Creative Genius Podcast

Season 3 Episode 5

The Domino Effect of Embracing Change (Marissa Matiyasic)

The Domino Effect of Embracing Change (Marissa Matiyasic)

Little tweaks can snowball into major changes.  Make one improvement and you begin to notice other areas that need attention.  As they accumulate, your business will run more smoothly, so you can get more done with less stress and strife.

On today’s podcast, Gail and Erin talk with Marissa Matiyasic, principal, Reflections Interior Design, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  When just a few years out of design school, Marissa was offered the option to buy the business from her first employer, who was looking to retire.  She took the leap and has grown it into a highly successful, five-person firm.  But success brought its own set of challenges.

After attending one of Gail’s presentations, Marissa realized she needed help with running her business.  Most of her time was spent working, and she was stressed and exhausted.  She made an appointment for a VIP Day session with Gail, and it turned out to be a pivotal experience for her.  She went away with a list of changes she wanted to make in her business.

Marissa set a goal to accomplish her list in 90 days, but ran through it in about two months.

“It was kind of a domino effect,” she said.  “Once you change one thing it makes sense to just keep going with it.”

And Marissa has plans for yet more changes.  “There was a lot, and there still is,” she added.  “It’s an ongoing thing.”  She’s in the process of purchasing a building to have a larger space, with an eye to gradually adding more staff in the years ahead.  She’d like to have a receiving space in the building as well and space to hold events.  Her long-range goal is to reach a point where the staff can handle the day-to-day design work, so she can take more time away for herself.

Gail asked Marissa if these days she thought of herself more as a designer or as a business owner.  “I definitely think of myself more as a business owner,” replied Marissa. “Although if you had asked me that a year ago, I don’t think I would have said that.  Now my priority is to run the business.”

Asked if she had any advice or insights to share with listeners that they could take away to apply to their own businesses, Marissa said,

  • Get help soon; benefit from others’ knowledge and expertise
  • Don’t feel alone in your corner; have someone at your level that you can bounce things off of
  • Take time to slow down and to spread joy and kindness

Listen to the entire podcast to hear Marissa explain what changes she’s made to her business and how they’ve helped put on the path toward future growth.

Mentioned in This Podcast

You can find out more about Marissa and her work at  You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

When asked what she’s been reading lately, Marissa mentioned the book, The Miracle Morning (more information at, which Gail had sent her.  She also mentioned several books she’d recently listened to as audiobooks:

  • Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek, and Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team, also by Simon Sinek (more information at
  • Where the Crawdad’s Sing, the best-selling novel by Delia Owens, available in print and e-book from bookstores and online.

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