#9 Shannon Riter Osborn: How to Find Your Voice Again

July 16, 2018

After studying English and criminal justice in college, Shannon began her career with the Division of Criminal Investigation where she worked for nearly 15 years. While she initially loved her job and excelled as a special agent, she grew complacent and before she knew it she had “lost her spirit”.

It wasn’t until Shannon met her husband, Kevin, in 2013, that she realized how happy life could be outside of her demanding job. Although she struggled with the decision to leave DCI, Kevin and his “you’re not going to fail” attitude was ultimately the catalyst for her leap into the unknown.

Once Shannon left DCI, she was able to “let go of some of her type A personality,” as she put it. She started gardening, learned how to cook, and learned how to sew from her retired next door neighbor. However, the transition wasn’t always easy for Shannon. “I really had to work to stay focused on my path, and not let either judgment that was there or that I was creating in my mind affect me otherwise.” (download this hand-lettered quote here!)

After some soul searching, Shannon realized she still wanted to investigate and decided to start her own private investigation business. In March of 2016, Shannon began her business, RO Investigation and Research, LLC. She worked hard by knocking on doors and making connections with local attorneys. “It started off with a couple of attorneys giving me a call and a chance and it really just snowballed from there.”

In this episode, Shannon unpacks some of the awkward beginnings of starting her business, her favorite parts of being her own boss (along with the biggest challenges), the beautiful individuals who changed her life and encouraged her along the way (including her husband; Sam Schmelzer, one of our past podcast guests; and Michelle Kane, our next podcast guest!), and how she defines success for herself. This conversation is inspiring and has so many incredible takeaways…you don’t want to miss it! Listen to the episode below!


Shannon shares this and more in our conversation:

  • How to overcome questions like, “You have a stable job, insurance, everything you need. Why would you leave that?”
  • How to learn not to be reactive in your business
  • Shannon’s passion for her work, her clients, and the attorneys she works alongside
  • Why Shannon doesn’t watch crime tv shows!
  • What Shannon loves the most and the least about running her own business
  • How to take your “failures” and start looking at them as a learning tool
  • How to find your voice again and learn how to speak up without being afraid. “We all have a voice, and we should all be heard.”
  • Shannon’s very first business idea as a kid, and why the idea didn’t pan out (*hint* business names can make all the difference)
  • Shannon’s book recommendations: Lean In, The Confidence Code, The Five Second Rule
  • Shannon’s podcast recommendations: The Tim Ferris Show, Wrongfully Convicted, Serial


For more on Shannon Riter Osborn:

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