Shyla Day is an Award-Winning Music Artist, TEDx Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Social Media Influencer, and International Humanitarian. She has garnered dozens of global awards, nominations, and recognition in the fields of music, humanitarianism, social media, and entrepreneurship. She achieved distribution in 189 countries, in the largest retailers, libraries, and airports around the world has been nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year 4 times, and she also notably won the All-American Small Business Championship as a teen.
Her music landed her dozens of award nominations, including being the youngest nominated at the Los Angeles Music Awards for Female Singer-Songwriter of the year, and 2021 Social Media Influencer of the Year at the All-Star Music Awards. Shyla Day has made a positive impact on millions through thousands of charitable organizations globally.
She led a passionate talk on the TED platform with over 30 million subscribers, called “Music for Global Impact”, where she sparks conversation on unconventional humanitarian efforts- as a result, she has been honored International Humanitarian of the Year twice. After multiple fans-choice nominations, a wall of fame induction, over 1 million followers across platforms, and a multitude of sold-out shows, radio, television, media features, you could say the world is excited for what’s next for Shyla Day.
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Table of Contents
Let’s start with a brief introduction first. Introduce yourself to our readers.
Shyla Day: My name is Shyla Day, and I am a singer/songwriter with a purpose! Leading with heart, I use my platform and talents to positively impact the world. Nice to meet you!
Our audience is interested to know about how you got started in the first place. Did you always want to become a CEO or was it something you were led to? Our readers would love to know your story!
Shyla Day: When I first picked up my guitar I was just 14 years old. While I always had a spirit as a youngster, my music career grew into a personal brand and from there, next thing you know it I had a full-blown business on my hands. It was a happy accident! Initially, I began performing for non-profits and to support other philanthropic causes, which then led me to share my story through writing in a best-selling book called ‘1 Habit for Women Action Takers’, speaking on TED, and eventually building my social media platforms!
“Selfmade” is a myth. We all received help, no doubt you love to show appreciation to those who supported you when the going got tough, who has been your most important professional inspiration?
Shyla Day: My mother. She always tells me to find a way to find the way! Things weren’t always easy for us, growing up in a single-parent household but my mom always reminded me that if I wanted something bad enough, I could find a way to make it happen. Now, I do my best to share this anecdote with everyone I can whenever I get the chance. Anything is possible! You just have to find a way, to find the way. Remember- there isn’t just 1 way to any goal. There are millions of paths for that 1 destination.
How did your journey lead you to become a CEO? What difficulties did you face along the way and what did you learn from them?
Shyla Day: Everyone has their own set of difficulties- I think it’s up to us to turn it into a positive or a negative. For a few examples, I am an English as Second Language speaker, but I ended up speaking on TED. I was a first-generation graduate, and I am dyslexic but I graduated college with honors and studied at both Harvard and Yale after becoming a bestselling author. Not to mention, my continuous battle with social anxiety as a public figure, performer, and social media influencer.
Being a young woman in music and entertainment, both very male-run industries there have been times where I felt overlooked, taken advantage of, and even bullied by my peers, etc, People in my position tend to shy away from sharing that kind of difficulties, However, each of our difficulties in life are what you make them. I’ve learned that regardless, it’s best to always be authentically myself through all of the twists and turns!
Tell us about your company. What does your business do and what are your responsibilities as a CEO?
Shyla Day: I am a music artist, a speaker, an author, and a content creator – but most of all, I am a humanist. Right now, due to Covid-19 there still aren’t events or lots of in-person meetings, A normal day before the pandemic looked like stages, red carpets, audiences, and meeting a ton of new faces! Today, my daily life looks like time in front of the camera, time in front of the computer, time connecting with my audiences on Social Media, and time in the studio. With each of these facets in my business, comes its own set of responsibilities. All of which share one thing in common, and that’s the goal to ultimately contribute to someone’s life in a positive way.
What does CEO stand for? Beyond the dictionary definition, how would you define it?
Shyla Day: Caring, Empowered Operator. A person who operates from a place of heart, empowering themselves and others. A person who works from a place of altruistic passion, instead of monetary pleasure and gain. If all CEOs were Caring Empowered Operators, I think the world would be a more compassionate place.
When you first became a CEO, how was it different from what you expected? What surprised you?
Shyla Day: What surprised me the most, growing into my business is the stigma around being a successful woman in male-run industries. If you are a woman in business, regardless of your industry people will ask, what about marriage, a clean house, and children. As if men don’t have these same responsibilities in life. Not to mention, people will often ask what I do outside of my business for work, and they seem relatively surprised when I tell them my business is my work.
There are many schools of thought as to what a CEO’s core roles and responsibilities are. Based on your experience, what are the main things a CEO should focus on? Explain and please share examples or stories to illustrate your vision.
Shyla Day: I would advise you to focus on your story, create a great product, and then amplify your message through PR and social media. Don’t forget to have a solid back-end for analyzing your data as well. Rinse and repeat! For example, if you go straight into PR and social media without a clear message and a great product, you will have a hard time flipping your audience when you finally figure it out. That’s why I always say your story should be your first step.
Once you can confidently share your story, your audiences will follow through your with PR and social media efforts, which will sell your product. However, if you are unable to collect and analyze your data, you won’t know what is working and what isn’t.
Share with us one of the most difficult decisions you had to make for your company that benefited your employees or customers. What made this decision so difficult and what were the positive impacts?
Shyla Day: Some of my most difficult decisions are often made with my audiences in mind. I think some of my most difficult decisions to date continue to be involving my working relationships. It is difficult to sift through those of good heart and clear intentions. By learning very hands-on as a young 14-year-old girl, navigating my industries I’ve run into personalities and brands that I have had to separate myself from because they simply didn’t reflect the same values!
Over time, it became easier to read these types of people, and as a result, it definitely made a positive impact on both myself, my business, and my audiences. I like to lead by example by working with people who also serve the world in the same manner.
How would you define success? Does it mean generating a certain amount of wealth, gaining a certain level of popularity, or helping a certain number of people?
Shyla Day: Success to me, is a very personal word. It reflects so differently for everyone, right? Between wealth, perceived status, and philanthropy it seems to be focused very outward instead of looking in. I think success is looking within. Success to me can be summed up in 2 simple questions. Do you do what you love every day? Are you genuinely happy in life? If you can say yes to those 2 questions, to me, you are a successful human. So many people spend their lives unhappy, doing things they don’t love to do every single day, and I simply don’t find that to be a successful life regardless of wealth or perceived status.
Some leadership skills are innate while others can be learned. What leadership skills do you possess innately and what skills have you cultivated over the years as a CEO?
Shyla Day: As a Virgo, you can say I’ve got the organization down pat. Because if you aren’t organized as a leader, you won’t get very far! I have an honors Business degree, an honors Communications degree, and I went to Harvard for business as well. Every other facet to leadership, I am a sponge, learning, every step of the way. There are benefits to being a young CEO, and learning is the best part! I am constantly growing and learning how to guide my team better. I love implementing new wisdom and I look forward to bettering my leadership every step of the way.
How did your role as a CEO help your business overcome challenges caused by the pandemic? Explain with practical examples.
Shyla Day: Being an entertainer and performer, there was a time where I couldn’t imagine my entire business is run online. Every day I was meeting new people, and performing in front of large crowds was the norm. After the pandemic hit in 2020, I pivoted online and leaned headfirst into social media. From there, I was able to grow an online audience of over 1 Million followers! Like momma Day says, find a way to find the way!
Do you have any advice for aspiring CEOs and future leaders? What advice would you give a CEO that is just starting on their journey?
Shyla Day: Other than finding a way to find the way, I would say that there is a reason you have your passions and your dreams. They are there to act on. If you can imagine it, it is possible in your reality! My second-best piece of advice is that failure is only failure if you completely give up. As long as you keep going towards your goals, you avoid what would be an actual failure.
Thank you for sharing some of your knowledge with our readers! They would also like to know, what is one skill that you’ve always wanted to acquire but never really could?
Shyla Day: I would love to learn gardening. I don’t seem to have a green thumb, but I do have such a love for florals and the healing properties in herbs and our food! We do have a small and easy-to-maintain flower and succulent garden out front, and in the backyard there is an orange tree. One day, I’d love to grow and cook with my own fruits and veggies!
Before we finish things off, we have one final question for you. If you wrote a book about your life today, what would the title be?
Shyla Day: Great question! If I were to write a book about my life today, it would probably be named, Ambition Beats Limitation. Because it’s true!
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Shyla Day for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Shyla Day or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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