Erica Shea describes herself with the phrase, “Every day I’m hustlin’.”
It’s fitting for Shea, who spent 11 years in digital media package sales for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. At 22 years old, Shea decided to join the publication for the 100% commission position, figuring everything she owned fit into her ’92 Cherokee. “What did I have to lose?” she thought.
Once she caught the “sales bug,” she was hooked. Hustlin’ is also how Shea managed to turn her favorite law firm client, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, into her employer. The firm asked her to come in and interview for a position in business development, not minding she was 40 weeks pregnant.
Shea’s strength is making people feel comfortable, she says. At Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, that’s her job. Her goal is to meet one-on-one with as many clients as possible.
Her job is also to get to know the 110 lawyers who work for the firm because “people hire lawyers, not law firms,” Shea says. Her style of business development involves getting to know someone and understanding what makes them different. To get to know people, Shea “asks 1,000 questions,” but more importantly, she says, she is truly interested in the responses.
Shea says much of her motivation comes from those around her: colleagues; girlfriends from college who have gone on to be successful businesswomen; executives she’s met through Leadership Tampa; and her family. At home, Shea and her family incorporate people’s differentiators into a nickname — everyone in her family has a name. “We are big into nicknames at Casa de Shea,” she says. “If we like you, we give you a nickname.”
— Traci Beach
Name: Erica Martinez Shea
City of residence: Tampa
Twitter handle: I prefer Instagram, @sheatinez
Employer: Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP
Title: Chief Business Development Officer, Florida
Birthplace: North Miami Beach
Years on the Gulf Coast: 13
Marital status/children: Married to my college sweetheart for 11 years, Michael “Gameday” Shea. We are big into nicknames at Casa de Shea.
Children: Michael “Trey” Shea III, 5 years old; Jordan “JJ” Shea, 2 years old; Dixie Belle “DB” Shea; and an 11-year-old yellow Labrador.
Alma mater/degree: It’s great to be a Florida Gator, BS Advertising
Best place to network: Oxford Exchange
Messy desk or clean workspace: Clean!
Eat lunch out or at your desk: Out — with clients, prospects or colleagues
Best business lesson ever learned: It’s better to arrive on time and overdressed
Weirdest job you’ve ever had: Selling hats to well known '90s rappers at the store Lids
Website that makes your job easier: LinkedIn.com
App you use the most: Messages
One thing you do everyday: Tell my family that I love them
Community group you’re most involved with: The University of Tampa Board of Fellows
Favorite off-hours activity: Boating
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: (1) My paternal grandmother who passed when my father was only 2 years old in Havana, Cuba. We don’t know enough about her side of the family, and I would love to see her just once and hear her stories. (2) My best friend Jordan Evert who passed away in 2008. We used to have lunch and dinner every single day for four years straight at our sorority house in college. Jordan gave THE BEST advice and had THE MOST style and class of anyone I’ve ever known.
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: News Anchor or SNL
Top item on your bucket list: Beat my husband at tennis
Your happy place is: Key West
Your biggest fear: Roaches
Skill you’d like to learn: How to potty train a 2-year-old in 24 hours … and how to play the acoustic guitar.
Who would play you in a movie about your life: My inner Latina wants to say JLo
Describe yourself in three words: Everyday I’m Hustlin’