Actors  – “Are you AWESOME?”  The response was nervous, tentative, not sure of themselves.  To this keen young crowd Coach David shared the 3 Steps of being AWESOME everyday:

STEP 1:  “You are AWESOME” – you are awesome because you have chosen to be here to get up in front of people and put yourself on the line.  It takes courage to overcome your “what ifs”.  “What if I fail.”  And instead you must be open…..reveal yourself…..we all have it inside.  It’s a gift.  Share it.  Share your gift.

David:  Say it “I AM AWESOME”  and get in to the I am AWESOME pose – open up and stand strong. The "I am AWESOME POSE" – stand with your feet should width apart, and hands in the air wider that your shoulders with your fists clenched in a position thatyou will not be knocked over”.  Like  a Superman pose. 

If you ever feel the “what if” coming on – stand up and get in the pose and hold for 10 seconds.  This sounds silly – but it opens up your body and your mind to get into an AWESOME frame of mind.

From now on – when you pass another 6000 actor or their parent in the hall, in a restaurant,  at the hotel, where ever – just raise your arms above your head, fists clenched to acknowledge their awesomeness. You don't even need to stay a word.

STEP 2: “Show up and be the Awesome you can be.”– Be Present.  Tune in to the “Yes I can – I am Awesome” voice.  Leave the “what if” voice behind.  Take advantage of the opportunity provided – make it happen in the time you have.  Know that you can make it happen.  Just do it.

STEP 3: “Spread Awesome” – help each other out.  Support each other.  Everyone gets better because of it.  Share it.  Look to the left and right – tell others they are awesome.  Everyday ensure that you are spreading the awesome by telling others, supporting others, and helping others.

TRANSFORM:  Coach Mark shared a great story of where he came from to be AWESOME: “Most people are seeking validation from others.   Mark is over 6”5’ tall – was bullied from 5-20 years old.  He was so focused on making other people happy and realized he needed to stop seeking validation from others.  And finally, at 20 – he realized he did not need to live like that any longer.  He started living for himself, loving himself.  He then had the courage to take a new path.  Mark was an accountant for 5-6 years, got bored.  He took a risk and started performing.  It is what he loved doing.  He became happier and better person every day.  The more he focused on doing what he loved the happier and the more confident he became in himself.  You need to transform yourself.  Let yourself transform.  Confidence is everything.  People who are confident – not arrogant – attract people to them.  Attract opportunities to them.”

How do you become confident – knowing yourself, knowing what makes you happy, knowing what you loved to do and then get GRITTY about getting it done.  Whatever you love to do.

I am very very shy.  Most people that know me today do not know that about me.  I had to transform myself, my shyness. Knowing myself, knowing what makes me happy, knowing what I love to do, believing in myself and being so gritty about getting it done. As a CEO, day by day, as a CEO Coach, day by day, as a Public Speaker, day by day.   I had to stay focused on being awesome and throw away the “what if’s”.  I wish I had these rules when I was in grade school.  It does not matter how old you are and what you want to do – remember “You are AWESOME”.  Stand up get in the pose and say it – “I am AWESOME”.

Today as a CEO Coach – I say “Awesome” a lot.  I love sharing “Awesome”.  I thought until today too much – but today – listening to the kick off from the 6000 Group coaches(David, Mark and Shortstop) – I will continue to say “Awesome” a lot. Share “Awesome”.  And Be AWESOME!

In: Business

New Year Resolutions Drive Me Crazy: 6 Key Questions to Create your Personal One Page Plan for 2017

Shannon SuskoJan 17, 2017

No moreresolutions-2.jpg

Its January 2017 and everyone is talking about their New Year resolutions.  I have tried so hard to ignore it until now.  The purpose of this blog is to provide you with a tool that will allow you to create your Personal One Page Plan for where you want to be in 10 years, 3 years and 1 year.  This is all about getting rid of last minute New Year’s resolutions.  Drives me crazy!!


6 Key Questions to create your Personal One Page Plan:

Q1: What are your personal core values?  List 3-5 core values.

Q2: What is your personal core purpose? What are you most passionate about?

Q3: Where do you personally want to be in 10 years?  Gut it out – write it down.

Q4: Where do you personally want to be in 3 Years?  Gut it out – write it down.  Fiscally as well as your 3 Year Highly Achievable Personal Goal.  Where do you want to be with Family, Faith, Friends, and Fitness.

Q5: Where do you personally want to be in 1 Year? Gut it out – write it down. Fiscally as well as your 1 Year Highly Achievable Personal Goal. Where do you want to be with Family, Faith, Friends, and Fitness.

Q6: What do you have to do in the next 90 days to achieve your 1 year goal? Write down your 3-5 priorities in order of priority.

This should take no more than one page.  Put this up in a place where you will look at it everyday.  At the end of 90 days(For example:  At the end of March before April starts) – update the plan with your current thoughts and put it up in the same visible place each.  Do this every 90 days going forward.

Why I am in love with the Personal One Page Plan is that you are setting goals for yourself founded on what you believe in and passionate about aligned to where you want to go – 10 years, 3 Years, and 1 year away.  Time flies in life and if we do not set out our direction and ensure we have short and long term goals we will never get there.  So don’t just set goals at the beginning of the year – set goals every 90 days aligned to your annual, 3 year and 10 year plan. 

To help you with this building this plan – Please download your Personal One Page Plan here.


In: Business

Sparkle and Grit: Do you have it?

Shannon SuskoSep 27, 2016


On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. 

On October 12, 2016, Whistler, BC will celebrate the International Day of the Girl:  Sparkle and Grit.  This day is not just about or for girls – this day is about raising the awareness of everyone that we must invest in all youth.  Change our attitudes to grow a strong and vibrant community. 

This celebration this year is smartly named “Sparkle and Grit”.  I love meeting people with ideas – ideas they believe in – you can “see” the idea sparkling in their eye.  They see it. They can so easily describe it.  Lots of people have sparkle but not all people have the grit to get it done. 

I recently read Angela Duckworth’s book “GRIT”.  It’s a must read for all parents, educators, students, and businesspeople.  It reveals the secret to outstanding achievement.  It really resonated as “GRIT” is all about passion and perseverance.  It’s not about who is most talented.  It’s about who believes in their passions and follows through on their commitments.  They figure out how to get it done.  Whatever “it” is.

When I was growing up there was no celebration for the International Day of the Girl.  When I think back to that – I personally don’t think that it was unusual.  Growing up as a girl in a very traditional family – I was expected to do well in school and everything I did.  I was expected to go to University and get a degree.  After that I was expected to get married, stay home and raise children.  BUT – somewhere I got a different message.  Somehow these parental driven expectations were missed.   Frankly it’s not that I was not aware of the expectation – I certainly was – but for some reason I did not care.  I had other ideas and other things to do.

I did get good grades – top of my class.  I did excel at varsity sports as well as provincial level and national level sports.  I was and am a very high achiever – being the youngest of 5 kids (2 brothers and 2 sisters) in 6 years.  I did go to university and get a four year degree by the time I was 21.  I also went back for two more degrees in the very male dominated faculty of Computer Science.  I still did not care that I was only 1 of 2 girls in Computer Science Degree class as well as my Masters of Computer Science.  I was definitely aware but did not care.  Why?

Even after graduating from university and moving out to Whistler, BC to build my first tech company with 3 other co-founders one of which who 15 years old – I did not pay any attention to gender.  Really – why should I.  All I wanted to do was build a global payment processing company and believed we could.  When I was the last founder standing after a few years and CEO of the company – I was aware there were not many female CEOs in general and definitely not in tech.  I did not care.

When we sold this company to a US company and became the first female executive in the history of this company – I did not care. I can remember being warned that there were no female leaders in this company.   I did learn more about gender awareness that is taking place in the world through this experience but I did not let it stop me from being the very best to achieve the business results we were striving for.

I did leave and start another global FinTech company with a partner.  As CEO – my peers in the industry were still all male.  I did not care.  Not a bit.

I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at all kinds of events – business, educational, universities and female focused.  It’s interesting the questions that I get asked at the female focused events over the events.  How were you able to raise $20+ million as a female?  How did you keep your team so diverse?  Why did you go into Computer Science?  How did you know you would be successful as a female?  WOW! 

None of these questions even entered my mind til then.  And it’s funny – that the answer to all of these questions are the same – I believed in myself.  I was passionate about what I was doing.  And thankfully I was able to find a whole-team of like-minded people who wanted to achieve the same goals.  Looking back it was the inherent support of my family, friends, teachers, and coaches and their belief in me. 

Come out and hear some great “Sparkle and Grit” stories from the youngest winners of BC Top 30 under 30 - Angela Wang and Madelaine Liu of Culitech.  Devon Brooks – co-founder of Blo and named by PROFIT Magazine as 1 of the Top 30 entrepreneurs in Canada.  And myself – Serial Entrepreneur and recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40.

The film Dream, Girl  will also be screened that highlights U.S. and Canadian, female entrepreneurs from brand new start ups to million dollar industries, in a mission to stop telling girls they can be anything they want to be and show them what it means to be a leader.

Whistler’s Celebration of International Day of the Girl is presented by  We need to support our local youth – male and female – in way that they first believe in themselves, are passionate about an idea, have the courage and confidence to take action and the grit to get it done. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to support this community event being held at the Rainbow Theatre – 6:30pm – get your tickets   All proceeds go to support:  Howe Sound Women’s Centre and One Horizon.

In: Business, International Day of the Girl, Sparkle and Grit

Scaling Up to Drive Predictable Profit!  Have Fun and be Free!

Shannon SuskoSep 06, 2016

Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop-Raleigh

As an entrepreur - I was looking for a framework to scale my companies easily.  I wanted to reach my goals with my team, have fun and be free to live.  The best news is that this framework exists - it is powered by Verne Harnish's Scaling Up 2.0. 

I am leading leading a Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop in Vancouver, BC on October 20, 2016 - 9am-4pm at the Diamond Ballroom - 1495 W 8th Ave -  4th Floor. 

If you want to learn how to grow your company with like minded entrepreneurs and leaders  – Click Here to Register. 

Hope you can join me in Vancouver, BC.

Happy Scaling!!

In: Business

It's Back to School Time!  Do you have your learning plan for the year set?

Shannon SuskoSep 01, 2016

Image result for back to business school images

It’s Sept 1, 2016 – summer blew by and is coming to an end.  Kids are heading back to school.  It’s a good time to plan my own learning/professional development.  I don’t know about you, but I am wired that every September I feel it’s a start of a new year.  A new year to learn. 

As a child in grade school your learning was pretty much set out for you.  As you moved along to high school – you got more choice as to what you wanted to learn.  And then after high school the sky is the limit.  But every September you start off on a new year long journey of learning.  I loved it.  I did go to university for an extra long time.   Three degrees later.  20 years of building businesses later…..and I still am planning my year of learning starting today.

I am known in business circles as a business book junkie.  But I have also been known as a groupie of Verne Harnish, Patrick Lencioni, Jim Collins, Geoffrey Moore, and Brad Smart.  Too name a few.  Any time any of these thoughts leaders were close by or speaking at a conference I was there.  In particular in the early days of Verne Harnish doing Mastering the One Page Plan Workshops – I attend 2-3 per year of the same workshop with my team.  Verne did not have a book at that time (now he has three books – his latest being newly released “Scaling Up”) and I just wanted to take away all I could to grow my business.  Interesting enough – every time I went to the workshop – I was in a different place in my business, in my thought process, and my team as well.  Each time I walked away with something new, something actionable.  This is still true today.  

Not only do we as CEOs need to be learning but the whole team should have a development/learning plan for the year.  The more you can provide opportunities for your team to learn together the faster your team will grow together.

What is the best way to get a learning/develop plan started for your team?

  1. For every member of your team create a professional development for the year starting with the leaders. In my companies we would review this every quarter.
  2. Create an educational budget for every person in the company. If you are a newer company and do not have this luxury – you can easily setup book clubs. Leverage your team for internal workshops, lunch and learns, etc.
  3. Search locally for workshops, conferences and learning opportunities that would meet the professional development needs of your team for the next year. There are so many workshops going on everyday in large urban areas it can be overwhelming.
  4. Bring in a thought leader to your annual planning meeting or quarterly meeting or the whole company.

The key to this planning is to ensure there are opportunities for everyone to learn.

My plan for this year is to attend three professional development Summits - October 2016, April 2016, and May 2016.  Read two new business books a month and lead as many public/private workshops as I can. 

As I mentioned earlier, I have attended more than 20 Mastering the One Page Plan/Scaling Up Workshops and now as Gazelles Certified Coach I have lead over 100 public/private workshops.  Whether attending or leading I always walk away with something new.  I know many teams who have implemented Scaling Up for 1 to 3 to 5 to 10 years still attend a workshop once a year.  It’s a great refresh for the team.  Its gets everyone back on the same page.  It brings focus for the year ahead.

As my learning journey continues - I am excited to be leading a Scaling Up Workshop in Vancouver, BC on October 20, 2016. 

If you want to add this day to your learning plan – Click Here to Register

Hope you can join me in Vancouver, BC.

Happy Learning!

In: Business

Last week's 3HAG Workshop with @AequilibriumInc

Shannon SuskoMar 03, 2016

In: Business

Create Predictable Profit by David Greer

Shannon SuskoFeb 19, 2016



Thank you David Greer - you made my day, week....mon


In: Business

"There's No Such Thing As Stress—Here's What's Really Bothering You"

Shannon SuskoFeb 15, 2016
"In his book Creativity, Inc., Pixar CEO Ed Catmull uses the words "stress" once and "anxiety" once, but the word "fear" crops up 87 times."
Are you mistaking fear for stress? Pretty interesting article on the causes of "stress".

In: Business

"We got 10 CEOs to tell us their one killer interview question for new hires"

Shannon SuskoFeb 05, 2016
Also: “You watch how they treat the waiter,” Phillips notes. “I love that.”

In: Business


Shannon SuskoFeb 04, 2016



Congratulations Kenyon Blunt !!!! This is a big deal!!! Well done!

Get it here: Buy Book

In: Business