Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Audra Slinkey, Founder of Home Staging Resource, located in Encinitas, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We help people who LOVE and have a passion for interior design create a successful business as a home stager, home stylist, designer, and/or color consultant through our award-winning online training.

Tell us about yourself

I am motivated by the many emails I get from my members who never thought it was possible for them to have a successful design business, but because of my training, which gave them confidence, they now do...their dreams are realized. I love that they now have the freedom that I do to be their own boss, work their own hours, use their God-given design talent and be responsible for their own success.

I started staging back in 2004 but quickly realized that for this industry to grow and become viable, it needed professional training with websites for those with the same passion as me, so I pivoted to online training as that was my background before staging. I launched the Home Staging Resource in 2006, and it immediately grew as the most successful home stagers in North America launched their business first, going through my training.

We have expanded to Color Consulting training and E-Design training, which helps designers better package their designs and make money off of them using technology.

Do you have daily rituals for work / wellness / fitness / mindfulness?

First thing in the morning, while drinking coffee, I do my Daily Bread devotional and gratefulness activity, focusing on appreciating what I've been given, as well as how I can serve better. This meditation time helps to center me and put me in the right framework for the rest of the day. My Dad always did this as well, so I picked it up from him.

Next, I do my Wordle, Connections, and Sudoku to get my brain moving. Who does not love those games? Finally, I quickly checked my email before taking my dog (Emmy) for a walk with my husband. This way, if anything is critical, I can deal with it early.

A few mornings, I meet my best girlfriend to do a more weight training workout and stay in shape.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've won a lot of awards and recognition in the 15+ years of business, but I'm most proud of helping thousands of mostly women start successful staging and design businesses doing what they love and are passionate about. I've trained the most award-winning home stagers in the industry. Every day someone thanks me for helping them achieve and create their dream business, so I love that too.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Staying focused and motivated to achieve results. You are distracted daily by multiple opportunities, so prioritizing and planning ahead of time is key. I started in my 30's and now am in my 50's, so it's tough staying relevant in a fast-moving, Internet-based industry.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

That is easy...

  1. Make sure to pick something you are passionate about. That passion will be your motivation, especially when days get tough. I eventually lost interest in my first business because it did not feed my soul, even though it was successful.
  2. Do the work and research. Triple-check your marketspace to make sure there is a need/niche you can find, get a bead on your ideal client and make sure to speak their language.
  3. Be better, so you don't have to worry about competition. There was a TON of competition in the staging training industry (almost a monopoly) when I launched back in 2006, but I knew my product was better, so I did not let that deter me. Just because there is competition in your space does not mean you can't excel, so don't get discouraged. If it's something you are passionate about and it's aligned with your core interests...go for it!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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