Dr. Shanna B. Van Ness is a Certified Business, Executive, and Life Coach. Also known as the Committed Action Queen specializing in personal growth, relationship, career, business, and executive coaching. Dr. Shanna maintains a private practice in Brooklyn, New York.
Serving as a private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients. In addition to being a professional Coach, she’s also presented nationally to general audiences speaking on the topics of Leadership Success, The Art of Mastering Relationships, Organizational Strategy, and many other areas.
Dr. Shanna is also a collaborative, solution-focused, results-oriented, coach. Through this approach, she provides support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges.
We admire your journey and strategic mindset as it pertains to your career! Where did you first get your start in the business consulting and executive industry?
I was always “that” friend that everyone called on to get advice or guidance. And, as “that” friend, I never invoked my personal opinion. I listened objectively and asked questions. The more I listened the more questions I asked and one day one of my best friends said, “Wow, you should be a coach”. After becoming a certified Business, Executive and Life Coach I found that my clients were looking for more than just coaching, but, leaned in for consultative services. And, in consulting I get a bit more immersed in an organizations strategic operations, planning, and development.
Was there any manifestation happening during childhood that pushed or pulled you into this direction?
Absolutely! As a child, I was always the “talkative one”. Straight “A Student”, but when my parents came to parent-teacher conference the report always ended, she talks…”a lot”. I can remember being a child and always having something to say. I always had an opinion and even as a child I would get the side-eye for sharing my opinion even when I wasn’t asked to. So, I would say, I have always been vocal. I can also say that growing up I asked a lot questions. If something intrigued me or if I wanted to know more, I wasn’t shy about asking questions.
Is there anyone who inspires you to continue along this path of success?
First, I would say my mother, who is no longer here physically. She was a huge part in helping me achieve my educational goals because as a young single mother she was there to watch my girls as I completed my Bachelors’ and Masters’ Degrees. She gave up many evenings for me to pursue my goals. She was also an inspiration because although married, with children, she was able to balance work and being a mother to the best of her ability. I am also grateful to say that I have had many mentors during my journey that have inspired me. Their inspiration sparked me to pursue my career and educational goals. To name a few, Louise Martin who actually gave me my first “real job’ working in higher education. I can tell you from A — Z she was there building me up. Literally, from supporting me with buying professional attire to guiding me in my Masters’ Degree school of choice. She never gave up on me and I am very grateful for that. Karen Booker, another amazing mentor. She supported me through some trying times when I was ready to jump out of higher education and pursue my entrepreneurial goals. I can honestly say that these women had my back and I am forever grateful. “We Lift As We Climb” and these women were there lifting me as they too were climbing and I get to lift others.
I would also say my children inspire me. They give me the strength and perseverance to succeed.
What has this road been like as a Woman of Color in a position of leadership?
As a Woman of Color the journey to leadership had and continues to have its challenges. In my journey I have experienced racism and sexism. Believe it or not, I have experienced conflict with other Woman of Color. All unfortunate, but, all of my experiences strengthened me to focus and pursue my passion even harder.
What it’s like running a Private practice in a major city and state? — Please Share with us some of those pros and cons!
Great question. So, the pros of running a private practice is a major city are all the different types of people I meet and work with. The diversity in my clients supports my growth in the industry. The cons of running a private practice is of course the competition. There is a melting pot of coaches and consultants all over. The key for me was finding my niche, building relations and staying consistent.
What has your personal support system been like? (Family and Friends)
I would say my personal support system is one that is healthy. When I use the term “healthy”, I have grown to surround myself with individuals that give me open, honest feedback. I know that when I am being supported the words they share come from their heart. I lean into my husband when I am brainstorming any new business venture. I have a cadre of girlfriends that phenomenal, strong business women, so I definitely lean in for personal support and to share ideas.
What are some of the most common shortcomings you see clients come to you with and why do you think they are so common?
One of the most common short comings I see in my clients is their belief that whatever they are striving for is “not enough”. For example, I had one client that had a phenomenal idea to start a business. However, there was a repetitive cycle of the “what if it doesn’t work”… “But, what if I don’t have customers”. Although one could say it was a short coming, I would further say it was “mindset” and “language” shift that needed to occur. Instead of being caught in the mindset and language of “what if”, there was a need to shift the mindset and language to “It will work, I can make it happen, and I will have three times the customers in comparison to my competitors….”. Often clients fall into a cycle of not trusting themselves or their journey to success and yes that can be a short coming. However, as a coach and consultant I specialize in asking the critical, thought-provoking questions to shift one’s mindset and change the language.
What have been some of your proudest accomplishments thus far?
Personally, I feel like the proudest moments in my entrepreneurial journey was walking across the stage when I received my PhD and seeing my daughters face and how proud and excited she was for me. I stepped off the stage and she said “Wow, mom you did it”.
I cannot say that I have one proud moment professionally. My proudest moments are when my clients walk away feeling they have achieved the results they are seeking and gaining clarity on where they seek to go next. I am clear that I am here to be a light that lights others, and when my clients’ walk away feeling empowered that makes me proud.
What can you say to the WOC looking to become her own boss and take charge of her own success journey?
I would tell them to stay resilient, be open to learn from each part of the process you are going through, stay focused, remained disciplined and persevere. It is key to “Say Yes to You” and live life in committed action to achieve extraordinary results.
What’s next for you and how can readers keep in touch with you and your works?
So, what’s next is the launch of my podcast called, “Dr. Shanna V.’s Strategic Solutions”. I am looking to launch it in the first quarter of 2022. The purpose of the podcast is to provide listeners with key business solutions to support them in launching a business. As an entrepreneur myself, I have learned a lot from a vast amount of leaders in my industry. I want to provide a solution for upcoming entrepreneurs to lean in and listen to key points that will help them launch or grow their business.
I am also looking forward to launching my online course “Customer Service with Care”. This is a course designed to support young entrepreneurs on how they get to provide exceptional customer service in the service industry. We get so consumed with profit-making and do not take the time to actually read the reviews, and if we do we get offended with the reviews we receive. Well, this course is for those who want to up their game on how to not only attract and keep clients but gain all of the clients’ friends.
Another online course that is in the works is called “Focus +Discipline X Perseverance = Success”. This course is designed to support individuals to clarify their vision in life, live life in committed action and achieve extraordinary results.
Last, I am looking forward to working my clients, gaining more clients and building my legacy.
People can connect with me on IG: @drsbvanness
Twitter: @SB_VanNess Website: www.drshannav.com