Time Blocking, Self-Care and Traveling While Running a Business with Ashley Starr

Ashley M Starr

Welcome to a new series called Fit, Fierce and Fabulous where I will be brining on some incredible girl bosses to share how they keep their health and wellness in check all while serving others and slaying their businesses.

This week I want to introduce you guys to Ashley Starr, by the way I dream to have my last name be Starr. She is an intuitive life coach who works with women to help them understand and tap into their self-love! I am totally with this flow as you guys know I am all about that SELF LOVE! She also has been to Thailand which is somewhere I lived for almost 3 years and treasure as the place that helped me develop my message, inspire me to speak and deliver my message in other ways. She too had experienced a shift which made me just fall in love with her!! Read how she combines a healthy lifestyle with having her own business, I was left inspired after this interview and I KNOW you guys will get that same feeling!

♥ Tell us a little about you – a current project or goal you are tackling?

Hi! I’m Ashley and I am a life coach, writer and someday, a speaker! I love travel, yoga, food, coffee and a good one-liner.  My coaching focus is on self-love and finding one’s purpose. I am currently working on a self-love e-course that I am really excited to unveil! Self-love is a continual process and my mission is to help women understand that the relationship with themselves is just as important as all the other relationships in their lives. As women, we tend to put everyone else’s needs above our own, but my e-course will teach women how – and why – to say ‘yes’ to themselves. In addition to the e-course, I just released a free self-care kit that includes a workbook, guided meditation and self-care checklist. I’m also working on a fiction novel loosely based on my own self-love journey that led me and my backpack across 4 countries last summer.

♥ What got you inspired to start your coaching business? Also, please explain why your coaching service is different and how it serves others.

This question is two fold for me. First, I was inspired to become a life coach after working for 3 years with my own coach and seeing how transformative the coaching experience is. While working with my coach, we were exploring the age old question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’. I was 3 years into my corporate job and I knew something wasn’t right. After years of ruminating on the question, I finally looked across the table and said ‘I want to be you!”. I enrolled in my life coach training a few months later and began my certification journey. After the training ended, I was not ready to start my business so I continued on in my corporate job until I decided to make a drastic change in my life course. I quit my job in May 2015 to pursue my dream of traveling and receiving my yoga instructor certification. I traveled to India to receive my yoga teacher training. From there, I traveled to Bali (my fav!), Australia and Thailand. While in Thailand, I decided it was time to head home and once and for all start my coaching business!

My coaching business is different because I developed a 6-step framework for my coaching practice that I utilize to help facilitate growth and transformation within my clients. I believe in co-creating the coaching experience with my client so they truly receive the ‘bff treatment’ – the love and caring of a best friend, the honesty and truth of a sister, and the sometimes annoyingly persistent accountability of a mother 😉 I make topics like personal development, self-love and life purpose approachable and dare I say even fun! My clients have commented that they’ve felt calm and comfortable from the moment we start working together. I believe in creating a space for my clients to allow their curiosity and intuition to drive their transformative journey.

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How do you define “wellness”? What does it mean to “be well” to you?

I define ‘wellness’ as feeling balanced in our everyday lives while striving for a purposeful, healthy future. Being well to me means understanding and honoring our emotional, spiritual and physical needs. Being in equilibrium with my mind, body, and soul is my ultimate wellness goal!

“I define ‘wellness’ as feeling balanced in our every lives while striving for a purposeful, healthy future”

♥ What is your day to day life like?

I’m HUGE on daily practices…especially in the morning. I am not a morning person, so I like to ease into my day. I wake up around 6:30 or 7am and start the day off with a meditation and stretching. After my meditation I will grab my intentions deck and pick an intention for the day. Then I will journal for a little bit if I am feeling it. If not, I’ll jot down 3 things I’m grateful for and flip open my planner. I’ll take a look at what I’ve got on my calendar for the day and make a rough time blocking schedule for my day. I chug a glass of water (sometimes with a shot of apple cider vinegar in it) and then I get my coffee on! I am a french press gal so I’ll whip up a cup or two. After breakfast and sippin on some coffee, I’ll get to work. Like I mentioned, I work in blocks of time – typically 90-120 minute blocks with 30 minute breaks in between. Recently, I’ve started the day of work off writing for 1-2 hours. I love to write, but dread the thought of it haha! So, to get out of my head and out of my excuses, I start it in the morning before my brain has had time to convince me to skip it. You would think this method would work for my workout..but it does not! I like to workout before lunch or mid-day around 2 or 3 depending on my day. I’ve never been able to get myself to workout in the morning and evening workouts leave me energized for way past my bedtime! After my work is done for the day, I will make or go out for dinner. Maybe meet up with friends or go to an event – just depends on the day. Weekends are normally reserved for relaxing, reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends! I love the flexibility my coaching business gives me. If I want to work in Chicago or Phoenix or wherever for a week, I can!

♥ What has been your biggest lesson with starting your business? Any fears starting your business? Successes?

Expect nothing and be grateful for everything! Also, remembering that I define what success means and how I reach that success. Just because a certain tactic or set of marketing tactics works for most people, doesn’t mean I have to follow suit if it doesn’t feel good for me. I definitely had some fears starting my business – that’s why I waited 2+ years to start! I was very fearful of failure, but something I’ve recently learned is that I also get to define what failure means to me. If something doesn’t work out, I try not to view it as a failure but applaud the fact that I gave x or y a whirl and now learned from it. The most difficult part of starting a business has been dealing with the expectations I’ve placed on myself. The most rewarding part of my business is how much this experience has allowed me to further grow and transform in my own self-love and purpose-finding journey!

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♥ Tell us about your perfect day – start to finish. What would you do and who would you spend your time with?

I’d have to say April 25th – not too hot, not too cold (Miss Congeniality anybody?). I’m sorry, every time I am asked a question about my perfect date or day, that’s the only thing I can think about. But! My perfect day…would be a simple day really. Brunch with my best girlfriends, followed by a day at the beach with friends and family, ending with a glass of wine and snuggles with my french bulldog, Carol and maybe a boyfriend. I don’t have Carol or a boyfriend..yet..but that would be my perfect day!

♥ What are your favorite books, quotes and/or productivity apps?

Omg. This could take a while..so I’ll try to be very concise…

  • Books: Eat, Pray, Love (obviously), Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, Better than Before, and basically any self-help book or romcom beach read.
  • Quotes:
    • “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.’ – Oscar Wilde
    • “Love her, but leave her wild” – Atticus
    • “Feed your soul, not your ego” (not sure who said that)
    • “You are your own road” – Ashley Starr (that’s me haha)
  • Productivity apps – I don’t have a lot of productivity apps I use, but I have a problem with obsessively checking snapchat…so I downloaded ‘moment’ to reduce my smartphone usage and it’s saving my sanity. I also really like clue – it’s a period tracker app but also tracks your emotions, existent and nonexistent sex life activity, exercise, meditation, and lots of other stuff! I love it!

♥ Share with my readers 3 tips on how you keep on top of your day to day business tasks and still make time for a workout, eating well and slaying your business.
It’s not easy! I start off with my daily practice and that really sets the tone for the day. Like I mentioned, time blocking really helps. I also have a big calendar – like a desk calendar – that I use to plan out my larger 90-day activities like campaigns, specials, challenges, freebies, etc. That gives me a broader view and then I use my day planner for the daily and weekly tasks. If I’m getting off track, I’ll normally take that as a signal that my brain or body needs a break. I’ll do a brain dump in my journal or on a blank google doc..or I’ll go for a quick walk. Sometimes fighting it makes it worse! My best advice – try a few different things and see what works best. Most importantly – schedule in everything – your self-care, workout, time to eat, and even setting reminders to get up every 30 minutes (even if you are in a 2 hour timeblock) to do a little stretch or a few jumping jacks! I always try to schedule in my self-care/workouts first when I look at my day and week. That way I am prioritizing it and myself. The thing about your business is that you are your business..so taking time for yourself is actually helping your business!

“Most importantly – schedule in everything – your self-care, workout, time to eat, and even setting reminders to get up every 30 minutes (even if you are in a 2 hour timeblock) to do a little stretch or a few jumping jacks!”

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♥ What is the one thing that helped slingshot your business to the top?

Haha well I still have lots of goals for my business, but I’ve found a lot of success in blogging and vlogging. I love to do both, so that shines through to my ideal clients. If you stay in line with what feels right and good to you, your business will thrive. Patience, support from yourself and family/friends, and good ‘ol hard work and perseverance as well.

♥ Any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

You can literally do anything. Trust me, I managed 20 hour bus rides across Australia, 2 stomach parasites in India, and absolutely zero discovery calls for months when I first started my business. There is a strength inside of you that you don’t even know is there yet, but the more you step out of your comfort zone and do things that scare the hell out of you, the more you grow. Not everyone is going to support you – hell, most people won’t. Find the ones that do and find the cheerleader within you. Hold onto that and always remember why you started. Never be afraid to reinvent yourself – or your business. Priorities change, your why changes, and you change. Trust yourself and trust the universe. Try not to compare yourself to others and remember to love and care for yourself as much as you do others. If all else fails, look in the mirror every single day and say ‘YOU GOT THIS MAMA. I LOVE YOU!’

You Can Follow and Check Out Ashley Here:

  • I love this idea Courtney! So honored to be the first interview in the series! Thanks again for letting me share! Xo

    • Thank you so much for coming on and letting me interview you I feel so inspired 🙂

  • Great interview! Maybe I should get a life coach… someone who can occasionally talk some sense into me 🙁
    XO,
    Anna
    http://www.blushingrosestyle.com