How a Simple Connection Sparked a Movement

Shark Marketing Co. CEO Shari Stauch has been involved in publishing, marketing and PR for 33 years. In 2004 she retired from the Women’s Pro Billiard Tour after a 20-year career as a touring pro player and marketer/co-creator of the tour to pursue development of Shark Marketing Co., serving authors and aspiring authors using their words to promote greater issues. She is a 5-time President’s Award recipient and was inducted into the Women’s Pro Billiard Association Hall of Fame in 2007. Shari is currently serving her second term as president of Charleston’s Center for Women, where she moderates the Women Writers Forum, and is co-director of programming for New Orleans’s Words & Music literary festival. She is a certified executive coach; an award-winning essayist and fiction writer; editor; and author of four non-fiction books. She is now completing a novel set in her hometown of Chicago.


Shari Stauch
Shari Stauch

When I first decided to narrow my marketing focus to work with clients with whom I shared a passion – authors – I had no idea what that would look like as a business model. It turned out to be the best decision I could have ever made. I enjoyed the work; and clients enjoyed learning how to promote their words.

Business grew and as it did, the majority of my clientele happened to be women. As it grew more, this clientele further defined itself into a dynamic group of savvy women who, unbeknownst to each other, were exposing deeper issues in their writing, issues that would resonate with the masses…

One author began blogging about animal rights, another about parents dealing with the loss of a child. Another is completing a novel that shines a light on the darkness of male-on-male sexual harassment in the workplace. One is working on a memoir about coming into her own freedom of expression through dance, something that had been denied her in childhood. Yet another is aiding in the charge to end sex trafficking. And the list goes on… Not only was I loving my job, I was learning about so many important issues, and the influence these women were having, each in their own way striving to make our world better, just by speaking and writing and putting themselves out there.

Another of my long-standing clients, an amazing female author, Rosemary James, is co-founder of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society in New Orleans. Attending her conference one year (the fabulous Words & Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans), I was hooked. I’ve been to every conference since, soaking up the infused energy of the world’s greatest authors, editors and agents. Words & Music has become my shared passion, and so naturally I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, and encourage everyone who has an interest in words to attend.

And so I did. I suggested to several clients, including writers in Florida, California, Tennessee, New York and South Carolina, that they make the trip to New Orleans, both to support the great work Rosemary was doing for authors and to avail themselves of the opportunity to meet agents, editors, and some of the best writers producing work in this century. It would be a chance for them to network, but also to be inspired, so important for writers when writing is such a solitary art form.

When seven of them readily agreed to give it a go, I was excited for them. But that excitement quickly turned to anxiety. Would they have a good time? Would I be held accountable to make sure they had a good time? I had a lot to do there; would they feel less than cared for if I weren’t paying each enough attention? In short, what was I thinking?

Well, despite all my great experiences working with women through Charleston’s Center for Women and all these special clients, I greatly underestimated the power of women supporting women. By the end of the first day, I’d introduced each to the others. By the end of the second day they were sharing schedules and drinks and comparing critiques. On the third day we had dinner together and the women dubbed themselves “Seven Strong” with a hearty toast… each vowing to connect through their writing in the days and weeks to come.

Since that November conference, those proud members of the “Seven Strong” have forged bonds of steel. They’re planning a retreat at one’s vacation home in Folly Beach, and another at one’s cabin in Tahoe. In between they spend time on the phone and by email, through lunches and road trips, to connect with each other, critique each other’s work, brainstorm their marketing efforts, and encourage and nurture each other as writers and as women.

I’m as proud as any mother hen could be, but I can’t take the credit… It’s really all about that power that surges through women when we’re helping each other. Women supporting women isn’t just a concept; it’s a FORCE… and one to be reckoned with!


Women Supporting Women




You can’t get your big on without it

Today’s guest author is Margie Analise, mentor, motivator and spark plug of success who helps women entrepreneurs ignite extraordinary in their life and business. Margie offers a free coaching course, or you can send her your question about life, style or business, and you could be featured in her Q&A video segment, Spotlight + Solution!
Margie Analise

Whether your other role as a woman is entrepreneur, working mom, business leader, or something in between, there is a synergy of two elements that creates a key so crucial to your success in business and life, that you can’t get your big on without it.

Before I tell you what it is, I want to share a little story with you of how this key was revealed to me through a very powerful personal experience.

My older sister was always a major influence in my life. We had a very close relationship; and my own identity was deeply rooted in our connection. We laughed together, cried together, and went through a whole lot of what life dished out together. When she lost her battle to cancer, it shook me to the very core of my being. In essence, I didn’t know who I was anymore. My personal stock plummeted - I didn’t know if I believed I could be successful, or even if I deserved to have success. I was so lost.

During this time I was in the early stages of growing my business. The very time when I most needed to have my “stuff” together ended up being the time when my stuff fell apart. My business went sideways, and so did my life.

Ultimately, what I learned from this was the most powerful catalyst in creating my greatest happiness and prosperity - I had the key.

By finding my way back from the land of the lost and weakened heart, it was revealed that my emotional state had been unconsciously sabotaging me by fusing into everything I did.

I no longer conveyed conviction in my message, and I exuded the fact that I was no longer confident in myself or what I was doing.

Not knowing who you are, and not having a sense of self-worth will undermine every action your educated, skillful, logical mind directs you to do.

Unless you take action from a place of healthy self-esteem, doing all the right things won’t yield you the abundance of results you could be getting.

There are so many women who feel lost, who don’t have a strong sense of self; who feel like they don’t even know who they are anymore. Perhaps this has happened to you too, or maybe, just maybe this is where you are today.

So often this happens when roles in life change lanes. Whether you go from career woman to first time mom, through a divorce, or find yourself at the end of a deeply significant relationship, in the way that I did. These events can leave you in a space of unfamiliarity with who you are and what you’re all about. It undermines your sense of self, and demotes your sense of self-worth.

The key to your success is in the synergy created through the clarity of knowing who you are, and the fortitude with which you believe in and actualize your value.

If you don’t know who you are, you can’t resonate your worth. If you don’t see value in yourself or your message (service, product), neither will anyone else. It infuses into how you convey your message, the depth of your aspirations, and the breadth of your actions. It conveys an impression on others about your level of confidence and credibility and affects how they perceive and interact with you.

These things are what power your ability to optimally leverage your business savvy, knowledge, experience and skills. They integrate into whether you aim high or aim low. Whether you aspire or settle. Whether you see a failure as a reason to stop, or a lesson to learn from and persevere.

So, consider if your esteem tank is low, or even empty, how do you  fuel your best life, your best work? You don’t - whether you can see it or not.

When is the last time you took a conscious inventory of where you are within? Have you been committing self-demotion of your personal needs and worth in consideration of that of others?

You owe it to the forecast of your future achievements to have the courage to delve inward and ask some pivotal questions that will help direct you to greater success.

  • How well do I really know myself?
  • Where do I rate my sense of self-worth?
  • What do I need to do to ignite and amplify my personal power to propel my prosperity?

You have the power to do this. Get to know yourself and forge your paramount self-worth. When you do, then you have the key you need to really get your big on!