Exclusive Interview With "Malissa Penick"
Malissa Penick is an entrepreneur and author who was born in Augsburg, Germany, the daughter of a US military serviceman. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where she attended the University of Alabama in Birmingham and attained a BA in Health Sciences and a Master’s in Business Administration.
Since then, Malissa has been on a journey through life, moving to San Diego then San Francisco Bay Area, getting more qualifications and starting her own business. She is currently in the process of moving back to her hometown of Birmingham, with her son to be the change she wants to see in her community.
Aside from her business interests, Malissa has recently written her debut book, a self-help entitled Alive at 35, which is aimed at helping people to overcome life traumas and negativity that has limited them in their quest for love and happiness.
Besides being an author, you're also a business owner, correct? Please tell us how you manage your time and how your journey as an author started?
Yes, I am a business owner as well. When it comes to managing my time…I’ve gotten made fun of for this, but it works. I have a physical planner as well as an electronic one on my phone. I’m a little old school so I prefer the physical planner full of my sticky notes and highlighted with different color schemes for different categories and level of importance to stick out. I have this alongside my To-Do-List, things that must get done. I stick with it religiously to manage my time well while also making sure I put a few flexible times in there for personal, self-care, self-love things as well.
My journey as an author, well growing up we weren’t allowed to express ourselves. I had a lot of emotions I was dealing with in the environment I was in so I would right it all down in my diary/journal. This is how I expressed myself and got everything out. Once I got older, I made writing a habit and realized that same feeling I got when I was younger I have now and started to enjoy it. I ran across people who would either tell me I have a way with my words, or I should write a book. I was told it enough to actually want to do it…why not. Honestly, I wrote my first book in kindergarten…my book of poems. Granted it was only about 10 pages and unpublished, it set the tone for the path I am on now. With dozens of self-help books currently on the market, what does “Alive At 35” bring to the table that is unique?
Alive at 35: Redefining your self-worth and discovering what love is. After overcoming childhood traumas, direct racism, toxic relationships, being misunderstood due to some tragic things I couldn’t allow myself to discuss. Alive at 35 is the type of book I wish I had while dealing with these things. It helps when people know that they are not the only one going through things, you’re not alone. I’m usually a very private person, however, I am extremely vulnerable in this book I share some of the stories I don’t talk about and not only do I share them, I talk about how I overcame them. If you do the work, it is actually a cheap way to get started with therapy or any other self-help programs you choose to better yourself. I’ve always taken so many self-help things throughout my life, I struggled until now because it is like I knew I was broken but I didn’t know how or why so I just kept moving forward until I figured out who I am. What message(s) do you hope your readers will take away from “Alive At 35”?
Have you reached a point in your life where you want to discard the pain of the past?
Has the time come for you to practice self-love and put yourself first?
You have the power within you to create the life you want!
We all have the power of self-worth within us, no matter who we are or where we came from. That is the first thing that you should know and tell yourself daily. The problem is that our childhoods often define us in so many ways and we are constantly reminded that we aren’t good enough, we have failed, we aren’t worthy, or we battle against a hundred other negative feelings that flood our minds.
You can stop feeling that way and with Alive at 35: An Inside Out Approach to Discovering What Love is and How to Feel Whole While Being Single, you can literally change your life for the better with chapters that look at:
Accepting judgments and learning to live with them
The power of forgiveness
The importance of your physical and mental wellbeing
Choosing to pursue happiness
Doing what you love the most
Developing your self-worth
Facing your fears
And lots more…
What’s the most surprising thing you learned about yourself as a person while you were writing your book?
I cannot do it all myself. Nothing in nature is independent, it is all dependent on something else. I realized I have always tried to do everything on my own, which can be overwhelming and exhausting. It was refreshing reaching out to people I met along the way to help in different ways to bring this project to life. There is so much more to writing a book than I realized and although I actually did the writing process all on my own…I will never try to do it all on my own again. I also learned it is okay to not be a perfectionist in your work. And the most important lesson is my “8 Mile Moment” in being vulnerable and putting it all out there. Because once you accept your flaws, they cannot be used against you. Whew child, so freeing. Who is your favorite self-help author? What is one thing you took away from their book that you still use today?
So many…if I had to narrow it down to one it would definitely be Eckhart Tolle. The most enlightening book I have read at a time I needed it the most is, “The Power of Now”, it shifted a lot of things in my life and redirected me back to this journey. I use so many things from that book to this day…more so than others is: You have to be the watcher behind your thoughts, that is the only way you realized that those thoughts and you as an individual are two different entities, which makes you more aware, more conscious…directed in the right path of life. What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in overcoming life trauma and or negativity in their life?
We all want and need the same things in life. We are ultimately the same, when you look into someone else’s eyes long enough, you start to see yourself. There is always so many people dealing with your same issue, but in that moment, you feel so alone…I go into that in detail throughout the book. Ultimately, stop feeling embarrassed for dealing with things we are all dealing with and put the ego/pride aside and get help. Whether it is a therapist, self-help program, class, or a book like mine. Start somewhere because whatever it is you are dealing with or how you feel in that moment…is temporary. More than likely someone else has it worst but found a way to overcome it all. I personally had to also remove people out of my life and this may be temporarily to work on myself or because they were “Negative Nancy’s”, extremely negative about everything. It is good to hang out with people who are like minded or overcame what you dealing with, or in general just has good energy…great vibes that you want to rub off on yourself. What tips or advice would you give to an aspiring author reading this interview?
We all have a story and we are all capable of telling it. You are not the first person who wants to write, which means someone has achieved exactly what you want to achieve. Find a person who did it better and figure out what they did to get there. Nowadays there are so many resources available to help you throughout this process, that it has become much easier than it has been previously. If you want to write, do it every day and overtime you will have the book you want. Patience, keep moving forward, use available free resources, and work on it daily. Five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?
I want the world to be better because I was here. I had to mature fast at a young age which speed the process of life up for me. Then I got to experience pretty much everything off my bucket list…so I’m good personally. I want this book to be the start of me giving back in as many creative ways as possible. I’m a huge mental health advocate as well as a business owner so finding a way to combine the two is exciting for me. It is always me versus me, so I am always shooting to be a better version of myself 5-10 years from now. I see myself with a few more books under my belt, a few more businesses…doing the modern-day Theresa type thing you know. Sure, I have my goals, but at the end of the day we are all trying to figure it out one day at a time and that is okay. Where can we find you online? Are you on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media?
My social media is the same for every site: My first in last name either…malissapenick or Malissa Penick. Where can your books be purchased?
I have a website: www.aliveatthirtyfive.com
You can purchase it through this site, which is the main site, I keep it updated with all the current information such as the launch and all the links you will be able to purchase it through. As of now you can purchase it through amazon (which has a direct link on the site)…it comes out November 14th Last question, well challenge actually…..If you had to promote “Alive At 35” in a tweet (280 characters), what would you say to persuade someone to buy your book?
Although this book is titled Alive at 35, this is merely where the author was when she discovered how to love herself for who she was. You might be 18 or you might be 80, the point is we all arrive at destinations at different times. What was right for her, may be too soon for you. But the crucial fact is it’s never too late.
Redefine your self-worth and banish the traumas that have held you back from the happiness and contentment you deserve.