We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Marquardt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I always struggled to “pick a lane” in the working world. Most of us are taught early on that have to find a speciality and become an expert in it. I majored in Public Relations in college, even though I didn’t know if that was what I wanted to do full-time for the long haul. Then, I got a job in PR right after college. It didn’t take long to realize “this isn’t for me.” That wasn’t because I disliked PR – I still do it! – but I knew myself well enough to know I was interested in so many other things. Ultimately, I decided to become a consultant so I could stay diversified and pursue multiple paths simultaneously. I’ve used various words to explain it – I’m a Swiss Army knife, or a multipotentialite, or multidisciplinary. It doesn’t really matter, because I’m doing multiple things, and that’s what I always wanted. Ever since I committed to diversifying myself, I’ve held a couple full-time positions here and there as well, but I’ve always kept multiple projects on the table at once. It’s been critical to keep me afloat, since the working world is rapidly changing and often unpredictable (hello COVID causing an alarming unemployment rate). It feels weird to admit, but the past few months during this pandemic have been my busiest time recent years, and I owe that to the fact that I stayed agile, adaptable and diversified in my career aspirations and passions. It can be daunting and disorienting at times, because nearly every job I take on requires me to do something entirely different, but I love stretching myself and my skills at the same time. It’s not for everybody – the world needs specialists for sure. But for me, I need freedom to explore all my curiosities.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I do more professional business consulting as well, like PR and marketing, social media, design and creative strategy. But I wouldn’t be skilled in any of those areas if it weren’t for my creative spirit in the first place. I’m from a music and theatre background, and initially I wanted to follow that, but I realized it took disciplined focus – and I lacked that because there was so much else I wanted to do, too! I still make music and have a music brand, but my biggest art form that leads my life and all of my career aspirations is astrology. It’s a fairly nontraditional art to be involved with, not many people understand astrology beyond horoscopes in magazines. But it changed my life. It impacts how I approach all of my creative endeavors, because astrology helped me have a clearer perspective on myself and the world around me. It doesn’t matter if I’m doing my traditional corporate communications work or literally reading astrology birth charts for clients; the fact that I know astrology has completely overhauled my thought process and in one way or another, I bring it into everything I do now. I can’t help it. I’ve learned to better connect in meaningful ways. Even if someone has a completely different viewpoint or opinion than I personally hold, I can typically find common ground because of everything my astrology background has taught me. A lot of people refer to “As above, so below” as the typical astrology motto – and that’s true. It’s the idea that the movement of the celestial bodies has a correlation with how life unfolds on earth. But I like the motto “As within, so without.” Astrology helped me navigate all my inner parts so I could better navigate life outside of myself. It shines through in everything I do now. I even dictate whether or not I’ll sign a new contract, or launch a new business, or send out a press release, based on what the planets are up to. I know it sounds weird to the average person when I state it so bluntly like this, but whenever someone gives me 10 minutes of their time I can usually break it down and help them understand why I believe in it so emphatically.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First of all, I hear about new things going on in Los Angeles all the time, so I always try to keep my itinerary in a state of flow whenever people are visiting town. I usually come up with a hit-list of places, but the schedule itself is open. I’ll also say that most of my friends who visit usually just want to go to the beach, get some tacos or sushi, and go to some bars in West Hollywood. But for more of an “official” visit, here are some places I usually prioritize: For restaurants, my musts are: Bossa Nova (not many people have had Brazilian food this good), Barney’s Beanery (fun LA vibe), Cleo (adventurous and delicious), CAVA (it’s like Chipotle, but better, which is saying a lot), Flower Child (for the ‘healthy’ visitors), Republique (especially for brunch), Aroma Cafe (amazing coffee and Mediterranean-flared food options), and Zinqué (nice but not too stuffy). If I want to dine with a view, I’ll usually go to Yamashiro or Ivory on Sunset at Mondrian. Pump is also a standard when people visit, because so many know it from the “Vanderpump Rules” TV show, plus it’s in walking distance from where I live, and I secretly do love the food. Bars: I typically stick to West Hollywood for nightlife, it’s the best scene and bar-hopping is easy. Laurel Hardware, Gym Bar, Motherload, Hi-Tops, The Abbey, Fiesta Cantina, The Bayou, Rocco’s, Beaches, Revolver, State Social House and The Den are all good go-to spots. The only other bar I’ve consistently been to that’s outside of West Hollywood is a tiny dive that does karaoke called Scarlet Lady Saloon in Culver City – it’s so much fun. Attractions: LACMA or The Broad are typically on the list. The La Brea Tar Pits are also cool to see. Most people want to visit the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach as well, so that’s always on the agenda. If hiking, my suggestion is always a trip shortly outside of the city to Angeles National Forest, it’s rarely busy and has the absolute best views in my opinion. Beverly Center is my favorite of the malls for shopping, but the stores up and down Fairfax are fun to visit as well. It’s always fun to see a show at The Roxy or Troubadour if any good acts are playing. Overall, and maybe I’m biased, but I usually stick to my neighborhood – West Hollywood has everything!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have many excellent mentors and educators in my life, but it boils down to the old cliche: my mom and my dad. My dad passed away in 2011, but he was a brilliant, risk-taking entrepreneur starting in his teenage years, and I owe my work ethic to him. My mom taught me resilience, and that gets me through every single day, no matter what I’m working on.
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ryanmarquardt (I’m referral-based only for astrology and tarot readings right now – I’ll have a formal website launching in a couple weeks actually – but anyone can feel free to follow me on here and contact me for readings if interested!)
Other: For my music: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2XY1xGDheJfbr7U3O7uX0z Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/curs3s/1329117601