Rachel Brenke: Hey guys. Rachel Brenke here from the Business Bites podcast, and I am excited to talk to Ashleigh today from the Power Squad Project. This is for Boost Number Three on the podcast. If you guys are not familiar to this new line of Boost that I’m doing, it is issues that I’ve seen, pain points that you guys are feeling in your everyday entrepreneurship, and I’m wanting to connect you directly with resources that are available out there. This is the only line of episodes where I bring in other voices. If you listen to the regular Bites, you know that it’s just me, chit-chatting and talking. So now is a good time for you guys to take a little bit of break from my voice and listen to my chit-chat with some other great resources for you.
So today, Ashleigh from the Power Squad project is joining us. She is a money-maker for celebrities and high net worth entrepreneurs. She came out from behind-the-scenes role to the forefront as chief curator and master motivator over at the Power Squad Project. This is an email community for women entrepreneurs who want to connect with other like-minded women entrepreneurs that are interested in building giant businesses that give freedom, a challenge, and an impact on the world. Ashleigh, thank you so much for being here.
Ashleigh: Thank you for having me. So excited to be here.
Rachel Brenke: Your description and introduction that I just gave of what you’re doing makes me so incredibly excited, because myself as a female entrepreneur, it can feel very lonely when you work on your own a lot, even if you have a team that works under you. It’s really hard because they may not necessarily feel the same pain points, issues, or even the successes that you feel. So getting to know other people and having a place to do that is phenomenal. I love it.
Ashleigh: Oh, yeah. Yeah. We’re not alone. We’re not doing this by ourselves, yet we’re working in our offices by ourselves-
Rachel Brenke: Right.
Ashleigh: -a lot of the time, right? Yeah.
Rachel Brenke: The thing is too, I feel like we trick ourselves into believing that we’re not alone because we’re connected by social media, right. But in reality, it’s too easy to continue this public persona that you have online, and not really get to know other people behind the scenes, because you don’t know who’s watching. So having a community that you can engage with behind the scenes of like-minded people comforts me to know that there is somebody out there that’s feeling the way I do. I try to do it with the people in my life, but a lot of them are not entrepreneurs. They don’t understand. They think it’s all fun and games and laying on the beach, everything Instagram-style, right? They don’t [inaudible 00:02:32] what’s going on.
Ashleigh: Even my husband, bless his heart. He comes home, and he’s like, “What are you doing on the computer?”
Rachel Brenke: I know.
Ashleigh: I just, I’m like, I don’t even know where to start. It’s like he’s not in an online business. He has nothing to do, his work has nothing to do with that. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” We made like, several cocktails to go over this one. It’s not like a quick and easy answer ever.
Rachel Brenke: My kids even joke. They go, “You work on Facebook. Daddy works in an office.” And I’m like, “Okay, well that’s a simplistic way to put it.” But you know, I think along those same lines, though, we also as women in business, being our own entrepreneur, bosses, in this entrepreneurial-type world, it’s really hard for us sometimes to feel like that we can be selfish for us, that we can dig into a community like this, because I think as nurturers, we are so used to pushing an out to others and never keeping anything for ourselves. So I wanted to talk to you today. You have this empowerment and this motivation and challenge to women to be more selfish, and I want you to kind of explain to the audience what you mean by that.
Ashleigh: Well, I think– What do I mean by that? I came into the business world through being a stay-at-home mom for years, and it was really a selfish thing for me to say, “Hey, listen, I’m not going to the grocery store. I’m not going to Costco every week. I’m not going to Target every week. I’m going to one grocery store and not four.” That is it. That was like a real life change for my husband. Finally, I was doing something for myself, and guess what? There were arguments in the house about it, but that’s okay. It didn’t mean that I don’t love my husband and that I don’t love my kids and this and that. But it’s like, you know what? Mommy needs her time, too. This is truly fulfilling for me, and isn’t it better for you to see me fulfilled and making progress and loving things that I’m doing? Isn’t that honoring not only myself, honoring myself as a mother, and being a good example for my children? Showing my husband, reminding my husband who I married? I’ve always been an up and interested in different things, blah blah blah. But it is important to be selfish, and it is important to just do your thing. It’s really not hurting anybody else. You don’t have to be a jerk about it, but it’s not hurting anybody else, and everybody wins.
Rachel Brenke: Well, and I think that’s the big thing right there, is you don’t have to be a jerk, but you can be unapologetic. I started business for me. I didn’t want to work a 9 to 5 elsewhere, and I, for so long, whenever people would ask about self-employment, I would always go to say, “It’s really good to be here for the kids.” Not that it’s not, but I feel like it was almost like this apologetic of, “Oh, yeah, I gave up the 9 to 5 dream to be here for them, because I’m putting them first.” But it really wasn’t that. It really was because I wanted to be my own boss. Yes, I did want to be here for the kids, but I finally, it took me a couple years in entrepreneurship, and I still find myself sometimes not wanting to stand up and go, “You know what? I really enjoy it. I really enjoy being self-employed. I really like being the boss.” I think as women as opposed to men– so sorry guys, if you’re listening– I feel like sometimes women feel like they have to be more apologetic when it comes to working, including, and especially, I think, entrepreneurship, when we know this takes way more hours than a typical 9 to 5 would.
Ashleigh: Yeah. And here’s the other crazy thing. I literally was having a conversation with a client and friend of mine the other day, and she’s a powerhouse on the PR side, which is honestly a new thing. I was like, “Is this approach working?” And “How come they’re not responding to my emails?” And she was like, “Girl, you have got to be in their face.” And guess what? That’s how, and truly, I have like celebrity clients. It’s like, they’re celebrities because they chose to be celebrities, and they just went balls to the wall, right, [inaudible 00:07:16]. They just unapologetically went for it, and I think that that’s things, like women are starting businesses at a rate of six times greater than men. Yet-
Rachel Brenke: That’s awesome.
Ashleigh: -how many of us are out from behind the laptop and the online space? That becomes the new comfort zone. Alright, where else are we pushing? Where else? I keep looking at it. I’m like, “Well, my next thing is, why am I not searching for VC money?” Who immediately searches for VC money and angel money? That is men. Women, and there aren’t many women in the field, but I’m like, why do I not know anything about that? I know nothing about that field. I know nothing about getting money or anything like that. I was never groomed for it. But why not? My business idea is just as grand as the next person, right?
Rachel Brenke: That’s the thing. I love your confidence, how you’re just like, “Go for it, do it, why don’t we know about this? Why don’t we go after this?” Something that Ashleigh had said to me offline before we got on here is that men will apply for a job when they’re 60% qualified, or they perceive to be 60% qualified, but a woman will only apply if she’s 100% certain she’s capable. My question to you is, how, and especially through your community, how can we instill this selfish confidence in our team members that maybe work for us or fellow entrepreneurs that we see struggling with the same issues?
Ashleigh: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It is really true that men, I think bringing that to the awareness, and I think having the community of seeing other woman power and take steps that are probably three or four steps further along than you. I was recently, I was nominated for Women in Business awards for Orange County recently.
Rachel Brenke: Well, congratulations.
Ashleigh: Thank you, right? Like super. And it was like, “Well, why not me?” And the woman who won, she went up there and recently named CEO of the company that she’s in, and the board last fall, she told this story. The board last fall walked around and said that they were looking, doing a new CEO hunt, and she went calm, and she was like, “Why not me?” And she went back to them and said, “I’d like to put my name in for consideration.” And here she was. She then became CEO of this company and was like winning all sorts of awards, and they’re making awesome progress, and all these things. It is “Why not me?” So back to your question, how do we bring it back home and how does the work that I’m doing is trying to encourage you to not only take two steps, but take two steps further. And constantly be out of the comfort zone. I’m always out of my comfort zone. I’ve got to give my own self pep talks and be like, “Oh my gosh, I fumbled through that one,” or whatever. But it’s okay, because we land on our feet. We’re women, right? We always land.
Then, how do you do it with your team? Lead by example, show them what you’re doing. And also, the Harvard Business Review actually just published this amazing article that’s like making waves about with your team, instead of rewards and consequences, it’s really involving your team and showing them what’s relevant, why this is, the actions that you’re taking, really holding, setting expectations properly, and working together, just not in a silo, which is another way to build your internal community.
Rachel Brenke: You know, that’s one thing that I’ve really, I have admitted on the other podcast that management has been something that is one of my weaknesses. I am always trying to be better, because I want to build a really good team, because I know that the teamwork makes the dream work, right? I can’t do this alone. For me, you just said it right there, is it’s learning these different ways, not just the rewards, but explaining to them why we do things. Not only is that helping the team, I feel like, feel the value and have confidence in the actions that they’re taking, but then they also feel valued. I feel like they feel even more valued rather than me just sending them an edible arrangements or a Starbucks gift card. They’re feeling more valued because then they feel the trust that I’m instilling them to have this knowledge. I trust them 100% already with the business, but just giving them the keys doesn’t necessarily demonstrate trust. You have to, it’s like a relationship. It is a relationship. But it’s much like a marriage or something. You have to continually be working to show trust. It’s earned, it’s not just given.
I definitely love that, and I think I’ve just made a note that I’m going to push even more to do that with the team. I feel like I’ve always done really good on the education standpoint, or telling them why I’m going to do an action, but admittedly, I’m human, and I’ve fallen off of it a bit, especially when things get busy. So for me, taking a step back as a manager and saying, “Hey, you really have to commit to doing this,” is really important because like you’ve shown, the confidence that they will receive out of that will come back tenfold to us, personally and professionally.
Ashleigh: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right? You’re leading by example, you’re giving confidence and everybody excitement to move forward, encouraging people to think outside the box. Your ideas are welcome, right, and then you have to manage the manager-leader role in which you’re saying, you’re effectively making the decisions on the ideas that come in front of you.
Rachel Brenke: You know, and that’s one thing that I want to make more of a note of for myself, not just for doing for the team, but reminding myself the reasons I have to be confident. Maybe some of you are listening and you’re thinking, “I’m not very confident. I’m full of insecurities.” I want you guys to sit down and write out, maybe start with your insecurities. Write them out, get them onto a piece of paper, then put it away. Get out a different piece of paper and write down all the strengths that you have in your business. I feel like when we focus more on our strengths, we will start to feel more confident. You can be more efficient and focused on those strengths, which will develop into this confidence that hopefully, then, will exude through all other areas of your business.
Ashleigh: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. I love that you say write down your fears, write down your things. I actually did go to a coaching training school a hundred years ago, and I don’t practice as a coach, but I was lucky enough to work with some of the best in the world, and this woman mind coach, Josefina Santiago, she took us through this exercise, and think of everything. What’s the worst that’ll happen, and really when it happens, and what is the fear, and all those things. And she’s like, “And you know what? They’re all going to happen, and they’re all going to come true.” And you know what, she’s like, “I want you to visualize and put it in a box right next to you and hold onto it. And then let’s go. Let’s do it.” And it was like, that fear does not go away, but the action, you have to proceed even with the fear. You cannot let that stop you. And truly, taking action and doing and just starting and all those different things, we’ve all been there. We’re all there and afraid in starting new ventures, and new ideas and this and that. But the difference is truly made when you take the action. And when you take the action and you see that you survived, right, like, “Oh, goodness, that was terrible.”
Rachel Brenke: It’s said that you have to wait until you’re the other side to really appreciate it.
Ashleigh: Yeah. You will never know. You will never know unless you make it to the other side. Even if you fail, who cares? It’s kind of cliché-ish. People are like, “Oh, fail as fast as possible.” But it’s really true. You’re just growing and growing and growing. And with that, your confidence will too.
Rachel Brenke: I think that’s why it’s so great that you have this email community where women entrepreneurs can go, because I feel like it’s easy for us to sit here and say, “Make it through it.” But when we are in the middle of it, I know sometimes, I’m a complete mess, and it’s nice to have someone else to lean on. So if you guys want to know more about Ashleigh and her community, you can find her at thepowersquadproject.co. I also am going to include all of her links in the show notes at rachelbrenke.com/boost3. Ashleigh can also be found on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook. I’m going to include that into the show notes as well so you guys can get connected with her. Her positivity and encouragement is infectious, so I hope that you guys will dip into that so that you can keep a piece of that going, because there are going to be tough days. You may feel like you’re having a bunch of them right now. Please know it does get better. It may get worse, it may get better, and that’s just the roller coaster that we’re on, but I’m so thankful that we have someone like Ashleigh and this community to help us through.
So thanks for being here today, Ashleigh.
Ashleigh: And thank you. Just one note on that is you’re not alone. We are in this together, so thank you so much for having me. This was a super fun conversation.
Rachel Brenke: Awesome, thanks, have a good one.
Featured Guest & Resources
Money maker for celebrities and high net worth entrepreneurs Ashleigh Blatt came out of her behind-the-scenes role to the forefront as the Chief Curator & Master Motivator within The Power Squad Project, an email community for women entrepreneurs who want to connec t with like-minded women entrepreneurs interested building a giant business that gives them freedom, a challenge and an impact on the world.
Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.
Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke
I hope you are enjoying the Business Bites Podcast.
The goal is to grow your business in 10 minutes an episode.
Don’t put off business education due to lack of time.