We’ve teamed up with bloom to bring you Moonshots: 10 women shooting for the moon, 10 questions on how they’re doing it. Our final moonshot is, sexologist & author, Shannon Boodram. Check out all featured women here.
How did you know this was the right path for you?
You really don’t know until you do, until it’s alive and moving. I think ‘knowing’ is a luxury dreamers can’t afford. One of my favorite quotes (one that honestly saved my sanity) is Steve Jobs, “You can’t connect the dots going forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that somehow the dots will connect in your future. You have to trust in something.”
Do you believe we’re ever really ‘ready’ to do something? How do we start when we’re stuck?
I definitely think there are times that you’re ready. I think of course there are opportunities that you can be perfectly or even over-qualified for. But I also think too many of us make the mistake of focusing on the goal vs the habits. Saying to yourself: ‘I want to become a sex expert and work in the media sharing my expertise’ seems overwhelming. Instead, tell yourself: ‘I want to understand sex inside and out, so I’m going to read for ten minutes a day and have at least one hour-long conversation with someone about their sex life so I can learn from them.’ Meet yourself where you are. Don’t set goals for future you, make them for present you. You should always qualify for your own opportunities.
Doing courageous things requires losing our excuses. What excuses did you have to get rid of to get to where you are now?
I had to get rid of pride. I had a lot of friends who I could work with and ask help from but I was too proud. When I wanted to start doing YouTube in 2015 I made a couple of videos that only got like 2k views, and so I stopped because I was too proud. I had to get over that, way, way over that. Nobody REALLY cares—they are too busy living their lives so you have to focus and live yours.
What have been your biggest challenges so far, and how have you overcome them?
Knowing when to move on from people has been a massive challenge. About a year ago I moved on from two relationships with people I loved—my agent and my ex. When I really thought about it, there was nothing left for me to gain and learn from these people—at least not at the rate I would need in order to grow. I had to force myself to move on from these people even though I knew that separation wasn’t going to be welcomed or easy. To this day I don’t speak to either one and that sucks, but nothing else in my life does so that’s a small price to pay. I know now that this is a decision I will have to make many times over in my life and that is both frightening and freeing.
From the outside it looks like you’ve made it—but what are some of the things that you still feel insecure about? That you haven’t quite nailed yet?
There is still not a lot of momentum in my life. I was explaining this to my sister the other day—that all my life I’ve been kicking the ball, watching it roll a bit, then walking forward and kicking it again. I’m waiting for the day that the ball just keeps rolling but sure enough, it stops or goes out of bounds or doesn’t move at all. Effort is the mark of my career—it’s not something I’m thrilled about but it has created a strong work ethic.
What are the things you’re super proud of?
The fact that I am a published author for sure, gaining well over 100k more subscribers in less than a year, finding and being with an amazing man who makes me feel like all of my education is so worthwhile, getting my US green card in less than three years (it takes most people well over ten) and being happy! Oh my gosh being so so happy! Never dreading a day.
How do you motivate yourself on the tough days? What keeps you moving forward?
To-do lists. I write silly things on my to-do lists too like, take a shower, eat, do a two minute work-out. I make my lists small and break-up big tasks into tiny bits so I get the satisfaction of crossing things off the list. I painted an entire wall in my office into a dry eraser board so I write my lists big. My partner does the same now too and it the morning he reads me his list and I do the same. I recommend this practice big time.
Regardless of how busy you get, what are your non-negotiables?
My mornings have to be slow five/seven days of the week. I can manage a couple fast starts but omg how I LOVE waking up on my terms, laying in bed cuddling, reading my emails, getting up to make tea, then going back to bed for a bit. The whole ordeal takes about an hour but it gives me an amazing boost for my day. It’s how I started today, and by 9:30 this morning I found myself saying: ‘Today is such an amazing day, even though technically the day has just begun.‘
What advice would you have given yourself at the beginning of your journey?
I’d tell myself the mantra that I now share with the world “I Own it */ They Love It.” Not the other way around. Don’t wait for people to be happy with your decisions before you make them—don’t prevent yourself from following your heart in fear that it will hurt others. If people are meant for you, if they love you, they will love what you choose to own. I wanna make something clear though, I’m not talking about owning your bullshit and faults. The symbol */ is of the womb—the actual center of who you are, your inner creator. Whatever comes from there—you own and honor.
What advice do you have for other women who are shooting for the moon?
I would give the advice my mom gave to me: reach for the treetops, land on the ground—reach for the moon, land on the treetops. I am not nearly as successful or as rich as I predicted and set myself up to be but I LOVE where I am. I worked like I was meant for sheer excellence but instead am working with greatness. Now, I reach for Mars and hopefully in a few years I will be reporting to you live from the moon.