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Meet Xiao Faria daCunha of Westerlund Marketing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Xiao Faria daCunha.

Hi Xiao, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was a first-generation immigrant, the black sheep of the family crazy enough to fly to the other side of the world to chase my dream and figure my life out. However, my story is not one filled with flowers and glories. You would barely find anything similar to what you’d hear from an international student who came here on an exchange program. For the first seven years in the states, I was in a dangerous, toxic, and highly abusive relationship, unconsciously reflecting my generational trauma and codependency I’d inherited from my family in my own life choices. It wasn’t until 2020 that I decided to step out of that marriage no matter what it would cost me.

My business was a last resort to sustain a household when the person I was with refused to hold any responsibilities. It was also my subconscious self-rescuing once I realized how much I had allowed this “relationship” to isolate me from everything I once loved and a normal life, in general. I could no longer recognize myself and I was desperately grabbing onto the things around me — for the good or the worse, it pushed me to build a community stronger and more supportive than I’d ever imagined myself being in.

Now, I run my business full time and have built a small team. When I’m not working, I lose myself in painting, music, or writing. I never thought I would become an artist, but during my darkest days, art was what kept me alive. For my upcoming years, I’d like to continue my business while gradually switch my focus to my art practice.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being a business owner was surely a challenge. I had always worked independently, and I have more than sufficient knowledge of marketing. But when it comes to running a business, doing sales, and putting myself out in the world, I had no idea how to. I was forced to break down all my fear and bad habits because I had no way return, and that was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Because I never grew up with any parental guidance when it comes to properly handling my emotions, stress, and how to communicate with others, I had to start from scratch by looking at how others do it, asking uncomfortable questions, and making tons of mistakes.

Fortunately, I met many amazing people along the road who supported me and offered me insights without a second of hesitance. That is why I care so much about being a part of a healthy community – because I wouldn’t be here otherwise.

As you know, we’re big fans of Westerlund Marketing LLC. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Westerlund is the name of the brightest young star cluster in the universe. Yup, this is me being super nerdy. We work with businesses that are still young in terms of digital marketing. Because of my own experience, I treat digital marketing less as a technical field but more as a people field. I still believe marketing should be about building authentic relationships because if you take data away, you are talking to another human being behind the screen.

We’re a full-stack firm, but our focus is on content marketing and community development. We use content as a vehicle and help our clients truly build a distinguishable identity in the digital space while forging a tightly-knitted community of prospects, partners, advocates, and evangelists that will autonomously grow as the business grows.

What matters most to you? Why?
Relationship. I mean, let’s think about it.

You meet so many people in your life. I’m nobody special. You totally aren’t obligated to be nice to me, let alone being friends with me. So I am super grateful for everyone who has helped me along the way, who has stayed in my life, even the ones who gradually parted with me simply because our lives took different courses.

For the good time, the support, the laughter and the tears we shared together, I thank thee.

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