Ep 226: Are you in the Driver’s Seat or the Backseat? with Scott Shay

Ep 226: Are you in the Driver’s Seat or the Backseat? with Scott Shay

Scott Shay is the co-founder of a bank, a two-time published religious author, and the descendant of an Auschwitz survivor. His life story is anything but conventional. Unassuming, driven to try things differently, and completely aware of the great blessing that is his life, Shay sees and takes the path less traveled.

Opening a bank is not your usual life goal.  Managing to fulfill that and then survive and thrive throughout the economic downturn of 2008 is even more unusual.

Shay’s life meets at a curious intersection. His bank was founded on a completely different model than the industry standard. He then chose to cultivate a side career as an author on the topics of Judaism and faith.

Steer Off The Beaten Path

The financial crisis of 2008 brought big business to its knees leaving wall street scrambling. Amidst the madness, this week’s guest, Scott Shay, and his co-founders at Signature Bank didn’t feel the tumult. In fact, they shone, catching the attention of a lot of people. The bank continued growing, eventually reaching a pace of 11 billion dollars in 5 years. 

His bank didn’t struggle like his counterparts. Why? Signature Bank was not founded on, nor relies on “big money” to stay afloat. Their business model from the very beginning was to side-step big-business and create a place for the middle market. They’ve been doing it very differently since the start.

Driver’s Seat or Backseat?

Shay doesn’t fit the mold of what you’d expect from a businessman. Yes, he is a businessman, but he also spends a great deal of his time touring, speaking on the topics of faith. His outlook on life puts him in the driver’s seat of his own experience. He speaks to the world’s reaction to coronavirus.

“We can either feel this as victims ‘how did this happen to us?’ or we can have the mindset of ‘what are we going to do?’ I think the division between the mindset of how could this have happened to us versus ‘what am I going to do?’ makes all the difference in the world.”

The difference, as I see it, is whether we are characters in our life story or the authors. Are we the product of our circumstance or are we deciding what we want our future to look like?

Want to keep up with Scott Shay’s work? Check out his website to read his blog or attend one of his scheduled events.

Read either of his books “Getting Our Groove Back” or “In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism”.



This article was written by Olenka Toroshenko

Olenka Toroshenko is a Ukrainian Canadian artist, writer, and producer whose life is in service to a saner, meaningful existence. She is a multidisciplinary performer whose mediums include spoken word poetry, dance, clown, song, and ritual performance art.

Olenka is a Katonah yoga teacher, lifelong student, and lover of coniferous forests. She has worked in news broadcast and politics which have helped shape her understanding of the current cultural paradigm