Woman Wednesday: Ashlee

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Ashlee, Boca Raton, Florida

“When you have the strength to ask for help, you will see how far you can go.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Passion is what makes you persevere through setbacks, unhappiness, and fear of failure to achieve your dreams. It is the core drive of your motivation. There are two things I am passionate about: mediation and yoga. I love practicing yoga because the act of relaxation makes me remember what I value the most in life: happiness and independence. Unfortunately, with so much clutter in today’s society, it is hard to concentrate on your mental health. The reason I enjoy cleaning is that I become less stressed and breathe again. When I clean, I create a welcoming environment every time someone walks into that home. As Marie Kondo says, “The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.” 

 

My bedroom is my office

 

Currently, I am working on optimizing google analytics for my home cleaning business, Aurora Professional Cleaning Services. I started out naive about online marketing. However, by studying educational courses and reaching out to seasoned veterans, I am becoming more confident knowing I can be a strong business owner. When you have the strength to ask for help, you will see how far you can go.

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My parents, extended family, and friends were very supportive of me and my younger sister growing up. I am grateful for the experiences my parents provided for me. We had Sunday family dinners and neighborhood pizza nights. I would volunteer at church and school events. I would attend local small-town fairs and support local businesses. It is about family. My father was my soccer coach, which grew my love for sports and friendly competition. And my mother was constantly dedicated to her career, which I admired.  

 

Thomas Family

 

I was fortunate to have traveled around the world to learn about different cultures and my own ancestry in Norway and Sweden. After graduating from Kean University with a B.A. in communications/public relations, I backpacked across Scandinavia–couch-hopping at family and friend’s homes, learning about how I became who I am today. It was an eye-opening experience that will forever be imprinted on me. Plus, it was an amazing experience before I started building my career and life in Southern Florida.

 

Hill Top Mandal, Norway overlooing the North Sea

 

Pictured below are some photos from homes that utilized Ashlee’s Aurora Professional Cleaning Services.

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: There are TWO valuable lessons I have learned through building this cleaning company. One, create homemade products. Keeping it eco-friendly is a safe way to clean and live because you know exactly what you are touching every day. Plus, combining your own ingredients is cost-efficient. Yes, sometimes you need brand name products, but consider DYI first and foremost.

 

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NJ House 4

 

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Two, do NOT sell your services for less than you are worth. There are too many stories, some of my own, that after the service is done, you do not ask for enough money. This is a physical labor service, so take pride in your work and make sure you let the clients know it is about quality. Since each job is different, I have learned to pay yourself by the situation NOT by the hour. The person behind my rise in confidence to become an entrepreneur told me, “Give me 1% of your trust, and I will prove the other 99%.”

 

Ashlee and Thor

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism is about having the opportunity to speak up and have a choice without fear of animosity. Women should hold their heads high with respect for themselves and value the strengths of other women. Feminism means (to me) there are no boundaries, we are all human. One of my favorite songs/quotes is by John Lennon–

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one.”

 

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I’d love to connect with you!

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/auroraprocleaning

Instagram: www.instagram.com/aurora_pro_cleaning

Website: www.auroraprocleaning.com

 

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Lachelle

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Lachelle, Oceanside, California

“I learn from these stories and it’s important to me. They color the dreams of my reality and future and help me find the adventure in my life. Find your life’s adventures.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about my work. In fact, I am a bit of a workaholic. So, when it comes time to find extracurricular activities, my time is often limited. My day job is in marketing analysis. I also am a managing partner at Panels Comic Book Coffee Bar in Oceanside, and I am an avid reader. I love what I do, so immersing myself in my projects helps fuel my passion. I am also passionate about traveling. I like to live in different places for a week. Grab a cup of coffee there, and find a coffee shop to read in. My husband helped me fall in love with comics. I read novels and some comics growing up, but he introduced me to the medium not just as a superhero story but as a way of storytelling that I fell in love with.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My family moved around quite a bit, so I ended up spending my early college years in DLSU and then moved to CSU Monterey Bay, where I graduated in accounting. Before I became glued to a handheld device, the most entertaining mobile device was a book. I loved reading stories and making them. I would tell my siblings stories on long car rides. In a career full of crunching numbers, I believe numbers are giving us a story. I am just reading it. In my day job, that means reading numbers to help my company make sound decisions. In Panels, it helps us understand what people want.

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: Don’t give up; embrace the challenge. Nothing is beyond your reach.

I hear people struggle with things they feel are beyond their reach. Saying, “I can’t do the things I want, I can’t start a business, I can’t get this career, I can’t find the right partner…”

I want to address how I found those things in hopes of inspiring others:
I found the right guy because I didn’t waste my time. Before my marriage, I hadn’t celebrated an anniversary with a guy. I didn’t waste time on dates that I didn’t think sparked joy. I didn’t make excuses for them. If we weren’t a fit, I was candid and wasn’t afraid to be alone. I didn’t beg to stay and I didn’t need a conversation when it was over. I hadn’t even planned to stay with my husband initially; I told him my career was important and a priority. Rather than pulling away, he respected that and pursued me.

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I was stuck in some odd jobs before I found one I loved. I pushed myself in all those jobs to move upwards. I was doing front desk/accounting for a hotel and during that time, I created a proper approval process because I noticed the sales reps were spending the marketing budget unchecked. At Panels, I came on as a soft partner and took over responsibilities from my partners when I noticed that it was overwhelming them. I don’t just do my job. I do it as if I was managing myself and then manage upwards to tell my superiors what I want and where I want to be. Recognize needs wherever you work and find ways to rectify it. This will serve you in growing personally and in your career.

When my husband told me on our first date, “I want to open a comic book coffee shop,” I was a bit incredulous. However, as I learned more about him, I was excited to push him towards that dream and told him how much having a business was part of my dreams. We pushed each other, did hours upon hours of research, detailed and checked one another. The biggest lesson from this is that you should work to bring the best out of people. Push them to pursue their dreams and never put those dreams down. Also, find people around you who will push you towards those dreams as well.

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Finally, I have accomplished the things I want because I plan for them. I made less than 30-40k a year after college and I traveled around New England, visited Hawaii, and Big Sur. I was able to do that because I planned for it. Having a life where I get to explore is a priority to me. I read as much as I do because I find an opportunity to. Even if it’s on 15-minute breaks between tasks, I learn from these stories and it’s important to me. They color the dreams of my reality and future and help me find the adventure in my life. Find your life’s adventures.

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: I have been harassed in and around the workplace for being female. I have been overlooked for opportunities because of male competition. I have been treated differently for being a woman. The primary place this has come from has been other women. The hesitancy to promote women, or treat women differently, or downplay the ability of women, must not come from women. Feminism means promoting pride in our work, being proud of the competitive advantage that we have, and fostering that. We can be our worst enemy, and we have to work to help each other overcome that.

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I’d love to connect with you!

www.panelscoffee.com

Insta

Personal Insta

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Woman Wednesday: Ruby B. Johnson

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Ruby B. Johnson, Sierra Leone, West Africa

“Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a mining engineer and currently work at a gold mining operation. I am also the founder and editorial director of STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. Premiered in September 2018 with its autumn issue, STEMher Magazine is a print magazine showcasing the education and experiences of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) academia, careers, and programs. STEMher celebrates women thriving in their careers and inspires others to fuel their curiosity and interests in STEM; the status of individuals featured range from middle school through retirement. In one year, STEMher has featured more than 50 STEM girls and women worldwide from countries like the United States of America, Australia, Ghana, Canada, South Africa, India, France, Nigeria, Channel Islands, The Bahamas, Sierra Leone, and England. All magazine issues are available for purchase on stemher.com and Amazon Marketplace.

 

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Summer 2019 Cover

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone [in West Africa]. I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old, which meant growing up and completing my middle school and high school education in Maryland. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BSc in mining engineering and a minor in women’s studies leadership. While in college, I founded When You Believe Foundation, a program that empowers women and girls through social media engagement, workshops, and donations. In 2012, I competed in my first pageant, Miss Sierra Leone USA, with the platform of advocating for the recruitment and retention of girls and women in STEM fields, since I was a STEM college student at the time and women’s empowerment was something I was passionate about. I won the pageant and with that title, I was able to travel across the country as well as in Sierra Leone, encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM. After the crowns and titles, STEM advocacy and women’s empowerment continues to be my lifelong platform. I wanted to take this platform to another level to be able to reach women and girls I may never cross paths with, so I created STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine last year. 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research. (1) From Monday through Thursdays, I work ten-hour days and a two-hour commute to and from work. Additionally, I am an entrepreneur who runs her own business creating content and putting together each issue for STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. I also serve in a couple of ministries at my church. Life gets busy. In the last year, I’m being intentional to prioritize my mental health. Making time to rest and slow down when necessary. In order to be productive with work, I have to take care of myself by sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with God through prayer, and meditation as well as reading my Bible. I have to be intentional about making time for myself, family and friends, as well as work. It’s okay to say “no” or “not yet” sometimes. I cannot fill the cups of others when my cup is empty. It’s also okay to ask for help—whether it’s in prayer, family and friends, community, or therapy.

 

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(2) As I navigate through the professional world and life in general, I’m realizing how important it is for one to control their narrative. Of course we cannot fully control what people say about us or how they feel about us; however, I believe we can play a role in those things. The way we carry ourselves is very important. We have to learn wisdom on when to speak up or be silent. We must be our biggest defenders and tell people how we want them to treat or address us. (3) Running a business is no easy feat and it’s time-consuming. In college, I learned to not study hard but study smart. I believe that’s important to do when you are a business owner. Being that I don’t have a business or journalism background, I spend a lot of time learning—asking questions, reading articles, listening to podcasts, and everything else in between. I want this magazine to go beyond, so that means I have to put in the work. I may not see harvest immediately, but sowing seeds each day counts. All in all, I believe it’s important to know who you are, stand firm on your values, always remember your why, and never lose your humanity no matter what environment you are in. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means being my authentic self, living out my God-given purpose, and being intentional about making a difference in the community. While working on my women’s studies leadership minor in college, I learned about intersectionality. I am a Christian woman, born and raised in Sierra Leone, a naturalized American citizen, a woman in STEM, usually one of few or only black people in some professional settings, and a family-oriented individual. I thrive because of these lived experiences but also have a heart and a curious mind to learn about those who are different from me. Feminism to me is never compromising my faith and also being compassionate to others. To me, feminism means to reach for excellence and nothing less.

 

I’d love to connect with you!

Important Links

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Sophie

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Sophie, Lichfield, England

“Most successful people have been through a struggle at some point, and I believe it is these hard times that create the grit necessary for entrepreneurship.” 

 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I believe that through struggle, comes light.

My younger years weren’t filled with rainbows and unicorns. My amazing mom suffers from bipolar disorder and 20 years ago, when I was growing up, there was not as much support or understanding around the topic. This meant that I was more the parent in our relationship. I believe this experience is the catalyst to why I carry so much compassion towards women and the reason behind my passion as a coach.

 

 

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Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m Sophie Starkey, a women’s sales strategist and founder of The Authentic Selling System. I am on a mission to change the way that women feel about selling.

I know far too many women who have amazing talents and gifts to share with the world who deserve crazy success and they never get there because they aren’t comfortable with selling.

Having spent most of my career coaching women, I noticed a trend that crops up over and over again. You see, we are such heart-driven beings that selling makes us feel uncomfortable, to say the least!

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: Going through struggles can often reveal the core of who we are. One thing I have learned from my own background and others like it is that most successful people have been through a struggle at some point, and I believe it is these hard times that create the grit necessary for entrepreneurship. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: If I was to be honest with you, “feminist” isn’t a word that I would associate with, but at the same time, I suppose “feminist” is a perfect word to describe my values!

I often get inquiries from men who want to work with me, I will work with men if we are the right fit for one another, but my passion lies with coaching women. I once had a guy that said he was offended that my marketing is aimed at women. I told him that I am not anti-man; I am just pro-woman!

 

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Connect with me! Here: 
Website

Facebook

Insta

 

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Maria Tan

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        


Q and A with Maria Tan, Entrepreneur Coach, Philippines

True abundance isn’t about what you have. It’s how comfortable you are being you, doing you, and staying you.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love making the impossible possible–turning “crazy ideas” into reality. 

Born into an entrepreneurial, immigrant Chinese family, I was wired into the “work hard, stay in your place, be practical” mentality.

 

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Pictured: We had the “work hard” mentality but HUMOR was a big part of our lives! Here I am in my early twenties with my parents and siblings.

 

Anything outside the norm wasn’t accepted and everything that had to do with dreaming differently wasn’t encouraged. Hobbies, passions, interests that didn’t result in direct payout/profit were kept as such. Little effort would be put into something “frivolous” like playing the piano or theater arts. As a result, I grew up with such a scarcity mindset and lots of self-limiting beliefs. 

 

What’s curious though, I inherited my ancestors’ entrepreneurial skills and was making money from the age of 6 by buying and selling stationery and confectionary items, dried foods, and other things I could sell. Later, I was selling my services as a teacher and consultant. For someone so “young”–I had my choice of clients and was paid above the market rate.

 

 

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Pictured: Me facilitating a communications workshop in Taipei, Taiwan. 

 

But I felt something was missing. I needed to BE MORE and think beyond what to sell next and how to make more money. I talked to my mom about the meaning of life and she pretty much dismissed my question as something frivolous and overreaching. I can’t blame her though–she comes from a generation where having a white picket fence was the dream). After that talk, I went even deeper into depression. I was living my life void of any life. I would go from one task to the next and have no memory of doing so. 

 

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I was honestly contemplating to end my life, but something in me said: “I can’t give up on myself–life has got to be better than this.” I went full-on into exploring my spiritual gifts and somehow I embraced being an empath. When I talked to people, I just knew which buttons to push to help them talk about what really mattered to them. Today, I am able to combine that spiritual gift with my talent in teaching, consulting, and seeing the big picture. 

 

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Check out my homepage: https://www.maria-tan.com/

 

I now coach “Misfits”–people who feel like they can’t conform to the norm and what’s expected of them, to turn their “deepest desires” and “crazy impossible dream” into reality. I help elevate their lives by guiding them in creating an eco-system around who they are and what they offer. 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: True abundance isn’t about what you have. It’s how comfortable you are being you, doing you, and staying you.

I’ve made money from an extremely young age. In fact, making money comes easy to me because I’m good with people and I can sell lots of things. When I was selling my products and services to anyone who wanted to buy, I was working day and night. The money came in fast. But my scarcity mindset back then simply drove me to doing more and feeling disconnected with the part of me that knew I was meant for more.

 

I couldn’t enjoy the money I made and was so concerned about how other people saw me and my means. I made monetary decisions out of the fear that people would look down on me and think I couldn’t afford something. What should be a blessing became a burden. Only after I embraced my spiritual self and embodied a more abundant state of being did I fully appreciate life and find joy in my existence.

 

This may sound like a cliche, but the moment you embrace the totality of who you are, the money will come anyway. So be you, stay you, do you. There is no one like you and the moment you appreciate that about you, the rest of the world will! 

 

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Pictured: This was a big milestone in my life. Since 2013, I sat on different boards and committees of non-profit organizations (Rotary Club and the International Women’s Club). But nothing brought me more honor than being part of an education foundation in 2018. I was a recipient of scholarship since I was 11 until about my college years. To be part of this education foundation was me paying it forward. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I was actually brought up in a matriarchal society. Even within my extended families, women are held in high regard. In fact, women can be so strong and as capable as the men in my family, but they wouldn’t be dressed down for “failure” as a male would.

 

When I left my home country (the Philippines) to pursue my tertiary education is when I saw the favorable treatment to men. I was harassed by a male professor and when I asked an administrator where I could file a complaint, I was strongly suggested not to. The reason was simply “You’re female and you’re from the Philippines. In this country, people listen to males, especially those that came from a developed country.” 

 

I never felt more violated than the moment I heard that. And I vowed since then never to let my nationality or my gender get in the way of empowerment. Feminism, for me, isn’t about equal rights. It’s about mutual respect and compassion. That country had “equal rights” but the societal beliefs then were programmed against women.

The way I was brought up, women are heard. When a woman isn’t happy, the entire family walks on eggshells. Women are loved for being caring and nurturing, for thinking of everyone’s needs, and for being non-linear in their thinking. Women are respected because they make life easier. 

That, for me, is feminism.

 

Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Maria Tan is an Entrepreneur Coach for Misfits (people who don’t like to conform to the norm), Multipassionates (people who are extremely multifaceted and multitalented), and Millennials (people born between 1981-1996). She helps her clients create an eco-system around who they are and what they offer. She’s taught more than 1000 people from all over the world! Connect with her on IG (@maria_k_tan) and check out her website (www.maria-tan.com). 

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

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