For this Bad Ass Business Babe feature, we spoke with Dame Shellie Hunt, the Founder and CEO of The Women Of Global Change, Success is by Design LLC, ReMake MY Life LLC, and other companies. Shellie has shared the stage with some of the top human potential and business speakers in the world and appeared on national talk and radio shows with audiences in the millions and has been mentioned in Forbes.com. Dubbed as The First lady of Entrepreneurs, she uses her affinity for global networking and unleashing human potential to make a difference, whether that is in her own backyard in California or across the globe.
How did you get started?
I literally woke up one night from a dream. A vision came to me to bring together and activate leaders of all different organizations in collaboration to create change bigger than we ever could alone. Together we create positive progress and change for ourselves and our communities in the world.
What is the overall ethos of you and your brand and has that grown and changed over time?
I wanted to design a program that was individualized yet worked within the principles and systems of business. We are not cookie cutter people. We are all individuals with gifts and talents and in our hearts we carry great purpose. A purpose I believe we are born to share with the world. I wanted to create a Program that worked with how an individual works so they could not just have business success but also a balanced successful and more joyful personal life.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I literally grew up in a home with a single mom on the East Coast and one pair of shoes at a time to my name. I came to realize, if I could do it, anyone can do it, and also think it is a time for women to rise as leaders around the world. The planet is in need of the balance that women in power provide. I like sharing my knowledge with others so they no only have more success in their lives but also more fulfillment as they become active contributors in the world they serve.
What has been the most exciting, memorable, or pivotal moment in your career so far and why?
There have been so many memorable missions on this journey but one of my personal favorites was in Roatan Honduras. The AIDS rate for babies under 2 was extremely high. We went in Honduras during our WGC International Summit in 2013. Here we built an infant care unit center and mothers facility. When I went back six years later, the AIDS rate for babies under two, was zero in Roatan. They have been living under these conditions for generations and in six years it was eradicated. They went on to turn The Infant Care Center into a school to assist the school system as they were not prepared for the influx of children surviving. We were not the only ones fighting this battle but WGC was definitely a part of making a difference. This is when I really realized the power we had to make a positive impact.
What has been the most difficult decision you’ve had to make in your career and how did it work out?
One of the most difficult decisions I had to make in my career was time management. It made me learn to let other people do what they were good at doing. I don’t have to do everything in my business. Asking others for help has made it so I could do everything I wanted while helping other people succeed at the same time.
How have you persevered through the tough times?
I have persevered through tough times by leaning into self-care. To be of service to others, you really have to be able to take care of yourself. Sleep if you need to sleep, go in nature and reconnect, have deep conversations with the people you love.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being a mom who has been able to balance a career and being a good role model for my daughter. She just passed the bar and is venturing out in her own career path in advocation.
The best thing about your business is…
The best thing about my business is being able to see and participate in all of the positive things that clients and WGC Chapter Presidents do for their communities and people in need. The people I work with embody the core values that they want to see in the world. It is beautiful to experience the growth of teams.
If you could go back before you started your business, is there anything you’d do differently?
If I could go back, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I am here for a reason and my purpose is the same throughout time. I am here to make connections that positively impact people. We all have our gifts and mine is to continue with a forward-thinking vision. I won’t go back or second guess, I can only fall forward and keep going.
What would your advice be for someone who wants to increase their potential and feel empowered?
To increase your potential surround yourself with other people who want to better themselves and do more. It is the communities that we are in that help to empower us and do more.
If money, time, and energy were no object, what would you want to do with your next venture?
For my next venture, I am taking a team of high-level executives and travelling into Africa. We already have chapters there who help women and children there and we are going to build a hospital, connect with politicians to provide women with more opportunities and build on relational currency.
You can find Dame Shellie Hunt and her services online at www.successisbydesign.com or www.womenofglobalchange.com.