May 14th, 2017 - Entrepreneur

What’s got you sleeping like a baby?

There’s a theory that says when babies are learning a new skill, they’ll practice in their sleep causing havoc with sleep schedules. Imagine being all snug and cozy, sleeping away, when some part of your brain says ‘Time to practice! Roll over now!’ So you roll onto your tummy and … you’re awake. Startled, excited by your new skill, yet not terribly comfortable.

Turns out I’m like a new baby – learning brand-spanking new things and my brain wants to practice them when I’m asleep. ARGH! Enough!

My 3 AM growth spurts began a few months ago when it dawned on me that I’m an entrepreneur and have been for the last 15 years. Somehow, this had never occurred to me before. Brand strategist, writer, communicator, storyteller, wife, mom … the list of titles is long but I never thought to add business woman or entrepreneur.

For the last 15 years, I’ve been digging in and serving clients with everything in me while ignoring my own business. Enlightenment came slowly while I shifted Blackcoffee’s focus to serving entrepreneurs and providing business owners building blocks for success – a solid brand, a fully articulated vision, defined target audiences, and marketing tools like websites, sales kits and social media strategies.

While I delivered for my clients, I also learned from them as we shared stories about sales funnels, process models, meeting payroll, product pricing, overcoming objections and closing business.

I became consumed with learning more, understanding better, and giving my own business the gift of proper process. I’ve self-studied and researched the hell out of this stuff for months and I’m starting to actively implement. And, like a baby, I’m waking up in the wee small hours each night – startled from a deep sleep, filled with excitement, slightly uncomfortable with the speed of change and wide-awake.

I’ve heard from many that no one can teach you to be an entrepreneur – especially not a professor in business school (my husband likes to say his MBA stands for ‘More-Bugger-All’). I think in many ways that’s true, you’ve either got the gumption and know-how or you don’t. But I also believe it’s possible to learn how to become better at the business of business and, luckily for me, the internet is full of advice. With a knack and a passion for research, I’ve devoured the web sorting out the solid from the sketchy.

I feel like I’ve followed the rainbow to the pot of gold. I’m a happy leprechaun brimming with enthusiasm and looking to put my newfound treasures to good use. So, here’s the thing. I want to share the magic and help other entrepreneurs looking to up their game.

Work is underway for a Blackcoffee rebrand and we’ll unveil that along with new products in September. But, if you’re eager to launch or refresh your own brand, get some smart new business systems in place and attract new customers, let’s get to it.

We’re offering a summer package in support of entrepreneurs that includes brand strategy and development. Plus, we’ll share the fabulous business secrets that have been keeping me up at night.

The best part? Early birds will get all of this at a reduced rate for signing on before everything is perfectly polished. At Blackcoffee, our passion is helping entrepreneurs succeed and we’ve got the tools to do it. Let’s crush this together!

With gratitude,

Shannon Larkins

Inspired by a little blackcoffee

Some of my favourite moments are spent in search of something beautiful while I drink my first cup of coffee and hear the house wake up. From there I move on to the paper and the news of the day. In this space, I’ll share some of those inspirations.


Shannon Larkins

Founder, Blackcoffee Studio

Over the course of 15+ years, Shannon has grown Blackcoffee Studio out of a love for building brands and reputations. She serves up Blackcoffee as a morning ritual while caffeinating clients and readers on the regular. You can find her at


Blackcoffee Studio

Blackcoffee is a premium brand development agency, offering luxury brand experience to clients at home in Calgary, Canada and around the globe. Brands create experience, set you apart from the competition and drive growth. Anyone can bulid a business but only the exceptional can create a brand. Are you ready?

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Hi I’m Shannon, founder of Blackcoffee Studio. A former reporter, spin doctor and politico, I now focus on using my powers for good.

I create mighty brands for clients and share their stories with the world. I’m also rather addicted to my nutty family, dogs with pushed in faces, Mexico and of course coffee … black.