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Empowering Entrepreneurship: Woman in Charge Goes from Wall Street to Franchising with BooXkeeping

Calderon feels proud to be among the many successful, confident and capable women in business ownership. She climbed the corporate ladder with tenacity and now she’s her own boss.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
Updated 3:15PM 03/06/24

Johanna Calderon is an entrepreneur who has shattered glass ceilings on her upward journey from Wall Street to the dynamic realm of franchising. Along the way, Calderon proved to herself and others that women can be successful in various roles simultaneously, if they can only overcome self-doubt. 

"In facing fear head-on, we often confront the notion that we must sacrifice either our roles as moms and wives or the pursuit of a fulfilling career. But we need not compromise. I've discovered that I can effectively balance the responsibilities of managing a household, nurturing a marriage, and running a successful business," Calderon affirmed. "It's a unique challenge we face: breaking free from our own self-imposed limitations to propel ourselves forward."

Before delving into the world of franchising, Calderon's professional trajectory took her from an entry-level accountant role in Boston to BNY Mellon on Wall Street, where she spent 13 years climbing the ranks. After starting a family, Calderon desired a new and different challenge. Using her expertise and knowledge gained from previous successes, she decided to become a business owner with BooXkeeping, a brand that would allow her to make a positive impact on small and medium-sized businesses in her community. Driven by a passion for serving her community, Calderon has found a part of a whole new and supportive community she didn’t expect: women in business ownership. 

“It's so beautiful when we as women are able to come together and understand that these challenges are something we all face and can all overcome. This is just part of being an entrepreneur,” she said.

1851 Franchise spoke with Calderon about her journey into franchising and her plans for the future.


1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

CalderonPrior to delving into franchising, my professional journey began with a degree from Colgate University in upstate New York, followed by an entry-level position as an accountant at Fidelity Management Trust Co. in Boston. Enthralled by the financial sector, I spent six years at the World Trade Center in Boston before setting my sights on Wall Street. Over the course of 13 years with BNY Mellon in New York City, I advanced steadily in my career while also embracing the joys of marriage and motherhood.

The birth of my child sparked a desire for a change of scenery and lifestyle, prompting my family's relocation to Florida in pursuit of verdant surroundings, sunnier skies, and closer familial connections. Amidst these transitions, my expertise in accounting flourished, leading me to specialize in self-directed IRAs at NuView Trust, where I ascended to the role of director and board member, overseeing multiple departments in compliance and accounting.

However, an appetite for new challenges stirred within me, catalyzed by the entrepreneurial spirit of a colleague, Tauriq Johnson. His infectious enthusiasm for business ownership planted the seeds of curiosity about franchising in my mind. Soon after, I stumbled upon BooXkeeping, a burgeoning franchise that captured my attention. Recognizing the potential of this emerging opportunity, I made the bold decision to invest in a territory here in Orlando, igniting a new chapter in my professional journey.

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Calderon: My passion for accounting and desire to leverage my extensive expertise led me to choose BooXkeeping. Having worked in accounting/finance on Wall Street and for various corporations, I sought a way to apply my knowledge to benefit small and medium-sized businesses in my community. BooXkeeping offered me the perfect platform to do just that.

What excites me most about BooXkeeping is the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of local business owners. Walking into establishments where I see neglected books due to their focus on running the business, not accounting, ignites my enthusiasm. Providing relief to overwhelmed owners by organizing their financial records is incredibly gratifying. Whether it's transforming a chaotic shoebox of receipts into an orderly system or implementing a suitable accounting platform, witnessing the newfound confidence and growth in these businesses is immensely rewarding. Being able to contribute positively to their journey fills me with excitement and purpose every day. It's just another way I contribute to my local community here in Orlando, enhancing the entrepreneurial landscape and fostering economic prosperity.

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Calderon: Our primary goal is to establish a highly efficient and scalable bookkeeping office  servicing all of Orlando. With our recent hire and rapid expansion, we're swiftly progressing toward this objective. The franchise model presents an exceptional framework for accelerated growth. Opting for this brand was a strategic decision, as it enables us to seamlessly onboard and train new team members within a short timeframe. This streamlined approach not only facilitates our current expansion but also lays a solid foundation for sustained growth and success in the future.

1851: What makes you particularly proud of being a successful woman in franchising?

Calderon: It's truly an honor to stand alongside so many accomplished women in leadership roles. I attribute my success to God's blessings, my determination, and the talents He has bestowed upon me. I am committed to utilizing these gifts to make a positive impact and support others on their journey to success!

1851: What are the unique challenges and opportunities for women in franchising?

Calderon: As women, especially those juggling the roles of motherhood and partnership, we often find ourselves navigating a multitude of responsibilities. Fear can loom large, tempting us to believe we must choose between our familial duties and professional aspirations. However, I urge you not to succumb to this fear. We are capable of managing a household, nurturing relationships, and excelling in business simultaneously. Our innate talents know no bounds; being a mother or wife does not diminish our potential, it enhances it!

One unique challenge lies in overcoming our own self-doubt and insecurities. Transitioning from an employee to an entrepreneur demands a shift in mindset. It's a journey of self-discovery and self-motivation, where we must learn to push past our own barriers. Yet, with each hurdle we conquer, we unearth an inner strength we never knew existed. I've come to understand that every obstacle is an opportunity to showcase our resilience and resourcefulness.

So, embrace the journey, knowing that with each step forward, you're unlocking your full potential. Remember, when challenges arise, trust in your ability to find solutions and pave your path to success.

1851: How can women in franchising empower and support one another?

Calderon: In the realm of franchising, women have a unique opportunity to uplift and strengthen one another through collaboration and support. Engaging with fellow women entrepreneurs within this space serves as a powerful reminder that we are not alone in our endeavors. Conversations with other businesswomen reveal a shared experience of confronting challenges that come in a variety of forms. From navigating diverse attitudes to managing personnel, including employees, contractors, and vendors, we encounter common hurdles that unite us in our journey towards success. This sense of solidarity fosters a supportive network wherein mutual empowerment thrives, propelling each of us forward in our franchising ventures.

It's truly empowering when women unite and recognize that the challenges we encounter are shared experiences that we can conquer together. These hurdles are simply part and parcel of the entrepreneurial journey.

1851: What advice do you have for other people (particularly for women) thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Calderon: Just do it! Seize the opportunity! Embrace resilience and unwavering consistency. Cultivate discipline, for it is the cornerstone that elevates you above all challenges and competition. Your dedication will propel you to unparalleled heights of success.

BooXkeeping is a bookkeeping franchise that combines professional expertise with genuine human connection to provide cutting-edge bookkeeping services for small and medium-sized businesses, franchisees, franchisors, CPA firms and more. 

Founded by Max and Elena Emma, two entrepreneurial immigrants with in-depth experience in finance and accounting, the brand’s journey spans over 20 years. Today, with six franchise locations across the country and one corporate location, BooXkeeping has emerged as a unique player in the bookkeeping industry, emphasizing a human-driven approach and personalized service.