We had the good fortune of connecting with Shonda Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shonda, how do you think about risk?
I have always been of the mindset that the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Taking risks has been the fabric of my decision making since I was a teenager and decided to go all in on a career in Musical Theatre. I found myself moving at the age of 18 to Chicago to attend conservatory, then uprooting my life several times throughout my twenties with moves to Los Angeles and then eventually NYC to pursue that dream with no guarantees of success. Since then I’ve continued to take big risks, when I left the world of performing for good I decided to go to Paris for the summer to enjoy my freedom and figure out what the next step would be (even though I was risking all of the money I had left to my name). Eventually I found myself back in NYC in a career as the Head of Human Resources for a Digital Media company, and most recently I have made the move back to Los Angeles and I am working for myself as a hypnotherapist and coach! All of this to say that each of these unique paths have been the result of taking a risk, being willing to try something new and say yes to the next right thing for me, even if it doesn’t always make sense to the people in my life. This comes from a willingness to risk it all for my own happiness, a trust in life and a confidence that you can reinvent yourself as much as you want. Changing course never means failure, in fact being willing to pivot can often determine success and happiness!
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?
I am a hypnotherapist and coach for female creatives and entrepreneurs. I quite literally help them reprogram their subconscious minds to release fears that are holding them back so that they can feel confident and finally achieve the success they have been craving. It took me a long time and lots of trial and error to finally find a career that blended my creative skill set, intuition, love of other artists and my penchant for business and organization! I am truly multi-passionate and love getting to have creative control over my business. I am deeply committed to helping my clients achieve lasting transformation, it is what drives me to work as hard as I do at my business. I also feel like bringing my New York hustle to the west coast has really set me apart here, it’s such a different mentality (anyone that has spent time on the east coast knows what I am talking about) but it gives you such confidence because you know you can make things happen for yourself no matter what. Ultimately, I think that getting to this point in my career is the result of me being willing to try a million different things, never feeling pressure to have it all figured out and never knowing the outcome, but always trusting that each experience would give me valuable clarity and skills and point me towards the next right thing.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Favorite places in Los Angeles: I live in Santa Monica and there is so much to do on the west side! We would definitely have to do a hike at either Los Leonos or Paseo Miramar for epic coastal views. A burger at The Fathers Office would be on the docket (I’m a bit of a burger junkie and committed to finding the best burger wherever I am!) and brunch at Superba in Venice and / or Huckleberry in SaMo. Hitting up the beach at either Dockweiler or Malibu for sunset would be a must. Of course we would have to hit up the east side, Griffith Park Observatory is so iconic, Los Feliz and Silverlake are two of my favorite neighborhoods with really cool, almost new yorkish vibes and some great restaurants like Ostrich Farm for a more upscale, seasonal dinner. Plus my favorite diner, Brite Spot for some breakfast. We’d also catch a show at Rockwood Table and Stage and/or the Improv. and PIZZA at Town Pizza in Highland Park, my husband and I got married in Highland Park two years ago and our rehearsal dinner was at Town which was so fun for the out of towners.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
One of my first mentors in learning how to re-write my story and reprogram my mind (she has since become a dear friend and one of my biggest supporters), Erin Stutland. Erin is a fitness personality, coach and author of the book ‘Mantras in Motion’.