Accepting that she was not a victim – empowered Extraordinary Woman of the week, Crystal Washington Martin, to leave the corporate world behind to live her vision. She’s a confident, savvy marketing strategist who helps businesses to have a WOW factor – with measurable results for clients/customers and profits.
Crystal was recently featured in the August edition of Black Enterprise Magazine – the Motivation Section.
Meet Crystal Washington Martin, wife, marketing strategist, mentor, and Extraordinary woman of the week.
Tell my readers about yourself and your business.
I am a Marketing Strategist who helps professionals of all knowledge levels achieve measurable marketing results by leveraging unique strategy with technology. My marketing firm’s website can be viewed at Black Market Exchange and my own site can be viewed at Crystal Washington
How long have you been in business?
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
Divine intervention. I prayed one day, while still in corporate America for purpose. I wanted to take the talent that I was using to make a large company millions of dollars and empower small business owners. After praying, the entire vision of my business and speaking rushed into my mind. I tried to negotiate for a smaller vision, but then I just received silence. After that, it was just a matter of follow through.
What has been a defining moment in your life or an AHA moment?
My aha moment came when I realized that I was not a victim. I realized that I was the co conspirator in any abuse that I have endured as an adult. I realized that no devil, boss or crazy driver ever had the power to do anything “to” me. This totally transformed the way that I live my life. In fact, it enabled me to leave corporate America and start my own business.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been unlearning. Most of what we are taught by well-meaning parents, teachers and college professors is either a form of domestication or theory not applicable in real life. Don’t get me wrong, almost all of these individuals mean well. However, I had to undergo a painful process of self examination to extricate all of the limiting beliefs that I had been imbued with. In fact, I continue to go through that process and likely will for the rest of my life. Bad beliefs will hold up anyone’s progress in business and in their personal life. As I shed these bad beliefs, I find that I am connected to more and more wonderful people, offered more opportunities and experience greater profits.
What has been your greatest reward?
My greatest reward has been flexibility. While owning a business is not for the faint of heart, it does allow me to live life on my own terms. I can work in the wee hours of the night or take a Tuesday off to go to the movies with my husband who is also a business owner. I also have the ability to raise capital by offering deals or specials. This is not something that I could have done in corporate America.
When things are not going your way – what keeps you confident?
I never consider things not going my way. That implies that something is wrong or bad. Life is life. I tell people that in order to drive from Texas to California via the shortest route, you will go through desert. The desert is not bad or some type of punishment. It is simply the quickest way to get there. I look at life the same way. I don’t have to judge everything that is going on, I only need to stay focused on my end destination and know that I am traveling the best route.
Who or what has had the strongest positive influence in your life?
That is a really difficult question. There have been so many people. However, if I had to chose just one, I would say my husband. He has always encouraged me in everything that I have ever wanted to do. He started his own business three years ago. A few months later, I started mine. He gives me the gift of acceptance. He doesn’t blink an eye if I want to go to a book reading, study with Buddhist monks or completely change my diet to cut out all meat- which I did, by the way. No matter what, he encourages me.
How do you give back to your community?
I’m a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Houston and sit on the board of a few organizations that are doing wonderful things for the community including Inprint and Rice University’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. I also speak at student events in order to empower them to become business owners.
What do you do on a regular basis for a healthy/strong mind, body and spirit connections.
I meditate, pray, see a healer/therapist monthly and always explore ways to stay grounded in my spirit. I often visit the Chung Tai Zen Center to learn from Buddhist monks or visit the Ruah Center to meditate with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word. Most of all, I allow my spirit free expression.
From your experience – share five things that a female entrepreneur needs to do to have a successful business?
- Strong network- access and opportunities are all in who you know and the quality of relationships you cultivate.
- Solid brand- know who you are, what you offer and who you are offering it to at all times.
- Open mind- things will change and opportunities may come from the least expected sources. Be open to grow and change in order to remain relevant.
- Knowledge of worth- no one will value you more than you value yourself. As women, it is important that we not sell ourselves short financially.
- A library card/ Internet access- A strong business owner is always studying and always learning.
Share with us a little know fact about you.
I hunger for new experiences the same way that others desire food. I literally have travel cravings or experience longings.
Is there something you want to share that was not asked?
I can’t think of anything.
Crystal, thank you for sharing your information with my readers.
I wish you continued success. Stay confident and be empowered.
You can connect with Crystal at:
Thanks for stopping by. Do you have an extraordinary woman in your life? Share with us what makes her extraordinary.
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To your exponential success!