From a teen ESL teacher to interpreter to mom of triplets to business coach 

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This week’s Featured Interpreter is Marta Spirk, our new conference speaker and leadership empowerment expert with a background in interpreting. We asked Marta about her career path, personal branding and what she will present on at LEO6. 

Q: How did you start in the language industry? And what then lead you to public speaking and coaching? 

A: I started as an ESL teacher in Brazil at a very young age. At 14, I was already tutoring classmates and friends in my home and getting paid for it. By 18, I became the official interpreter for large church conferences organized by my mother, where American ministers would come to Brazil and teach. In 2008, I got my BA in Translation at the Presbyterian University Mackenzie in Sao Paulo, Brazil and later my MA in Applied Linguistics in 2012 at the University of Colorado, Denver. I started developing public speaking and coaching a few years later after I had the surprise of a triplet pregnancy. I felt like there was something else beyond languages where I could put my skills to use, so I started my coaching practice and business in November 2016. 

Q: What is the best advice you would give to those starting their own business? 

A: After 6 years in business, starting completely from scratch in a seemingly unrelated to my degrees’ field, my best advice to anyone starting a business is: think of this journey as a tripod; it can’t stand firm or hold any weight without its three legs – mindset, strategy and relationships. Regardless of your industry, product, or service, you will need to work on your belief system about yourself and what’s possible for you – you will endlessly be challenged in your mindset. Whether you leverage social media or traditional means for marketing, you must have a strategy in place to get the word out about your business – as technology and society evolves, your business will have to keep up. Finally, no matter what you do, you can’t build a business without people. You will need leads, clients, referrals, power partners. So, get to networking and make yourself useful to your community. 

Hard to be authentic when you don’t know who you are

Q: You are pretty good at personal branding. What are the most important things to do it right? 

A: Many branding and marketing gurus say what helps you stand out is “being your authentic self”. What I’ve learned through the years is that it’s very hard to be authentic when you don’t know who you are, and what exactly makes you different from other professionals in your industry. I believe my knack for personal branding has come from my curiosity and intense desire to understand myself: what are my unique personality traits? I’ve become obsessed with personal development and personality assessments and even created my own personality quiz called “What’s Your Six-figure Personality?” Once you understand yourself better, it will be easier to decide what fits your style in terms of colors, marketing, offers, etc. It has to start with YOU and what you like; and be aware that your personal preferences can change with time and that’s ok. 

Q: At LEO6 you will present on customer service. Can you give us a teaser of what the audience should expect?  

A: I am so thrilled to be presenting at LEO6 and it’ll be on my favorite topic: leveraging your uniqueness to build relationships and grow as a business owner. I will be touching in more detail on what I’ve shared here already: there is no business without human connection, so we might as well learn how to do it effectively based on our personality type, so we can be more understanding of people’s uniqueness too. I will be walking participants through a 5-step framework to build win-win relationships with clients and partners. 

To learn from Marta and other outstanding speakers, join us in December for LEO’s 6th International Virtual Conference

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