CEO, entrepreneur, mother, civic leader, and child of God are only a few ways that Shonda Scott describes herself. She’s also a creator, adventurer, coach, and fashionista who is inspired to fulfill her dreams. But her work doesn’t stop there. She’s made it her life’s mission to encourage others to be their best selves and to achieve their highest aspirations. How does she do it? Find out in this Sheen Magazine exclusive with the CEO of 360 Total Concept, Shonda Scott.
Tell us more about 360 Total Concept.
360 Total Concept is a management consulting firm that works on public and private projects to bring the equity and inclusion of historically underutilized firms. We believe that on each multi-million or billion-dollar project we work on that there’s room at the table for underutilized businesses to build their capacity. Our goal is to help build a more equitable society and world one project at a time.
What inspires you to do what you do?
I’m inspired knowing that, when more of us succeed, we all succeed. God created a world of abundance so there’s enough for us all to thrive if we each find our lane and run with it. I’m also inspired seeing people achieve things that others thought impossible. I thrive on pursuing all that’s possible in my life and I’m inspired by others who do the same.
How does it make you feel that, even in a global pandemic, racism is America’s greatest disease?
Even when we find ourselves in a global pandemic fighting against an invisible threat to our lives, incidents like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmad Aubry still occur. Even in a pandemic, unarmed black and brown people are being murdered and profiled based on the color of their skin. Even in a pandemic that kills millions and shuts down global economies, a virus that can kill millions cannot stop racism. Experts have found a COVID19 vaccine for COVID19 in less than a year, yet after centuries we have not found a cure for racism. Think about that.
How do you use your expertise to influence others?
As a CEO and business leader, it’s important to me to see more in others than they see in themselves. My goal as a leader is to encourage people to collectively use their skills to achieve things not yet imagined.
What are some of your greatest accomplishments?
My greatest accomplishment is being a vessel of God to birth to my son, Austin, and raise him to be an incredible and beautiful human being. Being a mom made me a better person and strengthened my faith. Other accomplishments that have brought me joy are: supporting President and Mrs. Obama in their historic time in White House, helping to reinvest millions into the local economy, and being inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in my birth region.
What advice would you give someone who wants to mirror your success?
Follow your passion and faith. If you want to increase your faith, start a business because it takes faith to run your own company and provide for others. As the song says, “You gotta have faith” and, for entrepreneurs, I’d add “passion too.”
What sense of purpose do you draw from your culture and community?
As a black person raised in Oakland, California, the mecca of diversity, I proclaim that Oakland is the one city outside of the South that has made the most impact on developing a positive black cultural identity in the United States and even the world. Oakland represents the pride of black culture, its freedom and ability to know that you can do anything you put your mind to regardless of your skin color. Raised by parents involved in social justice, I was blessed with compassion for my community, a sense of personal identity, and the courage to know there’s nothing in the world I can’t do if it’s God’s will.
Tell us more about your article, “A Seat at the Table.”
I wrote this to encourage black women to think without limits, beyond having a seat at the table. Think of what it takes to build your own table and invite others to sit with you. I wrote this to highlight the importance of succession planning, working today for the benefits of tomorrow. As women of color, we must realize that when we’re invited into a room, it’s not only for our benefit but to represent a culture and community. We’re at the table to represent those who have been underrepresented for centuries.
Tell us about your experience at the County Woman Hall of Fame.
To be acknowledged with the highest honor from your community is a remarkable experience that’s hard to put into words. It’s a moment that I’ll never forget because I know my work is a legacy in my community. I’m now keenly aware that everything I do matters, people are watching and cheering me on.
How has the pandemic impacted your career?
The pandemic has reinforced the importance of preparedness and that size doesn’t matter. Because I implemented a work-remote pilot program for my team six months before the pandemic hit, so when the COVID19 pandemic shutdown hit we pivoted and remained productive. We became a greater asset to our larger clients because of our resourcefulness. Since we’ve been using a virtual platform since 2016 when 360 Total Concept landed UBER as a client, the virtual realm wasn’t a foreign space to us. For us, we realized that everything we’d done prepared us to thrive and help others thrive too.
Tell us about Spotlight with Shonda Scott.
Spotlight with Shonda (Facebook and Instagram) is a lifestyle show celebrating its 12th season of sharing positive stories and inspiring people to live their best lives and be their best selves. This season we launched the #12newthings lifestyle. #12newthings leads to positively embracing change by doing something new and different. Commit to doing something that you’ve never done before each month and you’ll discover an increase in your courage, a shift in your mindset, new opportunities revealed, and reduce fear of what is truly inevitable–change.
What can we expect from you in 2021?
Stay tuned. The sky is the limit, and the best is yet to come! I look forward to all God’s has in store for me!
Where can we find you?
I also have a podcast with my brother, actor and comedian Kente Scott, called What Sibling Rivalry. You can find the podcast here or @whatsiblingrivalrypodcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Sound Cloud, Instagram, and Facebook.
All images courtesy of Shonda Scott