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By Marlene Holmquist

According to the World Economic Forum, 99.9% of businesses in the U.S. are considered a small business.

Small businesses are the backbone of our country, and right now many of them are either reopening or starting over. I can relate to the pain of losing your life’s work of building a business you assumed would support you the rest of your life. After the crash of 2009, when my last interior design assistant walked out the door, I knew things would be changed forever.

I sure wish I had known about The Golden Circle earlier. It would have made my life post-2009 a whole lot easier. It changed how I thought about myself, helping me embrace who I was and integrating my authentic self into my company. The Golden Circle presents the theory (in business marketing) that you need to show your audience why you do what you do, then how you do it, ending up with what you do … in that precise order.

However, most businesses put the what before the why. Using this proven theory as a guide while you reopen or reorganize your business, you can make a monumental difference in your overall success. I guarantee if you take the time to make these discoveries, you will be more profitable and happier, and save time.

In my own personal journey with The Golden Circle, I discovered that some of the things I thought (in my own head) were my cons were such a huge part of me—I could not ignore them. I consider myself a sophisticated designer, but also a cowgirl, so how could those two worlds possibly meld? Do I hide one of them behind the mask of the other? I am a cowgirl who just happens to be a designer, so I started to use that in my marketing.

The very word cowgirl is often misunderstood. It encompasses something in a person that is more than a love of horses. Cowgirls are brave, love God, their family, and their animals. You need to be brave to run your own business, so I admire any person who has embarked on that journey. There is at least a little bit of cowboy/cowgirl in all of you, so embrace that!

Happy summer to everyone. See you next month with a discussion about the importance of how an interior feels and how it can translate into more profits for your retail business, or more enjoyment and productivity in your home office.

Marlene Holmquist is the owner of Luxury Ranch Interior Design. She holds a BFA in Illustration from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She recently relocated from a 5-arcre ranch/studio in Ramona, CA, to Monarch Beach in 2020. She now boards her cow horse Zeke at Shady Maples (formerly Tar Farms). Marlene is currently a member of the San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition and Las Vaqueras Women’s Riding Club.

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