Hannah Austin

Best-Selling Author, Global Speaker

In May 2024, I was delighted to be featured in the Portland Business Journal as part of the PDXbiz women coalition.

Below is a transcript of the interview. 

Q: What are some challenges you faced when starting your own business?

During the pandemic, I made the decision to retire from a 20-year career in healthcare due to severe exhaustion and burnout. Three months later, I started SheShatters – a wellness company to champion mental health and wellness advocacy for employees and organizations. Starting a company during the pandemic was a huge challenge. The COVID outbreak limited my ability to build a new network, and meet people face to face. It was a lonely and isloating time for so many of us. I learned very quickly how important it was to be intentional and heartfelt with the relationships I was building.

Q: As a woman, what challenges were you faced with when stepping into this leadership role?

My biggest challenge stepping into a CEO/Founder role from a corporate employee Director level role was learning to ask for help. For years I prided myself on being the “go-to-person” and the type of leader that peers and staff looked up to. Once I started my company I realized I couldn’t do it all, I needed help and I had to learn how to ask for help. It was a skill I had to learn quickly. Once I started asking, the business flourished. I was determined to share with other women how to ask for help; this created a win-win symbiotic relationship and left a legacy for other women to do the same.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to grow in their career?

Treat your career as a lifelong journey. Lean into what excites you and intrigues you and when you start to feel like you’re becoming stagnant in your role or job, begin to explore what other alternatives there are either internally or in an external field. Your job is just a small part of who you are so focus on your overall development growth, learn to become self-aware and HOW to identify your wants and needs. Once you’ve discovered your own internal compass-your external career path will become illuminated.

Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your career that defined you as a woman in the industry?

My pivotal moment came from me believing in myself. I had spent so much time in my career defining myself through others’ eyes. As the CEO/Founder of a mental health and wellness company, I had to do the intrinsic work that I teach my clients on. For the first time in my life I had to align my head and heart, and I finally feel like I am doing the work I was born to do.