Meet Shawn Edwards of Shawna Edwards Music
Tell us about you and your business journey.
I sometimes refer to myself as “the accidental songwriter,” because I never planned to be a songwriter – I just sort of fell into it. I didn’t start writing songs until about 10 years ago, and one of the first songs I ever wrote was a Christmas song called “Do You Have Room?” A few days before Christmas, I had read a talk by Thomas S. Monson about there being no room for Jesus and I thought, “That would be a great song!” So I wrote the song and sang it for my family on Christmas Eve. And that was it (or so I thought!).
A few years later, at the regular request of my dad, I put together a video and posted it on YouTube. And then something truly magical happened. People from all over the world emailed me (Yes…I had literally put my private email at the end of the video — yikes!) and requested the music so they could sing it at their Midnight Mass, candlelight service, small town church, outdoor pageant, ward Christmas program, and even one European cathedral service.
I was blown away.
That was how it all began. Pretty soon, I was working my way through a maze of business decisions I wasn’t prepared to make, doing lots of things wrong, occasionally getting things right, and writing more music and trying to figure out how to get it out there. And somehow…I’m still in business.
I have to give credit here to my husband, John, and my 5 children. Their tastes are so varied, and they’re so (brutally) honest, that if I can get one of my songs approved by all of them, I figure it’s a song that other people will like, as well. They’ve kept me from embarrassing myself many times…
Tell us about your business and why you started it.
Our mission is to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. One song at a time.
I figured I could have 1,000 people hear the music or several million. And since I believe it’s a message the world needs to hear, I decided to go for several million. It was my best way of using the talents the Lord gave me and doing missionary work. To date, I have nearly 2 million views on my YouTube channel. Though that’s small potatoes by YouTube standards, it’s still about 1.99 million more people than I could ever have reached doing anything else.
Being a mompreneur is tough and time is tight. What are favorite time saving tips? (These can be related to cooking, kids, business, church, anything)
I am slow at everything! So I have my daughter, who is the most efficient person on the planet, help me with many tasks. (Her name is Becca, and we fondly call her ‘the Becretary.’) And then I pay her…win/win for both of us.
Oh — I almost forgot — my other time saving tip is to have insomnia. Seriously. I give partial credit to insomnia for every good project I’ve ever done. Because the middle of the night is the only interrupted time there ever is. (I’m not wishing insomnia on any of your readers — I hope they’re all getting a good night’s sleep so they can continue to be moms and business owners and 100 other good things – for a long time!)
What has been your biggest trial in business and how have you overcome it?
I’ve been reluctant to market my music because I’m pretty shy about it. My husband jokes that when someone says, “You wrote that song?!” I answer, “Yes, but please don’t tell anybody.”
I’ve also been reluctant to charge money for the music, because I’m not sure ‘missionary work’ and ‘$2.99’ belong in the same sentence. But as your readers will all know, without being able to charge people a little bit, I would only be participating in an expensive and unsustainable hobby.
Most of my success in being able to overcome my fear belongs directly to my husband, John. He has been an unending source of encouragement and has had confidence in me when I didn’t have it in myself. I could never have done any of this without him.
So this Social Media Launch we’re currently in the middle of has been WAAAAAAAAY outside my comfort zone. I’m just trying to rely on the promptings I’ve felt, and on my desire to share the truth. Faith is a principle of action. So I decided to act.
What are you reading or listening to right now? (books, podcasts, etc…)
The Book of Mormon. And I know you’re asking, “Right. But what else?” Well, I don’t have much time for anything else, and I think the scriptures are literally the best possible how-to book, podcast, training course, and manual of all time. Because they allow us to have the Spirit. And the Spirit can teach us all things.