Social Impact Authors: How & Why Author Dr Shellie Hipsky of Inspiring Lives International is Helping to Change our World
Collaborate instead of competing. When people come together for the common good and move upwards cohesively, they can make it to the top together!
As part of my series about “authors who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Shellie Hipsky.
Dr. Shellie Hipsky is the CEO of Inspiring Lives International, the Executive Director of the Global Sisterhood (which helps women and children around the world), and the editor-in-chief of Inspiring Lives Magazine. The former tenured university doctoral professor, host of Empowering Women Radio and Inspiring Lives with Dr. Shellie television show: has presented keynotes internationally from Passion to Profits in Hollywood to The University of Oxford in England. She has been featured on over 55 magazine covers, has appeared on all the major television networks. Dr. Shellie is an award-winning international bestselling author, whose 13th and 14th books: Ball Gowns to Yoga Pants: Entrepreneurial Secrets to Creating Your Dream Business and Brand and Mom Magic Mompreneur both support women on their entrepreneurial journeys. Dr. Shellie Hipsky is the Global Empowerment Coach who is inspiring women entrepreneurs and leaders internationally.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I was raised in Akron, Ohio by my wonderful parents: Dr. Jack Jacobs who was a hard-working kidney specialist and teacher of future doctors and my mother Libby who nurtured my creative side as she ran the local theater, wrote fiction, and did humanitarian work. I recall my love for giving back to others as coming from experiences in my youth of volunteering with my mother to support the people who had HIV/AIDS in a group home. When I was 12 years old, I went on a field trip to a school and workshop for children with special needs. I was compelled to volunteer there five days a week during the summers because I was so drawn towards helping and nurturing others. At a young age, serving the needs of others, by providing nurturing support was important to me.
When I grew up, these and other impactful experiences led me to become a special education teacher and then an assistant principal of children with emotional and behavioral needs. The final stop on the formal education career for me was a tenured university professor position in a School of Education with my undergraduate and master’s degree students being future teachers and my doctoral students earning PhDs in Instructional Management in Leadership. I loved to educate before I was even a teenager and I saw from my parent’s example how to keep family first while giving back to others and working in one’s niche area.
When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take-action or changed your life? Can you share a story about that?
When I began my journey towards the best version of myself, Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where you Want to be in Life, definitely had a positive effect on me. At an even younger age, Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul series he wrote with Mark Victor Hansen also opened my heart to empowering words. The Success Principles showed me a blueprint to reach my goals. Chicken Soup for the Soul demonstrated for me a platform for inspirational stories to make a mark on the hearts of readers. It was wonderful when I was able to meet Jack Canfield when I had my television show Inspiring Lives with Dr. Shellie and then when I shared a stage in Vegas with Mark Victor Hansen and his lovely wife Crystal Dwyer Hansen … because I was able to get to know and learn from the amazing people behind their impactful New York Times bestselling books.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The biggest mistake was that I struggled with imposter syndrome at first, because I saw myself as an “educator” and not as an “entrepreneur”. After jumping through all the hoops of sponsorship (i.e. keynoting their leadership conferences pro-bono), for my television show which was to be paid for by a local bank they rescinded their offer. I had to garner the capital from their competition bank. I went in to the other bank and focused not on needing the money but my passion behind telling the stories of people who had conquered obstacles and went on to help others with their new-found knowledge. I was committed because I had empowered people flying in from around the world to film in the multi-million dollar, NBC Studios in Pittsburgh. When I cut the check to the studio as the Executive Producer from my newly formed LLC and therefore brought to television Inspiring Lives with Dr. Shellie I finally saw myself as an entrepreneur.
Can you describe how you aim to make a significant social impact with your book?
Mom Magic Mompreneur shows the magic of motherhood and how it is changing the world. Mothers are making a profound difference in the world of work, as they lead both their businesses and their own homes. This book is to help those mothers who feel lost, exhausted, overwhelmed, and unacknowledged.
Maybe the mother reading our book looked in the mirror and she can’t see her own Mom Magic anymore. She can’t see herself as an entrepreneur. This is where the inspiring stories of the 17 mompreneurs in our book really help women. The readers aren’t alone anymore. It’s as if there is a sisterhood of support within the pages of this powerful book.
Can you share with us the most interesting story that you shared in your book?
In my 14th book, Mom Magic Mompreneur, I went into great detail about all my “mom guilt” that I dealt with over the years raising my two children who are now teenagers. The most moving story has to be the first day that I had to hand-off my 3- and 5-year-old kids to their father for custody. My heart was broken and I was very worried about the effect it would have on them. Writing down some of my mom guilt moments, helped me to see that those same scenarios I thought could break them, served to help them become resilient, stronger, and more independent.
What was the “aha moment” or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?
I think that I decided to contribute to this book with my own stories with other mompreneurs internationally because I have seen so many women, families, and communities transformed by the power of being able to earn a living through leading a business while running a home. I knew I needed to share the mom guilt scenario when it became a recurring theme within my signature course the EmpowerU Master Class. The women I was coaching in inspiration, empowerment, balance, and abundance kept circling back to their worries and guilt about focusing on their businesses.
Without sharing specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
I always have one International Scholarship Award Winner for my EmpowerU Master Class. One of my alumni really wowed me because she lives in rural Zimbabwe and has very few material possessions and yet her vision as an entrepreneur and humanitarian was profound. One of the exercises in the class was a dream board. Rachel had goals for things that some of the other students couldn’t relate to such as dreaming of having public toilets, stopping the domestic violence in her community, having running clean water, and having access to schooling for others who wanted to learn a trade.
When Mom Magic Mompreneur came out, Rachel came to me and inquired about the book. She didn’t want it as a hand out. She assured me that she had sold a bag of beans, and could pay for the book. I paid for the shipping and included my 13th book which was Ball Gowns to Yoga Pants: Entrepreneurial Secrets for Creating Your Dream Business and Brand. I love that she was determined to pay for the book herself, that she has been able to implement some of the teachings from my class to support her mission, and that she now has even more resources for future success.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
- Support non-profit organizations such as the Global Sisterhood, which helps support Charity Partnerships such as our College for Entrepreneurship in Tanzania to teach women how to start, run, and make their businesses sustainable.
- Support the formation of sisterhoods, tribes, and organizations of like-minded women who can support each other through motherhood while leading businesses.
- Support women-owned small businesses so that we can positively affect our economy and their own homes.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
I am a servant leader at my core. I strive to give back serve the needs of the women of the world while I “lead” instead of “manage” my business, non-profit, and my home. I see my leadership when I witness time-and-time again that my former students, coaching clients, and readers are now leading others.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
Five Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Became a Mompreneur:
- It is an emotional rollercoaster. I have been through good times and difficult times in my entrepreneurial journey.
- You need to lean into your authenticity. You want to show your true self and not be salesy so that you can attract your perfect clients.
- You will experience “mom guilt”. Mothers worry about their children and I learned through writing Mom Magic Mompreneur that the very things that I worried about were the same things that made my children resilient.
- Delegate, because you can’t do it all on your own. You need a team to truly scale and grow as a company.
- Collaborate instead of competing. When people come together for the common good and move upwards cohesively, they can make it to the top together!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“My life’s goal is to be of service to a greater good.” — Oprah Winfrey
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to dine with Bethenny Frankel. She is an empowered business woman and mompreneur who also writes, utilizes media brilliantly, and is a philanthropic humanitarian. I feel that Bethenny and I would get along famously, supporting each other’s causes while helping other mompreneurs.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!
Social Impact Authors: How & Why Author Dr Shellie Hipsky of Inspiring Lives International is… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.