Ignite Awards 2023 Honoree: Shannon Traphagen

Meet Shannon

With a background in magazine publishing, social work, and modern media, Shannon launched Write Life Media and The Game On Glio Podcast four months after losing her 45-year-old husband to Glioblastoma. Helping communities across WNY, her podcast is now ranked #1 in the NorthEast, and in the top 5 nationally. Shannon is also the founder of Traphagen’s Trail Ride 4 Brain Cancer, a cycling fundraiser which has raised over $30,000 to date for brain cancer clinical trials, including WNY’s SurVaxM vaccine.

Write Life is a play on words, “Live the right life as we write about life.” Shannon started this as a way to offer storytelling as branding for other’s businesses. But it’s so much more. Her late husband taught the value of staying true to who we are, being good people, being humble and kind and living a purposeful and impactful life. Everyone’s work journey comes from a place of wanting to help others or meet a need–so by living the right life with impact and purpose, “Write Life Media” guides others stories as well as their own. When Shannon started the podcast, Write Life Media Marketing took shape and she wrapped the LLC around the compelling stories told in the podcast and it grew from there. She’s also very proud of the fundraising work she does and how it elevates the missions of others in our WNY community.

Shannon feels as though she faces obstacles daily as a woman in business, as a widowed woman in business, and as a small business. The challenges of staying ahead of “trends” and finding new ways to creatively meet market demands, and paying bills are numerous. Every day, in entrepreneur life, there are constant “sales” pitches that need to go out, deadlines, tax record keeping, finding ways to stay “fresh” with the content produced, networking, etc. Going from Sole Proprietor to LLC and bringing on a couple more staff was a big change for her. As with all other small teams, she has to wear many hats and there are times when she worries she won’t make it or she’ll fail. However, she says she’s come to realize, “it’s who I surround myself with, the energy I allow into my space, the team I am constantly grateful for, and the positive attitude I keep that allows me to persevere.

Shannon advises to be super patient with yourself and with the growth of your business. She says, see failure as a way to grow internally and use it to get creative in how you succeed the next time. My late husband had a motto, “It’s better to aim high and miss than to aim low and achieve, but even in aiming high–success is not singular. It takes a village, a team, a community to achieve goals, even your most personal goals.

Video credit: Buffalo Rising

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