Search & Replace S04E05: Shannon Talbot

Shannon Talbot, a former high-flying corporate executive, dared to redefine success on her own terms. Fueled by an eye-opening comment from her young son, Shannon embarked on a quest to temper her anger and reclaim her happiness. From scaling the corporate ladder to coaching burnt-out professionals, Shannon shares how prioritizing her well-being, embracing authenticity, and pursuing her long-held dreams led her to a life of fulfillment and purpose. Tune in to Search and Replace and discover how you, too, can chase your happiness and make significant changes that resonate beyond the professional sphere into a more rewarding personal life. 

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[00:00:00] Announcer: Support for the following podcast is provided by the user experience specialists at Johns & Taylor. More information follows this episode.  

[00:00:11] Joe Taylor Jr.: What if you had the power to choose to just be less angry?  

[00:00:17] I’m Joe Taylor, Jr. This is Search & Replace. 

[00:00:19] Shannon Talbot thought she had it all. At least on paper. 

[00:00:20] Shannon Talbot: I had a fabulous career in the corporate world. I worked for 17 years in corporate. I worked 15 years in banking, two years in advertising, rose the corporate ranks. You know, I was always getting that next level, that next salary increase. And yes, on paper, everything looked amazing. And it was the dream that I thought I wanted when I was a little kid. 

[00:00:51] I was working in advertising, which I loved, but at the same time it had unpredictable hours, long hours. I was in client services. You know, we were always putting out fires. And I had never, ever managed my stress well.  

[00:01:07] Joe Taylor Jr.: And in Shannon’s world, that seemed okay. After all, she was surrounded by other corporate ladder climbers who themselves had pushed through a ton of big emotions and made sacrifices to get where they got. 

[00:01:21] So it took someone with a very different point of view to make Shannon reconsider the path she was on.  

[00:01:27] Shannon Talbot: One day, I was pushing my then five-year-old on the swing, about three years ago. And he said, Mommy, can I give you a goal for the year? And I said, Yeah, bud, what’s the goal you want to give me? Give it to me. 

[00:01:43] And he looked at me and he said, Mommy, Can I give you a goal to be less angry this year? You are angry all the time. Oh, and that was not the goal I was expecting him to give me, but it was the goal I needed to hear because it was true. And so, him telling me I was angry all the time was the note for me to be like, ugh, okay Shannon, something’s gotta change. 

[00:02:17] And it also made me realize, even though on paper things looked good. I wasn’t that happy in my career.  

[00:02:25] Joe Taylor Jr.: After that, Shannon drew up a plan to break free from her present reality.  

[00:02:30] Shannon Talbot: I had three steps I had to take after that moment. And really, the first one was to actually start prioritizing my well-being and looking after my stress and anxiety. I was the type of person who always said, I’m too busy. Oh, I’ll just push through, or I’ll get to it at another point. And I never did. So in that moment, I finally had the motivation to start to prioritize my well-being.  

[00:02:56] The second step. was I decided to finally show up more authentically. When I got married, I had an official role and that role was wife. And then later my role became people manager and then later my role became mom. With each role that I got throughout my career, I told myself I should act a certain way. And I put the expectations and pressure on myself. No one told me to act this way. It was all self-imposed. But it meant I didn’t show up authentically, and it meant I was always holding a piece of myself back.  

[00:03:31] And the third step I took was I finally gave myself permission to chase my happy. What I mean is, I finally went for the career that I had dreamt of in high school, that I had told myself was silly, it wasn’t a real career, I couldn’t do it. And I went for that career.  

[00:03:52] Joe Taylor Jr.: That dream career as an author also included a new role, as a coach to other burned-out professionals who wanted to find personal and career happiness. But it wasn’t an overnight transformation.  

[00:04:04] Shannon Talbot: The leap to finally do the thing looked like me taking about six months to prepare. 

[00:04:11] And I started doing coaching on the side and it lit me up. You know, I was doing it in the evenings after working a long full day and it would light me up and I would have more energy afterwards than when I started. So, I knew I was on the right track. Like, the reward outweighed the risk and I knew that by doing that I’d be a better mom, I’d be a better wife, I’d be, you know, a better friend and professional and really I just wanted to help make a difference in people’s lives, and I wanted to help them chase their happy.  

[00:04:44] I felt like I broke free, and it no longer was just about the money I was earning and the title, but really it was about, okay, how much time do I get to spend with my kids? I wanted to spend that quality time with them. And I wanted to be less angry as my son had asked me to be. 

[00:05:02] My relationships with my sons and husband are stronger than ever. I followed my dream of writing a book, something I’d also dreamt of since I was 10 years old. And I’m finally in a routine with healthy habits, personally and professionally. And managing that stress and overall, I am happier than I have ever been in my life. 

[00:05:25] Joe Taylor Jr.: Through her coaching practice, Shannon’s helped hundreds of professionals. She’s even worked with a few large companies that want to improve the lives of their employees. And she often shares this advice with her new clients.  

[00:05:37] Shannon Talbot: I don’t think it’s ever too late to go after what you want. And our brains might tell us it’s too late, or we’re not qualified, or it’s too scary, or too risky, and I just think that those are stories we tell ourselves to keep ourselves safe. 

[00:05:55] But if someone truly wants to go after what they want, or wants their job to light them up more, wants to feel more present with their family, then I think they should go for it. They should chase the thing. We all have obstacles to overcome that will be in our path to where we want to go, but more often than not, they’re worth breaking through to get what we want. 

[00:06:17] If I look back at everything I’ve gone through and where I’ve gotten to today, I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t have started a company earlier. I wouldn’t have tried to be a motivational speaker earlier, because I needed these experiences and I needed these successes and the failures to build who I am today. 

[00:06:41] I think everything happens for a reason, and it’s all about the right time, right place, and it all comes together when it’s supposed to.  

[00:06:49] Joe Taylor Jr.: That’s author and life coach Shannon Talbot. We’ve got links to Shannon’s work in our show notes and on our website at  

[00:06:59] Today’s episode was produced by Nicole Hubbard with help from the entire Podcast Taxi team. 

[00:07:03] I’m Joe Taylor, Jr.  

[00:07:05] Announcer: This has been a Podcast Taxi radio production.  

[00:07:08] Support for Search and Replace is provided by Johns & Taylor, user experience specialists serving media and technology companies that want their websites to work. Learn more about how top performing businesses eliminate barriers between customers and their goals at

Joe Taylor Jr. has produced stories about media, technology, entertainment, and personal finance for over 25 years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, and ABC News. After launching one of public radio's first successful digital platforms, Joe helped dozens of client companies launch or migrate their online content libraries. Today, Joe serves as a user experience consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 businesses. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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