Shannon Susko Blog

3 Lessons I Have Learnt as a Female Founder

Shannon SuskoJan 19, 2018

It wasn’t until the success of my the first company, where I was a co-founder and CEO, did I realize that people regarded female founders and CEOs as different.  When I co-founded my second business I realized this was very special and naturally, leveraged it!  Now having founded my third tech company I can identify these three most important lessons I have learnt that have lead all three companies to success, regardless of what other people think.

FOCUS

Staying focused on the BHAG, 3HAG and 1HAG is key. Know where you are going! Make sure you know with clarity what your core values and core purpose are, know and believe in your 10-30 year goal, your 3 year Highly Achievable Goal, know where you want to be in 1 year and know where you need to be in 90 days.  I always had a 10-30 year goal for my companies, 1 year goal for my companies, a 90 day plan BUT what really brought this all together was being absolutely laser focused on the 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal that bridge the long term with the short term and aligned it with strategic execution.

 

Belief

Believing in yourself.  With this absolute passion of the goals above – what came next was believing in myself.  Knowing where I was going – with clarity gave me confidence to execute.

 

Team

Having clarity of the path forward – believing and knowing that I was the leader who could get there allowed me to attract an A Player Global Team, 3 times over.  And at the end of the day it is lining up a team that has the same core values and beliefs as I did, with clarity of the plan wanted to achieve the same things I did. 

 

At the end of the day,  I believed in myself, I was passionate and focused 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 too.  This is the recipe for success and we realized it in my first two companies with to successful exits. The first one was good, the second one we hit it out of the park and the 3rd one is still in play!  Stay tuned.


-Shannon Susko

 

Read More Shannon Susko Blogs Here

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, MGS

As a CEO, why are you still leading sales? 6 Steps to find an accountable sales leader and be a full time CEO

Shannon SuskoJan 12, 2018

As a CEO/Leadership team coach, I work with many companies that have gross sales both above and below $10 Million. I call out the value of $10M here, as I often see a common issue with those falling below this value. In my experience, the majority of companies with a topline under $10M have a CEO that is also leading sales! I know that this is a common practice of a new and growing company due to small start-up teams and rapid growth, but why is it still so common in established companies that fall under the $10M mark? Are you a CEO in an established company that is guilty of this? If you are, it's likely the key reason you can't break a $10M topline. But whats your excuse and how can you correct it?

 

Excuses, excuses! I have heard and said them all myself. The biggest one, "HIRING A SALES LEAD IS HARD!".  When a CEO is ready to make this leap to hire a sales leader, they are often in a state of desperation. This desperate state leads to rushed hiring;  filing the sales lead position with the first person that “sells” them self in an interview, or by "promoting" the top performing sales person currently on the team. And once you have made these hiring mistakes once, the fear of "another bad hire" is sometimes enough to not hire at all. I made all these mistake as CEO in my first company.  Very costly to both the bottom line and your momentum to grow. 

 

After two times of being “unlucky” in choosing the wrong sales leader, I took a step back. I needed to make some changes to my process, and FAST! It was then that I took the following steps:

  1. Mapped out the marketing using a tool called - THE MAP - to draw how your company goes to market. Yes – create a picture for your wall!
  2. Drew our Key Process Flow Map (KPFM) to show what the key "money making" functions of our company were. (This might seem obvious but do not skip this step.    Put this on the wall next to your MAP.
  3. Draw the 3-5 key processes for the Sales Function in a Process Flow Map and put it on the wall.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 3.00.19 PM.png

Now that you can clearly see how you go to market, how sales interacts with the other key processes in your company to make money, and have an excellent understanding on how the sales process flow works, you can have a strategic discussion with your leadership team. This discussion will allow you and your team to decide what should be improved or evolved in the KPFM and the Sales Process Flow for maximum success.  Start implementing these adjustments! While this is taking place, you can take on the follow next steps: 

 

  1. Create a Scorecard – for the Sales Leader Position. Check out shannonsusko.com for a Scorecard example – which is a simple and clear way to articulate what a position in your company is accountable for and it will be measured.  A Players are attracted to this clarity.
  2. Now you are ready to share with you network and the market - who you are looking for to be accountable for converting your opportunities to Revenue.
  3. Once you start attracting and identifying candidates, I recommend using the “Topgrading for Sales” written by Bradford D. Smart Ph.D. and Greg Alexander as an approach to ensuring the candidate is an A Player Sales Leader.

This process will provide you with the clarity needed to not only identify the sales leader that will be most valuable to your organization, but it will also improve the your understanding and the whole leaderships team understanding of how the company makes money and who is accountable. 

 

#CommittoGrowth Try this out and give us your feedback! To get more CEO tips and tricks visit ShannonSusko.com

 

-Shannon Susko

 

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, MGS

The key difference between dreamers and doers: the courage to predict

Shannon SuskoDec 27, 2017

Predicting. We all know this word and what it means, and is something we are doing everyday without ever really knowing it. Whether its telling someone what time you will arrive to pick them up, how your lunch might taste and make you feel, how many cups of coffee you will drink, what time you will actually get to sleep. These are little predictions we make to ourselves everyday.

 

In business, it seems no one ever wants to predict!  Most CEOs and leaders are comfortable setting a goal 10+ years away.  Why does no one want to predict where they will be in 3 years? Why is  the 3 year goal the least confident goal of all?  Some leadership teams will even set a goal 5 years away as a way to avoid setting a 3 year goal. But what is the real reason why?  The fear of being wrong!   When we predict something we have a chance of being wrong.  No one wants to be wrong – who does?  In order to be clear on where we want to be in 3 years time – we need to set a highly achievable goal for our company.   

 

As CEO coach, I see CEOs and leaders who don’t want to be wrong.   When I was a CEO of my first company – that last thing I wanted was to be wrong – especially with the amount of venture capital we raised. We have a fear of failure and letting investors down and when we “predict” there is a chance that we are wrong. There is a chance we could fail. We need to get over that fear of being wrong because that is what makes us better at predicting.  The more we predict the better we get at predicting.

 

The 3HAG  - 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal – is what I used with my companies and now use with all my clients to help this scary “predicting” monster. 3HAG connects execution and strategy in the Growth Framework . 3HAG is a strategic execution system.  It actually aligns strategy and execution to increase your probability of your 3HAG prediction.  We want you and your leadership team to be confident in where are driving the company.  

 

If you have a 10+ year goal – you know what direction you are heading.   If you have a 3HAG you know specifically where you need to drive as a stepping stone to get to your 10+ year goal(Your BHAG – as Jim Collins coined it._   Its know different that if you loaded your whole company on a bus  - the first question someone would ask is where are we going – BHAG – how long will it take?   And what route will we take to get there – 3HAG.  And where will our first stop be – 1HAG – 1 Year Highly Achievable Goal. Other questions will be:  Do we have enough gas or cash to fuel our journey.  (And when can we stop to go to the bathroom.) Your team wants to know the same thing about the journey your company is on. 

 

You need to keep them updated on progress, direction, metrics.  This is an ongoing story.  Once you set a BHAG, 3HAG and 1HAG – you are on a journey with your team – that a regular dialogue is vital.   

 

As a coach, if I can get that stepping stone in place (the 3HAG) with my clients – I know there will be clarity of where, what and how we will get there and this will increase the probability significantly of any team reaching their 3HAG and BHAG.   And this will create the FOCUS, FUN and FREEDOM all people, teams and leaders are looking for.  What is your 3HAG? Need some helping gutting it out and starting this journey to predictable sucess? Register for our ShannonSusko.com 3HAG workshops! This 2-part workshop, taking place in March and April, will leave you with confidence in rolling out your 3HAG with your team. Register today!

 

 


 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, MGS

4 reasons why coaches on the Metronome Growth Systems (MGS) platform are seeing success in their business

Shannon SuskoNov 14, 2017

 

 

As a business coach (or any coach), having and using the right tools is essential for achieving wins. The most successful and effective coaches come to every client meeting prepared with stacks of Post-It notes, a handful of sharpies, and their laptop logged into Metronome Growth Systems. This online cloud based system is elevating the business coaching world by bringing reliable tech to the industry, filling a need that has been left neglected for far too long.  Coaches on the MGS platform have found that by incorporating this software into their Business Models, they are increasing the value and confidence of their services exponentially and their clients growth. We have asked our coach members to share their feedback on how to best work MGS into your coaching practice.

 

INCREASE VISIBILITY

Metronome Growth Systems Coach Dashboard allows coaches to understand how all of their client business’s are performing at a glance. It shows how each company is tracking towards BHAG, 3HAG, 12 month and quarterly priorities. It lets you quickly get up to speed on the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Its a fast and simple way to check in on your client and add value in-between your client focused meetings. (below is an example of a company on your dashboard)

 Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 10.43.44 AM.png

SAVE TIME

Access to concise and timely information makes you a more efficient coach and helps you manage more clients.  Time is your most valuable asset as a coach and with MGS, you can have more of it available for what matters most to you, whether that is managing another client, reading and learning or personal time! Your clients will also save time too by having all company information on a single cloud based tool, utilizing features like meeting templates, One Page Plans, and more. (below is an example of a daily huddle meeting template)

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 10.44.03 AM.png

 

 

MAKE MGS FIT YOUR COACHING STYLE

Metronome Growth Systems helps you do things your way. The platform is flexible to fit your coaching style, provides an  adaptable coaching plan for each client, flexible meeting rhythms and agendas and more to ensure you can coach the way you want to and add the most value to your clients! (below is an example of a customized One Page Plan)

 Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 10.44.15 AM.png

 

ADDED VALUE

By incorporating MGS into my Business Model, I am adding incredible value to my services as a coach. By including it in my offering – every client gets that added value of the platform and I get the added value as a coach.  When clients work with me, they know they are getting the most unique technology positioned to support their growth plans.

 Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 10.43.23 AM.png

 

Metronome Growth Systems has been a game-changer for myself and many other coaches that are wanting to ensure they have the tools to add the most value to their clients. Check out the Metronome Growth Systems platform here and book your demo today!

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, MGS

"HAVE YOU FOUND THE ”GOOSE that LAYS the GOLDEN EGGS”?:  It's THE 3HAG - THE 3-YEAR HIGHLY ACHIEVABLE GOAL

Shannon SuskoNov 01, 2017

When it comes to strategy most are looking for the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs!! All the time!!  Well the 3HAG is my goose that lays Golden Eggs every time for my own companies as well as my client’s companies.  A 3HAG is the strategic execution system that drives confidence in predicting the future growth of your company and then making it happen. 

 As many of you have heard, 3HAG is a concept that is gaining a lot of exposure these days!  Those who have welcomed this method and used it in their  strategic planning and execution process have seen incredible success in their companies.  They found their Golden Goose.   

 

 CEO's know that you need more than a 10-30 Year goal (BHAG). You also need a “golden stepping stone” that will align your companies path  in driving to the BHAG. This is where the 3HAG comes in.  From my own personal experience, creating a 3HAG and using it has been a game-changer in increasing confidence and establishing a company’s unique and valuable position so they are not competing to be the best but competing to be unique on their own dimension in the market. Where their core customer buys for a profit – often.   Recently I had the opportunity to speak about 3HAG with Bill Gallagher on his podcast, Scaling Up Business. I encourage you to listen here, and read on for more insight on why 3HAG is ESSENTIAL for your company's strategic success!  

When working with so many CEOs, leaders and entrepreneurs – I ask if they have predicted where they will be specifically in 3 years for their company.  99% say “NO!”  I ask “Why?”  The Answer – they do not want to be wrong. Its hard to be accurate.  No one wants to be wrong!!  No kidding.  But if you don’t write something down with your team its really hard to know where your going. No one gets in on a bus today with their team and know where the destination is and where the stops along the way are.   If in 10 years you have a goal(BHAG)  you need to know what the golden stepping stone is in 3 years you need to achieve in order to get to the 10 years goal.  This makes your BHAG real and most important to the team – real believable.   

.  

If we were going to achieve our BHAG and provide this solution for our partners, we had to get very, VERY clear on our strategy to achieve this goal. In order to do this, we needed to take this complex strategy and simplify it by establishing our 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal (3HAG).  We achieved this clarity through the process outlined below with our leadership team:  

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 6.59.31 PM.png

 

Step 1: Gut it Out - Define what your 3-Year HighlyAchievable Goal is.

Step 2: Key Process Flow Map – Internal Operational Analysis. For a video explaining this analysis, watch here

Step 3: The Map  - External Market Analysis (Download The Map, featured in Chapter 2 of The Metronome Effect, here)

Step 4: Core Customer – know your customer right down to the person. WHO is going to buy from you at a profit?

Step 5: Attribution Framework Find your “white space” with the help from this video

Step 6: Activity Fit Map- Level 1  - Map out your Differentiating Activities (below is an example of Southwest Airline's Activity Fit map)

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 11.24.52 AM.png

Step 7: One Phrase Strategy  - Put your business's strategy into one single Phrase

Step 8: Activity Fit Map – Level  2 - Map out your supporting Differentiating Activities (below is an example of Southwest Airline's Activity Fit map)

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 9.37.24 AM.png

                                                

Step 9: DIVE into 12 Quarter Swim Lanes – plan out your march for 12 quarters to execute your differentiating activities to your unique and valuable position. 

Step 10: Work out your 36 Month-Over-Month P&L – start at a high level and build a 36 month “widget” based forecast and then each quarter get more and more detailed at the company grows. This is a really challenging step but like anything rewarding, this is worth it!

Step 11/1: Confirm your 3HAG  

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 6.59.31 PM.png

 

As a coach of CEOs of high growth companies and as a CEO myself, I have learned that all CEOs have a strategy. The question is, can each every one of those CEOS take their complex strategy and articulate it clear and simply?   The 3HAG is a strategic growth framework  that takes a complex strategy of any company and makes it clear and simple. Ask yourself – whether you are CEO or not - can you say your company’s strategy in one sentence or one phrase – one word? Do you have confidence in your company’s strategy to stand up with your peers and clearly state your strategy? You will if you get clear on your 3HAG – its easy to start and  then never stop the  process of a consistent discussions with all your leaders and team members.  

 

Thank you to everyone who attended the Fall 2017 Scale Up Coaches Summit and attended my breakout session on 3HAG. For my future  events  and  3HAG workshops, please go to  ShannonSusko.com 

 

 

 

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership, 3HAG

LET’S HUDDLE: 8 facts about daily team meetings and WHY "THE HUDDLE" WORKS!

Shannon SuskoOct 03, 2017

Over 15 years ago – I was deep in chaos with a fast growing team and company.  Every day was like a week, every week like a month, and every month like a year.  Time was flying and we had to make decision fast to keep up with the speed of growth and the market.  We were struggling – working way too many hours and the pile of things to get done and decisions to be made continued to get longer.  It was the unending uphill battle.

I was at a conference that Verne Harnish was MC’ing and he kept talking about “The Huddle”.  I finally went up at a break and asked “What is The Huddle?”  Verne answered – “Easy! It's a 15 minute (or less) daily meeting with your team that follows a standing agenda of 'Good News, Metrics, Top priority for the day, Where are you stuck'”. This is a concept that seems so simple, yet when used with consistency is GAME CHANGING! But, why does this daily "HUDDLE" work...

Team Mentality  – The idea of the "Huddle" comes from a team, planning a "play, and executing it on the field to win the game.  The Huddle is a quick meeting before the play to make sure the players are all aligned in order to execute their goal.  This is no different than in business with your team – every day, a quick meeting within the first half of the day will remind everyone that they are working as a team and are all accountable for the outcome.  Every day!

Time Saving  –  Did “We do not have time to meet every day!” pop into your head as soon as I mentioned this meeting was EVERY DAY! I love this reaction when working with leadership teams.    Funnily enough – the teams that do huddle every day spend less time in meetings overall and answering emails.  This is a real result of a team that huddles every day.

Consistency – The agenda for the huddle is always the same. The category items addressed by each team member never change but what is talked about (content) is always diffferent and forward moving. A standing agenda of "Good News, Metrics, Top Priority, and Stuck Points" ensures all attendees are prepared for the meeting.  The meeting can be run by any attendee in a snappy round robin fashion. 

Daily Positivity  – this is all about keeping the team cohesive, recognizing other team members that are oozing the core values, and starting the meeting out on a positive note.  So easy.

MetricsMetrics are the quantitative measurement of a team members work. These metrics relate directly to the team members priorities layed out on their personal GROWTH FRAMEWORK. Announcing your metric every day shows how work is progressing and can allow the team captain to see where things are progressing fast or slowing down. To learn more about Verne Harnish's One Page Plan, check out my AceTech BC workshop on Oct. 5th in Vanouver!

Acknowledging a Top Priority – this is the one thing you have to get done in the next 24 hours to ensure that you monthly and quarterly priorities are accomplished. This is also a way for the rest of the team to understand what your focus is.  Other team members might need your support for their priorities and this is a way to organize resources.  As well – behaviourally what you say you’re going to get done is normally what you will get done.

Addressing Stuck Points – it’s okay to be stuck. And even better to tell your peer group you are stuck.  This allows the team to work together to support each team member with their stuck and ensure the best people are working on the problem to move forward to achieve the goal quickly.  Everyone gets stuck!!

Routine Shows Results – meeting with your team everyday becomes a habit. One that is hard to break.  When we started huddling with our team we committed to keep it going for 30 business days straight and them adjust from there BUT never stop.  And that we did – we never stopped huddling.

In my experience, leaders and team members, meeting with your whole team every day at a set time for 15 minutes or less will allow the team to become a strong peer accountable team that is focused on the “WIN”.  Looking back it’s so obvious why a team playing a game huddles often but in business this was not a normal practice.  Make The Huddle a habit and reap the benefits outline above. Once you start you will never stop.  Commit to 30 days of huddles today!!

In: Business, habits, CEO, Coaching, growth, success, leadership

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

Sparkle_and_Grit-1.jpg

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 www.shannonsusko.com.  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 https://ticketzone.com/event/504/international-day-of-the-girl-whistler-sparkle-and-grit   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

GET UPDATES FROM SHANNON