Maxie McCoy, a sought-after writer and speaker, has made a career on empowering women across the globe. Maxie recently published a book with TarcherPerigee of Penguin Random House called You’re Not Lost: An Inspired Action Plan for Finding Your Own Way. In her book, Maxie provides realistic advice and steps for women who feel like they are just spinning their wheels.
Maxie is also one of the featured speakers at Plano Profile’s 17th annual Women in Business Summit on Friday, September 28 at the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park Hotel. Click here for tickets.
We sat down with Maxie McCoy to get our daily dose of inspiration and motivation.
How did you get started in this space?
I was in my early-mid 20s and I started working for Levo. It was an interesting time because the topic of women in the workplace was there, but it wasn’t a global conversation like it is now. The one thing I heard over and over again from women is that they feel so lost. I kept hearing advice like “go figure out your purpose” which is silly because we are all generally smart and if we knew our purpose then we would be doing it. So that was the catalyst that really launched me into this space.
Why did you decide to set out on your own?
I loved my job with Levo. I loved the team, loved the work, loved everything about it. Three years into blogging on the side, people started asking me if I would come speak at their events or if I had a book. And I started to see how I could build my own business. I’m a creator and I love empowering women. But what does all that mean and how do I actually turn it into something? That’s what I needed to figure out.
How do you find the balance of hustling and enjoying where you are at?
You are always going to be pushing, and I call it hustling with heart, because you can do the type of hustle where you are just going and going just for the sake of pushing forward, or you can be really intentional about it. If I am creating and doing work that energizes me, at some point that will be enough for me.
How does attitude affect success?
If you aren’t grateful now, you aren’t going to be grateful later. We have the tendency to think that if we get whatever job, or achieve whatever thing, we will be happy THEN. But we have to choose to be grateful for where we are right now even if it is not where we ultimately want to be.
“We have to choose to be grateful for where we are right now even if it is not where we ultimately want to be.”
Can everyone be a leader?
Yes, because you can lead and follow at the same time. There are different types of leadership—there’s leadership of masses, of friends and family, of small niche communities, of just yourself, and then there are leaders of the world. To figure out how to lead, start by asking how you effectively lead yourself. You have to define what personal leadership looks like to you. It’s important for women especially, because the world is in dire need of our leadership.
“To figure out how to lead, start by asking how you effectively lead yourself. You have to define what personal leadership looks like to you.”
What have you seen change over the time that you have worked with women?
The collective consciousness around this topic. We’re now seeing a national conversation about what it means for us all to feminists, not just women, and how to break down the systems and structures that prohibiting equality for women. Even more importantly, there’s now a conversation around intersectional feminism, so not just the problems of women, but how women experience oppression differently based on their race, class, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. These multi-layered and nuanced topics were not being talked about in the national consciousness like they are today.
Do you think that true gender equality is attainable?
Yes. Absolutely yes. I’ve never forgotten Alicia Garza, creator of #blacklivesmatter saying to me in an interview, “Race, class and gender cannot be untied.” So, we have a lot of work to do collectively on every level. While we try to fix gender inequality, we have so many other issues. We are at a place where structures have to come down in order to build new ones. However, I’m hopeful that raising our voices, putting a spotlight on unconscious biases, and being open to dialogues of all kinds will help get us there. Plus, gender equality benefits everyone. It’s not just a human decision, it’s an economic one. Twelve trillion dollars could be added to the global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality.
“Gender equality benefits everyone. It’s not just a human decision, it’s an economic one. Twelve trillion dollars could be added to the global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality.”
If companies take the right steps forward, what exactly should we see change in relation to gender equality?
There’s so much companies can do to take steps in the right direction. First and foremost, we need women in positions of leadership in the board room, in the C-suite, and in the decision-making conversations. We also need people responsible for diversity and inclusion. These types of individuals look at corporate policies that majorly impact women making it to the top like maternity leave, flexible work, and mentorship. Diversity is not just a good to have, it’s an economic responsibility. The more diverse a company is, the more successful it is. If employees look up and there are no women in positions of leadership, everyone else in the company wonders how they are ever going to get there.
“Diversity is not just a good to have, it’s an economic responsibility. The more diverse a company is, the more successful it is.”
Read more: 20 questions with Kellie Rasberry
What is your ultimate goal?
I’m on this planet to support the global rise of women. There is so much outside of my control, but if I can continue to show women their own power, I’m doing the work that matters most to me. My talents are reminding women of theirs, and the more ways I can do that, the better.
What can women reading this do to empower themselves?
Be the highest possible expression of who you are. We are living amongst systems that tell us to be one version of success. We’re living under the pressure of narrow standards for what we should be and how we should behave. But we have to come out of those molds, which takes courage and can be incredibly challenging at times. But we must. We must take all the things society is telling us to change about ourselves and not change those things. In fact, magnify them. We’ll step into our power that way, and remind other women to do the same.
“Be the highest possible expression of who you are … We must take all the things society is telling us to change about ourselves and not change those things. In fact, magnify them. We’ll step into our power that way, and remind other women to do the same.”
What can women reading this do to grow?
Figure out right now what brings you the most energy, especially if you’re feeling lost or unsure. Then, ask yourself, “What’s the absolute smallest thing I can do about this energy right now to put it into motion?” Maybe that’s asking for a meeting, maybe that’s signing up for a class, maybe that’s reading a new book. Let it be small.
Figure out right now what brings you the most energy, especially if you’re feeling lost or unsure. Then, ask yourself, “What’s the absolute smallest thing I can do about this energy right now to put it into motion?”
If you’re having a hard time figuring out what energizes you or where you should consider stepping, try asking your biggest cheerleaders what they think. Where do they see you in five years? What do they see as your unique talents and skills sets? What do they see holding you back? I promise, these answers will start to turn some lightbulbs on for you.
How do you promote change, diversity and results for women?
I use my voice and my platform to put a spotlight on these topics. The reasons that I care about this so much is so that the women I encourage can then go in their companies and continue to build a world that is better for all women. Having more women in positions of power means a better world for all of us; it improves poverty, economics, business culture, and even happiness. My work is supporting women so that they can go out and build that world we so badly need.
Having more women in positions of power means a better world for all of us; it improves poverty, economics, business culture, and even happiness.
Find out more about Maxie McCoy at maxiemccoy.com
Join us at Plano Profile’s 17th annual Women in Business Summit to see Maxie in action! Click here for tickets.
Plano Profile’s 17th annual Women in Business Summit
Learn how North Texas’ Wonder Women have been a driving force in their industries and what it takes to go above and beyond what is expected.
Bringing together over 400 of the most respected women from global enterprises, non-profits, government and SMB businesses of the North Texas community—Plano Profile’s Women in Business conference celebrates, unites and empowers DFW’s leading ladies.
This one-of-a-kind learning and business event features special guest speakers, panel discussions and ample networking opportunities. This is your chance to learn from the best and share your best.
It’s time to play a bigger game.
MEET OUR SPEAKERS
Merrilee Kick, CEO/Founder of BuzzBallz/Southern Champion
Jana Etheridge, Managing VP, Chief of Staff and Customer Office, Financial Services, Capital One
Myrna Estrada, Vice President and Regional General Manager for Safeco Insurance
Dana Beckman, Director of Corporate Affairs at Alliance Data
Maxie McCoy, author and writer obsessed with giving women the tools they need to believe in themselves
Lauren Przybyl, Fox 4 Good Day Anchor
Jasmin Brand, CEO of Launch DFW and President at Darby James
10:30 am – 11:30 am Registration and Networking
11:30 am – 4:00 pm
- Keynote Speaker
- Networking / Break-out Sessions
- Panel Discussion
- Networking / Break-out Sessions
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Cocktail Party
While the event proudly celebrates the progress and success of women in business, gentlemen are welcome to attend and learn from our powerful female leaders.