Carolyn Martyn, A Woman Who "Brings It"

How did you start Bring It? 

It was a long-time coming; due to me having to work through some fears (of failure, judgement of others and health concerns), however literally woke up one morning deciding my need to do this outweighed the fears (which ended up being not only fears I didn’t need to have, but I became so much stronger as a result of leaning in to them).  My struggles with health and almost dying, along with childhood body image issues, confidence issues and anxiety…all led me to want to offer something since I’d been able to succeed in overcoming all the obstacles…so how could I help girls know it would be okay with the right tools?  Hence…Bring It was born...

 

What is the goal of Bring It? Who does it seek to help? 

Initially it was for girls in grades 6-8. We are expanding now to offer the same to boys grades 6-8 as well as in the works is an event for 18-24 year olds and: parents!  

The goal of Bring It (one of many) is to offer “tools” of life to people to help them get through struggles so they can “take back the power” in their life and learn how strong they really can be.  That it’s okay to fail; to ask for help; and to be yourself. Be Confident, Be Bold, Be You is our tagline and basically, we want to help those we offer these events to learn to be just that. On top of which: we want our events to be “useful” and offered in real time…in that we are addressing the current challenges of the day with each age group. We ask them ahead of time what the top 3 challenges in life are…and create the event based on these topics. I want these to be relevant and useful to their lives.

Also, I wanted to create an event where community would come together and where young women of today get involved to help the young women of tomorrow. With our Bring It Guide component (young women— and men for the boys) come out for the day and help the attendees…we have opened up a can of worms we are SO very excited about….so lots more coming geared toward them also.

 

What was your biggest setback in life/time you felt most like giving up? 

Funnily-enough: after Bring It. It made me realize I want to do SO much for others and create such change, that I overwhelmed myself with the massive scope of what I wanted to do. I felt like a failure (yet had no reason to) and totally unconfident (again…there was no merit!)…yet was a great exercise to go through since it taught me a) to NEVER make a decision when you are feeling your most vulnerable and emotional and b) we can tend to be our own worst enemies; so we need to stop listening to the voice in our head sometimes!

Has your life journey been what you thought it would be? 

Oh my goodness NO! Not one iota. But you know what? It’s so much better than I expected even though the challenges had been enormous! I wouldn’t change a thing. I wanted to be a nurse when young; I lived for that. But…I had my tonsils out and that put an end to that wish! I really should have been a phys-ed teacher if I’d done things properly (but not doing them that way resulted in me doing so much more, I feel). I was a Provincial tennis player in England growing up and this was my true love. But…I moved back to Canada on my own at 19 (I don’t know HOW I did that looking back!), missed University and began working.  I was a very successful realtor for 10 years, but didn’t enjoy the hours (which is why I ultimately stopped) however I learned SO much about myself, my business ethics, what I had to offer and the art of dealing with confrontation without it eating you up…in a big way.  

Fitness has always been a massive part of my life (swear I was born with weights in my hands)…so the natural thing to do was to be a personal trainer…which lead to me becoming an ACE-certified Health Coach and THIS: was where the life-changing things occurred. Working with women, I came to realize all the challenges we have; insecurities we feel…and that led to me wanting to offer Bring It.  And from Bring It I’ve never looked back. It’s opened up doors to incredible networks, people, and opportunities. It’s allowed me to become a speaker - which I’m SO passionate about and know I have a voice to help women and girls especially….and has truly made me see what I’m made of. It’s made me so appreciative…and truly I am at a place in life where it’s not about the material things…it’s about what you are doing for others that brings such joy.

What events do you have planned for Bring It? 

Hmmm..I can tell you some! Others we are very excited about but not putting out there just yet as we finalize details. We have another girls’ Event for May; a boys’ Event for the following February at Kings’ University College. We have a Bring It for young adults in the works (18-24 year olds) since I feel the need to help them with “life” tools also…so many pressures out there but there don’t have to be.  So I’ll do my part there. And lastly, I created “Women Who Bring It” as a result of our blog and these are turning into incredible evenings. We take a topic, have relevant speakers and have all ages (16-76!) attend so we can create conversation amongst the generations with each learning from and inspiring the others. Love it!  We are also considering offering a Bring It in another city next year.

What is the main message you would give to college aged women? 

Can I offer a few? 

1) Ask for help. Ask for help (yes. I said that twice!). What I’ve found going through my experience and talking to women and girls, we find we struggle with the failures we perceive we have; we have insecurities about things or lack confidence in things—and we think we are alone in this struggle. We so aren’t. Do you know I’ve spoken to TOP female execs…who have the same insecurities? Who lack confidence at times but we wouldn’t know it? Time to talk. Ask for help; be real with others and create conversations about your feelings. May sound touchy feely…but it will be so beneficial to know you aren’t alone.

2) STOP the pressure! Stop pressuring yourself. At the end of the day; if you’ve given it your all….but you don’t get a top mark…..shouldn’t that be okay? We all want to strive to be the best, get the best— absolutely. But if it doesn’t happen, yet you know you did everything you possibly could; that should suffice. Don’t worry!  Future employers are not looking at your marks. They are looking at what YOU have to offer their organization. They want to see you have the capability to learn (as a result of your degree)….but they aren’t looking for the midterm you got a lower mark in!

3.  Stop the judgement. Stop the caring. Judgement: if we stop doing this to others, we stop feeling judged ourselves and our confidence soars. Caring: Stop worrying about what others think of you. Be confident in who you are, what you have to offer. Even if you start off “faking it til you make it,” in time you will become stronger in this regard (you’re talking to the least confident gal here growing up and I am a totally different woman; couldn’t care less who likes my outfit, how I look, how someone perceives me….and it’s been truly liberating).

4. Do NOT let fear stop you. A little fear never hurt anyone.  In fact, you find out who you are and what you are made of…when you lean into it.  Butterflies in the tummy never hurt anyone. Find out what you are actually fearful of and stomp on it!  Again…..been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

 

What is one thing you’d like to address that you feel is “missed” by many as young adults?

HEALTH: we take this way to cavalierly. Me: I HAD to be healthy all my life; to be top of my league in tennis - but then it became a life thing: with too many health issues, I had to live a healthy life. It saved my life at 28. Almost died; docs couldn’t figure out why but they all agreed…my fitness level saved my life. 

Do something for you. Have walking meetings with friends. Stop with those awful, gargantuan sugar filled drinks at all the coffee houses (sugar = bad and it’s all empty calories!). You don’t have to spend a lot. Create an activity where you can—on your own or as a group—and eat well. Opt for fruit (yawn, I hear you!), veggies, nuts, as snacks instead of chips. Seriously…you’ll do wonders for yourself if you can create positive, healthy habits NOW instead of getting to be a  45-year old woman who now finds it so tough to change.  

And lastly: meditate. Five minutes a day is all you need. Lie on your bed in the dark and just stop. No music, no noise. Put your timer on. DONE. But the healthy ramifications are endless. Anxiety and depression can be gone/ alleviated. Focus is increased…but you know what?  The rewards are endless. For just five minutes.

What’s the one thing you’ve learned is important for success in business AND life?

Personality. I learnt this at an event about 10 years ago and it was life changing. We all have different personalities and tend to take to others the way WE are. The art is learning how to read others - and speaking to them in THEIR language. For instance I’m a very lovey-lovey-happy-joy-joy person who wants everyone to be happy and loved. I would go to appointments in my early days of real estate and couldn’t understand with how sweet I’d been at an appointment why some people just down-right didn’t appear to like me. Bothered me. I soon learnt: they were analytical; they wanted numbers, stats, results, proof about a house…I was speaking to them in my “language” and was telling them how pretty it was, the colours, how it would make them “feel”.  Once I learnt how to read others it was truly life changing. Our business went sky high in the success department once I learnt this! When I know someone is analytical, I speak to them more matter-of fact; to the point, focussing on numbers. I don’t take things personally anymore (it’s not they don’t like me….they got what they needed from the conversation and are good to go!); if I’m speaking to someone more time-centred or list-centred, organized, I change my language to suit them and what their needs are and same for the ones who are the ‘live life for today’, change on a dime, have fun, fun, fun….completely different language.  Learn this art and combined with the art of communication you’ll be a star!!