Captivate and Convert with Your Soul Aligned Brand with Calandra Martin

About the episode

In this episode of the Mom Owned and Operated podcast, Rita Suzanne and Calandra Martin discuss raising a family, running a business and remembering yourself.

Calandra is an intuitive brand designer helping visionary women create magnetic brands. She takes a unique approach blending energy and strategy to leave a lasting impression!

 You can find Calandra at her website or on Instagram or Facebook

Listen to more interviews by visiting momownedandoperated.com and apply to work with Rita at ritasuzanne.com/apply/

Listen to the episode

Show Notes

SPEAKERS

Rita Suzanne, Calandra Martin

Rita Suzanne  00:01

Welcome to the Mom Owned and Operated Podcast, the podcast about moms and for moms, where we have candid conversations about running a business, raising a family, and remembering ourselves. I’m your host, Rita Suzanne, a single mom of four, digital strategist and provider of no nonsense business strategies and tactics.

Hi, this is Rita Suzanne, and today I have my guest, calandra Martin, with me. Calandra, I’m so excited to chat with you today. Please take a moment and share everything about you. Tell everyone about you, your business, your family.

Calandra Martin: 

Yeah, thanks so much for having me on. My name is Calandra Hard name to pronounce. Easy name to remember because nobody has ever heard it before to pronounce. Easy name to remember because nobody has ever heard it before. I am a mom of soon to be three, homeschool mama, all under seven years old. I’m also an intuitive brand designer and I work with spiritual entrepreneurs and mom entrepreneurs, visionaries, to help them create magnetic businesses and brands, and the way that I do that is through blending energy and strategy so that their impression is not only long lasting but sustainable and aligned with who they are at their core.

Rita Suzanne: 

How did you get started with branding?

Calandra Martin: 

Oh gosh, this is kind of a windy road.

Calandra Martin: 

I started in the online space in my business when my son was born my oldest.

Calandra Martin: 

That was about seven years ago now, which is crazy to think and I jumped around from thing to thing trying to figure out what exactly I was meant to do in the online space. I started out actually in network marketing and I liked that because I was building connections and it was just very community focused connections and it was just very community focused. But what I was finding was that I really liked supporting other women in their businesses and growing their businesses and creating that brand for themselves so that they could position themselves as an authority in the online space. So that very quickly evolved from network marketing to virtual assistant type work. And then I really fell in love with the branding process to virtual assistant type work. And then I really fell in love with the branding process. I fell in love with being able to take somebody’s vision of who they wanted to show up as, what impression they wanted to make, and being able to translate that into graphics, websites and showing up across the board on the online platforms across the board on the online platforms.

Rita Suzanne: 

Yeah, I think that you know, being in branding myself. I think that it’s such a. For me, I think it’s the most important part of having a business, and so I feel like everything that I talked to my clients about everything comes right back around to their brand, and if they don’t know their brands, then I feel like that’s where people struggle the most with.

Calandra Martin: 

Yeah, it’s definitely the foundational pieces that a lot of people, I think, probably skip over because they want to get to the part where they’re making money or they want to get to the part where they’re working with their clients, and maybe it’s just not their zone of genius either. I think a lot of people get stuck in that because they have the vision but they don’t know how to execute or to create that into something that’s translatable. But at the end of the day, it’s the compass that guides you. It’s the thing that allows people to perceive you a certain way.

Rita Suzanne: 

How did you get started with spiritual or intuitive entrepreneurs Like how did you get into that niche?

Calandra Martin: 

Yeah, it’s kind of funny because when I started out in my online business, I was very vanilla, if you will. It was just kind of like the girl that said yes to everything. Like I have very many interests in my personal life. I’m a homeschool mom, but I’m also like a small town girl from Maine, so there’s so many aspects of my personality. I was able to connect with some women that were in spiritual entrepreneurship. I’ve always been very in tune with you know. Energy healing with Reiki, with spirit animals all of those things have been of interest to me just from the way that I was raised animals. All of those things have been of interest to me just from the way that I was raised, and so that was the market that I felt most aligned to tap into, and also that I saw the biggest potential for impact, because a lot of spiritual entrepreneurs undervalue themselves and they discredit the work that they’re doing.

Rita Suzanne: 

Yeah, yeah. So so you just like felt more in tune with those because you were working with them. So that’s how I felt with the health and wellness entrepreneurs when I first started. It was because I was really into that niche. It seems like that’s who I was following and that’s who seemed to hire me, and so it seemed like more and more people were hiring me based on the work that I was doing for those people. So I guess that it just seems to kind of fuel that interest that you have, which is which?

Calandra Martin: 

is yeah, and it’s interesting too. I think what happened for my business, which has been beautiful and I’m so grateful for, is that my referral network has been amazing. So you know, I started working with a woman who I know personally, who was in the spiritual entrepreneur realm as a business coach, and then she had clients that also needed branding and websites and social media, and so it was a pretty natural evolution, not to mention the fact that I had fun with the aesthetics for the spiritual entrepreneurs.

Rita Suzanne: 

Yeah, I mean it’s um. I’ve had a couple of spiritual entrepreneur clients and it is fun because you get to do a little bit um, go a little bit outside of the norm with some of their things. So I used to love doing stuff like that. I don’t do um services anymore like that, but it used to be fun to be creative and things like that. I do have a question about you have you said soon to be three under seven and you’re doing these services? How are you able to juggle all of that at one time? That has to be a lot?

Calandra Martin: 

Yeah, oh, it totally is. And you know, somebody has asked me recently on a podcast how do you balance it all? And I just kind of laughed and said, well, there’s no balance. Mamas know that best that there’s very little balance in our lives. It has been an evolution.

Calandra Martin: 

I think that the most important thing that I focus on is the seasons that I’m in in business and entrepreneurship with motherhood, like, for example, right now I’m preparing to go on maternity leave, so my client roster is a lot smaller. I’m taking on less projects. I am focusing on the bigger projects versus, like one-off custom design. So it’s really just figuring out where we’re at, what my kids need from me most, how I want to feel in the present day, on any given day, and also just really allowing myself to prioritize my schedule based off of that, my availability. And I think a big thing that I’ve had to learn over time is to set business boundaries, because it is so easy as an entrepreneur to just be all involved in it, but to be able to kind of step back and say, Okay, these are the days that I’m working, these are the days that I take calls, I’m not available during this time and really trying to stick to that as best as I can.

Rita Suzanne: 

Would you say that you’ve been able to create your business around your life, or have you done it the other way, where you’ve kind of, you know, structured your life around your business?

Calandra Martin: 

It’s been a bit of both, I would say. In the beginning of my business, life was structured around my business, Because when you’re in that growth period, you kind of have to make sacrifices. You’re working the early hours when you don’t necessarily want to, and there’s seasons of that now in my business as well, depending on what the income goals are, what clients need for support. But for the most part I structure things in my calendar. I have my Google calendar set up with. Here is life, kids, appointments, all of it and then here’s where I can squeeze business into that and I have to adjust what I’m doing in my business based off of that. That’s usually the priority.

Rita Suzanne: 

You adjust the business versus your life? Yeah, for sure, I think that’s the best way to do it. I remember when I started, my sons were four and six and I was definitely revolving my whole entire life around my business for many, many years, until probably I don’t know top 2001,. You know, so seven years then I was still had been revolving my whole, until I stopped design. Really, I had been revolving my life around my business. Um, so I’m glad to see other people who are able to do it the other way around. It’s definitely the way to do it, because, because, do you do project based? Are you more like VIP days? How do you structure your work?

Calandra Martin: 

Yeah, so this is still evolving and, like I said, it changes with the season. So right now my biggest focus is on project based Whether I structure my packages. I have one package that is a 12 week experience. It’s a higher ticket package and so I’m able to take on two or three clients at a time and manage my schedule around that. And then I do have retainer clients as well, which is really helpful for being able to just have that consistent recurring income and to know what’s in my schedule upcoming. Aside from that, I do VIP as well and I kind of promote that like when I have the time.

Rita Suzanne: 

Of course, those used to be my favorite. Yeah, I completely transitioned from project to VIP only and that was the best thing. So how are you able to actually juggle all of the things? I mean, there’s so many things like right now you’re sitting with your baby on your lap and we’re talking, and and all of the things.

Calandra Martin: 

Yeah, yeah, I think that you know it’s just kind of taking the hits as they come and really just being adaptable. For me, I try to prepare as much as I humanly can for what I can expect. For example, the little one I have on my lap right now. She is about to transition out of no naps. Her nap schedule is all over the place, so I’m’m like lucky if I get an hour a day, and so I am very strict about utilizing that time. I’m very intentional about the time that I do get in my business and I also know ahead of time that sometimes I just have to be adaptable. In the moment she was taking a nap five, ten minutes minutes before this podcast. Of course it would have been nice for her to take a nap during the whole time, probably, but that’s not what we’re doing.

Rita Suzanne: 

Exactly, and you know, as moms, we are adaptable and we just have to go with the flow, right? You just have to take it for what it is. Yeah, so if another mom was to come to you and say that she wanted to start her own business, what would you say to her?

Calandra Martin: 

I think there’s so much. I think that the biggest thing is really and this is overplayed but to understand why. Why do you want to start a business? Why are you committed to that? Because if you don’t have a driving force behind it, it’s going to be really hard to be consistent with showing up in the way that you need to be for your business. I see a lot of people with a big vision and they love the idea of it, but they don’t love the nitty gritty or they don’t have the capacity for it. So, understanding why you want to have a business and also what you want that business to look like and feel like in combination with your lifestyle Do you want to be working three hours?

Rita Suzanne: 

a day. Do you want to be working?

Calandra Martin: 

20 hours.

Rita Suzanne: 

Right it’s. It’s really hard to um to know in the beginning. I think that people I think ultimately people feel like they want to start a business to make money or for financial freedom Usually what it is, it’s for financial freedom or time freedom or both. But they don’t realize that that comes but only after a long period of a lot of hustle. And I think that people feel like if they quit their job, that a business is so much easier. But oftentimes what they’ve signed up for is something that you know you’re giving up a job, that you’re working 40 hours a week for something that you’re working 80 hours a week to do. At least in the beginning you’re hustling super, super hard, especially to get things At least for me, I had a lot to prove. I had to prove to everyone that I could do it and that if I couldn’t make any money that I was going to have to go back and get a job like immediately. We couldn’t survive if I wasn’t bringing in money.

Calandra Martin: 

Yeah, I had a very similar experience in the beginning of my business. I mean, I started my business literally simultaneously with my son being born. There was no paid maternity leave. There was none of that. It was okay. In this time of feeding a newborn and figuring that out for the very first time, we’re also going to figure out how to run a business online and had no idea Was that the network marketing, or was that the branding part?

Calandra Martin: 

It was network marketing at the time, but very quickly I realized, if I was going to make the income that I needed and wanted to make, that I was going to need to charge for my own services outside of that, because you have so much more freedom over what you’re charging and how you’re structuring things in that way yeah um, but it definitely wasn’t overnight. Yeah, night like. Okay, now I’m making six figures, great it’s um.

Rita Suzanne: 

It’s interesting, when I first um and I’ve talked about this before when I first started thinking about starting a business and I was doing I’m a big researcher, so I’m looking in all these different avenues like what could I do, what could what could I be, you know, and I read this book called the boot, the bootstrap VA, and it was it’s like a VA book and it’s a huge, huge book. And I read through that and I was like thinking to myself, oh, I could, I could do that for sure. But then I was thinking I could probably do something way more technically advanced than than what you know the things that they were doing. But it just was so motivating to read that book and think, gosh, I could do that, you know, like, and they’re over there making all this money, and so I just remember that book like to this day. I think I read that book 15 years ago.

Calandra Martin: 

Wow, I think I’ve heard of that book. I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard of the title yeah.

Calandra Martin: 

I don’t think she’s around anymore that’s another thing with entrepreneurship and with, you know, moms that are wanting to start a business is. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all of the information, and I find that a lot of people get stuck, and I know I did for years. That’s why my business is not as progressed as it could be. For sure, because I wasted months, years, so much time with shiny object syndrome trying to decide which path or which strategy was going to be the best, instead of really tapping into my own intuition and allowing myself to figure out okay, does this really feel good and aligned for me to be doing, or should I be approaching this in a way that maybe makes more sense? For example, like the hot thing back in 2017, when I started my business, was webinars. I’m not a person who hosts webinars, and I had to learn that the hard way.

Rita Suzanne: 

Well, you know, you have to have an audience for some of these things and I think that if somebody is promoting, you know, doing a webinar or something like that, sometimes, like, yeah, you can get an audience by promoting a webinar, but if you, you know, aren’t promoting enough, or if you aren’t running ads, or if you don’t, you aren’t doing all of the extra things, then it can feel like a waste of time also. But I get you because maybe that strategy wasn’t the right, and just because it’s good for some people doesn’t mean it’s right for you because it’s good for some people doesn’t mean it’s right for you, right, yeah?

Calandra Martin: 

And I think that there’s a lot of information out there. You know, follow the strategy to make six figures overnight or whatever it might be, and that sounds great and flashy, but at the end of the day, going back to who you are, what you do, how you help people, like those are the pieces of your business that are going to. You really need to be able to recite those like it’s your second language before you can start tapping into a strategy that works.

Rita Suzanne: 

Yeah, I think that one of the biggest things that people struggle with the most is messaging, and you know also, like what makes them different, you know their differentiation, and I think that, especially in a lot of cases with moms or women, they’re comparing themselves to other people and they’re looking at this other person’s credentials and they’re saying, oh, my gosh, she’s done X, y, z or she’s, you know, worked with this person, that person, this person, she’s obviously so great, right, and I haven’t done that, or um, so she’s obviously much better than I am.

Rita Suzanne: 

And you know, I think that that can make them feel, um, or question them, question themselves. And so I always tell my clients and I do this for myself, I don’t even look at my competition, I can’t even tell you what my competition offers, what they do, what they look like, I don’t even really know. I just am looking on my own paper and I could probably be going in the wrong direction completely. I don’t even know, right, I’m just focused on myself and uh, but I just, I just keep telling them to do that yeah, I think that, when it comes to comparing yourself to the competition, there’s a place for, maybe, market research.

Calandra Martin: 

Well, yeah, initially, aside from that, it’s just noise that’s going to get you caught up in your head and really deter you from being on your path of positioning yourself as an authority, allowing yourself to be seen as somebody who knows what they’re doing and does it in a very specific way, because that is why people hire you Ultimately when I talk about blending energy and strategy. People hire you for the way that you think something is going to be entirely different from somebody else who’s doing the same thing really different from somebody else who’s doing the same thing Exactly?

Rita Suzanne: 

Yeah, no, I definitely agree.

Rita Suzanne: 

Like you know, market research initially, but don’t just continuously stalk somebody else in your field and say, oh, now, this person’s doing this.

Rita Suzanne: 

I’ve had so many clients come to me, for instance, and say and I’m sure you’ve had this where they’ve looked at a person’s website and they say, oh, my gosh, I want my stuff to look just like this. And I say, well, first of all, that person probably paid $25,000 for their website. Second of all, that brand is completely targeted at her target audience and is not going to, you know. And thirdly, you don’t know if she what kind of money she’s making, if she’s making money at all, you know. So if she’s making money, that doesn’t mean you’re going to make money, you know. So all these things, all these factors, are not going to be the answer for you, and I think that oftentimes clients think that that’s the solution is to emulate or copy somebody else and then they’ll get the same results. And that’s not the case, right? So, really trying to figure out what’s going to make you different and really just sticking to that and stop trying to be like everybody else.

Calandra Martin: 

Yeah, and I think that what’s important to highlight there is you know, if we all were carbon copies of each other and everybody was copying and pasting what everybody else was doing, like what would be the point? We would all be so bored, and, you know, I like to compare it to when you are shopping in the grocery store and you’re going down the bread aisle, for example. There’s hundreds of options, but you’re going to choose something based off of whatever you value most, and so if you understand how to position your business and your brand based on your values and the way that you want your clients to be perceiving you, that’s going to help you be a different, different, differentiate yourself in the market I know it’s such a tongue twister.

Rita Suzanne: 

I always get that word always makes me like I always second guess myself when I’m saying it. Okay, so my last question because I know your little one is she’s getting a little bit frustrated with me. So my last question is I always love to ask moms how they are remembering themselves. Like you know, as moms we often are placing a lot into our families, our businesses, but we are often neglecting ourselves. So what are you doing for yourself?

Calandra Martin: 

This is such a good question. I think right now I am in a season of really ramping that up before I go into newborn life. This is not always the case, but right now I’m making sure that I have an appointment set up for myself at least once a week. That’s you know, maybe chiropractic appointment or a massage or a nail appointment I’m getting my hair done next week or a massage or a nail appointment.

Calandra Martin: 

I’m getting my hair done next week, like just little things that pour into me, yeah, so that when I am in business and when I am in motherhood and I’m hustling and I’m making all the things happen, I still have that time to reset. And I like to do that as well, just kind of on a day-to-day like self-care basis too, like the time that I take to get ready in the morning. That’s my self-care, me time, um, and not feeling like I have to rush that or feel guilty about it.

Rita Suzanne: 

I love it. Yes, I agree, I, um, I think prioritizing yourself is important. I used to say in the beginning of this podcast sometimes even just a shower is a form of self-care. You know, just taking that moment especially when my kids were little, I would you know just being able to take a shower by myself was amazing.

Calandra Martin: 

Oh yeah, taking a shower. For me it’s, like you know, getting my face cleaned off at the end of the night. I do my gua sha like very little, minimal, no cost to things, but it just helps. You have that reset.

Rita Suzanne: 

I love it. Well, tell everyone where they can find you. How can we connect with you?

Calandra Martin: 

Yeah, you can find me in all of the places through my website, calandramartincom. You search my name pretty much anywhere. You’ll find me through that. I’m on Instagram, facebook, pretty much anywhere, but mostly active on Instagram right now and I’ll put a link to everything in the description.

Rita Suzanne: 

And yeah, it was such a pleasure chatting with you and thank you so much for taking a time and meeting with us yeah, of of course.

Calandra Martin: 

Thank you so much for having me, no problem.

Rita Suzanne: 

And there you have it. I want to encourage you to remember that being a mom who runs her own business is not easy. We all struggle, but just keep moving forward. And don’t forget to make time for yourself. As moms we are usually the first thing to go to the bottom of the list. If your business is overwhelming you and you need real solutions, not just some sugar coated suggestions apply to work with me at ritasuzanne.com/apply

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