Mary: In this issue of Authoritti5.0, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day. I knew immediately that I wanted you on the front cover because I wanted to show other women that to be the best version of yourself, you have to walk through the chaos and the complex to see the inner beauty. And I think that you are a perfect model for all women, no matter what their age, their race, or profession. We need to stop looking at perfectly manicured Instagram sensations and start realizing that to get to your core, you have to start on the inside.
And in this issue, I don’t want to talk about LinkedIn at all. I want to talk about you and your journey. So let’s reverse-engineer the Shay Rowbottom.
How do you define yourself today in terms of your growth? Because you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your personal development and growth, so I want to start from where you are right now.
Shay: Right now I would say that I’m stepping into my true, authentic self, more than ever.
There’s actually a famous quote. I know someone said fans are cancer to the authentic self. And if you remember, part of why I grew a following in the first place is because I was so authentic. The problem is with a lot of these influencers is they start gaining more and more followers around this one image, around this one brand that they’re portraying at that time.
The issue comes in when the influencer starts to grow and starts to change, and they feel trapped. They feel really attached to this following. Like they can’t be themselves anymore. They have to stick with it or they’re going to lose followers, and listen, that can happen
But the reality is you need to always stay true to who you are. So, even though I was one thing starting out growing my following, I’ve changed and I’ve evolved. And I see where a lot of influencers get stuck. They don’t feel safe to admit it, but I’ve actually felt safe to admit it. Hey guys, this is what I’m going through now. Yes, I’m still a video marketer, but I’ve actually gotten a lot more into healing.
And this is what I’m up to on my personal journey, you know, and I understand that not everyone is going to like that. And you might lose some of your original followers, but you’re going to gain new followers who actually align with the new you. So I would say that it’s been the greatest blessing growing this following, because it’s been an opportunity for me to always challenge myself and look at myself and ask, am I being authentic or am I doing this from a place of trying to people-please?
And just keep up my metrics and keep up my views, rather reverse it and say, let’s put the authenticity before the views. And in exchange, what you find is actually usually more views because people love authenticity and they’re starving for that. So, for me today, I think the biggest accomplishment and the biggest measure of success is being authentic, is being in my power, and living in peace. Once we grow a following, a lot of times we think the following or the fame or the money is going to give us that it’s not. You know, once I actually got all these things, I realized, “Oh gosh, it’s still going to have to be me at the end of the day who gives me validation, love, respect, and inner peace.” So that’s why I’m really fortunate to be in the position of growing this following because I feel like many people can get sucked into the trap of fame and branding and an image.
The reality is you need to always stay true to who you are
For me, I really went down the other path, which is I used my following to always challenge myself to do more healing on the inside. And there’s no price tag that you can put on that. So yes, I’m a business owner, you know, I’m a self-made millionaire. I was a self-made millionaire by the time I was 27 years old. And I can tell you that the greatest accomplishment it through all of this is actually just finding so much love and admiration for me that I don’t need to chase any more money or any more followers. Those things just magnetized to me naturally because of how much work I’ve done on myself.
Mary: Absolutely. So then what would you say are the three aha moments you’ve had on your personal growth journey that changed your habitual state of being, and literally rewired your brain to see the world through a different lens?
Shay: I mean so many things. I think you can relate as a business owner that business will really force you to face your unhealed stuff. You know, once you start a business, for example, let’s say you start a business and then you realize, “Oh my gosh, I realized I have a lot of communication problems to work on because I’m not communicating with my employees” or, “Oh my gosh, I realized I have limiting beliefs about money because I’m not making sales.” So I would say just in general business caused me to face a lot of things in myself. I probably never would have noticed if I had just been an employee. The other thing that really helped me was when I started to realize this attachment that I had to my blog. I realized that if I went viral or if I had a really high-performing post, I would be in a better mood that day than if I did a video and it flopped.
And I started to kind of realize that, wait a minute, this isn’t healthy. Like, why am I attaching so much of my daily happiness to the performance of my blog and my business? So I’ve really learned to not have that attachment, and if I go viral, great. But if I don’t go viral, I don’t like attach meaning to that anymore. Like, “Oh, I’m a failure.
I should have la gloomy weekend now because my post didn’t do well. “It’s like, no, just to get up and keep working and work on the next one. So I would say that was a huge wake-up call when I started to realize that I have this attachment to my views. And it forced me to work on myself. So I’d say that’s thing number three.
Oh gosh. For the women’s edition, this is super important because I know a lot of women out there could probably relate to this.
Mary, I have crazy codependency issues on men, because of the way that I was raised, and what I modeled with the way that my father treated my mother and the way my father treated women in general. I realized as I got into business that I had some limiting beliefs about being able to do it on my own. I would always attract these toxic male partners thinking that I needed them. And it took a long time for me to get through that. I will say it doesn’t happen
overnight, ladies, but trust that if you feel like you’re in a similar position where you’re like, “Oh gosh, I don’t really want to work with this guy, but I feel like I need to,” trust that it can all change.
I eventually hit my breaking point with my male partners. I said, ”You know what? I’m so sick of doing what you guys say. I feel like I could do it better. Maybe I’m wrong, and I’ll be a complete failure on my own.” And I was, you know, right. To be codependent on men, but screw it. I’m at my breaking point. I’m going to go for it anyway. And what I’ve found on the other side was actually so much liberation. I got so much stronger doing business alone. And now today I make more money by myself with my first solely owned company than I ever did having male partners. That is absolutely unbelievable.
Mary: Out of all of the mentors that you’ve had thus far, who has been the one game changer for you?
Shay: Depends on what period of my life. I mean, we could go all the way back to high school. There were actually rappers who influenced me, who really helped me to step into my rebellious side and say, you know, screw it. I’m going to speak my truth. And thank God for those rappers, who kind of set the example for me all the way down to the business gurus that I started following, like Gary Vaynerchuk and Tony Robbins, who was a huge inspiration for me when I started on my healing path. There’s another guy I really, really love; his name is Sadhguru out of India. So he’s helped me so much, women like you, many women in business who set the example. I’m just really drawn to people who are not afraid to be different.
You know, people who are not afraid to speak the unpopular opinions around things, because that’s always been me. I always felt like I was so weird, and I was just this weirdo who had different beliefs. As soon as I started finding people who were also outspoken in their beliefs, I felt like, okay, now it’s safe for me to come forward and speak my truth. And I actually mentioned this guy on your podcast years ago, I think Mary. There’s a guy named Jacque Fresco and he died recently, but he’s the creator of the Zeitgeist films. And he was a futurist, an optimist, and he had this whole idea of the way that we could start to transform society into self-sustaining ecovillages where we don’t even need money. We don’t need school; we don’t need these things.
It just becomes very self- sustaining. And a lot of people considered that very radical. A lot of people considered that this guy’s just talking about utopia.
Like that’ll never happen. That’s not the real world. But I actually think he was smart, that he was right. There is a possibility for that future, but it’s never going to happen if we, as the human beings who inhabit this earth, don’t start believing that it’s possible first. And so that’s why I really respect Jacque Fresco because he believed it was possible, and he just put it on paper. People called him crazy. But, we’ll see where the future of this planet goes. No doubt. We’re in a transition already anyway, but definitely all of those people in their own way and anyone who’s willing to stand out and speak their truth, despite it not being popular or accepted by the mainstream, have inspired me.
Mary: I’m a huge advocate in showing people that their inner inventory is their natural state of being, and they must work with what they have been gifted, not wanting to be like somebody else, which we see a lot of, unfortunately, on social media.
Now you are not only gifted in creating and directing skits and song lyrics, but you’re actually a music artist. So I want to go there if you don’t mind. I read in one of your posts, I think yesterday, that you’re going back to your loves, which are music and singing. So tell us more about that and your vision for that.
Shay: I was originally an artist; that’s kind of how I found entrepreneurship. A lot of artists in nature are entrepreneurial already. I eventually realized I could make more money if I switched and went to the other side of the camera, stopped performing music and started editing video because more people were making money there and it was more in demand. And that’s how I found social media video marketing. And that’s how I got into viral video. I’m really grateful. It’s actually a great lesson and reminder for people to follow their highest excitement and follow their dream. Because even though I ended up as a digital marketer, not a musician, now I’m going back and I’ll get to that. It was going after my dream in the first place that led me to video. What if I had never gone for that dream, like “Oh, I’m not going to make it as an artist, so screw it. I’ll just get a job.”
Well, then I never would have found video, and I never would’ve found marketing in the way that I do now, and I never would have helped all of the business owners that I’ve since helped. So it’s been really beautiful to see my transition from performing and then fusing the confidence that I had with the camera, that natural entertainer in me with digital marketing, and kind of fusing the two to bring about this video marketing program that I now teach on LinkedIn. But yeah, more and more lately I’ve been called to get more into music. I am blending my LinkedIn video strategy with writing songs. I’ve actually started writing parodies. I’m just taking really popular songs, changing the lyrics to make them something about marketing or LinkedIn or something fun that I know my audience would enjoy while also starting to rebuild that muscle. Starting to, you know, build my vocals again, get back in the booth, start writing again. It’s just been a beautiful transition back. And I do believe that I will eventually start making original music again and probably make an album or a series or do something fun. It’s just amazing that life has kinda led me back to my original dream and my original roots to be a singer.
Mary: That’s your gift, isn’t it? You can take the girl out of the gift, but you can’t take the gift out of the girl. It’s just as simple as that. You’re a great role model for young women. You show up every day in your business and on social media; you take time to do a lot of
interviews. I know that for sure. You invest in your personal development. I’m sure you’ve had bad days. I’m sure you’ve had ecstatic days. You take on a lot of BS from the public, but through all of that, you’ve turned your talent and skills into a seven-figure business. What advice would you give a 30-year-old person who’s listening to this interview or reading this interview who wants to start his or her own business in 2021?
Shay: The first thing that I would say to anyone looking to start their own business is make sure it’s something that excites you; make sure it’s something that lights you up when you get out of bed in the morning because, and we know this, Mary: When you truly love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. There’s no, “Oh, I’m burned out. Oh, I need a vacation where I’m just going to go drink in Mexico for a week.” Like, that’s going to fix anything. Long term, you know you can’t just go into it with “I want to be a business owner.
What should I do?” It’s almost the opposite. It’s like, no, what do you want to do? What is your highest excitement? What lights you up the most more than anything?
And then figure out a way to monetize that. You know, I have a business coach, Nick Peterson., He’s 30, and he’s super successful. I asked him one time, cause he’s like always working, always in the office, multiple businesses, “What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time? What do you do for fun?”
And you know what he said to me? He said, ”Shay, if I have a hobby, I figure out a way for it to make me money.”
So, you know, that’s really the dream life, right? Wake up every day, do what you love, and get paid for it. And that way when you’re building and when you’re scaling, you’re not going to get to the point where you’re building something that you eventually resent, that you want to burn to the ground. So, that would be my tip number one. There’s so many gurus out there in resources for how to start the mechanisms, the technical aspects, how to hire and all that. That’s already out there. I’m just here to remind you to do what truly aligns with your spirit and be who you really are because that’s going to be something that you never get sick of. That’s going to be something you can get rich off of because it doesn’t feel like work. So you’re putting in all these hours, you’re helping all these people, and you’re building without even giving it a second thought because it’s what you love. And that’s how you’re going to help the most people, because people will be attracted to you because they feel you genuinely love what you’re doing and that’s who they want to coach them. So my advice is to start there.
Mary: It’s funny that you should say that because we are bound to this idea and this dream that if you go to school and then university and become something
– that’s the path to success. So many people that I speak to, I’m sure you do as well, don’t like what they’re doing. They have this burning desire, passions, and all these things that they would love to do, but they’re frightened of taking that internal inventory and turning that into their vocation versus what they were told. Most people get to 40 plus and have a midlife crisis and ask themselves “What just happened,” right?
Shay: Exactly. And I’m glad you brought up the education piece. That’s also really important. A lot of people think they need a formal education when you don’t
necessarily because a lot of these things you can learn online. You can study, you can find a mentor, you can offer to intern. People learn from experience and from doing more than sitting in a lecture hall. And I was on an interview this morning about the education system. And I said, “You know, studies have shown that the more someone goes into formal education, the more the child’s creativity starts to go down.” So a lot of those artists who were failures at school are still so creative because the school system couldn’t really indoctrinate them. So just keep in mind, like I do believe that education or higher education has its purposes and no doubt, there are certain degrees that are needed for certain jobs, but it’s grossly overused.
And, for someone who has a higher education, a lot of times these people don’t come out more educated. They come out miseducated, and they can’t think for themselves anymore. They lack critical thinking because they’ve been told so many years in a fancy university that they paid for. So that’s another thing that gives them bias. They’re like “I paid for this. This must be correct,” but it actually creates very narrow- minded individuals. So that’s another tip I would give for someone looking to build their own life. If you are considering college, really dig into that and ask yourself “Why is it really necessary that I get this degree? Or is this like an invisible rule I’ve created for myself that somehow I’m gonna get there quicker, or people are gonna respect me more with a degree?” I’ll speak for myself. You know, I’m a college dropout, and I started my first business at 23. No one has ever asked me for my degree, not one client, not one follower, not one employee. They’ve never said, “Hey, I won’t work with you, if you don’t have a degree!” They just look at the results that I provide that speak for themselves.
Mary: So then what would you say is your absolute mission and legacy? What is it that you want to be known for? What’s your driver?
Shay: That’s a great, great question. You know, it’s really just to inspire people to be themselves, inspire people to be brave. I grew up in a very troubled home as a child. And, there was a lot of abuse. There was a lot of manipulation, a lot of darkness, but it was all kind of disguised as like, “Oh, be grateful. You’re privileged,” because we had a big house and my dad made good money, you know? And, so it gets really convoluted in society when people say, “Oh, I had a great childhood. I never went hungry. There was food on the table. My mom let me join the team.” Like it was all good. Right. You know that’s not necessarily a measure of love. That’s not necessarily a measure of was this child really nurtured and was this child given a safe space to be themselves?
You know, that can happen in a trailer park. You don’t have to have money to raise a kid with love and to raise a kid to feel safe, to be who they really are. So a lot of my passion for teaching people to be their authentic selves and get brave comes from what I was not given as a child, which was the ability to be who I really was.
Instead, I was pressured to conform to who my parents wanted me to be so much so that it led me down a really dark path and it almost killed me. You know, it almost killed me. I was suicidal in my early twenties before I finally woke up and said, “I need to start being me. I need to start living for myself. You know, screw what my family thinks of me, screw what my friends and everyone think of me. Maybe I’ll lose them. Maybe I’ll get new friends. I need to start being who I really am.”
And I noticed that the more we inspire the adults to be their true, authentic selves, no matter how scary that might feel, the more we’re going to live in a world where children are just raised, never even knowing what that’s like to have narcissistic parents. They’re just raised in the energy of
love. They’re raised in the energy of feeling safe to be themselves. So I would say, even though it’s funny, I don’t actually have my own kids right now, but I do a lot of talks on parenting. A lot of parents actually come to me for advice, which is kinda cool. And, it’s really about what I think we’re all here for, Mary, whether we realize it or not. We are here to create a better world, and to leave this place a better planet than when we got here. And that’s not for us, that’s for the children and the generations that are going to inhabit this earth after us.
Mary: How do you practice spending time with yourself and staying grounded? What do you do? Do you have a ritual? Do you meditate? What do you do? You live on the beach, right?
Shay: I do meditate. I love meditating. I think for some individuals it’s absolutely necessary to meditate. I would be one of them ’cause I’m a very hyperactive person. I’m not naturally that grounded, so a meditation practice is very important for me. I pray, I reconnect with God, my creator. I practice data healing, which is another modality for meditation. And I love swimming. You brought up the beach; I go to the beach and swim. I have a pool I go swimming in. There’s something about water that just calms me down. So I would say those are my main things, along with listening to music that I love.
Mary: Women have gone through a lot over the years, and I don’t want to talk about the trials and tribulations because it is what it is and we’re never going to solve these issues because they are always disguised under some movement. I don’t ever want to go there. What I want to do is really unpack this idea of women’s role in society today. What does that mean to you? How do you see women playing a greater role in society today? Is it more women becoming Board Members of corporations? Is it actually walking away from corporate slavery and pursuing a mission? What revolution do you see taking place? What’s your view from a woman-to-woman standpoint?
Shay: Yes. You know, I’m so glad that you brought up that question because I have a very different view on feminism and women’s issues going on in the world than many people do. And I do think this is shifting. I think more people are waking up to realize what I’m about to say, but it hasn’t always been the case. We’ve really been in a war against femininity. We’ve been in a war against more traditional female qualities and more traditional male qualities.
This whole idea of a toxic masculinity, which is not necessarily true. True masculinity would never be toxic men wanting to dominate, wanting to lead, wanting to take control – which in theory is not bad. It’s only bad if the man himself is unhealed and narcissistic; then it becomes dangerous.
A man who is healed and genuine and authentic and in his power is a man you want to lead because that is what men naturally do.
And so when I say there’s an attack on feminine and masculine energy, I’m saying that we’ve sort of made both traditional roles wrong, like a woman who just wants to be a wife and stay home and raise kids. There’s sort of this attack where that’s no longer acceptable, where women hear “Oh, you should be a boss. You should go start a business and this and that. And if you genuinely want to do that, you should.” You know I’m one of those women. I certainly encourage it. But the problem is it’s kind of skewed where it’s made traditional gender roles wrong. And that is what I, the human, disagree with.
It’s okay to be feminine if you want to be feminine. If you want to be girly, that’s awesome. And if men in business are going to be turned off by you reminding them that you’re feminine and you’re a woman, that’s not a guy you want to work with anyway.
I think men and women work best together when we are men and women, and I’m not saying that there aren’t some women who are naturally more masculine or some men who are naturally more feminine. That’s fine. I’m not discriminating against anyone. I’m saying those who are naturally as a man, masculine and dominant, and as a woman, more cooperative and more collaborative, more creative, more feminine – that’s absolutely beautiful. And we’ve sort of demonized both traditional roles to the point where we can’t see how it’s disrupted the nuclear family, where a lot of families are dysfunctional. Now, a lot of families are getting a divorce because the men and women are not in their true roles that they authentically want to be in. Yeah. Because society has made both of those so wrong. I mean, when I was unhealed and when I was still very bitter and working through my childhood and I had a lot of resentment, I did not like being a woman.
Mary, I tell you, I would look for and find proof everywhere about how discriminated against I was. As a woman, I would always find reasons to make an excuse for why I was not successful because I’m a woman, and they didn’t take me seriously. It actually wasn’t necessarily the highest truth. What was really happening was I didn’t like myself internally. And I was projecting that into the world, blaming it on my gender. People can just pick up on that. You’re an unhealed individual, and they don’t want to work with you. The more that I healed, the more I loved being a woman. I loved being feminine. You know, I love the more traditional qualities where I step into and I just want to create, I just want to collaborate.
I don’t always want to take control and lead and be a boss and be controlling.
And I find that a lot of women today are living in their unhealthy masculine-woman way. They get sucked into this. Like I need to control. I need to control. I need to. And you know, if a man steps in to give advice, even if it’s good advice, a woman might think “Are you trying to control me?” It’s this really l reactive sort of situation we’ve created with the genders. And it’s actually all just designed to hurt both of us. You know, we shouldn’t be attacking one another’s gender. We should be collaborating and working together. So for all the women out there in business who feel like, “Oh my gosh, I so relate to this. I feel like I’m really controlling and I’m not happy. And I’m burned out at my job.” Just remember, I do think a lot of the business climate has been designed for men where it hasn’t really valued feminine energy.
And so as a woman, what are you going to do? You’re going to step into your masculine. I understand that at times there’s no way around that. The problem is when we fold, when we, as women start to reject our own femininity to fit in with men, that is no longer a win for women.
That is actually where we’re programming men that it’s okay, but it’s not okay. Men need to start valuing feminine energy in business, just as much as they value masculine energy in business. You know, part of why the world is so upside down is there’s too many of us valuing masculine energy. What do we value? We value work. We value execution. We value left-brain logical thinking, rather than “woo” stuff like, “Oh, I want to learn how to meditate. I want to be in my heart space.”
I want to be creative. The art in the school system, getting like that’s all feminine energy and we’ve repressed that. So of course we’ve arrived at a society that’s insanely unbalanced. So yes, that’s my very, very long explanation of how I feel for women today in business. It’s okay to be feminine if you want to be feminine. If you want to be girly, that’s awesome. And if men in business are going to be turned off by you reminding them that you’re feminine and you’re a woman, that’s not a guy you want to work with anyway. I truly think true healthy men who are in their healthy masculine, who are not insecure, will never be threatened by a woman who’s in her strong and aligned feminine.
They will not be threatened by you. They will embrace you. And that sort of union is what human beings were designed to thrive in. So I do think that people are kind of waking up to some of the toxicity of the modern-day feminist movement and how we need to return to loving ourselves for who we authentically are.
Mary: Who would you want to meet who’s no longer living, and what would you want to ask or what would you want to know?
Shay: Jacque Fresco. I would love to meet him. You know, it’s funny because my answer a few years ago was different, but I’ve done a lot of healing work on my family, and I would love to meet my ancestors. My grandparents died when I was really young. I didn’t really get to know them that well.
And I know that there was a lot of trauma that they endured. My grandpa was in the second World War. My grandma was abused. She was bipolar, and they passed a lot of that down to my parents, who then passed it down to me. And I’ve resolved a lot of that now in this lifetime.
But, I used to be really angry at my family, I used to have a lot of bitterness, and I’ve healed a lot of that. I’ve really come to a place of understanding and forgiveness for the situations that I had been through. And I would love to be able to talk to my ancestors to kind of see what they went through and learn more about their experience because it directly created what I endured as a child. And I would want to essentially just thank them, thank them for all of this BS that you had to go through. I’m sorry that you didn’t necessarily heal in your lifetime, but it made me who I am and it made me so strong. So thank you for coming before me and being the ones to birth me into this existence.
Mary: You’re amazing, Shay. I absolutely love you. I can listen to you all day. I just have massive respect for you, not only for who you are, but also what you stand for. And also the fact that you show up every day and you give and that you can make somebody like me laugh is just a testament to your understanding how humans think. It’s a real privilege to also call you a friend. I’m so honored that you are on the front cover of this magazine, and I’ve had this time to be with you.
Micro Bio – Shay Rowbottom is a LinkedIn influencer and digital marketing entrepreneur specializing in creating social media video content to attract attention and eyeballs to content. Shay’s video marketing agency specializes in helping businesses or business owners attract their target audience and close more deals through the use of organic video content specifically on the LinkedIn platform.