ep 25: Ashely mason

Ashley Mason is a marketing consultant, TEDx speaker, and founder of both Dash of Social and Student to CEO. Starting her marketing firm at the age of 19, Ashley successfully grew it to reach six figures by the time she was 21 and took it full-time upon graduating from college. Since then, she has been featured in prominent publications such as TEDx, The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, SWAAY Magazine, and more. Passionate about pursuing entrepreneurship at a young age, Ashley hopes to inspire others to take that leap, just like she did.

 

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Website: https://studenttoceo.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/studenttoceo

Twitter: https://twitter.com/studenttoceo

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/studenttoceo/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/student-to-ceo/

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 Pamela Bardhi 

Ashley Mason. Ashley Mason is a marketing consultant, TEDx speaker, and founder of both Dash of Social and Student to CEO podcast. Starting her marketing firm at the age of 19, Ashley successfully grew it to reach six-figures by the time she was 21. And she took it full time upon graduating from college. Since then, she has been featured in prominent publications such as TEDx, the Huffington Post, Sway magazine, and more. Passionate about pursuing entrepreneurship at such a young age, Ashley hopes to inspire others to take that leap, just like she did. Today, we welcome Ashley Mason. 

 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Underdogs. Today, we have a super special guest. Super, super, super special guest, Ashley Mason. Ashley, welcome.

 

Ashley Mason 

Thank you for having me, Pamela.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Oh, it is totally my pleasure. It is totally My pleasure. I’m so psyched to have you on as I was like to be on your podcast, the Student to CEO, which is super cool. I love who you are. And I love what you do. So, I can’t wait for you to let all the listeners know sort of what’s up in your life, who you are, how you got there, where you’re going. Pretty exciting. So if you could sort of give the number one question that everyone hates, right? Tell me about yourself. Your story. Share your story, if you will.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yes, of course. So, I own the marketing firm dash of social, which I started almost four years ago as of this recording, actually, as of Saturday. And I started it when I was a sophomore in college. Basically, I have always been super entrepreneurial-minded since the age of like six. I used to play this game with my sisters called ‘stores’ where we each pretend to own like a fake store and shop around for each other stores with fake money. And there was something about that game that just really drew me in. And it was the whole idea of making money and hopefully one day, making a lot of it. So, from there, I had always tried to find ways to make money at a young age. Whether it was doing running lemonade stands, becoming a babysitter, doing chores for my parents, anything like that. I just was obsessed with money. And from there, I ended up actually starting a blog when I was 15 years old. I had always loved to read and write. So, starting a blog was something that just came kind of natural to me. So through that blog, I basically treated it like a part-time job, where I spent probably at least 10 to 15 hours per week, if not more on it, writing the posts, connect with other bloggers, connecting with companies, so on and so forth. I ended up growing my blog organically through social media, which allowed me to become basically a micro-influencer, where I started working with companies to review their products, get like a ton of press events get paid to write about their companies and things of that nature. I realized this was probably 2013, I think the time frame was that Instagram was like one to two years new at that time. And businesses weren’t really using Instagram or social media in the business aspect as much as they could have been. So, I saw from my own experience, how much social media and marketing in general can play into growing a brand. And I wanted to therefore help other companies do the same. So, with the companies that I already had relationships with, I offered pro bono services to develop marketing strategies, manage their influencer communications, manage social media profiles, and things like that. I ended up going into the freelance world from there. So, I started doing casual freelance projects by the time I was 17. It was at the beginning of my senior year of high school, and then I ended up starting Dash of Social.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

 Oh my god. Oh my god. It’s so That’s so crazy. That’s so amazing. Oh my gosh. That’s a dash of social really came about when you were 17.

 

Ashley Mason 

Pretty much. It wasn’t like branded like that. But I knew that owning a marketing firm was the business that I wanted to own one day because I always had this like pull of wanting to become an entrepreneur, but having no idea what I wanted that business to be. And then once I got into marketing, I was like, that’s it, like, I want to do marketing. And so, that’s when the idea was born.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s so funny. Okay, so you’re going to laugh at this, right? So, when I came to Stonehill, I was a marketing major. Like, that was my thing. I was going to work for a corporate firm, and my major was marketing. And then there was the stupid class that I had to take. What was it? Oh, my God, the applied calculus for business. Is it school requirement for you guys? Was it?

 

Ashley Mason 

I don’t take it now.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Yeah, so they must have taken it off because it was really dumb. But anyway, like, I literally dropped my marketing major because of that class. It’s so funny. Marketing. Like, I went into college at the same thing. I was like, I want to do marketing. You know, that’s what I wanted to do. That’s awesome. So, growing up, what were some of your biggest influences? Because you had mentioned you’d like money from like, a young age. So, what sort of sparked that love at a young age for you?

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, honestly, I don’t even know what like made me want to make money. I think it’s like, probably the freedom that came with it. Because I know that when I was like, young, like 10, and had my own money, I could use like, the $5 that I had to buy candy or something like, just like small stuff like that. But it makes you feel so good. And so, I think that’s what I kind of correlated that with, was that not that money is the answer to happiness, because it’s not. But it provides, it’s like a vehicle to bring you happiness, because you can use it on the things that make you happy. And so that was kind of one thing that I really kind of realized and fostered over the years.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s so funny. I love that. So, it’s just started, when you were telling me you’re just like, I got my own freedom. See you

 

Ashley Mason 

Basically.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Oh, that’s so awesome. So, growing up, what were some of your biggest influencers and throughout your life? Sort of say, because like, you were just born an entrepreneur that I know, without a doubt. But you know, what inspired you early on?

 

Ashley Mason 

I would say 100%. My parents, because as I’m sure you’ve probably seen with other people starting your company so young, is that oftentimes entrepreneurship isn’t encouraged at all, from a young age or even as you get older. And so, my parents had always instilled in me that whatever dream that I want to reach, or a goal that I want to go for, I can always achieve it. And so, when I told them one day that I wanted to start a business and that I actually was starting it, they’re like, okay, and like they just like didn’t really faze them. And most people try to talk you out of it. And like, try to be like that really a good idea. But for them, they always believed in me and like, genuinely supported me and asked me what I was doing and wanting to learn more and try to understand it because not many people understand what I do. But they really tried to understand it. And the just their belief was like meant so much, which most people don’t really realize is that simply just supporting someone can actually be that driving force to their success.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Absolutely. So, parents played a huge role and like your passions growing up, aside from money, what did you like to do?

 

Ashley Mason 

I liked to read and write. So that’s kind of like where the blog came in. Because I always had that passion. And then I’ve always loved to play sports. So, I love doing that when I was growing up and just going to hang out with friends and finding different ways to enjoy myself.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s so cool. So, you just wrote when you were 15, you basically just wrote up a blog post, and you were like, I’m just going to write this thing and just keep it going. Where was your first blog post written? Was it WordPress?

 

Ashley Mason 

No, it was actually, BlogSpot, which is owned by Google. So, I like tried to do everything myself. So, I didn’t know anything about like, web design or anything like that. So, it was kind of like a hack job. But I get together, but I just wanted to get it out there. And of course, like, I think one of the biggest things that led me into marketing was like, I don’t want just my family to be the only people reading this because that’s what was happening. I’m like, I want more people to read it. And I was like, how can I get more people to read it? Oh, marketing.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

So awesome. So, it’s kind of like you trained yourself and then you kind of just stepped into the unknown. What was that like ‘aha’ moment for you where you’re like, I’m going to turn this into a business, like where Dash of social really became like, official, if you will, because it’s just like a passion. Just kind of evolved itself.

 

Ashley Mason 

Totally. So, as you mentioned, when you were going to college thinking you’re going to work for like a huge firm, that’s kind of what I thought just because I thought I had to do it. Because society tends to like instill these ideas in our minds that we need to go to college, get a degree, either continue our education or take the corporate route, and then build up a successful 20 plus year career before we can go off and do our own thing. And so, I thought that that was a path that I had to follow. And it wasn’t until my mom was diagnosed with glioblastoma, which is brain cancer during my freshman winter break at college that I just kind of realized like, Wait a second, like, we don’t have as much time as we think we do. And if there’s something that we want to do, why are we holding ourselves back, because tomorrow, we might not have the opportunity. And so that kind of made me realize, like, I don’t really care what people think if I’m starting a business while young, and they don’t really think it’s the best choice for me, I want to do it because I want to do it. And so that was in January 2016. And so, I spent like the next, I think, eight months, like teaching myself everything, figuring out how to start a business plan, like actually getting the back-end ready. So, that way I could launch that September.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

And you just kind of like, let’s just do it, we’re going to keep rolling. And that’s that.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, pretty much. I mean, I ended up being like a big driving force. Because while I was going to school, and running my business, I was also taking care of my mom. And so, one thing that made me realize was like, the flexibility I have with this business, I would never have with a corporate job. And so, it kind of made me realize I could change my schedule around if I needed to, do things the way that I wanted to, and no one would care because I was the boss. So, kind of having that firsthand experience made me realize, like, this is actually what I need for my life. And after having my own taste of freedom, I just can’t go to having someone else tell me what to do.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

And thank you for sharing that, with your mom too. I mean, it seems like that’s a huge part of where you are and why you’re here today. And it’s powerful. Power in its own respect, and I really propelled you to be like not, let’s keep rolling, you know?

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, totally.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

So, you just really just jumped in, and we’re just like, fearless. And just like, I’m just going to do this. It’s just going to work.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah. Yeah, one of my favorite quotes actually is by Marie Forleo, which is ‘everything is figure out-audible, which has kind of been like my motto for like, the past four years. Because I mean, like, when I started, I knew nothing about running a business. Even though I was entrepreneurial-minded, I didn’t know about having contracts, invoicing people setting prices. Everyone starts to figure that stuff out on their own. And I mean, even with marketing, like I was teaching myself how to market and teaching myself the ins and outs of marketing strategies. And so it just kind of made me realize, like, you don’t need to know everything right away. And so that just kind of became like my mantra that I kept in my mind, like, day-after-day.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That was going to be one of my questions to it was like, you know, what’s the mantra that kept you going? Because, sometimes we find entrepreneurs in the first three to five years, it’s brutal. You know what I mean? Like, it’s a brutal, trivial time, because you’re just trying to figure things out. And the meantime, you’re trying to gain clients. And then also, like, pay yourself and bills and everything. Everything in the process, so it can get super stressful. So, what were like the first few years like and for you being so young, I think it’s amazing, because you basically gave yourself a kickstart.  And we’re getting into that later, you know, talking about you know, why to start a business early in life. But yeah, I’d love your insight on that.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah. So, I would say they were difficult because of the fact that I was juggling so many different things at once. Like what you just mentioned about like the motto and mantra. Another one of my favorites is entrepreneurs will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week, which is like, so true. And I felt like that was my week every week. Because literally, what I always said to people was like, I don’t know what it feels like to be bored, because I literally don’t have the time to be bored. So, it’s like, if I wasn’t doing homework, or in class, I was working on, like my client work and working on my business and stuff like that. So, my schedule was just like, no exaggeration, like 4 am to midnight, because I had so much stuff, I needed to get done with very few time. So that was like, the most important aspect was just finding that schedule and working everything into it. And then also just kind of like the growing pains of like starting a business of like, going through the crappy clients before we get to the right ones, and knowing when to raise your prices, and knowing when to let go the things that aren’t serving you which I mean, pretty much everyone faces at some point. But yeah, it was kind of like, I think just managing everything and not feeling like my head’s about to fall off.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

You’re multitasking and it’s like when you first start like you are the person that handles it all. You are the accountant. You are the bookkeeper. You are the marketing person. You are the one out there doing meetings with people, you know like all of that. So, I think that whole beginning it’s like, how did you funnel your crazy schedule? Because I just did the math in my head, meanwhile, but 18-hour days and like I feel you when you’re talking because it’s the same thing for me. It just still happens to this day. You know, I’ve been in business 18 years now. 28. No, please. I started when I was 10. It’s like, it does not stop. You know what I mean? It doesn’t. When you’re the boss like you, there’s even more responsibility on your behalf. So, for you, how did you funnel that into like that one thing for you. How did you funnel your schedule to make it? Because I think that’s the hardest part too. And that’s a lot of the thing is like, entrepreneurs burn themselves out really early. So, three to five years or so pivotal, you know.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, so there’s a few different things. One that I actually did relating to my class schedule is that I tried to bulk up classes on like two to three days, if possible, depending on which ones I needed to take. So, like, for example, my junior year, I had like Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, just all classes, and then senior year, I only had Monday, Wednesday. So that way, I had two to three full days to focus on business work, which made things so much easier. So that was one thing I recommend for people who may like have another job is to try to like bulk up on days, if possible. Maybe work like 10 hours, four days a week for your full-time job and then have a Friday off or something along those lines. But that was one thing that definitely helped with my schedule. And two, I say, thankfully, I have really good time management. Sometimes, I think I’m almost too anal about it. But I’m very particular with my schedule. So, I do a few things where I use a project management system, Asana, which is a lifesaver for keeping track of tasks, deadlines, and important information relating to projects. And then also, one thing that I do is I actually write out what I need to do each day, hour by hour. So like, I block out my time and be like, from eight to nine, I’m checking emails like nine to 10. I’m working on x projects, like stuff like that, like I’ll actually show you right here.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

something there’s some power in like, physically writing it down, right.

 

Ashley Mason 

And also, with that, when you finish before your allotted time. I’m like, this makes me feel like I’m on top of the world because I finished earlier than I planned for.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Oh, that’s so funny that we both like physically write it down. Because that’s the thing is like I see, like, you know, write it down. But then they put, you know, on their phone. So, I’m like, when I meet somebody that actually physically writes it down to I’m like, Yeah,

 

Ashley Mason 

I know how. It’s so helpful.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

It really is. And I don’t know, I feel like it gives you more accountability. I don’t know if how that makes sense. But for some reason, when you physically write it down, I feel like I become more accountable. If I don’t, if I just say it in my head, or if I just like to put it in my phone. It doesn’t have the same effect. I don’t have magic in this.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, I think it’s because like, you’re probably just staring at it. It’s right there on your desk. So, you just see it right there.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Gosh, that’s it. So basically, you just implemented the tools throughout the day.

 

Ashley Mason 

I did. Yeah. And so just kind of maximize the little time that I had to get everything that I needed to get done. And then I would say the third thing that I did, which came during my senior year of college is eventually, I finally hired someone. I probably should have hired someone earlier, but ended up getting to that point where I’m like, I have way too much work where I don’t want to turn away the work because I want to take this full time when I graduate. But I also don’t want to neglect my schoolwork because I need to do well in school. And so, it’s like this weird, like the balance of like, how do I continue to grow my business, but also make sure I’m not taking away from the school aspect. So, that’s what kind of gave me an indication that I needed to hire someone to delegate some of these tasks, which was a huge, like a weight off my shoulders.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s awesome. So, you started delegating before you even graduated.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s so awesome. That’s awesome. That’s the art of delegation is probably the entrepreneur’s toughest. Especially the first time around. So how, how did you go about making that decision? Because I know that there are people listening in that are going to be like, Okay, how did she like, the first step is always the most painful into how did that go for you? You know, when you realize like, okay, you have a balancing act, and you needed to clear some time to obviously, graduate and get all your schoolwork done.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah. So, you’re right, when it’s the most difficult thing because you hold this level of perfection to yourself and to your business. And if someone doesn’t reach it, like, it just makes you go insane. And so, that was one thing that I was really particular about is that I didn’t want to lose, I guess quality control is the best way to put it. And so, what I’d actually done before I hired that person was I thought about the things that I would specifically delegate and then actually wrote step-by-step my process for doing that. So, it could be like, in addition to the whole onboarding aspects, like here is my literal guide of what I do step-by-step. So that way, it makes it super easy for that person to kind of be looped into everything. But then also make sure that things are getting done the way that I would do them if I were to be the one actually doing it.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s awesome. And so that basically, so you basically pass that along, and they just did exactly what you would do.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, pretty much.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s so awesome. Oh my god. Ashley, I love you dearly. And like, you’re so brilliant. I love it. I absolutely love it. Absolutely love it. And so, and then after, so you already had the plan before going into your senior year, like, Hey, I’m going full time after I graduate. Did you have any sort of resistance throughout the process of like, wanting to start your business like, in any way or like, and like the struggle of it or anything like that, or doubts or whatever had come to your mind sort of in the process of making the decision to like, Alright, I’m going?

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, so I would say imposter syndrome was like the devil on my shoulder. And that was one thing that I seriously struggled with. That’s like my internal limiting beliefs and fears and blocks and stuff like that. So, that was really hard. Because when I started a business, I was like, oh, business is all strategy, and now I’m like, ‘No, so much of businesses mindset.’ And so that was one thing that I really had to improve was my mindset and realize that like, I could do hard things, and I couldn’t achieve these things that I had set for myself. So, that was like a huge resistance is just getting past my own fears. And then, of course, like the typical fears of other people, like people reflecting their fears on to you of like, well, what if you don’t make a living wage? Like how are you going to get health insurance? Just questions like that, which is always other people’s insecurities, that they’re just kind of expressing outwards. So, those are kind of like the resistances that I faced, kind of leading up to that. And truthfully, I think that was actually one of the hardest parts about business was just getting past my own doubts and beliefs.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Right. And I feel like also too, like, in our subconscious, there’s all these strange things that happen, right? Like, you don’t realize how much society’s really getting you here, sometimes. And then it’s like, you’re in your circle, and you’re like, oh, why am I even thinking that and it’s like, you get in it, and it becomes part of your subconscious mind, and you got to learn to train yourself, sort of almost out of it. Because you’re like, wow, I have this so deeply embedded in my mind because if you do something, it’s the same thing. When I started, everyone, my parents were freaking out. Are you going to survive? There’s this, there’s that. You don’t have health insurance. And I’m just like, I’m just going to do it.

 

Ashley Mason 

Everything’s figure-outable

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Just like you, you were just kind of like, ‘yep, I’m just going to go in.’ And so another question I had for you was, like, you know, what kept that monster going, aside from like, you know, everything’s figure-outable that likes to keep you propelled throughout finishing your senior year, and then kind of diving right into full time.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, so I thought a lot about my goals, because I’m a very goal-oriented person. And I like to think about not where I am now, but where I want to be a year from now. And so that was one thing that I kept thinking about is like, what would my life be like if I truly became my own boss? And I started realizing things where I’m like, I’m not limited to a specific salary cap. I can adjust my schedule the way that I want to. And after that, I’m like, I can’t turn back and work for someone else. Like I’ve already gotten this far, I might as well just keep going and keep pushing myself and know that I could do it.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s awesome. And that just would have propelled you. And like also too, you know, in building your client base, right. So, and I know you’ve experienced this, I have to every entrepreneur starting out has as well, but it’s like, how do you build your list of clients when you have no experience?

 

Ashley Mason 

I know.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

For me, it was like, getting into real estate and like building and doing that kind of thing. That was kind of my own thing. I was doing the building, and then it was separate. But then when it came to brokerage stuff, like being an agent, and representing on other people’s behalf, so it was like, when I had no sales history, when I had no backing when I had nothing. It was like, I had to tag myself to a team who had the credibility. Because I was like, what am I going to say? You are my first list, you’re my first client. You can’t tell people that right? You know, so when you start out so it’s like, that’s like the hump that I feel like everybody in business is like stuck at. It’s like, you’re right here. It’s like, how do you? Once you get past that? I feel like you that’s like the crawling phase, right? And then after you crawl, you walk and then after you walk and run, so it’s like, that’s the hardest part. So what is like for you in the beginning, because here you are 18 years old, just out of college and like already having an existing client base, but like starting it organically and kind of expanding out like I just find it fascinating. So, I’m just interested to know about that.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah. So, I would say I don’t recommend that everyone does work for free or does pro bono services. But I think in certain circumstances it makes sense. Like, for me, I offered services for free because one, I had never done marketing before. So, I didn’t feel right charging people for services that I had never even tried. And so that kind of led me to that experience and exposure, which helped me to kind of build, like case studies and teach myself even more about it from there. But if I don’t think if I had actually gotten marketing experience, like if I got marketing experience working for a company itself, I wouldn’t have offered my services for free, because I had stuff to back me up. But I think in certain circumstances, you can kind of do maybe like volunteer work in the field that you’re interested in to get connections from there, which can be big. Another thing too kind of like leading into connections is I did a ton of networking, which I feel like it’s such a cliche, everyone hates hearing how important it is to network. But seriously, it is. And that was one thing I did a lot was because since I was at such a young age, I felt really out of place networking, and in person events, because these people were like 20, 30, 40 years older than me. So, I didn’t really feel like I fit in. I found a lot of, I guess, community and support within online communities. So, Facebook groups, specifically just building connections with people through social media, and all those different things. And just really getting to know people is what opened me up to so many different opportunities to either work with them directly or work with people that they could refer to me. That’s what I always say, like one of my, I guess, focuses or mottos of dash of social is my business is focused on humans, not dollar signs. And when you really focus on people and building relationships with people, that’s when the money comes. And so that’s kind of what I realized is that I invested in people and spent a lot of time learning from them, getting to know them, finding out how I could support them, and then that came back to me tenfold.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s amazing. So today, what would you say is your number one inspiration?

 

Ashley Mason 

Like personalized or would you say like, even just in general?

 

Pamela Bardhi 

In general. In general. It could be several things.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah. I mean, I kind of what I mentioned earlier, I’m very goal-oriented. So, I have a lot of things I want to do in life like I really want a beach house after I buy my first house. So, I’m like, that keeps me going, wanting a beach house.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That’s awesome. And so, so now, I know obviously Dash of Social is taking off, you’re doing your thing, you’re becoming even more of a Boss Lady, killing it out there, I see you. And so what’s really next for you now that Dash of Social is becoming such a popular brand, everything’s taking off for you, you just launched your podcast, sort of Where’s your purpose and mission sort of really being driven towards?

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, so now that I’ve gotten to the point where I really kind of have like my solid systems in place for running Dash of Social, I’m allowing my mind to focus on the things that I’m really passionate about. So that way you had mentioned just a few seconds ago with my podcast, Student to CEO, this is a community that I started a few months ago, this past May, to really kind of inspire young people to follow their entrepreneurial interest rather than take the 9 to 5 route because they feel like they have to. And so that’s been like a huge passion of mine, as I know is yours, is just really inspiring people to launch their own businesses and become their own boss, and be able to provide them with like the inspiration, resources, and all of that stuff that goes into it to do so. That’s kind of like a focus that I’ve been having is just kind of giving back, so to say, and really fostering those relationships and ideas within other people. And then also too, I think one thing that is next for me is that taking kind of Dash of Social to the next level. So right now, even though I have a team, I’m still doing a lot of the work. And one thing that I want to be able to do within the next five years is almost like take a step back and not necessarily be the one doing the actual client work, but be the one focusing on sales, business development, and growth and kind of stepping even more so into that CEO role.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Amazing. That’s amazing. Another question that I have for you sort of where you’re heading, I mean, you’re just CEO by trade. You’re like what I would say for you? What piece of advice would you give to any listeners who are just starting how you know, are thinking about it, because there are so many people these days that are trying to start businesses, right, and unfortunately, a lot of the time it starts with a side hustle. You gave a lot of little nuggets or golden nuggets of information throughout our podcast, but is you know, any tips on like, mindset, like you said, because business really is about all about mindset. Some tools in terms of management, anything that could help somebody you know, overcome, just like you did, because you are the pure definition of an underdog. You literally were like, I’m just going to do it. And now you did it. And then keep doing it, you know, which is great. So I would love sort of your insight on that.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, I would say, to really kind of think about like, one, no matter what you want to do in life, you’re always going to be able to think of an excuse that stops you from doing it. So, you might as well do it anyway. And just really kind of have that perspective moving forward. And kind of mirroring what I said earlier, investing in people. I mean, that is huge. So, there are like a few different things. One, I recommend surrounding yourself with people who have the business model that you want to have one day, so you can kind of really view them as a mentor and see what they’ve done, what they would recommend,  what they suggest to you all of those things. But then also on the opposite end, connect with people who you can support but also can support you. So being able to work with them directly, provide referrals, be able to build relationships, and collaborate in various ways. That I’d recommend is just huge. Like, for me, I think actually a huge struggle, which I didn’t mention earlier, but I’m thinking about it now. I was very, very shy when I started my business. Entrepreneurship forces you out of like your introverted, and all that stuff. And so, I had to get comfortable with the uncomfortable of like speaking to people and chatting with people I didn’t know and things like that and giving talks than stepping on stages. And it’s like, you just have to step out of your comfort zone. And just realize again, everything is figure-outable

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Love that. I absolutely love that. And now a deeper question for you that I have is, you know, what would be your advice from your older self to your younger self?

 

Ashley Mason 

Oh, that is a good one. Yeah, I mean, I would say let go of the things that aren’t serving you. So that would be personal and business. Because I think, especially as women, this is something that we tend to do. We tend to hold on to things and do sometimes you just need to let it go. And also perfect the art of saying no. That is one thing that I realized I say yes. I’ve gotten better about this. But I said yes, way too many things that I shouldn’t have said yes to.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

I do that to myself. I’m like no.

 

Ashley Mason 

You can just keep saying yes, yes, yes. The next thing you know, you’re like, well, now my list is this one because I’ve said yes to everything.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

The art of saying no, that needs to be a whole book on it own.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yes.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

And letting go. As he said, the people that don’t serve you at and the things too, you know.

 

Ashley Mason 

People, business projects, like don’t be afraid to cut ties, people because that can end up holding you back. I realized that getting myself into situations that no longer serve me opened me up to like three more situations that were absolutely perfect. And so, you just kind of have to, again, mindset really take that into consideration.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

And what would be, in your perspective, the number one reason for success? Your success. Would you sort of give the trophy to this is the one thing that I did, I think really got me I know, it’s probably a multitude of things. But if you had to name one, what would it be?

 

Ashley Mason 

Choose me, I would say, always what I say is like focusing on being value-driven. So Facebook groups actually are where a lot of my clients came from, but I can count on like my hands, the number of times where I’ve actually single-handedly promoted myself in the group, I spent a lot of time building relationships, sharing free advice, finding ways to give value in just basically finding ways to support people. And so, by being that person who’s just giving, giving, giving, rather than looking to get, that’s what I realized that like, again, everything comes back tenfold. And I truly think that that’s what led to getting more clients building more valuable relationships, and really helping to take my business to that next level.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

It’s amazing. So that, you know, it’s like the law of reciprocity, right? The universe. That is actually a law.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

That was just so amazing. So amazing. No, I absolutely love it. And I love where you’re heading and your podcast and everything. And I know that the community that you’re building is going to be huge, like global.

 

Ashley Mason 

That is the plan. I’d like to take a global.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Totally, you got that positive attitude, positive energy to do it and just kill it. I’m so happy and proud of you and can’t wait to see what you do in the near future and in the big future.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

And so, I want to thank you so much for being here today with me, Ashley. And if you could let everybody know where to find you online, that would be awesome. So, they can all connect with you.

 

Ashley Mason 

Most definitely. So, my first website for my marketing company is dashofsocial.com. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @dashofsocial. And then, my second company which has all those awesome resources for people looking to start a business is studenttoceo.com. And I’m also @studenttoceo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Pamela Bardhi 

Awesome, Ashley. Thank you so, so much for being here today. It’s truly, truly an honor.

 

Ashley Mason 

Yeah, thank you so much for having me Pamela

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with the one and only Ashely Mason!