Episode 46: Tech Maven Sharon Weaver

Heather Newman:  Hello everyone. Here we are again for another episode of the Mavens Do It Better podcast where we interview extraordinary experts who bring a light to our world. I am super excited to have a great friend and colleague on today. She's a coach. She's a speaker. She's a consultant. She's a trainer and all around awesome gal. Sharon Weaver coming to us from Kansas. Say Hi to everybody Sharon.

Sharon Weaver:  Hello.

Heather Newman:  And where exactly are you in Kansas?

Sharon Weaver:  I live in a town called Lenexa, which is about 30 minutes away from downtown (Kansas City).

Heather Newman:  Okay, awesome. So Sharon and I have known each other for a long time now. Working with each other in technology and around that wonderful product called SharePoint. You know, I'm trying to figure out when we met, it's been a long time.

Sharon Weaver:  Yeah, it's been years. You know, I do this with a lot of people that are on the scene. I've just been rotating around so long we kind of meet at different events. Um, but being around for a while.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. So you, you, you're, like I said, you're a coach, you're a speaker, consultant. So, and, um, will you tell everybody about the business that you, that you own and run cause it's pretty fabulous. Will you let everybody know what that's called?

Sharon Weaver:  Yeah. So I own a business called Smarter Consulting. Um, and basically it's an IT consulting business where I partner with a bunch of cool people and I try to help people solve their problems using technology.

Heather Newman:  Awesome. How long has that been in existence?

Sharon Weaver:  So Smarter Consulting itself I've been doing for almost a year. Um, I have been consulting on and off for probably the last 10 years, but Smarter Consulting specifically has been around just almost a year.

Heather Newman:  Right. Yeah, that, congratulations. That's a big, that's a big thing. You know? Starting something on your own. That's great. And I know you're really involved with, the SharePoint communities there. In what capacity are you leading community efforts? I know you do a lot in that realm.

Sharon Weaver:  So, um, I am the organizer for SharePoint Saturday Kansas City. This is our, I think it's our sixth year, um, that we have run it. Um, and so I run that whole thing. I've had various committees that have worked with me over the years. I have, um, a handful of volunteers who show up every year no matter what. But ultimately I'm the person who books the venue and pays the bills and make sure that it happens. Um, and I also run our local Office 365 user group and I've been doing that for about seven months. And, same thing, I have people who volunteer to help with odds and ends. Um, and I'm actually in the process with that one, of forming more, putting together a more formalized committee that'll help run it long-term. Um, but at the end of the day, I'm the one who makes sure that we have a place and we have speakers and we have something to eat and um, that everybody knows that it's happening.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Yeah. I'm running the SharePoint Saturday LA and user group over here. Yeah, it's a big job. You know, I think people don't always see that, you know, it's something that we all do because we want to build community and love it, but we do it after, behind and beside our day jobs.

Sharon Weaver:  Absolutely!

Heather Newman:  yeah, absolutely. And so I think a lot of us came up in sort of different areas. In talking to different people on the podcast, you know, I talked to a lot of technology folks, a lot of our, a lot of friends that you know, and you know, for myself, like I, I have an arts degree and you know, Liz Sundet came up in the arts and I know you came up, um, having psychology, right?

Sharon Weaver:  Yes, yes.

Heather Newman:  So, uh, from the University of Kansas, so, you know, how did you get into technology from being a psych psychology major?

Sharon Weaver:  So, yeah, so everybody asked me that. I have like this really weird background. So, um, I tell people I have been, um, a techno crazy person. I love technology. I always have. Um, I kind of got addicted to it when I was about eight years old and they brought an Apple 2E to our classroom. Um, and within a little bit, within a few weeks, I kind of started figuring out how to, you know, take the stickers off the disks and things like that. Um, I could make computers and applications and programs do things that nobody else, they could barely leave and run them. And I was already making changes to them. Um, so we had computers in my house, basically my whole life, cause my mom was also, um, a tech junkie. I mean, she's super into new technology. Um, so she kind of brought it into our house all the time and so I got to play with it. Um, so on the personal side, I've just always been very, um, tech friendly, very into new things, um, and learn how to do a lot of it my own. Um, as far as my career and my education, I actually started out premed. Um, I had every intention of becoming a surgeon. Um, I was kind of thinking about maybe doing, um, neuropsychology or some sort of, you know, brain surgery. I thought that'd be super cool. And, um, so I started going to school and one of the things they recommended was having a year in the medical field while you're going to school to kind of get your feet wet. So I worked in pharmacy for the first seven years of my career. Um, and I got a developmental psychology degree and I, you know, throughout my whole journey and I started looking into going to medical school and I realized pretty quick that a pharmacy tech, uh, salary was not going to pay for medical school. And so, shocker, right? And, um, so I, um, started taking classes to learn web design. I started contracting on the side to make some extra money. Um, and long story short, I kind of got to a point where my IT career was, you know, paying me well enough that it just really wasn't worth my time and effort to go to medical school. And so I just kind of leaned more heavily into my IT career and let it go and kind of let go of the whole med thing and the rest was history.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. Well, and I think, you know, that totally happens, I think when you start finding a path that may be different than what you thought and I don't know. Don't you feel like, I, I feel like I use my theater degree every day. I mean, you know, you probably use that psychology degree of yours everyday doing sales and creating marketing and all that stuff for your business, right?

Sharon Weaver:  Yes, absolutely. In fact, um, a few years ago, my husband, because my husband's super romantic for Valentine's Day, he bought me the URL, the domain, called the Devwhisper.com.

Heather Newman:  Oh, my goodness. That's fantastic. He's a sweetheart. I know Sharon's husband, Jonathan, he's a love. He's a sweet, sweet, sweet fellow. And I think, you know, a few years ago we all got to hang out, uh, during SharePoint Saturday Honolulu, which was really fun and did a lot of fun touristy things, uh, when we were there all speaking for a SharePoint and Office 365. So pretty cool. Um, so for you, you know, in the consulting business and you and I talked a little bit about this earlier before we got on the Pod, was that, you know, looking at sort of the landscape of what's happening right now, you know, as far as Microsoft technologies and what are you, what are you seeing the, the problems are, or the solutions that you know, you're coming up with for businesses that are either struggling with adoption or deployment and those sorts of things. What's the, what's, what's your landscape looking like?

Sharon Weaver:  Yeah, so I mean, I kind of get about half and half. About half of the people are kind of headed that direction and they really just need somebody to lead them in the right way. So I do you, you know, training and support around building a governance model and building user adoption. So for the people who really kind of have it pretty clear what they want to accomplish, it's really just coming in and kind of helping them strategize and answering questions and training their users. On the other side. We also get people, um, that where the landscape is changing so much that we have developers that are no longer able to develop the way they used to, I'm talking about SharePoint development, um, SharePoint administrators who for whatever reason, maybe they can't have the same level of privilege that they had before. And so, you know, it's, it's making them have to change how they manage their roles. Um, so a lot of it I think is, is getting people on the right track and helping them to understand what's out there. But the other part of it is there's a lot, you know, we joke about I'm using my psychology degree, there's a lot of therapy in terms of people understanding that there's a lot of change and that change is okay. And that as these things change, um, they're going to, they're going to be all right in moving forward in what it is that they're doing now as opposed to what they were used to doing maybe before.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I think, yeah, I think you're on point with that. I think that there's a, there's a culture shift. I'm feeling that I'm seeing that I keep talking about, or maybe it's just me talking about it, but um, but about how we relate to each other as humans, but, but how we relate to each other as humans in our workplaces and looking for building, you know, more corporate culture, more employee engagement and what a healthy, you know, a healthy, trust-based workplace feels like, you know, to be in day in, day out. Are you seeing that as well?

Sharon Weaver:  Yeah, that was actually, so I've been having a lot of conversations with certain clients, um, that because of the way the administration rules have changed in Office 365 so if you think about it before, so we've got our SharePoint guy and he is the admin for the SharePoint, um, server, right, for the farm. Um, and really for the most part, they could do whatever they wanted short of, you know, maybe turning the server on and off or maybe doing some Windows updates or something like that. But for the most part, they kind of had way big control of everything. Now when you think about switching to Office 365, that same SharePoint Admin, even if he has SharePoint administrator rights, is not going to have the same level of access that he had in the old days with just SharePoint administration. Um, and so I think what's ending up happening is you're starting to see these people who have kind of been able to control their own little areas, having to start to trust members of their team to say, Hey, I need you to help me with this. Can you get it done? Or Hey, can, you know, can you do this thing and can you go troubleshoot this thing? They're having to interact I think a lot more than they used to. And they're having to architect how that works and they're having to task each other and they're having to communicate more. And it's definitely changed the dynamics of the administrators and the developers in general.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, I at a company that I worked for, um, I, at one point, you know, came in and you know, they were doing their thing and I said to my team, it was a marketing team. I said, hey, um, you all are all in the same office, uh, here. Do you, do any of you know, anybody who is in the support or IT team? Like, do you know them by name or like, can you stand up and point somebody out to me that you know, that, you know? And I got a bunch of blank stares. And I was like, Huh. Interesting. And so I was like, everybody get up, let's go. And so we got up and we walked over and I made sure we weren't interrupting things too much but, and said, hey, how about you all meet each other?

Sharon Weaver:  That's so great.

Heather Newman:  You know, and, and, and then I set up a lunch where we all like ate pizza and all of that kind of thing. And you know, even things like that that are, that you think, you know, I mean, okay, it's hard, companies are big. You know, you're not necessarily going to do that in a company of thousands and stuff, but it was a company of a thousand at that time and they were all in the same office and it was like, hmm. You know, like getting out of our, I don't know, cocoons and our small silos, you know, is, is about exactly what you're saying is that there's been a force, it's forced in a way because of the way the technology is evolving. But again, it's like remember that we're human beings working on all this stuff together. Right?

Sharon Weaver:  Exactly.

Heather Newman:  And connection is kind of the key.

Sharon Weaver:  No, that's so true. I mean, I think this is always been an issue in IT. Whether you're talking about, you know, quote unquote IT versus marketing or IT versus the business or IT versus communications is, is these silos that everybody feels like, you know, we're on these different teams and now it's almost becoming IT versus IT. And it's like, guys, we're all on the same team. Let's get to know each other, let's help each other out, let's not worry about kind of who's responsible for what. Let's just get it all done.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. And I think that there's like if you look at employees and a frustrated employee is not a productive employee. Right? And I think that sometimes the fear of asking a question because you don't want to look stupid or you've asked it before, is something that prevents a lot of that. And, and, and it's on both sides. You know, it's like, why does this person keep continuing to ask me this? I've told them 15 times and I can't remember, cause I'm so busy trying to sell stuff that I don't remember how to do that one thing. And then, you know, nobody's talking to each other because everybody's like, you're stupid and you're stupid and two stupids make lots of stupid.

Sharon Weaver:  Yes. It's just, you know, it's just people becoming defensive. And I think one of, you know, I'm dealing with this with multiple clients and it's really funny to me, you know, with all of this change, it's almost bringing team dynamics to a head. So things that were not an issue before are now becoming issues where they weren't before and they're having to deal with some of these team level resolutions to be able to move forward. And you know, some of them are doing a better job at it than others, but I definitely think it's forcing people to work together in a way that they've never had to do before.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, I agree with you completely. Well and I think there's a, you know, with a large focus on the word adoption, right. And um, and, and adopting software, uh, you know, that is, to me that's, you know, it's been digital transformation, but it's also that word adoption keeps cropping up. And I think, I don't know, you probably see this a lot cause you, you do that for living with your consulting, but do you feel like that word adoption is either just overused or not the right one? Or do you feel like that is on point and that it's something that we can all get behind to really make that change? You know?

Sharon Weaver:  No, I actually think adoption is exactly the right word. Um, so two of my kids are actually adopted and one of the, one of the things that I want to point out about adoption is that you are purposefully choosing to build a relationship with somebody who did not come to you organically. Right? And I think that when you go to look at software, these are things that are not organic as part of our daily lives. These are things that a lot of times, I would say more often than not, other people bring into our lives, but we are consciously making the decision of whether or not we're going to build a relationship with that application or not. Are we going to use it in our day to day life? Are we going to accept it? Are we going to be happy with it? Are we going to understand it? Are we going to be able to, to work with it on a regular basis? And so I think there's, there's more than just knowing that something is there. There's more than just somebody telling you this, here's this thing and you have to use it. I think it's purposefully and conscientiously making a decision that you are going to build a relationship with whatever it is that is being offered and then doing it. Right. So I think when we talk about adoption, adoption is definitely the right word. But I think the big thing that people forget about is that there's more to it than just pushing it in somebody's face and saying, here's this new thing. There's everything from educating it on what there is, giving them time to acclimate and get used to it. Helping them when they have questions. Um, and then also, you know, working through some of the emotions of this is a new thing and I feel kind of nervous about doing it and I don't want to fail and I don't want this to look bad at my job. And so I think there's all these different pieces that come into it, um, to help people be able to adopt new things.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I just feel like I threw you the ball and you just made the three pointer. What a beautiful way to describe it. And I didn't realize your, your kids were adopted. That's super cool hun. I did not know that. So I didn't realize that. Yeah, I was like, that was the best description of adoption I've heard in a really long time. So, it got me a little misty. I can tell it also comes from the heart, so yeah. And it applies, right? It, it applies no matter what and whom we're adopting and bringing into our lives, um, on a day to day basis. Yeah, it's super cool. Um, I know you're also, you're, you're a teacher as well, right? And you, you teach at one of the, um, community colleges there.

Sharon Weaver:  Yeah. So, um, so, you know, cause I have, I don't really need to sleep. So this all came about. I mean, I've always been in roles where I'm the one that's doing the user adopting, right? Like I'm rolling things out to people and I'm convincing them that they need to love these things. And what I learned early on is that if I educated people on what was available and if I educated them on how to use it, um, that my user adoption rates went through the roof. Um, and so if people understand what it is and they feel competent in using it, they're much, much, much more likely to use it and they're much, much more likely to continue using it. So I did a lot of internal training for a lot of years. Um, and when SharePoint was kind of a big wig, um, about five or six years ago, it was like super-duper hot. The local college actually reached out to me and said, hey, we have all these SharePoint classes and you're one of the few people in the area that knows this really well enough that we feel confident that you can come in and teach people on how to use it. And so, I became adjunct at the local community college and I was just kind of doing evening and weekend classes, um, teaching people basically basics of SharePoint, how to install it, how to run it, how to use it, what they could and could not do with it. Um, and I have maintained an adjunct relationship with the local community college for about five and a half years now. And along that, um, when that was happening, um, SLU, St Louis University reached out to me. They have some classes at my local community college that they do satellite and they were like, hey, would you like to teach some classes for us? So, I teach some business analyst classes. I teach some leadership classes, I teach some six sigma classes. Um, just some odds and ends for them that are here. Um, and then that has slowly kind of grown into private corporate, um, training. And so I've done training for most of the large companies in Kansas City. Um, in fact, my very first gig when I left, um, my job job, my day job to go consult, um, I actually sold a 24-week training program for SharePoint for a very large company in Kansas City. Um, so that, you know, I, I do a lot of private corporate training to help people understand all this new stuff, you know, all, all of the different products and how they can use them and what they can get out of them. So, yes, I've been teaching, um, barely professionally. It's about, it's honestly, it's about half of my business. Um, and I've been doing that for about six years.

Heather Newman:  That's awesome. I knew some of that, but I didn't know all of that. That's super cool. Um, wow.

Sharon Weaver:  It's one of my favorite things.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, no, that's great. And do you find with the, so that's, you know, what we'd call I guess, in person training. Do you find that, um, like, do you stay on, you know, and, or do you, you know, like on a consultative basis, once you've done training, are you there for them sort of coaching along the way as well?

Sharon Weaver:  Yeah. Um, so, I mean it kind of depends, but I always, you know, leave my information and one of the reasons that the community college actually hired me as adjunct is they were looking really hard for people who could provide that follow-up afterwards. That's not in their wheelhouse. It's not something they wanted to sell, but they wanted to provide that to their students. And so, I find that out of every single class that I teach, um, usually a minimum of one person, built a relationship with me probably on LinkedIn or some sort of social media platform. We continue to chat, have conversations, and I would probably say easily half of the consulting work that I have gotten has been a result of one of those training classes in some place.

Heather Newman:  Wow, that's super cool. That's providing a service and getting, you know, getting some revenue out of it, that's a win win all around.

Sharon Weaver:  Yeah. It's just an opportunity to build relationships with somebody who has a need for a service I provide by maintaining that relationship, you know, it, it almost always turns into work and yeah. So I kind of joke that I get paid to do lead generation.

Heather Newman:  That's awesome. Well, and how cool that, you know, I think there's something, you know, we, we talk about building community a lot, um, in our realms and we've got, you know, SharePoint has one of the strongest technical communities I think in the world. And I think there's also something, you know, you speak all over the world and all over, you know, the United States, cause I've seen you in many, we get together in many different cities, uh, when we're both speaking on the circuit, you know, but I think there is something to, you know, I would call it a tactic, but I think it's less a tactic than it is just about connection and about the fact that you've built yourself all of these great relationships in your community for your community, um, that, that helps people right there, you know? Um, that's, there's something to that that I think a lot of people miss sometimes when they're, you know, trying to boil the ocean and, you know, sometimes it's just about the creek behind your house. Right, that you want to connect to.

Sharon Weaver:  right. I think a lot of people, the technology comes first and the people come second. And I'm not going to judge that because for some people technology is their passion. For me, people has always been passion and technology is always second. That doesn't mean that I'm not good at it. It doesn't mean I don't understand it. It doesn't mean I want to, you know, that I don't learn it. But, first and foremost, my, my purpose in life is to help other people, to help solve their problems, um, to help encourage them along their path to help them, you know, whatever it is that they're kind of going through. And second of all is, is technology. But the great thing about putting those things together is that I am able to do my life's purpose by using technology to help people solve problems. And that can be problems all over the place. Um, but I think when you put people first and everything else comes second, um, that those relationships happen, and you’re not focused so much on what am I trying to force them to use. But what is it that they're dealing with? What is it that they're going through? What kind of pain do they have that I can help them solve the problem? And when you look at it that way, um, I feel like the marketing and the sales afterwards is just super easy because you're just helping them solve a problem. And that's how I always look at it.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, no, that's a great way to look at it for sure. Um, so I'm going to switch topics a little bit. Um, so for someone who is busy, uh, coaching, instructing, consulting and being wonderful, um, how do you, how do you find time for yourself? How do you find time to get away from things and, uh, like be creative and be inspired and be refreshed? What are, what are your things that you do?

Sharon Weaver:  So, um, I was a workaholic for a very, very long time. Um, and there was many, many years that I was working 40, 50, 60 hours a week and not taking vacations and about, um, I want to say it was been 11 or 12 years ago. My best friend was like, you have to go on this group cruise I'm doing. Um, all my friends are going, you're going to love it. It's going to be a blast. And she just sells me and sells me and sells me on this cruise. And she would not shut up about it. Like she talked about it for weeks and weeks and finally, and I'm telling my husband about this and he's like, yeah, let's do it. That sounds great. You know, let's just go have a good time. And I'm like, fine. And so this is, you know, 12 years ago, workaholic me was like, fine, I'll take a week to go on a cruise. You know? So they pulled my arm, um, and over Labor Day weekend, you know, I couldn't go on a regular week cause that would mean missing work. Um, I went on this cruise with my best friend and her friends and I just had a blast. And the reason I think it was such a big deal to me is because I was so plugged into everything that when I'm went on that first cruise, um, there you could not use your phone. It was, it just was absolutely outrageous cost wise to turn your phone on at all. So I shut my phone on off. I stuck it in the safe for a week. Um, and I went on this cruise and for the first time in a very, very long time, I experienced pure relaxation. Um, lots of sunshine, which we, I don't know if you know much about Kansas City, but, um, we're very, very overcast most of the year, so we don't get a ton of sunshine. So I got a lot of sunshine. I got really good solid sleep. I got some really good solid food. And also we took our kids and for the first time we went on a vacation where I wasn't stressed about what we were going to pay for because it was all paid for out front. And so I developed this love of cruising. And, uh, in May, I went on my 23rd cruise.

Heather Newman:  What? Oh wow. That's amazing.

Sharon Weaver:  I know. So I've averaged about two cruises a year for the last, you know, 12 years or so. So I mean, everybody's like, oh my God, you're always on vacation. I'm like, I swear I take like two weeks a year. It's really not that big of a deal. Um, but I try to take about two cruises a year. Sometimes it's a weekend cruise, sometimes it's a week-long cruise. Um, and I just, you know, you can get WIFI a lot cheaper now. But truthfully, I'm really just happy kind of turning my phone off and laying on the deck and enjoying the sunshine. Um, and really just being away from everything for a few minutes, just completely disconnecting and not having technology for a week or so. And I think it gives me time to just let my brain recharge and my body recharge. So yeah, somewhere sunny and ocean and happy for a couple of weeks a year.

Heather Newman:  So, since you've been on so many cruises now, that's amazing. And I'm so happy to hear that you do that one. And so, um, I think, you know, I may call you a cruise maven so that you know so much about it. Um, you might now get people knocking on your door to ask you about how to do it

Sharon Weaver:  you know, that's actually totally fine. Um, I've had a lot, over the years, you know, standing in line getting for a cruise and people are always like, oh, this is my first cruise. I'm like, okay, here's what you got to know. Right? Um, and then it grew into people watching my posts on Facebook. Um, and I'm actually going to start posting a lot more stuff on Instagram and I'm going to move my travel stuff out of Facebook and into Instagram because it's gotten kind of heavy. And people ask me questions about it all the time and I really enjoy answering their questions. Um, I've taken a few people on either their first cruise or a cruise to kind of teach them kind of how to, you know, how to get out there and how to do stuff and how to enjoy it. Um, and starting next year I'm going to start doing group cruises, uh, at least once a year where I'm just going to basically take a group, um, whether it's your first time, whether you've been before and you just want to go with a group or whether you just want to go with somebody cause you've never done it before. Um, I'm basically going to lead some small group cruises where I can show people the ropes and see, let them see how good of a time it is. Um, let him know if cruising is for them or not. But, um, I think it'll be a good time. So I don't mind if people ask me questions at all. I could talk about cruising all day long.

Heather Newman:  That's so exciting. That's awesome to take something that you know, was a way to, you know, that your friend was like, you must do this and now look, you know, you're going to help other people have a little bit more balance. Right? So that's so exciting. I'm really so excited to hear that. That's great. Yeah.

Sharon Weaver:  You’re going to have to come on one of my cruises.

Heather Newman:  Okay. Yeah. I, I'm, yes, I, I've, I've only been on one and I did really enjoy it and, uh, so yeah, I've always thought, you know, I do know, I think he's still the CMO of Viking River cruises and I've always thought that those are super interesting too, you know.

Sharon Weaver:  Yeah, fancy.

Heather Newman:  those are, yes, those are kind of fancy, I guess. But, um, but yeah, the, the, my, I think my, my folks like cruising, they do that a couple of times a year too. So, but yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm game for sure. So, you know, speaking of sort of inspiration, passions and all of that, um, where, like what do you read, look, who's your favorite person? Maybe, or, and you don't have to say just one, but you know where if it's on Instagram or if it's a blog or, or something like that that you know, is a go to for you when you're like, I just need something awesome to get me through what's going on. Is there something or someone you can point out to that you could share with everybody where, where you go to for that type of thing?

Sharon Weaver:  I follow a lot of different stuff. Um, I try really hard to kind of limit it to kind of some primary ones and then I kind of dabble a little bit cause otherwise it just takes up a little bit too much bandwidth. But I will tell you one person that I have followed since the very beginning of his career, it's Zen Habits. I think it's Zenhabits.net. Um, but he's Leo Balboa and he is phenomenal. He has written mindfulness. Um, I probably followed it for 10 years easy. Um, and I know, he's one of the few that I allow his blog to come to my email, um, because it's so good. And he, I mean, obviously he does have some guests writers, occasionally things like that, but his content is just always fantastic. He always just says exactly what I need to hear. Um, and it's just really about, um, focusing on what you're doing right now and making sure that you're not letting all the other little stuff kind of come into to spoil that. Right? It's not getting so distracted that you can't focus on what it is you're trying to accomplish. Um, but I love Zen Habits. Um, there's a site called Tiny Buddha with a, a big, uh, it's a number of writers, but it's a lot of women writers. Um, and they talk a lot about, you know, once again, um, purpose and mindfulness and things like that. Um, and, uh, I, know this is kind of Cliché, but I love Bob Proctor. Um, he's just amazing. So I love all the law of attraction people. Um, anybody who's into mindfulness and Buddhism and things like that. I'm not a Buddhist, but I do love the mindfulness concept. Um, and I just, you know, a lot of kind of good feels. I'm all about the good feels, so I follow a lot of like positive affirmation and um, enlightenment posts and things like that on, um, all of the various social media channels.

Heather Newman:  Right. Cool. Those are all cool, I've heard of some but not others. That's awesome. I'll make sure to put those in the show notes for our listeners. Um, so last, last question for you. Um, I am always interested in that moment or spark, um, that happened in someone's life of like, that like springs you to, to do what you do to be who you are is, is there someone or something that you can remember that you want to share with our listeners about that moment when you were like, this really catalyzed me or made me go, oh, Yep, this is the way that I want to go. Is there anything you can think of that, that might fit that bill?

Sharon Weaver:  I, you know, I don't, I don't know that there's been a specific catalyst. There might have been a lot of them, but I will tell you, and I know you know him, but I'm going to give a little bit of a shout out because I think throughout the entire time of my entire journey, my husband has basically been my biggest groupie. I know he knows that and I know he says it, but when you have gone through some of the craziness that we've gone through and being a woman in technology, and it's so great that he's in technology too, because we can speak the same language. Um, but he has, throughout this entire journey, every time I've said, I think I want to do this, he goes, do it. I'll make it happen. Just do it. And, um, no matter what, no matter how crazy it gets, I'm like, I'm like, Hey, what do you think of this? Every once in a while, I can always tell because hell kind of give me that funny look like, I mean, I trust you, but... Truthfully, he has been there rock solid. We've been married for 27 years this year. We've been together for 30. Um, and he has just been rock solid by my side the entire time. I don't know that there's really been kind of like a catalyst. There's a lot of little ones that had happened along the way. But when it comes to why I am who I am, I think he's a big part of it.

Heather Newman:  That's amazing. I love that. And he's such a love so that I, you know, that makes sense. And congratulations on anniversaries and stuff. That's a long time. And that's, relationships go through those roller coaster moments and you know, hanging on together and having, you know, one hand on the bar in one hand up in the air, you know, that's what you want. Right?

Sharon Weaver:  Yeah. And having a husband that was really excited for his wife to be gone all the time, work all the time, learn new technology, work in a very male dominated industry where I was the only girl, travel with a ton of men for all of these things. Um, and then also, um, I mean in general, I have earned more than him almost my entire career. And for a lot of men that could be debilitating or it could be something that would really, you know, be hard on them. And he has just cheered me on and cheered me on and cheered me on and said, no, go get him. Like, you can do this and I'm here. So, it's kind of a big deal.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, no, it's a huge deal. And I've been with him and heard him do that about you and around you and even when you weren't in the room, you know, so I, big, big Kudos over there to him for that. So for sure. That's awesome. Well, I want to say thank you for being on the call. It's always so good to connect with you and talk with you and I'm so glad you've got a chance to come on the podcast. So thanks for sharing everything you did today with us.

Sharon Weaver:  Thanks so much for having me. This is fantastic. And I think you're kind of awesome too, so,

Heather Newman:  well thank you. The feeling is mutual as they say, so I appreciate that. Well everyone, um, that has been another Mavens DO It Better podcast, and you can find us on all the normal areas where you look for us: on our website, on iTunes, on Stitcher, on Spotify, and Google Play. And here is two another beautiful day on this big blue spinning sphere. Thank you.

 

Heather Newman

Heather Newman is an award-winning marketing maven, technology entrepreneur and an epic connector that brings many worlds together. She has extensive experience marketing products and services for Enterprise businesses, startups and emerging markets. Heather builds plans and processes that are nimble, human and different. She is an adept storyteller and is passionate about growth for both employees and the corporate bottom-line. Heather hails from the arts and the bulk of her career has been working with the largest technology companies in the world (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, NetApp, Hewlett Packard, and Dell). Her nineteen years of experience working at technology companies and building global high-tech marketing strategy has driven millions of dollars of revenue and multiple award-winning campaigns. She has led global marketing teams for many technology companies including AvePoint, IT Unity & KnowledgeLake. Heather was a part of the original Microsoft SharePoint Marketing team. During her tenure, she helped launch multiple versions of the product, build the SharePoint Partner Ecosystem and conceived of and produced the first three Microsoft SharePoint Conferences. Creative Maven has produced thousands of global marketing campaigns and events. Currently CM is focusing on go to market strategies for Microsoft and its partners as well as a new site sister site launching in 2015 called Marketingfixer.com. Heather also serves as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda, an innovative technology startup looking to actively disrupt how content is delivered inside software.