Take full responsibility for everything; you control everything in your life. If you take full responsibility for everything good and bad, it’s very liberating.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shawn Soole.

Shawn Soole is a Victoria, BC based hospitality consultant and entrepreneur, author, speaker and award winning bartender. His ultimate goal is to build an agency that can help owners in the hospitality field (restaurants, bars, distilleries, wineries, breweries etc.) to take their concept from an idea on a napkin to a fully operational and successful venture post opening.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

I have been an entrepreneur since working with the family business at 13 years old, being brought up in a small business family, working for other people always felt a little odd and weird. I have been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years, I currently run 4 companies that are all hospitalitycentric; my goals are always to help people with creating and attaining their dreams through my assistance.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

I opened my first restaurant at 32 years old, it was a massive project, far too big for my first endeavor but I along with a number of investors opened and we were successful from the get-go. But with every restaurant, there are great days and bad days, which leads to stress and arguments within the investor group. My immediate business partner was extremely unrealistic on the time it would take to be profitable and that put pressure on myself and the relationship. In the beginning, I remember sacrificing a lot of power in the shareholder agreement, I knew that my concept was great and that they would never get rid of the person who created and molded the whole concept for years before they even came to the table. After a year and a bit, the shareholders toxic relationship had taken it’s toll and it wasn’t even close as bad as when they voted me out of the company and fired me as general manager. For the next few years, I was put through the ringer legally with non competes (even though they said I wasn’t doing my job properly) and losing everything. I realized after this, to make sure I am covered legally going into any business relationship.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Being a hospitality entrepreneur, you must fully understand the uniqueness of industry startups; many open on a shoestring with long tail ROI and you need to run your business like that as well. You must build relationships for long term success, growing with their business. I believe that the innate understanding of the industry has given me the leg up.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My wife, she has been the most supportive and inspiring person and between her and my daughter are the drivers behind my success.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

The ability to not hear the naysayers, the haters, the negativity; resilience is not caring about people’s opinion of you. That you opinion of yourself is all that matters, people are always there during your success but are the same people the ones there during your failure or even worse, talking about your failure. Everyone makes mistakes, entrepreneurs take huge risks, not caring about those opinions, good or bad is the key to resilience.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

I believe they are almost opposite. Courage is the left side, the confidence to strive for the goal; resilience is the trait to pick yourself up when you fail, then the ability to build your courage to do it all over again.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

I don’t really have an example in my head. I believe that resilience is a very personal journey; one that many think they can perceive from the outside looking in but really have no idea at all.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

That’s pretty much the definition of my career, every bar or restaurant I have opened; I have been told it’s impossible in my market. Whether it’s the concept or the timeline, those challenges excite me.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

I would say the story above, with my first restaurant. It took me a very long time to bounce back from that but I did, I opened my consulting firm and ground out my services. Wrote another book, opened multiple venues even with my ex partner coming after me and trying to tear me down at every turn. But I believe that it was for the best and while it was extremely painful then, I know that I am a better person because of it.

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

Support from my tight network and believe in myself that I am bigger than one venue, one project, one book. One success or milestone is great, but you wake up the next day and it’s another day, another goal.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

  • Believe in yourself; this is the most important. You have to not revel in the praises so that the negativity doesn’t bring you down.
  • Take full responsibility for everything; you control everything in your life. If you take full responsibility for everything good and bad, it’s very liberating.
  • Don’t sweat the little things; don’t get hung up on little issues or roadblocks. Always look at the bigger picture.
  • Ask for help; it is not a bad thing to ask for help from a friend or a professional. We can only pep talk ourselves up so much.
  • Understand that you aren’t alone; there are 8 billion people in the world, you aren’t in a bad place in life when you are 1 in 8 billion.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.