Mary Shores spends her career as an internationally known author, speaker, and entrepreneur, generating positive and pragmatic solutions for people who are freaking out.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [00:54] – Mary was the youngest person to start a business in her industry
- [01:35] – Her area of expertise is in teaching personal and professional development
- [02:09] – Share something we don’t know about your area of expertise that as Entrepreneurs, we probably should: 1 in every 3 credit reports is erroneous
- [03:03] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Early in her career, Mary underwent a 36-hour labor to give birth to her son. She was in the hospital on a Tuesday and went home after 2 days. That Friday of the same week, her only employee walked out and left — leaving Mary no choice but to bring her newborn to the office and get back to work
- [04:23] – Pick yourself up every time
- [05:30] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: In 2005, Mary started taking a different path in life. She made her personal growth more important than anything else. She was wondering if she would have to leave her career as a debt collector in order to explore the path she was on. At a retreat, a friend told her that she was on the path of enlightenment based on the way she made people feel about paying their debts
- [08:26] – “Figure out what your gifts are and apply that to your job”
- [09:37] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “My biggest passion project right now is I love to take people and teach them what I did… I’m working on an aspiring writers series”
- [10:38] – Invest in yourself and create a new belief
- [14:02] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “I had powerful men blocking my licensing procedures”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “You react to things at a level 10 that are a level 2. I want you to watch how people react around you when that happens”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I always move things forward”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – YouTube
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Choose Yourself – “it’s one of my absolute favorite books”
- [17:31] – “Awareness of your choices is the key to freedom”
- 17:38 – Connect with Mary on her website and check out her book, Conscious Communications
Mary: Like John, you just have no idea how much.
John: Yes. Mary spends her careers as an internationally known author, speaker, and entrepreneur generating positive and pragmatic solutions for people who are freaking out. Mary, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Mary: Sure. Well, from the very beginning, I was the youngest person to start a business in my industry and I’m just – people are most fascinated with the part of my story that starts from, basically, high school because I barely graduated high school. I was out on my own at 16, but yet, I was able to turn my life around and start a company at 24 that has grown and grown and grown. And from there, become a best-selling author, public speaker and really just a person that believes I can make every single one of my dreams come true.
John: So, then, today, fast-forwarding to where we are now, what are you an expert in, like what have you become an expert in today?
Mary: You know, I like to – my biggest joy is teaching personal and professional development. And so, I got my start in the collection business, believe it or not, and I had been a debt collector for many, many years and I kind of morphed that into creating a communication strategy that eventually became a personal development strategy that is now even growing from that point.
John: So, what’s something that we don’t know about your area of expertise that you think would be pretty helpful for entrepreneurs to have a good grasp on?
Mary: I think one thing that people really don’t know about that they should get to know about is how credit reporting really works.
John: Give us a hint.
Mary: Well, so, for example, the length of time that things stay on your credit, what are the criterias for things being on your credit, how often things can get mixed up on your credit because somebody has the similar name as you, or a father and son situation. And just like I think the statistic is that as high as one out of every three entries on a credit report is erroneous.
John: Oof. Fire Nation, you don’t want erroneous-ness in your life. Now, Mary, you have a lot of ups and a lot of downs in your journey in life and as an entrepreneur, but we wanna focus on the lowest of the low right now. Your worst entrepreneurial moment to date. Take us into that moment. Tell us that story.
Mary: Early, early in my career, when I was 27, I was in the hospital after a 36-hour labor with my son, who is actually now 17 and six-foot-five. So, he was a big boy and it was a long, hard, erroneous labor, but – so I was in the hospital with him. I came home after two days. I gave birth to him on a Tuesday and, that Friday, I only had one employee at that time and she walked out. So, by the following Monday, baby in town, not even a week old, I actually took him to my office and went back to work.
John: So, looking at it now, you, obviously, learned something from that situation, but I don’t really know what it is. Fire nation doesn’t know what it is. So, you’re gonna have to break it open and tell us what it is.
Mary: Well, I think that when you’re truly passionate about building your empire, you – and it’s really what you wanna do. There’s just something inside of me that’s always building and, I guess, I have this spirit that never lets anything get in my way. And so, I could have taken the standpoint of, “Oh, this is over. What am I gonna do? I can’t do this.” But instead, it was more like, “How can I do this?” And really, not looking at it as the end of the world, but really just picking myself up, going to work, and loving every moment of it.
John: Well, let me challenge you here because there’s always something inherently wrong when somebody leaves unexpectedly, when an employee quits, walks out. What, looking back, did you do incorrectly or could you have done better as a boss so that you wouldn’t have had to face that situation?
Mary: Well, at the time, I was a really small company. So, it was just myself and one other person. And I probably wasn’t hiring the best of the best. So, although that the gal and I worked very well together, her own personal life was probably not as clean as somebody that would be more stable. And I was 27 and certainly didn’t have foresight to anticipate that.
John: Let’s shift into one of the greatest ideas that you’ve had to date. I mean, you’ve had a lot of “aha” moments over the years. What’s one of those “aha” moments you think would make a really cool story for our listeners and don’t just take us there, Mary, but take us there, explain that “aha” moment, and then, walk us through how you actually turned it into a success.
Mary: Yeah. So, several years ago – and I’m talking like, probably, all the way back to 2005. I really started taking a different path in life and it was this moment where my personal growth became more important than anything else in my life, including success. You know and I had this issue because I was really striving towards self-actualization or enlightenment, or some people might even call it a more spiritual path – but I had this career as a debt collector. And so, I was really going through this existential crisis because let’s face it, throughout history, the tax collector and the debt collectors are not the popular people, right?
And so, I thought, am I going to have to completely give up my career to explore this path that I was on. But what happened – and a great “aha” moment that I think can be an “aha” moment for anyone is that because I was able to stay in my integrity, stay in my authenticity, what I had this moment while I was on a retreat at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. And I was having this conversation with another woman about it and she said, “Mary, don’t you see?”
Because she knew a little bit about what I do – is that because of the way that I collect debt – so I’ll take you into that -- is that I have this mission that I want every person to feel good about paying their debt because having a debt is a burden and it’s a psychological burden that will get in the way of people and living the life of their dreams. And so, I really just have this mission to make people feel good about paying their debt.
And she said, “Don’t you see? Don’t you see that you are on the path of enlightenment because of what you’re doing?” And I had this “aha” moment that was, when you bring your gifts – you know, everyone today is searching for their purpose as if purpose is something that’s behind the curtain, that we have to go on a journey to discover what our purpose is when, truly, our purpose is what we were born to do. What are our natural born skills, talents, gifts, and abilities?
And mine were writing, speaking, teaching. And when I did that – when I figured that out and I applied it not only to my company, but to my entire industry, I really learned how I can truly serve myself, serve my staff, and serve the world.
John: Fire Nation, I hope that you take away a lot from what Mary’s saying, but, Mary, in your own words, what’s the biggest lesson? What’s the biggest take-away that you want Fire Nation to get from that “aha” moment?
Mary: What you’re searching for. You know, if you’ve heard some people talking about the terminology like zone-of-genius, the way that you get into your best blissful work that you’re doing, much like yourself, is to figure out what your gifts are and apply that to your job, to your business, to whatever it is you’re doing. And if you feel lost about what that is, you can simply take a personality test. You know, even on that recent episode you did with Gretchen Rubin, she was talking about those four types, the four personality types. Even just knowing that – and I remember, you were the rebel.
Mary: But even just knowing that, do you see how if you take that and you look at it as a gift and you apply it to your life, you can literally change anything. I mean, I went from a person that was out on my own at 16 to building a seven-figure business to publishing a best-selling book with my dream publisher and so many other milestones along the way, too many to even mention.
John: Well, we are gonna mention a couple of them because right now I wanna talk about what’s your most fired up about. Today in pre-interview, we got into something that happened, actually, today as we’re talking that’s pretty cool. And you have something else that you wanna share. So, you get to share a couple things that you’re pretty excited about. So, take it away.
Mary: I love it. Thank you for allowing me to do that. So, my biggest passion project right now is I love to take people and teach them what I did. And what I mean by that is if somebody – I’ve got – I’m working on this aspiring authors series and it’s, like, for all of those people who want to become writers, who want to pursue their dreams. I don’t want them to go through the 10 years of turmoil that I went through because my story is, for 10 years, John, I wanted to write a book, that my mantra, every day, was I wanna write a book, but I’m not a writer.
Well, the thing is that words are like a mirror to your sub-conscious programming. So, when you hear me say the words “I wanna write a book,” it’s like you can see it written on my soul that I was meant to write this book. But there’s a big problem when the words that come out of my mouth next are. “But I’m not a writer,” because that’s also revealing something about my sub-conscious programming that means I don’t really believe I can do it.
And I learned that I needed to invest in myself. I needed to create a new belief and, also, now that I’ve accomplished it, I’m super good at documenting everything I ever do and I can easily teach other people how to do that.
John: And what else are you excited about?
Mary: Okay. So, my big news from today was – first of all, when you wake up in the morning and you know that you’re gonna go on EO Fire and you’re texting all your friends – and I have a friend named Danny who is just a huge fan of yours. And so, he’s been texting me and it’s just been a really great day.
John: He’s like, “Are you hydrating? Are you not talking to anybody? Drink some tea with coffee. Like, you need some tea with honey.” Oh, and probably some coffee too because you need caffeine to keep up with me.
Mary: Yeah. I felt like I had a little bit too much Redbull this morning. I’ll be honest. But I don’t drink Redbull. It was totally coffee and espresso beans. But so, how can it get much better than that? And then, I get an email from Hay House that they’ve actually invited me in to do an in-house workshop for them and their entire worldwide staff.
John: That is just exciting news. I mean, Fire Nation, when you keep putting yourself out there in the world, when you keep taking action, when you just keep being vulnerable and just make the asks, things are gonna happen. And not all at once and not every time, but things are going to happen. And if you think that Mary’s done dropping value-bombs, you haven’t listened to this show very often because we got the lightning round coming up when we get back from thanking our sponsors.
Mary, are you ready to rock the lightning round?
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Mary: Well, in my young years, when I was 23 and 24 and getting ready to launch my business it was, actually – it’s actually a very male-dominated industry and I had some powerful men blocking my licensing procedures. So, that held me back a little bit, but I didn’t let it hold me back for long.
John: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Mary: I think the best advice I ever got was from my brother when I was, again, super young. He was working with me for a little while and he said, “You know, Mary,” he goes, “You react at things at a level 10 that are a level two.” And he said, “I want you to watch how everyone reacts around you when that happens.” And what I learned is we’ve got that – as entrepreneurs, it’s always this rollercoaster, but we’ve really gotta learn how to keep out calm. And so, that was really good advice because I learned to always react at a level two when it’s a level two.
John: Is he an older of a younger brother?
Mary: He’s actually younger and, at that time, he’d just graduated law school and came to work for me for about a year. It was great having him.
John: Well, kudos to you for listening to your younger sibling. I – you know, I’m gonna give my sister a chance now when she gives me some advice. I’ll actually listen to her.
Mary: I love it.
John: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Mary: I think that one of my best personal habits is that, no matter what, no matter how much I get into the thick of it or there are some dark times, I always move things forward. So, sometimes, it might even feel like I’m playing three games of chess at the same time, but, you know, you’re always moving your pieces forward.
John: Recommend one internet resource.
Mary: I’m gonna say YouTube and I know that’s so plain, but I have to tell you that, from a person who barely graduated high school who went to college, but didn’t graduate, YouTube is like my personal university and I’m on there every single day. We live in a time that we have infinite amount of information at our fingertips and it is an incredible time to be alive.
John: Recommend one book and share why.
Mary: My book I’m gonna recommend is James Altucher Choose Yourself. It is one of my absolute favorite books and there’s just – you know, James’ writing – his writing is so raw. It’s so real. He just vomits on the page, but yet, there’s this wisdom. He gets right to the point and he is not afraid to tell you how it is through every one of his mess-ups, his triumphs, and I just love reading him.
John: Well, you’re not getting the pure vomit unless you actually listen to his audiobook because he does his own audiobooks and he adds in these zingers that just come out of nowhere that are not in the book at all. I mean, one time, his then-wife Claudia walked in and was like, “James, you have to go to the bathroom?” And he’s like, “Honey, if I have to go to the bathroom, I’m gonna stop recording and I’m gonna go to the bathroom. Jeesh.” And I was just like, “I love that he kept that in.
Mary: That’s hilarious.
John: And Fire Nation, if you’re not an Audible member, you can actually go and get Choose Yourself for free by visiting EOFireBook.com. Mary, let’s end today on fire with a parting piece of guidance, you sharing the best way that we can connect with you and, then, we’ll say goodbye.
Mary: There’s a quote from my book that I just absolutely love and it is that awareness of your choices is the keys to freedom. And the best way to connect with me, there’s my website MaryShores.com. That’s S-H-O-R-E-S. My book Conscious Communications can be found on Amazon or, really, anywhere books are sold. And, of course, you can find me on every social media platform if you search the name Mary plus Shores.
John: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with Mary and JLD today, so keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Type “Mary” in the search bar. Her show-notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about. Best show-notes in the biz.
Time stamps, links galore. Of course, head directly over to MaryShores.com and make sure you pick up the book Conscious Communication at a book store near you or online. Mary, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip-side.
Mary: Thanks so much, JLD.
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