Macy McNeely froze. In front of her were 150 volunteers in her charge at North Point Community Church, and McNeely had to give them an inspiring speech. As she began, McNeely started to sweat. Her hands shook. Her voice trembled. She had wanted to fill 15 minutes but instead lasted just five.
“It was just traumatic,” McNeely said. “I walked off and I just was like, ‘I can’t face these people ever again.’”
Here is McNeely now, more than four years later, a budding professional speaker and aspiring personal development evangelist. This weekend, she, along with her dad, Loy Day, a former coach and teacher at Forsyth Central High School who now sells insurance, spoke to a room of 34 people at the Polo Golf and Country Club. The group had paid to attend the daughter-father duo’s first in-person presentation of Clearly Confident, a sales training method based on techniques that Day developed to build up his insurance agency.
Day had always wanted McNeely to learn the method, but she was a reluctant disciple. McNeely embraced her family’s mandate for hard work growing up, and so she competed in competitive cheerleading and tennis at West Forsyth High School. After graduating from the University of Georgia, McNeely went to work for UpStreet, the children’s ministry at North Point Community Church. Eventually, she started a business on the side as a wellness coach to women, helping her clients reorient their thinking about their own body image.
All the while, Day persisted in his attempts to cajole McNeely to learn his sales training method. The first time McNeely brought her eventual husband, Austin, home to meet her family, Day had an audio sales training course playing over the house’s sound system. The first time McNeely brought Austin on a vacation with her family, Day brought a projector and made a sales presentation.
“That’s how passionate he is about sales training,” McNeely said.
Day pleaded with McNeely to take his five-week course, and she relented.
By the third week, it clicked for McNeely.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I see these techniques woven in my whole childhood,’” McNeely said. “‘The way you talk to me, the way you talk to other people. I get it. I get what you’re doing.’”
McNeely immediately implemented the principles in her own life and saw encouraging effects, she said. Her wellness business quadrupled, McNeely said, and her relationship with Austin improved.
“I was able to effectively communicate,” McNeely said. “It doesn’t matter what you say, it matters what people hear. I started to learn the psychology of what people hear and what perks somebody’s attention to make them interested in what you have to say.”
McNeely became an eager convert. It was her now cajoling Day to promote his sales techniques to others. He agreed, and in April of 2018, they began collaborating, refining the methods that Day developed into Clearly Confident. That August, 20 people signed up to take the course over video conference software. They did it again in November; 35 signed up. They had 42 in the course’s next round. This weekend was the first in-person presentation of the course.
McNeely, 26, is pressing ever further into the personal development field. She has created a few of her own mini-brands. She has a journal, called the Daily Deposit, that came out of her own practice of writing down affirmations, a gratitude list and daily tasks. She shared pictures of her journal on Instagram, and several followers (she now has almost 8,500) made overtures for their own copies. McNeely has since sold more than 1,000 of the journals. There is also a version for relationships.
McNeely has also cultivated a seemingly insipid tag line of “Good is Cool.” McNeely calls it her “anthem.” She has emblazoned it on T-shirts, and it was the central message of a motivational talk she gave in February in Roswell.
“I just kind of spoke about two ways to live that life: to pull for other people and to find the true purpose in whatever you do right now,” McNeely said.
And she did it -- in front of 200 people.