Marci Hopkins: “Don’t give up too soon”

Things may not happen right away or on your terms but they will happen as the should and come when the timing is right. — Don’t give up too soon. We have desires and goals and sometimes get frustrated when they don’t come right away. It is in God’s time and he will bring it when you […]

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Things may not happen right away or on your terms but they will happen as the should and come when the timing is right. — Don’t give up too soon. We have desires and goals and sometimes get frustrated when they don’t come right away. It is in God’s time and he will bring it when you are ready, just believe.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Marci Hopkins.

Marci Hopkins is an award-winning TV Personality; host, show creator and executive producer of “Wake Up with Marci” — which airs on CBS owned WLNY-TV, channel 10/55 at 10 am on Saturdays.

“Wake Up” is a platform for spreading hope and empowerment. Each week Marci and her guests share stories and experiences through candid, meaningful, engaging and educational conversations. Marci has been sober for over 5 years, is a mom, a sexual abuse survivor, entrepreneur, and influencer dedicated to giving other’s stories an opportunity to inspire her viewers to find strength, hope and their purpose. Marci inspires you to “Wake Up” and find your passion so you can live your happiest life!

When Marci is not hosting her show, the mother-of-two and devotes much of her time to giving back to her community. She supports the Kumali Organization for orphans in Uganda, Africa, Ambassador of Survivor Corps, helping to match Covid-19 survivors with those that are sick and assisting in finding an immunization, and is on the board of the YWCA, dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, helping women of sexual assault and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Marci has always worked in television, she attended The Art Institute of Houston, graduating with a Bachelor in Music and Video Business. Marci started her career with Fox Cable Group and quickly moved up the ranks. She worked in Operations, On-Air Programming and untimely was named Director of On-Air Promotions for FX Network in Los Angeles. Marci moved to New Jersey 15 years ago with her family and started a new career in front of the camera a few years later. Marci worked as a commercial and Indie Film actor. Once Marci was finding healing and happiness, she harnessed all of her experience and launched Wake Up with Marci.

Marci has been voted Media Mompreneur of the Year, by New Jersey Family Magazine, Social Influencer, by 201 Magazine and Bergen Record. Marci recently received the Women’s Achievement Award from The New Jersey State Federation Women’s Club, and was also honored by the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge at their Whiskers and Tails Dinner and Casino Night.

Marci continues to use all social platforms to help women live their most powerful lives.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I spent my entire career in the entertainment industry. I worked my way up the ladder to become Director of On-Air Promotions for FX Network in LA. Soon after I retired to start a family and life took me to New Jersey. At forty years old, I wanted to get back to what I loved, and that was the entertainment industry. At forty I stepped in front of the camera, and found some success in commercial and indie film acting. I took a step back five years ago to begin my journey of recovery from alcohol. Wake Up With Marci is the product of my recovery and my genuine desire to give back and empower others to live their happiest lives, as that is my story today.

My own healing journey as victim of sexual abuse and coping with alcohol, to an advocate inspired me to share the message of hope and healing to others. I believe in the power of storytelling, and through candid, empowering conversations with my guests on Wake Up, the audience learns new tools for living their best lives every weekend. It started with a social media talk show called Coffee with Marci, giving entrepreneurs and non-profits a voice in the community, but I knew I wanted to do more, so I harnessed all of my television experience and launched Wake Up with Marci. It is a show of inspiration, entertainment and hope. I no longer view myself as a victim and live in such joy. This career path is a result of my desire to share the gift of healing and happiness with others.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

Dragonfly’s have become a symbol for me. When I was going through my recovery and healing journey dragonfly’s began to appear all around me. The dragonfly is associated with light, transformation, and personal growth. I have learned if dragonflies appear often in your life, you have been called to look within and see what areas you could possibly improve on, and what you can shed in order to bring more light and freedom into your life. The dragonfly symbolizes great transformation and personal growth, and invites you to dive into your emotions for fuller understanding of yourself and your personal journey. An incredible experience I had in the beginning of my introspection is, while I sat by my pool four years ago, hundreds of dragonfly’s hovered around me, while one continued to come close with no fear, this was a true sign of God and my path. This is why I have a dragonfly in my logo, representing continued transformation for myself and the invitation and symbol for others to do the same. Living in joy is the true meaning of life and is possible for all of us, I invite you to look for the signs.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I made when first starting out was making mistakes in front of the camera! When I started my first talk show I propped up my iPhone on books, did not do a lot of preparation and was not even sure what my mission was. My first show was a social media talkshow on Facebook Live called Coffee with Marci. I quickly realized my mission and that was to give entrepreneurs and non-profits a voice in the community. The best lesson I learned was, It’s OK to bumble, just move past it and everyone else will too. I quickly found the best equipment and that was my phone, a ring light with a tripod built in, a microphone and good WiFi! I also learned to prepare my thoughts, learn about my guest and then put your notes away and speak from the heart. Being genuine, listening and being authentic is most important to connect to your guest and your audience.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

My guests teach us how to navigate through personal hardships by sharing triumphs and lessons they have learned through their experiences. We are all connected through similar experiences and it’s so important to know we are not alone. With education and successful stories, Wake Up spreads solutions that impact the audience and create change. Each week my guests and I tackle important issues and current trends. Wake Up shines a spotlight on topics that need to remain in the forefront. We can all through our stories, and with the triumphs, healing and education offered by my guests, Wake Up creates a ripple effect of healing and happiness for others. I also continue my inspiration on social media, I myself am completely transparent about my past hardships and now triumphs. I continue with empowerment and education to create a cohesive community with one goal, and that is to help others to live their best lives.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

I have many stories; I love the fact that so many different people are affected positively by the show. I am humbled by the array of viewers who reach out to me because they identify with my story. Men and women of all ages, races and backgrounds find comfort in my willingness to share openly about my hardships and transformation. Recently I had a women reach out to me, she shared that she was inspired to stop drinking because of how much I shared about my experience of finding happiness through my healing journey. She just celebrated one year without alcohol and she is now living her happiest life. She started her wellness journey and now feels better than she ever has, with this transformation she launched a new career as a nutritionist and is now helping others to live their healthiest and happiest life. The greatest gift is hearing these success stories, may we start a chain reaction.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Help to diminish the stigma associated with addiction. It is a disease that affects the brain. No one asks to be an addict and it is not a choice or has anything to do with willpower. It is a mental health issue.

Have better support and facilities available to teens and adults supporting mental health.

The government should have better ways to support mental health and addiction. So many do not seek help or cannot because of the costs involved.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership is influencing and affecting change as a role model.

What I mean by this is, achieving good results as a role model gains trust and admiration. Creating change in my life for the better, breaking bad cycles, moving past my difficulties in life and being transparent has inspired others to do the same.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  • Lean on others!

When I started my show, I thought I needed to do it all on my own. That no one else got it. No one knew my mission or what I was trying to achieve, but if I were told that asking for help and finding like minded people to help me would grow my business even faster, I could have moved forward quicker. Allowed others to teach me. I now have a wonderful team because I released control and let others help me in my mission. Even if you cannot pay for support there are always networking groups that offer support in many areas. We are not experts in every avenue of business, lean on others that can help you in your areas of weakness.

  • You don’t have to be perfect. If you make mistakes do not let it consume you, we all make mistakes and no one is perfect. I.e. the bumbles in front of the camera!
  • You don’t have to have it all planned out before you take action — If we wait to be perfect to move forward you never will.
  • Ask for help — if you do not know how to do something it is ok to ask for help. You do not have to feel stupid or less than, we all have our strengths and weakness. Lean into your strengths and take advantage of others.
  • You get what you pay for — if you are looking to put a website together or branding you will most likely not be happy you go for the cheapest option. You don’t have to break the bank but do your research and fall somewhere in the middle.

Things may not happen right away or on your terms but they will happen as the should and come when the timing is right. — Don’t give up too soon. We have desires and goals and sometimes get frustrated when they don’t come right away. It is in God’s time and he will bring it when you are ready, just believe.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The movement of Hope and healing. There is so much hope even in the darkest of times and we all have the capacity to heal. We do this through sharing our stories and connecting. When you share your story you give someone the gift of letting others know they are not alone and they gain hope through your experience. When you share your hardships and triumphs you are helping someone else to open up and know they too have the capacity to heal. We all have a story, the more we share, the more we connect. This allows us to break barriers of shame and pain. It’s time for us to be open, not to judge, know that we are all affected in some way by similar stories. It’s time to live in our truth encourage healing. We can break the cycles of our past.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” — Dalai Lama.

Ever since I have lived in happiness my life has been full. What we put out vibrationally is what we get back. If you live in gratitude and joy that is what you will get back in life.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

That is an easy one for me, Oprah!! She is a huge influence for me. I too was sexually abused and healed from the pain, she is the model of love and helping others and we both believe in the law of attraction and the power of believing in Source. It would mean the world just to spend a few minutes with her.

@wakeupwithmarci — Instagram

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