About Shantelle Bisson
My name is Shantelle Bisson, I was born and raised in Toronto. I’ve been with my husband, Yannick Bisson, since we were both eighteen. He’s a celebrated television star, with his current series, Murdoch Mysteries, just wrapping its 14th season. I have three adult daughters, two were born in Toronto and one was born in LA. Our middle daughter resides in LA and works as a stylist/designer full time. With my hubby being an actor it made sense for us to acquire a home in Los Angeles. So we now split our time between the two cities. My writing began in earnest five years ago with me being a regular contributor to Huff Post online, as well as writing for Zoomer Magazine online. My articles were centered on parenting and relationships from my personal experience. I’m also an author, a recovering actress, producer, parenting expert, and serial entrepreneur. My first book, Raising Your Kids Without Losing your Cool is available now through all Amazon channels, and Walmart.
You can find me online at ShantelleBisson.com
Why Did You Become an Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author, Etc. in the First Place?
I’ve always had a passion for writing, and being in front of an audicence. And as a mom to three girls, I feel like talking and giving advice is now such a part of me that parlaying this into helping people outside of my own bubble was a natural next step. Now that’s not to say that getting to where I currently am was smooth sailing, or easy. My journey to where I find myself today was definitely not a straight line. I was super young and a working actress when I became pregnant, and with my desire to keep my family together as my husband continued working as an actor, often in other countries, I had to learn to pivot so that I could fulfill not only my ambitious nature, but my creative one as well. The first business I began was in Toronto Ontario in 1999 when I opened the only licensed Billy Blanks TaeBo studio outside of its home state, LA.
As a certified Billy Blanks instructor I enjoyed bringing his billion dollar workout to my country. I owned and operated this studio for five years, after running an independent boutique gym in Toronto, I longed to get back to my artist roots, so when the lease was up, I sold the equipment and the membership and threw myself back into the arts. I spent a decade creating TV show concepts with some success, and writing a fiction novel…which is still looking for a home. Not one to stay still for long, and with my creative itch being scratched the entrepreneur in me reared her head once again. In 2018 the perfect small business opportunity landed in my lap on the lake where my husband and I own a summer home. It was the oldest marina on the lake, she was 63 years old, and 2018 was the first year of her existence where she simply didn’t open. Enter me. I purchased the business, which had no books, so I had no idea if she was even viable. But what I did know is that she had an important history to the generations of cottagers, 1600 cottages to be exact, who had incredibly fond memories of summers spent getting ice cream and penny candy there. I felt like I couldn’t lose. And so far I’m right, in our second season our gross sales are up 34%.
How Do You Deal With Fear?
The way I deal with fear is by working with an awesome life/business coach, Leisse Wilcox. I also have an amazing cheering section in my husband, three daughters, and my inner circle of awesome girlfriends, and family members. I also meditate, journal and spend time in nature every single day to remind me that the universe is vast and there is nothing that life throws at me that I cannot conquer when centred and grounded.
How Do You Deal With Rejection?
Hahaha well I personally don’t deal with rejection very well at all. Which is why I’m a “recovering actress”. I find it so difficult to not take rejection to heart, or personally. Which is why it is so important for me to meditate, journal, and remind myself daily, sometimes hourly: “that’s what meant for you will never miss you.”
But practically speaking I do a lot of talking it out. I talk it out with my mom, my best friends, my husband, my life coach. I find that talking about it takes the sting and the power out of feeling rejected.
What’s the Name of Your Company? What Exactly Does Your Company Do, How Do You Help People?
I have three companies at the moment:
My publishing company, where my book deals go through, so it doesn’t require too much out of me. Left Alone Entertainment. I named it that because I get my best writing done with everybody just LEAVES ME ALONE hahaha.
I’m in the process of starting a company that aligns with my book, which is going to be a series of 6 books in total. The theme is how to get through this wild ride of life while NOT losing your cool. So that company/brand is fittingly called WITHOUT LOSING YOUR COOL. This company is where I will sell my books, clothing merch, and household items. I will also be running my online parenting coaching sessions through this company.
And my most active company at the moment is my marina on the lake where we own a summer house. It’s called Shantilly’s Place Ltd, and our beloved English Bulldog is our mascot, and obviously he’s a big hit with the kids who come around for penny candy and ice cream! We make summer special at Shantilly’s Place. Families come here all day every day to unwind, to feel like they’re being transported to simpler times. It really is magical and special, we’re only open from mid May to mid October and I miss it when we’re closed.
Name One of the Biggest Challenges You Have Faced and How Did You Overcome It?
I’d have to say the biggest challenge I’ve faced with every single one of my businesses that required capital to start was getting the money to begin. Thankfully we have a company that we own that is essentially set up as an angel investment company and we use it for just such occasions. I often find myself starting businesses that have a tie to real estate, so I’m able to use that equity to help float the improvements that the business needs.
For my personal brand businesses, like my book, finding a publisher and then an audience to buy me and my message has been super challenging. So I often use PR firms to help expand my reach.
What Piece of Advice Do You Wish Someone Had Given You at the Start of Your Career?
The one piece of advice that I wish someone had given to me at the start of my career was to surround myself with entrepreneurs who were doing what I was doing, and ask them to mentor me. I’m a naturally super competitive A-type person, who grew up with brothers, so I’m a lone wolf gotta win sort of person. I wish I had leaned on, and trusted more people in the beginning.
Who Are Your Biggest Influences and People You Admire and Why?
I have to say that I’m obsessed with Michelle Obama and her steadfast attitude and mantra, or “when they go low we go high.” I’m pretty feisty and scrappy, so my natural instinct is to fight back, but I find it’s so much more peaceful to “leave it to God” and focus on the task at hand of helping people, and growing my businesses.
I also love Chrissy Teigen. I enjoy her humour, her vulnerability and of course the way she’s parlayed her natural talent of cooking into an empire.
Name a Person Who Helped You Along the Way?
I can’t name only one person who helped me along the way, because honestly there has been an entire tribe that has helped me, or held me up along the way. So what I’d prefer to do is name my Christmas tree, that has allowed me to be the star that shines on the top: my mother, one of my absolute best friends named Barbie, and my best friend since high school Jenanne.
What Do You See as Your Greatest Success in Life, So Far?
Honestly, I have to say the greatest success that I’ve had in my life thus far is my long standing marriage. Both my husband and I come from broken homes, so to still be together all these years later is really something that I’m deeply proud of.
Second to that would be raising three well adjusted, conscientious, socially awake and involved human beings.
What Book Would You Recommend and Why?
Wow. This is such a tough question. I love so many. I’d have to say a book that truly impacted me and set me on a powerful path of saying Yes to what resonated with me, and saying NO to all those obligatory yeses I’d been handing out was Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes. If you find yourself saying yes when you want to say no, or saying no when you don’t have a good reason to, and really want to say yes more often this is the book for you!
I also love any and all things written by Gary Bishop. I love his no nonsense no BS approach to simply taking accountability for the way you move through life, deal with it and let it go. No lingering victim mentality here.
What’s a Personal Self-Talk, Mantra, Affirmation or Self-Belief That Contributes to Your Success?
What’s meant for me will never miss me.
If I don’t do the work I can’t expect the result.
Nothing that matters comes easy, nothing that comes easy, ever really matters.