Ashley E. Kingsley

Posts Tagged ‘Kids’

SHE DID IT ANYWAY

In App Technology, New Media, Social Media, Twitter on June 5, 2012 at 5:36 am

 

leap-of-faith

Looking back, I cannot believe what just occurred. It almost feels as if it was a dream… and yet, I know, it wasn’t because I have aged, considerably.  It was a start-up. A beginning. A hope. A fear. A mountain. A valley. A success. Wow.

I find myself  sifting through the emails I filed under “Milestones” so I could begin to digest the last two years of my life, their meaning, significance and the enormity.

From what I have been told, timing is everything. Starting a company, with no plan, no money and no idea, is quite the serious undertaking. Good thing we had no idea what we were in for. We loved the idea and it had legs.

Kismet, indeed.  The stars aligned, yes. But we JUMPED. We moved quickly because we had too. The market was getting penetrated and we wanted a strong foothold.  So we worked, like dogs… and I mean, dogs.  The kids got seconds and our husbands got whatever little pieces that may have been leftover. Our baby, was our company.

Startups are messy and confusing, exciting, wild. Talk about being on a roller coaster.  Many people told us, “We couldn’t do it, not with kids, no way.” The more people told us we couldn’t, we did more, faster, better. Flat out, we set out to turn that notion upside down.  Between my partner and I, we had three kids under 3.  Breastfeeding, diaper changing, sleepless nights,  consistent illnesses, and not to mention just being new moms, WE DID IT ANYWAY. 

We experienced the highest of highs, and the LOWS… of the lows as well. One determines what those are based on a varying degree of things – and we had ours.  Some days were killer. Some days, killed.

The company grew fast and before we could even decide on a logo, we were turning a profit. It was unreal. We were hiring in every state of the Union less than 6 months in.  We were learning things we’d never set out to learn.  Within eighteen months, we were in 18 markets, on national news and radio regularly,  published in major news outlets and frequently asked to contribute our story  and experiences.

The tough part was that there was no time to really relish.  It was always GO TIME. If we weren’t dealing with tech issues, it was human resources, legal, or sales.  We were small and mighty, the wind was strong and sometimes destructive. But we didn’t give in.

And a lot of life happened too…

Between life and children, managing 26+ people  and markets nationwide, ensuring the best customer service in the industry (a promise I made to myself from the start), there was very little ME left. I gave it my all… and then some. So very, very proud.

Someone once told me that I’d never make it to college.  I now had, not only my traditional schooling, I had several Masters degrees in Business, Public Relations, Marketing, What Not to Do, Operations, Sleeplessness, you get the idea.

We did good and we are both proud to say, the “Start-Up” is no longer a Start-Up, but a company, being driven by one of the finest people I know, with one of the best teams imaginable.

We accomplished more with the company than I ever imagined possible. I am so, so very thankful for the experiences, the people I met along the way, the patience and the support from my family and deep kindness from the communities across the Country.

I sold my portion of the company in April 2012, exactly two years from inception. It was time for new adventures. One of the biggest adventures being a full-time stay at home mom for the summer months. This is something that scares me more than going after funding, talking to the media and having a server crash during a big announcement.  Yet, much like I did with the start-up, I am jumping in, literally, with two feet and no idea. I do know, the kids and I will make a splash this summer!

What a RIDE! A journey!

To be repeated. No doubt…

#TwitStroll

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

As with most of my ideas, @TwitStroll hit me upside the head in the middle of the night and jolted me out of bed. For some reason my ideas don’t sleep.  I am somewhat of an impulsive person (zip it Mom) and I act fast on my ideas. So, when I thought of  TwitStroll, I went full force ahead.

I have been using Twitter for a few years now and I have watched it grow and change. It has, in my opinion, become one of the most fascinating tools ever used in the marketing sphere.

If you don’t know about Twitter, please, please dig yourself out of the hole and read THIS.

I have been attending  and throwing TweetUps since early 2007.  Which, in the digital age seems like a lifetime.

Please refer HERE if you don’t know what a TweetUp is and get your head out of your you-know-what! I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the smartest, most progressive, hilarious people at TweetUps. When there is a TweetUp it usually takes place at a bar or restaurant and often at night.  With two kids under my wing it has been hard for me to get away because that is my quality time with my kids and my husband.

Often during the daytime I do find myself wishing I could connect with more people while I am a stay-at-home Mom.  And, after a good bout’ of postpartum depression I realized I could create something that would encourage me to connect with others a little more spontaneously… and WALA! It’s a Twitstroll.

TwitStroll is similar to a TweetUp but more spontaneous and versatile.  Perhaps last minute!

HOW IT WORKS:

I Tweet that I am taking the baby and going for a walk. Since I know there are people all over Denver, I choose a place I haven’t been in a while. I include a MAP in my Tweet and a #hashtag as well as the exact time the TwitStroll will begin.  I am then committed to myself to show up and maybe someone else will too.  It helps me get out of the house, I get to meet other awesome and intelligible people from Twitter and the In Real Life community grows by leaps and bounds. Face it – we are ALL BUSY! But a quick walk, cup of joe, a beer … we can all do that.

A TwitStroll can be anywhere at anytime and ANYONE can have one!  Throw it out in your stream and do one thing: COMMIT to being where you say you are going to be.  Make sure to always use the # hashtag and make sure to help promote other Twits Strolls.

It is a great opportunity for people to get involved on many levels!

Here are some ideas for a TwitStroll:

  • Dog Park
  • Park with Kids
  • Lunch
  • Happy Hour
  • Random Dodge Ball Game
  • A Run
  • A Swim
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee
  • A Party
  • A Walk
  • A Book Signing
  • A Cause/Campaign
  • Camping
  • Mall Stroll
  • Bar Stroll
  • Parent’s Night Out
  • Specific Communities
  • Garage Sales
  • Baseball Game
  • Skeet Shooting
  • Carnival
  • Rodeo

And I am sure there are a lot more…

The beauty of a TwitStroll is they can happen everyday, anywhere in the world.

Woody Allen once said “98% of life is about showing up” so this is me, kicking postpartum ass, shouting out to people I want to know, getting out and getting active, silly, groovy, caffeinated, supported; you name it… Its YOUR TwitStroll.

Follow us on Twitter @TwitStroll and @ashleykingsley

WARP SPEED

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm

It always amazes me how quickly time passes. I am astounded that summer has made its way into the last official month before fall rests upon us. I have caught myself more that once sitting and outwardly expressing my age and my discomfort with the speed at which time is passing. “How did we get to be this old” I hear myself saying.

One of my very favorite quotes is “We are time and it is not the years that pass but we ourselves. “ Octavio Paz was a wise poet and man.

So at warp speed I have started a new job after being a business owner for 3.5 years. I am very excited about this new position as the Marketing and Communications Director for COLORADOBIZBUZZ It was the right decision to put my business ASHER SOLUTIONS aside in the economy we are experiencing. The first thing people cut out of their budget in a poor economy is marketing. We couldn’t tighten our belts anymore.

I am pleased with the position and the responsibilities. I find challenge and creativity with each day I am with COLORADOBIZBUZZ. I have taken to managing the most wonderful people, who are out working as street teams for the summer. I have become attached to some of them and really love our interactions. Most of them are ten years my junior and so full of hope and life; their dreams are still very real. I remember those days vividly and I can really appreciate seeing it up close again.

I took to training for the Pancreatica 10-Mile Race that has given me a tranquility that I never imagined. I never thought it was possible to run. My body has always been accustomed to agility rather then endurance. I trained very hard for 4 weeks and made my stride at 5 miles when I injured both knees. Not surprised, I have always known running is hard on the body, I stopped. I will run/walk the race in its entirety and the most important thing is that I remember why I signed up in the first place; to heal. I have found great strength in running and continue to feel pride that I set out to accomplish a goal and will meet it in one way or another. When the running got difficult I reminded myself that watching my mom battle pancreatic cancer was tough. Raising a kid, though exhilarating, tough. There are much more difficult things then running. I feel honored to be running/walking/jogging this race with the knowledge that we, as people, really can do what we set our minds to. As a result of this, my mom is a survivor of pancreatic cancer which puts her in a class, of 4%. Unheard of.

Summer zips past and the days bleed together. We celebrated our daughters 2nd birthday and scratched our heads in amazement. “How did this happen? How did it come so fast?” We are amongst the “terrible two’s” and it feels as though we are just seeing her for the first time, still trying to get a hang of this parenting stuff. She challenges me and teaches me so much. I am so glad to be her Mom.

Economic strife has created angst and there is no denying this. As a result of the fear based journalism and crisis reporting I have turned off the television and stayed away from the news as much as possible. I have made this a conscious decision. If I didn’t, I do fear that I would explode. It is to much for any human to take in. We are in tough, tough times. Turning it all off has given me a certain peace that I welcome. More time to focus on the positives in my life. More time to be thankful for what we do have rather then griping about what we don’t. Some would say this is irresponsible; for me it is self-preservation.

This summer, I read ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain, one of my favorite books. It moved me in so many ways, the metaphors heavy and real, the story delightful and brilliant. I think I bought the book for at least three people and every time I go into Starbucks, where the book is sold, I read the last 4 pages. Every time, without fail, I cry my eyes out. I am certain they think I am nuts. What I am… is passionate. This is a book to keep and to re-read and to share with your friends and family, especially if you are a dog lover.

Now, we are, closing in on the end of summer. For the first time since my husband and I have been married we are taking a ten day vacation. We have been married for five years. One might say the first 4.5 years have been rough in so many respects. A lot of immediate challenges as it relates to health, finances, family illnesses and a new baby. It is this little thing called LIFE.

I feel so fulfilled. I know that I am on the right path; the journey always keeping me on my toes. I am thrilled to be learning and growing. I get to see this happening in myself as well as in my daughter and that is an amazing mirror. Not one for vanity yet for the soul.

Into the Night with Polly Baca

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2008 at 5:59 am

After the first evening of my training with The White House Project, I ran up to my hotel room and dropped my notebooks from the day so I wouldn’t have to carry them to the bar/networking that was taking place.  I was not sure how long I would stay up – it was already 10:00pm.

PollyBacaI noticed one of the panelists was standing outside of the bar looking in. I tapped her shoulder and thanked her for her time and for being part of the panel on Women’s Leadership in politics. Her name, Polly Baca. I had NO idea who this woman was. Quite honestly, I haven’t paid much attention to local politicos over the years. My attention has always been on the major Presidential race every four years.

I asked Polly if she wanted to grab a drink.  We passed through the crowd of women who were already comfortably networking in small circles.  Polly and I sat in the very back side of the bar, removed from everyone, except the bartender.  Little did I know, I was sitting with the first woman elected to the Colorado House of Representatives and, later, to the state senate, Polly Baca-Barragán (born 1943) was the first Hispanic woman elected to those offices.

I sat in awe as Polly shared her life experiences with me that included being one of Bobby Kennedy and JFK’s staff members as well as Special Assistant to Bill Clinton during the Clinton Administration. We talked about the Bay of Pigs, her longstanding relationship with the Democratic National Conventions and her love affair with politics and history.

Polly and I talked about women and politics and the need for more LAND the role of leadership in this country. Sadly, we fall short when it comes to women leaders – not because they don’t exist but because electing women isn’t the norm, YET.

Polly was so dear and kind. We laughed, especially when she told me she married and divorced, TWICE, the father to her two children, who was also a Priest!!!

Polly has been working with LARASA as the Executive Director. The mission of the Latin American Research and Service Agency (LARASA) is to lead and influence change to improve the quality of life for Latinos in Colorado.

POLLY BACA’S BIG LIFE

It was as if two old pals had been reunited. It was one of the more interesting evenings of my life.

%d bloggers like this: