Shawn Nicholson – SMN Square, Inc.

Arielle Kilgore | July 19th, 2021
Shawn Nicholson

Shawn Nicholson

A company is only as good as its leader. Without a great guide, the company or business can experience stagnant or depleted growth. Shawn M. Nicholson, a business leadership coach, helps other companies, small businesses, and individuals obtain the successful leadership they wish for. Ultimately, his coaching can provide inevitable prosperity for all who work with him.

Shawn is the founder of SMN Square Inc., located in Richmond, VA. It is a consulting/coaching business that helps the executives of small companies, organizations, or non-profits find sustainability in their corporation by learning how to communicate effectively, self-awareness of employees and directors, and have sustainable habits that can grow their staff. As a result, the seven-month program gives the company a chance to rise within themselves and be better clients for their customers.

“I’m a third-generation entrepreneur on both sides of my family, my maternal and paternal. I often tell people that I knew exactly what I wanted to do, even at the age of eight. I wanted to be a business owner.”

Shawn grew up watching his father and his father’s brother manage a business in construction. In that time, he watched as they led other employees and gave instructions that helped build the company. Although he did not choose his father’s business, he learned that you must care and provide great leadership among your peers to receive wealth and successive victory.
“We provide the building blocks for success, and I model that off of literally building a house. In building a house, there is a lot of underground work that has to be done to have a good solid footing to pour the foundation on,” Shawn says.

Shawn provides different pathways for individuals to take, like one-on-one coaching or team leadership activities. He also provides an assessment and stakeholder interviews that help determine the kind of leader you are and what needs to be worked on for the corporation at hand to stay above water. In light of this, the time and effort put into the transformation is not his only reason to help, but it’s Shawns’ drive to change institutions that keep him going.

A small business in stature, SMN Square, Inc. provides connections from corporate friends and other business stakeholders for individuals who need more guidance. His philanthropy draws more customers every day because his prerogative is not self-derived. It is to provide the best help most efficiently and sufficiently possible.

“To see them flourish and be successful and sustainable, that’s the greatest joy there. It’s truly a blessing to be able to see my vision come to pass,” he shares.

As SMN Square, Inc. grew in time and clients, their only challenge was not the pandemic but a previous event in U.S. history–the Recession. It was then that Nicholson had to liquidate most of his assets due to a slowing economy. It was his building blocks and firm foundation, he explains, that carried him through this rough time. He eventually acquired back what he lost but would still like to grow in capital and connections.

His goals go beyond the vocational schools he has established in Richmond and Hampton, VA. There are plans soon to have another vocational leadership school internationally in Cape Town, South Africa. He hopes to expand himself way past the borders of America so other people may have the same opportunities for advancement.

“I’m trying to expand with [vocational schools] and create more trades there. I’m trying to create more entrepreneurs and establish more business,” he says.

SMN Square, Inc. extends their generosity outside of their clients. Shawn offers his expertise to colleges in his area like Stratford University and Virginia State University Reginald F. Lewis College of Business. VSU, a local historically black college, partners with Shawn to help bring the next generation of black entrepreneurs and great business leaders. “I love working with those young people there. It’s a variety of affluent, self-driven students that are excited about the world of business,” Shawn explains. His guest appearances consist of him teaching the theories of business and practical knowledge of the world today.

His other contributions are to the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College board in dual enrollment and the workforce. Soft skill training and participating in hiring events in like manner are other ways Shawn and his company give back to those who sow into him.

Additionally, strategy, innovation, and vision are core pillars for SMN Square, Inc. to push their clients to be better. “My goal is to be able to duplicate and replicate myself across the country, across the globe, if you will. Regardless of where they are in their respective places, that other person can have the same success and the same sustainability. The same outcome as what I’ve been able to have through my experiences and my failures,” Shawn says.

To learn more about SMN Square Inc., please visit their website.

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