It’s Female Founder Friday, and I’m excited to introduce you to Ashley Stahl. Ashley is an incredibly inspiring woman entrepreneur who has founded two different businesses, and helped thousands of people! Her first company, CAKE Publishing is a ghostwriting, copy writing and publicity house geared to help companies and entrepreneurs in elevating their voice and impact through content that inspires their audience. Ashley’s second company, Ashley International, is the top destination for millennials to build their confidence, find their purpose, and land more job offers. The company’s flagship program, the Limitless Career Lab, has helped more than 5,000 millennials land job offers in 25 countries.
So, if you’re interested in writing a book, founding a company, or a millennial working to land your dream job, don’t miss Ashley’s answers and advice below!
What inspired you to create your companies?
I was inspired to create Ashley International because I was my customer at one point. I know how painful it is not to love your career, and to feel this ache that you’re living a life –day in, day out– that doesn’t speak with your soul. I started coaching job seekers to land more job offers once I mastered my own job hunt, having gone from an administrative assistant at an ad agency to a management level hire for the Pentagon (having tripled my salary!). From that transformation, I was inspired to show friends who were struggling in their job hunts how much that they could change their own lives with clear, concise action. My private coaching evolved into the online course, which now has thousands of job seekers each year, supported by me and my team! We are truly honored to be of support to them in such a key point of their lives! It never gets old.
I then created CAKE Publishing because my journey building Ashley International up into 500,000 subscribers took an extraordinary amount of pain when it came to content creation. I was constantly struggling to find the right editors, copywriters, social media managers, and publicists to help me elevate. In all of my business groups, other entrepreneurs were asking for these sorts of referrals, which I happily gave… Until one day, when my writers were too booked up with my referrals to keep helping ME! Given that writing is my biggest passion, I promised myself I’d start a company that provides these needed resources to entrepreneurs… And years later, here it is! It’s a busy company with inspiring creatives. I am so moved by them daily.
What was your biggest obstacle and failure in going from idea to business?
My biggest obstacle will always be my mindset. I always tell my team: “New level, New DEVIL!” — meaning that once you master something, you’re onto the next challenge. I’m constantly leaning into my edges and doing what makes me uncomfortable, so I’d say the emotional side of it is hardest for me! It’s tough to manage nerves when you’re going to speak in front of a crowd of 10,000, or when you’re pitching investors ideas, etc.
Ashley International is currently releasing a new program, the Career Clarity Lab, geared to help job seekers online with finding their purpose. It’s much more affordable than private coaching, and my goal is to make great information accessible to people who are in the same pain I once felt. I’ve learned so much during my journey and I am excited to share it! We’re also hosting the largest online career summit that’s ever hit the Internet (from Jan 22-Feb 2), called the Limitless Career Summit and it will be promoted to more than 2 million people, with more than 20 speakers here to support them over those two weeks with free presentations. Speakers range from Jay Abraham to Todd Herman to Natalie MacNeil– I am so excited to be hosting them!
What is a life or business hack that you recommend to help other female founders?
You’re constantly growing, and mentorship is everything. I’ve always hired a mentor to guide me, and it’s saved me extraordinary time and money. If you want to thrive, mentorship, in my humble opinion, is the biggest factor. My mentors have included Alyssa Nobriga, Jay Abraham, and many more who have worked personally with me.
If you had a theme song what would it be?
“I Was Here,” by Beyonce. It’s inspiring and reminds me that the point of life is to be of service. Whenever I listen to that song, I remember why I do what I do.
Please share your best piece of advice for aspiring female founders.
Clarity comes from engagement, not thought. Get hungry, and get engaging! That could mean networking with people that inspire you, reading books, or even working for an entrepreneur for the sake of your own learning. The entrepreneurial journey is a spiritual and emotional one– books I highly recommend include The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, Loving What Is by Byron Katie, and for forthcoming coaches (I’ve mentored many!) Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler.
Overall, my biggest piece of advice is to just go for it. You’ll never be “ready” and no experience will make you feel qualified. Leap, and the net will catch you.