From Mindless in a Rocker to Rocking Bonsai Business with Shanna Mann – SASM 108

Shanna Mann and Joel Zaslofsky Combined Picture

I've heard a lot of people referred to as the Yoda of this or that.

The Yoda of solar markets. The Yoda of renegade art. The Yoda of squirrel hypnotists.

But there's only one acting Yoda that I get to talk to on a regular basis … Shanna Mann – my mastermind partner, gardening maestro, bonsai business coach, and good friend.

There was, however, a time when she was nobody's Yoda and was about to lose her title of “the smart one” among her siblings, her community, and in her own mind.

The struggle unfolded over years when she got left on the side of the road at age sixteen with a traumatic brain injury after rolling her car, end-over-end, ten times. I thought we'd somewhat concisely discuss what happened afterwards before moving on to other topics like her intentionally small bonsai business philosophy.

But we definitely took the scenic route.

How did stubbornness and resourcefulness play into her more-than-full recovery? What kind of a person and support system do you need to be to turn a massive weakness into an eventual superpower? And what kind of switches – good, bad, or just plain weird – can get permanently flipped when a huge part of your brain swells and many cells die?

Press play for a wild ride and to hear which LL Cool J or Beastie Boys lyrics I (appropriately) drop this time.

You're about to Learn ...

  • How to strategically use constraints to pole-vault over your obstacles.
  • How Shanna got left on the side of the road with a traumatic brain injury.
  • How to cultivate non-attachment without compromising your mind.
  • Why you have trouble “climbing outside your own bottle.”
  • Why most folks overlook or dismiss the pros of an intentionally small bonsai business.
  • What it's like to have zero motivation … and not even know it.
  • A surprising commonality between meditation and a traumatic brain injury.
  • How Shanna systematically mapped what she knew and where the gaps existed.
  • The question that proved Shanna was healed from her injury.
  • How to turn a pen pal into a business partner (and maybe even life partner).
  • How Shanna used her lifestyle freedom to give dignity to aging rescue dogs.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode

Timestamps and Topics

  • [06:57] The story of Shanna's traumatic brain injury at age 16
  • [11:28] What happens when brain cells die and how Shanna experienced it
  • [16:49] How stubbornness and resourcefulness helped Shanna function again
  • [27:44] Secret plans to leave Canada and start a business with a U.S. pen pal
  • [35:38] Shanna's approach to “bonsai business”
  • [39:59] Upsides and downsides of intentionally small businesses
  • [46:10] How to strategically use your constraints to pole-vault over your obstacles

Extra Gratitude and Special Mentions

I want to give a special thanks to our show's new patron on Patreon – Jeff Sandquist, my favorite intentionally wandering friend. Sweet sassy molassy, you make me happy, buddy! Thank you.

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