In less than two weeks, I will be speaking on an incredible panel at the She’s Connected Conference along with;

Tom Gierasimczuk, Editor-in-Chief, Marketing Magazine

Casie Stewart, Lifestyle Blogger & Co-founder, GenYTO
Christine Cushing, TV Personality, Chef & Entrepreneur
Tracy Moore, Host, CityLine, City TV
Lianne Phillipson-Webb, Founder, Sprout Right

Yes, them… and me.

That alone could be a little nerve-wracking. Then top it off with the title of our panel… “Social Media Rock Stars: Veteran, New and Rising Stars.”

Truth be told, that made me feel even more nervous. Rock Stars… Rising Stars… I don’t think they’re referring to musicians or to the small balls of fire that make constellations.

Rather than “Rising Star” {because I’m more likely to be at that end of the stick} I’d like to think of it as my Chrysalis moment in Social Media.

This journey has been years in the making…

I pushed “Publish Post” for the first time on January 31, 2006. It was short, sweet and to the point. I’d watched others pour out their lives long enough, I wanted in! I wanted to share with my family, who live nearly 5,000 klms away, all about my kids growth spurts, the potty training troubles & triumphs, the times I was barfed on, and their days in school. I wanted to be connected. I wanted the distance to feel less far.

Facebook closed that gap even more for me in 2007.  My excitement for all things online continued to grow and grow and grow as more as more connections were made. Old friends were found, new friends were made.

The Social Butterfly had been released!

I am very a very social person {once I get going}. I’m around people all the time and to be able to reconnect with old friends and gett to know new people on a whole new level, was so thrilling. From behind the screen… I loved every second of it.

Not everyone was so enthusiastic. Some of my friends teased me and some actually called my hubby up with their concerns, “Your wife is always online, you should do something about that!”

In 2009 a marketing company noticed my online “social butterfly” skills… and suddenly I was working with brands like Microsoft, Samsung, Domino’s and Canadian Tire. Needless to say, since then, I have had a few of those “How do you like me now?!” moments with a few people in my life.

Next thing you know, Tweet Tweet Twiddle Twiddle there was that cute little blue bird popping up everywhere. I thought Twitter was stupid at first. I had my account for about six months before I really used it. I decided to throw myself into it during the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. At that point, I had 84 followers.

Even by the time She’s Connected 2010 rolled around, I was still small potatoes compared to other bloggers I was reading and hearing about. I was floored I even received an invitation to attend last year’s conference! In my mind, I was a nobody in the blogging world. {To be honest, if it wasn’t for Tara from Tara’s View of the World, I wouldn’t have known this side of the blog world existed!}

me & diana {Toronto Teacher Mom}

I almost didn’t go!

I almost chickened out. I almost allowed my fear of failing, of the unknown, to cause me to miss out on the biggest confidence booster that I’d ever experienced! I walked into that room feeling insignificant and alone and left that day feeling like I was on cloud 9. I felt like I could take on the world.

After She’s Connected I made a more concerted effort to put my skills to good use. I needed to improve the quality of the blog posts I was publishing. I knew I was missing out by not interacting with the blogging community and that needed to change. I needed to make my presence known on Twitter.

The work paid off wouldn’t you say?!

Each time I think I’m not “big” enough or qualified to do any of this, I remember a life-lesson my parents taught me,

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

So with that, I encourage all of you who think you can’t do it — to just start with something. Do not despise the day of small beginnings. Step out and believe in yourself. You have nothing to lose.


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

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  1. so so so so soooooooooooooo proud of my big sis!!!!

  2. oh you will always be a rock star in my books 😉

    Can't wait to see you!!!!!! *mwah*

  3. Cant wait to hear you on the panel…..rock star! 🙂

  4. Congrats on being asked to speak! You will be awesome!

  5. Rock on sistah friend! I'm really looking forward to hearing you speak!!

  6. You deserve it Shannon, have fun with it!!

  7. I SO wish I could ge there to hear you speak! You're going to be awesome, and very deserving to be on the panel! It's going to be excellent, and you have worked hard to get where you are, both on screen and off. It's kinda fun to be able to say, "I knew Shash when…." LOL!

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