Shelley Meche’tte: Why it is so critical to ‘Own Your Story’; No shame, no guilt, no embarrassment

Yitzi Weiner
Authority Magazine
Published in
10 min readJan 29, 2020


I’ve said this before and I will always feel strongly about others OWNING their stories. No shame, no guilt, no embarrassment. “Own Your Story”. I don’t care what it is. Stop allowing the negativity of this world to rule who you are or shame the experiences that you had to go through to become the person you currently are. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! It’s time that we accept the bumps and bruises that may have come along with our progress. We all have a story and some of the things in that story, we may not be proud of, but that does not mean that you have to be ashamed of it. Own it. Share it. Love it!

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Shelley Meche’tte. She is the author of 70 Days of Happy: Life is BETTER When You Smile and the founder of the women’s organization, The PowHERful Woman. Shelley speaks LIFE into women, challenging them to take responsibility for the actions (both positive and negative) of the person staring back at them in the mirror, while reminding them of the fact that they are MORE than just their physical appearance. Shelley believes that broken women raise broken girls who become another generation of brokenness. Therefore, she provides the success tools needed for women to walk in confidence and self-assurance, so that they are able to pass those tools to the next generation. As a Purpose Coach, Shelley specializes in decluttering the thoughts of her clients to connect their gifts and talents to their passion, providing a successful Purpose Plan for their lives. She has graced the stage of various platforms, such as Black Women Rock Nationally, Woman II Woman, Hey Girlfriend Luncheon and more. Some of her features have included, Yahoo, Bustle, AskMen, UpJourney, Voyage LA, The Daily Boss and the cover of the online magazine, Glambitious. She has also been seen on The Chundria Show and The Yes! Show. Shelley also has a passion for Theatre, which began in childhood. Some plays have included, HOME by Samm-Art Willimas, and L.O.V.E., Dear Westmont and Heaven Sent I & II with Sam 7 Productions. Shelley has recently taken on the role of Producer with her currently web-series, where she also writes, directs and acts. Shelley Meche’tte is an ordained Minister. She has been married since 2002 and is the mother of two gorgeous Legacies (daughters)!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in a single parent household; me and my mom. It was just us for 10yrs until my brother came along. About 2yrs after his birth, she married. Being the only child for so long, I learned very quickly, how to entertain myself. I loved playing “make-believe”. I loved becoming different characters. I fell in love with acting, because I spent so much time pretending.

I watched my mom struggle to make ends meet as a single mom and it gave me a great appreciation for good work-ethic and integrity; things I still appreciate today.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Although, I am a Certified Life Purpose Coach, Speaker and Author…I have always had a love for entertainment. From the time I was a child…I have always loved being on stage. I love the sound of the crowd. I love watching how a production unfolds from a simple thought, to the final encore.

I remember being around 5 or 6 and I had the lead role in a play. It was so exciting being with all of the “big kids” and being fitted for my costume. I remember loving all of the hustle and bustle of the atmosphere. When play night arrived…not only did I know all of my lines…but I was able to recite everyone else’s lines in the entire play. At the end…the audience roared. I knew at that moment, that I would always be connected to entertainment in some way. I had a taste of it, and never wanted that to end.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

My career in entertainment has kind of come full circle. I knew once I graduated from high school that I wanted to go into acting full time. Unfortunately, that isn’t what happened. I ended up having a child a few years later and started working for Warner Bros. Studios. I decided to place “me” on hold to raise my child. My plan was to always “go back”. I still had the itch for acting. Life happened. I got married, had another child and put myself on hold again. Throughout the years however…I was able to do stage work, which was extremely fulfilling.

My oldest is now an adult and the youngest is almost out of high school. After pushing “me” back for so many years…I am finally positioning myself for Hollywood. Me and my oldest child are the Executive Producers of a web-series. My youngest is our cinematographer. I write on the project and act. The thing that I had to put off for so long, I am now doing. And I must say…it feels great!

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?

When it’s only 2 people running a web-series, you can unintentionally miss a few things. One day we were preparing to shoot a scene. We had everything we needed; actors, props. Everything was set. We were ready to say “action”, when we realized that we had forgotten to cast someone to play the role of the “dad”, who happened to be one of the main characters being filmed that day. We “hired” our 1st AD on the spot and he did the role. The show must go on…right? Lol

In this industry and life itself, you are going to make mistakes. You are going to “miss” things. It’s “ok” to improvise. Everything won’t always go as planned, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t go well.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am most excited about working on my current web-series, which centers around bringing two different communities together, who have a pretty tough history with one another. Other than my speaking, this is where most of my time is spent. I’m finishing up an independent film that I am working on with a friend. And I will also reprise my role in the play L.O.V.E. this October.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Diversity in the entertainment industry is so important because:

  1. It opens the door to more creativity. When diversity is present…creativity flows even more. Creators aren’t stifled; forced to try to just “fit in”. More stories have a chance to be told. Opportunities become more available when we become more diverse.
  2. Everyone wants to see themselves represented…properly. None of us wants to be forced to view negative stereo-types of ourselves. Understanding and providing diversity gives a more in-depth story. The lows…and the highs. The myths and the facts.
  3. When you exclude diversity, you stop growth. As people, we should never stop learning. How can you learn about others, if you never include them? Diversity can put us face to face with some of our own prejudices. Confronting the uncomfortable is hard, but very much necessary.

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

  1. Your dreams are yours. Others won’t always “get it”. When you are passionate about something, sometimes you expect others to be just as passionate. This is not and will not always be the case. You have to push through even when the people you think will understand…don’t.
  2. The journey never looks like you imagined. There have been so many times when I have had the scenario played out in my mind. I did my research. I put in the work. I made sure to be prepared…and still…things did not go as planned. It’s frustrating. It makes you second guess yourself and your talent at times. The journey is still worth it, even when it doesn’t feel like it. It teaches us things that we never would’ve learned or discovered without it.
  3. People you trust may betray you. This is probably the hardest lesson to learn in life. You put your trust in people and sometimes…they burn you. It can truly make you want to cut everyone off. Being stabbed in the back hurts. Being lied on hurts. But it is so comforting to know who you are and stand in truth. This is what gets you through when others try to tear you down.
  4. Flexibility is a MUST. In this industry, things change rapidly. You may have to edit a script, secure an unplanned location, re-cast and many other things. You must remain flexible. Focusing more on the desired goal verses the twists and turns it make take to get to the goal is a much better way to spend your time.
  5. Take the losses gracefully. We all want the wins in life and are totally excited about them. But we have to learn how to gracefully take our losses too. We won’t win them all. How you choose to handle the “L’s” show your character a lot more than the times you win. Decide that you will take the lessons from the losses. Cry, when it hurts. Re-direct and try it again.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Give yourself “life breaks”. Walk away when you need to. Sometimes the day is stressful. Take a break right at that moment. Don’t force your emotions to handle what they are clearly trying to rest from. Give yourself 30mins-1hr of me time daily. This doesn’t have to be extravagant. A simple uninterrupted shower, where you can allow the days’ hardships to fall off can really rejuvenate you.

This industry is busy, but pick a time to turn business off! Even if it has to be at midnight. Allow your mind to re-group. Don’t think about work, answer any emails or respond to any work text. Just take some time to be with YOU/FAMILY.

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. :-)

I’ve said this before and I will always feel strongly about others OWNING their stories. No shame, no guilt, no embarrassment. “Own Your Story”. I don’t care what it is. Stop allowing the negativity of this world to rule who you are or shame the experiences that you had to go through to become the person you currently are. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! It’s time that we accept the bumps and bruises that may have come along with our progress. We all have a story and some of the things in that story, we may not be proud of, but that does not mean that you have to be ashamed of it. Own it. Share it. Love it!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I will always be grateful to my mom for her support. So many people have played a role in my success, but my mother’s support has never wavered. She is always there. She always comes through. She always shows up. I couldn’t be more grateful.

And then there is my immediate family. I can’t say enough about my husband and children. They want to see me win. And that means the world to me.

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

I have a personal quote that I stand by: I am not your competition. I’m your collaborator. This industry is tough. Many hold a “crab mentality”; that in order for them to get ahead, they must step on you. NOT TRUE! We are all very capable of coming together and excelling with one another, when we choose to. So, I live my life by this motto. There is no need for me to compete with anyone; man or woman. I believe that my purpose in life was given before I was born, so what would be my reason for competing? Let’s collaborate and make a few good projects…GREAT projects!

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

I would love to share a breakfast/lunch with Issa Rae. She is such a bright light and epitome of what hard-work can produce. She took her career in her own hands and although I’m sure there were many tough times, she has proven that when you are determined to accomplish your goal(s), no matter the setbacks…it can be done.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Facebook/Instagram/Linkedin: @Shelley Meche’tte

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!



Yitzi Weiner
Authority Magazine

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator