Life Lessons:
Shawn Zanotti


*Are you happy at the moment?

Yes, I am extremely happy at this moment and time in my life. I choose to believe in the state of being and believing in the higher power in essence and beauty in this in which we call life and live each day according to that belief..

*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

I would tell my 16 year old self to enjoy the age I am. So often in my younger years, I like so many of us, itched to be older…would dream of what my life would be when I’m older. Getting to college and then when in college, itching to graduate and then when I graduated, itching to land that job. I would tell my 16 year old self to dream but enjoy and savor being a teenager—embracing the moment youth. My older self now knows how you can never get youth back. Yes, you will make mistakes as a teenager, yes you will dream as a teenager for the life you hope to achieve, but its those formative teenage years that its important to just be and be comfortable in that state!

*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

I am learning this year the true power of the universe. You see, we can achieve anything, absolutely anything, as long as you believe. I understand that, I believe that and so I practice that. I trust my gut, I trust each valley of highs and lows that may come my way, I live by universal principles each day. I’m a creative, so I naturally have ideas and look to manifest it. I listen to that voice now, I imagine it, I believe in it and then I am able to achieve it. It may not happen overnight, but the manifestation flows. When you understand how the universe works and how the principles can be applied to your daily life— your daily walk is different, your talk is different, your thoughts are different, because you know without a shadow of a doubt that it will happen! It’s beautiful.. so the joys of life allow you to be focused and the days of sorrow are teaching moments to prepare for whats next.

*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

In this next year, I want to be used for the greater good. I know my life purpose is to serve others…serving through motivation and inspiration. I know that because I do it naturally…with clients, with friends, with my partner, with my family, with most that I come in contact with, that becomes my role. I am aware of that and I welcome that gift. I ask daily for God to continue to use me to be a blessing to others in however HE sees that to be. In each and every thing I touch— the underline goal is to serve. I know that is my life purpose and I want to give it in all forms.

*What’s your secret to happiness?

Finding that piece of my self—-that inner place where I don’t let anyone in, but myself and God. I wake up every single morning and before I get out the bed, I go to that place…every morning. I mediate at that place, I then do affirmations for the day for my loved ones and what I desire to happen in that day. Each day it changes depending on what I desire for that particular day. I’m very specific in what the desires are and I write it down before I get out the bed and recite it out loud. I then do the same thing every night. I am thankful and speak that out loud every night for what I received in the day specifically and ask to forgive those that I may be upset with from that day and then ask to be forgiven if I may have upset someone else. I do this everyday and every night. I stay happy because I know these rituals work…I believe that dark times are not intended to keep you dark. I truly savor all of life’s moments and its in this state, for me— happiness exists.

*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Music. I LOVE music. It ignites my soul….I am the lady who is driving in the car dancing, as if no one is watching. I listen to music as I cook, I listen as I shower, I listen when I’m writing and I listen when I am in deep heavy thought. I am a music lover at heart, with all different genres, depending on my mood. If I’m feeling that I’m in a funk- I check myself, stop in my tracks of whatever I am doing, and put on some Yolonda Adams gospel music and shift my energy. If I am working out, I am listing to some pop or hip hop. If i’m in a loving mood, I may listen to some Adele or Jhene Aiko. I can go on and on…music is the gateway to my soul.

*What’s your biggest regret?

I do not have any regrets. Each and every experience which seems bad, takes me to something good. My biggest growth moments come from what seems on surface as a mistake. It is two parts of life— learning moments and teaching moments. Dirt is necessary for growth and development. Dirt makes you push, keeps you hungry — but it builds character in you. It teaches you to withstand and how to push through. How can you be at your full potential without bad things happening…it will come and you learn through the process.

*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

I teach my son that dreams are possible. I tell him all the time, we don’t give up and dream — because it is possible, it can and will happen if you work hard. I teach him that the dream may seem difficult, but imagine it, and believe you can do it and you will!

*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

I have a difficult time saying No to people that I care about. If someone asks me to do something, I may not feel like going or have time to go…but I go. I am a pleaser to my loved ones and want to work on being okay with saying no.

*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

Not giving up. I look back at some of the things I have been through which could have caused me to go a whole different direction. However, I put one foot in front of the other and keep going with my head high and keep pushing. I am proud of that.

*When were you happiest?

I was the happiest becoming a mother during the child birthing process. It is something that happens to a woman during that process. You have never experienced that kind of love, which you have for your child. It is a never-ending selfless experience and life changing moment that is utterly amazing.

*What ten words best describe you?

Mother, Partner, Friend, Motivator, Confidant, Author, Publicist, Creative, Lover of Live and Love, Entrepreneur


Shawn Zanotti is the CEO and Founder of Exact, a company that specializes in sports, entertainment, business-to-business non-profit and marketing assignments. Shawn is also an author of “Top Ten PR Tips,” the author of “Embracing the Rock in Your Journey” and Co-Author of the Best selling book entitled, “Shift.” Shawn also sits on the board for NBC Chicago and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. She is a mother and founder for the trendsetting clothing brand, Journey, which is based on style and inspiration in television and fashion.

Shawn started her career as a TV News Reporter for many years. After a successful career in broadcasting, Shawn chose to expand her media knowledge by pursuing an entrepreneurial venture, which is when she started Exact. She noticed a gap between the role of an involved publicist and the client. She also noticed the need to offer publicity — let’s face it, every business, person or idea for that matter needs PR. Shawn focuses on intricate brand development through event planning that often times leave guests in awe. Shawn’s success story is built upon wholehearted commitment and attention to detail. She is one of the very few successful females in an aggressive, male-dominated industry. Find Shawn on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook too!