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WillowOlder
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PROFILE: Maxie McCoy Built a Global Brand By Balancing Community and Solitude

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Name: Maxie McCoy

Business: Maxie McCoy

Launched: 2015

Location: San Francisco, CA

When you hear the name “Maxie McCoy,” words like “courageous,” “bold,” “motivating” and “inspiring” may come to mind. If they do, then Maxie is succeeding in her goal of turning her namesake business into a widely recognized brand. Three years ago, this award-winning author, speaker and coach set a lofty goal for herself: to help billions (with a b!) of women boost their productivity, turn their dreams into a reality and believe more deeply in themselves. “I want you to make your big beautiful mark on this world, whatever that mark might be,” Maxie explains on her website. She’s certainly making her big, beautiful mark building a rock-solid reputation as a woman, and a brand, to be reckoned with.

In this profile, which is based on a conversation between Maxie and QB Community Leader Leslie Barber during QB Connect 2017, Maxie takes us back to the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey. Back then, today’s booming brand was just a business idea in the making.

Maxie, you trace the success of your eponymous brand back to a period of time you spent alone, disconnected from social media and focused on your writing. Tell us about that formative experience.

At that time, like so many of us, I was operating at this level of extreme busyness. Not only do we think of busyness as a badge, now we literally never turn off. Even if you’re just scrolling through Facebook, you're still taking in information.

I was finishing up a draft of my first book, Less Work, More Money: The Entrepreneurial Life Plan, when it clicked for me. I think I had a week before the first draft was due. I went alone to the mountains in Beaver Creek, CO. I decided I was going to shut off from digital. People could call or text me, but that was it. I ended up working from a gut-soul place in a way I never had before. It was the most gutting thing I’d ever done.

When it was finished, I was on the plane thinking, “I’ve just worked my butt off. Why do I feel so refreshed?” It was because I’d turned off all that stuff. I wasn’t scrolling through people’s pictures, posts and comments. I realized maintaining that level of busyness just doesn’t allow you to get to your most creative place.

I say this all the time: Busy is bullshit. Busy allows you to ignore, to distract, to not face yourself or get to your most creative place.  When you do face yourself, you’ll find bliss, creation and truth.

QB Community Leader Leslie Barber gets the scoop from Maxie at QB Connect 2017

That’s really powerful. You’re also a big believer in community. How do you balance the desire to connect and the need to disconnect?

I’ve learned solitude allows us to understand who we want to be when we come back into the circle. There are lots of ways to find moments of solitude, like asking a girlfriend to watch your kids or having your partner take care of the family so you can have one day to yourself.

I’m also a huge believer in community. In fact, one of my most life-changing experiences happened because I tapped into the “treasure chest” of people in my community. A few years ago, I had read a blog post by Gina Bianchini, founder of Mighty Networks, about how business owners should define their personal brand. The exercise was to have a friend send a short survey to 25 people who were my mentors, my family, my cheerleaders.

There were five questions including, “What makes Maxie irreplaceable?” “Where do you see her in five years? “What’s the biggest thing holding her back?” To this day, I can’t look at those answers without crying. Three years ago, they all saw exactly who I am and what I would be building today. It's wild.

The people in our corner can often see what we're not able to see for ourselves. Your community can be your mirror. Using my community in that way really helped me pick up the momentum for my business.

Did that “mirroring” help you find the courage to start building your brand?

It did. I know fear doesn’t ever go away. But you build a repertoire of experiences where you have fear and then you go past it, so you know you’ll get past it again. What really helps me is to reset fear as friction. I remind myself what I’m feeling is the “friction” of creating, moving forward, expanding. Friction is energy. Sometimes it sparks, and great things come from tiny sparks. That mindset shift helps me to keep going.

In fact, for me, fear is often a sign I should do something. "Yeah, girl, you're scared? That's probably why you should do it!" Deep down, we always know. Your body knows, too. There is a whole intelligence system in your body, in your gut. It will tell you what you need to know. But you've got to get really quiet in order to hear it.

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QB Community members, is it hard or easy for you to disconnect from technology? If it’s something you do regularly, how does it benefit you?  

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