Today we’d like to introduce you to Shon Chase.
Shon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a Chicago native, born and raised on the south side. My parents are West Indian and I’m a 1st generation American; my family migrated to the US from Guyana the year before I was born. My upbringing molded me into the person that I am today – things weren’t always easy and I went through a lot of trial and error. I used my experiences to grow into what I refer to as a Social Influencer; I share my life lessons, both past and present with others on social media and within social environments. I connect people through events that I either create or support, all in the goal of helping others create a life out of their dreams.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Sometimes, my struggle was so real it used to piss me off! I know now that there is struggle in every success. Your struggles mold you into the person that you are and prepare you for where you’re going. For me, I try to use every opportunity to learn from it and become a better person. Yes, I went to school, but my life lessons are more valuable to me than my degrees.
For my sister-friends out there, let me tell you that life will bring you a lot of road blocks and unexpected curves but just keep rolling. Things will make sense when they are supposed to. Delay does not mean denial. Some things that we want right now we either might not be ready for them or something better is coming along. Lastly, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. In the times that we live in, social media rules everything, and you can look at what other people post and subconsciously compare your life to what you see. What you see is what other want you to look at. No one posts their failures and trials because in doing so it would make their “perfect perceived life” flawed. Do what work for you and what is for you will always find you. Along with this, be your own competition. Don’t look at a woman as an enemy, look at her as an ally. Women go through enough in their lives with juggling work, personal lives, the pressure of marriage, having children, etc. We don’t want to add bickering with other women to that pot! It’s important to make friends and connect with other women; it’s often a relief – who else can relate to you better than a good girlfriend?
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into your business story. Tell us more about the business.
My career isn’t traditional by any means. Initially, I went to school for Fashion Merchandising but I didn’t want to work retail forever and I wasn’t in the position to relocate to New York or LA where the industry jobs are. I entered corporate America as a temp in a real estate management office over 10 years ago. When the recession hit and jobs security was a priority for everyone, I decided to return back to school for my MBA and also earned a Master’s in Project Management. I didn’t want to waste my years of experience in real estate, and I chose to make a career out of it. My career actually helped me in the areas of my life that I’m more interested in – helping others, personal branding, philanthropy, events, etc. I don’t see me doing real estate forever, but the foundation that I gained from it is what I’m proudest of. It’s almost like I live a double life – my career life is all structure, deadlines, budgets, management, etc., and then my real life is creative, social and I get to create a lot of different opportunities in using my platform.
Within the Social Influencer role, I connect with other women either my own social events or through other partnerships. I’m the Vice President of the Chicago Chapter of Women by Choice, a networking group of women empowerment. In this role I work with the organization to bring local women together in efforts of sisterhood. I’m also a Board Member within Friends in the City Foundation and a part of the 40 Under 40 Women’s Professional League.
Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
The main piece of advice that I can share is that you have to be willing to connect and you never know who is connected to your next blessing. Don’t be afraid to do things on your own; you don’t need a team of friends or colleagues to feel confident. You will always be enough. if you want to know something, ask questions and don’t feel slighted if you’re inexperienced.
I’ve only had one mentor, a former boss, and he taught me a lot of things that have helped me in my career and life in general. What has worked best for me is instilling value in others. The more value and appreciation that I share within my team will result in a greater work ethic. I treat everyone the same; from my staff to the top managers in our client group. Regardless of my position, we’re all working everyday because we have to, not necessarily because we want to. If you’re doing your best, you’re never at fault for that.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @chasey_
Solo Picture: Kevin Russell, GF Brunch 2018 Photos (2) – Leon DaVinci, 2017 Toy Drive Photo – Tito Garcia