…sooo I quit my job?

Good morning from London!

Erik & I are spending the week here. We go semi-often but more times than not, it’s for 24 – 48 hours so it’s nice to spend the extra time here. Right now, I room-serviced my FAVOURITE acai bowl in the world with some green + mint tea as I work on this post. As soon as I hit publish, I’m hitting up Shoreditch for some vintage shopping!

Anyways, let’s get into it, shall we?

This is a very personal post I have rehearsed over and over and over in my head. It will also be a lengthy one as I want to be completely transparent, & tell my story. You’ve also may have noticed that I’ve been pretty distant lately, both here or people who know me personally. There has been a lot going on in my life over the past few months.

In fact, now that I’m posting it, I’m sure you’ll be able to find all the easter eggs alluding to it & to be honest, I’m not exactly sure how to begin with it so I am going to stream of concious this post… so here we go:

I launched Champagne at Shannon’s in 2015 & have been blogging full time ever since.

One thing that you should know about me is that I am very intense. It’s a pro but also a con at times as I burn myself out constantly. At this point, I’m used to it and know how to handle it and when to step away and take a personal day instead of exploding. When I commit to something I am FULLY committed. One of my close friends called me fiercely loyal & that’s stuck with me ever since.

Whether it’s a blog, a relationship, a friend, a job – I go ALL in. That said, I hit the ground running when I started C@S.

In mid-2014, I got a job on the administrative & events team in an investment bank. It was my first non-service job and in a sense, I had to prove myself to show that the chance they took on me paid off. In my 2 years at the bank, I coordinated numerous events including some A-list clients / celebrities & held down the office administratively. I pulled very late nights and my blackberry (!) was always blinking.

Let me tell you, it was intense. However, I’m intense & I feed on intensity.

Though I was busier in my life I have ever been {& in a brand new city, I moved to San Francisco from Dallas in October 2013}, I spent the early half of 2014 with plans to launch my blog. Though I launched fully in 2015, I spent a full year planning everything. As I’ve mentioned here & also on my stories, this was a mistake as I should of launched first and pefected everything later.

[sidenote to any aspiring bloggers reading this: completion before perfection, always]

Though I’m intense, I’m actually not as impulsive as people may think I am. Every single move of mine that looks impulsive has a giant calculated master plan beforehand kind of like chess {in fact, learning chess is one of my favourite pieces of business advice}. I walked out of a job once & though it seemed rather abrubt, it was weeks in the making – I should mention, at the time I was already laying out the blueprint to this blog & my future brand and I had everything else taken care of.

I will say this, for every “impulsive” move of mine, every loose end on my end is tied up.

As I created the plan for Champagne at Shannon’s, I had a very strategic timeline. My first year was to find myself as a blogger. In fact, my idea for my niche then was very different than what it is now. I wanted to have a blog all about date nights & entertaining for two. Though I still blog about that every now & then, it isn’t the sole focus as I’ve gone more lifestyle {which I adore} but another huge focus on my brand is my aesthetic but more on that in a bit.

The first year was to figure all that out & you only figure it out through doing.

The second year was to grow myself as a blogger. Though my focus is lifestyle, it’s when I really became in tune to my 80’s / y2k aesthetic & stopped doing what every other blogger was doing. In fact, I said it here & I’ll say it again, the second I did that was when I saw the growth.

Everything was going according to plan.

Now, in my professional (non-blog related life): it’s 2016 & I got a new job at a pretty well known startup here in San Francisco as an Executive Assistant for the Business Development team. I assisted the Chief Business Officer & it has been one of the most rewarding careers of my life. For the first time, it was my first job with the oh so elusive work/life balance. As long as work was getting done, it was as flexible as I needed it. I also gained a lot of professional knowledge and if we are being blunt, it made me a better blogger.  Not to mention, I was at a startup I truly {& still do} believe in & worked with some of the most brilliant people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting & lucky to now be able to call them my friends.

Now that we are on year three, my plan for year three was to focus completely on my blog without the distraction of a full time job. In a sense, this post is 3 years in the making as I follow my strategic plan. After about two years at my current position, I quit my job last month.

Not only did I quit my job, I quit the corporate world.

Why?

Why, to go according to plan with year three, of course.

That said, I have these very strategic blog goals with each year {including the upcoming years} which helps break out the levels. I like to think of it all as a staircase – you now the ones? You go up the steps, get to a flat level, then go up a different direction of steps to the next level, and they repeat? Those. I know where I am, & I know where the next level is but to get there, it’s one step and one level at a time. By the way, this staircase I speak of is infinite, so enjoy the view when you hit each level. Admire how far you have come & look up to the next level.

By breaking up my plans & goals, & seeing just the steps in front of me, it makes it so accessible. Of course, in 2014 I had a goal to blog full time, however, I needed to be realistic and to get to the levels I am looking up to would take me time & LOTS of work.

I had to spend a full first year of really knowing my identity – which sounds obvious but let me tell you, it’s easier said than done. Not to mention, in 2014 when I decided to start my blog, I had no idea who I was as at 27, I was still figuring that out. After getting that locked down, that’s when I was able to focus on growth & it all seemed less daunting.

It’s very easy to want to skip ahead on some steps – especially in this constantly connecting, evolving, instagram filtered world, but you are better off taking each and every step – it’s crucial for your development.

In fact, a big advice I tell friends who are getting into this or anyone I am mentoring is that: You get stronger and stronger with each and every piece of content you publish. You get stronger in so many ways: aesthetics, what to post, caption, writing, SEO, and even algorithm strength. You have to constantly publish so you can improve. It’s like weight training. You only get stronger by executing over and over and over upon itself.

For the past few years, I was both blogging & working full time. & to be honest, I will say I started blogging full time the second I launched this blog because running a blog, no matter what you are making as a profit, is just like working a full time job. Time is also money, and a blog is VERY expensive time wise.

When I was at the bank, the majority of my posts were done in the middle of the night. I was younger then and was able to run on little sleep {not so much the case anymore!} & I would work on the blog from about midnight to 5:00a. I also want to note & be super realistic: I did not make a penny in my first year & a half of blogging. Eventually, monetization was a goal, of course it was as it was never intended to be a hobby {in job interviews when they asked my goals, I would mention the blog/online brand – including both jobs that hired me – I was very transparent but I also needed a job that would be cool with me blogging on the side},.

Knowing myself & brand is much more valuable to me & my blog than money.

That said I am nostalgic for the beginning days of blogging. I’ve been mentoring and helping a friend launch her online business & as I help her with her early days, I couldn’t help but reminisce on mine. It’s a very hungry and exciting time & I’ll admit, helping her in her early days lights my fire at times when it gets burned out. {ps – Liz, if you’re reading this, you are a STAR – big things are in store for you, girl}

Also, being in London right now is very serendipitous to me. In 2014 when I walked out of my job, Erik was in London for about 10 weeks. 24 hours later, I was flying to see him here & that’s when I decided to tell him everything about my future blog and brand. When I landed, we went to a restaurant called Hawksmoor & I was talking 8495282342803 words a minute about my future blog. He was in, instantly, & side note: Erik, thank you so much for your unconditional love and support since day one, SERIOUSLY. I appreciate you taking it all so seriously from day one and never undermining the concept. My trip to London got all the champagne chez moi wheels in motion. I went to Harrod’s & bought a tiffany blue journal {Harrod’s brand, as I wanted to remember London} since it was going to be my blog’s colour at the time, and in that book, I wrote a diary of blog posts & content ideas that I still have this day. Champagne at Shannon’s was truly born in London back in 2014 when I took my world by my terms. I do believe things go full circle & 24 hours after my last day in the corporate world, I was on a plane to meet Erik in London {he was here for 2 weeks prior}. I don’t believe much, except that earth is not flat, but I do believe the universe shows you things / signs& being here & typing this in London at this point of my life & career? I do not take lightly at all. It’s unreal & it brings me to [the good kind] tears… not to mention, as I type this, I have Todd Terje’s Swing Star on, and it totally fits how I feel.  off topic but it’s my song for take off on any flight… so I suppose that can be taken metaphorically too.

SO- that’s all the personal stuff. Now the fun stuff.

What to expect now that I’m full time?

Well, a lot! I will be creating content constantly. I have more time to shoot things and get content up at real time. I am also going to start VLOGGING! Expect lots and more video content. This will be new but I am so excited to get into this & it can be a more intimate look on things. I am going to my FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD in about 2 weeks so I look forward to vlogging along the way. Subscribe to my YouTube channel H E R E!

I also am pleased to announce that I will be going back to my entertaining for two roots. From making date nights at home just more special. I’ll be including new recipes constantly {& cooking videos!}, talk wine & beverages, & other things to keep it all spicy.  Travel {for two? 😉 } will also be another big focus and have some fun places in the works.

Lastly, I’ll be taking my email newsletter more seriously and to the next level so be sure to sign up and be on my buddy list 🙂 just scroll up on the site to the top, click the mail icon & enter your a/s/l – jk, I just need your name & e-mail. Basically, that will become my new #instastoryfam & all announcements and updates will be there first. I’ll also have some freebies and stuff for you!

As far as sponsored content, anything you ever see here will ALWAYS be a product / company / brand that I use / support & who’s morals and guidelines are in store with mine. If something is ever NOT a fit, you will never see it here. Selling out is not my style. 🙂

If there is anything YOU ever want to see, let me know!

I am going to take March off a bit. I need time to decompress and fully divorce my former job mentally. It’s been a bit harder than I thought. I will be active on Instagram and will get back to my 3x a week blog posting once we touch back down in San Francisco.

Well- that’s all I got today. I’ll admit, it feels good to finally say it {though my #instastoryfam got the news first – basically anything you ever see on my blog or instagram, the story fam gets it first}. I quit my job last month & I was finishing up the entire month instead of doing just 2 weeks. In that last month, I wanted to give them my full and undivided focus and attention so it would be a clean break, so I apologize for not being fully “here”.

Also, one last thing I’d like to tell you is that in this day and age of the internet, anyone and everyone has the capacity to do what they want if you put in the work. If a blog or online brand is what you want to do, then you have to eradicate every excuse and execute. If I can do it, legit ANYONE can.

If you want to start a blog, do it yesterday.

Yes, blogging is saturated, but so is every business there ever was – it’s one of the reasons why the job search process can get so daunting and tedious. There is only one you, so really ruminate on what makes you unique and let that shine your blog. That will make you stand out and cut through the noise. Find something you are known for & do it full force, love. Authenticity will always prevail and be noticed, it just takes time and lots of it. BE PATIENT. Again, it took me 4 years to get here from when I first started {again, I wasted an entire year of planning & not doing}… & I still have a long way to go.

Here is a longer post full of advice & 5 things I learned in Year 1 & Year 2 of blogging. I’ll continue to do those on every blogiversary. Here is a more personal post on development & connecting the dots – the most important lesson of my 20s.

This post is one of my more personal ones but I also wanted to tell my story. I don’t story tell enough & I want to be realistic and transparent. That said, if you have any questions, let me know. As long as they aren’t too private or invasive, I’m happy to answer & help out other bloggers as much as I can.

LASTLY- FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME, FOR READING ANY BLOG POST ON HERE, FOR FOLLOWING ALONG ON MY PLATFORMS, & FOR JUST BEING HERE. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I HAVE SO MUCH GRATITUDE FOR YOU.

OKAY *gasps for air* that was a lot. So I am going to hit publish and sign off and be on my merry little way in London. If you have any reccs in this city, please let me know!!

PS – I’d also be totally lying if I told you that I didn’t have Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For” on repeat over the last month. Lyrics here 😉

– xx – Shannon

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