Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in advertising services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashleigh Henry, Founder of The Cheetah Company, located in Asheville, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Cheetah Company is your marketing and sales firm for the modern age with a traditional twist. We support modern businesswomen in crafting legacy-focused marketing, sales, and business structures to outlast the test of time. Our clients are usually highly-ambitious, vision-forward longstanding entrepreneurs that have been in business anywhere from 5-20+ years and/or are ambitious, high-achieving modern women that have decided to leave their corporate, higher education, or startup positions to build their own brands.
Tell us about yourself
I've been in marketing, sales, and leadership positions since I was handed my first paycheck at the young age of 15. I was driving traffic in a well-known shoe store, watching the feet of our entering customers to be able to run sales that influenced said customers to purchase urgently and intentionally by way of promotions. It was exhilarating to climb the retail, corporate, higher education, and startup ladder, holding positions such as Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, Social Media Strategist, Manager, Editor, Co-Editor…until it wasn't. I decided to bring all of my experience into the freelancing world until it became clear that I didn't just want to pay the bills – I wanted to create a company that was foundationally built on cheetah print, legacy-minded marketing, and sexy sales structures that could stand the test of trend and time. And then, we started teaching other female entrepreneurs to do the same through our education, our coaching, and our consulting services.
What motivates me day in and day out is thinking of my ancestral line... not all of the women in my family, or in the long line of women throughout the world, have been blessed with the opportunities I have. Every day I think I can't do another thing... I picture the women that were in my family... farmer's wives, coal miner's wives... and I get up and serve. Focusing on the faces of the modern businesswomen that we've already served through our global company, focusing on the faces of the modern businesswomen to come, and remembering that every time I serve wholeheartedly... they get to evolve, they get to see opportunities where they once saw blockages, they get to revolutionize the way they do business to better serve their customers and clients, and that cycle of service just lights me up.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Oh gosh, what a question.
We've had the opportunity to make an impact in 100+ modern businesswomen's lives and businesses through our methodologies, especially our focus on holistic harmony between life and business to ensure that there's a healthy integration of both in this modern world. We've empowered modern businesswomen all around the globe... with clients from the U.S. to the U.K. to Romania to Bali and beyond. I've been blessed to speak at events all around America, teaching marketing, sales, leadership, and business.
But I think... even going through all of the above, my biggest accomplishment was a campaign we ran called the "Shine the Light" campaign, where I shared my personal story and past with DV/SA and asked our worldwide community to donate to the Ocala Domestic Violence Shelter, where I was once held, loved, supported, and given to in my darkest hours. It illuminated a joy in me that I can feel even now writing this that women from around the world blessed the women walking the halls of that shelter with selflessness. Money was raised, and that's the most important and valuable resource available for the women in that shelter to receive the support they need.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I read something many years ago as I started my first business that building a business is like a personal development journey with a paycheck attached. I think business is much more than a paycheck, but it really resonated because the levels you have to grow to achieve the goals that you set are always higher and higher. There's pressure, there are challenges, and there is an immense responsibility to positively move society forward with our companies... but talk to any entrepreneur that's met their ego again and again, and they'll probably laugh and say it's all worth it. So, I'm chuckling over here... it might be hard to meet our egos again and again, recognize that the bottleneck is sometimes you (physically or energetically), and choose to resiliently rise again and again.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Procrastination is a form of perfectionism... messy action is what every entrepreneur will tell you they took at the beginning, evaluating and elevating as they continue to grow. Take aligned action, evaluate and review, elevate, and repeat.
- You'll lose things, people, interests, old habits, and money along the way. Count it all as a blessing in disguise because it always is.
- Get in the room with people that think like you and think beyond you, deeper than you, bigger than you. This quote has been attributed to many, so forgive me for not having a name to note, but if you're the smartest one in the room, you're in the wrong room.
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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