We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon & Natalie Shuman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon & Natalie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
We think risks are always worth taking when they’re calculated. To the outsider, our decision to upend successful careers, leave a dream home behind, and move to a foreign country to run a business in an industry in which we had no professional experience might seem like just betting it all on black. Especially in the midst of a pandemic when tourism was tanked. But, the decision was made based upon years of assessing dive shops and locations, making an informed prediction on the future of travel in a post-pandemic world, and many weeknight and weekend “dates” strategically planning our dream. We put in a lot of hard hours to thoroughly assess the risk vs. reward and always came to the same conclusion: when we look back on our lives the regret of not chasing our dream would be greater than taking the risk of not succeeding. We can’t possibly know what the future holds, but we do know we’ll never regret betting on ourselves.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Since our first date, we’ve shared a dream to run a dive center that would create a community of people from around the world who shared our love for the ocean, its exploration and its conservation. We’ve found our dive tribe at Sun Divers – a beachside dive center in Roatan, Honduras that we can proudly say is ours.
We want our business to be known for having the best small group, concierge diving with the best team and the best location -literally just five steps from the turquoise waters of Half Moon Bay, Roatan. But we want our life story to show people that dreams are not just made to distract us from our daily lives. They’re made for us to make happen.
We’ve learned that being entrepreneurs and making dramatic life changes like this sometimes means making mistakes, many times means pushing past fear, but always means you’ve lived your truest life. And that reward definitely outweighs the risk.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’re (obviously) beach people so our favorite LA hang out is Paradise Cove on Malibu Beach. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner so you can easily stay all day soaking in the sun & salt life on one of their cozy lounge chairs. And the being tucked away in a little cover surrounded by the bluffs makes you forget all the hustle & bustle of city life.
When our friends come to Roatan, we’re of course most excited to go underwater adventuring with them. Roatan is one of the world’s top rated dive destinations after all. From there, it’s enjoying a cocktail and watching the sunset as live tunes play at the neighboring Sundowners Beach Bar. Kayaking through the mangroves is a must. Exploring Cayos Cochinos, pristine archipelagos right off of Roatan that are perfect for diving and snorkeling, plus immersing yourself in the Garifuna culture at the local fishing village is an amazing experience. And some things as simple as trying the local snack called baleadas just hits the spot.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Big shout outs go to the friends & family who believe so much in us and have supported us in more ways than one. Their automatic confidence in our success helped us have the guts to take the risk. Kudos to our team who has welcomed us with open arms and teach us something new daily. The community in Roatan that helped us transition into island life – which can be harder than it sounds. And to one another, because we’ve both said repeatedly that without the other by our side we’d likely not be where we are today.