Shannon’s contagious smile greets me at her bright, modern Engel & Volkers Real Estate office in Minneapolis. In the 10 years I’ve known her, she’s consistently inspired me with her bold career decisions, chic style, and go-getter attitude. We cozy up in a conference room to talk beauty, empowerment, and success- check out our lovely conversation below. I know you’ll find her as captivating as I do!
S: What’s your definition of beauty?
SH: I guess, to me, beauty comes from the inside. It’s not necessarily an appearance, I think it’s kind of a characteristic or a being… not just personal looks or anything like that. Like, the world is beautiful, people can be beautiful.
S: Did you always feel that way?
SH: No, when I was younger it was probably more based on outward appearance,
but I think as you grow, or evolve, or become more confident or more self-assured I guess, you kind of learn that’s not always about that.
S: Maybe part of it is that when you have that confidence, you can more easily acknowledge that beauty everywhere. You don’t feel threatened…
SH: By others! By other parts of beauty.
You can celebrate everybody’s success together- I think that’s important.
S: When and where do you feel the most beautiful?
SH: One of the things I love the MOST is getting my hair blown out! There’s just something about having a professional blow your hair out- it makes me feel like a million bucks.
I try to do it, I get the brush stuck in my hair, it’s ridiculous!!
It’s a true talent! That’s for sure.
S: Definitely! So that’s when you feel the most beautiful.
SH: Yeah! I would say- otherwise- surrounded by my family, when Mark and Belle and I are together- there’s something to be said about the three of us – being a beautiful family together!
S: YES. You guys have a really awesome dynamic.
SH: Thank you.
S:What makes you feel empowered?
SH: Uuum, well,
I tie a lot of my empowerment to my success, I guess, which is not always maybe the best thing, but, I’ve learned to celebrate my success and wins, and to overcome my fear of failure, and that I think has been the most empowering thing for me.
And to slow down!! I still am slightly focused on instant gratification, and I’ve learned to kind of calm down, and see the beauty in the now and the success that I’ve had, and that has been very empowering.
S: Awesome. You said, you ‘overcame your fear of failure’- how did you do that?!
SH: I think by learning to not be afraid of it! I can fail and move on. And one of the books I’ve read recently that’s totally changed my life is the Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins, It’s incredible. And just counting from 5 to 1 and moving, and just getting over it, and the time has passed, you did it, it’s okay- I think that’s had a HUGE impact on my life.
It will CHANGE your life. Especially as a business person. And what I recommend is listen to the audio version. It’s unreal.
S:Do you apply that mostly to your business life or is it your personal life too?
S: (I immediately bought this book- it’s every bit as good as she said it is!)
S: Who in your life inspires you?
SH: A lot of people do!
I love people who take chances, and risks.
SH: (The) owners of Engel & Volkers , they took a huge risk, and they’re doing what they love. I love people that find their passion!
I have to say my Mom is probably one of my heroes. – which is probably cliche but, she just gets after it! I love her tenacity, (and) how outgoing she is…
My daughter Isabelle, I mean, she’s so comfortable in her own skin at 17 years old, it just blows me away. She just doesn’t… it’s not that she doesn’t care… she just is who she is and she loves that about herself and I wish I was that way when I was young. It’s so inspirational. You know, she’ll come dressed up for a football game looking like ridiculousness and she doesn’t care!! And it’s so cute and I love that about her.
S: Yeah, she is VERY inspiring. I agree with you.
Sh: I love people who follow their passion, unapologetically.
S: Let’s dig into inner beauty and outer beauty a little bit. You said in the first question that beauty comes from the inside, – but the time you feel the most beautiful is when you’re getting a blowout.. So can you explain the connection?
SH: I think for me personally, the blowout represents a part of me from the inside so that I can be more self-confident on the outside.
So, I do think that someone should make you feel any way, it’s all about how you feel. You don’t make me happy, Mark doesn’t make me happy, I make myself happy.
And therefore it should be the same thing with beauty. You should feel beautiful. So by doing something like that, it changes how you feel on the inside- that’s a huge beautiful thing for me.
SH: You know, like, I love artistic people. If you wanna have tattoos all over and you feel confident and you love it, I think that’s fantastic. I think that’s someone’s way of feeling creative. Or however they choose to make themselves feel good is totally acceptable to me. I don’t think there’s one cookie cutter way….
S: Yeah, and it’s almost like communication or expression- so a blowout, or tattoos, or whatever, it’s an expression of your personality and how you feel- it’s sort of cyclical that way.
SH: Yes, it sort of draws the inside out- it draws the inner beauty outward.
S: What motivates you?
SH: My success definitely motivates me.
I want to make a very good life for my daughter, making sure she’s comfortable and has what she needs, but also seeing her grow in her ability to handle her own things- motivates me a lot- you know, I just want to make sure she’s very well taken care of.
I love helping other people, I genuinely do- I always joke that I wish I could just do everything in my position- then I’d have more control! Laughs.
It’s a weird thing, I can’t really explain it, I just DO.
S: Ive known you for a really long time, you’re definitely a driven person- and it’s probably just the fire within you-
SH: Yeah! I’m very competitive, I will be very honest, I’m exceptionally competitive. And I tell my closest friends and especially my closest colleagues: it’s never about you, it’s about me. I’m not here to out-do you or offend you- it’s just in my nature and I’m really competitive.
There’s another (real estate) team, and they have this awesome leader and we have this really healthy competition, and we were just joking today, you know like, ‘I’m gonna crush you!’ I love the camaraderie of that and the feeling of it. And being a part of something is very important to me and motivates me.
I LOVE being a part of this company (Engel & Volkers). I love being a part of my family, I love – there’s that connection that’s super beautiful, you’re a part of something great.
I would hope that when I die I would have made a difference to somebody. You know, to Isabelle, to the realtor’s association, or my friends, I think that’s very important.
S: What is your legacy what’s your message- what’s your vision?
Sh: I’m always going to come back to Isabelle, and being relatively a single Mom, caring for her- you know, take care of each other, be helpful, be grateful , gratitude goes a LONG way. I just want to make sure that people know that I cared! And I think sometimes I can get caught up in my own life and my own stuff ….
I won ambassador of the year last year for Minneapolis, I was voted by my colleagues, and it was one of the biggest honors that I’d ever received in my career, and it basically embodied the person that upheld the brand, and was helpful and people could turn to-
And that was my legacy!
The verbiage that came along with that award is everything I wanted to be. And I loved it. I couldn’t believe it, I was shocked.
S: I love that! That’s so awesome.
One last question, just because this word has come up for you a lot- your success- what is that?
SH: What’s the definition of my success? That’s such a powerful word… I don’t know! I still seek it every day. *Laughs
S: And you don’t know what it is?!
SH: I know! I don’t know what it is. I do strive to be a leader in my industry, I want to be everything Isabelle had hoped- a good Mom, you know, I think that’s what we all strive to be.
And I don’t think there’s one definition of that I think it’s whatever your family balance is .
I like being on top of my game, I’m very motivated, I’m very competitive and to me that’s very successful.
But there can be a negative to that, because there are a lot of times where people would say, I would kill to have to success that you’ve had, and I’m always focused on what’s next, what’s next?
That’s great, we’ve had our best month ever, what about the next three months?
So it’s a curse and a blessing.
When I achieve it I’ll let you know.
Now it’s your turn, what defines your success? For me, it’s staying true to my vision, being able to support myself, and show up as the best version of me each day.
Leave a comment below or shoot me an e-mail! I’d love to hear your thoughts…
P.S. If you need a realtor, I might know someone…
Give her a buzz- she’s as fantastic as she sounds! Check Shannon out here.