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“How Extremely Busy Executives Make Time to Be Great Parents” with Shane Evans

I define a good parent as someone that children can rely on, a constant in their lives they know always exists and that person not only listens but takes the opportunity and time to give them guidance to maneuver through life. I think a good parent challenges their children to do better, but with loving […]

I define a good parent as someone that children can rely on, a constant in their lives they know always exists and that person not only listens but takes the opportunity and time to give them guidance to maneuver through life. I think a good parent challenges their children to do better, but with loving arms that always reinforce that they are enough, but they are made to live to be the very best versions of themselves. I think I do that by showing them that we can have a family, a career and good relationships and that no matter where I am, I am always here for them, that they can talk to me about anything without judgment. I am really proud of my husband too who has taken on that “constant” role in our family, allowing me to run our business without guilt when I travel, because he’s taken a backseat and plays the biggest support role I could ever ask for. I know he’s always there for our daughters. He’s a really great dad. He supports them and challenges them each and every day. He is constantly consistent, available for their each and every need regardless of the time of day.


As a part of my series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” I had the pleasure to interview Shane Evans. Shane is Co-founder and President of Massage Heights, an international franchise company founded in San Antonio, Texas, in 2004. She is also the co-owner of several Massage Heights retail locations; co-owner of the supply chain, Summit Franchise Supply, LLC; and is on the Board of Directors of the Massage Heights Family Fund, which she co-founded as a crisis relief resource for Massage Heights franchisees’ team members nationwide after her appearance on “Undercover Boss”.


Thank you so much for joining us Shane! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?

Iwas born in Ankara, Turkey on a military base in 1969. My dad was stationed there. We only lived in Turkey until I was a few months old and then came back to the United States when my dad was done serving. I grew up in San Antonio, Texas primarily, but lived in Dallas as a child as well. I am the eldest of three kids and big sister to Glenn and Bret who were my best friends growing up. My mom and dad had full time jobs with side businesses most of my life, and from them I learned what it means to be diligent, honest, to treat people fairly and with respect and I believe their entrepreneurial spirit is what eventually lit a fire in me to take the ride of entrepreneurship! We had a solid upbringing, with many great memories and struggles alike, but my parents always worked to provide us with a very “normal” childhood with lots of camping, fishing, bikes and go carts, athletics, ballet and music lessons. I know now how much they sacrificed to provide us with these things; they worked tirelessly to do so, but that taught us all about work ethic and diligence that it takes when we have dreams that are bigger than our own for our families, loved ones and the people we lead.

Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?

I had a back injury in my early 20’s that eventually led me to massage therapy for pain relief. I had been working in sales and was on my feet a lot, a career that I had for nearly 15 years before starting Massage Heights. In my sales roles, specifically in a medical device career for some time, we were required to wear high heels and I found that it exacerbated the injury that I had earlier on. Prior to trying massage for an injury that other methods such as chiropractic care were not successful as remedying, I had no idea that something that felt so good could be so good for you! I was almost immediately healed the first time I had a massage and from then on would seek out massage therapy anytime I could get it. But it wasn’t until Massage Heights was created in 2004 that I was able to start getting massage on a regular basis. We made it professional, convenient and affordable allowing the masses, those who needed it for stress and pain relief to be able to access it regularly and I started getting massages at least weekly. The idea of Massage Heights was born out of my passion for its healing properties ultimately, but also after a mediocre massage in a hotel spa where I got taken late, cut short and received something far from therapeutic. It was what I call “fluff” and it was expensive! It was days later during a road trip that my husband and I created our initial concept and business plan! So, what led me here is really a combination of things; entrepreneurial parents, sales roles in several health and wellness industries, an injury that eventually drove me to massage and a bad experience that led me to create something better!

Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?

Most days, I wake up at 6:30 a.m., spend a few minutes with my youngest daughter (we have three girls, two of which are grown and on their own and a 12 year old at home) before my husband runs out the door with her for school, drink a cup of coffee and then meditate for 15 minutes. When I am not traveling to visit with our franchisees across the United States and Canada or attending conferences where I speak sometimes on the spa industry and the franchise industry or where I am learning, then I am in our office. Our HQ office is in San Antonio, Texas and is really our Franchise Development and Support hub. Most days are filled with team meetings, individual meetings, calls with franchisees, suppliers or my business partners. I love to finish my day with exercise, a light dinner, time with family, a little reading and an evening meditation. The weekends are generally all family time. My 12-year-old rules the roost and has us on a schedule running between cheerleading, volleyball tournaments and sleepovers with friends. I love to sleep “in” when time allows!

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the core of our discussion. This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?

Parent-child time is important because the time you spend with your child one-on-one specifically, gives them a trusted place to talk about things that are important to them. Giving children that time builds the relationship between the parent and child and also builds their self-confidence. By listening to them, they know that they are important, that they matter and what they feel and say matters. This simple act shows love, and everyone wants to feel loved. This not only builds trust, it’s good for the soul, the child’s mental health as well as the parents!

On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is so important to make time to spend with your children?

It’s important to spend time with your children to create a space for open dialogue and good communication. We want them to be able to come to us about their challenges, big or small. We want them to tell us what’s going on at school, with friends and on social media and group messages. We want to know who and what they care about and why. It gives us an opportunity to provide subtle life lessons that they may not acknowledge at the time, but are in the back of their minds, and that help them make good decisions in the future. By creating a safe place for them during family time, fun time, car rides, sports travel, etc. we are able to have the fun times together which makes the difficult times easier to manage through. We want out children to be obedient and to the live the life that they deserve to have, but obedience is born from love. It’s the natural fruit that comes when we have genuine relationships with our children. Obedience is the fruit. Love is the root.

According to this study cited in the Washington Post, the quality of time spent with children is more important than the quantity of time. Can you give a 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?

Simply sitting with or laying on the bed with no devices in hand and listening with no agenda, no topic of my own, but allowing the conversation to go where they want it (and deliberately not reacting if I don’t like where it’s going!). This is one of my favorite things!

Going for a walk together.

Cooking or baking together.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention? Please include examples or stories for each, if you can.

I really struggle with balancing home life and work demands when I am not traveling and am at home, but one of the things that I work hard at is that when I am with the girls. I really try to leave my phone in another room. It’s so easy to get distracted checking emails, reading news, social media, etc. when your phone is constantly in your hand, so making a conscious effort to leave the phone in a place that is not as easily accessible when we are doing something together works for me; be it watching TV or hanging out in the kitchen. It feels better not to feel so tied to what is going on in the world constantly and makes me feel like I am doing something positive towards building our relationship.

How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?

I define a good parent as someone that children can rely on, a constant in their lives they know always exists and that person not only listens but takes the opportunity and time to give them guidance to maneuver through life. I think a good parent challenges their children to do better, but with loving arms that always reinforce that they are enough, but they are made to live to be the very best versions of themselves. I think I do that by showing them that we can have a family, a career and good relationships and that no matter where I am, I am always here for them, that they can talk to me about anything without judgment. I am really proud of my husband too who has taken on that “constant” role in our family, allowing me to run our business without guilt when I travel, because he’s taken a backseat and plays the biggest support role I could ever ask for. I know he’s always there for our daughters. He’s a really great dad. He supports them and challenges them each and every day. He is constantly consistent, available for their each and every need regardless of the time of day.

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

I constantly reinforce that they are smart and kind and that the world is at their fingertips. I tell them they can absolutely be anything they want and have anything they want with passion, plan and a purpose and the willingness to put in the work. I aspire to be the person that they see as “living the dream” through my own ambitions as a business owner and leader, as a woman, mom, wife, speaker, writer, etc. As a family, I think getting out and exploring the world through travel, seeing places and experiencing other cultures opens up their minds to the endless possibilities that are there for them to do and achieve whatever they can think up. We are diligent about creating those opportunities as often as possible, even in the simplest, least expensive form. Lastly, I have a peer group of friends that are also incredible leaders in our city, and through this organization, my children often have the opportunity to be exposed to many people that are doing amazing things in business and for our community. Exposure to real life people who are accomplishing great things is a wonderful eye opener for our children.

How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?

The definition of success to me has changed over the years. In my younger years it was about securing a certain job or career path and attaining a certain level of income. As I get older, success is defined by experiences, and the ability to provide experiences that expose my family and the people I lead to things that help grow them personally and professionally.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown — This book has been instrumental in many ways, not only for my personal growth but growth as a parent. She talks about having the courage to be vulnerable and how transformative that can be in the way that we live, love, parent and lead.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Follow through on promises” — Glenn Franson (my dad): This quote resonates with me each and every day. As parents, partners, leaders, as people in general, building trust with others is integral in our relationships. People don’t trust people who don’t do what they say, so following through on promises, big or small is something I work at doing every day. It can be difficult when so much often gets in the way, but I always remember that what may seem like something insignificant to me, may mean the world to someone else.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would create a movement for equal education opportunities. Every child, from pre-kindergarten through higher education would have access to high level quality education with excellent instruction, regardless of income, social status, demographics. Quality education is the foundation for success in life and with relationships and every living person deserves the same opportunity.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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