Do you truly want to be an overnight success? In today’s episode, I have the honor of introducing you to best-selling author Mary Marantz. We’re diving into topics based on her new book, Slow Growth Equals Strong Roots, such as releasing expectations, crushing limiting beliefs, and making major business pivots.
On Quianna Marie Weekly, we’re chatting about business growing pains, finding genuine connections, and celebrating wins of all sizes through the lens of a photographer at heart. Sprinkled throughout stories and interviews with past clients, photographers and other business owners this podcast is designed to help you step into your purpose and to truly create a life you’re proud of, a life worth photographing and sharing.
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Review The Show Notes:
The Most Put-Together Girl (5:03)
When You Just Can’t Keep Up (10:17)
Slow Growth > Overnight Success (19:04)
Feeling Like You’ve Wasted Time (27:02)
Recognizing Your Achiever Type (31:52)
Money Blocks And Feeling Worthy Of Success (40:26)
Key Tip From Mary (47:19)
Connect With Mary:
Review the Transcript:
If you’re feeling like you’re not only on the struggle bus, but you’re driving it while eating a sandwich on the go, and feeling frustrated with your busy schedule, only to realize it was you that created and crammed your calendar with way more to dues, urgent meetings and gluten free cupcakes to bake. This conversation is for you. Today I have the honor of introducing you to one of my favorite souls with this lighthearted but really deep connection call. Mary Marantz is a Yale Law School graduate and the first in her immediate family to go to college.
She is a best selling author of the book dirt about growing up in West Virginia. Her second book slow growth equals strong roots is available today, as well as a handful of more books filling pages with her wisdom to be released soon. She is also the host of the Mary Moran show, which debuted in the iTunes top 200 podcast list. Her work has been featured by CNN Hallmark home and family Southern Living Business Insider, thrive global MSN bustle, and Bright Co.
Now these are incredible accolades and accomplishments on her media kit page. Let’s be honest, but Mary is the friend, coach and dream sister that finds you in the back of the room to chat when you don’t know anyone else at the party. Her home is cozy and filled with love. And she’s the friend that keeps the table rolling with laughter and the kind of questions that make you think and feel really safe while you’re sharing vulnerable and impactful conversations.
Today we’ll be diving into releasing expectations, cutting the threads that make us feel worthy only when we’re doing more business pivots, crushing limiting beliefs, and knocking the walls around us that we built brick by brick to keep us safe. When we’re really creating permission to knock down those walls that keep us small. I’m honored and privileged to introduce you to my mentor, friend and favorite encourager, Mary Marantz.
Welcome to Quianna Marie Weekly, a podcast for creatives who love to celebrate wins big or small by dancing in the kitchen photographers who are excited to serve their clients and friends who are ready to chase really, really big dreams. You can find all of the resources mentioned in this episode at Kiana murray.com/podcast. Join me as I share weekly motivation, chat about growing pains, finding genuine connections and celebrating your wins through the lens of a photographer at heart. Come join me for a dance party. Ready? Loves though. Good morning, Mary. Thank you. Thank you so much for the honor for having this conversation today.
Oh my gosh, Kiana. i You’re one of my like, favorite people on the planet. So I could not be more honored and thrilled to be here. Thank you so much for having me.
Yes, well, I believe you are the perfect person to have these deep conversations that actually feel really light hearted. And I mean, I just been in your presence. Mary, I, I always feel like this like word vomit comes out where I want to tell you my life story. And you can easily relate to so many things. So thank you. Thank you for your time today.
Oh my gosh, I feel like that is one of the best compliments ever deep and lighthearted at the same time is like my MO so I’m here for it. I love that I was actually just talking to somebody like two days ago about how one of my welcome emails says we’ll either be like having like these deep, you know, heart conversations where you look like, into my soul living behind my eyes, or we’ll do 80s dance moves. It’ll be one of the two. There is no in between. Often at the same time, actually.
Yes, no. And this is why I kind of had to like break the ice with that conversation for someone that may not have the honor of knowing you yet. Like this is a conversation you want to stick around for because we’re going to share the really, really meaningful conversations and then all of a sudden wrote like, we’re gonna get real deep.
Yes, do not be alarmed. Do not be alarmed merge quickly. Yeah, yes.
So okay, so one thing that a lot of my friends and listeners of the podcast, we all can relate to being that girl, right? The one that you describe I’ve seen in your stuff before, like, being the girl that is the most put together. The one that is the host she’s actually hosting events and holidays or maybe she’s arriving early to events and conferences and arriving with a plate of food and offering to help and she’s just the one that is the mother of the group with or without children of her own. She looks like she has it all together. She even has a bow tied in her hair. But inside she’s unraveling and she’s actually drowning with all of this comparison, and a lot of this stuff that she’s putting this pressure on herself, right? But so before we get into like complete introductions and how you and I are so different. And all the education that we’re going to be sharing, can we really dive into how so many of us are actually more alike than different?
Yeah, I love this question so much, because in slow growth, I’ll give you a little fun insider tip, or backstory, that’s not super common knowledge. Actually, if you look at the actual manuscript of slow growth, if you read the actual book, it will still refer to this woman that we’re talking about. As the most put together woman in the room, she walks in without a hair out of place with an A plus plus average at every single thing she does. Now, because she wants to make anybody else feel small. But because she thinks this is the bare minimum standard, she has to hit just to be invited to mesh most dreams and to be welcome at most tables.
That is how I describe this avatar in my head when I’m when I think of people who represent this, and I am one of them when I think about myself, but when we started to market this book, we realized that the problem was this woman was so relentlessly hard on herself, she would never think of herself as the most put together woman in the room. And that was the whole point.
Actually, I was like, that’s the whole point, like using that’s like your C minus average, just to show up, whereas everybody else in the room is looking at you like, Whoa, how does she always have it so together, but we actually made a very quick pivot in the marketing to start calling her the different yet somehow all the same versions of the woman always performing because even if you wouldn’t call yourself the most put together woman in the room, you know what it feels like to always be on your toes to feel like you can’t let anything including the ACT drop, because people will reject you. You won’t be welcome anymore if you’re not always delivering that performance. And so the woman you actually described have the you know, this sort of like different side of the prism of all the different yet the same woman always performing I like to call her the one who always comes through, right?
She’s the one who always says yes, she’s the one who always somehow delivers. You know, the people love to say to her, Oh, you’ll do it. You always do you always do great. And what they don’t realize what she wishes people would realize is that this expectation of her how it burns into her ears and down her throat, because the questions hiding there in plain sight are Yeah, but what if I don’t? What if I don’t come through this time? What if I can’t deliver? If I do drop the ball? What if I don’t have the perfect cupcakes and bow in my hair? Taking care of everybody else? Like Will you still love me? And we have all got these different scripts that are just really different versions of this is who I have to be in order to be loved?
Yeah, yeah. Oh, my gosh, well, and I feel like that is exactly what you needed to do to kind of redefine that, right? Especially, or I should say, like, redefine that description of ourselves, for many of us that feel that way. Because you’re right, we would never even identify us as the most put together girl really like because there’s 27 Other things that are on our mind that we’re not tying with a bowl and presenting, feeling like we’re inadequate, or we’re not enough.
Yeah, I love that. Actually, I did an Instagram live a couple days ago with author and therapist Jason Van ruler, he just released a book called get past your past super amazing book, everybody should check out especially if you have a hard story in your past. And kind of spontaneously we were talking about, you know, something similar to this. And he said this sentence I can’t stop thinking about he said, Show me a person who’s walked through trauma is the word that he used, we would call that a muddy store.
You’re just something hard in your past. And he said, I will bet on them every single time the grid, the tenacity, the, you know, spirits that can’t be broken the ability to push past their circumstances that I would bet on them every time. But here’s the thing, Mary, they wouldn’t, they wouldn’t bet on themselves. And I just sort of like that punched me in the gut.
Because that’s so true. of so many people I know who fit this description, we’re talking about the woman always performing. We only see where we’re failing. And everybody else sees all the things we do so well, that seemed to come so easy and so natural, but we only see where we’ve dropped the ball, where we feel like we’re not doing enough, where we feel like we can’t keep up. And you know, in a way that relentlessly hard on ourselves is how we’ve reached this level of success. But the thing we have to realize today in this episode and let go of forevermore is that it is not sustainable. We will never reach the actual levels we’re being called to if our Mo is to only be so hard on ourselves, that we only see where we’re failing.
Yes, well, what advice would you give to someone that is feeling this pressure? And I say that because we’re literally holding these backpacks, we could put these backpacks down with all this stress and all this perfectionism, but what advice would you give to someone? And especially this Okay, so I have like four questions on this one question. But, like the Thought Bubble is a lot of us are small business owners, creatives and entrepreneurs. And so we are actually carrying that extra level of stress and perfection. hurts feelings with our personal brands.
Right? So it’s almost like a double whammy because not only are we running our households and trying to stay above water just in our daily lives, but then we’re also adding this entirely new element of business. So what So what advice would you give to someone that feels like they just can’t keep up? And you know, what is that breath of fresh air? What does that look like for you?
Oh, wow, that’s awesome. Yeah, you’re right. That could be like four questions, and I have so many thoughts. Let’s break that apart a little bit. The first thing that I like comes to mind for me when you were describing that is like, social media in particular will tell you all the different standards of what it looks like to be perfect in each of these areas of your life.
Right? Perfect with your money perfect with your outfits, perfect with your makeup, oh my gosh, the opinions on the makeup on social media. What in the world? To quinoa or not Keane was with your what you eat. I mean, it’s like there’s an ever ending supply of how to be doing it wrong circa. This is a what worked yesterday. And now we’re doing something different. You know what your house should look like what your business should look like, what your email lists should look like, what your team should look like, what your portfolio should look like, like there, when you add in the element of you are an entrepreneur and you are a creative entrepreneur. And now there’s this very blurred, pretty much non existent line where your business ends, and you begin in terms of what you’re presenting to the world, because you want to have connection, and you want to be relatable, and you want to show all the aspects that make up your buckets.
All the advice people have. It is it is very easy to walk into every day, convinced that everybody else is somehow doing it perfectly in not just one of those areas. But all of these areas, right? I call this the ABCs The checklist of other people’s success where your brain does this very tricky sleight of hand, it sees that person doing a really well, let’s say they’re very stylish. That person doing be very well they have an account where they redecorate their home every other day.
That’s what the whole account was about. And that person didn’t see really well. Like they’re killing it with their email list and your brain goes Cool, cool, cool. Got it. Right. It’s like Jake Peralta on Brooklyn nine nine cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo cool. Got it, I must do a BNC. Right where that person today that person to be that person did see your brain goes. So successful people do all three. And it does not stop there. It adds all the way till you get to like z back around again, like Double Z. And it just never it’s like this, you know, monster where you cut the head off and three more grown its place. It’s a constant moving target. So I just feel like that answer to start with, I need to just like pause and let that soak in of like, all of that is happening. And then you add in the fact none of its real.
That perfect living room, they all the clutter was shoved off to the side like that perfect makeup is a filter, you know, or whatever the case may be like those clothes that are super stylish, 1310 outfits to wear this week, they’re getting returned after that real like they’re not in that person’s closet. And so I just feel like we have to we know this. We’ve all heard this to the point. It’s like cliche, and it starts to lose its meaning. But nothing is real on social media.
Even even good hearted, well intentioned people. We’re not sharing everything and we shouldn’t be our lives were not be made, you know, meant to be played out in public that way. But that’s my first answer is I want to take a moment. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on that. Like we’re holding ourselves to sing or nobody is doing. Because maybe you think they’re only doing one of them. But in reality, maybe they’re doing zero of them perfectly every day.
Ya know, I feel like that’s really relatable. And the first thing that comes to my mind, too, is is actually thinking about our family. It’s right, like taking it back to our tribes taking back to our things. And I just think about like a holiday experience, right? Like, I love visuals, and I love stories. So I hope not to get too off on a tangent. But we have holidays, right? It’s like, you have one Auntie that brings, you know, Thanksgivings coming up, right?
So you have one Auntie that brings her famous her famous, you know, green bean casserole, right? And then you know, there are only two women that are qualified to do the turkey situation. And there’s an in my family, there’s actually a hierarchy of the men that cut the turkey, right? If one’s gone for any reason, he’s at another in law’s house like, okay, then the next one’s in line to do it, right. Only certain people can be trusted to do certain things, because that’s what innately comes natural to them, or that’s what they enjoy doing. When you have a tribe of a family, you have all of that stuff going on around you, right?
You feel like everyone has called to to be the superstar one thing. I love that you mentioned that when you see this stuff on Instagram or on social media and all these different buckets and someone’s excelling at one thing. Like give yourself a break sister like that’s just one thing. I’m just so happy that you created that visual for us and that real gentle but real reminder that we don’t have to do at all like we we don’t we have to rely on others and ask for help.
Yeah, yeah. And here’s the flip side of my answer. So we start with Yes, it’s real. Oh, nobody’s doing this. And then the second part of this, and this is going to be about a word for a lot of people listening. It’s, it’s something I was preaching to myself this morning, in fact, and that is, in this really twisted, we have it backwards logic. This woman always performing whichever version of her you are, we’ll talk more about that later.
She has it in her head, that if she is perfect, it will somehow equate to belonging. If she is perfect, it will somehow keep her safe from criticism or rejection or not being invited. Whatever the case may be, but we start to think perfection is the way to belonging when in reality, perfection is a stiff arm. It is a shiny, stiff arm, where we hold people at bay because we don’t want to be seen up close where people can actually see our flaws. It is this belief that perfection is the penance we have to pay to take up space in the room. And I in slow growth right this comparison to buttercream frosting, I say we layer on more like a butter fried butter cream frosting, don’t we we you know more or more or more we have to exercise harder than you we have to use our bag of kale faster than you we have to have prettier handwriting the new whatever the case is.
The reality is that much like butter cream or even take it further than that to an extra layer of fondant, fondant however we say that whatever, on top of this cake, most people I know some some exceptions to this rule. But most people are not actually super fond of fondant, or even super, super layered on buttercream icing or there has to be a good ratio to the actual cake because otherwise, it’s far too sweet to be real. It’s far too sweet to be real. We start layering on the stuff layering on the stuff. And what we actually want everybody else around you looking at you wants to get to is that crumbly center that feels like it’s falling apart and you feel like the buttercream is holding it together. But the center this crumbly center is where it starts to feel like that’s the real stuff.
That’s the stuff I actually want to know. And those of us who struggle with perfection, I’m raising my hand first over here, when other people give a message like that, we actually dig our heels in. And we say the lesson I’m taking now when somebody says like, oh, it actually makes me feel better that you XYZ, we don’t go oh, cool pressures off, I can be more relatable, I can have more vulnerability, I can have more claws. We go, what do I do? So next time, that doesn’t show, right. And what I’m saying to you is it’s going to be a tension and it’s going to be a process.
But as soon as like I think it begins with this work of letting go of the belief perfection will draw people closer to you. Because it will never, nobody’s ever gonna go. You know, I want to hang out with that perfect girl who never misses a beat that one who doesn’t have any problems, any flaws, any insecurities, that one who’s, you know, just her life is totally perfect like that would feel super great to hang out with. And it’s a real delicate balance. Because I’m not saying you have to like make up stuff like that seen from Mean Girls, or they’re all just going around saying things they hate about themselves. But it is this idea that if you want real relationships, if you want real connections, if you want real safety, that doesn’t happen imperfect, it happens in that place of vulnerability, and honesty, when we take off the layers and we say hey, you know, this is the center of me that I’m just barely holding together. Can we talk about it?
Yes, that’s so beautifully said and so relatable on so many different layers, literally layers, but on different levels, right. I feel like we experience these these things throughout our season. Right? So whether that’s in like an annual season that we are experiencing these ebbs and flow of the holidays and expectations, but then also just our life’s journey, right, like taking it from the beginning, where once you feel like okay, I’ve kind of mastered this, then oh, wow, this next opportunity comes or this next milestone.
One thing, Mary, that I admire you among the many, many things is that you pride yourself on building these strong roots, literally slow growth, strong roots like your book, but a recent quote that you have shared and I know you’ve shared this many, many times sprinkled all over social media and even in some of your speaking engagements. But the quote is, when did we decide that overnight is the height and hallmark of success? I don’t know about you, but I never want the most interesting thing about me to be how little time I’ve spent at this work. So can we please dive into this because I am all about like getting my hands dirty, slow growth building really strong foundations. But when you share that I literally slowed my scroll and I had to like take a moment because this is just so relatable. So let’s chat more about this.
Yeah, man. I’ll tell you when that quote came to me it was like my own sort of like get hit by a truck sort of moment. You are punched in the gut or whatever you want to call it, because that that was very much like an epiphany, aha moment of like, Wait, what are we really rewarding when we’re saying like me, and that person just like blew up overnight, like amazing, they have done nothing to hone their craft, they have done nothing to actually like master this thing that they say they want to do with their life, they have done nothing to work the grit muscle or develop critical problem solving skills, like they just got lucky.
Awesome, you know, or whatever the case is. I’m not saying that anybody who has fast success doesn’t work hard, but just this idea of like, why are we worshipping at the altar of when we’re saying somebody is an overnight success, what we’re really saying is, the most remarkable thing about them is how little time they’ve been at this work, how little, you know, time they’ve put into this. And I just don’t, I don’t want that to be my legacy. I never want somebody to say, oh, that’s that photographer who started a month ago.
If we just put it in terms like that, very few people are gonna be like, amazing. Here’s my one wedding day, you know, like, we want to work we want some experience under your belt. Oh, you know, here’s this heart surgeon they started last week? No, I think I’ll take the one who’s been here a few years, actually. But for some reason in business, we really just start to say, they launched a course once and it was a million dollars, what like was it really I don’t know. And, for me, I want if I’m going to do something like we had this conversation a few days ago, with some in person coaching clients, I said, the day I stopped learning photography, the day I stopped trying to hone and get better at this craft, the day I stopped learning, writing and trying to hone in like study and study, the masters of this work will be the day that they put me in the ground.
Because any day before that, I will be learning I will be improving. I will be rolling up my sleeves and saying if I believe this work matters, then it matters enough to let the work work on me. So I don’t know, I get really spicy. When it comes to conversations in an industry where somebody becomes a big name simply because of this fleeting currency of more, how many? How fast? How much if you start to pay attention to the conversations they’re having, and they all boil down to how many how fast? How much I challenge you to really ask yourself is that somebody you want to be following? If that’s what you want leading you? If instead, you want to build a career, and a lifelong body of work, then let yourself be influenced by people who are committed to doing the work themselves?
Yes. Oh, my gosh, I love this. And I feel once again, this is why you’re perfect for this conversation is we can all relate to this, right? I mean, I’m bombarded every day with every other scroll. Oh, I just made $50,000 This month, I just made $100,000 Since June, okay. Right? And this is fantastic. Like you start adding those numbers, like you said, how much? How many? How many, how much more, all of that really starts adding so much pressure to this ticking time bomb where you’re thinking, Gosh, I’ve put the work in I’ve tried this, I’ve tried this, I’ve you know, I’ve done so much stuff for free, right? Like, that’s what that’s one thing that most especially a lot of photographers that are listening, right? Oh, we’ll do it for exposure, oh, we’ll do this for some type of trade.
At a certain point, it just, it just makes you feel like giving up. But I love how you’re actually giving us that grace, where it’s like, no, actually, you have so much more to offer. Because you tried things that didn’t work out. Right? You tried things, you got yourself dirty, you skinned your knees, you may have wasted money on some coaches and mentors in the past that you really didn’t waste money, because now you have a new, like business bestie, right. Like all these things that you start adding up thinking, Gosh, every choice, every decision that I’ve ever made, has made me who I am. And I’m proud of that.
That’s right. Yeah, yeah, that’s a that’s a I think that’s a really important conversation for us to have is, but in my opinion, the most successful entrepreneurs, the most successful people who really set out to do anything, are the ones who do not let failure be fatal, who do not see failure as sort of the last word. And they reframe that really quickly of it was just a lesson. You know, and that’s one of those things that we also say a bunch and it starts to lose its meaning we go yeah, whatever. But it’s still you know, it doesn’t feel great when you’re failing. But the truth of the matter is, that all becomes very important information. And nothing is wasted.
We get to carry all of it with us forward. You know, even if we switch industries I’ve switched from lawyer to photographer to course creator to now author and podcaster. And all of it came with me there was no we’re starting back at the starting line. And some of the lessons I learned from people we hired in our photography business. I now very much daily thing about when I’m hiring for my team now, because we learned those lessons. You know, Jon Acuff talks about the Nebraska years don’t rush the Nebraska years like, make your mistakes when you’re speaking to rooms of 30 In Nebraska at like a Hilton in. So you get that done there versus when you’re in front of like a stadium speaking to 30,000.
So that’s what I love about taking your time with this process is you’re not in this rush, there’s not this sudden flash in the pan explosion, all eyes are on you. And you don’t have the character, the fortitude, the integrity, the steel rod running through your backbone to be able to withstand that kind of scrutiny and that kind of attention. Justin, and I have never had that overnight flash in the pan explosion. Whoa, where did they come from? We were a steady, faithful growth, which meant when we got to the top of the photography industry, nobody was surprised by that. Pay our dues. We had earned respect, we had the body of work to show for it, we had the experience to speak from.
That is the vision that I take with me into being an author, I released two of the five books that I signed with my first book deal, but I hope to write 50 bucks if I’m around long enough, or whatever the case is, I want to have a life long career as an author.
I hope every book is better than the one before. And so I just think we get into a rush. And I think here’s the biggest thing I know about entrepreneurs Quianna, is if I snap my fingers, and I say Cool, cool, cool, I’m actually a genie in a bottle. Tomorrow morning, you’ll wake up and every dream you have for your business will come true. You don’t have to do a thing. You’ll wake up and you’ll be there. You actually wouldn’t want it.
Entrepreneurs are people who are wired to want to build it with our own two hands. And so what are we in such a rush for? Right, like good things take time to build them. So real things take time to build. So let’s just slow down a little. And enjoy the process. Yes.
Oh, my goodness, I love this so much. And I love how you you quickly kind of just kind of popped in all the different hats and titles that you have created for yourself, really. And I would love to ask you because I do feel like a lot of us are in a season of pivots, right? Where we’re adding education to our business, we are maybe just starting to fill out our two weeks notice to quit our full time jobs and bet on ourselves. Right?
So what advice would you give to someone who wakes up one morning literally tomorrow and decides, whoa, this dream that I’ve been dreaming for this goalpost is not the dream anymore? And so what advice would you give to someone that feels like, gosh, you know, like you said before, like you know, every little every little accomplishment, every experience strung together has made you who you are. But But I know, our brains and our subconscious just want to just knock us down and say, gosh, we just wasted so much time. So what advice would you give to someone that is navigating? Whoa, things are changing. And I’m embracing it. But I’m also really scared that this dream that I’ve been running towards for so long is just not bad anymore.
Yeah, man, I love this question so much. Because the first thing I’m gonna say right now to that listener, is that everybody has those thoughts zip right through their minds, like me, and why can’t I just figure this out from the beginning and con directly? You know, like Chutes and Ladders, by bypass all of those just go to the level where you went? I don’t know if that’s how Chutes and Ladders works. But it’s in my head it is. And so everybody gets that feeling. You know, I should have done this sooner. I’ve wasted this time.
Why do I keep taking that? Like why do I Dixie Chicks style take the long way around every single time. And I actually wrote a post not too long ago, that basically said for some of us, it just takes a little bit longer. For the life of us, we can’t seem to understand why other people it’s just so easy for them. They execute they implement they achieve. And meanwhile, we feel like we’re pushing this boulder up the mountain where every time we get to the top where we’re almost ready to clear that threshold to land on the plateau where we can rest and take in this mountaintop moment.
We have worked for it for years, we blink. And just like that, we lose our grip and we lose our way and the boulder rolls all the way back down the mountain. Because for just a second we get this feeling of like, what if I succeed? And that’s like, that sounds like Mary, come on. Now I have all the fears I have. That’s not one of them. But the truth of it is, if I don’t call it a fear of success, but I call it a fear of a lot of eyes suddenly on it a fear of criticism of fear of scrutiny, a fear of what if I let people down? What if I don’t actually know how to do this, then suddenly it’s like okay, maybe I do have a fear of success after all.
All of us deal with that all of us deal with this feeling of especially I think those of us who had a hard story, because on a certain level we lack of self trust, we lack of self trust that if we get to that top, we will be the ones to hold it in our hands. Well, we will be the ones to steward it well to be trusted with it. Well, we’ve seen a lifetime of people get their opportunity only to mess it up because they didn’t handle it well. And for some of us there can be this lie that takes root that more will actually be our downfall. That more will actually be our downfall.
So all that to say whichever path it actually takes all of us have different versions of that thought that runs through our mind. I renew what I said earlier about nothing is wasted. And we carry all of it with us, you know, we bring that experience with us. And that, when we’re looking at, I think in my heart of hearts, when we’re at the end of our lives looking back on it, we will see these breadcrumbs that were always leading us here. But they couldn’t have worked or worked as well.
Without that previous experience, let me give you just a little random example of that when I was little, I remember being like, in third grade, and we were in a circle, and the teachers going around having all of us read aloud, and she got to me and I read aloud and she said, wow, Mary is really, really good at reading aloud. And I can remember specifically thinking that’s the worst gift ever, like who wants that? Like, I’d rather be the pretty one, the popular one, the athletic one, whatever. No, Mary reads aloud really? Like, what’s what’s happening.
Then when I was in college, a friend got married, and she asked me to do the reading. And I did the reading. And every single guest came up and said, that’s the best reading at a wedding. we’ve ever heard this, as long before I was a wedding photographer, this was in my undergrad. And I thought again, to myself, like, not my dress, not that I look good, like no, just just how I sound when I read Great, I’ll be a professional wedding reader, you know, what will I do with that? And then fast forward to the life I have now where I’m a podcaster. And I speak from the stage and I read my audiobooks. And it’s like, Oh, that makes sense now, but I don’t know that these things would have happened if I hadn’t gotten a little bit of that early confidence from random places like that. So nothing is wasted.
Oh my gosh, well, speaking of all of our different strengths, right, and kind of tapping into that comparison game again, and feeling like we’re inadequate in multiple different things. I would love for you to share a quick little plug here about your quiz. Like I want to hear about all these different archetypes and ways that we can really truly step into our genius, and and feel empowered with some of our natural born gifts. Like let’s chat more about that. Yeah, well,
for those of you who are listening, and maybe this is your first introduction to me, super, super quick backstory. Like I mentioned a second ago, I’ve released two books so far of the five and I like to call them kind of the fraternal twin sister books, the book in books, they are meant to be read together. And so dirt is my first book, and it is a memoir about growing up here in the single wide trailer in West Virginia. Justin actually took that photo the first time I brought him home, and eventually ended up at Yale for law school, which is a really expensive way to become a wedding photographer, by the way.
Don’t you know, I’d say I don’t recommend that path, but nothing is wasted, right, nothing is wasted. And then the second book is slow growth equals strong roots, finding grace, freedom and purpose in an overachieving world and they’re really just two halves of one big story. Can I make peace with my past in dirt? And okay, great, I did that. But it’s no good if my present is still prisoner to my past because I’m trying to achieve my way into belonging and worth and feeling loved and identity and safety really like the girl in the red cape running from the Big Bad Wolf of her story.
When I was writing slow growth, I started describing these ways I’ve tried to achieve my way into worth and belonging and I was like using these very visceral descriptions of I’m on a tight rope I’m you know, I’m up and I’m down. I’m only my life is only as good or bad as the latest good thing that’s happened to me, waiting for the next upswing of a high to catch me.
The next you know, line I can walk bigger and bigger, dancing on the ledge of every fear perilously close to breakthrough. I talked about hiding in plain sight like the masquerade or I talked about waiting until I’m this perfect version of me on an illusion eliminated mountaintop in the distance, like the illusion is in the distance and so on.
When we released the book, we actually realized that these are the different yet somehow all the same versions of the woman always performing the performer always on her toes. The tightrope walker, the masquerade, or The Contortionist who twists herself up into tiny tethered knots, because to contort is easier than to be criticized, and that illusionist waiting on perfect. And we put together a quiz, it takes like, two minutes, maybe five minutes, if you really think about the questions, and there it’s a really fun quiz. But the results, it’s kind of like what we were saying earlier, we’re light hearted in the quiz, we’re deep in the results.
Those results, I’m going to tell you where you’re getting in your own way. I’m going to tell you where you’re getting stuck, I’m going to tell you where you’re getting in your own head. And what’s kind of keeping you from really truly fulfilling your purpose, you know, what your strengths are, because we all have them where you get stuck and how we move forward with purpose. And so you can actually take that at achiever quiz.com. Maybe marines.com/quiz will also get you there. It takes just a couple minutes, and then come over on Instagram and tag. Both of us, tag us on Instagram and let us know which type you got. Because I want to know and can I think you should take it to if you haven’t yet.
Yeah, I need to Oh my gosh. Well, that was my question as you’re now fully established and thrive. maybe in this podcasting, you write your have your Mary Moran shell as a podcaster. And as you’re continuing to just pump out these just incredible books that are speaking to our souls, what version of Mary is right now? Like, what are you feeling right now? I would love to know.
Yeah, you know, I think this this man, we’re gonna go down some side roads. I saw this I saw this graphic this morning that I think is very pertinent to our conversation is from Adam Grant, who is about to release his new book hidden potential. And he had like a carousel post with several different graphics. But one in particular, I took a screenshot of, because it was, you know, the the line of success, and it was like what you see today, and it looked like it was like a downward slope. Then it was like zoomed out, like how far you’ve actually come. All of us have this just like bias when we’re looking at our own trajectory, your own journey, or what have you. And so book writing is this very whiplash II experience where you are all on, you’re everywhere you’re on every podcast, you’re on every show, you’re on social media, constantly, whatever, to launch the book.
Then, you know, when you go to write the next book, it’s like scuba diving, yeah, like 30,000 feet deep. And so it can be this very on very off experience, and your brain can get very addicted to the activity of launching, if you’re not careful, you can start to equate your worth to like how much activity and so I’ve really like, you know, two books now working on the third, I’ve started to make some peace with a rhythm of like, I’m in a writing season. I’m going to go away into my writer’s cave, and there’s not going to be a ton of production that people are seeing right now, there’s a ton of production happening, because I’m writing a book, which is like birthing a book into the world, but they’re not gonna see me as much on social media, they’re not gonna see me as much.
Doing a ton of interviews are things like that. And so I think that’s it, I am in the version of myself, who has said, okay, you know, slow growth starts off with our inciting incident is at last exhausted, you have tried and failed to find your worth in gold stars and highlight reels, and you run and run and run from yourself only to find yourself back at the beginning, no matter how hard I run. I cannot run me what exists beyond that precipice of after, right, this is a Sharpie mark, through the calendar this before and after, in our lives this before when we’re trying to achieve our way into worth and this after, of everything that remains when you strip away that performance. And so I am living in the after I am living in purpose, I am living and doing the hard work.
I am living in making peace with the fact that that means if you are going to create work that truly changes lives, that truly leaves a legacy that will exist beyond your own life. Distracted work will never be your legacy. Deep Work will. So I will say I’m in my deep work era, to kind of put a Taylor Swift, you know, album on it. We’ll call it deep work. That’s not a real one. But it should be
yes. Oh, yes. Well, and I love that I love that you are sharing and like, kind of giving us insight to this, right? Because do right, there are seasons, and there are different eras. And we have to step into these big roles, backed by every choice, every decision and every experience before. So I’m really excited for your deep work. And I love that you, like I said, like are going through these seasons, and you recognize Whoa, I’ve seen this happen in my own experience, and how do I kind of regulate that? So that’s really beautiful.
Yes, yeah, I think every person listening can relate to that. Because it does start to feel like if you go a week without some big announcements, if you’re not announcing if you’re not launching, if you’re not throwing confetti, you might cease to exist altogether. You might just become like Marty McFly, as parents in a photograph, you know, you start to disappear. I actually write about that. And slow growth as well. I call it a currency of confirmation bias. Everything I look for, I find that says I’m only as good as the latest good thing I’ve done.
Oh my goodness, well, I would love to kind of shift the conversation but it’s all very much blended together like watercolors here, let’s be honest. But I truly admire you marry with you as a human like you as your soul, but also in your body of work, how you very confidently dance with your business and your faith. And I think it’s just it’s just so beautiful to witness because in my opinion, it’s not preachy, it’s not Oh, this is you know, I have believer in my Instagram bio, therefore, this makes me a better person, right?
I feel like you are truly living the Word of our Lord and walking with that gracefully. And I you know, yes, of course and I think a lot of a lot of us entrepreneurs. You know, we get into business because we, most importantly, just want to survive, right? Like we’re adding an extra income for our households. We have a lifestyle that we would like to eat Keep up or reach that next level. But I would love if we could dive into I know, this could be a whole other episode to be honest. But I would love to talk more about these money blocks that many of us have, where we feel like we want to make an impact.
We want to be more generous. Many of us do this in business simply because we want to give more right, like bringing it back to the girl with the perfect hair and her bow. But what advice do you have for someone that really truly is creating money blocks for themselves and not feeling worthy of success?
Yeah, I love this question so much. When I was growing up, I had a very clear message. For my family, generally, my dad in particular, in one way or another, the message basically was saying there are good people, and there are rich people, and the two are very rarely the same. You know, my dad’s a logger in West Virginia. We come from a very long line of coal miners and loggers like literally like eight generations of loggers in western Virginia turned West Virginia.
There has always been a certain pride in the struggle, there has always been a certain if you didn’t work for it, if you didn’t struggle for it, if you don’t have the scars, you can show me for it, you probably don’t deserve it. And these people who had everything handed to them, these people where it all comes easy, these people who wear ties to work and suits to work, and you know, have all the money in the world, they stomp on the little guy, they stomp on the hard work and man, they stomp on the one with the you know, who gets his hands dirty.
That’s, you know, on both sides of your question has been something I’ve really had to grapple with. Because as you can imagine, with a message of, you shouldn’t have it unless you’ve earned it. Something like Grace is really hard to wrap your head around, you know, I’m a child of the 80s. I was raised in Appalachia, I have a strong Enneagram three wing, I’m a four, I’ve come to find. But I have a strong Enneagram three wing and all of those mean, I do not like having anything handed to me. I said that earlier, we like to get our hands dirty, we like to know we built it. And so it’s kind of been a real struggle with like truly experiencing grace.
That’s like been easier. But the harder thing is just always wanting to have the achievements be the results in my own hands. It’s very hard for me to go. Nope, I had nothing to do with that at all. That was all God. I’ve learned I’ve learned to be much better about that. Do you think a humble leader recognizes you can work really hard and God loves for you to partner and we were created to do good work. But a truly humble leader knows that the best things that have happened, all the things that have happened, they weren’t gifts, and that implies a giver.
So that’s you know, the gray side of it. And then you get into the money side of it, which just says a little something along the lines of one of my dad’s favorite saving sayings is, this is the way it is, this is the way it was this is the way it always will be. When you think about you can be a good person or a rich person you have to choose that can get in your way a lot. And what I would always say to people is like listen, the money’s gonna go to somebody. And what I would like to see is more people who have good hearts who truly want to change the world, who truly do want to be generous and give back. Like, money is not evil. Money is not good.
Money is neutral money is a tool. It’s how we use it and the money. What it does is it’s a litmus paper to litmus test that shows us what’s already in our hearts, our good friend and accountant. Lisa always says to us just move the decimal point she said the people who don’t handle $5,000 Well who are selfish and stingy with $5,000 who flitter fit or whatever that word is fritter. Maybe I don’t know all of the hitters away. They’re gonna do that with 50,000. Right?
They’re gonna do that with 500,000. The people who are generous the people who steward well, who have a budget who are conscientious who don’t view the money as theirs, but they’re just taking care of it. They’re going to do that well, at 5000 30,500 1000, you move the decimal point. And so all of this work for me on both sides, Kiana has really been doing what I would call capacity work. And that’s actually a word I learned from my good friend, Dr. Allison Cook, who wrote a book called The best of you. And in it, she said, what’s really happening in these cases is that we is back to that self trust, and we have to expand our capacity.
So I’d seen like a post, I asked her about it on Facebook that said if you have the capacity of a symbol, you will and you get a little bit more you will continue to subconsciously, self sabotage back down until you fit into the symbol. Whether that’s showing up, whether that’s how much margin you have in your finances, whether that’s taking care of your health, whether it’s your calendar, whatever it is, you will continue to put yourself back into the spaces and the containers in which you think and believe you fit. And she said if we want to be trusted with more if we want to get past that place where we keep going You know, blinking and dropping the boulder at the top of the mountain, letting it roll all the way back down. We have to build our capacity, we have to build our self trust.
We do that by every day setting small, but important commitments to ourselves, and then keeping them because day by day, we are showing ourselves there is a grownup in the room who can be trusted with all of this. And that grown up is us. And we if we are people of faith, we’re not putting all of our trust in ourselves. We’re just amping up our ability to steward well, and we’re locking hands with God. And we’re saying, what do you have for me today? The use of my gifts, the use of my story in service to others for your ultimate glory? For the rest of my life? That’s it?
Yes. Oh my gosh, do you make me tear up over here? Because it’s true like this. This is the going deep part. Okay. Welcome to the conversation.
Welcome to the conversation. Yeah.
And no, I love this. And I feel like there really is so much power in knowing that you are backed by this space, right? Like you are backed by this knowing. And I think sometimes when we’re scrolling and we’re being told what to do, sometimes I just have to shut it off. Like, literally the other day, I took a nap. Because I needed it really bad. And I went into a quiet dark room because I had to just silence the voices. And I needed to tap in I need to tap into my intuition. You know, and whatever you call it, right? Faith, God the universe, you know, your spirit, you know, leader, whatever that feels good for you. Like, listen, take that time to listen. And, and I just love how you explain that. Mary, thank you so much.
Yeah, I really love what you just said there because I I feel like social media is a firehose. I feel like every time I open one of those apps, somebody who’s screaming at me, and then it’s a lot of somebody’s as I’m scrolling by, and so I’ve been on my phone, like I have not been on my phone very much like I get in a post I get I post and ghost, what you’re not supposed to do. But I don’t know like my gentle, sensitive introverts. Discernment, high level of empathy. spirits cannot take social media very much these days. And I don’t have a solution for that, but a nap in a dark room. Sounds awesome.
Oh, my goodness. Well, I can’t thank you enough. I have one more question. And then we’ll get into all the connections and how to be your BFF online and in real life. But one question I love to ask every guest is a key tip. Do you have a key tip to share with entrepreneurs and small business owners? I know this whole conversation had a gazillion little gems and golden nuggets. But what key tip would you like to share today?
The thing that’s really coming to me right now is something along the lines of like romanticize your own life, like like have main character energy. So many of us are going to get to the end of our lives. And we’re going to realize we positioned ourselves as extras on the sidelines in the background saying you know, they have extra say watermelon, watermelon watermelon over and over again.
It looks like they’re talking. We’re going to have been just passive casual observers of a lot of other people’s lives unfolding. And we’re going to have missed what’s right in front of us. And circling all the way back to the beginning. None of its real. None of its real, like we’re missing the real visceral hearts beating lungs breathing blood coursing through our veins, marrow in our bones, backbone life that is right in front of us. So that we can scroll mindlessly through other people and just feel bad, you know, they always talked about Comparison is the thief of joy. But the biggest thing that it is, is comparison is the thief of time.
There’s so many blocks of years in my life in our earlier business and photography when we were trying to get going when I just look at them and all I see is one big blur of jealousy and comparison and feeling behind and feeling like that. You know, oh, my heart won’t stop racing that agitated that frenzied, frenetic, frantic feeling. And I have learned talking about intuition that if I’m ever making a decision in my business or my life out of a place of gotta keep up they’re doing it so I have to to frantic frenzied, frenetic and then it’s not for me, you know, in slow growth I write about this scene. When Justin and I were very first starting our business we got to our very first photo conference ever in LA called pic Taj partner con, we did not want to fly directly back home.
We’ve been in fluorescent lights for three days we wanted to process so we rented a car and we drove to eventually to the Grand Canyon. But on our way we stopped off we needed to stretch our legs at Lake Mead, which is a manmade lake feel blue water, and you’re walking down to the water and the sidewalk turns into floating dock and suddenly the water is like alive. It’s like churning and alive on either side of you with all these gray, gulping mouths screaming silently at you for the crumbs that you’re supposed to feed them. It’s a hatchery they’re on site for educational purposes.
But the lesson that it taught us is here all these wild things in captivity, flopping all over are one another, fighting it out for a share of the crumbs, when if they would just turn around to the horizon to the distance behind them, there’s freedom. Anytime in our business, Justin, I start to feel that Lake Mead, fish energy flopping around, you know, trying to take the other person down or whatever, one of us will look at the other and go, like being fish. We will take a breath. And we will take you know that experience and it will say freedom for us, it’s probably the other direction. So that’s, that’s the general roundabout way of my advice to say, this is not real, do not miss your real life. Take a deep breath and do what you are being called to do.
Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much, Mary. That was like, boom, a mic drop moment and great visualization. You totally speak my language when it comes to like sharing stories and pictures, analogies. I just, I love that. So how can we please connect with you? What is the best way to be your bestie? And just be closer to you and all this genius?
Yeah, I would love that I would love to hear from everybody. So I mean, I think there’s next right action is to go take the achiever quiz, I really do believe that because you’re gonna love it, you’re gonna love reading the results. And that’s gonna get you. When you do that, that’ll get you on my email list and everything there. And it will also take you to a results page that can link over to all the other hubs, you can check out the podcast, you can check out the blog, you can check out the different books and all that stuff. And then come tell me in the come tell both of us. Yeah, DMS, you’ll get a graphic to share on a screen. Share that and tagging. Tell me what type you got. Because I find it so fascinating. And it’s like instantly I’m like, Oh, I know so much about you already. In our new friendship, I would love to hear from you. So I’m going in the episode that spoke to you or what your achiever type is at Mary Marantz on Instagram.
Amazing. Thank you so much. I’m so grateful for you. I just I can’t wait to read listen to this episode and take notes. And like pull out little sound bites because there’s just so much wisdom in your story. And I’m just so grateful for you. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining this conversation today. I hope you feel seen and encouraged with a green light to become the main character of your own story together.
Let’s take a deep breath and release the heavy expectations that we place on our shoulders and get back to loving ourselves as much as we love others. Your Mary is out there babe. She’s stepping on stages for conferences.
She can be found exploring the back country roads on road trips. She’s cuddled up on the couch ready to watch Hallmark movies this season. She’s busy winning best Halloween costume contest still with her husband Justin. It’s truly an honor to connect with you today. Be sure to follow up with Mary and check out her podcast the Mary Marantz Show.
This month she’s really seen her writing course to help you share your story and explore her shop for bundles of courses and education helping photographers with posing lighting and getting booked.
This girl is truly on fire and I’m just so so excited that we got to connect today. If this episode made you feel the feels or spark some magic, please share with a friend and post online so we can cheer you on too. I’m so thankful you’re here and look forward to sharing more connection calls coming up next. Keep on dancing baby. I’m literally your biggest fan. Okay, love you. Bye. That’s a wrap on another episode of Quianna Marie Weekly.
Thank you so much for your listenership and support. You can find the resources and show notes for this episode and more at QuiannaMarie.com/podcast. I’d be honored if you’d show your support by leaving a review and rating on your favorite podcast app. Until next time, keep on dancing.
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