"There has to be more..." How many of us start our entrepreneurial journey with this exact thought? I know I did. And so did today's interviewee, Ashley Love.
In her 20s, Ashley found herself unhappy in the corporate world and yearned for more. She wanted more creative freedom, more connections with inspiring women, and more joy. She channeled her desires, marketing experience, and extensive education into starting a consulting business.
Despite moments of self-doubt, imposter syndrome and nightmare clients, she's found a way to keep going. AND she's sharing the whole stripped-down, ups-and-downs story with us in today's interview.
As entrepreneurs, whether full-time or side-hustling, it's so important for us to know we're not alone in what we feel and experience during this crazy adventure of chasing our dreams.
Let’s dig in!
At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know starting a consulting business was the right direction?
I think maybe I always knew I’d be my own boss. I had so many career ideas floating around (I’m a Gemini) but nothing ever seemed right. I basically hated the idea of working for someone else. I have tons of education and was basically running the company I worked for. I thought to myself “there has to be more.” I couldn’t justify making my boss a ton of money. I wasn’t working with the types of people I wanted to and wasn’t living the life I wanted.
I was miserable and broke and decided something had to change.
Even with the missteps or sleepless nights (a lot of sleepless nights creating content), I was so much happier. I was meeting with all kinds of amazing women, and it hasn’t stopped since.
What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?
It's definitely hard to get others to rally behind you.
Schools don't cater to the entrepreneur. Most of my family had a very “old school” way of thinking. My grandfather was a laborer his whole life, and they did just fine. He couldn’t really grasp my concept of working from home. My husband, however, was the most supportive human on the planet. Without him, I for sure would not own my business and would have very easily given up.
It’s easy to quit. Heck, I even did quit once because it got so hard.
I had a lot of moments of self-doubt and imposter syndrome.
It was super tough at first. It still is sometimes.
Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?
I love my glass of wine every now and then. I also really love taking a bubble bath. I probably live in there three nights a week!
I’m really into essential oils to take care of most of my woes. I use a lavender oil on all my sheets in the house so that when we all lie down, that’s it. We’re out cold.
I recently started getting back into the gym as well. I hate going, but love the feeling once I’m there. It’s become my time to disconnect from work. I just put on my headphones and shut the world out.
Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?
I faced a lot of rejection and horrible clients. I once had a client that would harass me and the vendors I set her up with constantly. She called me awful names. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back when I did quit.
It took me a while but I realized I have a purpose. My “why” is so important. I want to help women launch their own business.
By hiding away, I can't help anyone, and that isn’t fair to my ideal client.
I always have to keep her in mind or I could very easily give into the rejection and fear.
What do you do when you're having an off day—maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?
If I’m feeling unmotivated I take a step back from my business. I don’t want to create content or serve clients if I’m not my best self.
I take some off and head to the gym or grab a glass of wine and unwind. I’ll go back to reading my why and my “I am” statements. They always help me get back on track.
What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?
The biggest misconception is that anyone can do marketing/branding.
I’ve invested over $100k into my education both with coaches and school to give my clients results they can count on.
There’s a huge difference between a pro who can calculate the ROI or understand the best content schedules, etc. and someone who is just “good at social media,” which is what I see a lot of the time.
What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?
I have definitely learned to be true to myself. If I’m doing anything that feels inauthentic, it isn’t going to work. I have to be myself 100% of the time.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?
I recommend doing a lot of research. Research exactly what is going to make you happy and spend a lot of time determining who your ideal client is.
When you know who you want to serve and why, it makes sticking through the hard times a lot easier.
When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?
I definitely feel like me the most when I’m serving others.
I teach the 3-year-olds in my church and volunteer with the local Cub Scouts. From the time I was in middle school until now, I’ve been a volunteer in some capacity. So when I’m serving others I get an adrenaline rush.
What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?
I really thrive off of other girl bosses. I love Emily Williams and I just finished #GirlBoss. I have a great group of #BizBesties that I’m super close with. We share everything and anything with each other. It’s really been inspiring to watch us all thrive in our own business.
Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.
Every time I sign a client I get a wave of fear. I get the “what if I can’t deliver” fear. It’s a fear that always takes over for a few moments.
But then, when I leave a client beyond happy, that’s an exciting moment for me. I love the text, email, or Skype call from a client saying, “Wow! I love it.”
What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?
The most exciting thing... is a lot of things! I have a Facebook group that is growing faster than I could have anticipated. I have over 40 experts booked to give that group advice on running a sustainable business. I have a book I’m finishing, and in May, one of my #BizBesties and I are coming out with a planner designed for the online female entrepreneur.
My business is moving fast and I couldn’t be more excited.
About Ashley Love
At just 25, Ashley Love has decided to crack the corporate world by starting a consulting and brand of her own – A.Love Marketing. During her time earning her bachelor's degree, Love worked at a full-service PR Firm. Alongside a team of motivated and talented individuals, Love was showered with awards and recognition for her work within the International Marketing Industry.
In 2013, Ashley and her team received an award from the International MarCom Association for their work in integrated social media and PR campaigns. That same year, they were recognized with two National Service Industry Advertising Awards. To top it off, Ashley has had the privilege to work for a wide range of clientele that have had an enormous impact on her success in her career. To name a few, Love has worked with the American Lung Association and on political campaigns, as well as Non-Profits and small businesses.
Young, energetic, and full of experience; Ashley Love is ready to conquer the industry with her company, A.Love Marketing.
This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know!