368 Mary Dee: The Power of Play
Women Innovating Networking Growing Scaling – that’s WINGS … I’m Melinda Wittstock, my mission is to help women soar to success in business and in life – without tradeoff or apology, stepping into the light to have a transformational impact on the world. So on this mentoring minisode of Wings of Inspired Business … we talk about living an inspired life – that is, opening yourself up to divine downloads and inspirations for how to tick all those items off your bucket list. We all have that list right? And sometimes we put a lot of things in front of the things we really want… our minds fooling us into thinking we have to qualify somehow … with hard work or whatever … for what we truly want. Today we turn that thinking on its head because we’re going to learn that when you are in alignment with your true purpose, those items on your bucket list get checked off in an unexpected order. It’s providence and it has nothing to do with perfectionism. And much to do with play.
Here with us today to provide her insights and inspiration is …
Mary is the Chief Fun Officer and Love-Your-Life Coach at MaryDee.com. From start-up to scale up, Mary has helped companies grow from a twinkle in the eye to 8-figure success through her unique leadership and time-tested frameworks honed over the past 20 years.
Her passions include fun, people and adventure – as represented by her awesome hashtag #drinkeatandbemary.
She’s the Founder and Love-Your-Life-Coach at the Mad Love Agency, a business designed to help entrepreneurs start, thrive and scale in the marketplace through time tested frameworks, live learning workshops and mentorship.
Over the years Mary has helped many companies scale from start up to 8 figures as well as fighting a year long battle with the FTC that shook the community into compliance awareness – and also fighting a battle with breast cancer. Long before the diagnosis Mary had been helping entrepreneurs transcend their fears – the type of fear that keeps us trapped in perfectionism, procrastination and paralysis playing too small. Her cancer helped her face her own fears and she now uses her experience to serve in a big way. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for thebreasties.org, a 501(3) (c) non-profit based in NYC dedicated to supporting young women affected by breast and reproductive cancers through community and friendship.
Melinda Wittstock: Mary, welcome to Wings.
Mary Dee: It is so great to be here, Melinda. Thank you so much for the invite. I'm so excited to share today and provide a lot of value.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, I know. I've been waiting for this day for a long time. Of course, I want to start by asking you, what is inspiring you right now?
Mary Dee: Oh, gosh. The universe is just saying yes to me a lot lately. It feels so good. It feels so good. Just in so many beautiful ways that are showing up that I couldn't have visualized or imagined for myself. That's been really exciting.
Melinda Wittstock: That's so interesting. When you say the universe is showing up, give everybody an idea of what that actually means. What's an example of that?
Mary Dee: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, for me, that universe is God so I'll state that first and foremost. Then, secondly, what I'll say is that my … I wrote this list out this last year that had to do with sort of my bucket list, like a revised bucket list of all these amazing things and places and people. So, you know Melinda, you were actually on that list.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh. Oh, my goodness.
Mary Dee: I know. I know.
Melinda Wittstock: I have chills. I'm so honored. Oh, my goodness.
Mary Dee: Me too. It's just been great because this, it's almost like the list is a task … you know how you make a to-do list and you can just check the boxes off?
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mary Dee: Like that's what it's been like for me. I can just go down the list and I'm laughing and I'm like checking things off and not necessarily in the order, not that I had like a perfect order that they needed to go in, but just dancing around that list and checking a few boxes that are happening for me a lot faster than I even imagined or even intended. I mean, I wrote the list with a lot of intention, but it was funny how quickly it's sped up in a way that just really surprised and delighted me.
I love to be surprised and delighted so that would be how. I made the list and I'm checking all the boxes that are right in front of me, and that's how it's been showing up. It's amazing.
Melinda Wittstock: I love it. It sounds like you made sort of an intentions list rather than a task list. That you were focused on the result that you wanted rather than the doing.
Mary Dee: Exactly. Exactly, but I can treat it like a task list because that's what it looks like. I was like, “Oh, look at all these things happening.” I'm just checking them off and going, “This is … They're literally showing up.” That's what I do. I wait for things to show up and it's here it is, it's arrived.
Melinda Wittstock: Okay. Well, this is so inspiring and what better for Wings of Inspired Business. Of course, we have challenges along the way in our businesses and in our lives and I know you've been through an incredible challenge in surviving cancer. It's behind you now, what are some of the things that are challenging you in your life right now or in your business?
Mary Dee: There was a time where I used to really dive into my work and almost bury my head in it, and I enjoy my works. I want to clarify that that's not necessarily a bad thing, but one thing I was not great at was at like closing my laptop, and saying, “That's enough for today.” I get on this like ride and I don't want to get off. Like I don't want to hit the brakes and that's a big piece of I think the journey over the last couple of years going through breast cancer obviously, put a pause on some of the action that was happening like it was a hard break that I was-
Melinda Wittstock: Right.
Mary Dee: That was weird for me because I worked for so long and I've been so involved in the work that I do that to put on the brakes was just awkward. I almost didn't know how to do it, but I had to, and that time gave me a lot of time to reflect back and say, “Where were things worth it? Where were things a gift of experience and opportunity? Where were things unnecessary? Where did some of the toil really get me at the end of the day?”
I've been good about playing. I do incorporate a lot of play into my life. I'm a firm believer in playing, but even with playing, I said to myself, “I still don't play enough.” Having a lot of clarity and intention around time as it exists by the dates on the calendar and the seasons of our life and the events that happen, that we can look back on and be like, “Oh, I spoke in January.”
My birthday is in March. My thing is in July, like we have all these moments in time that we touch, it made me really go, “You know there is a time where it's okay to just shut things down and get really present with myself and make more time for play.” Because the more I play, the better I actually show up when it's time to open my computer up or get back on the phone or go to an event and show up like I know I'm supposed to for people.
Melinda Wittstock: That's so beautifully said. I think women really struggle with this. We so easily fall into the trap of being human doings and just filling the time with doing, doing, doing, doing more, and then we wonder why we're burnt out.
Mary Dee: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: When we can focus specifically on the things that are the most vital. That's really beautiful. I love what you say about play. We don't play enough. Oh, gosh. That's so, so important. What are your top three go to pieces of advice for women in business, female founders who, wherever they are in their journey? Perhaps it's advice that you wish you'd had when you were starting out, Mary, but what would be your top three?
Mary Dee: Ooh, top three. I love this question. I would say one of them most definitely is just act, do not wait on perfection because perfection will never come. That is first and foremost number one. We spend so much time trying to perfect things, trying to make sure everything looks right, and that maybe we look right or that the timing is perfect. Like there is a beautiful intention and magic that happens if we just act.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. Its sort of the universe comes and sort of supports you. If you just take that leap like into the unknown, and it could be terrifying. Like say, for instance, your sales pages aren't ready yet or you're like, “Oh, my God. I've got to like look really perfect, at least, 10 pounds before I do my photo shoot for Instagram or I have to just … to have, to have, to have …” We put all these blocks in front of the action, but, yeah. Just getting out of our comfort zones and just jumping right in is awesome. What would be advice number two?
Mary Dee: Number two is going to be let go of all the guilt. I think that between being parents and sisters and mothers and aunts and CEOs and owners and integrators, whatever your role is, whatever you're identifying by that sometimes we can carry a little bit of guilt. Like I didn't spend enough time with so-and-so because I was doing work or I'm doing, spending time with so-and-so and I'm not getting work done.
There are all these stories that happen in our mind and some of them are driven by some guilt. It's just so important to recognize that we are beautiful, spiritual beings having a human experience and there, then you have a cup and our cup sometimes gets empty, and it's important to make sure we're always filling up that cup with good and beautiful things. That we're always recharging, that we are always giving ourselves room to do the things I said before like playing more, like self-care, like letting go of all the labels that we give ourselves on what we should be doing and what we have to be doing.
Just let it go and go do the things that fill that cup back up, so we can really show up powerfully when it is time to do the work, to be the mom, to do the things.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, yes. Yes. Okay, so number three.
Mary Dee: Last one is back to play more. I am a huge advocate of playing in self-care and even more so now. I think that is something people wait to do. It's like when you hear people say, “Oh, I'm going to travel later. I will do this when I have more money. I will give more when I have more money. I will volunteer more when I have more money.” Like don't, just go play now, go play now.
That's number three, go play now and play should be a part of every single day. Just like brushing your teeth every single day.
Melinda Wittstock: This is so, so important because in my own experience whenever I've let go and literally let myself play and enjoy, I had my best business ideas. I've made the most amazing business connections. I have grown as a person. I think that we're all wired to play, and it's so tragic we forget that because when we're kids that's when we're learning the most, and guess what? We're playing.
Mary Dee: Touche. This is true. This is true. Play more, people. Play more.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. Hey, so, Mary, how can people find you and work with you?
Mary Dee: They can actually go right to my website. It's my name spelled out so it's www.marydee.net. That's M-A-R-Y D-E-E.net, and there's a whole list of events and ways to reach out and ways to connect, whether it's through social media or my contact form, and they'll see all the different retreats and transformations stuff that goes on there, and you can get more information there.
Melinda Wittstock: Fantastic. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us.
Mary Dee: Awesome. Thank you so much for having me.