Ashley | From Rigid Marketer to Wellness Entrepreneur
By Kayla Clements
After graduating from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in public relations, I moved to New York City to pursue a career in fashion. From there my career took me through an array of industries, positions and cities. After six years in the “corporate” world, I realized that all of these various experiences had prepared me for what I was truly passionate about: entrepreneurship. In 2015, I moved to the west coast with my partner, experiencing a stint in Silicon Valley/San Francisco before eventually making my way south to San Diego.
Growing up on the East coast ingrained in me the relentless drive and work-ethic required for starting a business, but the West coast invoked the dreamer and creative in me and opened my eyes to the possibility of “making a life rather than making a living."
5 THINGS ABOUT
HEALTH + WELLNESS MARKETER | RECOVERING PERFECTIONIST | ADVENTURE SEEKER | DOG MOM | YOGI + LOVER OF 'WOO WOO'
LEAP OF FAITH
It took me about a year before I decided to enter the free-fall of entrepreneurship. During that year or so, I was acting from a place of logic, ignoring my heart and intuition. A slew of books and podcasts shifted my perspective and gave me the confidence and courage to shed any sort of limiting beliefs I may have had about myself or my capabilities. Near the end of 2017, I pursued a passion of mine and graduated from a yoga teacher training program. From there, it only took one month for me to quit my job, start my business and begin living my new life!
AH+M STRATEGIC CONSULTING
For the mindful, passionate and quality-driven business owners, AH+M Strategic Consulting is a full-service marketing communications and events services company. We couple corporate strategy with small-business virtues to grow businesses, brands and individuals in the health and wellness industry. We pair a shared passion for healthy living with impactful, authentic tactics to attract our clients’ tribes. As entrepreneurs, we can all remember that first, tiny vibration we felt that catapulted us down this path. I act as a partner to my clients in radiating that vibration to their core audience.
AH+M was born out of my desire to pair my professional experiences with my love for the health and wellness industry. The idea sparked from a conversation I was having with my yoga teacher training lead about how I didn’t know how to bring my career and passion for yoga together. I’m very Type-A, so I made a business plan to set a clear vision and intention for my company which was an immensely helpful exercise. I’ve often times heard that it is better to launch fast and refine along the way rather than to spend a long time planning, so I only spent 1-2 weeks on my business plan and launched immediately after. Since launching, I have made it a point to network and connect with other entrepreneurs. Once I was on the “other side”, I realized that this community is very willing to help and to share their experiences.
My consulting business is still very young, but I have been fortunate enough to land a few clients already. When I resigned from my "9-5", I really only had a month's worth of savings. It was definitely risky, but I know myself. I'm a hustler, and I'll do what it takes to make it work. And so far, it is already paying off.
My marketing background has allowed me to save a lot of money and time on start-up costs like web development and design. During that start-up time, none of this could have been possible without the emotional and financial support of my fiance, who not only encouraged me to go down this path, but who also offered to take on more household expenses to give me to space to do so. I have immense gratitude for him and my situation.
THE TOUGH TIMES
I decided to start my business while simultaneously planning a wedding, completing a yoga teacher training program, and creating my own outdoor yoga class series. Even though I have the freedom to set my own schedule now, I still feel guilty if I don't spend a "full work day" on my business or if I take attention away from my business to pursue other projects. It’s a shift in mindset that I’m still working through and quite frankly, I still feel a good bit of anxiety over. I think in times like these, when most things feel in transition, it’s important for me to ground myself in activities that provide me stillness - my yoga, meditation practice, and spending time with my fiance and dog.
5 INSIDER TIPS
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s truly what entrepreneurship is about. So just settle into the discomfort- it’s the only way you’ll learn and evolve.
I truly believe that you begin to live and think what you consume. I try to fill my mindspace with books and podcasts that further encourage me to be the best version of myself. Two books that really shifted my thinking are Mastering Your Inner Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
Being resourceful will be a huge asset in this journey (but don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice when you need it).
Not all days will be your most productive, inspiring, motivating, etc. days. Just accept that and realize tomorrow will be different. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” - Tony Robbins
WRITTEN BY KAYLA CLEMENTS
Kayla is the founder/creative director of Una Volta Studio, a creative consulting and design studio that specializes in working with fine artists, commercial photographers, and stylists. She is the author of ‘Daytripper: 60 Days on the Road Exploring America’s National Parks’ - a woman-written, thoughtfully-designed coffee table book inspired by 60 days of #vanlife. She lives between Brooklyn, NY and San Diego, CA.