The Power of Doing With Erika Shannon Hathaway
Meet Erika Shannon Hathaway
At a young age, Erika saw the power of doing things yourself through her mother. As she continues to go after what she wants, the theme of taking initiative is at the core of everything that she does. We got to talk more about why she shows up and what's next for her on her list of goals.
Erika Shannon Hathaway
Occupations, affiliations, and projects.
“People Who Do” focuses on those who excel at moving forward throughout their passions in life, why is it important to you to “do”?
First question is a loaded one! I think “doing” became a theme really early in my life because of my mom. My dad left when I was 8 years old, and I watched her DO as a single mom - I saw her determination and strength as she forged ahead with three kids to nurture, pretty much by herself. She taught me that there is power in taking action on your own. I remember her making me call my Catholic school principal once (a hardcore nun) to request an early dismissal. I was so terrified, and mad at her for not doing it for me, but that lesson stuck with me. These days the importance of “doing” has a lot to do with my belief that what you give is what you get. You do your best, you get the best.
#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.
Everything is temporary, or (along the same theme), “The darkest hour is only 60 minutes long.” I’ve been through - and survived - being at the World Trade Center on September 11, divorce, loss, health scares, and bigtime setbacks. The idea that it HAS to get better at some point really does get me through. And helps me be okay with giving into the moment, letting it be dark, knowing it will pass.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
I’ve learned that I don’t have to be in NYC to be a major influencer, mover, and shaker. Since moving to the suburbs last summer, I’ve really found my home out here. I love teaching at the Short Hills SoulCycle, I have taken my business almost completely online, and I have more time to spend with my family. And it’s so quiet here. And I have a car. And space to create. I do go into the city once a week to teach, and I am surprised with how I’m becoming less and less attached to the city energy. I still like it, but I don’t define myself by it.
You’re a bad-a$$ SoulCycle instructor! What’s your favorite thing about teaching?
I love watching my riders grow and get stronger. I love that moment when I see a rider who has been hanging out in the back row for a few months book a bike in the second row or even front row. I love trying to find ways to get them to push themselves, and watching them have a breakthrough. Most of all, I love getting to know them. SoulCycle is a tight knit community, and I feel it so much, especially in Short Hills. It’s not just about the ride, it’s about movement, about pushing your edge, about feeling how you need to feel in a dark room and knowing you’re not alone. If people can feel a change in perspective as a result of moving their bodies, that’s my crack. I live for it.
Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party
Sara Bareilles because she’s freaking hilarious and uber talented and just seems like an awesome person to hang out with. George RR Martin because I want to know what happens in the next Game of Thrones book and he’s taking too damn long to write it (and also, he’s from Jersey, which I find fascinating). Dan Harris because I love his book, 10% Happier. Chita Rivera because she’s Chita freaking Rivera. And Bridget Everett. Because that girl can party.
3 words you want to be remembered by.
Quality. Integrity. Passion.
What's your favorite lesson you've ever learned?
"It’s okay to ask for help." I have an entire team of people who help me in my life. I have a life coach, a massage therapist, a mentor, a kickass mom, an assistant, and a whole slew of freelancers who do the stuff I don’t do well. I want to spend my time doing what I know best, and leave the rest to the experts. My business partner and I know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we work together accordingly. My husband and I navigate our relationship and our home this way. You truly don’t have to do it all. You just have to know how to do YOU, and outsource the rest.
To date, what accomplishments (of any kind) are you most proud of?
Booking my dream show. I had left the musical theatre world for several years, and through a magical chain of events way too long for this site, I found myself going for it again in my early 30s. ROCK OF AGES was playing Off-Broadway, and I saw it and immediately knew I had to be in it. I auditioned so many times over the course of two years. I took feedback from the casting director, I got a new voice teacher (who later became my great friend and is now my business partner), I worked so hard, I prayed, I manifested. And one Friday I got out of the shower to a message from my agent telling me I had booked the Broadway first national tour. It was the best performing experience of my life, and I met some of my dearest friends. Booking ROA was a direct result of DOING and manifesting, for sure.
Becoming a mom. My daughter, man. She is my world. I know it sounds trite, but you cannot possibly know your capacity to love until you have a child. It is HARD and it’s very scary, and you make a lot of sacrifices. I mean a LOT. But I’m so proud to be Anna’s mom and I know I’m doing my very best to raise her to become a loving, joyful human. So far so good!
Buying a house. When you live in NYC, stuffing your life into tiny overpriced rental apartments is the norm, and it takes a while to build up that nest egg. But I’m a suburban girl at heart, and I’ve always dreamed of owning my own home. When my husband and I bought our house last year I felt like I was on top of the world. I love it so much. I really feel like I’m starting to create the life I love, one step at a time.
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