Maria Crider, Founder of Spiritual Systems, on being the Behind the Scenes Wizard Helping Entrepreneurs
Hi Maria! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
I’m the behind-the-scenes wizard helping entrepreneurs turn their expertise into standout courses and digital products. Spiritual Systems is celebrating three years in business, and I’ve partnered with 18 business owners to create transformative learning experiences. When I’m not in work mode, you’ll find me hiking off the beaten path or on a beach somewhere. I’ve got a tough exterior, but don’t be fooled—I’m all heart. I’m here for real connections and real results.
So Maria, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
It’s like finding my tribe! What excites me the most is the opportunity for authentic, meaningful connections with women who aren’t just talking about making a difference—they’re actually doing it. I’m thrilled at the prospect of deep conversations that go beyond surface-level networking. This league’s collective wisdom and experience is a goldmine, and I can’t wait to both contribute to and learn from this powerhouse of kick-ass women. It’s not just about growing my business; it’s about growing as a person. And that’s some exciting shit!
Starting your own business is not a small decision. What made you take the leap to start your own business?
Taking the leap to start my own business was a mix of “enough is enough” and “let’s shake things up.” I saw too many brilliant entrepreneurs struggling to create a life they love; they spend countless hours working to serve clients at the expense of time with their families, hoping to take a vacation once or twice a year, and it pissed me off. They had so much value to offer but couldn’t see a way off the hamster wheel. I knew I had the skills to help them break free from that cycle. On a more personal note, I’ve always colored outside the lines. The traditional 9-to-5 grind wasn’t cutting it for me; it lacked the freedom and impact I craved. Plus, I’ve got family goals—like building this business so my husband can pursue his passion. Starting my own business felt like the best way to combine my skill set with my deeper motivations. So I jumped, and I haven’t looked back since. It’s been a wild ride, filled with life lessons, personal growth, and the chance to make a genuine difference in people’s lives. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I created training programs and materials for an entertainment company’s merchandising department.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I wouldn’t say I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I damn well knew the conventional path wasn’t for me. The idea of living to work, spending only a few precious hours a day with my family? Hell no. I wanted to be hands-on in raising my sons, especially during their formative years. The freedom to take long weekends or jet off on vacations without needing a signed permission slip from a boss? That was non-negotiable for me. I craved the autonomy to grow at my own pace, make mistakes, and learn from them. So, while I might not have known entrepreneurship was my calling, I knew the traditional 9-to-5 life wouldn’t cut it. That’s how I ended up where I am, and I have zero regrets.
How did you spread the word when you first launched?
When I first launched my business, I started by tapping into my existing network—old colleagues, coaches I’d met at workshops, and even some folks from Facebook groups and Upwork. Word of mouth was my initial bread and butter. Alongside that, I took to social media to shout into the void. I also invested in some paid ads, but let me tell you, the learning curve was steep. I had some “oh crap, what have I done?” moments where I questioned my choices, but every failure was a lesson.
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
The biggest challenge I faced was scaling my business while trying to maintain the level of quality that I pride myself on. As demand grew, I found myself stretched thin, juggling multiple projects and facing the risk of burnout. It was a “good problem” to have, but it was a problem nonetheless. What did I learn from this? Two crucial things: delegation and boundaries. I realized I couldn’t—and shouldn’t—do it all. That’s when I started outsourcing pieces of the projects. It takes a load off my shoulders and lets me focus on what I’m really good at. Setting boundaries was the second big lesson. I had to learn to say no and to turn down projects or opportunities that didn’t align with my values or goals, even if they came with a hefty paycheck. This helped me maintain the integrity of my work and keep my sanity intact. These challenges forced me to grow not just as a business owner but also as an individual. It taught me that scaling a business isn’t just about increasing numbers; it’s about growing sustainably and being true to who you are.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Don’t get me wrong, the numbers are great and all but the real win is knowing that I’ve made a difference, not just in one person’s business, but in the lives of all the people they go on to serve and in their families, on every trip they get to take. It’s like this ripple effect of positive change; knowing I’ve played a part in that is deeply rewarding. That accomplishment makes all the late nights and early mornings worth it.
What are your thoughts on work life balance? Do you have any tips?
It’s not just some corporate catchphrase; it’s a lifestyle choice. When you’re knee-deep in your business, the lines can blur easily, and suddenly, you find yourself answering emails at midnight. BT; DT. So, what are my tips? First, boundaries—solid, non-negotiable boundaries. I set specific work hours, and when I’m off, I’m off—no peeking at emails or “quickly” checking project statuses. I also communicate these boundaries clearly to my clients right from the get-go. Second, schedule “you” time like you would any important business meeting. That means time with girlfriends in nature, hiking, or kayaking. I don’t compromise on this; it’s where I recharge and as crucial to my business as any work task. Third, delegate or outsource. Do what you’re best at and let others handle the rest. It took me some time to let go of the reins, but my life regained balance once I did. It allowed me to focus on my craft and spend quality time with my family. So yeah, work/life balance isn’t just a pipe dream; it’s doable. But you’ve got to be intentional about it, and sometimes, you’ve got to fight for it.
Learning from experienced entreprenistas is so important! What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Invest in a mentor and build your tribe ASAP. I spent too much time thinking I could figure it all out alone. The stubborn rebel in me resisted asking for help, which cost me time and unnecessary headaches. Learning the hard way has merits, but why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from those who’ve already traveled the road? Having a mentor and a strong community could have saved me from some pitfalls and accelerated my growth. I’ve realized that seeking guidance isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a smart business move. So, for anyone starting their Entreprenista journey, don’t wait. Build your community, find your mentor, and be open to learning from others. Trust me, your future self will thank you.
You have lots to celebrate! What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I’m hitting my third business anniversary this month!
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Over the next few years, I’m building out my team with some top-notch talent—an in-house copywriter, video editor, and even an instructional designer. The goal? Transform this one-woman show into a full-blown agency. We will help even more entrepreneurs create courses that don’t suck.