EPISODE 119 INTERVIEW WITH MEKA HEMMONS: KNOWING YOU HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO GIVE

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EPISODE 119 INTERVIEW WITH MEKA HEMMONS: KNOWING YOU HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO GIVE

knowing you have so much more to give

Have you seen the images of me on my website and social media where I look like I’m having tons of fun?  Well you can thank my guest today for those amazing pictures.  Meka Hemmons, aka SpiderMeka, joined me LIVE in our Facebook group for this recording and if you missed it, I’m excited to share it with you today.  Meka shares her journey from corporate life (you won’t believe where she used to work) into the world of starting her business as a portrait photographer.  When your job, as wonderful as it may be, feels like it’s stifling your creativity, venturing out on your own can be so liberating.

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Transcript

Erin Marcus:

Hi! I’m Erin Marcus, former corporate executive turned entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Conquer Your Business. Welcome to the Ready Yet?! Podcast. We’re excited to bring you more than a hundred episodes of interviews and insights designed to help entrepreneurs get the financial and emotional freedom they need in order to build a business and a life they’re proud of.

And we’re live! I’m so excited about the conversation that we are going to have. So, we have entered into the new technology. And instead of just doing a podcast, we are going live in the Facebook group so people can hear my friend Meka firsthand, because I’m very excited. I don’t even know what’s going to happen here, but I’m very excited to introduce you to Spider Meka. If you like the images you see on my website, this is the woman you have to think. If you like the pictures, the cool pictures, not the selfies that you see in my social media, then this is the woman we have to think. So, I’m very excited that Meka is here with me today because wait until you hear her background and all the cool things that she’s done and all the cool things that she knows how to do, and how she took that kind of integrated it with who she actually wanted to be, right?

 

Meka Hemmons:

Uh-hmm. Yeah. 

 

Erin Marcus:

Right? And turned it into Spider Meka. So, before we get into the details, why don’t you tell everybody a little more officially who you are and what you do when I’m not like gushing about you. 

 

Meka Hemmons:

Well, I like the gush, so by all means do it anytime, all day. What I am officially is a portrait photographer. And I think it’s important to say that as a precursor, as a niche, because, you know, some people think, ‘Oh, she’s got a camera. That means she does everything, weddings and babies and dogs and I don’t know, frat parties.’ And I do none of that. I have no desire to do any of that. I like to say that I make you the event instead of actually doing events, because yeah, there is a–I know you got tons of questions for me, so I’ll get into the why I’ll be carrying what I am right now. But that is official, I am a portrait photographer.

 

Erin Marcus:

Portrait photographer. I do love the idea that you’ve created your niche in a way that just makes you better and better and better at it.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Like the expertise. Right?

 

Erin Marcus:

Exactly. Because, well, I was going to say photographing babies and pets is different, but it really isn’t. Because as one of your subjects, I know wrangling me in is not really necessarily any easier and maybe a little harder. Right? Getting you–

 

Meka Hemmons:

Regardless of what you think about it. Oh my, you’re so funny. Regardless of what you think about yourself, my dear Erin, it is very different doing each genre. I don’t think that I would compare you to, you know, photographing a puppy or–

 

Erin Marcus:

Right. In my world, that’s not an insult. So, it’s perfectly fine.

 

Meka Hemmons:

No, you were much easier to tame. 

 

Erin Marcus:

Cool. Awesome. Good to know. Let’s talk origin story.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Okay.

 

Erin Marcus:

Tell everybody the cool credential. I know you don’t like to talk about it that way but for us mere mortals, it is really where the journey began and it’s so important recognize what you liked about it, what you didn’t like about it, what you took away, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, tell everybody the really freaking cool credential.

 

Meka Hemmons:

So, the really freaking cool credential, as you so eloquently name it, is that once upon a time before I did what I do now, I worked for Miss Oprah Winfrey in her graphic design department. And so, all the cool stuff that goes across the screen, the way her set looked, all of the print media and all those great things, if it was graphics, if it was design, we had our hands in it. And it was an amazing experience. And one of the things that I again, just kind of niche into, I had been doing it for a decade before I got to her, and so, I really quickly became her re-toucher while I was there.

 

Erin Marcus:

I love that.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Retouching is one of those, it’s not so subtle art for sure. Not everybody enjoys it. You know, we all have our gifts, right? You’ve got your gift. I discovered really early that one of my gifts was just being able to skin retouch. Photoshop came out and I got really excited and it was just something I got really good. And so, while I was there, that’s one of the things that I did. And so, for almost ten years, that was my job.

 

Erin Marcus:

And I think there’s a big difference between what you’re talking about and what we see now with just out and out Photoshop lying about what the human body looks like.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Oh my gosh. Well, here’s the truth. You’re absolutely right. It lends so much to what I do and why I do what I do today is because back then, and it wasn’t that long ago, you know, I was hired there in 2007. 

 

Erin Marcus:

We’re not that old. We’re not that old. We’re old but we’re not that old. 

 

Meka Hemmons:

Yes, right. When I was talking about 2000s was 20 years ago, we’re not going to do that. But yeah, there were no filters back then. You know, there was no easy button, no TikTok and Snapchat where your cat ears and fuzzy ear, whatever, but it was hand done. We didn’t have Instagram back then. We had magazines. And so, you’re flipping through magazines and everybody’s got great porcelain skin and, you know, perfect features. And it’s like, “Yeah, right.”  Asian babies don’t even have skin this clear, come on. And so, that was my job. It was to perfect things for magazine. And it wasn’t just Oprah, you know, she hangs out with, you know, think of a person that’s who Oprah hangs out with, it was top A-list, celebrities, world renowned, just the best, best of the best. And so, I had my hands in all of that. It was a wonderful job. I was good at it. I was excellent. I was really fast. And I also got severely depressed because I think that’s just what you do in your late 20’s, early 30’s, you just get depressed. It’s part of our journey, right? 

 

Erin Marcus:

Part of the journey. It’s that moment of, is this all there is? What am I doing?

 

Meka Hemmons:

Yes. Oh my gosh. That’s exactly what it was. And so, as much as I enjoyed the experience, you know, my Harpo family, it was great. Did I really have a love for television? No. Did I really see myself being a fixer of photographs for the rest of my life? Absolutely not. And instead, I really did start to look inwardly because of the way I was feeling. And I had to ask myself, what does my future look like because this is not it. I was not happy being asked on a day-to-day basis to make people look so far beyond what their natural features were, because I saw beauty in everybody. You know, believe it or not, it’s another thing that I get to do every day. And so, looking at my before and then the after and what I did, and for the people that I did it for, it was like, “Oh, this is great. This is perfect. Let’s go.” And inside I was dying a little bit every day because I’m like, “Eh, but that’s not what you really look like and why do you want this extreme of an after effect?” It was really prevalent that this culture, this society that we live in was just so poisonous and toxic. And a lot of people were saying things like, “Oh, my daughter is affected. She’s got low self-esteem because of the magazine pages.” And on my end, I was like, it’s not your daughter, it’s you and it’s your mother. And it’s this generational thing that we do to ourselves and we teach our children to look in the mirror. And because we don’t look like the magazine pages or right now the Instagram feed, then that means that there’s something wrong with us or we’re not living up to unacceptable standard of beauty or enough or perfection and all these words and terms that we use on a day-to-day basis to describe something that we don’t think that we are.

 

Erin Marcus:

Well, that is pure evil and it’s not attainable because it’s not real. So, the definition of frustration, the definition of frustration is the gap between desire and reality. Frustration is the feeling between when, when you look at what you have compared to what you want. And when you’re comparing what you want to something that is unattainable, it’s not because if you just work hard enough, you could get it, but it’s unattainable because it’s not actually real. You’re never going to solve that problem. Yeah.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Yeah. You’re never going to solve that problem. I’m a professional, okay? Just going to state that in case anybody out there has doubts. There is no such thing as perfect. Let’s just kill that word. And we can talk about this for another hour. Please, please, please stop describing yourself as not photogenic.

 

Erin Marcus:

And I will tell you, that’s something that I learned with you because I’ve never liked photos of myself. I never felt photogenic. I felt all the photos just never made me, forget look great. Like, they weren’t even things I was comfortable sharing. And for the most part, I’m still human, but for the most part, I never was subconscious about not being okay enough looking, right? I never thought I was ugly. I’m not skinny and blonde and tall, but I never felt so conscious about how I looked. I wasn’t really dysmorphic about how I looked, but I never felt photographs even remotely looked like how I felt I looked. But working with you, that’s changed. You know, now, I’m comfortable putting stuff out there. None of us are photogenic with green light and shadowing. Right?

 

Meka Hemmons:

I mean, to an extent you’re nailing exactly what I’m talking about. To me photogenic, that very word just means that there is, again, something to aspire to. There’s a lot of parameters that need to be in place before, “Oh, I look good in front of a camera,” that kind of thing. And when I hear that word, to me, there’s front of the camera and there’s back of the camera, right? The camera’s just a tool. It’s an inanimate object, doesn’t have any feelings, thoughts, whatever. It’s mechanical. But there is raw energy in front of the camera, which is you. And there’s raw energy in back of the camera, which, hello, it’s me. And when someone says, “Oh, this photo that I took or whatever is not photogenic.” To me, that means that there’s something missing either in front of the camera or in back of the camera. Unfortunately, a lot of people who work behind the camera don’t really pay attention to matching energy and working with energy in front of the camera and that causes chaos. That’s where it is. When people come to me, and you can attest to this, Erin, I’m like, ‘Don’t even think while you’re here. Just exist. That’s all I need you to do.’

 

Erin Marcus:

We spend the day playing and you just happen to be taking pictures while I am acting my increasingly lunatic self, especially once I get tired and it’s all over. Right? By the fourth outfit change, I’m getting a little slab happy and it goes over there. Right? But sometimes those are the best shots. I mean, if you go back to what we did last time, and by then I was so exhausted, and you’re like, ‘Here, put on this crazy skirt in your boots.’ And that’s what everybody loves.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Uh-huh. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Put on a crazy skirt, put on some boots. Let’s just have fun. Let’s play. That’s exactly the word I use. We’re not going to have a photo session. We’re going to play, and there are going to be some photos that come out of it. 

 

Erin Marcus:

That come out of it, absolutely. The differentiator for me when I think about you, is that the way that I always call it is Oprah level skills without LA fake beauty. Right? Without Hollywood. Right? Because it’s true. Right? It’s the skillset that the A-listers want without the falsehood of trying to create, you know what I mean?

 

Meka Hemmons:

Uh-hmm. Yeah. I thank you for that. That’s a beautiful and very accurate way to put that.

 

Erin Marcus:

Loving what you’re learning here and interested in more? Check out our free Facebook group and join us at Conquer Your Business Community to find even more tips and tools designed to help you get out of reaction mode and into conquering your own business.

Yeah. So, let’s talk business for a second here.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Okay. I’m ready. 

 

Erin Marcus:

Because more personal journey. So, you’re working in Oprah world, right?

 

Meka Hemmons:

Uh-hmm. 

 

Erin Marcus:

And you go out on your own. You jumped off a cliff, right? So, what was that like? So, how did that go for you? But seriously, like those of us who left corporate and Harpo is corporate. Just because they have a shiny product as opposed to an insurance product, there’s still a corporation. 

 

Meka Hemmons:

It was absolutely a corporation.

 

Erin Marcus:

So, you left corporate, you just left the shiny version of corporate while the rest of us lived in cubicle world, right? So, you left bright and shiny corporate to go out on your own. What the heck were you thinking?

 

Meka Hemmons:

I was thinking that I could not spend another day in corporate. I know that my story is very, very similar to so many people being an entrepreneur, being around other entrepreneurs. Our stories are so overlapping and so similar. That whole corporate world, a lot of people attributed to, ‘Oh, you’re creative,’ and a lot of times creative and corporate don’t work out. I don’t even really find that to be true. I think there was a lot of creativity in the corporate world in general, and especially with where I was and what I did. The point was I think that there’s just something in all of us, especially entrepreneurs. There’s this voice, there’s this energy, there’s this guttural instinct that just gets louder and louder with every experience that you go through until you cannot ignore it anymore. And I was miserable at my job. Just for the record, I’m not going to say that it was everything about my job that was causing me to feel miserable. I mean, like I said, I was late twenties, early thirties. It was just time for my life to be a wreck. So, there were multiple things going on.

 

Erin Marcus:

One of the things you and I have in common, we didn’t leave our jobs. Like I love the people I worked with, the environment was fantastic and amazing, and I learned so much and I had full support. And there’s none of that crap that you hear about that people complain about. That wasn’t why I left. I left because I knew there was something more for me, period.

 

Meka Hemmons:

I love that. I love that. And in line with that, Erin, I knew that I had so much more inside of myself to give. And that world that I was in that “cubicle,” as shiny as it was, I was not utilizing everything inside of me that needed to come out and help other people. And so, I had never once thought about photography as a career. I knew I was a creative, I knew that design was a love of mine. I wrote, I spoke, I danced, I played, all kinds of things. There’s this quote, one of my very dear friends uses all the time, she says, “We are more than our business cards.” And I love that because it’s an accurate description of how multilevel all of us are. And this much of my skillset was being used inside that space, working for other people. And I worked hard, Erin. And well, it did dawn on me. 

 

Erin Marcus:

Right. I mean, it doesn’t mean they were bad, it doesn’t mean the job was bad. And I have that same thing. The problem with folks who leave jobs and go into the entrepreneurial world because of everything everyone else does, the victim version. You bring that with you and now you’re the boss.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Exactly. Yeah. 

 

Erin Marcus:

You leave your job because you hate your boss and so you hate all your bosses. And now, screw them. I’m just going to do my own thing. Guess what? Now, you’re the boss. Who you going to leave? 

 

Meka Hemmons:

Now, you’re the boss. Yeah. You cannot run from yourself. 

 

Erin Marcus:

You can’t run from that. So, all of that could be good. The job, the money, the people could be great and still not be right.

 

Meka Hemmons:

If it’s not fulfilling, if it’s not feeding you, there’s something missing. It doesn’t matter if you’re spiritual, energetic, woo-woo, any of that. We’re humans. And innately, it is part of our humanity. We want to feel belonging. We want to feel like we have a purpose. That’s what we do on a day-to-day basis. And I’m incredibly grateful that it took all of the experiences in my life, including almost 10 years at Harpo. And a very good opportunity like Oprah was like, “Peace Chicago, I’m out of here. I’m going to go to LA in my next chapter,” and all that. And it was perfect timing for me. Any kind of entrepreneurship where you just know you’re going to go full steam ahead. This is full time. This is my livelihood. It’s exactly like you said earlier, it’s a jump off. 

 

Erin Marcus:

Yeah, it’s a jump off the cliff feeling.

 

Meka Hemmons:

I just knew I deserved to try and I did. And I’m still standing.

 

Erin Marcus:

Where did you get the feeling or confidence that you could do it? Most people, like, that’s a big block for people. You knew you could do the skills, but figuring out how to earn a living for yourself is a whole thing, right?

 

Meka Hemmons:

Yeah. Uh-hmm. I never took a business class. I had branding background. My branding background is, it’s on point, it’s solid. My advertising background on point solid. My design background, on point solid. I knew nothing about marketing. I knew nothing about sales, and I knew nothing about business. And I was just like, “You know what, Let’s go. Let’s learn. The best way to learn, you either sink or swim.” And so, I jumped in that ocean and I was like–

 

Erin Marcus:

As Debbie, our mutual friend Debbie says, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.” Right?

 

Meka Hemmons:

Exactly. Yeah. And you already know, there were some definite trip ups along the way. I looked back at my first year and my second year, and I have to just shake my head and be like, “Oh, if I had known then what I know now,” but you have to go through that, right? It’s the same old story. How else would I have been able to learn if I didn’t go all in and be ready to get those hard lessons?

 

Erin Marcus:

So, let’s shorten somebody’s learning curve for them. You just don’t do what I did, you’ll be lighters at, right? Don’t do that. So, let’s shorten somebody’s learning curve. What did you do or not do? Like, what’s a big failure that you could put out there as a don’t do that?

 

Meka Hemmons:

Oh my gosh. Undervaluing yourself is definitely number one on the list. When I left Harpo, I had zero self-esteem, like negative self-esteem, negative self-worth. I didn’t know what self-value was at all. I thought nothing of myself besides, “Oh, I got some skills and I’m going to start my own business.” It’s really telling what starts to happen when you go out and you do something. And most importantly, you start to involve other people in your process, right? I can’t be a salesperson unless I involve you. You have to buy my product or my service. And so little things that are really giant things, you start to learn about yourself. And so, I didn’t know that my self-esteem was under the negative line. I didn’t know that I had zero idea about stuff. 

 

Erin Marcus:

This is just how to feel. This is how people feel, right? 

 

Meka Hemmons:

Exactly. And then I would give, you know, everything away for free plus an arm and a kidney. And I would be like, “Why am I so poor? Why am I hungry? This is not what business is.” And then you start to learn, “Oh, it’s because I gave everything away and I didn’t charge for anything even though people value my things.” They wanted to pay me. But I was like, “Eh, don’t worry about it.”

 

Erin Marcus:

And one of the things I know about you that’s similar to me is I make the biggest changes and leaps forward when I can’t handle my own crap anymore. Right? It’s like when I just can’t take me anymore. 

 

Meka Hemmons:

Then something needs to change, yeah. 

 

Erin Marcus:

And something needs to change. And I would love to tell you the rainbows and puppies and unicorns’ version of this story of when everything’s going so great and you just keep moving up. No, I leap forward when I can’t handle my own crap anymore, one minute longer, and I finally decide clearly what I’m doing isn’t working.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Oh my gosh. You nailed it again. This isn’t working. It’s time to try something new. Maybe I should charge for my product and/or service. You know?

 

Erin Marcus:

Maybe I should find someone who knows how to grow a business and ask them for help.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Maybe I shouldn’t try to be my own designer, marketer, salesperson, everything because it’s a gazillion–

 

Erin Marcus:

Over taking her own photographs, baby. I shouldn’t be doing my own website.

 

Meka Hemmons:

You know, that’s a really good point because I’m an ex-perfectionist, you know, recovering perfectionist. And there was that point where I had to realize, “Yeah, I do it really good, but I can’t keep doing this all by myself.” Done is better than perfect. Oh, there’s a concept. Here, there are other people. Please take this from me. 

 

Erin Marcus:

Done is better than perfect. Some of the things that I tried, I was so bad at doing that I finally came up with, why am I spending so much time and money to do a bad job at something? Why am I spending all my hours and all my money for an end product, website, whatever that still looks bad.

 

Meka Hemmons:

You know what’s really interesting about that point exactly is that you have to acknowledge your skillset in order to move ahead. You really do. And so, I acknowledge lots of times, like I’m really good at a lot of things. But to your point, when you try to do all of it, there are things that suffer and it’s not as perfect and great as you think it should be because you’re tired. We haven’t eaten since last Thursday. And your family and friends, they don’t know your name anymore because you haven’t been around. Like, this is not fun. This is not fulfillment, this isn’t life.

 

Erin Marcus:

So, let’s flip it over. What are you most proud of?

 

Meka Hemmons:

You’re going to make me cry, Erin. I am most proud of proving to myself that I did it, I’m doing it. As scared and frail and unprepared as I was in the beginning, I’m in my seventh year and I’ve met so many financial goals, so many business goals. My studio is awesome looking, even though this isn’t my forever home. I had a 10-year plan. And even though I still have zero idea how I’m going to reach that 10-year goal, every year, things keep happening that make that 10-year goal even closer. It is a proud feeling. You know, you don’t always get the support that you want when you start off, when you do something crazy, when you jump off a cliff. 

 

Erin Marcus:

Well, who’s going to tell their mother that they’re leaving Oprah?

 

Meka Hemmons:

Well, I got to be clear, she left us and it was just very opportune. But the truth is, I honestly don’t know how much longer I would’ve been able to stay anyway, but she gave, it was an open door or rather a closed door. And I was like, “Ah, okay. Well, I’m going to do this thing now.” But on a much deeper level, of course. And so, there were a handful of people in my life that were like, “You can do this. I believe in you.” And everybody else was like, “Hmm, yeah, you’re going to be looking for a real job after two years. You’re not going to survive. What do you mean you’re not going to do weddings? What do you mean you’re not going to do babies? That’s where the money is, Meka. If you don’t do that, you’re not going to earn enough money to keep yourself afloat.”

 

Erin Marcus:

And none of those people had photography studios, right?

 

Meka Hemmons:

None of those people had any job. They all worked for other people.

 

Erin Marcus:

And then, but we end up listening to them. I tell people all the time when I’m trying to do something big, I put in my safety bubble. I put my little safety bubble around me. I have amazing friends, I have amazing family who all think I’m nuts. They’re like, “How’s your thing going?” Like my thing that makes like seven times your income, that thing? Like how’s your little thing going? And when I’m doing something that scares me, I will still put my little safety bubble around me. And when they ask me how it’s going, it’s just a very, “Oh my God, it’s so exciting.” I’m not going to lie if it currently sucks, but I’m not going to give details to people who in absolutely meaning well just have no frame of reference and inadvertently, not on purpose, inadvertently see things that will dig into your head and mess you up.

 

Meka Hemmons:

It’s difficult. You’re very smart to create that bubble. It is a challenge to not let the outside world affect you. And that goes on so many levels. It’s the close friends and family that you have to protect yourself against. It’s also your peer environment because seriously, Erin throw a rock and you’re going to hit somebody who’s got a camera, who says they’re a photographer. I am not, you know, in the world of photography, I’m not special. There’s a zillion photographer. I think on my street alone in the studio, there are like 800 photographers. You know what I mean? So, you do have to stay true to yourself and find and dig to find that thing that makes you stand out, makes you special. It’s the stuff that you always talk about for Conquer Your Business, conquer your marketing. The thing that I love most about my job, seriously, is the fact that there have been trillions and billions and gazillions of humans on this planet, and not a single one of us have ever been the same or experienced the same thing. It is incredible that that happens. And knowing that the people that I get to meet every day, it’s such a beautiful concept to me to get to be in this person’s life, even if it’s only for 60 minutes or three hours or whatever while we’re working together, because I’m never going to meet another person like this. 

 

Erin Marcus:

That is what comes through in your work. And I think that it’s a point that I don’t know anyone’s ever made, but in my opinion, hearing you say that if you don’t really, really, honestly, from a place of curiosity, no judgment, love other human beings, it’s going to be real hard to be successful in a service based business.

 

Meka Hemmons:

If you don’t have that human aspect. Absolutely. Absolutely. Especially because it’s 2022 right now, and we are so beyond the BS. We cannot be fooled. We’ve seen behind the Oz curtain, you know? We know it’s there. There’s no trickiness now. And so, if you don’t show up in a completely pure, genuine form, we recognize the BS and we’re out of there, we’re done. And so, that’s easy for me to do it. It just is because there have been points in my life where I tried to be other people for other people. You know what I mean? And it didn’t work. It just does not work. I just want to a take up all my clothes and be naked and run through some grass and waterfalls because it makes me so icky. It makes my skin crawl. Like I have got to be myself. And so, I flip that around when people walk through my door of the studio. It’s like you’re showing up for a reason. You are an entrepreneur too. You have to show up in a genuine way for your clients in order for them to believe you, trust you, like you, refer you, all of the above. And so, we’re going to strip, both of us. I’m going to be naked. You’re going to be naked.

 

Erin Marcus:

That was the best, like within two minutes of meeting you, you’re like, there’s a tiny little dressing room. And I looked around, I’m like, pfft.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Whatever.

 

Erin Marcus:

I have something you haven’t seen. We’ll donate it to science. Right?

 

Meka Hemmons:

I love it. So, nakedness, it is a requirement to work with me. You cannot show up pretending to be something other than you’re not or what a lot of people do as entrepreneurs, they want to be what they feel other people expect them to be. And that’s BS too. Do not show up with this feeling like you have to prove yourself, you have to be something other than you are. Because there, there’s a reason why someone is stepping through your door. They’ve already on some levels said yes to you. So, do not change that. Be you, give them the great service that only you can provide and you’re golden.

 

Erin Marcus:

Well, and it’s the hardest. So many of my clients come out of corporate, right? So many of my clients previously were in corporate with a fair amount of success at one level or another. And it’s so hard to break that shell because the reason people are successful in corporate is by showing up is what that company expects, what that company envisions, what that company tells you is how to be successful in your role. And here we are, 40, 50 years old and we don’t even know from a professional level who we are because for 25 years, we got accolades being the definition of somebody else.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Yeah. For 9:00 to 5:00, we got a salary for being something that someone else wanted us to be. It’s super hard to break out of that shell. Yeah. But you know, the thing that I always say, and I know it to be true, because that’s what I had to do. I was forced to do it because of the emotion and the energy that was so unsettling for me. You got to sit with yourself, you know, get a glass of wine, turn off your devices, get raw pen, paper, pencil, and write down. And this is probably going to be my book. It’s just the process that I went to, to find this journey, this part of my life and I’m going to be doing this forever. I will die with a camera in my hands. I already know. So, write it down and 40 years, 50 years. Oh, yeah. She said that would happen. That’s true. That’s what happened. 

 

Erin Marcus:

I will share with you my boyfriend who’s in financial services made me take a retirement compatibility quiz where he already took his, and then he wanted me to take mine and it would match us up. And the first question is at what age do you want to retire? And I immediately went, this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen like, why would I want to retire? And so, he says to me, “Listen, we all know you’re going to die on a Zoom call one day. I’m going to have pry your computer out of your cold dead hands. Can you just pretend for the sake of this exercise?”

 

Meka Hemmons:

That you may have an expiration date, sure. 

 

Erin Marcus:

Want to stop at some point. All right. On that note, because how do you follow up on that. We’re both dead. I’m on Zoom, you’ve got a camera. Great.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Our life is fulfilled. We will die happy.

 

Erin Marcus:

There we go. What’s the best way people can get ahold of you? I seriously cannot thank you enough, tell you enough. You know I put you in front of my clients as well with amazing results and for very good reason. How do people get ahold of you?

 

Meka Hemmons:

You’re very sweet for asking. So, SpiderMeka Portraits is my name and I like to keep it even simpler when it comes to finding me online, SpiderMeka. I am everywhere all the time. Just like the SpiderMeka, that’s my website. That’s my Insta, LinkedIn, all the places.

 

Erin Marcus:

And they can always reach out to me. I know, I always know where you are.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Or they can look for you, yeah. And you’ll be like, “So, that crazy chick who, you know, puts me in front of the camera?”

Erin Marcus:

How do I get ahold of her? Yeah. 

 

Meka Hemmons:

Next time it’s going to be like a mud bath on the studio or something or a confetti. 

 

Erin Marcus:

A confetti would be fun. I’ve already hung out of the third story window, what could possibly be best? Thank you for sharing your story, your insights, your honesty, and this was awesome.

 

Meka Hemmons:

Thank you for having me. It was a sincere pleasure.

 

Erin Marcus:

I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Ready Yet?! Podcast. I truly enjoy bringing these stories of success and inspiration to you. Please join us in our mission to empower entrepreneurs to be in charge of their businesses and in charge of their lives by sharing this with anyone you know who would benefit from our tactical and motivating advice, leaving us a review and letting us know if there are any particular topics you would really appreciate hearing about. See you next time.

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Erin Marcus

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Erin Marcus is an author, speaker and communications specialist helping organizations to “Conquer the Conversation,” and creating improvement in sales, customer service and team dynamics. To bring Erin to your event or business:

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