Name: Shannon Sanders
One Word That Describes You: Purposeful
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
I am both honored and humbled to be selected for this list of great men. It is a distinction that will forever be a source of great pride.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
Growing up, my Grandmother would always say, “When life throws you a lemon, make lemonade.” As a songwriter, I have often been able to take my personal, real life struggles, and document them in the form of songs. I have then been able to successfully leverage those songs as intellectual property. Sometimes our best work happens in the midst of our greatest struggles.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Passion. Enthusiasm is contagious. I enjoy spending time with people who love what they do, both in their personal and professional lives.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
As a producer, the studio keeps me busy. There’s always a song to be written, and a vocal to be recorded. Outside of that, I am excited about my work with The Recording Academy. I proudly serve as the first African American president of the Nashville GRAMMY Chapter. My election reflects both the growth and diversity within our industry and community.
What is the best advice you ever received?
I love quotes. I would have to say that the one that I find to be especially true is, “Don’t spend time strengthening weaknesses. Instead, strengthen strengths.”
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
My advice is to be effective where you ARE. Don’t overlook an opportunity to make an impact upon those you come into contact with every day.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I’m a fan of research. I make it a point to know as much as I can about a situation beforehand. I’d rather go into a meeting on my toes than on my heels.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
I believe that balance is achieved when all things are equal. I work hard, so I play hard. One of my favorite vacation destinations is the beach. I like to stare into the vastness of it all, and be reminded how small me and my worries are.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would stay home, because I’ve been everywhere else!
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you, Black Enterprise magazine, for recognizing men of color as worthy of distinction—both in industry and community.