Kelly Hall and Shannon Boyer are multi-unit Franchise Partners of our Temecula and Costa Mesa, California locations. They’re a dynamic duo, with a unique partnership within Burn Nation, and have taken the California market by storm!
Kelly was born and raised in Chicago but always felt called to California, where she moved right after college graduation. She has been married for 11 years to her husband Jared, and they have two little girls Rylan (5) and McKenna (2.5). Kelly began her career with Teach For America, which is a leadership program for college graduates who want to serve in inner-city schools. She was recruited from that program for a non-profit recruitment role, where she stayed for a decade impacting lives and making positive change.
Shannon is originally from the San Francisco Bay area and started her career with Teach for America as well. She met her husband, Robbie, in college and they went on to attend seminary school together. Shannon and Robbie had all three of their children after their Burn journey began; Kase (4) Kaden (3) and Blakeley (1). Their husbands have been best friends for over a decade now!
In our conversation, we cover “doing it all” and overcoming feelings of doubt, fear, and insecurity. The possibility of impacting someone else’s life is the common thread that pulls these women up to the top of their game and is the driving force behind overcoming the challenges they have faced as business owners over the past year.
We also talk through the dynamics of being in business with your best friend, how experience breeds strength, the importance of therapy and self-awareness, identifying opportunities, and optimizing your business. Some of our biggest takeaways from today’s conversation include being open to feedback, partnership communication, growth strategies, and the importance of empathy as a leader!
I sat down with these powerhouse women to ask all the tough questions. Join our conversation below:
[Considering your previous years of professional experience] How have you learned new ways to be a leader through the Burn Boot Camp setting? What you used to know might be different than what you know now.
“My typical communication style is very soft and empathetic. I want to make sure the person walking away from our interaction feels good. In the past, I’ve always communicated that way. It was easier in a ministry setting, but it’s not what people need in a business setting. They need direct communication. They don’t need all the fluff and the emojis. I feel empowered to stand on my own authority as a leader. Before Burn, I never thought people needed to hear what I had to say. I had to get over my fear of being liked. I have become more authoritative and confident. You can be both kind and direct at the same time.” -Shannon Boyer
“I had never been THE boss before Burn. It’s been a big learning curve for me. It took almost a year for that to sink in.” -Kelly Hall
Explain your dynamic as business partners and friends. Do you have delegated responsibilities? Is it personality-oriented?
“The longer we’re in this, the easier it is to see where our strengths and opportunities lie. We both own certain areas in the business, but we both have veto power. Our friendship is the most important thing.” -Kelly Hall
“Friendship first, always.” -Shannon Boyer
Let’s talk about any moments of doubt you may have had, whether collectively or individually. How did you combat any doubt that you had about running a business?
“The way I see it, there isn’t an option to fail if it’s my responsibility. I never felt like there was an option to not do well or to fail. I’m a 1 on the Enneagram and I just look at every circumstance as an opportunity to learn. Every failure is a lesson. I strive to keep feedback loops open with our ownership group, our staff, our members. I’m big on finding blind spots and improving. What pulls me out when I’m feeling overwhelmed is remembering the bigger picture and not getting consumed in the small stuff (or the weeds as I like to call it). We also lean on our mentors and pray, pray, pray, a lot.” -Kelly Hall
“May 17, 2020 was a day that goes down in history for me of thinking ‘are we really going to be able to do this?’ I was sitting at my kitchen table, I had just put my kids down for a nap, I had my laptop open, and I learned that we had to close our gym down due to COVID-19. I lost it. I was an uncontrollable ball of emotion and terrified of what was going to come next. My oldest daughter walked down, saw me balling, and asked ‘Mommy what’s wrong?’ I tried to explain to my 4-year old the best I could and I’ll never forget, she said ‘Mommy just do Burn outside’ little did I know, we’d all end up doing Burn outside! In some senses I’m thankful for last year and what we had to go through because I grew so much in my leadership.” -Shannon Boyer
I always think; “what will happen if I don’t do it?” -Morgan Kline
What would you say is a crucial skill to have to be a good business partner?
“Self-awareness. The longer we have been in this, the more I’ve come face to face with what I’m good at, and what I need help with. Usually, if there’s conflict, it’s because there is a breakdown in communication. So getting to know one another’s communication styles is huge. Shannon and I have been able to meet each other where we are because we are in tune with each other and ourselves. Therapy helps too!” –Kelly Hall
“Yes, yes to everything Kelly said! Also, competence. With competence comes trust and knowledge; both of which you need. Having an equal passion and commitment is crucial. Having both of those things removes any questions or doubts. We both, in our heart of hearts, believe that Burn transforms lives and we are willing to do whatever it takes to transform as many as we can.” -Shannon Boyer
“We both hang our hats on family and faith at the end of the day. When you’re connected like that, at the end of the day, any other differences just become beautiful.” -Kelly Hall
What’s something that your children have done to actually enrich your business, and the balance of work and life. What would you say to those Moms afraid to start and spend that time working?
“I wouldn’t be where I am if I wasn’t a Mom. Our core membership base is a group of Moms that are in the same stage of life as Shannon and I. Our kids have done nothing but enrich the experience. It’s so fulfilling that our kids get to be a part of our business.” -Kelly Hall
“Our kids make us better people. They put our priorities in the right order. They lighten things. Having that perspective, and remembering what’s really important, has enriched our ability to reach real people with real struggles.” -Shannon Boyer
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