Breaking the Silence with M. Shannon Hernandez: A Crucible, Triumph and Memoir

Breaking the Silence: My Final 40 Days as a Public School Teacher

In this episode M. Shannon Hernandez shares how she was able to take a harrowing personal journey and turn it into a successful published memoir. She also shares how she leveraged her book to build a global lifestyle brand in less than three years.

Shannon is the author of Breaking the Silence: My Final Forty Days as a Public School Teacher. She left teaching after 15 years, wrote a memoir and started a business all at the same time. Today, she has a successful business for writers and business owners called The Writing Whisperer.

Episode Highlights

• 1:25 – Shannon shares what motivated her to finally leave public school education after 15 years
• 2:53 – Shannon “confesses, I loved teaching and I loved the students” but the system was broken
• 4:20 – A broken system: schools have become about “pushing kids through a pipeline that ends with a test”.
• 6:45 – Blindsided: in her last 40 days as a teacher Shannon is told she is being investigated
• 8:35 – How she was able to take a harrowing personal journey and turn it into a successful published memoir
• 14:50 – The biggest obstacles Shannon faced in writing her memoir (some parts were too painful to relive)
• 15:00 – The book fulfills on its purpose, “It was rough, but the book got done and it did it’s job, which was to reveal things that nobody is willing to talk about”
• 16:48 – Shannon’s biggest lessons from her heart wrenching journey: “it’s the story, it’s the journey, it’s the pain but also the triumph”
• 19:20 – How Shannon built a global brand in less than three years while getting back to basics and embracing freedom
• 21:18 – The dangers of entrepreneurship: “you get into it because you want more freedom but ultimately become a slave to your business”
• 24:20 – Shannon’s top tips for aspiring writers struggling to find their authentic voice
• 33:27 – Who should write a blog and what questions you need to ask yourself first
• 34:25 – Shannon shares her secrets to building an engaged audience quickly


1. Favorite book for women?

2. Favorite self-care hack?

  • Getting a massage every two weeks

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “Do the work and detach from the outcome” (her first coach, Anastacia Brice)

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

5. One piece of advice you’d give your 5 years younger self?

  • “Don’t hold back; go for it. Everything you want is within your reach.”

Resources and People Mentioned

Website, Facebook Group
• Free Content Personality Quiz  

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