359 Mary Dee: Chief Fun Officer

How much fun do you have in your business and in your life? How would your life change  (start MUSIC SOFTLY – from here) if you made fun the north star of your company and its culture?


I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs overcome their fears and leverage fun in their businesses.

Mary Dee 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.

Mary is 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 seen the best and worst of the digital space, from helping multiple 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.

I first met Mary at Camp Maverick – a summer camp of sorts for high performing entrepreneurs dedicated to social good and living (and playing) all out. She truly embodies her spirit of making life and business fun, and individuals of all walks of life benefit from the dynamic personal development retreats and coaching offered by Mary’s personal and business brands. Her events are designed to explore and discover the individual’s special voice in the world and empower them to live their very best life. Mary’s fun and friendly nature combined with her positive outlook keep crowds both inspired and entertained with instantly actionable steps that can be taken NOW to create positive changes in their lives.

Mary helps entrepreneurs transcend the fear that often keeps us playing too small, trapped in perfectionism, procrastination or paralysis. Then she had a challenge of her own – breast cancer.

Today she talks about how she faced her own fears and overcame the disease – and 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. She runs the local chapter meetings and speaks at the annual conference to bring encouragement and empowerment to those navigating the ups and downs of their own cancer journey.

Mary lives in Texas with her husband Bobby, her chocolate lab Nani and her mini dachshund Wee Wee. She loves people, travel and witty banter. She’s also known for trying anything twice (especially chocolate).

So are you ready for Mary Dee? I am. Let’s fly!

Melinda Wittstock:         Mary, welcome to Wings.

Mary Dee:                          Thank you for having me, Melinda. Feeling super blessed to be here today.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, well, I’m always excited to talk to anybody who’s a chief fun officer, because that sounds like fun. How does one become a chief fun officer and what do you do as chief fun officer?

Mary Dee:           Well, one of my core values is integrating fun in everything I do. It’s a big part of just who I am as a person. I love to play. I love to show up. I love to go all out when it comes to things like costume parties, I want to get creative and think about that one outfit, that one thing that is just going to be above and beyond what anyone might have been thinking. I find fun in the creativity of it and it’s just fun to create.

Being a chief fun officer is a matter of just waking up one day and saying, “I want my life to be led by fun and this is how I’m going to do it.” The CEO sounds so stuffy, COO sounds so stuffy. We’ve got all these like old school terms that I feel like are very corporate and very official and I was like as much as that’s been certainly a part of my background, like there’s nothing that screams exciting when you say, “Oh, I handle operations or, yes, I run a company.”

Some other entrepreneurs will often relate to you, and go, “Uh, that means you work all the time.” It’s like, “No, but that’s not true.”

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. The idea is that operations has to be a grind. Like, why can’t operations be fun?

Mary Dee:           That’s right. That’s right and it can be. It’s just a reframe. At the end of the day, I’m a big fan of reframing and that’s one of the ways I do it in creating really fun titles and I love to do it for people I work with and people in my organization. I think it’s a lot of fun. That’s how people tend to identify with you, especially if you’re going to a conference, even a business conference, I love showing up to places of business and seeing a list of CFOs and COOs and CEOs, and then there I am chief fun officer. Everyone always says to me, “I couldn’t wait to meet you. I couldn’t wait to meet the chief fun officer.”

There’s excitement to it, and just throwing this out there, everybody wants to call back the chief fun officer. It’s also a great way to ensure phone calls are returned.

Melinda Wittstock:         Okay. How do you incorporate fun into your business? Because I think for every woman listening to this, I think we’ve all been sold a bill of goods that somehow we have to burn out and like sacrifice ourselves and our lives to succeed, and it’s a false belief. I see so many women just in that grind, striving, hustling, but not having a good time. In many cases, just not really working in business either.

There’s a big paradigm shift, there’s a lot of beliefs that we have to let go of, but how does one step into fun in every aspect of your business?

Mary Dee:           Absolutely. We have to incorporate fun just like we create processes to make things more efficient. We incorporate fun to make things more enjoyable and fun can mean a number of things to a number of different people. For example, one thing that’s fun for me to do in the morning is to walk outside and put my bare feet in the grass and do some grounding and do a little bit of yoga and a little bit of stretching.

It doesn’t have to be this five-hour ordeal. It doesn’t even have to be an hour ordeal. It’s those moments where I can go, and say, “Just getting in touch with nature, being grateful for blue skies and beautiful puffy clouds and the birds chirping in the air around me and the air I breathe is an easy way to go through …” That’s fun for me. Having that moment of gratitude in the morning to start my day, I consider that fun, and everyone can do that.

You might find fun and joy in a cup of coffee that’s really intentional or a cup of tea in the morning where that’s your moment. You don’t look at your phone, nobody’s call blowing up your phone, no one is on the computer, the laptop is close like you’re sitting there and just literally savoring the flavor of what’s in your hand and feeling the warmth of the cup.

That can be fun. There’s joy in the simple things, so it doesn’t have to be complicated, and then there’s fun in … Events are such a huge part of the business that I do and I love incorporating fun into those businesses. Getting creative, making people feel warm, and fuzzy and good, doing activities that I know they can walk away with that are actionable, so that they leave feeling going, “Oh that was fun.”

It was enjoyable. I got something out of it. I can make some incremental changes in my life that can incorporate more joy and fun to move myself forward in a really powerful amazing way.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. I love that. I think fun makes you feel present. When you’re thinking, we all get stuck in the past or we’re stuck in the future or all the things we think we should do, when we’re having fun though, I mean it really does take us into the present moment where we have our most power, and it connects us more deeply to other people, which in the end of the day is what business is about.

Mary Dee:           Absolutely. Absolutely, it is. There’s a saying that I have when speaking of connection and it’s that often times when I meet people especially anyone that’s having fear or anxiety, the example I love to use is, “Hey, we are all like puzzle pieces.” We are a unique puzzle piece and that piece of the puzzle, you can’t really see the full picture sometimes just looking at an individual puzzle piece, and when you look at an individual puzzle piece, some corners are round, some corners are sharp, and it just looks awkward.

It’s easy to lone-wolf yourself to the side and say, “Well, I’m this awkward puzzle piece, let me just sit over here in the corner and try and do and toil.” But really, life is a big beautiful canvas. It is a giant picture that’s broken up into puzzle pieces. We are a puzzle piece that fits in there and the only way we complete that beautiful picture is we connect to other pieces.

This is where that core need of connection comes in, and why it’s so valuable for us, not to sit on the sidelines as an individual, funky, I feel alone puzzle piece, but to go out there and connect so that we can create that beautiful canvas and see what everything is all about.

Melinda Wittstock:         Well, of course, speaking about puzzle pieces. You and I first met, because we were at an event called Camp Maverick.

Mary Dee:           Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         You remember, and so one of the core pillars of Maverick from high-performing entrepreneurs is play. I remember just crazy things that we do like dress up in weird costumes or like have this silly color word challenges or I remember dressing up as a pun.

Mary Dee:                          Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         Like stuff like that that’s just really very creative, but there’s so many really amazing relationships that I have created while being at Maverick, which is a kind of business conference. But it’s not really, it’s like you go there and you find yourself dancing in a tutu with glitter at like 7:00 in the morning.

Mary Dee:                          Absolutely. That’s right. I would definitely not call it a business conference either.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right? But what’s so funny about that it’s just a great example of this kind of play like in your work is that it’s been transformational for me and so many other people that I know, because just the depth of the relationship, the aha moments that you have in your business, the way you can apply some of these things, to the way that you run your business, the knock-on effects are huge.

Mary Dee:           I totally agree. I totally agree. There is so much magic and creativity that happens when you’re showing up in the fun. Like that’s definitely been a life theme of mine is I’m showing up, I love events, I love … Especially, Camp Maverick. I mean that one is probably at the top of my list every year because so much fun is integrated, because it is a choose-your-own-experience.

It gives entrepreneurs the freedom to connect with each other or go learn from someone else or pass on your value to someone else and meanwhile integrating those pieces of play like the costume parties and morning dance parties and all of that, and it’s that kind of fun that I agree with you, Melinda. I’ve had some of the best relationships out of Camp Maverick, and obviously, you’re one of them. Hugely, blessed. If you were the only connection I made out of that whole thing, it would have been worth it, but the beauty of it is that I’ve made hundreds of them, and they’ve all been absolutely amazing.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. Same thing. I think it’s interesting because we talk to a lot of entrepreneurs, and particularly, women. They’ll say, “God, I don’t have time. I don’t have time to do this.” I can’t take the time away from my business or I can’t take the time away from this to like do something, which seems as frivolous as going and having fun, but if you’re the type of person just saying that you don’t have enough time to do that, you’re probably the person who needs to go do it.

Mary Dee:           Exactly. Exactly.

Melinda Wittstock:         I mean, the irony is that it’s actually liberated time for me, in a way. When I find those moments to have fun or just do something out of the ordinary, not only do I have aha moments in my business, but, yeah, like I just advanced more. Maybe it’s about being present. When you work with entrepreneurs and you’re helping them solve their big problems, we all have big problems in entrepreneurship.

It’s like an up-and-down roller coaster ride and a lot of it is about confronting and overcoming our fears. What are some of the things that you do, Mary, to help people through that big F thing, that fear things because we all have that?

Mary Dee:           Excellent. Excellent. Yeah. Reframing is certainly one of them. Again, a big fan of the reframe! I think that really helps put things in perspective for a lot of folks. Fear is one of those things that can be experienced in a number of ways that shows up as anxiety, it can show up as shame, it can show up as judgment.

Fear means similar things to most of us. We can all identify with the word fear, and what I like to share with people is a story about when I was in like seventh grade, I was at Knott’s Berry Farm in California and I was about to get on my first roller coaster, and I was scared. I’ve never been on a roller coaster, but I’m watching this giant roller coaster go in circles and people are screaming and laughing and some are really screaming and crying.

You can hear the tick, tick, tick of the wheels, and you can hear the screeching of the brakes. You can hear the whoosh of the roller coaster. As you get closer and closer, it becomes more real and more intense. You get to the moment where you can get on to the roller coaster, and I’ve seen people get, wait in line, sometimes for hours only to get to that line where they can actually sit in the seat and fear removes them from actually sitting down and even going through the experience.

I describe that as the discomfort that we get when we’re facing our fears. Some people retreat, others go, “All right, I’m going to just take one more step forward here because into the unknown.” Because in my mind I’m thinking, “What if the roller coaster comes off the tracks? What if I fall out of my seat? What if the harness is not on? What if the seat belt comes undone? What if I’m too fat? What if I’m too short? What if I’m too … I don’t weigh enough? What if I weigh too much?”

There’s all this talk that goes on, and we do the same thing sometimes with fear before we even know what’s going to be. You get to the roller coaster, for me, I decided to sit in the seat, and I put the bar down and I put the seat belt on, and I said, “You know what? I’m doing it anyway. I’ve never experienced this, but I’m willing to take the leap.”

I sat down and I remember going through … Having to close my eyes. I think the first time I did it because that was the only way to get through it. At the end of it, I went, “Okay, that was a little terrifying, but I’m alive. I didn’t fall out of the seat, the bar didn’t come up.” How do I lean into this to get comfortable enough with it that I can enjoy this?

My seventh-grade mind for whatever reason said, “This ride is pretty much wide open, I’m going to keep riding it.” I rode it 10 times, Melinda. By the 10th time, I was completely broken of any fear of roller coasters. I am one of those people to this day that is happy to sit in the very front, put my hands up the whole time, eyes open, and scream in delight.

That’s what fear can be like for people. It’s when you get to the point where you can sit in the seat and work through something, right? If an anxiety is say just talking to people in the room, I get a lot of introverts at my events and my favorite are like introverted engineers. They’re super-smart, logical, but in their mind, they’re playing out all these scenarios like their algorithms.

They’re looking for the perfect algorithm to fix, being able to just walk up and have a human connection with someone and we talked about how that piece of fear because we’re dealing with these judgments in our own mind that haven’t even happened yet, can hold us back from creating those beautiful connections with people, which is what we really want at the end of the day.

It’s how do you recognize that your palms are sweaty and it feels uncomfortable, but how do you work through the discomfort enough times to where you go, “Okay. I’m recognizing what this feels like, but I’m going to move forward anyway, because the more times I do it, the more joy I can find in it, the more learnings I can find in it and the better I’ll get at walking in through into a room and learning to connect with people.”

Being able to shake a hand, introduce myself. If someone does not overly open, it’s okay. Let me move on to the next person, because there’s … everybody in that room wants the same thing, we all want connection. We all want to be able to have great conversations with each other that are more than what’s the weather today and what have you been up to? That’s such a big piece of it.

I just really encourage people to look at what is the big audacious roller coaster in your life that you’re either backing out right when you get to the chair or what is the one that you can practice through and lean into and lean in through so that you can come out the other side, and go, “You know what? That was definitely not bad as I had made it up in my mind.”

For me, that roller coaster that the fear I had of getting on the roller coaster ended up being one of the most fun things that excites me and gets my adrenaline going that I’ve experienced in my whole life. I said to myself, “What if I had backed out in seventh grade? Would I’ve been one of those people who go my whole life, and go, “Oh, I can’t get on a roller coaster?” That’s crazy. That’s scary.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right, because it becomes like self-defining. I was speaking at a conference a couple of weeks ago, and one of the other speakers was a guy called Patrick Sweeney. He’s a serial entrepreneur, right? But he had had this fear of flying as a young kid because he’d seen on the television a crash reported on the news, and so he had this lifelong fear of flying.

It turned out, and he describes how it morphed into all these other fears. Well, this one fear just became like a practice of fear so there was fear in all other areas of his life and ultimately, he became this pilot. I mean, he had to face it down much like you did with the roller coaster. If you think of things in your life right now like it might be a fear of asking for the sale or it might be a fear of public speaking or it might be just a fear of being seen in some way and at the root of that is all the kind of the stuff that so many women have, right?

Like, “Oh, I’m not enough,” or like, “What if they see that I’m really this when …” [inaudible 00:32:41] because we all have this … We do. We all have this thing of thinking that we’re not enough.

Mary Dee:           Correct. Correct. That’s one other piece of it too that I love to talk about for people who are dealing with fears and anxieties. It’s that your truth is whatever story you’re telling yourself. This is universal for all of us. We all have a story that goes on in our mind, whether it’s one that we’re literally making up about what could happen or what might happen and a lot of times that can be in a negative way, but it could also be in a positive way.

But the story that you tell yourself is true, whatever it is, because it’s true to you. It’s important to look at the stories we tell ourselves and really dissect it, and go, “Is story really true? How can I change my story if it’s not serving me?”

Melinda Wittstock:         This is right. This is all about reframing and getting rid of that kind of inner bully voice that many of us have. What I think is so interesting about your roller coaster story is that you developed the ability to overcome fear, which served you, no doubt, later in your life when you confronted one of the biggest, scariest things, cancer.

You had to confront that and walk through that. Talk to me about how, as the chief fun officer who helps people with their fears is now confronted with one of the biggest fears that everybody has, cancer, and you overcome it.

Mary Dee:           Great question. Great question, Melinda. Cancer was an interesting journey for me, and it’s funny because I think that, yes. I’ve gone through treatment and I’m cancer-free now, but the funny thing that people don’t really talk about, and I do want to talk about because I think it’s important that people are educated about it is when someone has had any kind of cancer, there’s some statistics doctors give and there’s kind of a disclaimer that they put out there, which is, “Well, when you’ve had cancer once, your chances of having it again increase.”

There’s the concept of that there’s little … Cancer cells are so tiny that they can still be floating around and they can still land somewhere else. This becomes sort of a daily, it can be anyway a daily struggle or a daily thing that pops into the head that goes, “Oh, I have a funny looking mole right now. Could that be cancer? Oh, I stubbed my toe. Did I really stubbed my toe or does it hurt because it’s cancer?”

It becomes this really weird little, almost a little bit of a shadow, and that part I think is important to understand. Now, in being someone who is able to look at that, and go, “This is still a fear at the end of the day.” Right? But it’s not also any different than every one of us knowing that the end of this human experience is inevitable, right? Something at some point is going to dim the lights and turn down the music of our lives at some point.

The peace and the beauty is to not get caught up in what that’s going to be. That’s what I had to do with anything surrounding cancer, disease, illness, death in general, because the seed of cancer is, of course, leading on to the fact that it leads to death, right? Disease leads to death and people, in general, we are unfamiliar with death.

There’s a natural fear of death in a lot of cases. The way that I look at that is I say, “I don’t think of death as the end. I think of death as simply the close to this particular chapter that I’m currently familiar with, this current experience.” I am a firm believer that beyond, that whatever is next after my body shuts down in this life is a new chapter that’s beautiful and amazing and beyond my comprehension in a way that excites me and lights me up to know that it’s the next thing, because the truth is none of us know what the next thing is.

They can fantasize and be fearful and step to the roller coaster and not want to go there or we can embrace whatever is next because the truth is we can’t change it. Find the beauty in embracing what’s next and visualized through hope and joy for the future and what it can be, and in knowing that it can be better than what we’ve ever dreamed or imagined.

That for me, at least, gives me a ton of peace when I need to deal with anything surrounding fears around having a life-threatening, having had a life-threatening disease, and then being able to come and just give others comfort because people are scared of lots of things, not just cancer. It certainly is a big one that’s looming out there in the universe, but at the same time it’s like the end of our lives, whatever brings it, it’s finding the peace and joy in knowing that it’s just a closed chapter for this part of our spiritual journey.

It’s not necessarily the end-all be-all of everything. It’s always a journey. We’re always on a journey. I want to encourage everyone to have peace and optimism about whatever it is that’s next. If it brings you peace to believe that, “Hey, dust to dust.” Then, that’s okay too. We all come back organically and become molecules in the universe.

We’re all energy at the end of the day, and however, that energy wants to re-manifest or manifests itself, I believe is a wonder and a delight and we’ll all get to experience it at some point, not in a hurry to do it.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, but I mean, it’s such an important thing that you’re saying. There’s two things that I find really interesting that are happening right now in our world is that we have advances in physics around energy and quantum physics that tell us for sure that energy does not die, and we are energy, and where that converges with spiritual practices is fascinating to me that there is a real convergence there.

I almost wonder whether, you know how we always talk about our life purpose like what’s our purpose, why are we here in an earth suit right now? I always think that there are these lessons to learn and the more we step into being alchemists, like we’re given some coal, and we got to turn that into diamonds, right?

Mary Dee:           Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         We’re doing that in our lives and in our journey, and each person has something that they’re uniquely here to do, and often when we have these challenges is you’ve had with the cancer and we all have our own, they’re all different, but you, Mary, have been able to turn this into something that can help so many other people so when we have those problems, it’s how to find it within our hearts to understand that those big challenges or those painful moments are actually opportunities to help other people.

They’re opportunities for our own growth. Is that how you see that now? How specifically has your cancer journey really inform the work that you do with entrepreneurs at this point?

Mary Dee:           Oh, Melinda, I’ll tell you. When I first got diagnosed, there was … I couldn’t tell you where it came from or why it was other than I believe I had this mask of like I am strong, and so I’m going to do my treatments, I’m going to have my surgery, I’m going to do it quickly, and I’m going to then forget that I ever had cancer. That crossed my mind.

It actually crossed my mind to like not share it, not talk about it, because I don’t want to be a victim. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m sick. I don’t want anyone to have an idea that I’m not a strong person, because that’s been an identity for me for so long.

In seeing that, I could have taken the experience, and I could have literally stuck it under a rock, not said anything about it, and moved merrily on my way. But I didn’t. One, because for my own healing, I needed to share it. When you go through a stress and a trauma like that, that is not something to hide under a rock. It’s an opportunity to let your friends and your family support you and love you.

It’s permission to give yourself to say, “I have done so much and it’s my time to just be in a state of receiving.” Receiving love and support in ways that I just don’t have the capacity to have to step into continuing being the strong one because it’s not going to serve me right now. I need to have time to heal and I need to have time to process and go through what I’m going through.

That was a big piece of it. Then, I left because one of my biggest things is how can I inspire and encourage younger generations? Because those younger generations are made up of my nieces and nephews and people that I have lots of love and respect for, but I’m at that point, where I’m in my 40s now, so I’m the older generation and there’s a younger one coming up into the world to be our next future leaders and teachers and motivators.

I said, “How does all this work together?” Through sharing the journey of the research that I did, be it for my own body and the treatment that I chose for myself and all of the stories and overcoming the fears and getting through cancer and sharing it and being comfortable talking about it, and being comfortable raising my hand saying, “Hey, like this is happening and this is life, like stuff happens.”

It could be anything. It could have been a meteor that came in, I don’t know, crushed my home. There’s anything, could have been a crazy thing that happens in life. For me, that happened, one of the craziest things, obviously, was to get breast cancer, but through that journey of sharing, I end up meeting a group of young founders who have founded a non-profit. It’s called “The Breasties”.

These young founders, they worked full-time jobs, but they run this full-time nonprofit that serves the younger community of women who end up with breast cancers and ovarian cancers or, are BRCA positive and this is where I get to step into being with these women, inspiring, and motivating, and encouraging. They asked me to be their founding board member earlier this year, and I laughed at myself, and I said, “If I’d never opened my mouth about cancer, if I had stuck it under a rock, I would not have the opportunity to encourage hundreds of thousands of women.” Because I would have hid that light.

By stepping into it, and saying, “Hey, I’m going to plant my flag in the ground and say, ‘It’s okay to not be okay.'” There’s a way to love and support each other through the hardest parts of our journey, whether it’s cancer, whether it’s stuff that goes on in business, whether it’s being that person that’s in the grind every day, whether it’s being a mother who’s trying to work, all of the things, right? It can be anything. Put anything in that slot of challenge by sharing that experience and letting people know they’re not alone, there’s so much empowerment to it and that’s such a big lesson for me.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. I learned a similar lesson just because for years when I was in a toxic marriage, and I was being verbally abused and gas-lit and like all this sort of stuff, I didn’t talk about it at all. I suffered. I took that all on my own shoulders like my team members didn’t know, my investors didn’t know, a lot of my close friends didn’t know, a lot of colleagues didn’t know, and I realized and I reflect on it now, it was this sense of shame, I guess.

Like, “Oh, my God. How could somebody, who’s otherwise strong and successful be going through this?” Like, “Oh, if people knew this about me. Oh, my God.” Right? It’s all that kind of fear that we’re talking about and relatively, recently as I’ve begun to really kind of speak on it, it’s amazing how many other women I share this experience with, and who were like, “Oh, my God. Thank you for talking about it.”

It’s a really interesting thing. It’s like it’s a totally different sort of thing, but the impetus to want to hide it is something that I see in a lot of women, because [crosstalk 00:47:47], “Oh, God. If people know this about me, oh, they won’t like me.”

Mary Dee:           Right. [crosstalk 00:47:50]

Melinda Wittstock:         Just as simple as that, right?

Mary Dee:           Yeah. The crazy part-

Melinda Wittstock:         They won’t like me.

Mary Dee:           … of that, Melinda, is that by sharing those things, those deep sort of things that we think that we’re so ashamed of, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Right.

Mary Dee:           [crosstalk 00:48:03] about that I don’t have a perfect marriage. It’s like you suddenly, when you actually show up, and go, “Yeah. That marriage wasn’t perfect.” These are all the things that happened and they didn’t make me feel good. It lets other women go, “Oh, you mean there are other not perfect marriages out there?”

Melinda Wittstock:         Right or-

Mary Dee:           [crosstalk 00:48:21] are not by myself, I’m not alone in the world. Like, let’s talk about this. Let’s get information. Let’s share. Let’s just comfort each other because we actually understand where the other person is coming from.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right. Well, the irony I see with so many women and women in business, female entrepreneurs is this tendency to self-isolate. I think it’s trapped or it’s linked to the perfectionism issue that we have. But, of course, in our DNA in over millions of years, we’ve evolved to be relationship creatures. We are at our best when we’re working with other women millions of years.

For millions of years it’s like literally in our DNA, so when we self-isolate, and when we don’t share, and we don’t work with other women, it actually really holds us back.

Mary Dee:           Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Both of this story, this is such an important, important lesson to really reach out and also have fun. Tell me this, I mean, I’m just so curious about this. How are you incorporating fun into your life while you were going through all those cancer treatments?

Mary Dee:           I really took time to just pause, Melinda. That was fun for me that I needed was to pause like work stuff, all that craziness that was going out there. It was like that for me was one of them, so it was giving myself permission to put a pause. To put a pause on the work that I’ve done for so long, and go, “It’s okay to take a pause and I’m going to.”

The second one was to make my list of anything I felt like was unfinished and set a resolve to fully lean in and go for it, so that for me was fun because it gave me time to imagine things that I wasn’t taking the time to imagine. Spending that time in that creative space to go, “What else do I really want to do? What other fun do I want to have in this life? What gratitudes do I want to put out there?”

The biggest one for me, I love being with people. My love language is quality time. It was spending more of that time with people I love, make me laugh, people I love who I can make laugh and just enjoying moments, being intentional about just enjoying moments. Some of those moments were with my dogs, some of those moments were with my husband, some of those moments were with my nieces and nephews, some of them with my mom, some were with my friends, but making that time to just have those deeper connections to make sure that I said all the things, the love and any inspiration or wisdom that I had to pass down and making sure that I knock that domino down every day.

That was fun for me to go through and say, “Treat every day with this unfettered intention.” That’s what I want to do, every day very intentional with everything that I do and that for me made it possible to incorporate joy, which for me is fun into my life on a daily basis in such an intentional way, that it really propelled healing. That was so healing for me in so many ways.

Then, now reflecting back going those are things I continue to do because, you know what? A daily dose of healing, a daily dose of joy, a daily dose of fun is definitely in the prescription.

Melinda Wittstock:         Beautiful. You know what? It strikes me that all the way into this interview, we haven’t even talked about your amazing business accomplishments. No. We just kind of left that to the end, but seriously, Mary, you help companies go from idea stage to like eight figures and you have all these like time-tested operational ways to do that. I want to give you the chance to really explain to people what you do and really highlight some amazing business accomplishments that you’ve had.

Mary Dee:           Oh, thank you, Melinda. Really, I’m just a good problem solver. I like to go in and help entrepreneurs solve depressing problems that are on their plate. That’s always my goal, and so much of what happens in business are just the foundational nuts and bolts of having processes and procedures, but also having core values instilled into your companies, and your daily routines of business so that you’re impacting your people in a beautiful way, you’re impacting your customers in a beautiful way and you’re able to bring all these things together to do great business and enjoy what you’re doing.

It’s such a grand grouping of taking all of what a person, an entrepreneur wants their life to be, and saying, “You can have those things.” Let’s create a plan that lets you get there, and let’s do these things daily so that you can look back on your life, and go, “Okay. I didn’t have to toil through this, there was an easier way.”

That’s really it. It’s just helping people find the easier way to enjoy what they’re doing while they are putting out their beautiful products and services into the world and getting back value of the lifestyle they want in return.

Melinda Wittstock:         Beautifully said, so how can people find you and work with you, Mary?

Mary Dee:           Thank you. They can go to my website, marydee.net. That’s just my name spelled out, M-A-R-Y-D-E-E.net, and if they go to products and services, they can see all the different events that I do. They can schedule some time there. For any Wings listeners, we do have a Cosmic Obligation Master Class coming up [crosstalk 00:55:01]-

Melinda Wittstock:         Ooh. Yeah.

Mary Dee:           For any listeners, they can actually just email mary@marydee.net, and mention that they were on the Wings podcast, heard about the master class and would love access, and I’m happy to grant them complimentary access because they are a Wings listener.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, how wonderful. Well, thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today. What a beautiful conversation.

Mary Dee:           Thank you for the opportunity, Melinda. I really just admire you and I appreciate how you show up in the world. Thank you for being you.

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