Ashley E. Kingsley

Posts Tagged ‘Learning’

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…

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.

Is it Failure?

In Nimble, Social Media, Women on May 8, 2008 at 11:52 pm

For several months I have been trying to re-find myself. Sounds silly, however, I have gotten lost on a few occasions. The last lost self happened when I gave birth to our daughter in July, 2006. She became my everything, as kids should, until you realize, you have to have “self”, also.

I began taking some training’s to find spark, or see if I could drum up enthusiasm I so desperately needed. After all, Scout, our daughter is almost 2. She has a little life of her own now.

I have attended some amazing and very gratifying lectures, training’s and symposiums in the last few months. I have learned a great deal about things I would never have looked into, like THE WHITE HOUSE PROJECT,  THE PACHAMAMA ALLIANCE, AWAKENING THE DREAMER, BRAIN JAM and THE GRADY GROSSMAN SCHOOL in Cambodia has welcomed me as one of the Board of Directors.

I have thrown out my credentials to many companies in search of a “job” or a “career.”  I found the need to do this when I decided that working at midnight for my clients was no longer fair to my family. I have been running ASHER SOLUTIONS for three years and with a great deal of pride and growth, I still find that I cannot do it all alone. I feed off people and collaborative relations and efforts.  Three months of shooting off résumés – and targeted I might add, I have offers on the table and feel really CONFUSED?  How does one go from business owner to employee? How does one go from STAY-AT-HOME-WORKING-MOM to employee? I am unsure of this transition and I am scared.

I have applied for press credentials to the Democratic National Convention as an alternative blogger. I feel I need to be there, like many do. It will be one of the most amazing weeks and I want to witness it up close and personal. I am awaiting an answer.

I applied to the WOMEN RULE! conference and was declined. They had 80 spots available and got 3,000 applicants. I was bummed. But is this failure?

I throw stuff out there – to see what sticks. I always have. And I am a big believer in “it was meant to be.”

Then why the unrest? Why the total lack of passionate and unwavering focus in the midst of such learning and growing?  I am trying to identify the nagging sensation in the pit of my hungry tummy.  What makes us who we are? And when we lose ourselves, what brings us back?

In the midst of seeking I have also been diagnosed with a lifetime illness that has brought doubt, sadness and fear. SILENT THYROIDITIS they call it. It doesn’t feel so silent. Since November, I have been sick – without knowing why. It took some digging, some scans, blood work and intense waiting to see if the word CANCER had crept into my life.  Now we know what it is. Now, I learn how to live with SL and move on, right? Some days, I haven’t been able to move because it is so hardcore – it makes me tired. My hair falls out. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I am anxious and really, because it is in my THYROID, which is the body’s thermometer, I haven’t worn a coat since last winter. I am always hot or freezing. These sounds like minor set backs until you weave them together and that makes for a pissed off, lost, sick, MAMA!

Is this failure? Or just life? How does one find oneself after having gone missing for so long?

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