Shonagh is an author, shamanic practitioner, teacher and public speaker. Her offerings focus on the cultivation of our intrinsic abilities – intuition, creativity and multi-dimensional awareness. She delves into the rich territory of the shadow in order to heal what has been hidden. She is also a beekeeper and apitherapist who administers bee venom therapy for a host of illnesses. Her shamanic work with the sacred mushroom informs both her teaching and her private practice. She is author of the books, ‘Ix Chel Wisdom: 7 Teachings from the Mayan Sacred Feminine,’ ‘Love and Spirit Medicine,’ and the upcoming, ‘Honeybee Wisdom: A Modern Melissae Speaks.’ In this beautifully captivating episode, Shonagh will speak about:
- 2:10 – How she was able to tap into a niche that urgently desires her unique offers and services.
- 8:45 – Shonagh shares how she executes her marketing strategy authentically to attract more clients without being “slimy”.
- 27:54 – The turning point of transitioning her monthly community ceremonies into a viable self-sustaining business.
- 43:14 – Shonagh shares the biggest online traffic driver to her website.
- 46:54 – Her advice to entrepreneurs in the sacred business who are sharing a very different message from the mainstream but would like to grow a business around it.
- 49:38 – A very moving message on what we can do to make a difference in this world.
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Mentioned in this interview
- Jason Van Orden
- Love and Spirit Medicine
- Women’s Visionary Congress
- Google Images
- Sacred Bee Keeping
- Psychedelic Salon, Lorenzo Haggerty
Where to Find Shonagh
- Visit Shonagh’s website
- Follow Shonagh on Twitter
- Check out Shonagh’s videos on YouTube
Full Episode Transcript
0:56 Lorna: Hello amazing change makers. This is Lorna Li for another episode of Entrepreneurs for a Change and I’m here today with a very interesting purpose-driven entrepreneur. Her name is Shonagh Home and she’s an author, shamanic practitioner, teacher and public speaker who has become a feminine voice with the reverent shamanic use of psilocybin mushrooms.
1:15 Her book, “Love and Spirit Medicine” chronicles her mystical journey through the end of her marriage into a focus exploration of entheogenic mushrooms.
1:25 Shonagh travels around the country, teaching the shamanic art and sharing wisdom clean from the mushroom intelligences. In addition, she’s a beekeeper and a bee venom therapist with a book on that subject coming out in 2015. Now what I find most interesting about Shonagh is her business model specifically that she’s been able to create a viable purpose-driven business from her experience with visionary mushrooms.
1:55 So, Shonagh, thank you so much for joining us today. I would love to find out how it is that you were able to tap into a niche that urgently desires what it is that you offer and seeks your support as willing to pay for it?
2:10 Shonagh: It’s taken awhile and it is still very much a ‘work in progress’ but I’ve been at this now for probably eleven years and the first half of that a very voracious student, and I still am a voracious student of mystery, but I began doing a full moon ceremonies for women once a month and was absolutely shocked that as many women wanted to participate as this. So once a month that would happen, and I would get upwards of 30 women coming to my house and so, what I realized from that was, that was an excellent way of putting myself out there to my local community getting the word out and so, holding ceremony, giving a tea chain—I’m very transparent when I share and I think people found that very refreshing and then every month, new people would come, so there was a word of mouth piece going on.
3:26 So, looking back now, I realize that really began that endeavor and then of course offering private sessions and then, offering my own teaching and the blessing of a very dear teacher that I had for a couple of years. He would said, “Shonagh, teach. You’re ready. Do it.” And I gave him the deer in the headlights look, but he laughed. And said, “No, sweety. You’re good to go.”
3:55 Definitely this evolution but I’m at this now for probably a good six years of solidly putting myself out there, offering private sessions which people come to of course, and all word of mouth, the full moon ceremony, because I’m bringing in something that I think a lot of us were called to this.
4:20 There’s no touch tone for this in our commercial world. In fact, this kind of work has been cast out of the commercial world, of the Western world for a quite some time. We’re endeavoring to bring it back and also show that has great merit because of course, it does and my work is very psycho spiritual as shamanic can be, because you were speaking with someone who’s common, they’ve got an issue there for a reason and so there’s a conversation that will occur and then, take it from there and decide what this person needs and the work is very profound of a question. So it has great merit and it’s very essential.
5:08 Anyway, also, I’ve written three books. I’m almost finished writing my third book and the book is I think really important if you are in this work and if you can write because it gives you a lot of credibility. I mean not everyone can write a book. I mean how many people do we know who say they’re writing a book and how many actually complete it. It’s a tremendous amount of time and commitment and then, there is the editing process, then the marketing getting it out and published or self-published or whatever your deal is and that has helped me tremendously as well.
5:50 So I have just managed through –I don’t know if it’s stubbornness or diligence or a combination of course or diligence because also, this is what I do. I don’t have a day job and I will say that it’s difficult to get yourself started with this and I was married while I was birthing this piece. So I was very fortunate in that I had someone else bringing in income; otherwise, I would have had a day job but I don’t have a day job. This is my day job. I make a living out of it and won’t be getting rich of this in any time soon. That’s of course not why I’m doing it but at the same token, I will speak to the fact that I do need to get paid for what I do. So I’m bringing in this very ancient work, to me, a very human kind work, kind of offering into a commercial system and there are many people think, “You are a healer. You’re a medicine person. You shouldn’t charge.”
7:01 I sat in a ceremony with a fortune ration of a home medicine woman named Patricia Anne Davis who said to all of us, “I can’t pay my bills with a feather and a stone. I can’t. We’re not in that client of community anymore. We’re not.” And so, I had had to learn how to that as well: how to charge for what I do, how to pick a fair price, I also do a sliding scale, I don’t have that on my website but I assumed, someone who really wants to work with me will ask me about that and so that is in place. I mean there’s a lot; this is a long answer too. I’m sure you got several questions around this but just trying to give you a picture of how I have done this. It’s really evolved over the past six years. It’s still evolving but I am really in a good place.
8:02 I have a steady clientele. I have people to sign up for my classes but I’m on my own marketer and then there’s that fine line of how do you market without being overwhelmed because I think we all get these emails from certain people but every week that something and after a while, you just blow it off and I don’t do that and maybe I don’t market enough but anyway, do you want me to keep going? I have a newsletter that’s huge, very important as well. I think the written word is very important. I know people are very busy but they do read my newsletter, some of them. I get letters every month, respond to these.
8:44 Lorna: How long do you send that newsletter?
8:45 Shonagh: Once a month. It’s called Wisdom Unfolding and so, whatever I am inspired to write, I do a written piece and below that, I will list my classes for the next couple of months and that’s the other piece, I offer a teleclass, so thank God for technology. So every month I do but I call my Tuesday Teleclass and so that’s four Tuesdays a month and it’s been hour and a half class and I get people from Australia, I get people from England, as well as people from United States who sign up for that and if they can’t listen to it live because they’re in Australia, it’s recorded. And then I am getting smarter at this about taking some of those recorded classes and putting them a package and then selling that on my website. So then that is what they call that passive income.
9:45 It is very interesting and strange that to bring that kind of commercial or commerce, to bring commerce in and how do we marry that with this work that is just so different and so profound and very sacred I think and very necessary, how do we price that out, how do we market and without being slimy.
10:15 Lorna: Absolutely. You definitely bring up a key question that comes up especially with conscious entrepreneurs is that how do you keep the integrity, the ethics, the sacredness of the work that you do in your business because one thing that I think in our culture paradigm, we are very much exposed to is this pressure to be, I guess less than honest in your marketing or this idea that in order to succeed in business, you have to cut corners. So there’s certainly are people that endorse authentic marketing and there are certainly ways which you can communicate what it is that you do without feeling slimy, without having to use the yellow highlight and like the alert box “But Wait!”, or like the red font and “Take advantage of this”, so “one time offer and if you don’t you are a loser and you want to blah, blah, blah.”
11:30 It’s like all these and I’ve seen it all as an online marketer really and definitely I would say that there’s a lot of sliminess in the online marketing world and as a person, that really is creating or building a purpose-driven business, one that is founded in my own personal system of integrity and ethics. I don’t want to be that slimy marketer too. The question too like, how often to mail and what to say. That’s always going to be something that will come up for conscious entrepreneurs, but I do want to point out to those of you in the audience, listening to this episode is that, when you are a purpose-driven entrepreneur, it can take more time to build your business because I believe that every person is born on this earth to fulfill a true calling that only they are uniquely qualified to fulfill and so that means that you are designing your own business in a way that nobody else has done.
12:40 Now, you can certainly follow other models, other entrepreneurs or gurus that are doing a similar thing: similar but different but ultimately, you have to carve your own path and that’s what I really respect about what you’ve done, Shonagh, is carving your own path around the use of visionary mushrooms and then going, following a model which is very much an expert coach type of business model that’s based in email marketing, offering teleseminars, creating info products, offering workshops. There’s a system and a blueprint, rough structures so to speak but, Shonagh is really doing it in her unique and very special way.
13:28 Shonagh: Yeah and I’m sure marketers might say, “Shonagh, you really should be doing this and add more of this, whatnot and you should be in front of your audience once a week and whatnot,” and I do see that of course but here’s the deal. I mean what I’m bringing through this is I live my what I speak and this is real, I was joked with my students style and I said, “The shit’s real. The spirits, all these guys, they’re real and so my senses always been through this. I am bringing through this piece because I have a message to share and those with ears to hear and eyes to see will respond and so, I’ve been very careful and mindful or thoughtful about how I present what my offerings, visually as well.
14:27 I have a beautiful website like I want things a certain way, very beautiful and very inviting but not in your face. At the same time, not like that. I hate that stuff about like you’re saying, the red writing and all of that stuff. I don’t ever do that. So it has been a slow build but also of course, I loved to talk about this. The interviews are very important and then I have a page on my website which is just on interviews and I am always surprised by how many people I will hear who’ll say, “Hey. I’ve just listened to half of your interviews.” So I’m like, “Wow, really? Wow!” But people do because this stuff is interesting. I think these kind of conversations are very interesting. So to be able to put that kind of thing out, to be able to articulate that and with you like said with that, with integrity, with honesty and just have really good conversation, I think people are very hungry for that as well and so that is a way again of getting yourself out there and drawing people into the conversation.
15:45 That’s very important. I would say, what is working for me is to continue putting myself out there with these interviews, with these discussions, with people and I’m learning an awful lot about that and I’m also of course learning how to speak to have an hour conversation or half hour conversation like this and get my point across. And that draws a lot of people in the book and then of course, when they see the website and the classes and then the one-on-one sessions.
16:19 That’s really been picking up and that is I think where the rubber meets the road because you’re either good in what you do you do or you’re not. Either they’re going to come back or they’re never going to come back. A lot of these too is what are you bringing forth here, what kind of work are you doing and how is that working and what is your rapport with people and are you listening to them? Are you reading between the lines of their words and all of that? I mean I’ll be doing this the rest of my life.
16:56 Lorna: Yeah, this is an example of the business that is a reflection of your true calling. Now this morning, I was just having a conversation with a friend and he was wanting to explore the possibility of creating a business around his gifts and I said, “Okay. I totally support you in doing that but you have to understand that if you’re trying to build a business based in your true calling, it is going to be a lot of hard work.” You can’t just be like, “That’s just too much work; I’m not going to do it,” because what ends up happening is if it’s truly your passion, if it’s truly your purpose, then that is the fire that will keep you going through all the challenges, through the moments where you feel like for all the effort you’re putting in like nobody’s listening, to wondering if you’re a failure, if you’re even cut out for this and should get a job.
17:49 But then, when you are able to get through some of these challenges and look at the life you can create for yourself, it is worth every minute of that hardship because who else can design a life that you are uniquely qualified to live and a business that you were uniquely qualified to offer except yourself.
18:17 Shonagh: Yeah. I couldn’t afford to do it but I don’t think I would ever necessary hire a marketing person. I mean I had someone who helps me with my marketing but that’s not true, but we’re on the same page. You have to be on the same page and she’s more very small scale, in other words, I didn’t go with some big impersonal firm or whatever and she has helped me because I’m not technologically astute, shall we say. She’s the one who puts the newsletter together in terms of the graphics and all that stuff. I mean I couldn’t do that; there’s no way.
18:54 But that said, I mean you are the one. If I don’t write a newsletter once a month, no newsletter goes out. If I don’t come up with classes and you have to be really creative and also, I do have to bear in mind, okay, what are people drawn to? Because I can’t necessarily teach everything that “I” think is interesting because that game doesn’t necessarily.
19:16 Shonagh: Okay, it definitely does. Perfect. Okay. So, you’re really in charge of this and it takes commitment and effort and I can see how most people are great deal people where would just for give up at some point and so the desire pieces, it’s huge like how much do you desire to have your own business especially this kind of thing. I mean you’ve got to be pretty darn committed because it does not pay the bills right away. I will say unless you’re supersonically lucky and you happen to write a book or get in with certain people. You can really help catapult you but this for sure for me, has definitely been a very steady endeavor but the other thing I would say is trust the timing because you learn as you go along. You really do.
20:07 You learn how to speak. You have to be good public speaker, hopefully, a decent writer as well. I mean we’ve got to look at all the different modes of communication that are available. We’ve got to use all of them. The Facebook, I don’t post a whole lot. You’ll never write me or you see me writing my relationship status on Facebook. I say that’s no one’s business. I actually have shared very much, very vulnerably in my book but the same time, I don’t use Facebook for that. I mean I really do use it either throw in some articles, I think there are of importance or plug my classes or my next book or whatever. None others, I know there’s Twitter and what not, I haven’t done that but those are really important.
20:56 Lorna: Yeah, you bring those really good points when I said to my friend David, “David you have to really want this, otherwise, you’re going to give up somewhere down the road because it’s going to feel like it’s too hard but when you get to the other side, you’ll find that it’s actually so much worth it and there’s nothing else you’d rather be doing because it is your purpose and it’s a calling”. So it’s worthwhile if you want to create a purpose driven business to sit down and figure out what it is that you’re passionate about, what your zone of genius is, what your purpose for your precious human life is on this earth.
21:30 And then once you gain clarity around that, then go out and do it because if you haven’t taken the time to figure it out and sometimes, visionary plants like mushrooms or Ayahuasca can really help with that, then you’re going keep popping around to different shiny objects, a passing interest, so to speak.
21:52 Shonagh: Right.
21:53 Lorna: The moment things become challenging, then you’ll give up and move on. Now, anyone who’s smart and has a work ethic can sell anything online. You can sell blue ski boots, you can sell Viagra, whatever this any number of things you can sell online and make a much faster dollar than a purpose-driven business but I personally think that every second of my life, that goes by that I’m not using to fulfill my purpose is a tragic waste of my time. And for that reason, it keeps me committed to my purpose, not to say that I do as an entrepreneur, believe in failing quickly.
22:34 You’ve got your mission, you have your purpose; never give up on your purpose but sometimes view, it started endeavor and it’s not working, then it’s best to like take the lessons and move on and feel quickly with those things. You have to determine what is the difference between the purpose and the mission or your short term quest, so to speak.
22:56 Now for the folks that I do know that are phenomenally successful in creating conscious purpose-driven businesses, those people have worked a lot. It’s not for everybody. The people that I know have worked a lot for at least a year and a half to build their business. Sometimes three years, some people like four or five, nine years like one of my earliest mentors, he didn’t get to the business that he has now. He tried to a lot of things but it took him nine years to get there. And now, he’s like, got a lifestyle: the lifestyle of his dreams, he’s helping aspiring entrepreneurs all of the world, a star to internet base businesses.
23:38 His name is Jason Van Orden. I’ve also interviewed him in this podcast as well in earlier episode which we’ll include in the show notes but he’s now living with his family in Paris. How cool is that? That’s because he can. Yes, so don’t give up on your purpose but clarify first what your purpose is.
23:58 Shonagh: That’s exactly right and I mean I’m 51 and I actually, over the course of my life, tried different things and it’s funny because I did interior designs, I went to Parson’s and I’m very good at that and I loved it and, then, I moved to Seattle and try to make that work but it really didn’t work for me here and that’s when I was introduced to the whole shamanic world and then it was like coming home and my ex-husband teases me and says, “Shonagh, you still are an interior designer.”
24:30 Lorna: You are, that’s so true. [Laughs]
24:36 Shonagh: So to speak on this house now. But yeah and I would say, you’ve got to believe in yourself but I always stress that believing, that’s one thing, that’s great but if you believe in something you can be proven wrong, you’ve got to know what’s the difference. You’ve got to really know who you are, watch you carry, watch you offer, you really need to be aligned with that and then, that’s your ‘come from’ and so the shamanic piece for me, it is like coming home, this is how I live in my life and so of course, I teach this and in the plant medicine deep into that even more so. That gave me so many gifts and of course, a book came out of my experience with the plant medicine as well and that has changed everything.
25:31 So I have actually quite a lot to thank from that place where these plant medicines, who knew, wasn’t why I was using them but they have deepened me into my work made me a better practitioner resulted in a book and then talks, that’s another thing I have a talk on Psychedelic Salon and which is a wonderful forum for – Lorenzo Haggerty collects all of these talks, from all these wonderful out of the box speakers who have some great wisdom to share – a lot of people listen to that website, so I have to talk on there and that opened up a quite a lot for me as a result.
26:13 So I would say too, as I said before, I mean if you can articulate, if you can really speak, that’s very important and also the conference circuit would be good to get to speak to a few of those as well because I have spoken at the Women’s Visionary Congress, two years in a row and that’s amazing event that features mostly psychedelic women who are artists and activist and writers, and they’re doing all sorts of really amazing things and they can come and very safely share there and then there’s a few guys looks smattering of guys there to speak as well, whereas most of these conferences particularly in the world that I am.
26:58 They’re predominantly men which is very interesting. So I think more and more women slowly are beginning to come forward. It’s dicey because in the whole legality pieces as well but as far as I’m concern, there is no law against talking about this kind of thing.
27:24 Lorna: That’s good to know because we’re on air. So I’m curious to know if we could take you back to an earlier part of your business, I’d love to understand what was the turning point from when you were offering the monthly ceremonies as a community piece when it starts to shift into a viable self-sustaining business? What were some of the keys that you attribute to making that successful transition?
27:54 Shonagh: That’s a great question. It’s interesting because those ceremonies. I held that space for four years and towards the end of the fourth year and this is something to think about if they started to peter out and less women started coming but again, you’ve got a really trust what you do because I realize like, I see, we’re moving on now to a different chapter. I’ve been doing this for four years clearly, whatever. It’s time to put that to a close, so that’s another thing also.
28:29 Don’t be the dead horse like you’ve got to know when one door closes, another door opens. And so that happened but again my book, “Love and Spirit Medicine” had come out and I was starting to do a lot more online. That’s when things start shifting because I started offering this Teleclasses and getting six, eight, ten, twelve people signing up, which is great because that means once a month, I hold a class and of course, you have to again, pay attention to what people are signing up for, maybe one month, not so many sign ups.
29:08 You’ve got to really pay attention to what people are drawn to but that has been a good bit of monthly income for me. I mean I charge $75 for four evenings and four classes and then I do now, one weekend a month, where I offer a class and I have found also that I get more takers to a Friday night, Saturday day. I charge $200 for that class rather than a full weekend which is $400 deal and again, that could shift. It could be very different next year. The more I put myself out there, the more people find me. So that started happening like there are some more of regularity in the people who were signing up for my offerings. So that was really great. And then, as a result, that petered out into private clients, as well.
30:08 Lorna: So, were the Teleclasses that you offered originally free? Or were they always paid?
30:13 Shonagh: They were always paid. In fact, I started charging $125 for the monthly tele-class. And, I got a smattering of people, but then, it came to me like, “All right, I’m just going to charge $75 for this.”
30:28 Lorna: Per class or for four classes?
30:30 Shonagh: For four classes, they’re an hour and a half each. And, I got more people signing up. I want to be able to make this available to a large number of people, and the people who are interested in this – not everyone has a lot of dough, but they really genuinely want the information so, there’s that fine line as well, where, “Okay, this price I can -,” essentially, literally, when I get paid, it pays for my groceries, it pays my electric bill. This is keeping me alive and also feeding two daughters who are athletes who you can imagine how much they eat. So, in any case, that felt like the right number, and that has worked.
31:19 I mean, I will get a good number of people signing up for these classes now. I mean, I would have 20 or 30 and I think that will happen down the road. Another piece, too, that I am working on and offering for next year is more of an on-going online class or training or something of that nature, and so, I’ll put something like that together. And, in that way, you have people who have signed up for it, whether it’s a three-month period or a six-month period, and you know you have that income coming in, so it takes a while.
32:01 I always joke that the healers or whatever you’re going to call them, the medicine people, they’re usually terrible with money. You never look at a Mercedes and go, “Oh, there goes a healer’s car.” No one’s ever going to say that.
32:15 Lorna: It’s usually the car that has the altar on the dashboard with pebbles and dried flowers and feathers.
32:23 Shonagh: Yes, that’s not my car. It’s not Mercedes either. Not that I could care less about that, but yes. This ‘how do we charge’ and then ‘how do we…’ There’s this idea, I think, in the mind of people into this work that the money piece is bad and they want to focus on the sacred on what they’re doing and they totally discount this other piece and yet, it is a very important component.
32:57 I mean, of course, right? If you want to make a living at this and most people just aren’t able to figure it out. So, you’ve got to have a business mind and I look at it in this way. From the study of alchemy, you want to have a foot in both worlds. You want to be able to navigate both worlds, it’s very important.
33:16 And, by the way, the shaman, I always say, the shaman sees, the shaman knows, right? So, you’ve got to be able to navigate and so, I can very well navigate the shamanic realms. Well, I must also navigate the commercial realms, but do that from a place of integrity, and not cut corners. Well, it wouldn’t even occur to me to do that, anyway. I just want to do what I love to do. That’s the thing; I want to do what I love to do.
33:46 I’m not interested in working for AT&T or whatever, I mean, It’s just not going to happen. It’s just not. So, it’s like, okay, this is your choice Shonagh, well then, you’re going to have to be savvy about this. You have to be savvy, but then, it’s win-win because I do what I love and I can make a living doing it, and then someone else on the other end can benefit from that work.
34:12 Lorna: You have your new gifts to offer, and there’s no way in which you can offer those gifts and help somebody else out, unless you’re able to get yourself out there, so that they can connect with you. So, the marketing piece might be challenging, especially if it involves technology, but I see it as amplifying your ideas of enlightenment towards spreading your world changing message to global audiences that wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to hear what it is that you have to say. And then, the money piece is energy. Money is not inherently evil, it’s the love of money that is the problem, but money itself is just a neutral medium that can be used for good and used for ill, and because we don’t happen to live in a traditional society, where medicine people were supported, so for example I spent three years in a Tibetan meditation center and I participated in a lot of teachings with the llamas or travel around and they would get paid to do empowerments and hold these weekend retreats. Well, back in the old days in Tibet, the community completely supported the monastic, so that they could focus entirely on the prayers and the kujas and all of that.
35:36 Whereas, in the west, there isn’t that support, so it’s just the trade. It’s like an energetic trade that is absolutely necessary in the Western paradigm that we live in. Maybe one day that will change, but for now, we have to figure out how to make it work and that’s the art of being the shaman, walking in different worlds and mastering the rules of the game or the natural laws in each world, so to speak, in each realm.
36:05 Shonagh: Very good. Yes, I actually studied law now, I studied with a friend of mine who is a scholar of commerce and law, and I find it fascinating that’s actually the ultimate esoteric study. It’s mind-blowingly esoteric. It is amazing, and it goes back to spells and everything else, it’s fascinating.
36:24 And, that’s actually the beings have encouraged that, that I work with. I will say, also, what really got me into this teaching piece, in this really putting myself out there was I remember saying, “Where are the women shamanic teachers?” I mean, there’s a few, there are a smattering, but it was like, so many of these male voices and I love my brother very much, but I wanted more women, and I guess, I just decided, “Well, fine, I’ll step up to the plate, and I’ll give what I’ve got to give and we’ll see how this goes.” And, I’ve never looked back. So, the perseverance piece is huge here also.
37:17 I mean, you’ve got to persevere and you’ve got to really stay on point. And the way that I look at it too, like what you were saying earlier, if everything falls apart – that quick fail of whatever – that’s just God saying, “Look, wrong path, wrong direction. Okay? It’s going to be a mess,” and you say, “Alright, fine, it’s not working. Let me try this.” And then, once you get to that point, it’s like providence just opens up, and the synchronicities come in and this person leads you to this person leads you to this person and that’s the other thing too is don’t be afraid to ask because I don’t have a big marketing person who does this. I, on my own, I’ll try, I call it, I’ll troll the web looking for people who might be interested in interviewing me. Why not? And if they’re not, they’re not, but usually, they are because, of course, people are always interested in looking for [inaudible 0:38:34].
38:14 Lorna: Let’s put it this way, podcasters and web-show hosts are always looking for valuable content for their audience, so it’s absolutely not at all weird for people to pitch themselves as guests. In fact, I have a VA whose job it is to pitch me to other hosts as guest because I have knowledge to share that would benefit their audience so it’s totally fine. It’s about being pro-active because if you’re in business, you have to hustle. Business is just not going to come to you, unless you’ve already achieved a certain level of success, in which you hustle to get there.
38:53 Now, people are coming to you, but when you’re getting started you do have to get out there because nobody knows who you are, so why should they listen to you?
39:03 Shonagh: Right, and even with my book Love and Spirit Medicine, I contacted people who I really admired. I didn’t know them from a hole in a wall, asking if they would read my book and write a blurb, and all, but one said yes, which was wonderful. I was ecstatic.
39:21 Lorna: Write a blurb in your book, for it to be published in your book?
39:24 Shonagh: Read a book and then, write a blurb for the back of the book.
39:28 Lorna: Oh, cool. Yes.
39:29 Shonagh: Yes. So, you can’t be shy either. That’s for sure. You cannot be shy. The pro-active, that is exactly right.
39:39 You have to be pro-active. And, if one piece doesn’t work, you just got to have that constant flow of creativity going. I’m trying to think of anything else here. A book is really helpful: the classes, some newsletters, very good.
39:57 Lorna: So, how did you get your newsletter started? Because one of the things that I help entrepreneurs with is building their e-mail lists so people can find you through all different kind of ways: through your blog, through your video, through your podcasts, through your books, and they’ll eventually end up on your website, and so, you need a way to really get them to join your tribe. And so, signing up for the e-mail list is a person who’s interested in what you are about. Who is stepping forward and actually joining your tribe. So, what has been effective for you? How do people find you and sign up for your e-mail list?
40:37 Shonagh: Okay. That’s where my marketing person friend helps because she said, you need a grab page on your webs. It’s called a grab page so, they open up to ShonaghHome.com and it says, I don’t know, ‘Hit this place for your free audio gift.’
40:54 Lorna: Oh, okay. Like a light box pop-up, like an opt in form, type of thing?
41:00 Shonagh: Yes. And again, I was very careful. I do not want that to look smarmy, or it says, ‘No, thanks’ at the end. So, what I did was the audio gift is an hour and a half from one of those tele-classes that I taught. They can listen to how I teach and what I have to say, and then they put their e-mail in.
41:25 So, then you have their email and you can sign them up for your newsletter and then, certainly, if they don’t want it anymore, they can unsubscribe, they have that option. And then, I get a number of people who will find me and they see, “Ah, I can sign up for a newsletter,” but it’s all done by the website, so website is key. And, my website was pretty spendy to do, but it’s beautiful. I mean, I have of course, had a hand in all of that. I wanted the right colors and I’m very visual, and I love my website so much.
42:01 I love it, and I get complements on it a lot, and so, something that is very visually pleasing that will draw people in is essential. There’s a lot of words on my website, but I’m a writer also, so all my newsletters are under a tab that says, ‘Wisdom Unfolding’. If you turn to that page, something else that I did to make that more enticing is I always find an image to go with each newsletter. So, on the ‘Wisdom Unfolding’ page, when you open that up, it’s gorgeous. It’s all these beautiful squares of different images, and then the title of that newsletter under of each one.
42:40 So, I’ve also heard from people saying, “Oh, I was so drawn to this because I love the picture, and then the writing was great.” That’s, again, drawing people in is you’ve got to do that with a certain amount of finesse and creativity.
42:59 Lorna: Who do you think is the biggest traffic driver for you? So, people end up on your website, do you know where they came from? Is it all organic? Are they clicking through to your website from your e-book? Your kindle books? How does that work?
43:14 Shonagh: I would say it’s my interviews because I have a number of interviews now and I will find certain interviews, I do because I can do the Google Analytics or whatever, it’s spikes the people who go looking on the website, and then from there, you can see what page they’re most are drawn to and for me, that’s not the thing I would say to people who are doing this. So, okay, so you’re a medicine person or you’re doing healing work. Well, maybe, at the same time, and this is happening organically for me because I love the bees so much. And so, my third book is about the bees and a way in which I see that we can save them, which is healing the earth through biodynamics and on and on. In other words, you have another passion.
44:01 Something that you feel very strongly about that you want to assist this planet with and include that in your work. So, I have a page called ‘Sacred Bee-keeping’ and I just threw that together because I love my bees and I put all this information on there and websites, and books I’ve read, and a little bit of my own writing, and that page actually gets the most traffic.
44:24 Lorna: Interesting. Wow.
44:28 Shonagh: So, then, from there, I was like, “Alright, fine, I will design, then, an online course on Sacred Bee-keeping, which I did. And, I sold, probably, I think, 14, 15 people now have purchased that online course.
44:45 Lorna: Just organically, they showed up on your website and purchased that course without you trying to find…
44:51 Shonagh: I mean, I market it. On those newsletters, it has my classes and at the bottom, it always has the ‘Sacred Bee-keeping’ and now it says check on my online courses available. And, again, and each course that’s listed also has its own image. So, again, people see the image and it calls to mind something in their mind that they associate with it and they read the description for the course and they’re very drawn in and intrigued. So, the visual piece I am finding is really key.
45:27 And, I love doing that, I find my own visuals for the newsletter and each course I’m teaching. And I go on Google Images, whatever and I find something really beautiful to go with that. So, that’s really good.
45:44 Lorna: Great. I know people really respond to images especially in social media. So, a friend of mine, his name is Bret Gregory, has got this whole system around using Photostacks to increase the likes to your Facebook page and so he’s got this whole methodology for finding beautiful creative comments images, and then identifying the one that people like the most and then using that image for your Facebook ad. It’s pretty brilliant actually, yes. Images are very powerful. So, great, we’re at the end of the segment right now. I’d like to ask you, do you have any last parting advice for entrepreneurs, especially those that have “New Paradigm Businesses” which in your case it’s a very old paradigm, but that you’re growing through the new paradigm of internet technology so, do you have any advice for people that are trying to share a very different message from what is typically out there in the mainstream and to grow a business around it?
46:54 Shonagh: Yes. I would say, “Okay, so that is your desire. Take a seat with a pad and a pen and get real.” Like, get very real, in terms of, “Okay, how do I structure this?” And then write down, “Okay, I’m going to need a website. I’m going to need classes.” Can you write?
47:19 Not everyone is a good writer so, how are you going to put yourself out there. In other words, write down exactly what is going to be needed in order for this to grow. And you got to get very real, and also, how much money do you need to bring in a month? And, that’s important, and also, one quick thing too. When you are seeing people, it’s very important to keep a calendar and you keep each appointment and you know which people are coming who are paying in full, which people are coming, who you’re maybe not charging because people often find and looking back, like, “Oh my god. Yes, I still have five people for free last week, and I’ve only had two paying,”
48:04 And you’re going to think on your mind, “Oh yeah, I’ve got all these clients,” Oh, but you’re not making any money here, or it’s not supporting you, so you just need to be aware, even, of how you work, and what are your habits, and are you selling yourself short, and all of that. So, that business, and it’s part of the structure that is very important. You’ve already got the sacred work, the medicine work down clearly. You’ve got that together. Now, you’ve got to structure that, how does that look.
48:34 It’s like when I write a book, I say that I’m using both the left and the right brain: the masculine and the feminine. The feminine, it is the creative, she is my muse. And, she knocks on the door and I answer the door and she says, “Hey, I’m your book, you can write me.” She’s all that creative potential.
48:54 The masculine comes in and provides the structure for it and the sentences and all of that and how you articulate it. So, it’s this beautiful marriage of the two. And so, that needs to be applied to this kind of thing. You’ve got that gorgeous feminine medicine piece, and then you’ve got marry it with the structure, business structure. How is this going to look. And then, you need perseverance and the commitment and if you put all that together, then you will be on your way.
49:30 Lorna: Fantastic. So, I’m going to leave you with my last favorite question. Shonagh, what do you think is the most effective way to change the world?
49:38 Shonagh: Oh, my god. Wake up! Wake up, stop believing what you’re told, turn off your TV. Stop all that stuff. Oh my god, you got me going, but no, it is to stop believing what we’re told by those who have put themselves in charge, who, by the way, are public servants, but you never hear that used anymore.
50:06 No, and then, we’re going to have to take back our power and take action. We’ve got to learn or legal system, no one knows it. Understand the power of the pen, the pen is mightier than the sword, okay? And so, when we can do that and start putting that kind of thing in action, we can actually, get rid of a lot of these so-called people who are in-charge, who call themselves our leaders, who are destroying our planet. And we can take back what is ours.
50:40 I think too many people become really – well, first of all – completely overwhelmed and totally apathetic, a lot of them. And yet, there’s so much that we can do, we just haven’t tapped that, but it’s like it’s always been there. We’ve got to learn the legal system, is what we have to learn. We’ve got to learn the legal system because petitions don’t work when these people are raping the land and cutting off mountain tops and what not, they don’t work.
51:07 And screaming and yelling at our representatives because that’s what you get if you have a representative, you just gave them your authority, they can do whatever the hell they want. So, we have to take back, call back our authority and so, maybe, learn how to do commercial liens, so that we’d learn how to take the money away because that’s how we’re going to change things, and you’ve got to take the money away from the people who are destroying the planet, and exploiting people. And there are ways to do that, so we have to learn how to do that. And, when we learn how to do that, everything is going to change because we’re coming back into our authority. And, that is what I see people have lost altogether.
51:47 We need a revolution here, not a violent revolution, of course, but a revolution in terms of consciousness to remember what we are. And we’re not slaves, we’re not peons. We are kings and queens. I say this a lot, but it is true, but we’ve forgotten what it is to have true power, and put that into action. So, wake up, learn you legal system, stop believing what all these leaders are telling us because it’s nonsense and really catch a clue as to how we can change. It’s a commercial world, and there’s a remedy for everything. There has to be. There’s remedy for everything, but you got to get outside of the box. We’ve been put into this very teeny-tiny box of perception and our education has been pathetic. I mean, the more I study, law and commerce, I’m aghast at my own ignorance, I’m aghast.
52:53 And so, knowledge is power. Knowledge is power and so, this is what we must do and I’ll finish with a quote. “Every man has two educations. The first he is given, the second, more important, he gives to himself.” And so, we have to call in that knowledge.
53:14 No, it’s not free, and no one is going to just hand it to you in a silver platter, but we better call it in really fast because we have serious work to do on this planet. And we will do it, I think a number of us are ready and are doing just that. There quite a lot going on beneath the surface, Lorna, that you’re not going to read about in New York Times, but oh, it’s happening. And that excites me. I do see people who really are working this from quite an impressive angle. So, yes. There you are, you asked. You got it.
53:50 Lorna: Thank you so much, Shonagh. How can we best stay in touch with you?
53:53 Shonagh: Through my website, ShonaghHome.com, which S-H-O-N-A-G-H Home dot com.
54:01 Lorna: Wonderful. Thank you. You have a beautiful day.
54:04 Shonagh: You too, Lorna. Thank you.
[END OF RECORDING]
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