The first time I remember being taken aback by someone was my freshman year of college. I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in life, and I didn’t care to find out at that point. Then something happened, I met someone who Moved Me. Her name was Liann Shannon and to this day is someone I hold near and dear to my heart. She was the artistic type that was everything I wanted to see in myself. She could play instruments, write stories, sing, articulate how she was feeling in ways far over my head. She would have an idea for a documentary one day and film it herself the next. She was what I wanted out of myself and I didn’t even know it yet. Within the first few weeks of talking she completely changed my outlook and direction. I set aside started thinking about the future and what I wanted mine to look like and decided to find meaning in everything I did. I took school more seriously, started reading, looking for mentors, looking for a direction. I wanted to grow as she grew, too. Because of her, I had a clear head and solid foundation through the rest of college. We remained good friends through college and then another thing happened. We met up again and I would talk about how I was looking for a way to start a business. What she gave me lit the fire that has been burning ever since. She gave me a book called “The 100 Dollar Startup” by Chris Guillebeau. This book told story after story of people who found a way to start a business doing what they love with little to know money. How did they do it? They just started doing something, whatever they could. Eventually it grew and grew and kept growing. Because of this book I took the first steps and started my independent training business and started a new fitness instagram account. A simple book was all I needed to start. Six years later and the impact she had on me is still one of my most impactful. I felt it was only right that she should be the first story I share.
I asked Liann to share what moves her in life, and this is what she had to say:
“I believe that commitment and having a relatable story is all it takes for you to buy into what you’re building, and then for others to. You pay with time and honesty and then the rest kind of happens on its own.
I spent my high school and college years trying to force my passions to fit into a mold of security; getting a degree I didn’t plan to use, starting a job I didn’t plan to stay at… and the whole time thinking it was going to somehow yield my dream lifestyle. But so much of my time was spent on building plan Bs and Cs and Ds that eventually, I forgot how to love the things I was originally passionate about.
Conversations with really close friends like Billy over the years have shown me that love isn’t the act of building the safety net, it’s the decision of commitment I make every morning to move toward what I care about in tiny, incremental stages. Creating this non-judgmental space for myself and keeping my eye on something other than tangible results has made me more passionate than I ever have been about my big goals, the special ones I keep to myself. That feeling is irreplaceable, not something I could ever substitute for people, crowds, or touch. And it’s not something I could substitute for others either.”
Who you are today may not be who you are tomorrow. This is true for both Liann and I. We’re all still growing in life and the people we meet along the way have the ability to guide us in different directions. The people who will have the biggest impact on your life are out there. You just have to find them for yourself.
Liann, You Moved Me.