Real Talk With Maxie McCoy, Motivational Maven
Maxie is a total real-life goddess. She sprinkles inspiration, self-confidence, and magic (no really, I’m convinced she is truly magical) everywhere she goes. I was lucky enough to meet her at Create & Cultivate in Dallas this past January, and I knew immediately I wanted to interview her. Here are the life-changing, dream-affirming words she had to share. If you want more Maxie, check out her website for an endless supply of her wisdom.
Name: Maxie McCoy
Location: San Francisco, mainly. Bali, often.
Job Title: Writer + Speaker
Educational Background: Bachelor’s in journalism at Lehigh University, master’s in American studies and media at Lehigh University
What inspired you to start your website and become a motivational speaker?
I’ve been taking baby steps towards this path for as long as I can remember. From my theatre days in middle school, to Vagina Monologue performances in College, to my broadcasting days in my early twenties. I didn’t know where it would all lead then, but I knew audiences energized me. It’s been a matter of connecting the dots of my passion and talents into a career that set my soul on fire, which has evolved.
The path really became clear for me as I was building the global offline communities for Levo. I realized I was having so many conversations with women around the world that were universal and that I wanted to write about. So I started writing three years ago — and step by step, dot by dot, it has led to today. You have to take all the small steps (like writing on a blog no one read except my mother and sister at first) until you get to the big leap (like forgoing security to dive head first into my business).
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is connecting women back to themselves so they can see what I see: that they can. They can go after their dreams. They can make their mark. They can have everything they dream of. And they absolutely have what it takes. When I’m living in that mission I feel grateful that I get to do that work. Humbled I have the gift of being on women’s journeys to get there. And pumped that this is my life.
You’ve undergone a major career revamp. If you could go back, would you have done things differently or would you still have pursued sports broadcasting?
I’d do it all over again to get to where I am today. All of it: every single choice I lamented at the time. Every bad day. Every bathroom floor moment where I questioned what the f*ck I was doing with my life. I’d do it all over again because it’s why I’m here. That’s what we all have to remember, that we’re exactly where we need to be. To trust that process is to let magic unfold.
Don’t get me wrong, I still question myself and I still get frustrated when things are not moving along “fast enough” and I still have tough mornings where I wonder if this thing will ever be as big as I see it in my head. But the trick is to not let those doubts that hold you back and affect your decisions or cause you to quit. They come up for all of us. And they especially come up as we’re expanding.
What’s the most rewarding part of your career?
Watching women’s lights turn on and seeing that magic that shows up in their life when they do. I could go on and on with stories from over the years but one of my favorites just happened recently with a young woman I had the chance to meet at Create + Cultivate in Dallas. We’d kept in touch and I had coffee with her while she was in SF a few months later. She’s been banging her head against a wall hating her work. And I kept encouraging her that she’s doing all the right things…starting a blog about her passions. Working on a new community group to invest in other women in her small(ish) town. That when she kept following that pull eventually the rest would reveal itself.
A couple months later, she called me with news that she has two “dream role” offers that literally felt like they came out of nowhere. I smiled, giggled, and celebrated…and said to her that this isn’t out of the blue. This is life with your lights on and the true magic that happens when you’re willing to seek the thing that makes your heart tick. Those are the moments I live for.
You’re all about personal authenticity. How does that apply to your social media channels?
Social media is always going to be one layer of our lives. I love giving people a little look into my life while also aiming to be both encouraging and inspirational. At the end of the day though my channels will never tell the entire story. They won’t let you know that I was super freaking anxious before I went into that speaking gig. They’re not going to say that I’m totally annoyed that dude hasn’t text me back. They’re not showing all the frustration I had getting my media kit finished.
So I always tell people (and I have to do this myself) that when you’re feeling funky, or down, cut out your social feeds. They don’t help. And they can get you into an unnecessary comparison mode. Every single one of us has a lot of stuff going on underneath the surface even when it might look glossy, accomplished, and well lit on our feeds.
A lot of our readers are looking for that one moment of clarity when everything in life clicks. Have you ever had that light bulb moment?
YES. I was in a cab in Denver when I felt a whisper so loud you’d of thought the #universe was shouting at me. It told me every day I wasn’t dashing toward my dream was a day I ignored it. It told me to pack up my apartment in San Francisco, sell all of my things, and move to Bali to do what I needed to do to launch this business. And I did it! I’ll say this though, I think those moments of clarity, those BIG light bulb moments that force you into action, they’re made up by a bunch of tiny ones that you listen to along the way. Keep following those little clicks and celebrating them. Eventually they’ll all come together in a powerful way.
How do you create work/life balance? How do you shut down work mode?
While I need to schedule a vacation (guilty), I’m obsessed with creating daily space that doesn’t include any of my digital devices. I’ve created a practice of slow mornings that include hot tea, staring out the window from my kitchen nook, and saying a few #universe prayers. I’ll shut down my computer to go sit in the park and stare at the sky to listen to my heart like I needed today because I was overthinking everything. I’m completely over being busy. I think it’s bullshit. When we slow down, listen to our hearts, breathe, meditate, and just chill, we create space for the really good stuff to come up.
How do you avoid burnout in your career?
I once almost fell off the cliff of burnout because I was traveling too much. Pouring too much energy into my work (which I loved). And then a boss/peer mentor/dear friend told me point blank, “You’re far too talented to burn yourself out right now. I don’t care where you go next month but you’re taking those two weeks and you’re going. I love you, but get out of here.” And I went on a two-week solo trip through Northern India that quite literally changed my life.
Now, vacation doesn’t always solve burnout. And neither does a job you love. I’ve realized now that it’s really all about energy. You have to become really self aware and know when to back down and when to push. It’s a lot easier to manage your energy day to day with rituals like meditation, long walks, exercise, a long weekend. The little stuff matters big time.
You’re so positive all the time. Do you have any tips to keep negative thoughts and feelings at bay?
Mantras, mantras, and more mantras. And a really amazing goddess gang. I’ve got a handful of go-to mantras that I pull off the Maxie menu every day. When I’m judging myself it’s, “I love and approve of myself.” When I’m worried about work it’s, “Fiercely Believe.” When my mind is running wild about anything and everything it’s, “Aham Brahmasmi.” When I’m doubting the process it’s, “Trust it.” They save me. Truly. They kick out the negativity and bring me back. We all have minds that want to go crazy but our success is determined by the six inches between our ears. If we can keep our thoughts positive, our reality will follow suit.
And of course, the besties that always pep me up when I’m over-thinking or down. They are my safe space to worry about my life while doing the best I can to lift up others.
What’s the number one piece of advice you want all women to know?
You are exactly who and where you need to be. The more you love yourself and honor your own individuality, path, success, desires, and special energy, the more you’ll have the confidence to believe that you can do and be whatever you want in this life. And when you’re that big, beautiful expression of yourself, you’ll pull all of the right opportunities and people onto your path. It’ll seem like magic, but really it’s just you owning your space, power, presence and love.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Oh man, there isn’t one! It’s one of the things I love most about my work, it gives me the flexibility to be and do whatever I need.
Last modified on September 20th, 2016