FEMtrepreneur: Shawna Payne – Business Lifestyle Coach

Business Lifestyle Coach Shawna Payne didn’t let her fear of rejection stop her from achieving her dreams. The 33-year-old from National Harbor, Maryland in the USA, recently resigned from her 13-year stint in the corporate world to become a full-time business coach. She helps other aspiring entrepreneurs across the globe to build their brands and educates them on the essentials of starting and growing their own businesses, hence the name of her company, BOSS Essentials. Shawna takes us through the process of how she decided to take the plunge into FEMtrepreneurship.

What inspired you to start your company?

I have overcome adversity, both personally and professionally.

During my 12 years in corporate, I accepted lower salaries than I knew I was worth (on several occasions). I had high student-loan debt. I was burned out, overworked and uninspired.

In 2012, I graduated with my Master of Business Administration (MBA), with a focus in Leadership Development. Following graduation, I pitched a proposal to implement an in-house coaching programme that I would personally spearhead (my big break!)… And I was REJECTED! This shattered my confidence and led to the longest setback I had ever experienced. Because of this, I stayed stuck in a rut and refused to pursue coaching for four years.

What I discovered about myself during those four years, was that even with all of my college degrees and personal experiences, at the end of the day, it was my lack of self-confidence and belief that I could actually go out and do this coaching thing on my own, that held me back for so many years.

As much as I desired to take my life to the next level, it was my fear of failure… fear of not being good enough… fear of not being smart enough… and fear of not being worthy enough that was holding me back.

In 2016, I re-pitched the same corporate coaching proposal to the same company, and was rejected once again. After I was rejected for the second time, suddenly, I had a moment when I heard from God. He spoke to me and told me that I had been thinking too small. All this time, I had been allowing my employer to put me in a box and tell me how I could and could not use my skills, gifts and talents. All this time I had been looking for my employer’s validation, instead of validating myself. My life’s purpose was to reach, teach, inspire and empower women globally, and I couldn’t do that by being confined to a cubicle in the corporate workforce, waiting for my big break.

This ‘Aha’ moment motivated me to put my blood, sweat and tears into my passion, and turn my lifestyle goals into reality. I decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship and build my own global coaching business and brand that could teach other women the essentials of building their own businesses and being their own boss.

That’s how BOSS Essentials was birthed.

Initially, BOSS Essentials was a side hustle that allowed me to make an extra income while still making an impact doing something that I loved. In 2018, I handed in my formal resignation to my employer so I could grow my company full-time.

What type of services do you offer and how do they benefit business owners?

If you are an aspiring female entrepreneur or coach who is finally ready to build your own business and bring your business goals to life, then I am the coach for you. Through my training and development company, BOSS Essentials, I provide one-on-one and group business coaching, brand building, entrepreneurship education and training, mentorship and a community to support new and aspiring female entrepreneurs, coaches and influencers. I equip women with essential tools and techniques to help them build their own business so they can live life on their own terms.

I am particularly passionate about the success of millennial women, and I’m on a mission to inspire and equip them with the tools and techniques necessary to boost their self-confidence and rise to their full potential, as I’ve personally experienced the consequences that fear and self-doubt can have on a woman’s personal and professional success.

How many hours do you work in a week, on average?

I truly believe that the whole point of having a business is to have it work for your schedule and your lifestyle. I devote five days a week (approximately 20 hours) to my business; however, I only work with clients on three of those days. The other two days I block off for studying/on-going education and marketing.

How do you stay motivated?

I am determined to win and make choices for myself that will give me the freedom, financial stability and flexibility to live my life on my own terms.

To keep track of my goals and priorities, and to keep God at the centre of everything that I do each day, I created my own planner, BE The Game Changer Planner: God. Goals. Grind. Every morning, I use my planner to set powerful intentions for my life and business that day. I plan out my goals and priorities, express gratitude, pray, journal and reflect on my goals and actions to see the progress I’ve made; what worked and what didn’t work, and what I should do differently the next day.

Also, every Thursday, my husband and I have weekly accountability sessions with one another, where we review our goals and progress with each other. We support and encourage each other, and we give one another feedback on how we can show up more fully in our businesses.

I’m also a part of a Mastermind group with three other FEMtrepreneurs. These ladies keep me on my toes and motivate me to move from where I am to where I want to be.

What’s been the most effective way of marketing your business?

I use Instagram to share my story and how I’ve overcome adversity personally and professionally, to motivate others and to build a community of loyal followers and supporters.

What is the most courageous thing you’ve done as a FEMtrepreneur?

Taking a chance on myself by leaving the comfort zone of my highly successful corporate career after 13 years, to leap into entrepreneurship full-time.

How do you achieve a work-personal life balance?

I hold my faith and my family as priorities in my life. I operate my business from home, so I try to make sure that when my husband and children are home, I am fully present during my time with them. Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect… I’m a work in progress, but aren’t we all? Lol!

I don’t work on Fridays. Fridays are my “me” day, where I rest and relax. I fast every Friday until 5pm. It helps me to recentre my focus and gain clarity about the next moves in my business.

Sunday is my Sabbath, so I do not work. Sundays are for church and chillin’!

Describe yourself in three words:

Persistent. Ambitious. Loyal.

What do you love most about your job?

I love seeing the transformation that other women make when they begin to believe in themselves and follow their passion. My fulfilment comes from helping others step into their God-given purpose and rise to their full potential.

Is there anything you dislike about your job?

I dislike when people don’t understand the value of investing in themselves. They make their fears bigger than their dreams, which holds them back from stepping into their greatness. You can’t go far expecting to learn all you need to know from free materials.

What’s the important thing you’ve learnt about entrepreneurship?

I’ve learned that I shouldn’t tell people my next move if I haven’t made it yet. A common mistake entrepreneurs make is that we get so excited about an idea or business venture we have, and we start sharing our vision with people around us and those who are close to us. The bad part about that is not everyone is meant to know your vision. If people don’t know what you’re doing, they can’t distract you, try to block you with their own fears, or get in the way of your goal.

What has been your greatest achievement thus far?

My greatest achievement has been building my own business that I’m passionate about and which allows me to reach and teach women all over the world. I remember in 2016, when I realised that my 9 to 5 would never fulfil me mentally or financially because it wasn’t what I was called to do. I remember deciding that I would start my own coaching business on the side, while still working my 9 to 5. I even remember in 2016, setting a 2-year deadline for quitting my day job to pursue my business full-time. Those two years have flown by! On August 17, 2018, I handed in my formal letter of resignation from my 13-year career. I thank God that I even began pursuing my passion two years ago, despite having my idea rejected twice. I would not be where I am today had I waited.

Where would you like to see your company in five years’ time?

In five years, BOSS Essentials will be the premiere online academy where women entrepreneurs can go to learn all things on how to build their own business, so they can be their own boss.

What should every woman know before she starts her own business?

Every woman should know that starting her own business takes time, discipline and dedication; there’s no such thing as an overnight success. You have to continuously invest in yourself and take massive action to move from where you are to where you want to be. And when times get tough – which happens to all entrepreneurs – you have to keep going because the chances of your success depend largely on your ability to persevere.

Fun facts about Shawna

Favourite business tool:


My personal style is…

Simple, yet sophisticated.

Heels or flats?

Flats (heels only when I go to events or on a date with my hubby).

Favourite item of clothing?

Black leggings

Ultimate confidence booster:

Smelling good! Your fragrance can make you feel more confident. Spray on your favourite fragrance and you will instantly light up and stand taller.

Three things I always carry in my handbag:

Lipstick, lip gloss and business cards

I unwind and relax by:

Sitting in my favourite winged-back chair with my feet propped up on a plush ottoman

Favourite shade of lipstick:

Honeycomb by Bite Beauty

Book recommendation:

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Favourite restaurant:

FISH by Jose Andreas

If I had an unlimited budget, I would shop at…

Apple. I would own every product that they sell.

Dream destination:

Turks and Caicos Islands

My life motto:

Stop thinking small and get out of your own way!

The one thing required for success is…

Perseverance breeds success. The road to success is one filled with ups and downs; failure, fear, frustration and sometimes, self-doubt. But the key is to keep going in spite of these, so you can reach your final destination.

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from Shawna, it’s that resilience pays off and if others can’t see and understand your unique vision, that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing it. We’re pretty certain that BOSS Essentials will become the go-to online business coaching academy for all young and upcoming FEMtrepreneurs. With a dynamic and supportive mentor like Shawna behind you, all your lifestyle and business goals will be within reach, sooner than you thought.

Need assistance with developing your own business?

Email Shawna Payne on info@bossessentials.co

or visit her website for more information.

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