Ep 171 Shelly Elsliger is the President of Linked-Express
Speaker 1:0:01That's something that I've struggled with. So I want to meet other women so that we don't beat up on ourselves so much. And because when we do that, I think it affects everything that we do. And I really in the position that I have, um, I really feel that I'm changing lives every day, but if I'm not the best version of me than I don't think I can be the best or you know, the, the clients and the students and the, and all the people that I work with a. So that's really what I focus on. And, um, and I think by focusing on that, it just makes me a better person, a better coach, a better wife, a better overall individual.
Speaker 2:0:46Welcome to Jean Jackson careers, a podcast that takes your career to the next level. Here's your host, Jean Jackson, author of Amazon Careers, best seller, navigating career crossroads.
Speaker 3:1:08Welcome back to your career podcast. No, I'm really excited today. Well, actually I'm always excited about my guests on your career podcast, but honestly, today I have a Linkedin superwoman and yes, she even has a Cape and she's from Toronto, Ontario. In Canada. Shelly else Liga isn't engaging linkedin trainer and president of linked express. She coaches executives, diverse need as aspiring women leaders, business students and job seekers as well as corporate teams, inspiring them to maximize their professional branding potential and this social influence on linkedin. Shelly is recognized as a woman you need to know by the National Women Speakers Association and a woman of achievement. She's made it to the list of globally recognized linkedin training experts. Her diverse experience allows her to bring that unique breadth of knowledge as well as an aspect of fun and passion to all her workshops and speaking engagements. Linkedin in high heels rise up and lead online is one of her favorite keynote speeches and it's her signature workshop aimed at helping women business leaders successfully rise up, own their space and find their voice online. Her motto is instead of waiting two, we notice first be a leader in your space. Leanin listening and Lincoln,
Speaker 1:2:31welcome to the show. Thank you for having me, Jane.
Speaker 3:2:34Oh, you know what, Shelly, since we met on linkedin about two years ago, I've wanted to get to know you better and I'm just through all of your posts and we support each other so much that it makes sense for us to have a podcast interview. And I can't wait to hear all about your career journey as well. So as you know this, this podcast is all about career transition and supporting people through a transition. So how bout to kick us off, let's find out about your early days and what you wanted to be when you were a little girl.
Speaker 1:3:05So what I wanted to be when I was a little girl was a veterinarian in my early days, but I'm a big animal lover, so that has continued but more as a hobby. And then I guess I went into teaching, but the not some, I thought it would be a good teacher, but more the reason I guess I got into teaching was more because all of my family was at teaching. My uncle was my principal, you know, I had at least three aunts who were teachers and professors and that's all I heard all the time. So I said, well, maybe then I'd just have to go into teaching. And I got into teaching, but, um, I guess in 2010, I became a coach and that changed my life. I think everybody should, should take coaching. But I became a coach and at that point I realized that there was something missing even though it was a teacher and I was creating a lot of change.
Speaker 1:4:04I really wanted to become a career coach and I, and I was already in career coaching at that by that time. But I wanted to take it to a new level. I want it to do something where I could empower people. And, uh, I found my voice online. So it's kind of funny how I, my voice, I actually found my voice again online and then that transferred onto offline and I was able to use linkedin as a way to empower, uh, many different kinds of people in professional. That's a little bit of my background. That's where I am today.
Speaker 3:4:42Yeah. And do you are so visible on Linkedin? It's amazing. I mean both of us are linked and trainers and we both love linkedin so much. But you've had such an interesting career journey because obviously I'd been researching you, stalking you, Shelly, and in the early days you at now with the teaching that that was very a big part of your life. Yes. And you were an English professor, um, and then you became a career advisor, author and blogger. Now I've found this really interesting, a blogger for the Montreal dog blog. And you mentioned you're an animal lover and I'm, I'm a crazy cat lady and animal lover as well. I've had cats and dogs and hamsters and fish and birds and all sorts of things in my life. And currently I've got two cats in fact, one new one today I've just told you about earlier, but, but tell me a little bit about this switch over from being an English professor into Korea, advising, then becoming an author and then blogging for the Montreal dog blog. And I really want to hear about that for a little while because that sounds really, really fun, especially if all the animals I was out there as well.
Speaker 1:5:46Um, the Montreal dog blog, it was an amazing opportunity for me. Uh, Nat Lozo, this was her brain child that she's actually, um, uh, she works on the radio and big animal lover too. And we had had the chance to meet several different dog events or pet events. I think we both like all animals. And, uh, she was telling me about this initiative that she was going to come up with and I said, listen, if it's, you know, if it happens, you have to, um, make sure you don't forget about me. And she said, I wouldn't forget about you. And, um, then all of a sudden it, it happened. A sponsors came along and she was lucky enough to, um, create this Montreal dog blog. And it was really a book bringing community together and highlighting what all of the good things that were happening, um, in the city and where people could go for resources.
Speaker 1:6:41And there's a, there was a big push for um, you know, adopt, not sharp. And I, um, you know, with two rescues and, well I've had four at one point. Um, I know what it's like to have people who are supportive, who can support me and hope to have those resources around because it's easy enough to find a breeder, but it's not sometimes not easy enough to find, um, a place where you can actually find a dog that's still a bit but a rescue at the same time. So we started the blog and I was doing everything from, you know, green, how to, how to have a green and sustainable lifestyle with a dog too, anywhere from, you know, having my, uh, showcasing my dog and I go out and picking up garbage along the way. And uh, I really got into, um, to that and I usually blog the boat once a month or even more. I guess whenever I was inspired I would sit down and write and realized that that was my way to give back to the, there's a dog community and to the, the pet parents that for baby parents who I think are awesome.
Speaker 3:7:49Yes, I know on one of the fur baby parents and I have, I have two rescue cats now and I 100% agree rescue an animal rather than the breed an animal because there are so many out there who need so much love. And so I think that shows what a big heart you have as well Shirley. And thanks for telling, telling me about that because when I saw that on your profile, I must find out about the Montreal dog blog and I love it that you're actually into quite a lot of different things and, and uh, wellness, nutrition, wellbeing is also a very important part of your life, isn't it?
Speaker 1:8:23Yes. I've, uh, done quite a few workshops with other women, um, you know, round body shaming and around, you know, appreciating what you have and um, really wellness overall and uh, you know, being a community of women with different body shapes and different, um, possibilities for, you know, wellness around you, whether it's going to the gym or whether it's going for a walk. So I tried to actually build communities so people would not, so the women in my would not feel so alone. And so I got everybody together and whether, you know, we were doing all kinds of things from walking to talking to just about sharing resources on what was going around in the city and, and helping each other realize that we don't have to go to a gym if we don't want to go to a gym. There's other things that we can do. So we tried to kind of just come up with the idea that we don't have to be pushed into things and decide on things that no, that don't necessarily fit our lifestyle, but to find things that we love to do.
Speaker 3:9:30I wish you weren't so far away in Toronto because we could, we could go power walking and get a group together here in Sydney as well. Let me, were half a world away. Uh, but, but it really is so important. It sounds like that that is a community group where you're really supporting women to appreciate themselves for who they are. Is that right?
Speaker 1:9:51Yes, and I mean, it's something that I've struggled with, so I want to meet other women so that we don't beat up on ourselves so much. And because when we do that, I think it affects everything that we do. And I really, in the physician that I have, um, I really feel that I'm changing lives every day, but if I'm not the best version of me than I don't think I can be the best for, you know, the, the clients and the students and the, and all the people that I work with. Uh, so that's really what I focus on. And, um, and I think by focusing on that, it just makes me a better person, a better coach, a better wife, a better overall individual.
Speaker 3:10:35You knew what, what comes through when, when I look at your career journey as well, what, what comes through really strongly as you, you were very dedicated to a passion or recall was and helping others is so important for you as well. And not not just business people, but no women in the community, animals in the community. And I read, I really love that because I also have a very helping, um, desire just to make that little bit of a difference to somebody's life, uh, so that you can really help them to excel. And this is what you do. Now, you are known Shelly as the Linkedin superwoman and I happened to know that you also have a cape. I've seen, I've seen you posting pictures of the Cape and also there was an interesting story about a red shoe. So tell me about that. Linkedin, superwoman and the red shoe and how all of this came about.
Speaker 1:11:31I don't have my cape. I can say, let the red shoe right here.
Speaker 3:11:39Yes. This is a patent leather red shoe that has great significance. Yes.
Speaker 1:11:43Um, the red shoe I received when I was 13, so, um, I was, I guess it was my first National Public speaking contest and, uh, it was actually the first time I got a pair of high heels, so it was pretty excited because my mother and said, what would you like to have? You know, we had one, a new outfit, do you want to, you know, you're going to be going on stage. And, and it was the first time it was going to be held at my high school. So I said, yes, I need a red pair of shoes. And I'm so that my mother got me these amazing red shoes and I stepped onto the stage and I was just about to, um, you know, go into my speech, which was an empathy actually, and it was called, I'm stepping in somebody else's shoes and I was like 13.
Speaker 1:12:35I had just turned 13 and I was just about to start my, you know, speech on empathy and, um, my bully, uh, you know, yelled out something. Well yellow, you know, um, something around, you know, my weight. And I remember that I just, um, I just stood still, I couldn't do anything. I just looked out into the audience and realize that, uh, I just forgot everything that I was going to say and actually didn't want to say anything. So I ran off the stage and as I was running off the stage, my left shoe, um, kind of like, they were a little bit vague and my left shoe kind of like slid out from underneath me and it went wherever. And I just ran out with my red shoe in hand and went back to the classroom, which was in the back dressed, ran out of the school, ran home because I lived in a little village of a thousand people so he could get anywhere by foot.
Speaker 1:13:42And I walked in the door and I said, I'll never speak again and I'll never wear high heels again. So, um, but I'm a big believer in how, um, we have to say yes to her chips and it was a hardship. But I, every time I look at this shoe, it reminds me of how far I've come and it, it reminds me that I can get through anything and we are all going to have those times in our lives that are not so pleasant, but we can get through adversity and we can actually use those moments. Like that moment being onstage and never thinking I would speak again actually led me to where I am today, doing all kinds of speaking engagements, um, especially linkedin and high yields or women business leaders. So, uh, I would never have found that. Um, and it would never be making the difference I am making for or for women if I hadn't gone through that experience. And I'm glad that you have this linkedin and high heels, uh, projects or work you do now because
Speaker 3:14:52you know, overcoming difficulties. This, this is what we all need to hear these stories because we all go through challenges as well. And you know, it's interesting when you're on the stage and you were saying how there was a bully who, you know, there must be more of the story there as well. Who shouted out something about your weight deliberately to hurt you because words do hurt you. I remember growing up there was little saying that we used to say, uh, say in school was sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. But natural fact words can hurt you a lot to count. They absolutely. Yeah. What helped you to get over that difficult experience?
Speaker 1:15:34I just started to surround myself with some mentors and some people that were there to help me thrive. And you know, raised me up by one of my mentors is a manual. It tells her, I call her my, um, my, well she's my soul sister, but my life coach and I see, you know, she's a few years older than me and um, but I see what she's gone through and I see the impact that she's made in her community and she's just there. I, she's really significant in my life because I guess she's the one who said, what are you waiting for? What are you, you know, you have all of these passions and these desires and what are you waiting for? And this happened. But let that be a sign to you that you know, it's not going to hold you back. It's going to move you forward.
Speaker 1:16:29And, uh, so I think surrounding myself and finding, um, actively pursuing people that would help to rise me up. And so I can raise others up as well. But being in that kind of community, uh, of, of especially women, but even men, I have, uh, this amendment doors as well. And I'm just allowing, allowing myself to be open, open to suggestions and open to getting through that, that really tough barrier that you put up and breaking it down before you can actually move forward. Because that can be a tough period that can I edit that or that barrier can be so tough. We can't break it down or we don't allow ourselves to be strong enough to break it down or we break it down with all our mc and we become stronger on the other side. And so I'm really blessed that I, you know, it ended up being, being the ladder and I was able to get to get through that. And now I look back at that experience and um,
Speaker 1:17:33I mean I'm lucky because my bully has since apologized for those moments. Um, you know, growing up is, is a good thing to do. So I'm, I'm really happy about that, but I would not do it any differently because I know that we have to go through those times in order to appreciate a, maybe, maybe even find ourselves. So, um, yeah, I wouldn't, I wouldn't change anything that happened.
Speaker 3:18:00Yeah. Yeah. So, so did you, when you have those challenging times, it gives you those periods of gross as well because either you're going to succumb to it or you're going to think, look, I've really got to do something about it and it's very hard for us to do things on our own and actually reaching out and finding a mentor and having the people who would be our advocates and supporters to say, yes, you can't, you can do it. You know, you're, you're better than you think you are. Because as women, we all, and men as well, we all have that self limiting belief and it tends to hold us back and you know, that it's on our shoulder and say, oh, you can't do that while you're not good enough, or you don't have the experience or you know, you're too old or you're too young who you, you know, you've got brown hair, you've got blonde, this, there's always something that we can find as an excuse that will hold us back. Yes. Now you have overcome all of this to become terrifically successful, especially on this platform that I too love very much. Linkedin. And so tell me about linked express, Shelly.
Speaker 1:19:02So linkedin expresses really to educate people on how to build their stories. So some people call it a profile. I haven't called it a profile for quite a while. It's really your career story and, um, to really make that, um, the most important story you'll ever write the story of you. So how can, you know, I help people achieve that, uh, and also not only working with the, the story itself, but then how do we get that story? Uh, recognized how do people find our book in, you know, in a lot of books. So how do we, uh, you know, it's all about like standing out and not fitting in shown why really, uh, make a conscious effort to educate people and not only educate them on how to build their profiles, but also how to experience linkedin life because lurkers are often lonely. And so I called them the lonely lurkers and there are a lot of lurkers out there and not really benefiting from what linkedin has to offer. And so I just feel that I'm a champion who can get out there and actually and hopefully bring people to the other side. And when I'm able to do that, um, it's the most amazing feeling because then that gives people an additional tool to put in their toolbox. And so I'm always trying to build up to a boxes.
Speaker 3:20:39Yeah. I think the more tools that we have to be able to create the life that we deserve and hope for and the career that we deserve hoped for as well, the better. And Emerson's Linkedin has just grown exponentially. I mean over 560 million members globally. And in Australia alone it's 10 million. I don't know how many in Canada now, but you know, every second there are two people who sign up for linkedin and being the lone low cause I like that word. The linkedin lonely lurkers, that could be a club in itself couldn't it? The people who just, just on it but not leveraging it. It's such a shame because it's a free platform. It's there. You can really brand yourself well and, and it's such a joy when you see someone with a great profile and you've got an amazing profile. Shelly, I really, really like it. The images that you have in your cover cover image. Oh, fantastic. That the Cape is there. If anyone wants to find Shelly, have a look for the Cape in her cover image. It's excellent. And so now how does linked express, um, help people specifically, what are your services that you offer?
Speaker 1:21:49So I tend to do more group group coaching at the moment because I am at the university as well. I work with, I work with the business school at University of Toronto, ends up helping them not only with the career development but also helping them to, uh, advance in terms of their digital footprint. So I'm pretty busy there, but I do, uh, but I do a lot of group and executive coaching and a lot for women's groups because I know when the, in the consulting and banking world there are a lot of strong, strong women associations and being able to go in and talk with them about a leading online, uh, it's really what I like to do. So I think linked express and linkedin and high heels, um, are the, are, are meant to be kind of like a, a way to kind of advance people, uh, in Linkedin and high heels, mainly for women. Although I've had men sit in because a, there are the men that want to support the women in their organization. So I've been pretty happy about that as well.
Speaker 3:22:56Oh, it's wonderful. And it must feel so rewarding for you. What, what is it that you enjoy the most about the work that you do?
Speaker 1:23:04Well for Linkedin and high heels. I think my story, uh, with the red shoe really resonates with people because whether it's, you know, that type of bullying or some other type of bullying or some other, um, you know, type of adversity that we've had to come through. I think people resonate with my story. And so that makes me feel like I'm doing something by sharing my story because it's not easy to share a story. I'm like that because it brings me back to that time sometimes. But I know that going back to that time is important as well because it keeps me aware of how far I've come. And even though I'm a forward thinker, I'm also very big on reflection because it pushes me to become better and better and to go back and see my successes. So, um, I think that that's really important.
Speaker 1:24:12So when I get to speak in front of a group or do linkedin training, um, linkedin trainer, I, I like what it is, but I don't think the tills, everything of boat, what I do. So when I call myself a linkedin trainer, it, it's limited a little bit because I'm actually, uh, I feel I'm a linkedin champion. I'm a an empowerment person. I'm, I'm this because I use linkedin as an empowerment tool. Um, so every time you're filling in a section or your building your story or you're adding something or you're doing your own background photo, it's something you're doing for yourself. And when I see people cross that linkedin barrier and actually feel like, wow, I'm connecting and I, and I, I've added something and I've got this accomplishment and I've done this and I've done that and I now have a community and I know have support. I, I, it fills my soul. Like my soul is like bursting.
Speaker 3:25:20That's so beautiful. And it's so true because linkedin is all about connections. It's not about selling, it's about making connections. It's about networking authentically. And you know, there's just something that sometimes I feel that there are people on linkedin who just wants to connect, connect, connect with lots and lots of people and they don't personalize anything. And I think that's such a shame because you know, when you go to an event and you shake hands with someone and you look them in the eye and say hello, what a pleasure to meet you and do, you know, tell me a little bit about yourself. And then you have a good chat and you get to know each other. That's really lovely. And then if you can continue to connect afterwards, that's great. But on Linkedin, sometimes there are people who simply connect for the numbers and the numbers are not what's important. It's the connection, the genuine connection, and getting to know someone that's important, isn't it?
Speaker 1:26:15Absolutely. I don't think that since 2010, I have sent out a connection request that has not been authentic in a really, uh, or like customized or personalized. I'm a big believer in, um, so there's a few things that I really pull very dear to my heart when it comes to linkedin. One personalization and customization to the art of reciprocity because it is an art, but it's, you know, I believe in the art of reciprocity offline and I believe in the art of reciprocity online. And it's really funny at University of Toronto. But, um, a few times I've been in a class with a professor who is, um, of reciprocity, reciprocity, Google and he'll take the reciprocity offline and I'll do the reciprocity online. And I realized that if you don't start off building your relationships in the right way, it will never get to that point, uh, or you will have to wait a while to build it. But if you start off by introducing, telling your why and then you know, supporting the people that come your way, um, reciprocity will exist and it will come with the, they're even being much work involved.
Speaker 3:27:40Hmm. I agree with you 100%. And actually this is how we got to know each other in the first place. Reciprocity, which is so lovely. I've shared my book with you. You've, you've been highlighting my career coaching abilities. You're so generous with your connection and also generous with, with your support of other people as well. I mean, you truly are a Linkedin superwoman and I'm very, very lucky to have had you on the show. So now show me, I could talk to you every day on the sleep and I could talk to you all day. And I hope that next time I visit Canada, I will get to go to Toronto and to actually meet you face to face and take this online connection offline as we do with our linkedin local Sydney events as well. And you're involved with linkedin local in Canada as well, aren't you?
Speaker 1:28:33Yes, the linkedin local and the Toronto and the GTA is, is really popular. Um, it's flying. In fact, I've spoken at probably about six of them already. Uh, so it's amazing what linkedin locals do and I'm constantly watching what's going on in Sydney and your linked locals. And I'm like, Oh, I would love to be there at one point. Oh, anything. Please come and visit us. Right? We're Toronto. Uh, there is definitely a place for you and we'll, we'll have a linkedin lack and will and hopefully there'll be linkedin local going on at the same time because they're quite frequent, they're quite popular and so many relationships have been able to, you know, um, come offline for a bit and that's been really, really nice.
Speaker 3:29:23Yeah, me lucky. I mean linkedin has just spawned an incredible community. Now I just want to let people know where they can find you. Okay. So let me put on my glasses and now they can find you at linked express. Yes. And you are also linked express and you are also on Twitter and it's L's Liger s yes. And in my show notes at Jane Jackson, coach.com I'm going to have a number of links where you can find Shelly as well so that you can reach out and connect with her and find out all the amazing things that this lady with the red shoes can do. So thank you so much for your time today, Shirley. It's been an absolute pleasure and I'll talk to you again in a few months. If you enjoyed this podcast, look for your career podcast on iTunes and leave a review and for all the career management support you need to create your dream career. Visit Jane Jackson, coach.com and join my careers academy for Live Career Webinars Group coaching, one on one coaching support as well as my online career development courses. Isn't it time you found your dream job?
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