Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Janssen, Founder of Ashley Janssen Consulting, located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a productivity consultant, and I help entrepreneurs and business leaders calm their chaos and reduce burnout through intentional time management.
My superpower is calming chaos! I work one-on-one with people who are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out and know something needs to change but don’t know where to start. Together we evaluate what's working and what's not and prioritize where to start. I provide the tools to take immediate action, shift how you think about and spend your time, energy, and attention, and help you establish sustainable, lasting processes and habits.
I write a bi-weekly newsletter, Every Intention, with articles on productivity and living with intention. I also speak regularly, sharing my unique personal path to entrepreneurship, teaching tools and tactics to calm your chaos, and learning resilience.
Tell us about yourself
My philosophy on productivity is not about being a better worker bee. It’s about being thoughtful and intentional about what you give your time, energy, and attention to. If you are lucky, we all have approximately 4000 weeks to live our lives, and no productivity hack is going to get you more time. Instead, approaching your day-to-day with more intention will provide you clarity on what’s important, where it fits in your life, and in your circumstances, so you can spend your time, energy, and attention on what matters.
This philosophy was hard-won: My husband and business partner went through cancer at 28. A close family member went through a terminal illness and passed away. I have Multiple Sclerosis, and my health could change at any time. Then there was that whole pandemic… All while running multiple businesses. These experiences through over 13 years as an entrepreneur building a software development company inspired me to start my consultancy. The most important thing I have learned is time is not guaranteed. It’s so easy to become a passenger in our own lives and head down the path of overwhelm and eventually burnout.
Now I work every day to help others to pull them back from overwhelm and burnout, calm their chaos, and reconnect with what’s important to them through approaching their life with intention.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Deciding to build a business on terms that suited my life and my circumstances. The narrative of the exhausted entrepreneur, working their 80-hour workweek, where if you are not hustling, you are doing it wrong… is only one way to be. It took me a long time and hard life experiences to get clarity on my values, the life I wanted, and how my businesses would support that life, not the other way around.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Staying clear on your priorities. There are always too many things to do. Too many tasks on your to-do list and demands on your time. You are pulled in a million different directions, and everyone has an option on what you “should” do. It’s very hard to stay the course and remember what matters and what doesn’t. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s actually important and get pulled under by the endless work.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Consistency is key, and you just have to start. Don’t wait for the right time, when it’s perfect, or when it feels comfortable. Putting your art, product, or service out into the world is always scary, even after many years. You just have to do it and keep doing it every single day.
- Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides, and don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Everyone is struggling, no one has all the answers, and what others share is only a fraction of the truth. Don’t spend too much time on social media; just keep going.
- Self-care and self-maintenance are competitive advantages in life. You are your greatest asset, and you have to take care of the asset, or you do a disservice to yourself and all the things that are important to you.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
You only get one life, and it’s easy to waste. Get clear on your values and build a business that aligns with those values, not what someone else has defined as “the way to run a business.”
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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