Q: Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Ans: Western Spirit Enrichment Center is a small holistic mind, body, spiritual retreat organization (non-religious and non-denominational) guiding individuals and couples on their inner journey of spiritual growth and transformation through empowering workshops, healing sessions, meditation, exciting outdoor activities, and the beauty of Arizona. We are located near magical Sedona, AZ , named the most beautiful place in America. Retreat guests will experience an incredible, unforgettable week-long holistic journey that combines the perfect mix of positive self-discovery and fun-filled outdoor activities. Guests will be guided to discover a life of joy and love, and reach a higher level of spiritual consciousness through daily empowering and nurturing personal or couples healing meditations, workshops and personal growth activities. Guests will experience intuitive healing, benefit from spiritual guidance, and enjoy exciting outdoor healing and meditative activities in sacred and beautiful Sedona and the awesome Grand Canyon. Western Spirit’s spiritual retreats are based on the fundamental truth that each of us has the answers within and we are all traveling on our own individual and unique spiritual journey. Whether guests come alone, as many do, or as couples, a Western Spirit spiritual retreat benefits everyone immensely. Whether coming for a personal retreat, womens retreat, couples retreat or marriage retreat, guests will be individually guided to open their heart and reconnect with their authentic Divine Self by joining in personal meditations and workshops that will enlighten, inspire and heal. When one changes their thoughts, they change their energy – and then they change their life! After a Western Spirit spiritual retreat, guests will leave feeling more peaceful, loving, centered, and empowered to choose the “right answer” for themselves.

Q: Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Ans: MARIAN CAROL is a gifted spiritual teacher, counselor, humanist, intuitive healer, visionary and psychic. She teaches individuals and couples how to create and attract harmony, peace and love in their lives and relationships by showing us how to open up to Spirit’s light and love. She is known throughout the world for her peaceful and gentle nature, her playfullness and sense of humor. Marian and her husband Gary have over 20 years of research and study into the higher consciousness, the perfecting of spiritual harmony, and the law of attraction and manifesting. She is featured in the book “The Top 101 Experts Who Help Us Improve Our Lives”. She is also the author of a popular meditation CD, “ONE BREATH, ONE SPIRIT, Guided Meditations by Marian Carol”, which can be ordered at www.westernspiritranch.com/cdorderform.html. Marian grew up in the Chicago area where she worked as an actor, director, and teacher. Her extensive experience as an educator includes teaching at all age levels and facilitating hundreds of spiritual workshops and retreats. Through her workshops, Marian has proven the intention and dedication of her healing and teaching ministry in assisting others on their personal spiritual journey. She has worked over the years with thousands of people to improve their lives, helping them to love themselves again and resolve the blocks that have held them back, to discover within their incredible resources and talents that have helped turn their lives around, to forgive and heal, to achieve the success and happiness they have dreamed about, and improve their relationships with themselves, their partner, family, co-workers, and Spirit. Marian has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Loyola University, a Master’s Degree in Education from Dominican University, and successfully completed the summer program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Her extensive European travels, and past residences in Rome and London, aid her in bringing a wealth of knowledge and life experience to her work. Her varied experiences as an actor, director, educator, professional facilitator, motivational speaker and trainer, and Unity chaplain have taught her interpersonal skills that have become invaluable in her work. Her rapport with people and her ability to listen with her heart draw people to her from all walks of life.

In the mid-1990s, she received spiritual guidance that led her to know she would be leaving the Midwest and moving westward. She fearlessly followed her heart and settled in Arizona, where she continues to explore, expand, and deepen her spirituality. Her strong faith in God and Divine Order has led her to manifest many incredible experiences in her life. Her intuitive and psychic abilities have been present since childhood, but as she focused more on her spiritual development, these gifts have become stronger, more evident, and more easily accessed. Marian has used these exceptional gifts to benefit herself and hundreds of others.

She has always been an avid believer in sharing her skills by volunteering her time and talents in many different capacities. She was the host, writer, and producer of her own radio talk show for CRIS (Chicagoland Radio Information Service). She has also shared her talents and resources with numerous community and charitable organizations, both in Illinois and Arizona. Marian considers the balance of mind, body, and spirit of the utmost importance. She enjoys horseback riding, hiking, biking, rock and mountain climbing, camping, kayaking, whitewater rafting, swimming, and western dancing. She is a trained Chaplain and practices yoga and meditation.

GARRETT (Gary) LOWRY is a passionate and experienced outdoorsman and adventurer who enjoys running, rock and mountain climbing, wilderness camping, downhill skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, scuba diving, piloting his glider soarplane, and western dancing. He has competed in hundreds of 10k road races, marathons, and triathlons. As a cowboy, he is also an experienced horseback rider who has owned many horses throughout his career. He has traveled extensively worldwide, but has been drawn to the west all his life and moved to Arizona in the 1980s from St. Louis to enjoy the extensive outdoor opportunities available here. He possesses a broad knowledge of the rich history of the “old west” and Native American culture, as well as the incredible beauty of Arizona, and has been guiding people on adventurous activites and tours here for over 20 years.

His spirituality has grown significantly over the past two decades and is manifested in his practice of Hatha and Siddha Yoga, Tai Chi, and daily meditation. He strongly believes in sharing his blessings and giving back to others through numerous types of charitable and community service he is involved with. Garrett has trained and practiced as a Stephen Minister and a Unity Chaplain. He currently works with local inmates in a pioneer mentoring program. He is also a graduate of the Phoenix Valley Leadership program. Garrett continually seeks to expand his consciousness and enlightenment through meditation and connecting with the God-Spirit within.

Garrett has over forty years of experience in the business world and has founded several successful companies, including an adventurous activities tourist business in the Phoenix area. In addition, he spent many years as a successful financial consultant and investment manager for several major Wall Street firms. He also served in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer and in the Finance Corp.

Q: What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

Ans: Marian and her husband, Garrett, have passionately followed their intuitive vision by establishing Western Spirit Enrichment Center as a means of sharing their knowledge of spirituality, their immense love of God’s beautiful, healing and enriching nature, and the beauty of their home state of Arizona.

Q: What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Ans: Be well funded at the start; be passionate about your vision; hire knowledgeable and inspired employees and allow them do what they do best.

Q: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans: persistence, passion, openness to new ideas

Q: How many hours do you work a day on average?

Ans: whatever it takes; usually 60 hours a week

Q: To what do you most attribute your success?

Ans: Prayer & meditation; a steadfast belief in what we do and persistence in overcoming any obstacles.

Q: How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Ans: our website is seen and attracts guests from around the world

Q: Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Ans: savings

Q: What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Ans: believe in your vision, do your homework in terms of a business and marketing plan, be adaptable to change, never give up, and being grateful.

Q: Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Ans: we’re living in the moment and open to whatever Spirit (God) brings. Wayne Dyer said, “Be open to everything and attached to nothing.” This is good advice.

Q: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Ans: Amazon, Apple, Costco

Q: How important have good employees been to your success?

Ans: we’ve done everything ourselves

Q: How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Ans: we seek guidance through prayer and meditation, then listen!

Q: What motivates you?

Ans: Gratitude, love & kindness to others; changing the world through one retreat guest at a time.

Q: What are your ideals?

Ans: love, kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, seeing ourselves in others, helping those in need, believing in what we do.

Q: How do you generate new ideas?

A: prayer & meditation, being open & listening, being aware & in the moment

Q: How do you define success?

Ans: improving the lives of others

Q: How do you build a successful customer base?

Ans: keeping in touch with past retreat guests and those who have inquired about our retreats; sending out inspirational messages regularly.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Ans: being my own boss, working with my spouse, following my own ideas and reaping my own rewards.

Q: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Ans: every time a retreat guest tells us we have made a positive difference in their life; saved their life; helped them to discover happiness & peace within.

Q: In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.

Ans: freedom

Q: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Ans: nothing

Q: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

Ans: try to chose love over fear

Q: How did you decide on the location for your business?

Ans: Sedona was named the most beautiful city in America!

Q: If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

Ans: Jesus

Q: What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)

Ans: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill

Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Ans: There are no mistakes, just choices, some of which are more painful than others. They are all learning opportunities.

Q: How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

Ans: prayer & meditation

Q: What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

Ans: We like horseback riding, hiking, mountain climbing, western dancing, exercise. Garrett flies soarplanes.

Q: What makes you happy?

Ans: sharing our love and happiness with others.

Q: What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans: none

Q: If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?

Ans: Marian Carol & Garrett Lowry