Shelly Panzarella | When You Respect and Help Yourself First, it’s Easy to Respect and Help Others.

An Interview with Kat Mische Elle

Shelly, share with us how you became the woman you are today.

I was the oldest sibling and cared for my baby brother. I was always the ‘mother hen,’ even as a child. I loved the leadership role. My parents were business owners and growing up around their determination inspired me to be where I am today. My parents were born in the Philippines until their high school years and relocated to Oahu. From there, they made their way to Las Vegas, began their bakery business, and have since retired. They have so much pride in creating their American dream. My parents worked hard for what they had, and I watched them create the life they wanted. Seeing my mom and dad do this made me want to control my destiny. 

When I was a kid growing up, I was looked upon favorably for being in charge. But it wasn’t control I liked; instead, I wanted to come from a place of giving. I wanted to provide support for anybody who was around me and find ways that I could help. I first took this role with my little brother and my younger cousins, which plays a part in where I am today.

I think it’s a little bit of how I want people to treat me, but mostly how I want to treat others. I have this servant-heart that is disguised as being resourceful for others. Everybody thinks of me as this humble leader. I’ve always been inspired to go higher, but I never necessarily wanted to do it alone. I want to have people around me that I can pull up and who can also go along the journey with me. 

My parents owned and operated a bakery here in Las Vegas. They worked extremely hard, from eleven at night until three in the afternoon the next day. My brother and I would go to school, but it was a part of our life to get up, help my parents bag baked goods, and then go to school. We would go home and have an everyday family life. One of my fondest memories was of my brother and me laying on this cot in our little office in the bakery, where we would hang out together or nap while my parents continued to work.

My parents would get home late, sleep until morning, and start a new day again. My parents were hard workers, and they always did that to provide for our family. What I saw in my parents reflects in who I am today. What they did for me and provided for my brother and me, I want to be able to provide for my daughter and my family in the same way. 

What helped advance your career as an adult? 
Having self-respect. I see self-respect as confidence in who you are— believing in yourself and respecting those around you—knowing what you bring into the world and how you can help others. Being a person others can rely on and being accepting of other people is also what selfrespect means for me. It took me a little while to own my confidence and to understand that I had the strength inside of me. And when I walk into a room, people know I care about them and want the best for them, whether in their personal or professional life.

What are five things to help people put businesses into motion?
My book, Mindset to Millions, lists the five steps I believe any business should take to have a business and a life of wealth and prosperity. Those five steps are: 1) Identify what you want 2) Have Clarity on Why it’s important to you 3) Create the person you need to be to get what you want 4) Define the daily activities you need to do to have the business you want 5) Take action and move. 

Then, I would look at your big vision and circle this back for a year. What do you want? And then I’d ask them why is this so important for you to do? What is it to build wealth? Is it paying off debt? Is it because you want a legacy? Whatever it may be, understanding to the core what that is for them is essential. 

And then I go into “Who.” So, you declare what you want, define what you want through your why, and affirm what you want. “Who” do you have to be for this successful business owner? And then connect yourself to an affirmation that highlights that goal and Vision. I would then ask myself; how will you achieve these goals? Depending on the purposes and timelines that you have, how will you do it?

I pull people through a year’s timeframe and break them into quarters, which are your seasons. We start to define what would have to be done in those 90 days, breaking it down to 60 days, 30 days, weekly, and daily, and then I take action on that daily.

For example, this begins with my morning routine. Everyone should create one for themselves. It starts with a mindset. The affirmations build up who you are and link you to the directions leading you towards that goal. I review my outcomes because I need to remember and remind myself every day why I want these things and what exactly I want. 

Reviewing my daily priorities is my “How” to fine-tune the map of the direction I need to go. 

What has been the most impactful experience in your life during your climb to your next level of career success? 
I joined a program in September of 2019, where we discussed work-life balance. From that experience, I’m now living in a particular mindset that has helped me regain and build my spirituality, relationships, and the financial aspects of my life. In this profound self-realization, I recognized that supporting other people for me meant living for other people. I was doing all of these things for others, which I was happy to do, but I cared for myself second or last. What kept me going all those years was that I felt better about helping other people. I let that feeling sustain me enough to recognize that I wasn’t giving to myself. Well, not never, but just not enough so I could continue to have strength for others.

It became evident to me in all the areas of my life that I have been carrying a heavy load for everybody else as long as I could remember.

It was at this time that I felt like a fraud to myself! I felt like an imposter was staring back at me in the mirror because inside, I knew I wasn’t taking care of myself. 

Before my life had this clarity, I had six figures of credit card debt because I was the person that took care of business dinners and any social event expenses that I was attending. I had to be that ‘mother hen.’ Because I just had to take care of everybody. Even though I was getting paid well, I was always in the red. I just kept walking forward, ignoring those pressures, and would forget about them for a moment when I was in the position to throw down my card and pay for things for others in the perception that I was helping them. 

I was then asked by my Coach Setema Gali, “What do you want?” At that moment, everything came out. With some fire, I said, “I want to take care of myself.”

Even though I had gained this brand-new spirituality and new tools to use for improving my life, it wasn’t until that one particular moment of evolution did things start to change. Making that declaration was the springboard for me to be where I am today. 

On the outside, no one noticed anything was shifting because I was always well put together, drove a nice car, and looked like I had the perfect marriage. I had the best daughter, and I was the greatest mom. We had the best dog and all the “things.” But the reality was that I was $150,000 in credit card debt. My husband had no idea. I was lying to everyone. He knew about our credit cards, which were in good standing, but not the business debt.

I just carried myself with a level of simple calmness about me in my motivation to create more money. 

Did you confuse anxiety with that motivational energy? 
Yes, completely! I believed that if I stopped, the world would implode. If I didn’t keep everything moving, then this world was going to stop on me. 

I had some tough conversations, the first being with my husband. He was so supportive; he helped me pay off my debts.

It took an entire month for me to let go of all the things holding me back. And then it took me a good six months to establish this new pattern. 

My morning self-care routine has been the core of who I am today. I now have this great inner peace in me because I decided to own myself, which corrected my balance in life.

It was this phase of my life when I became the most real with myself and was determined to never be in that financially and emotionally negative place again!

The only way to be clear is to be clear—nothing in between?
Yes, I believe that clarity is power. From that clarity, I have learned powerful lessons and turned my life into a financially abundant one. I have now written a book, Mindset to Millions, giving teachings and steps for guidance and healing those old stories to help launch people into living the next most remarkable chapter of their life.

Who would you thank for being a significant inspirational influence in your life? 
My husband and my daughter, of course! But it all starts with my parents, watching them go through what they had to go through. They were the ones that taught me to work hard. I grew up hearing my dad say, “It doesn’t matter; you just always have to be kind. Always be kind, work hard for your family, provide, no matter what happens, be kind.” 

Unless your father told you his definition of being kind, it left you to decide what he meant by being kind. It left you to define what kindness meant in your young years. At that time, you decided it meant over-giving of yourself and confusing your kindness with being a servant. 
Yes. I would agree. You are right on that.

So, you are circling back to realizing that the epitome of kindness was primarily giving that kindness to yourself first. Since then, you have been able to truly walk on the path of being kind to others.
Yes, truly! Being kind to myself first has given me peace and freedom, which has helped me to inspire and serve others.

Where can we find your book?, Instagram or Facebook @ShellyPanzarella

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