Marketing expert Shannon Stone joined me on The Committed Creative podcast this week, and I was thrilled to have her on because I know how knowledgeable she is when it comes to business growth.
Shannon shared with me her journey of starting her own business after leaving a toxic relationship and finding her passion for marketing. She discusses the importance of self-trust and the need to listen to your own intuition when making decisions - something that she has improved on over the years and which has led her to great things.
The key takeaways Shannon shares include:
One of my favourite quotes from Shannon during this episode was, "The more that we can trust ourselves and depend on ourselves, the more we can see our goals come into reality."
I think you'll find Shannon extremely inspiring, so I highly recommend having a listen!
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**0:00:00** - (Carmen): Hi, Shannon, and welcome to the Committed Creative Podcast.
**0:00:03** - (Shannon): Hey, thanks for having me.
**0:00:05** - (Carmen): So great to have you on. So the question I always ask everyone who comes on is who are you and what is it that you do?
**0:00:12** - (Shannon): Yeah, well, I'm Shannon Stone and I'm a business and marketing consultant and I help service based businesses who want to make more sales. They want to expand their team or they want to better manage their business.
**0:00:26** - (Carmen): And how did you get into this line of work?
**0:00:29** - (Shannon): Yeah, interesting question because this is my 8th year in business, so it feels like a really long time ago since I got into this, but I guess I got into marketing almost by picking a word out of a hat. Not specifically, but it kind of felt that way because at the time when I was my early twenty s, I had a daughter, young, I just turned 19 and after I had her, I returned back to my job at Qantas. But I actually worked in one of their factories and it was like returning back to the factory floor and I thought, you know what, maybe this was for me nine months ago, but it's not for me now and it's not for me, my daughter and where I want to see my life head. So there would have been something about marketing I was really into. But I went back after maternity leave and then I thought, you know what, it's not for me and I'm going to go and study business and marketing and that's how I progressed into what I do now.
**0:01:27** - (Carmen): Wow, what a journey. And I mean, I'm kind of amazed because you still look like you're in your early 20.
**0:01:34** - (Shannon): I know.
**0:01:36** - (Carmen): What's your secret?
**0:01:38** - (Shannon): Yeah, I think it's probably the heritage. My mum's Indian so there's got to be some well, I look at her and she's very young looking and yeah, it's in the line in the DNA.
**0:01:49** - (Carmen): Wow, having a child so young and then trying to study and change career, that must have been really busy period for you. How did you manage it all?
**0:02:00** - (Shannon): Yeah, definitely. And to add like an extra layer to it as well, I was in a very toxic relationship which ended when my daughter was three through a domestic Violence protection order. So I was studying, I was mumming and I was trying to handle that as well. And all I really focused on is what's the next step? So when I returned back to work on the factory floor, I realized, yeah, this isn't for me, what's the next step I want to take? And it was to study. So I didn't even think of where I was going to take any of it. It was just well, what's that one next step forward?
**0:02:37** - (Shannon): And that's really carried me through all the way till today as well.
**0:02:41** - (Carmen): It's like that saying if you are at the bottom of a mountain and you look to the peak like, it seems like such a mammoth task, but if you just take it step by step, you do eventually get to the top.
**0:02:54** - (Shannon): Yeah.
**0:02:55** - (Carmen): What do you think? Did you have any life lessons or that difficult period that you've kind of brought into your business that have helped you build your business?
**0:03:05** - (Shannon): Probably the big common thread is and I wasn't perfect at it back then by any means, but it's the need to trust yourself and depend on yourself. And I think the more that we can do this, the more that we can see our goals come into reality. So I think that's always going to serve us. The more that you work on your self trust and your ability to, you know what? I can do this, even if it's hard, I'll figure it out. I think that kind of tenacity is probably that thing that's helped me, and I was not perfect at that by any means. I was like a big people pleaser. I asked everyone for, well, what do you think I should do? Or what do you like? It was a lot of that conversation happening, but there was a part of me that was like, yeah, how can I do this? What's that self trust I need to build and develop.
**0:03:58** - (Carmen): And how do you go about even hearing that inner voice about what you should do? Because I know, as you say, we are so conditioned to do certain things, whether it's by how our parents raised us or what society thinks we should do, that sometimes it can be hard to even hear that voice that's trying to guide us. Do you have any tips for tapping into that intuition and where you actually feel aligned to go in your life?
**0:04:26** - (Shannon): Yeah, I think for me, it's probably clearing the space of not making any decisions in the moment or not being influenced by people in the moment. So if it's like a quiet space or let me hear my own thoughts, let me write them down. Writing things down for me is really big. So I do like journaling, but it's like removing myself from if I'm talking to my parents about something or talking to a friend about something, I can now acknowledge, okay, that's like one piece of the conversation. It's not going to be how I make the whole decision.
**0:05:02** - (Shannon): And I can make that decision myself once I've almost gone through my own processing style, which for me, I do process by talking to people. So I did realize why I was doing a lot of that. What do you think I should do? Because that is actually part of my processing, but it's not how I have to fully decide on things.
**0:05:24** - (Carmen): So yeah, that's great advice. And after you had finished your marketing degree, what was the next?
**0:05:33** - (Shannon): Yeah. Yeah. So I first did one year at TAFE and I got close to the end of that. And I thought, well, I'll just go on to uni as well. So then I did that too. And my next step was hopefully trying to get a job in marketing. And I would have applied for at least 100 positions that I would have spent at least an hour on every single application. Because I know what it's like, you have to really put the effort in. You have to tailor your resume and your cover letter and all those things.
**0:06:05** - (Shannon): But I didn't really get much of it in until I applied for an internship, unpaid internship. And I think we kind of like, no, I've done all this study. I don't want to be a free intern and not get paid. But I was like, you know what, I'll just apply for it. At least it's something. So I applied for that. And I remember the interview as well. It was in the city, and I live at that time, 30 minutes out of the city, in the suburbs.
**0:06:33** - (Shannon): I drove into the city, paid like $50 for parking, which is like massive for a uni student. Even today, I don't like paying $50 for parking.
**0:06:42** - (Carmen): No, who does?
**0:06:43** - (Shannon): Yeah, exactly. For an interview. And I was like, oh, I hope I get it after all this effort that I'm going to. So I ended up getting the internship, and I think it was meant to be for six months, but they hired me after three months, so it ended up working out.
**0:07:00** - (Carmen): That's great. So then you stayed with that company for a while, or how long were you there for? What kind of marketing job was it?
**0:07:10** - (Shannon): So the internship was slightly different to what they got me to do. So the internship was for a classic car, I would say business, but the business owner who had lots of passions, it was one of his passion projects. So he had a classic car website that I worked on sponsorships for. But when they hired me, I worked more so in the rest of the business, which was online marketing, where I would basically review data and optimize data.
**0:07:42** - (Shannon): And I didn't really know what I was actually doing. I knew what I was doing, I knew the job function, but I didn't really know what we were actually doing as a company. And I tried to figure it out, but I couldn't. But one day a colleague said, oh, we run pop up ads. Like pop ups when you go to a website and those ads pop up, that's what we do. And I was like, wow, really? I had no idea. But I was really good at it. And so, yeah, it was really interesting. So we ran pop up ads.
**0:08:09** - (Carmen): Wow. So that training, did that give you some good background in digital marketing in the long term?
**0:08:16** - (Shannon): Yeah, definitely. It's really interesting because had that been advertised as a job, I probably wouldn't have gone for it, but it was that looking at all that data keywords the number side of things. It was both the word side of things, what words do you put in to get it seen by more people and then how do you optimize the number side of things as well. So yeah, it definitely did carry me through to the rest of my marketing career as well.
**0:08:46** - (Carmen): So what led you from that to coaching?
**0:08:49** - (Shannon): Yeah, well, it was a long kind of journey because it was in the city when I did get the job. My daughter was in gray in prep, so her first year of school and I would catch the bus and it ended up being a three hour commute every single day. And she went to before school care and after school care. Wow. And I was with that company for maybe a year, year and a half or something like that. And I got to the point where I was like, oh, this is just too much.
**0:09:19** - (Shannon): And this is like that transition. I did work for a few other people, but I slowly started to work for myself because it was so much working for other people. And it's not just a full time role, it's all the networking and the weekend seminars and things that you do. So when I did start my business in 2015, I basically took the skills I had in marketing and just let me get some clients and things like that.
**0:09:45** - (Shannon): And I started as a freelancer doing social media and copywriting and then I got really busy and then I started hiring a few different team members. And so I started to build this agency. But at the same time I had built this agency or this really busy marketing practice and at the same time I was like, oh my God, I hate this. I hate being behind a computer all day, typing stuff out, never talking to anyone.
**0:10:15** - (Shannon): And so this started my personal development journey, I guess you could say. And I did. Personality profiling. So I don't know if you've ever done like EDISC or like Myers Briggs and all those kind of things I.
**0:10:28** - (Carmen): Have, but not really in depth. Tell us more about yeah, so I.
**0:10:33** - (Shannon): Went to someone who does EDISC, which is one of the personality profiling type systems, and basically out of that she said, well, you're perfectly suited to marketing. Just the way that you deliver it is what needs to change and that's where you're finding that frustration. So she said, you're more of a communicator. So if you move more into a communication style of marketing and this is where your job function is really important, instead of being behind the computer, if you can be talking to people more and that could be anything. It could be running workshops.
**0:11:08** - (Shannon): I was thinking creating membership site back then, which I didn't end up pursuing. But once I got that clarity from her and talking it out and kind of seeing how that would fit. I worked with a business coach who is like the most amazing consultant I've ever met. And I guess I followed his journey and he showed me this world of consulting, which I had no idea, which is kind of like coaching at the same time had no idea what it is. It's like you tell people what to do and then they go and do it. And it sounds so simple, but obviously there's a craft and an art to oh, that's amazing.
**0:11:46** - (Carmen): And can I ask who it was who was mentoring?
**0:11:51** - (Shannon): Yeah, Aiden Parsons. So Aiden was my first ever business coach and I worked with him probably about six months into business. Six months, I would say. And I love that I worked with him in those early stages because it really framed so much of what I still hold today. And I've worked with him a few times as well, back over the years and I probably will again in future.
**0:12:17** - (Carmen): Wow. I really admire your journey because, I mean, quitting a job, like leaving a job to go work for yourself is really quite daunting in itself. But the fact that you were a single mum and you had to support your daughter on your own, that would have been quite frightening. How did you find the courage to make that break?
**0:12:41** - (Shannon): Yeah, from working for others to starting my own business. Yeah, well, it was kind of forced on to me in some kind of way. So I went from the pop up ad company to working for a real estate, to working for a life coach. And I remember going on a holiday, for a family holiday, and when I came back to my role in the life coaching small business, I was basically made redundant. So I had no job after that and so it still wasn't my plan to start a business. I always have wanted to be in business and when I work, I did try to start a couple of businesses with a friend, but nothing really kind of took off. That was kind of forced onto me.
**0:13:25** - (Shannon): I didn't really think I was going to start a business, but after I was made redundant, I went looking for lots and lots of jobs again and again. I put in all the effort into the resumes, the COVID letters, same similar kind of story and nothing kind of really well. I actually had a lot of good interviews, but I really wanted something flexible around my daughter, even if I could work from home a couple of days or finish a bit early or whatever. I was open to all kinds of flexibility, but no one was willing to kind of budge on that. And so I don't know if you've heard of the niece program.
**0:14:00** - (Carmen): Yeah, I've had other guests on the show who've talked about it as well.
**0:14:05** - (Shannon): Yeah, so in 2015, I came back across that because my dad had actually done the niece program many years earlier, so I had always this awareness of it and I think he may have, you know, why don't you start a business and go through the niece program? So I went through the niece program and my Cohort was like a one month intensive so I did this one month intensive type thing, get my business idea mapped out and I did have a holiday to New Zealand booked in. So I did Nice in August, went to New Zealand like September, October, and started my business as soon as I got back.
**0:14:45** - (Carmen): Amazing. And how did you go about finding your first clients when you started your business?
**0:14:51** - (Shannon): Yeah, my first clients came from the Nice program because they're all other businesses wanting help with marketing. So I got a few clients from there, but aside from that, it all came from networking. So one of my niece mentors said get out to some local networking events. And the beauty from when I had the real estate job, I had to do a lot of networking there, so I was already quite familiar with the scene.
**0:15:15** - (Shannon): So yeah, I got pretty much all my clients from networking.
**0:15:19** - (Carmen): That's awesome. So how many clients would you say you have now and what kind of model do you work with your clients on? Is it like a retainer basis or how does it work?
**0:15:28** - (Shannon): Yeah, so how it is now is completely different to when I started because I do consulting now, so now I don't work with any more than ten to twelve clients. That would be my absolute maximum because I do work with them one on one. So the model is I work with them one on one on a retainer over six months. And because I find most people will come in because they're wanting help with more sales. But then when you get busy, you need to hire people if know in the kind of vision you have for your business and when you hire people that you need help to manage your business as well.
**0:16:04** - (Shannon): So we start off at six months, but if they want more of that support, we can work together ongoing after that.
**0:16:10** - (Carmen): Awesome. And one of my good friends is Rebecca Kelly and that's actually how I heard about you. I don't know if you know because she worked with you and she said great things that you really helped to grow her business.
**0:16:20** - (Shannon): Yeah.
**0:16:21** - (Carmen): What do you find is one of the most rewarding things about coaching people?
**0:16:27** - (Shannon): Yeah, really good question. I think really it's like the type of things you can't see on paper and it's like the little you do see the light bulb moments go off, or if someone says something almost on the fly and they might think it's just something they're saying in passing. But you pick up on that and you question that it's like that can really change the whole trajectory of so much and something they thought was just, oh, that's just the way it is. Like, for example, conversion rates on sales calls are 50%, for example. It's like, oh, that's just the way it is.
**0:17:07** - (Shannon): Me, I'm like, no, well, it could be. That is probably the industry standard, but it doesn't have to be. And so if we just run off the norms or the stereotypes or the standard conversion rates, we're just going to be standard, whereas we can get conversion rates on sales calls up to 80, 90%. But that only starts if you question that, no, it doesn't have to be 50%, it could actually be better than that.
**0:17:33** - (Shannon): So I think what I love is those little AHA moments going off and capturing them in the moment when it could have been something as like, yeah, that's just the way it is. But actually I like to see things differently.
**0:17:47** - (Carmen): So does that entail you being a really good listener to make sure that you're fully taking in and understanding the business? Because I guess as a consultant, sometimes it can be hard if you know nothing about the business and you're coming in and you're trying to offer advice, how do you get to know the business and the business owner and what they do quickly and in a deep enough way that you can actually offer good advice?
**0:18:13** - (Shannon): Yeah, so listening has to be the number one quality, for sure. And I think I am a really good listener. For me, it always starts with tell me about you, tell me about the business, and not in a concrete type way. I just like to say whatever you want to say and I'm just going to listen and I'm sure there's going to be things I pick up from that. But once I get to know a business just on that, I guess to some degree it can be a bit of a surface level, then it's, well, what are your goals? What do you actually want to achieve? And I find that really starts to spiral into the deeper things that they actually want and figuring things out from there.
**0:18:53** - (Shannon): And I think the question behind the question one is what are your goals? And then two, why are they your goals? Why do you want to earn this amount in sales? And people can be really revealing as well, I want to go live overseas for a certain amount of time, or I want to be this type of parent, or I actually want to have kids. The question behind the question really starts to be more revealing and that can be the motivator to get the sales up to that point.
**0:19:21** - (Carmen): I mean, I'm interested to know more about this personality test that you did at the beginning of your career. Do you ever use that style of questioning to uncover more about the clients.
**0:19:32** - (Shannon): That you work with? Yeah, good question. I don't do any personality profiling with my clients. But what I do do is I work out whether I ask them bluntly or I'll pick up on that. It's what works for you, so what type of strategies will work for them or how do they need to be held accountable. So I know everyone is different and I think so much of it is that I learned all of this about myself and so I can only expect the same from others. We're all completely different.
**0:20:06** - (Shannon): So I don't do it in the way of where have you come up on a certain profiling tool, although that would be amazing, I think, to integrate into a business. But it's more about what works for you. How have you achieved goals in the past and let's kind of dissect that to make sure you achieve the next goal in ways that have already worked for you.
**0:20:28** - (Carmen): And do you often get some common problems that clients come to you with time and time again?
**0:20:36** - (Shannon): Yeah, some of them are just mirror image type problems, but some of them, everyone has the goal to grow their business. But how we do that can be different person by person. And not that I have resistance to people doing cookie cutter programs and things like that or courses, but I think it's when you know there's different ways to achieve the same goal. And maybe that's why certain things haven't worked for you, because we can't all do things the exact same way and expect the same result, and it could just be a little shift that needs to happen slightly different, that helps you to achieve it.
**0:21:14** - (Carmen): And is that why you work with your clients one on one rather than as a group coaching program?
**0:21:20** - (Shannon): Yeah, definitely. So last year, 2022, I made a very hard decision that no matter what I do moving forward in my business, there's always going to be that one on one component. Because I do see how important that is and how it's like seeing those light bulbs go off. Or when someone says something in passing and you pick up on that. But if someone else said that, that would actually be completely different.
**0:21:45** - (Shannon): So yeah, I do value the personalization that comes from one on one. And whatever I do moving forward, like my vision is right now I'm an independent business and marketing consultant, but my vision is to create a consulting practice where we just duplicate what I've been doing with my clients one on one with other people that I train in the way that we do things. So it'll still have the same model and that same personalization, but it's not going to be in the normal scaling way that we see these days of turn what you know into a group program and sell it to people that way.
**0:22:21** - (Shannon): I think we can still scale our businesses in the same way that's worked for us and our clients at the moment.
**0:22:27** - (Carmen): Oh, that's really exciting. So when are you planning to expand in that way?
**0:22:32** - (Shannon): Yeah, it is more of a longer term vision. So, side note, in 2027, I'm planning a gap year with my daughter. So just recently I was factoring in, well, do I pursue the consulting practice before I go away or after? So I haven't firmly worked out when I will specifically do that, but it'll be in the next few years.
**0:22:58** - (Carmen): Great. So how old will your daughter be when you do this gap year?
**0:23:01** - (Shannon): Yeah, so 2027, she would have finished school, so that would be her first year out of school.
**0:23:07** - (Carmen): Yeah. Oh, that will be so fun. Are you planning to go overseas?
**0:23:11** - (Shannon): Yeah, so she wants to go to Hawai first, so I don't know if she's planning on going to schoolies. It's not really a conversation we have at the moment, but maybe that will be the equivalent of having that time to just really unwind after school. So I think a nice holiday in a beachy location, and then after that, going to Europe for a year. So I'm thinking two destinations where we'll kind of have a home.
**0:23:42** - (Shannon): So six months in one place, six months in another, but the ability to travel around. But I do love the idea of having, like, a home base.
**0:23:53** - (Carmen): So will you work in that year, do you think, or do you plan to take it off?
**0:23:58** - (Shannon): Yeah, I'll definitely work. I'll definitely work while I'm over there as well.
**0:24:03** - (Carmen): And do most of your clients, do you consult on Zoom or do you ever do any face to face consulting?
**0:24:10** - (Shannon): Predominantly, like, 99% is either Zoom or phone because most of my clients are not local to Brisbane, where I am, so most of them are remote. Some of them, if they are local, will do in person. But it's good to just get out. It's good to step outside of the office and meet people face to face. Again.
**0:24:31** - (Carmen): What's your process of working with a client? Like, if someone was to engage with you and say, oh, look, I want to work with you, how does it start, that process?
**0:24:42** - (Shannon): If they're inquiring or they're ready to go ahead, say they're ready to go.
**0:24:46** - (Carmen): Ahead, they've gone through the inquiry process, like, what would the first session look like?
**0:24:51** - (Shannon): Yeah, so the first session is basically putting all the cards on the table. So I do have a process that I go through, but basically what I'm doing in that first session is really mapping out what their goals are, because being very results orientated, everything comes back to the achieving of that goal. So I like to understand what the goal is and then secondly, doing an assessment of pretty much the end to end of their business, who they work with, and it's not to the depth of what we would cover moving forward. So it's like, who do you work with? Obviously, we're going to refine that some more, what are you selling? That's one of the things we do, refine.
**0:25:30** - (Shannon): What does your audience look like at the moment? So we're just capturing all of that information to begin with. So then I can see, okay, well, this is the goal that they have, and I'm going to kind of go through all the pieces and just see what are we working with? Because moving forward, it's then the strategy, it's working out well. How are we actually going to achieve this goal now?
**0:25:50** - (Carmen): And do you believe in Niching down? Do you think that is a good strategy for making sure you find the ideal client and you just stick with that one client base? Have you found that's worked in the past for your clients?
**0:26:04** - (Shannon): Well, I don't have a lot of clients who do the traditional Niching or come to me with that we've niched down to this minute detail of a person. The way I like to approach Niching is a little bit different. So I like to niche based on the problem that you solve, not on the person that you want to work with. So I predominantly help people to make more sales, and I know that problem like the back of my hand.
**0:26:31** - (Shannon): So that's my niche, basically, rather than working with a specific type of person who wants to achieve that specific goal. And there's a few other qualities that I add to it. So if that's my niche, that's a problem that I solve. Then the next step is, well, who are the type of people I want to work with? And obviously there are certain type of qualifiers that I have. So for me, they have to be making at least $5,000 a month in business, they have to be service based businesses.
**0:27:04** - (Shannon): They have to be generating on average about three leads per month, even if some months are a bit up and down, if like three leads a month is not abnormal to them. To me, all this shows me the information I need to know that I can actually effectively help this person. So I do have a Niching way I go about things, but not in the traditional sense of I only work with people with this certain hair color and that kind of thing, or that type of business.
**0:27:34** - (Shannon): Yeah. So it's a little bit different.
**0:27:36** - (Carmen): That's awesome. And so when you do engage with a potential client, how do you figure out that they're making $5,000, that they've got three leads coming in a month, that kind of thing? Do you send them a questionnaire or something?
**0:27:49** - (Shannon): Yeah. So when people book in a discovery call to work with me, there's ten questions they fill in. It doesn't actually have are you making at least $5,000 a month? And Are you producing at least three leads? Although they are great questions, they're just not the ones I gather at that stage. But you can really pick up based on the other. Questions I do have where their business is currently at at the moment, someone who is not working with anyone at all, they'll basically enter that into that questionnaire that they fill out.
**0:28:23** - (Shannon): My zone of genius is helping people who are already doing well to do even better. And so the questions I have help to see where they're kind of at at the moment.
**0:28:34** - (Carmen): And how do people find you? What are some of your marketing strategies for getting new leads?
**0:28:40** - (Shannon): Yeah, definitely. So I still do networking. I've picked it back up this year since COVID so that's probably always going to be a core strategy of mine. The one that built my business right in the beginning referrals is of course another one. And then I do have a few marketing channels of my own. So I have a Facebook group, I have an email list, I produce content on a few social media platforms, I'll jump onto podcasts, but I didn't start with any of that. But I will introduce new things and I do like a marketing stack, I call it, so the strategies that work don't go away, we'll just add new ones when we're able to manage those new platforms. So my next marketing strategy is like a podcast for myself, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop networking or stop my online content. It's just going to be a new channel that I add on top.
**0:29:36** - (Carmen): Great. And when you do networking, is that online networking or is it in person networking?
**0:29:42** - (Shannon): I much rather in person, for sure. Yeah, love the in person. So I like getting out to events. Events or when you go to an event, you'll meet a few people, so then that leads into some coffees with people. I obviously do a bit of online stuff as well, or quite a bit of online. I also probably not as much these days, but I did a lot of online networking and Facebook groups and things like that. So you can apply the same type of in person networking principles online as well.
**0:30:16** - (Shannon): But yeah, I don't do as much of that anymore.
**0:30:18** - (Carmen): Do you find it lonely at times being a solo entrepreneur? I guess. And also because you're a single mum as well, there's not another adult in the house. Are you still a single mom? I don't know.
**0:30:32** - (Shannon): Yeah, I'm still a single mum at the moment, but yeah, it gets lonely for sure. And that's been I'm less lonely these days, but the last few years I've really felt that as a really big pain point. And I think as well, because I don't know if it's the same for you, but I know for a lot of business owners, because we have that flexibility, we often end up caring for other people in our life, whether it be our parents or our grandparents.
**0:30:59** - (Shannon): So I do play a bit of a role there as well. But even still, it can be quite lonely. And I also had a realization. I was like, Shannon, you can't pay people to hang around you. You can't just hire people for different things to just be your friends or whatever it may be. Even though I got a lot of value out of it, I was know join certain things because I was lonely, not really realizing that. So the loneliness does play a big part.
**0:31:26** - (Shannon): So I've had to be really intentional about I need to see people at least once a week, maybe twice a week now where I'm going to an event or going to a networking thing and it's not to produce sales. Obviously you get out there and meet people and that's going to be a byproduct. But I think I really do it more for my own mental health and to feel that loneliness.
**0:31:49** - (Carmen): Absolutely. And I don't know about you, but one thing I find is that a lot of my friends don't run their own businesses. So sometimes it can be a lonely business journey because they're not going through the same problems and challenges that I am. Do you find that sometimes as well?
**0:32:06** - (Shannon): Yeah, definitely. So before business, I didn't really know many people who had their own business. Maybe like friends of my parents and things like that. But now I've developed a lot of friends in business, so now I've got a lot of friends who have businesses, but I've still also got my friends from before business. And I am the champion of like all the cheerleader of you should start your own business. It's so amazing. But I know the timing is everything for a lot of people, so whether they do that or not.
**0:32:37** - (Shannon): But yeah, I do relate to that and I did struggle with that in the beginning with not knowing other people or my friends having businesses and how do I relate to them on that? Because business became my whole life and my whole livelihood and that's what it is for a lot of people. It's like to the degree at which your business is successful is the degree at which you can live your life as well. So you put a lot of time and attention into your business.
**0:33:06** - (Carmen): Yeah, absolutely. And do you find that you need to make time for more of that self care and looking after yourself or it sounds to me like you work a lot. How do you kind of make that distinction between time for you and time to invest in your business?
**0:33:22** - (Shannon): Yeah, definitely. So I think the beauty of being a parent in business is that you do have that structure of your child goes to school. I don't really operate around a nine to five, but it can kind of feel like that to some degree. But I'll do a bit of self care in the morning. I'll go for a walk or do a bit of exercise. That's something I didn't do a lot of or consistently up until this year. So that's been a big change.
**0:33:52** - (Shannon): And then I'll pick up my daughter from school, which always feels I know that's not self care, but it's like a break in the day a little bit. And then I will do some more work in the afternoon, and then it just really depends what season I'm in to how much self care I feel like I need. If I feel like in the evenings I want to watch a movie or want to watch The Real Housewives or whatever, I'll just do it. But then there's seasons, which is now where I don't feel I need a lot of that because I'm filling my cup, going to a lot of events, doing a bit more socializing, and kind of getting my self care in different ways. So it's not the same all the time, but I do run through different seasons.
**0:34:39** - (Carmen): And I mean, you've talked about more of your longer term goals, but what kind of goals do you have for the next twelve months? Is there anything you're going to change up in your business?
**0:34:48** - (Shannon): So the podcast is definitely a big one. That's a big project. I'm working on a bit of a realization I've had in the last few months, which, which ties into my short term goals is when I did start my business and my daughter was like six, seven years old. Now she's 14 going on 15. And so life is actually very different. And so I had this epiphany of, well, maybe I can take on more clients now because my capacity has grown.
**0:35:20** - (Shannon): So my shorter term goals in the next twelve months is to go from being that half a dozen six to eight clients, up to that ten to twelve private clients that I work with one on one. So that'll be something I incrementally, bring on more clients. And that's something I like to do. Not a lot all in one go because I go really deep with them. I like to take on so many at a time. So I'm happy to do that over the long, well, short long term six to twelve months.
**0:35:50** - (Carmen): Awesome. And if you were to meet someone, maybe at a networking event or something, and they were looking to make the break from a nine to five and start their own business, what one piece of advice would you give them to encourage them to do so?
**0:36:05** - (Shannon): Yeah, good question. One piece of advice to help them to take the leap. I think it would be just to start making it real. It's like take it from being this idea or a hypothetical. If I were to start a business, start to make it real that I am starting a business. And I think it's what I did of like just what's that next step? The next step is I need to register the business name or I need to get an ABN. So just really start to make it real.
**0:36:36** - (Shannon): And probably one thing that I would do is write a list of all the things I need to do to make it real, and I would just slowly start to do one at a time. I'd register the AVN. I'd set up a would, you know, just work my way down that list.
**0:36:51** - (Carmen): Oh, that's really good. That's because I think sometimes people have a big vision, but it's hard know, make it a reality. And I think that's a great way to do it. Well, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. I've really enjoyed our chat.
**0:37:04** - (Shannon): Shannon yeah, thank you. Thanks for having me. And hopefully it's been helpful.
**0:37:08** - (Carmen): Absolutely. Thank you.