“Introversion is not a flaw to fix or an obstacle to overcome. It’s an invitation to live deeply and impact greatly.” ‘The Excitable Introvert™’ Jacqueline Shaulis guides introverted women to get seen, heard, and respected by embracing their AWESOME™! She’s wowed audiences in nearly 20 countries as an international speaker, global bestselling author, and coach & advisor to top executives…all while honoring her introversion. Her communication & personal leadership expertise, insights, and shenaniGEMS™ are featured in numerous media outlets, including Forbes, The TODAY Show, Doctor Oz, The Washington Post, The Independent, Romper, and International Business Times. When not globetrotting with coffee in hand or loudly singing tune-adjacent at home, you can find Jacqueline getting lost in a good (audio)book or hugging her son, his nine cousins, or the nearest tree.
What inspired the start of “Awesome Enterprise LLC “?
This journey began as an act of self-preservation. I had a perfect on-paper life but felt incredibly disconnected and dissatisfied, and felt guilty for feeling dissatisfied because I knew I wasn’t fulfilling my calling. Awesome Enterprises evolved as I took the lessons of my own journey of rediscovery and shared with others through workshops, books, consulting, coaching, and media. In 2019, I began to dive deeper into the experiences of fellow introverted women, especially introverted women of color. At the heart of everything I do is putting one’s AWESOME™into action with love, service, and joy.
What has been the biggest challenge of running a brand like “Awesome Enterprise LLC “?
There’s no business challenge that compares to the personal challenges I’ve faced and emerged from – I often joke, “it’s not the method I would have chosen, but I’m thankful for the lessons.” Poverty, abuse, disordered eating, being hit by a car while walking with my toddler, cancer scare—so many things in my life that I would not want to experience again. But the caveat for me is that even with these terrible experiences, they laid the groundwork that eventually led to something unique and useful. And as an introverted business owner and face of my brands, navigating the ebb and flow of life while maintaining progress and momentum professionally is especially challenging but thus far has been worth it – a trend that I trust will continue. I’m grateful that there was beauty in my ashes, even though the gifts that I got from them and the opportunities that eventually came from that manure made for beautiful gardens.
How does “Awesome Enterprise LLC ” impact the community?
I’m proud that our work has spanned nearly two dozen countries and six continents to equip, empower, and encourage thousands of individuals – from Fortune 100 executives to at-risk teens of color and a broad spectrum in between – to tap and share their Amazing Works of Expression Serving Others with Maximum Enjoyment (better known as AWESOME™). The ripple effect has spanned job offers received and created, businesses launching, relationships restored, lives saved, and innumerable bouts of laughter and reflection.
Aside from entrepreneurship, you are a busy mom, how do you balance the day-to-day of motherhood?
Life is an ebb and flow of attention, resources, time, and effort. I don’t ascribe to balance but I’m committed to being present wherever I am. That mental shift helped me tremendously to release my self-judgment when I cannot be with my kiddo or my nieces and nephews much as I want because I need to focus on finishing a project or traveling to speak for extended periods. But it also helped me better honor my boundaries when I’m home to give my kiddos my undivided attention and for my son, to create time daily to simply enjoy one another’s company, whether for a weekend or a few minutes. Likewise, my boundaries are honored when I say, “ok, Mommy’s ears need a rest for a few minutes” or “I need to have some quiet time then we can do something afterward.” Not to mention, as my business partner, he gets to see the behind-the-scenes of my work and can see that those boundaries or departures are needed and only for a period of time.
Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 3-5 years?
I see the “Embrace Your AWESOME™” movement continuing to thrive and expand even further globally and reaching our final continent – Antarctica! I see the conversations around intersectional introverts and the lived experiences and ramifications of intersectional identities becoming ever more at the forefront of conversations and catalyzing positive changes at work, home, and beyond. I see my companies creating a new narrative of success and inviting countless individuals, organizations, and communities to similarly co-create the changes they wish to see. And, of course, even more awesome!
What advice do you have for the next generation of entrepreneurs?
My top tip is similar to what I mentioned before – that there is not only power in what you do and how you’re showing up, but also that people are waiting for you to show up with whatever you’re here to do. We all have been the recipients of people who had doubts and hesitations and continued on their path, honoring the ways and what they had to share, and we are better for it. Bring your highs, lows, and middles, wins, losses, draws, what you’ve learned, what you intuitively know, and even your failures and the lessons you got from those because we are waiting to benefit from that. You also get to be a conduit of positive change. There’s nothing like being told months and years later that someone followed my progress, watched what I was doing, or listened to what I had to say and how it changed their lives and now they’re showing up in a better way in their world. Make sure you honor yourself in your work and never discount the value of your authority, wisdom, and expertise.
Bonus: What does being “Pretty and Black Owned” mean to you?
It means honoring the best and totality of who I am unapologetically and in service of those I impact and influence by living a life that’s a lesson in possibility and positivity when one leans into the gifts of their introversion as they share their time, talent, and treasure.
Social Media Links:
@JKShaulis across the social verse