The journey of entrepreneurship, finding happiness, and what I learned along the way

I want to share my story about how I let fear, doubt, other peoples opinions, and excuses prevent me from following my dreams and finding true happiness for way too long.

I have always put myself last in order to make sure everybody and everything else was taken care of. I was the main person in the house in charge of keeping my kids alive, shuffling them around to all their activities, cleaning the house, cooking, laundry, etc.

I watched my husband chase his dreams and create a business that he loves, while I felt stuck, unhappy, and unfulfilled doing boring routine tasks that I didn’t enjoy. It made me bitter and almost jealous.

Backing up a bit, I have always been a multi-passionate, visionary entrepreneur spirited person since as far back as I can recall. I remember making flower pens and handmade bracelets with friends and we sold them to anyone who would buy. I have always tried to think of ways to make money for myself on my own terms, but I was forced to get a job at McDonald’s when I was 16. After all, my car was not going to run on hope and dreams. I quickly advanced to “team leader” and that scared the crap out of me. I assumed if I stayed any longer they would make me a manager in no time and I would never leave that place. Not saying that McDonald’s was a bad place to work, but I hated smelling like greasy french fries.

When I was 17, I got a job as a Pharmacy Technician. I worked there as a senior in high school and while I went to Xray school. I had no desire to go to X-Ray school, but I was told by some family members who went there that I should apply. I had no doubt that I would not get in because this program only accepted 8 students each year and I did not make good grades in high school. I only submitted an application to make the family happy. Well, my crazy outgoing personality and maybe some pull from my family got me accepted to this dang school. UGH! I went there for 3 months and flunked out. It was not for me.

Flunking out of X-Ray school lead my pharmacy manager to encourage me to take the certification class. So at the age of 19, I became a Certified Pharmacy Technician. I enjoyed it, but I felt this huge desire to start my own thing. The desire consumed me. 

When I was 20, I got married and my husband was quickly deployed with the Army to Iraq six months after. He trained for several months, 70 miles away from home, before he left. I was allowed to visit him weekly but my pharmacy schedule did not allow it. This led me to quit my job at the pharmacy and start a small in-home daycare. I wanted to call the shots and be allowed to take time off when I said so, not when corporate did.

WOW! What was I thinking? A home daycare? That is the last thing in this world I should have done, but I chose the low hanging fruit at the time because I knew some families in need of childcare. You live and learn I guess. I did this for a little over a year and quickly looked for something else. I joined a direct sales company and got a job at a doctors office as the in house certified pharmacy tech and receptionist.

I will spare you the remainder details of my “real” jobs, but I will tell you I have been in at least 6 different direct sales companies. I would bounce around looking for that right one that would make me feel happy, fulfilled, and produce an income, but I just never seemed to find it.

I got really close to that feeling at the last direct sales company that I was with. I made the rank of Director, lead a team of over 1,000 women, a few good men, and I really loved the products. I enjoyed helping my team members build their business, but the policies and procedures were limiting. They did not allow me the freedom to use my own creativity with marketing and training my team.

I finally decided to listen to my desires and intuition because it became so loud that I could not ignore it. I spoke with my husband and told him what I was going through and with his support, I told my team that I was stepping down from my director position of 5 years to finally do what I felt called to do. They wished me well and I set out on my journey.

I wanted to help, teach, and motivate other entrepreneurs to push through fears, stop making excuses, get clarity on their direction, create a business and marketing plan, build a personal brand, and finally START! Basically, I wanted to help people just like me. People that know they are here on this earth to do something great and need a little push to get started.

For two years I consumed as much content from Gary Vaynerchuk and other experts about entrepreneurship, business, marketing, and branding I could. I spent a ton of money learning but never took the leap into actually implementing all the great knowledge. Until one magnificent September day, something finally clicked!

Do you wanna know how I got unstuck? I got an accountability partner/coach, joined a group mastermind, and hired someone to delegate all the stuff that I don’t enjoy doing. This allows me to focus on what I love doing what I excel at! 

I have learned a lot along this journey. I learned that I won’t settle, conform, or bend to anyone else’s mold or plan. I learned that I am more of a visionary than an implementer. I am a creator of great ideas, but I need assistance from others to help me implement the things I don’t enjoy.

I am so happy to announce that in August 2017, I FINALLY stopped making excuses, pushed through my fears, and actually STARTED! 

I finally found what has been missing in my life. I now am so very happy and fulfilled. It feels so good to have clarity, a plan, and to be implementing it on my terms! I won’t lie and say it is easy, but it is so worth it!

If you can relate to any of this, I want you to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to make the decision to put yourself first for once. When you become happy and fulfilled, life is so much better for you and everyone around you!

I want YOU to feel the same way! I want you to be happy. I want you to feel fulfilled. You deserve it. Stop procrastinating and get started!

Try it, I dare you!

Ashley Owen

Ashley Owen, Nashville, TN