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.

 Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

Share it!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

Entreprenista Announces Winners of its 2023 Top 100 Women Business Leaders Awards Presented by Chase Ink

Leading Membership Community for Founders Amplifies Stories of Outstanding Entrepreneurs New York, United States – February 20, 2024 — The Entreprenista League, a leading membership community for ambitious, entrepreneurial women, is excited to ​​announce the winners of its 2023 Entreprenista 100 Awards. The Entreprenista Awards, presented by Chase® Ink®, honors the achievements of 100 women business leaders across…

Pitching Yourself and Finding Your Voice with Brianna Ruelas

“I see that a lot of these young women are struggling to feel like their impact matters and I really want to create something that incorporates my own stories, my own journey, to show them that our choices matter. But more importantly, that they matter, and that everything they bring to the table is significant…

Franchising, Scaling, and Selling a Business with Jillian Lorenz & Ariana Chernin

“You really, really need to trust your gut. Human nature is everything. It’s like your first date where everyone’s on their best behavior. But when there’s smoke, there’s fire. If you feel something in your intuition, it’s not right.”  –Ariana Chernin In this episode of Entreprenista, we sat down with Jillian Lorenz and Ariana Chernin,…

The Finishing Touch with Stephanie Purzycki

“I time block and I say, ‘This is going to be the time specific to managing the business.’ Being able to manage my time correctly and know when I’m doing what. In this post COVID era where we’re all working remotely, being able to connect face to face is also important. So, our weekly zoom…

Growing Through Partnerships with Abby Price

“If you’re not good at it, that is 100% okay. You don’t need to be good at everything. But just make sure, in the beginning at least, you’re spending a little extra time figuring it out—or you can lean on someone to look into it for you to make sure you’re doing it right.” – Abby…

Minisode with Steph: Spilling Wellness Secrets

Hi Entreprenistas! It’s Steph here again with another quick minisode. Today, I’m sharing all about the inspiration behind making my 2024 all about wellness. You’ll hear some of my favorite wellness tips and secrets, why it pays to give yourself grace, and all about the importance of having an accountability partner.  You’re going to hear…

Minisode with Steph: Making the Most of Your Founders Weekend Experience

Hi Entreprenistas! It’s Steph here and this year we are going to be bringing you content beyond our weekly interviews with founders. This is our first Minisode of the year and I am excited to share with you some of my best relationship building tips and how I handle events as an introverted extrovert. Plus…

Ali Hicks-Wright’s Mission to Help Creative Entrepreneurs Build and Scale with Amari Creative

Hi Ali! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Ali Hicks-Wright is the Founder and Creative Director of Amari Creative, a branding studio that specializes in building strategic brands and websites for ambitious entrepreneurs by pairing engaging copy with striking design. Since starting Amari Creative in 2016, Ali has worked with hundreds…

Grants You Need to Apply to For Your Business!

BMO Fellowship Application Notes Note that when applying, be sure to acknowledge the impact of the virtual workshops and resources provided by BMO and how that will support you just as much if not more than the prize $ itself! What you could receive: $15,000 across select applicants Deadline: Jan 31, 2024 DearGod Grant Application…

Making the Bed with Ruby Russell

“I’ve had a few setbacks. One was our first [launch in] March 2020. And guess what? The world shut down. And so I tried again on March the 13th 2023. I was at the London Stock Exchange when, guess what? That was the day that Silicon Valley crashed. So, all you can do is laugh…

Optimizing and Scaling Your Business with Tylar Brannon

“I think you have to stay calm when the world is on fire. You might have a small fire, you might have a massive fire, but your job as a leader is to create that calm… There’s days you feel like you’re drowning, but you still have to be able to show up for your…

Certifying Your Company With Heather Cox

“If you don’t have the time or money to do it once, you definitely do not have the time or money to do it twice—so make sure you outsource to experts the first time.” – Heather Cox When Heather Cox was pregnant with her first baby, she knew continuing to work was a non-negotiable—she just wasn’t…

Crafting a Powerful Pitch with Katie Dunn & Kat Weaver

“We’ve helped founders secure so much money just by sticking to the foundations and not doing crazy-flashy things or over-thinking… We had one founder secure $85,000 in one pitch opportunity—the money really is out there.” – Kat Weaver In this episode of Entreprenista, we’re sitting down with angel investor Katie Dunn and serial entrepreneur Kat…

Finding Your Ultimate Purpose with Harli Gawronski

“You’re always focused on the big goal, and you don’t celebrate the little wins in between. And that is so important. And for me, it’s something that I had to learn, was to celebrate the little wins in between—because that’s what keeps you going to the ultimate goal.” – Harli Gawronski Harli Gawronski had a realization…

Building Gravitas and Catalyzing Confidence with Lisa Sun

“When we tie so much of our happiness to [the] brass ring… It really just keeps us even more insecure and more overachieving.” – Lisa Sun In this episode of Entreprenista, we sit down with fashion entrepreneur Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of Gravitas New York, a lifestyle and apparel company that’s revolutionizing the concept…