After the multi-million dollar sale of his company, Shawn Thomas started the next chapter in his life — to share both business and life lessons in a multi-faceted way. As an angel investor, he engages as an active advisor and mentor to entrepreneurs in early-stage companies.
Shawn also creates content on social media to guide a broader population towards success through daily live broadcasts on Periscope as well as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. He’s a renaissance man who shares lessons in goal setting, business strategies, finance, customer service, business development, and more.
Small Business Trends first met Shawn at the Periscope Summit in September 2015 and recently spoke to him again via telephone.
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Small Business Trends: Why let anybody ask you anything on Periscope? A lot of people don’t understand why anyone would do this.
Shawn Thomas: When I was in my twenties, I didn’t have a mentor or advisor in my life. One of the things I said to myself was when I achieve success, I would give back. One of the ways I’ve found most efficient for giving back is utilizing Periscope. It allows anyone in the world who downloads the app to converse with me in an open format and ask questions that can help them on their entrepreneurial journey. It allows quick dialogue, and if somebody asks a question, everybody on that scope gets to hear the answer and gets to benefit from that question. This helps out more than being a one-on-one mentor with somebody. Including archived replay views, I can mentor and provide experience-sharing with tens of thousands.
Small Business Trends: So your ebook, The Power of Naiveté, addresses naiveté, but what do you tell people who say naiveté is a bad thing?
Shawn Thomas: I would say they don’t understand the context of the word naive in its true form. Naive is nothing more than the lack of experience, and we all have a lack of experience. Each day we age, we are learning what it feels like to live another day. If you take it in that context, the future has unlimited potential. There are some things that can only be learned by doing. It is important that you do not see a lack of experience as a negative, but rather as an opportunity for experience to be gained.
Small Business Trends: What was a recent angel investment you made?
Shawn Thomas: I just made a 6-figure investment into an entrepreneur named Taylor Bowmaster. His company is named Smoke Cubes.
Small Business Trends: Tell us a little about Uniguest, because it was a life-changing moment for you when you sold it.
Shawn Thomas: Today, Uniguest is a combination of many mergers and acquisitions, but it began as a one-man operation from my house. Years later I sold it to U.S. Hospitality who took on the name of Uniguest. The company that exists today started in 1986.
Small Business Trends: Where can people connect with you?
Images: Instagram, Katch
This is part of the Small Business Trends Livestreamed Livelihoods interview series featuring sessions with today's movers and shakers in the livestreaming world.More in: Livestreamed Livelihoods