INS08 - Logic, Creativity & Life with Shannean Moncrieff


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My guest today is Shannean Moncrieff and when I first met Shannean, almost twenty years ago, she was a very well respected lawyer working at a prestigious law firm in Cairns, however after having children she transitioned out of law, into a more creative life and once again she has excelled.

Shannean did a double degree at university; Law and a BA in Japanese, History, Politics and English, and it’s her love of the English language that really motivates her in all areas of her life.

As she explains - If I wanted to communicate for a living I needed to know how to write and I needed to understand why we write the way we do, and what is the most persuasive way to do that.

Never compromise your principles and beliefs:

Shannean has written seven fiction books and has received offers from international publishing houses, however they wanted her to compromise the story by changing the setting and also the central character, which she was not prepared to do.

It’s important to stand your ground, especially if you can back it up with evidence and hardcore logic, however you need to be flexible enough to see another persons point of view and vision.


Too often people fall into careers and do not follow their passions, however our career choice is influenced at an early age by our environment, schooling and people in our lives.

For example our parents taught us to work hard at school, get good grades and get a good career.

At some stage we must decide, do we go into a career that will pay the bills, which is logical, or follow our creative passion that may not pay the bills? Part of being an adult is being responsible so you can pay for your lifestyle.

The Struggling Artist:

We’ve all heard about the struggling artist, but there’s really no need for this to be true, but for some reason people still accept this, but would they accept the struggling accountant or struggling lawyer? No they wouldn’t, instead they would say they’re inept or lazy.

History teaches us patterns and lets people have an opinion based on past facts. Look at where you are now in your career compared to five years ago. Is it better or worse, or has there been no change? If there’s been no significant change then maybe you need to change.

Evolution of people:

Children are initially guided by the boundaries set by their parents, however as they reach school and try to fit in with the new environment, their peers are also influential.

When we finish school some people go to university, others start a trade, and therefore they have different life experiences, BUT then we’re expected to fit into a world and all work together. It’s not always possible and maybe this is part of our evolutionary process and we’re never supposed to feel comfortable?

Victors write history:

In the past the victors wrote history and this is how we learnt, but now everyone can write and have an opinion, which exposes us to so much more information, but what is the truth.

This is why kids are so much smarter today than prior generations, because previously parents limited the boundaries. The internet has expanded the boundaries.

Your CREATIVE side:

Shannean has always had a winning attitude and a drive to be number one at everything she puts her mind to, however as she puts it - If you’ve walked a path of success before, you’re programmed to do it again”.

It’s all about LEADERSHIP. It’s about identifying obstacles and sign posts ahead of time. If you want to be #1 you need to develop your skill set.

What is success?

For Shannean, if her children have a great attitude towards their fellow man, then she feels she has been a success.

Sometimes the things we often worry about on a day to day basis are literally not that important in the larger scheme of life.

We take nothing to the grave, nothing at all, all we’re leaving is a memory, and if we can inspire, energize and motivate people in a positive way and make them think marginally different than they did 10 minutes ago…then we’ve left our mark.

Whether I’m driving a Mercedes Benz or a Hyundai I’m still going to get to the destination I’m setting out for. What’s more important is knowing my destination before I back out of the driveway.

My own thoughts after talking with Shannean:

Someone once told me that when you have open, honest, meaningful conversations with people, you get to learn so much more about them, and that’s exactly how I felt after my conversation with Shannean.

I learnt more about Shannean’s thinking and beliefs, and where she’s headed in life, in the past 40 minutes than I have in the past 20 years of knowing her, which is amazing.

So I think there’s a massive take away point here:

Everyone needs to connect more with the people they know and they should sit down and interview their friends, family and work colleagues.

Ask them for 60 minutes of their time and tell them you want to ask them a few questions to get to know them better.

Of course they will look at you like you’re an oddball, but just like Shanean, once the conversation starts and if you really listen…you’re going to learn so much more about them and they will share so much more with you.

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For more information about this show and previous episodes please email me directly at or visit my website

My new book It’s No Secret There’s Money In Small Business has just been release. It can be ordered from Amazon and Book Depository, and if you live in Australia it can be ordered from most local book stores.

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