Maleeka T. Hollaway, a native of Atlanta, GA is the founder and CEO of four companies, The OfficialMaleeka Group, LLC (Certified Women-Owned Business), a boutique agency specializing in brand consulting and public relations, 7th & Minter, LLC., a writing services company, Atlanta Notary Pros, LLC., a local notary and signing agent service company, and CityView Social, LLC., a digital marketing and social media agency.
Maleeka is an Internationally Certified Life & Business Success Coach, a candid public speaker, and a 3x Best-Selling author.
Maleeka‘s influence and expertise has been featured in over 25 publications including Forbes, Black Enterprise, Essence and the Huff Post. She has also worked with various companies, universities and non-profit organizations in the areas of brand development, content creation and public relations.
Interview with Maleeka Hollaway
1. What gets you out of bed in the morning i.e., What is your source of motivation?
Two words motivate me and get me out of bed each day: process and progress. I believe that life is a process and each day we get to live, we can choose to make progress in the process of living and becoming or we can choose to stay the same. I’m driven by knowing that I’m taking steps towards my goals and to living a life that I don’t have to escape from. I’m motivated by the idea that I can live life on my own terms and still come out alright.
2. What made you realize you would want to do this ?
I chose to be a business owner, particularly in PR and brand communications, because I believe in the power of storytelling and messaging to connect with others. This industry is one that never sleeps. People think it’s all red carpets and smiles but much of what we do is foundational and occurs behind the scenes. We are building our client’s relationships with the public and with the media even when nobody sees the work. I like the mystery behind what we do but also the reward of getting our clients front and center of their desired audiences.
3. Why should people choose you / your product / service ?
Other PR and marketing agencies help get people established as industry experts. We get our clients established as industry authorities and we do so in record time. We don’t focus on viral campaigns that have short term gains, we focus on the end-game and making sure we position our clients to have relevance past a couple of weeks.
Because we are a small agency, we provide our clients with one-on-one support. Each client has a dedicated account manager and they have access to the team as needed. We have strategic partnerships formed with other complementary companies to ensure that we are a one-stop-shop for those we serve. Once a client comes to us, they don’t have to hassle with looking outside of our agencies to get anything pertaining to their business and brand accomplished.
4. What comes first for you, money or emotions?
If someone had asked me this question about a year ago, I would have said money comes first. But having performed work on my inner-self, I know that emotions are important. In branding, people connect with emotions. During the sales process, people connect with what pulls at their emotions. You can’t really make only without tapping into someones emotions.
On a more personal level, in business, people so business with other people. This means that because we all have emotions, business is always personal. If you get your emotions in check and learn how to be emotionally intelligent when working and running your business, the money will come.
5. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
I am most proud of having a team! Many entrepreneurs and small business owners hold themselves back because they are afraid to delegate and trust someone else to support them in business. I once had that fear, but I’m glad I got over it! Having a team and stepping more into my role as a CEO has changed the way I do business and really, how I live my life. Its rewarding to know that people can do good work and help me to be better. I’m proud of my team for dealing with me too. LOL!
6. How do you handle the pressure?
One moment at a time. Life happens. You can’t fix everything in a day. I handle pressure by being present in the moment and by prioritizing where I want to deposit my energy.
I meditate. I nap. I write. I read. I binge on Netflix. But most importantly, I handle pressure by pushing forward.
7. What advice would you give to someone starting out ?
I would tell someone just starting out in business to slow down. Someone one told me, if you don’t have time to do it right, you must have time to do it again. Take time to perfect what you are doing in business. Don’t just wing it all the time for the sake of a title. Your reputation is built from the moment you open your eyes every day. Consider that. Do things that you are passionate about but also make sure you have a plan to bring in the money. Don’t think you have to be the one to get all the money bags, sometimes the gold is in the money you don’t make. I could write a book on that idea.