My Story

During this video, Marnie shares the “rest of the Solutions story” including the simple success strategy she employed for the final two, stressful years prior to concluding a 10-year nightmare.

In 2006, the Swedberg’s purchased a 12,000 square foot retail store in Warroad, Minnesota, population close to 1800, and named it Soulutions.

It had 12 departments including seasonal, office, gifts, party, toys, books, floral, housewares, pets, crafts, fabric, and an espresso café.

From the very beginning, it faced setback after setback, challenging their faith to the max. Here’s the story.

Video Highlights (minute markers)

1:30 Marnie solo-circumnavigates the globe to speak, coach and collaborate with women worldwide.
4:00 Check Your Game – Examine your life as if it’s your car’s dashboard. Take care of things as they come up.
5:00 If you’re going to get out of your comfort zone, you’ll experience “red flag” situations. 5:45 Introduction to Marnie’s retail store ownership experience.
6:30 The horrifying surprises began and kept coming.
8:00 A middle of the night “aha” conversation with God.
9:30 The moment Marnie knew the store would not survive.
10:30 How to think about the death of a dream.
11:45 The bad news didn’t stop for 10 years.
12:15 How to honestly answer the hard question: How’s it going? (The box principle)
13:30 Soulutions was an amazing store that hired Renaissance women.
14:30 We all wish we could just have WINS all the time, and the value of every last thing.
15:00 The principle of the open hand.
15:45 Biggest red light moment.
16:30 Why it’s so hard to live by faith during tough times.
17:45 The mantra Marnie prayed for two years until the retail store building sold.
19:15 No matter what challenge you’re facing, even if it’s ongoing for years, keep your eyes on Jesus.
19:45 Personal greeting to Marnie’s friends in Warroad, MN
21:00 Help us share this video story.

1- As they were setting up the computer system to track over 128 suppliers and 50,000 sku’s, they would ask providers if they could send the product data download for the Point of Sale / computerized cash register (POS). Supplier after supplier responded the same way, “What’s a POS system?” The would explain that it was a computerized cash register that kept track of SKUs (individual items) by UPC code for reorder simplification. Next they would ask, “What’s a UPC?” From Day One, it was frustrating, and that was only the beginning.
2- The recession hit.
3- They invested over $100,000 to bring in a Christian bookstore just months prior to the release of the Kindle reader. They purchased and added an espresso coffee shop/restaurant and soon another coffee shop opened up the street.
4- And finally, a Dollar Store and another retail store opened in town selling similar products.
From the very beginning it was tough. In Marnie’s words, she says, “From the get-go, it was climbing Mt. Everest every single day.”

After 10 years, Marnie knew the retail store would not make it. She had a vision one night with a child on life support with tubes going to and from the body. As she looked at the child on hospital bed, she realized it was Soulutions, her store. After praying about what she was to do, she felt led to focus on making all everyone as comfortable as possible during the last days, weeks and months, just like she would do if her child was on its deathbed. This became her new mission and what I call her Check Your Game moment.

Her family hosted a final clearance sale to pay back investors, but there was one last thing to do; get rid of the building. The business wasn’t sellable (as it was not profitable), so they needed to sell off the product and building separately. But, no one would buy the building.

During the 2-year wait from listing the building to its sale, she prayed her way through every day. She said over and over again the following: “Thank-you God for sending the perfect buyer on the perfect day in the perfect way with the perfect pay.” She prayed this at all times consistently for 2 years until a business came in and bought the building for the exact amount they were asking.

Wow! What a story. The interesting thing is that the buyers let the building stand. They did not have a use for the building. They bought it so Swedberg’s would not have to own it any more.

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My Advice

Whatever God has you doing today, just do it for Jesus and he can use you in whatever you are doing.

No matter how big the obstacle, disappointment or setback, God is so much bigger. Our challenges come to help us grow, even if they go on for years and years and years and years. It doesn't matter. Keep your eyes off the waves and onto Jesus.

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Marnie says:

Thanks for interviewing me, Gary, and inviting me to share this “traumatic” story for the first time in public. God is good, all the time, even when the circumstances are rough. When we seek Him, we find Him—because He’s always right there! Thanks and God bless!

Gary Rogers says:

I am humbled that you allowed me to interview you and understand how traumatic this was for you. God is good all the time, isn’t HE? Thanks Marnie!

What a story!!! Thank you for sharing! I love Marnie’s words—keep your eyes off the waves and onto Jesus! 🙏

God always has a plan—no matter what is happening on the outside, God is always working on the inside! ❤️

“Keep your eyes off the waves and onto Jesus.” I love this quote and your faithfulness to God. That’s amazing he brought you out of that financial distress with a buyer who didn’t even do anything with the building for awhile. Thanks for sharing your story of faith. God bless!

Gary Rogers says:

Marnie I am so thankful that I had a chance to connect with you, learn more about you, and to share a story that would’ve been so hard to go through. As I think of what you went through, I have trouble even thinking what I would be able to do to overcome so many challenges your family had. One thing after another gets in the way, but God can overcome all those obstacles, including the sale of a building that no one had wanted to buy. It’s simply amazing, but that is how we would describe God too! Thanks for being vulnerable, transparent and humble in order to share your story for the first time. I truly appreciate it and know what you shared will be an encouragement for others. Thank you, Gary Rogers