Fascinating Women

Charmaine Muzyka -Entrepreneur -Designer -Creator -Innovator -Trailblazer

January 17, 2024 Charmaine Muzyka Season 6 Episode 3
Fascinating Women
Charmaine Muzyka -Entrepreneur -Designer -Creator -Innovator -Trailblazer
Show Notes Transcript

Discover the captivating journey of Charmaine Muzyka on this week's episode of "Fascinating Women with Mark Laurie." Charmaine, an embodiment of creativity and resilience, shares her inspiring story from childhood challenges to becoming a successful entrepreneur and designer. Raised by a single mother and influenced by entrepreneurial parents, she navigated through life with a blend of independence and creativity. From her early experiences on a Saskatchewan acreage to her adventures in art and design, Charmaine's story is a beacon of inspiration for women everywhere. Her insights into balancing personal life with a thriving design career are not just enlightening but deeply relatable. This episode is more than an interview; it's a narrative of empowerment, creativity, and the pursuit of passion. Tune in to hear how Charmaine Muzyka turned her dreams into a vivid reality. Listen now and be inspired to chase your own dreams.

Charmaine Muzyka is an independent Creative Strategist and Graphic Designer with 16+ years of experience helping businesses launch, grow and thrive with strategic design solutions. After a decade of working as an in-house designer by day and then freelancing for agencies and business owners by night, she decided to break out on her own and start CM Designs in 2019. Since then, she's been helping companies stand out, reach their target audiences and grow with strategic branding, high-performance websites and effective marketing material design. Her skills are vast, and her passion for design is clear in everything she touches, making her an excellent partner for companies that aren't ready for an in-house design team. Charmaine and her network of creative professionals set up businesses to reach that next level and elevate their company's impact.

Contact info:
charmuzyka@gmail.com | charmainemuzyka.com | FB & Instagram: @charmuzyka | LinkedIn: charmainemuzyka

About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, and expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography. His photo studio is inner Spirit Photography. 
http://innerspiritphotography.com
https://www.instagram.com/innerspiritphotography/

Sound Production by:
Lee Ellis  - myofficemedia@gmail.com  

Mark Laurie:

You're listening to fascinating women with Mark Laurie. And now, Mark Laurie. Hello, everyone and welcome back to fascinating women. Today, I have got Charmaine musica in with us and she is a really, really cool lady. Now, before we get into it, as you know, I usually do photography of women and their spirit photography is sponsoring this podcast. And if you're looking to look amazing, then come over and talk to us that are spirit photography. But now back to Charmaine. Welcome.

Charmaine Muzyka:

Hello, Mark. How are you?

Mark Laurie:

I am well yourself. So excitable that have a good Christmas and everything. Very nice,

Charmaine Muzyka:

nice and quiet, much needed a little bit of rest, which is something that as entrepreneurs don't take enough at it. That is true. That is I think it's the only time of year I actually take a break.

Mark Laurie:

Here kind of a really study, where did you get that from? Where did that drive to do things start with you?

Charmaine Muzyka:

Probably both of my parents. Like my dad was a entrepreneur and all kinds of different ways. My mom is like now a 50% partner and the real estate firm that she worked at. So I kind of spent a lot of my childhood watching that progression happening. And I don't know I was my mom was an only she was a single mom for most of my childhood. So I just you know, helped with chores and helped with cookin and help to raise my sister and helped with all the baggage.

Mark Laurie:

So an oldest child?

Charmaine Muzyka:

I'm an oldest, our oldest of two. Yeah, actually, that's a little bit more complicated of an answer than there. My dad was married and had two kids before he met my mom. So I do have two older brothers who older half brothers who are all quite a bit older. They're more they feel like more uncles and brothers. Okay, so like immediate family? Yes, I was the oldest, the oldest.

Mark Laurie:

Thats sweet. So that's where you drive from your parents instilled work ethic?

Charmaine Muzyka:

I guess. So. Yeah, I don't know. I also grew up in Saskatchewan. You shovel four feet of snow every winter for your parents, because that's, that's your job.

Mark Laurie:

That's why we had kid is as they call it that. Yes. I remember that was my dad when I was grew up as well. The same thing like yeah, so yeah, dig that hole and fill that trench and you got chores and, and

Charmaine Muzyka:

my dad had an acreage when I was a young kid too. So we spent like quite a bit of time, just out doing stuff.

Mark Laurie:

How did that? What age is that for you? Just so we got a timeframe.

Charmaine Muzyka:

So I agree. Yeah, the acreage I think my dad had the acreage until I was about 10 or 11. My parents split when I was four, though, so it was kind of acreage on the weekends city during the week. So I kind of got exposed to both, which is really interesting

Mark Laurie:

How that shaped your viewpoint of the world.

Charmaine Muzyka:

I mean, I feel for kids these days, who don't spend time outside on an acreage, like, I was driving vehicles when I was a kid, right? Like, you know, far from having a driver's license. You know, my sister and I built forts in the forest. We we trained dogs, there were horses, like you just I don't know, there was always something happening, something physical to do something to learn and explore. And I yeah, I just think that that lost on the newer generation who are learning on iPad, so yeah, I don't know. I'm starting to sound kind of older. Young kids these days, but I should die darkness. Yeah, I don't know. I've always I've always enjoyed Joy exploring and adventuring. I think that's a big part of, you know, why I got into art to is exploring and experimenting and

Mark Laurie:

At what age did you start art.

Unknown:

Like as one out couldn't hold on.

Mark Laurie:

A protege!. I think in second grade, I had, like a pastel drawing that I did go to the Mendel art gallery in Saskatoon girlie, we're doing this like, kids thing. And I don't know, mine got picked with a bunch of like grade eight errors and stuff. And I was in second grade and they hung it up on my wall in my elementary school, which I think might have inflated my artists ego a little bit when I was quite young. You've been trying to get back that level of acclaim ever since

Charmaine Muzyka:

100%.

Mark Laurie:

What's your favorite subject now to draw on paint? To

Charmaine Muzyka:

be honest, I haven't done much drawing and painting over the last few years that wasn't you know, designing a brand for someone because if I'm designing a logo for someone, the first thing that I do I mean after all of our discovery calls and research and things is pencil to paper. I I think that it's the best way at least for me to get idea that in my head before I start drawing.

Mark Laurie:

There's a sense that I've talked to artists who've done both that there's a big bend to the electronics but they Feel free with people who write notes that there's a contact or a connection when you have paper to hand as opposed to that, the

Charmaine Muzyka:

tactile drawing with your hand and actually, you know, not not going right to pixels and trying to use that as, as a tool to get you somewhere quicker. Like with was a drawing, I find it's the best way to just ideate instead of going on a computer and starting to refine right away, like it's got to be rough. And it's got to be messy, because that's where you, you try things and you wouldn't otherwise when you go on a computer and go go right to the refinement of the

Mark Laurie:

chaos. That's I believe at the start of all art is chaos. Yeah. And and as you make choices, chaos disappears, yeah. And then you start to learn what you can eventually move it into.

Unknown:

And that's probably exactly why I got into design is because I very much enjoy creating order from chaos, right and taking something that's extremely complex, and kind of hard to explain, and being able to explain it in visual ways that, you know, people can dissect that information and understand what it is that they're actually looking at.

Mark Laurie:

So what three beliefs guide you what's your core belief system?

Unknown:

oooh? That's a good question. I mean, empathy is a big one. Like, I listen to what my clients need, there's no, I want to know what someone's story is. And the reason behind whatever it is that we're doing together, whether it's a brand or a website, or we're showcasing their their products at a trade show, like whatever it is, there's there's something that they started this business with, like some little piece of passion, and it's always those little things that people start to get excited about when they're talking to me about their companies or their products. So I think like part of it is definitely the empathy piece. It's it's listening first and advising second. So

Mark Laurie:

leaving the business side of it out, yeah, okay. Okay, this looking focused on your personal, your personal drive the things that leaks into everything. So we got empathy, as one would say this personal things that drive you in your life,

Unknown:

empathy and the personal in the personal I think is definitely a big thing to my friends and family are always say that I'm a good, you know, ear to listen, that kind of thing. And, you know, giving advice and maybe should probably take it at some point. Others would be I mean, obviously, creativity, take creativity into every part of your life. Even I even think people who aren't innately creative or aren't artistic in some way or another, there's creativity there. There's creativity and everything that you do, every decision that you make, there's, you're making one choice over another. That's that's creativity. I really,

Mark Laurie:

that's really creativity, as I heard when he gets confused this this mythical mythical thing. And

Unknown:

Its just coming up with something magically, it's representing an idea in a way that, you know, maybe somebody who else isn't artistic wouldn't be able to express that in a visual way. And like, I think, once you start really diving into your creativity, it's just, it's visualizing something that didn't maybe exist before, or creating a way of storytelling without words, right, like being able to get an idea across without a speech. That's true.

Mark Laurie:

I don't know if that really answers. Okay, that's a third one, a third guiding belief.

Charmaine Muzyka:

I would say it would have to be something along the lines of authenticity and truth. Like, I don't, I don't. I have trouble with people who are very salesy, and very, like, they put out what other people think people want to hear and kind of just telling their actual story, and I have a low tolerance for it as well. So usually, you know, when you don't have stuff, blah, blah, blah, they'll do the I'm like, okay, okay, but like, you know, I'll start asking him like, well, well, why or how, or what's the reason? Or, and I don't know, I just, I, I don't know, I Well, there's

Mark Laurie:

there's two types of people have, I guess, three types, you have the type of person that is really, really deep and you get unconscious, and they're always too deep. Like they just kind of go oh my god, we're gonna go down many levels. And I don't know if I do that. Then we have people who want interesting conversations, then you got the near people that really if we go much deeper than the weather and lay sports team, we're really kind of getting too deep. So I'm gathering those spent time with those. Well,

Unknown:

no, you know, I but there's definitely a balance between you know, keeping everything surface level and being like, Hey, what's your childhood drama, right? Yeah, you know, there's a fine line and part of where the empathy side of things comes in as business right? meeting people and seeing you know where someone is out with their level of vulnerability and how much they might want to share and open up to someone

Mark Laurie:

Like certain phrases do but when people are, regardless of how deep the guy wants you to be on that surface nonsense for no one really is listening. I think people feel heard, they feel seen is that that's a fair, I mean,

Charmaine Muzyka:

100% Yeah. And you'll get, you'll get more authenticity from someone if they feel like you are on their level, right? And they're listening. And you're, you know, you can repeat things back because it shows that you're, you know, you can take that into all different parts of your lives, you can get really great stories out of people, if you actually listen, and you, you know, you, you grab on to certain parts of that story, and you expound on it. And, you know, it's something I wish that I did with my grandfather before he passed away. You know, he had such incredible stories. But I didn't care when I was a candidate. You know, like, honestly, I just, I thought that his story was really cool. But I didn't ask him about it. And you know, he passed away three or four years ago now. And I just, I think about so much, how much I've learned through networking and learning and listening to people and interacting with interesting people. It's like, everyone has a really great story. But you got to ask people aren't just going to, they're not just going to share it as then people are going to share it. You know, there are public figures and stuff. But I find most people have something fascinating that they don't, you don't probably

Mark Laurie:

find the profession like politicians, and we see a lot of life coaches. Yeah, they have a prepared backstory trail. And so you get a veneer backstory that they've practiced and honed in his gut and one of his eyes and he's got glucose for it. Yeah. Whereas authentic conversation goes off in different directions. And then people tend to get pretty formal. So you find people are drawn to because of that?

Charmaine Muzyka:

I think so. Like, I think I put out enough of that authenticity and vulnerability that I often do get it back. And I, I can't send really incredible stories from so both personally and professionally. What's

Mark Laurie:

your biggest adrenaline rush? What do you do become an adrenaline junkie?

Charmaine Muzyka:

Whoo. I have done some cliff jumping, and literally used to go on these canoe trips, right. My mom basically wanted to get rid of me when I was a teenager drove me up to northern Saskatchewan to the summer camp. And the summer camp tucked us even farther up into northern Saskatchewan and just dropped us off on a river and picked us up to 14 kilometers later, a week later, or farther away a week later. And it was it was it was more than 14 kilometers, I think just the the river apart was 14 kilometers. And then we had to navigate this massive lake with hundreds of little islands on it and get to the campground on the far side of it, where we would hopefully be picked up a week later. But there was one camp site, I guess we could call it on that lake. It was the last stop before the end of the trip. And there was a it depending on the level of the water. And the year it was about an eight meter drop, okay. But nobody knew exactly how deep the water was at the bottom of the cliff. Because people had been jumping that cliff for 50 years. Right. And you just it is the scariest thing you will ever do that first jump. But oh my gosh, when you hit the water, you are ready to go for another day. It is it is something that you can't explain. Yep. You know, you just take that jump off that cliff. And you have so much fun doing us that you just want to do it over and over again. You

Mark Laurie:

feel invincible, don't you? You often too,

Charmaine Muzyka:

especially after we had paddled. I don't know how many kilometers and just lived in the bush. Like it was. That's another one of those things that like I really hope kids are still going to summer camps and things like that and exploring the wild because you just learned so much about yourself.

Mark Laurie:

You do? Yeah, it's in those kinds of situations. You've got to find ways to make peace with people because it's an extra person. It's

Charmaine Muzyka:

basically your youngest had ever met. Yeah, right. This was 20 of us all going out into the woods. We didn't know each other from a hole in the wall. And

Mark Laurie:

back then there was no touch. You feel a combination, I guess could be a phrase for it. It was like okay, so find your peace. And we're coming together. So we'll work it out. Work it out. Yeah. Oh, yeah. We had no labels back then it was just getting the stuff done and you know, having a good time and there was no, there was just no labels people were just

Charmaine Muzyka:

people. When you come out with this, this cohort of people that are so deeply bonded in a way in such a short guitar. Yeah.

Mark Laurie:

The intensity of it is hard to discover people have not they've not experienced it yet.

Charmaine Muzyka:

Yeah. And then next to that more so in my adult life is I love hiking. Right? And my friends and family from Saskatchewan who I've taken on hikes call me a crazy person because they will start going, you know, there's often if you get high enough, there's some ledges and sayings and some steps and maybe some some, you know, handholds and whatever like it's I find that stuff very fun because you can get to extraordinary place. But yes, from my Saskatchewan family, I have been called a slight crazy person for some of the places that I've tried to take

Mark Laurie:

that flood proofs like Oh, cliffy stuff this is a way stranger but I

Unknown:

but I ran away from the prairies when I was 18. And yeah, to the mountain mountain. So I I fell in love with it, and I've never moved back. Got it.

Mark Laurie:

That's interesting, because there's two types of people come from Saskatchewan. Okay, there's because it's all prairies, right? You can use that one guy says, You have to look a little closer. You can see your bomb. Yeah, forever. Yeah, that's right. When you come to Calgary, in the mountains, claustrophobia kicks in for a lot of people. And they just they feel closed in and they just can't handle it. They have to leave or else live on the east, west eastern side of the province for it. Do you ever you've ever encountered that you were just these?

Unknown:

Honestly, no, I grew up really only knowing Saskatchewan. Like we had traveled a little bit when I was a kid. But you know, to Toronto, and Quebec, whatever. But I loved the rain. I loved the greenery, I loved the mountains. And the fact that Vancouver was it was open on one side to the ocean and then closed off on the other side to the mountains, you kind of have the best of both of those worlds, you could visit the ocean whenever you wanted to. Because it was right there. You could also drive 30 minutes and go hiking in the mountains like it was I was just so in awe of all of it the whole time, like mountains to me have always just been these incredible giant feats of crazy nature. Yeah, it gets just they're they're incredible to me, like I just always want to be on the top of one I don't know.

Mark Laurie:

I came across a obscure piece of information I have New Zealand is actually the top of the mountain range of continent. Underground was this massive continent underneath New Zealand and New Zealand. It's actually when the waters drop, you file new content, but they're actually the mountains of the continent. At about what's cool.

Charmaine Muzyka:

All reason number 37.

Mark Laurie:

There are so many reasons Yeah. What is something you failed at?

Unknown:

whoo, failed at? I mean. I feel like there's definitely been parts of my, my own design business over the last few years that have I've tried and failed. But a failure? Oh, I

Mark Laurie:

Whats a failure to you, when we use I

Charmaine Muzyka:

think that's what I'm having trouble defining. Because a lot of the times if something fails, I'm always going to be trying to figure out why that thing didn't work and how it could be done differently. So I don't

Mark Laurie:

let's change the question. Yeah, rather than how it failed, something that did not work at all the way you anticipate it would work.

Charmaine Muzyka:

So I, when I first started my design business, and my took on some clients that I didn't necessarily build the relationships with. So I took them on knowing that we had worked together for them as a team. And we had closed up marketing firm and I took on that client. What I didn't realize was that they needed more from me than I could actually give I was at that point where I was like, You know what I can I can do video, I can do search engine, I can do websites, I can I can do all of this stuff. But what I didn't realize was that I'm really good at a few thing. And all of those other things are things that I can build relationships with people who are good at those things. Okay. So it was probably three years I tried to do all of the thing, right and where it landed me was having to completely rebuild my break because I had kind of like I had created my myself these little pockets of me trying to be this little mini team, right and I was exhausted and I wasn't really getting the results that I wanted. Like in the grand scheme of things. I got all those clients to the point where they hired their own internal people and wrote got rid of me, which is great for them, you know, great success story, but I probably didn't plan very well for it. But it was It was trying, it was figuring out where my lane was, and what I really liked to do and what I'm really good at. And just focusing my time there, and it has made a world of difference but seriously took like three or four years

Mark Laurie:

that would classify that kind of thing. Where do you find meaning in your life?

Charmaine Muzyka:

Who that's that's a tricky one. Because that's something I've been trying to put more thought and effort into long a little while. Because I've been so focused on my business, the last few years, I've kind of forgotten about things like we rescued a really great dog. And I love spending time with her. And it's good for me to be out and doing things with her. And so sorry, you might have to ask your questions just one more time really quick, because

Mark Laurie:

where are they fighting? And where do you find meaning in life?

Unknown:

Yeah, so and it's, it's things like that, like, it can't all be work. Like I could work 20 hours a day. But am I really going to get any farther than I would if I actually set myself some boundaries and spent time on the things that I do care about, like, my dog, and my husband, and my friends and my family and my life and hiking and art, like art is something that I put as a secondary thing for so long, that I'm just now coming back around to like, I just need to create something, I need to create some art not for sale, not for gift not to be putting up on my website. Like, just to get back to that creation, knowledge and making something for the sake of making it.

Mark Laurie:

That's hard. Like I said, the same thing, being a photographer, well, you're

Charmaine Muzyka:

a creative person.

Mark Laurie:

And you're kind of like, well, I've got to be brilliant somehow. And probably because No, no, don't be it just like Google play with this and see what happens.

Charmaine Muzyka:

It's like this thing that I'm making, whether it's drawing, or it's taking photographs, it's like, this doesn't have to be something that I sell, or I commoditize. And, you know, I can just do this because I have a passion for photography, where I have a passion for drawing or painting or whatever, like, it doesn't have to be something that you show to the world even it can just be something you keep for yourself. And I think a lot of creative professionals, at definitely me included. let that slide away, we tend to forget, it's just kind of sad, though. I'm working on that. That's good.

Mark Laurie:

Good for your personal heroes to everyone that you look up to that you see is a mentary with a library. Deb it's something that you follow.

Charmaine Muzyka:

There are a lot of I mean, these days was you know, influencers and things online, I would say that at this point, there are a number of designers that I I do follow and I do find extraordinarily inspiring, especially with the barriers that they've broken or you know, gotten in front of the world as an introverted designer who usually like hides behind a computer screen, right? Yeah, I sorry, ask your I keep getting just a little bit long.

Mark Laurie:

So just who you're personally here this summer, that you look up to doesn't have to be business related. It can be just, somebody got that person's morals the way they do things guide me that's, uh,

Charmaine Muzyka:

yeah. And yeah, okay. So the reason I started going off on the whole influencer side of thing was that a lot of really fantastic designers, artists, authors, coaches, have found themselves a platform. So I wouldn't say that it's necessarily anyone's specific, I would say, I've got buckets of people that I, you know, find a lot of inspiration from because of getting out in front of the world, or, like I said, breaking some kind of barrier or figuring out what they're really great at, and being able to show the world how to get you know, it's, there's a lot more. I wouldn't even call these people celebrities, necessarily, but there are people who have made some kind of name for themselves. And there's things that they do that I find extraordinarily inspiring and do in my own life and want to do Morrow. So there's a lot of really inspiring designers and artists and I don't think that I could distill it down to like a small list. I'm also really horrible with names to be a little bit like you know, this person even this reason and this person for this reason, you know, it there's there's a lot of them these days, and I'm starting to pick up their books and all of them on podcasts like your

Mark Laurie:

absorb. What have you changed your mind about recently?

Charmaine Muzyka:

Well, I'd have I changed my mind about recently. Whew, that's a good question. I have well, since being asked to actually be on a couple of different podcasts, and I have realized that while I am an introvert and I never really wanted to go and do these kinds of things, or run out networking, I'm kind of sad for my past self that I didn't do it sooner. Because I just thought it was this big scary thing, like getting there. Like I thought it was like getting in front of your high school class, right and sharing your presentation, you know, like, but getting out and making relationships with people and fostering great relationships with not just clients and business people, but like, I've got really great people in my life now that I didn't even a year ago. So I think I have, I've changed my mind, in that, you know, getting out in front of people and sharing your, your thoughts and your expertise and your experiences. It doesn't open up a bunch of judgment, it opens up a bunch of opportunities. It opens up new new relationships and new work and new opportunities and new life paths. And like, you know, we don't just need to stay secluded in our own little bubbles. Like, there's so much out there, too. And it's not that I didn't know that before, but I just didn't think that it was worth pushing past that big scary. Like, I'm just an introvert, you know, saying like, I just I think I might have just used that for a long time to stay in a comfort zone. Right? You know, but there's so much to be explored outside of your comfort zone.

Mark Laurie:

There is it's, it's a once you get going to do the break period, like a friend told me it's like last few bands once you've stretched Lastly, bout never bounces. Yep, two bounces back. Be that the thing you're talking about earlier, which was the judgment of the fear of being judged? I think that stops a lot of people from doing things.

Charmaine Muzyka:

I think it stops a lot of people from doing a lot of things like from from small things like maybe not going to the gym, you know, to I don't know not having that conversation with that guy that you likes, who eventually would be your husband, or you didn't spark a conversation with that guy who would eventually be your, you know, mentor or you didn't I don't know, it's just there's there's so many opportunities that you can't, you can't discount. Like, you gotta just go for it. You gotta try things, you got to speak your mind and ask questions and think a lot of this goes back to like, just being authentic and asking questions and learning about people and things of

Mark Laurie:

asking questions is powerful. You know, it's special, but asking questions that require yes or no does peculiar but deeper questions to get through? Couldn't they get you down a little bit? How do you define success?

Charmaine Muzyka:

That is a funny question. Because for the longest time, I thought it was just being financially comfortable. Like that was kind of that was the success that I was going after. But I don't like it. That's so not it anymore. Like I want to, I want to be part of great projects. I want to help someone or fall back in love with their business, my want to help someone get some incredible product out into the world. It's more now being part of creating Lincoln going right back to the reason that I got into the career that I'm in is like is creating and being able to actually do that for a living. So it's not making money. It's not working at some, like fancy advertising firm. It's not, you know, I don't know, retiring at 40. It's, it's being able to create things with great people doing great thing. Right? It's, it's, yeah.

Mark Laurie:

And what's How do you define success in your personal life? Or do you?

Charmaine Muzyka:

I don't know, because I don't have a great balance right now. A lot of my balance is in is in business mode. And you know, I'm just working on creating more balance on a personal side of things. You know, spending more time with my partner and Mike.

Mark Laurie:

How does the imbalanced focus on your business affect your relationship?

Charmaine Muzyka:

Well, you know, Fraser Have an evening where he doesn't have to work or he's not out at hockey or he's not out at something. And he's like, Well, what do you want to do tonight? And I'm like, Oh, well, I'm working. Right? But it's because I spent half my day on the phone or whatever, like, I didn't get something done during the day. So I feel like Why have my evening I might as well be working. But I'm working really hard at creating that balance. Because if I don't, then I will just work all the time. And for anyone who works from home, that boundary can be very hard to set with yourself. And I think it's just, you know, focusing more time and energy on the things that I care about outside of my business, because work is just part of life. And it's not, you know, it's not what you're supposed to be everything, like all of your effort isn't supposed to be going into your work. You know, it should be a balance. And that's why I started my own business too, is it's funny entrepreneurs start a business to try and create work life balance, through your work life balance, way autumn, but isn't your choice, right? So I need to be more conscious of making that choice to like, you know, if we, if we have free time together, we're spending it together, we're doing something fun, we're going on a walk or going out for dinner, something that is not me sitting in front of my computer, or me planning something for tomorrow, or, you know, whatever it's, it's it's creating a balance and boundaries. It's a work in progress.

Mark Laurie:

What would the idea look like for you? What would that picture look like? Like, say, five years down the road to get the balance? What would that balance look like?

Charmaine Muzyka:

Having my weekends back, not one of these days, I won't be like, You know what I can like workwise I can do this on the weekend, I can do this on the weekend, I just say, you know, I've got these meetings today. I've got time on the weekend, like at some point, I'm gonna set that boundary where we're gonna go camping on the weekend, and I'm not going to take my computer with me. Right? Or we're going to go to a movie tonight. And I'm not going to be answering emails in the car and not being present with my, the people that I care about. Right. So

Mark Laurie:

I had a friend who had us he took the battery out of his laptop and he there go place where you can plug in, which means it's real workplace and just couldn't take it. And his boss I buy about it. No, don't lie battery real good. Yeah.

Charmaine Muzyka:

I've been trying to leave my phone on a different outside working out for it not. But it's getting better. It's funny because we just, you know, you just need to set these boundaries with yourself and practice and he knows that something that's worthwhile to you. So

Mark Laurie:

it's hard to stay focused on a goal sometimes isn't when you've got competing purposes. Yeah,

Charmaine Muzyka:

and I think as a creative, like, you know, shiny objects are everywhere, like, oh, that's, that's a really cool new skill that I could learn or, Oh, that's a really cool new marketing tactic. I could try or, you know, but there's always going to be something else. So at some point, you know, you need to shut it all off.

Mark Laurie:

So what's your process to shut that off? Because I'm a recruiter as well for shiny things like, looks so pretty. What's your approach to try and cut down all the pretty stuff that clutters you.

Charmaine Muzyka:

I think the best thing that I have found over the last couple of years since getting our dog right, like just walking away from my computer, putting her harness and her leash on and going outside and not taking my phone. Not putting in earphones like just walking and decompressing because even when I'm listening to a podcast, it's the same thing. You know, oh, I want to try that. Oh, that's a great idea. Or I need to write that down. Oh, that's and I'm it's it's moving. Right. So you know, it's it's literally walking away from the technology and going outside has been you know, and we get with in Calgary. That's kind of tough to do in the wintertime but just

Mark Laurie:

dress in layers. Yep. I've started a program with our neighbors Border Collie. Oh yeah. And so I took her out. We do about six to seven miles a day. I do do about an hour or so in the morning and then in the evening. And and she's accountable because you do the times and so she would be crushed if I'd ever showed up she just one time she thought Jan was leaving the house thought it was me and and Jack got to kind of weigh in she just cried because I was supposed to be I was getting ready to come and see her that day. Riverwalk and she just saw me leaves. She was crushed. Look. Dogs are powerful, the few pets and that's their purpose I think is because there she creates

Charmaine Muzyka:

a little bit of accountability, right for getting outside and doing that disconnect.

Mark Laurie:

We all are resellers they demand accountability as we

Charmaine Muzyka:

At the acreage read my dad had we had an Irish setter and he lived on like 80 acres of Saskatchewan acreage.

Mark Laurie:

Oh, hold setters run, he would drive the

Charmaine Muzyka:

truck and the dog would run in the ditch. For the first

Mark Laurie:

they just go at a great way to think people understand you, that they get you. I

Charmaine Muzyka:

you know, for the last few years until I got out networking a lot, and I've met a lot of other entrepreneurs. I think all of my friends and family thought that I was just insane. Right, and, and I think a lot of people that I had surrounded myself with a lot of my life didn't understand, like using creativity, to create something, which sounds kind of silly, but you know, using your skills to, to make something happen. So, yeah,

Mark Laurie:

they all see it as a real thing of the practical people who really get confused by creativity and how it fits in the world, because they're just Jan's burnout is like that he, he also knew what I was looking after Jan, that's all it really matter. But he really didn't grasp but I do like it was he was a mechanic, long term union kind of character, that type of thing.

Charmaine Muzyka:

I also like I, I'm just naturally always been very curious. I love to learn, you know, I'm not really just satisfied with the result. I want to know what could be done differently or what, you know, you learn from the experience like that. I don't think everybody thinks that way. You know, some people are just, they're happy be where they're at, you know, and they're not necessarily striving for. No, not more unnecessarily, because that makes, you know, but but more knowledge, and more just fascination and figuring out why things work and why things are the way they are. And I don't know why. I just, yeah. So

Mark Laurie:

you spend time trying to get people don't understand you educated or you just go that's the way it is.

Charmaine Muzyka:

I don't know if I can educate people on how to understand the creative. I don't think that it's possible, or I don't even know if I understand it. To be quite honest with you. I don't know. I just let it be. People can understand me if they do and if they don't, they don't know it's not really my problem.

Mark Laurie:

But they're live with it. How'd you meet your husband?

Charmaine Muzyka:

So Fraser is a drummer. We had some mutual friends that were in a band together from so let me backtrack. I was Europe. I had been thinking about moving to Calgary for several years before Fraser and I met we met out in Vancouver. He's originally from Calgary was living out in Vancouver for a little while. And he was in a band of some mutual friends of ours from Calgary, we're playing a show together. So Fraser went to that, and so did I. And we met there and Fraser happened to be doing a show with his band across the street right after. So naturally love live music. I thought he was a cool guy. We all went across the street and saw him play. And I saw his passion behind the drums. Like he is an incredibly talented drummer. And it was, and he was just a great, he was a great guy. And we didn't live very far away from each other. And he didn't know very many people out in Vancouver because he'd only been there for a year or so. And so he asked if we would go for beer, and then we ended up going for dinner the same night. And next thing you know, the owners, or the staff of the restaurant were like work flows, like guys might have to leave and we look around and all the tables or chairs are up on the tables and they're shutting the lights off. Or like you guys may want to close out your bill. So it was just one of those nights you end up just chatting for so long that you don't even realize that the restaurant is closing like I think we had met up at like 4pm that day. Wow. You know, so it was just Tana instant connection. And then we went out to another concert together and went out for another. We went for a little kayaking adventure, which was very early on in our relationship and very interesting. What made it interesting Well, English Bay I don't know if you're familiar with the area but English Bay is it's a pretty like it's a there's, you know, a bunch of beaches. It's a very public space, but it's a big wide open bay and it was a windy day. It was very waist and a kayak like a double person. kayak is not the easiest thing to navigate, especially if you don't know each other yet. And we took on a lot of water There was a lot of panic, but it was a it was a fun, crazy day. And I think we learned a lot about each

Mark Laurie:

other like that stressful situation to find out where the bond right

Charmaine Muzyka:

we're immediately problem solving together like, but it was also like one of the most beautiful day like we saw we saw seals and like it was just, it was a great, it'll always be a warm moment. 100% Yeah,

Mark Laurie:

it was yeah, like go kayaking double kayak and she decides he's needed all the work. So you haven't achieved and she makes no bones about it. Yeah, that's on the front. That's why should

Charmaine Muzyka:

have been in the back that day. Because these canoe trips that I used to go on like I got pretty good at navigating a two person boat like I was almost always in the back. And I should have gone with my instincts and probably gotten in the back of the kayak that day. But you know what, I let him to it. And he was excited about it. I don't think he had ever actually kayak.

Mark Laurie:

How often do you follow your instincts? Is it something you've had to train yourself on it? So it becomes natural?

Charmaine Muzyka:

Definitely something I had to start following. Like I had to figure that out. I'm gonna time because I don't know I did hate to use this. But like, as a young woman, you are told what to do. And, and what your life should be and what you should go for and what you what you shouldn't get a template

Mark Laurie:

of a woman's life 100%.

Charmaine Muzyka:

And I always thought that that was stupid. Oh, good. Like, even when I was a kid watching Disney movies, I remember watching beauty into the East. And I just thought that it was the stupidest thing in the world that she would that that bell was with us at Bell? Yep. Yeah, that she would do all of this for this man who was so awful to her. And he was just like, I just didn't get you know, and I just didn't understand that, like, women should cook and have kids and blah, blah, blah, like, I'm just like, I'm not doing any of that. I'm sorry, I'm gonna go and do something else. Because I don't want to do that. So I think I've always had that mentality leanings, I was a little kid, like, I'm just gonna go and do what I think that I should do. Because that's how I'm going to learn. Like, that's how I'm going to figure out what I want to do by trying things and doing things. I'm not just gonna fit into this box.

Mark Laurie:

Has anyone given you a spectacular good advice? someplace in your, over your life, dad, parents, coworkers, somebody goes, this is something you should know anybody. And that's, that's a big one.

Charmaine Muzyka:

It was a piece of advice that I actually got from a professor at, or not professor, but whatever, my teacher at the Art Institute in Vancouver, that I think is good for both personal and professional life. And he said, don't ever get too attached to a project. Because, like, when you're in school, you're designing for yourself, you're creating everything. But like in the real world. You have clients, and you have people who are hiring you to do specific, right. And so, I've taken that to heart over the years, because it's so true, you get really excited about a project, but ultimately, you're creating it for someone else. And so I think, you know, in your personal life, it's like, well, don't I just don't throw all of your eggs in one basket. You think that like you are your your skill is in painting. So I I couldn't draw. I couldn't do this, like, well, maybe it could if you tried though. Right. So yeah, I

Mark Laurie:

think there's two things. The first thing he talked about was not getting attached. So you work on something, and you let it go. Right? Yes. And the second thing is doing stuff that you didn't think you could do. That's a skill set.

Charmaine Muzyka:

He gave me so I think I think what I what I was getting out with that was like don't don't limit yourself to this one thing the audience are really good at, right? Like you can do anything they want, right? You just have to go and try it. Like you have to just have the courage to go and try something to go and do something to experiment with something to have a conversation with someone. Don't get too attached to like, for me, for example, I was talking about earlier about being an introvert, right? Like I couldn't I couldn't hold it held on to that my whole life and never gotten out and started doing things like that. Right? Because I thought that that's what my that's who I was right? Your core. But when you when you deviate outside of that a little bit, you start to see what else is possible. Then the possibilities kind of become endless. And you don't have to stay within this one little box. Or you don't have to get too attached to this thing that you spend The last 20 years doing that you don't actually like, try something else. You might really love that. Right? Right. And then just because you did this one thing for 20 years doesn't mean that that's what you need to do for the next 20 years.

Mark Laurie:

You know, that's profound. So you are constantly redefining yourself.

Charmaine Muzyka:

Yeah, I think as a creative we do that

Mark Laurie:

was like a new identity of yours as you discover what your what your mix is to personally. Yeah.

Charmaine Muzyka:

Yeah. And trying things over the years and seeing what I like when I don't lie. And I mean, as a designer to like trends change and you know, styles change, and I evolve as an as a designer, and I pick and choose things that I might want to play with, but I don't know. I think that's kind of the fun of it.

Mark Laurie:

Certainly. Thank you so much for your time today. It's been a fun it's been it's been great with that. What's the name of your design company?

Charmaine Muzyka:

It is cm design. But I think I'm probably rebranding this year to musica creative. So cm designs was kind of like I went to a networking event and they were like, what's your business? And I'm like, You know what, Charmaine musica designs at cm design that flooded out. And I've never really loved anything. I've just kind of gone with a and so this year, I think I'm going to make a big change and it will be music a creative three.

Mark Laurie:

So in her bio connected to our stuff, we'll take a look at it. You'll be able to contact all her contact stuff, see what she wants yourself into. It's been late. Thank you so much for joining us.

Charmaine Muzyka:

Absolutely. Anytime. We're

Unknown:

so good. This has been fascinating women with Mark Laurie. Join us on our website and subscribe at fascinating women dossier fascinating women has been sponsored by inner spirit photography of Calgary, Alberta and is produced