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A couple of years ago, I received an invitation to a thank you party via email. That incredibly heartfelt invitation gave me the best feeling and became the catalyst for a friendship and business contact. In this Thanksgiving Day episode, the woman behind that email, Shannon Siriano Greenwood, is back on the show. She and I talk about how gratitude can have a huge impact on and should be the driving force behind your business.

On this episode of Promote Yourself to CEO:

4:23 – I read the entire email from Shannon that caused me, a super introvert, to dress up and attend a restaurant downtown.

8:54 – Shannon discusses how she and I met. She calls it our own little love story.

14:53 – When did Shannon realize that bringing people together was her strength? She discusses why the realization didn’t come quickly.

20:25 – Shannon reveals a huge component of making connections and building relationships. It looks different from most people’s image of networking.

22:48 – What’s even better than a typical referral? All it takes is a simple mindset shift to see it, and it definitely has a huge effect on your business.

25:53 – We talk about how we remember to touch base and stay in contact with people.

31:04 – Why does Shannon get invited to a lot of things? She’s already done five podcast interviews this month without having to pitch herself.

34:32 – Shannon reveals the purpose behind her new program that brings women together.

Show Links

Racheal Cook: A couple of years ago, this heartfelt email landed in my inbox. “Racheal, I'm writing this invitation to you because you are a person who has inspired me. I may know you as a close friend, an acquaintance or not at all, but something you have done has made me feel optimistic when I was very low. You made me know that strong people do amazing things when I doubted something hard could be done. You have something in you that made me realize that I have it in me too. For that, I'd like the opportunity to thank you. I'm hosting a thank you party to spend some time with women that I've admired from up close and afar. I hope you can attend.”

Oh my gosh, that is just the beginning of this email but when you have an email like this from someone sharing how you, showing up in the world and sharing your experience, your expertise, your thoughts, has made an impact on them, it is just the best feeling. Today, I want to introduce you to the amazing woman behind this email, Shannon Siriano Greenwood, and talk about how expressing gratitude in our businesses and building community can make such a massive, massive impact.

Are you ready to grow from solopreneur to CEO? You're in the right place. I'm your host, Racheal Cook. I've spent the last decade helping women entrepreneurs start and scale service-based businesses. If you're serious about building a sustainable business, it's time to put the strategy, systems, and support in place to make it happen. Join me each week for candid conversations about stepping into your role as CEO, the hard lessons learned along the way, and practical profitable strategies to grow a sustainable business without the hustle and burnout.

Racheal Cook: Happy Thanksgiving, CEOs. At least to those of you in the US, I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving, you are enjoying some time with your friends, your family and your loved ones, you're eating an amazing meal. I know this is a holiday with a little bit of controversy behind the history of it. Trust me, I have done all of the mental juggling around that myself, the rumbling with the history of this holiday but at the same time, there's something so beautiful about the idea of a day that is about gratitude, about saying thank you, about spending time with the people you care about, about acknowledging the people that you care about.

Today, while I am at my mom's house, I gave her nurses off for the holiday. Any of you who care for an elderly parent or disabled parent who has nursing care, you know that on the holidays, it means you gotta get in there and take things on because everybody wants time with their own families. That's what's going on for me. I am enjoying Thanksgiving with my mom, my kids, and my husband. We are down at the river. We're enjoying the weather. We're looking out over the water. We're making some incredible food. I wanted to have this conversation as a special episode because it's just such an incredible story. It's just such an incredible story that happened to me in my real life. This expression of gratitude sent to me by Shannon Siriano Greenwood was not just an incredible email to land in my inbox. It became the catalyst for, first, a business connection, but then a true heartfelt friendship. I knew I needed to bring her on the show to talk about this and to talk about how gratitude is just something we should all be thinking about on a more ongoing basis, and how connection truly is the driving force behind many of our businesses. It should be the driving force behind many of our businesses if we are running heart-centered human-first businesses.

I read the intro to the email that Shannon sent to me but I really want to read the whole thing so that you can get the full picture of what landed in my inbox and tugged at my heartstrings, and had me a super introvert, dressing up to go downtown to a restaurant I'd only been to once for this event, was people I did not know at all. The email went, “Racheal, I'm writing this invitation to you because you are a person who has inspired me. I may know you as a close friend, an acquaintance or not at all but something you have done has made me feel optimistic when I was very low. You made me know that strong people do amazing things when I doubted something hard could be done. You have something in you that made me realize that I have it in me too. For that, I would like the opportunity to thank you. I am hosting a thank you party to spend some time with women that I have admired from up close and afar. I hope you can attend.

“For those who don't know my story, I'll give it to you quickly. I'm Shannon Siriano Greenwood. Back in January of 2014, I was a young woman with all the answers. I knew no limits and had no doubts. I had a husband, a full-time job, a growing fitness business on the side, and a couple of consulting clients. I also found out I was pregnant. Awesome, I thought, I can do it all the time and do it better than most. I'll just pop out this kid and go on with business as usual. I'll have endless energy and ability. This is going to be great. Unfortunately, that was not the case. After my beautiful and healthy baby boy was born last October, I became very depressed. I stopped functioning like my normal self. I doubted every decision and felt like I was in the middle of the ocean, drowning. I started throwing things out of my boat. I lost my big consulting client, quit my job, lost my share of my business after a stressful legal exchange, and was about ready to jump overboard myself but somehow kept afloat. I kept reaching out to friends. I kept going through my brain catalog of the people I know, looking for them on social media and in real life.

“I was looking for people about being real in life and its challenges. I found inspiration from those who had been through something hard and made tough decisions to keep going strong. I found those people. I found you. I am changing. I'm getting stronger. I'm not where I want to be but I'm no longer afraid of where I'm going. What I discovered this year is that every strong woman that I know, and probably all of the ones that I don't, are not strong, confident, capable all day every day of their lives. We all go through times of struggle. Thanks for being an inspiration to me when I truly needed one or thirty.”

Then she shares the details about the party and she says, “I have invited 30 women and I encourage you to invite someone too. You're welcome to forward this invitation to one to five women who've inspired you with a message, telling them why. They can be your mom, your bestie or a total stranger. Also, please ask them to RSVP. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Shannon.”

Oh my gosh, did that just not tug at your heartstrings? What would you do if you got an email like that in your inbox? Someone being so open and vulnerable, sharing what a hard time she had been going through and that somehow, without me even knowing it, I had made an impact on her. Needless to say, I went to the party and as you will hear from this conversation, we have become very, very good friends. She is my go-to hype woman. I am there for her with absolutely anything she needs. I know you're going to love this conversation about gratitude and connection on this Thanksgiving day.

Hey, CEOs. I hope you will join me in welcoming back Shannon Siriano Greenwood, one of my favorite people in the world. Thank you so much for joining me again, Shannon.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: Literally, anytime.

Racheal Cook: We have so much fun whenever we have conversations. As we are coming up on the holiday season, we had a conversation on the podcast years ago but really it's about the story of how we became friends.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: Our own little love story.

Racheal Cook: Our little friendship love story and how you have just been so incredible at bringing women together in building communities. I would love for you to share how you and I met.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: I would love to. I get to share this story a lot now these days because it's part of a workshop that I lead called Leveraging Your Network. It's just so funny because I never intended our meeting to be a networking thing but it is funny how all those things come together. Anyways, a few years ago, I had a baby and I had a really challenging time with postpartum depression. I was working with a therapist. She was teaching me about gratitude and the practice of gratitude. There are many ways to express gratitude. Obviously, you can write it down in a journal, you can say it to other people but I really wanted to use gratitude as a way to bring people together, so I decided I was going to host a thank you party.

It was going to be my opportunity to say thank you to people who had supported me in a bunch of different ways, whether they were my friends that literally showed up for me when I was really struggling or people that I had never met before but I was following their journey and feeling inspired, and connected. You were one of those people who were talking about not burning out and unplugging from a striving mentality but still, you were not talking about things like, “Just chill on the sofa,” you were giving me very tangible ways to be productive with less time. I had joined your program and was getting so inspired by being there, and being connected with the other CEOs that you were leading. I invited you and I wrote you a really sappy email.

Racheal Cook: It was the best email ever, you guys.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: From the heart, like I just said, these are the ways that you've impacted my life. I'd like to thank you in person if you would come to this event. If not, totally cool. I still want you to know that this is how I feel about your work and how it's impacted me. You came, which was awesome because I know how introverted you are. To come to a party with a bunch of people you don't know and this woman who just wrote you a sappy email, good move on you, Rach.

Racheal Cook: It's all about getting out of your comfort zone. I just remember I think I have no idea who she is. The place you were hosting it, I knew where the restaurant was because I had been there before. I was like, “Ooh, this is a nice thing.” It's not like you were inviting me to come to your home, you had actually booked a venue. It felt like, “Whoa, this is a thing.”

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: It was a thing. It was a thing. It was a thing of me just really with full-hearted gratitude, thanking people that had been inspiring or supportive to me. That's where it came from but then obviously, I like to make things fancy. It was a really nice event. I was so grateful that you came. I think what I learned from that is building connections with people that make you feel better is the key in so many times when you're struggling. Never did I intend that I was going to grow into a community builder or build a business around connecting people together. It was just something I was already doing naturally in my life, then I had seen so many benefits from it that I really wanted to share it with other people.

Racheal Cook: It's so awesome. It's so funny because you can only connect the dots, looking backwards. But from the time you hosted that, I was just so blown away because I never experienced that. I've had people email me but not be like, “Come to this amazing event.” Then by the way, I showed up at this event, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to know a soul but then I have all these other people who Shannon had been telling about my work. They're like, “Oh my gosh, I listened to your podcast” or “I took your Fired Up & Focused Challenge.” I had this moment where I was like, “Wow, people here know who I am.” Then I ran into a couple people who I did know. It was just one of those “it's a small world, we are actually very connected” type of moments. It was amazing.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: You were my celebrity guest for that event. When I was telling my friends, I was like, “Racheal Cook is coming to this event. They're like, “No way.” I'm like, “Yeah way, this is my big reach.

Racheal Cook: Which is so ridiculous to me because if you follow Shannon and the work she does now, she knows actual celebrities.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: No, but you are too.

Racheal Cook: Like real celebrities, y’all. There are pictures from New York Fashion Week, she's with real celebrities.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: They're not as inspiring as you, I assure you.

Racheal Cook: It's funny because that was after your first baby was born, then your second baby was born and we were working together, and you got this idea, you came to me, you were a few months postpartum and you said, “I have this idea. I want to host a conference.” I was like, “Okay, when are you going to host it?” She's like, “In three months.”

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: I know I'm crazy. It's great though.

Racheal Cook: But it was amazing because when you hosted the first Rebelle Con, you did such an amazing job. You had this incredible vision for what you wanted to create. Again, every time I come into one of your experiences, it's always so different than anything else I'd ever been to. This first event that you hosted for Rebelle Con, the first conference, you had a hundred people there. It was so beautiful. The speakers were so incredible. A lot of us are still connected from that very first one. It became the catalyst for where you have gone since then. I'd love you to share a little bit about how you realized that bringing people together was the way you were going to move forward? Because you didn't realize that for a long time.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: No, I definitely didn't realize that for a long time. I think maybe I realized that 10 minutes ago actually. No, I'm just kidding. You actually talk about this a lot in that so often, the things that come easily to us, we push to the side and think that they're not valuable. I think this is a skill set that I've always had but then discounted because it's very easy for me. Like being the connector, being the go-between this inspiring person and that inspiring person, being able to identify what's interesting in people, pull that out, then connect them with someone else, it's just always been something that I've done, but that's not a skill that you write on a resume. I make people like each other. That's not going to get you a job but I do that. I help facilitate really meaningful connections in just my everyday life and in my work.

It did take me a long time to realize, “Wow, this is actually a really unique value that I bring to my work and to the experiences that I create.” I think I'm really owning, honestly, in the last couple of years, really owning that because you do get bogged down in the logistics of things. I'm really bad at details. I’m really bad at following through. I'm really bad at the actual operation of the event but I'm really good at finding incredible people who know how to do that, then inspiring them to go crazy with their version of how to make those things happen. I'm really good at vision. I'm really good at getting people on board with my vision. I think what happens—and this is probably something that happens to a lot of your CEOs—is I'm really good at this thing, I really struggle with this thing, so I spend all my time trying to fix this thing that I'm struggling with. I ignore developing the skill set that I'm actually already good at and could be even better at. Coming into this, finally owning that like, “Wow, I am actually really good at bringing people together and creating connections,” this is new for me.

Racheal Cook: I think this is something I hear from a lot of people, especially because I share that I'm very introverted and I tend not to be the social butterfly, but I do have a pretty big network. I think people get overwhelmed at the idea of building those relationships because they feel like it means either they've got to go the route of like, “Let's go to a BNI networking meeting and swap business cards,” which is useless to me or they feel like, “Well, how do you keep track of everybody? If you want to connect with somebody, how do you do that?” I feel like people just make this so complicated.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: Yeah. You do make it complicated. I think it's amazing how easy it is to remember things about people. I think we think of it as like tracking data and like, “Oh well, I need to touch base with this person every three months. If I miss this opportunity, then we don't know each other anymore.” Really human connection is much more fluid than that. You'd be amazed you can meet someone one time and create a really meaningful connection with them, then not talk to them for three years and come right back, and be like, “Oh my gosh, remember, when we were at that thing and we talked about this?” You're like, “Of course, I remember. That was really important.”

Racheal Cook: You can find connections one time that you meet somebody that one time and you have an opportunity to connect with them beyond wherever you met them, then suddenly, they're like your go-to person in boxer, going back and forth, and supporting each other. I met so many incredible people. It's funny, a few months ago, I was recording some podcasts and I was like, “Oh, I did this interview with Jacquette Timmons. I met her at a Rebelle Conference. Oh, I did this interview with Nikki Nash. Oh yeah, I met her at a Rebelle Conference.” I feel like this is one of the things that really is so magical because this is where knowing someone like you—and this is my secret, everybody—being an introvert and needing to meet people is challenging. I have to mentally push myself out of my comfort zone, whereas Shannon's like, “Yeah, let's get dressed up. Let's go to the party.” I'm like, “Okay, I have to talk myself into it.” But because I know Shannon, I will walk into that room and Shannon will introduce me to the people she knows I should be connected with. It's like I have my own personal hype woman anytime.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: Happy to be. Literally. I am happy to be. I am that for a lot of people.

Racheal Cook: It's your talent.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: I know a lot of other people who are like this too. It's really cool now to have found my little group of other people who love to do this. We swap contacts all the time too. I think there's something to be said. You're a perfect example of you showing up and bringing value with you wherever you go. It's easy for me to introduce you to people because I know you're not going to bomb and make me look bad. I don't mean that in a way that certain people make me look bad—obviously, that would never happen—but it is this way of you know enough about yourself that you can be vulnerable with people, you can share the knowledge that you have, and share that you don't know everything. That's what I really love about the people that I connect with, that they are all that way as well of like, “I'm not going to introduce someone and they're going to spend the entire time connecting, talking about themselves. They're actually curious about other people too.” That is a huge part of making connections. You got to be able to listen as much as you got to be able to share what's going on with you and what value you bring.

Racheal Cook: I love that so much because I think this is one of those typical networking things that people think they have to have, like their elevator pitch. That once they meet somebody, it needs to be aggressive.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: A transactional situation.

Racheal Cook: Very transactional, that's it. I think honestly, this is a very old school masculine approach to doing business. That's why most women hate the idea of networking because what we have usually seen modeled has been from the old boys club, which is very transactional. Very, “If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.” Tit for tat type of situation, but in the way that you have shown up as a leader in this community, it has never felt like that. It always felt like you could show up inside of your community, inside of any Rebelle event that you're hosting. This is why I've always just shown up and given value because I'm like, “I don't need anybody to pay me because I know I'm also getting value poured into me when I'm there.”

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: I’m glad you said that.

Racheal Cook: I always make these incredible connections. I always learn something new. I always get a different perspective. I could be having a conversation with some people and they might not ever come to work with me but they might tell more people about me who end up in my ecosystem somehow, and working with me.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: My background, before I went into entrepreneurship, is I worked in hospitality. I've worked in a lot of different businesses that really rely on referrals. What I've learned about referrals is people think of it like, “Okay, I need this client to go tell 10 other people that are going to be my clients.” Whereas I found, I need an advocate over a referral. I need someone that's going to walk around all the time and be like, “This is a place that I love to take people.” The restaurant is a perfect example. I need people that are going to be like, “This is an amazing restaurant for people that are looking to bring groups here.” That means it's a different referral in that I'm not always talking to the person that's going to be my customer. I'm talking to the person that can influence the person that's going to be my customer.

Racheal Cook: I love that mindset shift. I think we forget how powerful we are in being advocates for other people and other businesses. This is something that especially in the last couple years has become even more important to me. I started working with Erica Courdae a while back and we went through her values training, her implicit to explicit values master class that she and India Jackson put on. I've talked about it on the podcast but one of the things that really helped me get clarity on it is there were some values I was doing naturally but I hadn't formalized them in the business. As you have more people involved, you have to get these things down, so everybody's on the same page.

We started to do things, like evaluate our supply chains and figure out what are all the companies we work with, whether it's software or somebody who does our printing of our planner or whatever. We're just looking through it and going, “What types of companies do we want to partner with?” I decided when it came to things like that, I mean as your business grows, you start spending a lot more money on all these things. You want to be partnering with companies that you believe in. That was a great way for me to consider how I'm influencing things because then of course, I find ones that I love and I tell everybody about it.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: Exactly. You have no idea how many people I've told about 15Five, which is a software that you use inside The Collective to help people track their goals and mentors, to give feedback to the members of The Collective. I use it every week. I'm obsessed with it. I don't even know how I would do anything without it now. I talk to organizational leaders inside of companies and I'm like, “This is the software that I love.” It's like degrees of separation and degrees of influence. The people who might use it because I told them, have no idea that it came from you but that came from you. Sometimes, I think in marketing these days, we want to be able to track everything with data but so much of marketing is not trackable. Creating advocates absolutely creates impact in your business. You're not always going to know where that's coming from.

Racheal Cook: You're not always going to know where that's coming from. That's so true but I think the last thing I want to talk with you about here is thinking of advocates, how do you make sure that you're continuously in a relationship with people? Because like you said, sometimes, we'll run into people, we'll meet people, then we don't stay in touch or time goes on. I know you aren't tracking on a spreadsheet when the last time you talked to somebody was but how do you manage this? Because your network is so extensive at this point. I feel like there has got to be some way that you remember to touch base with people because you're so good at doing that.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: I don't know. It's funny somebody else just asked me this question. Angie Trueblood asked me this question. Actually, you know Angie.

Racheal Cook: She's another super connector. That's right.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: She totally is. I don't have a system but what I do try to do and I tell other people to just sometimes, I just think of people. You're just like in the shower, you're taking a walk or something, you're like, “Oh, I wonder what's happening with so and so.” I will then go directly to my computer and email them, and be like, “Literally, I was on a walk and I was just thinking about you.” I actually have a call later today with a gal who I don't even remember where we met. We've known each other for years. I haven't talked to her probably since before the pandemic. I just thought of her the other day. I was like, “Oh my God, I haven't talked to her. Send her an email. Hey, haven't heard from you. Hope you're good. If you're up for it, let's get together.” We have a 30 minute call this afternoon.

I think it doesn't have to be a system or some specific way that you're managing it. If you think of people, great. I think we touched on it before. I am a cheerleader for people that I think are awesome. That's just how I'm showing up pretty much all the time. I follow people that I know on social media. When they post stuff, I'm like, “This is awesome.” I just try to always be in that mode of being on the lookout for things that I think are cool, then telling people that I think they're cool. As easy as that. Just giving encouragement and praise to people that you're inspired by on a regular basis will make you feel better. It helps you stay connected with those people.

Racheal Cook: I love that. That's one of my strategies too. Once I get to know people, one of the first things I do is figure out, “Where can I see what they're up to?” Usually, it's going to be some social media. That way, it's not as much about me keeping track of the last time I talk to them but when I see what they're up to, it gives me a reason to send them a message or comment or whatever, then move that relationship along. I definitely am always amazed. I remember when I first really started my business, I had this practice of trying to talk to at least one new person a week. You do that over the course of a decade. It's amazing how many people you end up in touch with, then you end up showing up at an event and you're like, “Wow, I know so many cool people.” It's mind-blowing that you end up knowing all these people from all over the world via the internet, then you have the opportunity to actually connect with them and potentially see them in real life at different live events.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: That's weird. Everyone's taller than I think that they are. But I was going to say what happens though—and I'm sure you found this too—is there's also a snowball effect that happens once you build the foundation of your network, then they start sending people to you. Literally, I have in my inbox right now four introductions of people I respect, think that I should meet. I don't really have to do as much outreach anymore. I still do just because I'm really curious about people but a lot of it is coming to me now. As we're planning Rebelle Con that's happening in November, most of our vendors are people that came to us, whereas it used to be I was pounding the payment, trying to find photographers that would work with our budget because we were really, really lean in the beginning. Now, I have photographers calling me like, “Hey, can I shoot your event?” I have furniture companies, “Hey, I'm launching this new service. Can we participate in your event?”

I just had a girl who just opened an event venue that was like, “Hey, we met at The Broad,” which was a women's co-working space where we used to work. She's like, “I met you at The Broad. I just opened this event space. Will you bring your people to my new space?” It flips eventually but it takes time. It does take putting yourself out there, getting out of your comfort zone, like you said, to build that momentum that eventually, it flips on you.

Racheal Cook: It's so awesome. I see that happen in so many different aspects of business. It happens with referrals coming in. It happens for me, like so many speaking opportunities and interview opportunities have come my way because of those types of introductions because I've nurtured those relationships. They send people when they're like, “Oh, so-and-so is looking for a guest,” or whatever. That's huge.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: To speak to that, I have done five podcast interviews this month. None of which I pitched. All of which invited me on. I'll say here's another reason why I do get invited to a lot of stuff. I say yes to a lot of stuff. If you're just starting and you have one episode on your podcast but I know you, I'll still do it. I think giving back to people that are just starting because so many people contributed to me when I was just starting is also like a way that you continue to nurture those relationships. Trust me, when you do something for someone that's just getting started, they remember that forever. Those are really important to me. I don't care if you've literally not even published an episode yet. I will do an interview for you because I know how hard it is to get those first few guests because I have been there.

Racheal Cook: I love that so much. I love this conversation. I hope anybody who is listening is taking away and really hearing what we're saying. That this needs to be from a place of true curiosity about other people, from a place of connection and wanting to actually get to know the other person versus transaction where it's like, “Here's my elevator pitch. What can you do for me?” Instead, I feel like every time Shannon walks into a room, it's, “Who are you? How can I help you?” Not, “Here I am. Help me do this thing.” Instead, Shannon's like, “Who are you? How can I help you connect with the right people?” That's what makes you so great as the creator, the founder of Rebelle. That's literally what Rebelle is. It's coming into Shannon's world and having her connect you with other awesome women.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: Basically.

Racheal Cook: To have a real conversation.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: I'm just so nosy. That's what it is. I just want to know all your business.

Racheal Cook: But it also starts to feel, what's interesting is when we come into those rooms because the culture is set in this way. Culture is something we don't always talk about in the world of entrepreneurship. We tend to think of it in bigger businesses but it is a culture. Because this community has this culture of being genuinely curious, being genuinely interested in connecting with everybody else, being vulnerable, being open and honest about the topics that we're talking about at whatever event, it makes it so different from so many other things that you might attend. I think this is important for anybody who is building community to think about that. Just to think about what is the culture you're building. Like you said, one of the things that you look for in your speakers or people that are participating in your event is that they will be vulnerable, they will be open, and they will lead with value first. That is very much valuing the other person first versus, “What can I get out of it first?” I think if you just flip your mindset to that, it will change so much when it comes to building your network.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: Oh, yeah. Then people are just attracted to you because it's so rare.

Racheal Cook: It really is.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: If you care about me, that's bizarre.

Racheal Cook: It really is. Shannon, what is coming up for Rebelle Con? By the time this goes out, you will have wrapped another conference, which I'm so excited about.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: Yes, the conference in November. What's next is SWELL. SWELL is my newest favorite program that we're running. Applications will likely be open for the next cohort. Basically, what SWELL is, is my new way of being able to bring women together because I know how important it is to me to have supportive women in my life and to have an ability to go to them for any question that I have. So SWELL was really born out of that. It's our peer mentor group, so similar to a mastermind where we bring five to six women leaders together to talk about literally whatever they want to talk about.

Sometimes, we're having career and business conversations, sometimes, we're like, “How do I deal with my in-laws?” Sometimes, we're managing health issues, sometimes, we're managing caring for other family members. There's just so much that women leaders are carrying around. It's so rare that they have a regular place to go for support on those things with other ambitious women. That is really what I'm so passionate about. We'll likely be ready to accept new applicants into that.

Racheal Cook: It's so awesome. I love that when you look at Rebelle, what's fun for me is it is all ambitious women. It's not necessarily just small business owners or founders or entrepreneurs but also some of the women you have who come to these things are very high up executives in these large businesses, Fortune 500, Fortune 100 companies around here. It feels like if you are a woman leader, you start to feel more and more alone in this journey because as you get higher up in leadership, there's just not that many people who get it, who understand what you're going through. If you are in that boat, if you are looking for that peer-to-peer support, a place where you can really just dump your bucket and say, “Here's what I'm dealing with. Help me,” and know that you're going to be in a safe space for that conversation, come check out Rebelle, check out SWELL. Shannon is awesome. As you can tell, I just love her to death. I'm so glad that you are always in my world and part of The Collective, and part of everything that I've been creating. It feels like you've been creating right alongside me.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: The feeling is so mutual. I know you literally show up for me no matter what I'm inviting you to. I'm on the same boat. If you're like, “Hey, we're going to go build a building.” I'll be like, “Cool, I'll bring my chisel.” Do you use chisels to build things? Maybe I wouldn't be the person you should call for that.

Racheal Cook: No, you don’t. But that is hilarious. We're going to build a building and Shannon is going to have the chisel.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: I'll be there. I'll bring snacks.

Racheal Cook: You'll bring snacks. Yes, bring the charcuterie. That is your specialty. Thank you so much for joining me, Shannon. Everyone, I hope that you will connect with her at readytorebelle.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: Readytorebelle.

Racheal Cook: Readytorebelle, that's it. Readytorebelle on Instagram. I'll link up all the things in the show notes. Thank you, Shannon.

Shannon Siriano Greenwood: Thank you.

Racheal Cook: I hope that you absolutely love this conversation with Shannon. As you can tell, I have so much fun bringing on these incredible women in my life who have become such a huge support system for me. Personally, business-wise, Shannon is one of my go-to people who now I couldn't imagine doing business in a world where I don't have Shannon there to bounce ideas off of or to attend her event or to have her come support my clients. It is just incredible how something as simple as an email inviting me to this thank you party has turned into such a meaningful relationship for me. I hope that this conversation inspired you to think about the importance of gratitude and true meaningful connection in your business. In a world where we tend to get very caught up in the business side of things, the revenue, the growth, the marketing, etc., sometimes, these are the things that are overlooked but these are the things that to me make it all worth it. Knowing that I have people in my corner, women who are also going after big things, who also value their family, who also value making a difference in their local community, I could not imagine doing business without people like Shannon.

I hope this inspired you. Make sure you head over to Instagram. Tag me at racheal.cook, tag Shannon at ssiriano and let us know what you thought of today's conversation. I'll just put it out there. If you want to show a little extra gratitude for the show, head over to iTunes and leave us a review. It would mean so very much. We use those reviews as a way to get the show out in front of more amazing women, just like you, who are looking for more of these real conversations around building a meaningful business and a meaningful life. Thank you so much. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

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