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The Humane Startup with Ashlie Collins


I’m so excited for today’s conversation with a beautiful human being, a client, a friend and an amazing mom and wife. She has made HUGE quantum leaps in her life and has made some bold moves to devote her career to changing the startup world and the sales world to be a champion of the mental health and wellbeing of everyone involved within the organizations she supports, as well as to really change the way we do sales to be far more ethical and inclusive.


Ashlie Collins has over 15 years of sales and startup experience and she witnessed firsthand that the role of a leader is lonely and riddled with mental health landmines that affect every area of the business. She is on a mission to heal the way we work and shift the entire scene from the top down. After serving as a 2 x founding team member, living through life after exit and launching a platform to self sustainability in Europe, there isn’t much she hasn’t seen or experienced the aftermath of. She founded Humane Startup, a coaching, training, and consultancy organization where she combines her in-field experience and therapeutic training to empower leaders to achieve hyper growth, be the force of change they want to be, and feel good doing it.



Show Notes:

[2:47] – Welcome to the show, Ashlie!

[3:58] – Ashlie shares how she started on this journey.

[5:40] – What is Gold Medal Syndrome?

[6:47] – The journey wasn’t always easy and Ashlie made a lot of discoveries about herself and others. She navigated leaving this startup and made changes.

[8:41] – Everyone’s startup journey is very different, but Elyse shares how easy it is for everyone doing it to put aside other important aspects of life and become off center.

[10:22] – When you play such a huge role in the success of the startup, there is so much pressure and it is easy to make conflicting decisions.

[12:02] – Stay the course when stakes are high.

[13:06] – Society is demanding more of leaders right now.

[14:12] – One of Ashlie’s most powerful tools was Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

[16:15] – As a leader, the impact of your decisions is huge. Your internal world reflects out into the external.

[18:08] – Prevent workaholism from creeping into your team.

[19:38] – Ashlie wanted a therapeutic environment available no matter where founders are in their startup journey.

[20:41] – There are free communities to join on the Startup Therapy app.

[21:51] – Ashlie sees the power of coaching even as a coach herself.

[22:54] – What does Ashlie’s life look like when she’s celebrating one million users?

[27:04] – Self trust is a problem sometimes.

[29:24] – Ashlie’s inner child has the worry of not executing perfectly.

[31:16] – If little Ashlie leads the startup, so many of her fears will be projected onto others.

[33:28] – Who is on your board of advisors?

[34:45] – Little Ashlie needs the reassurance that everything is okay and that everyone will still love her when things don’t turn out perfectly.

[36:40] – Elyse and Ashlie do an activity to connect with her inner child.

[38:14] – One of Ashlie’s concerns is people losing respect for her when mistakes are made.

[40:20] – You may understand something, but your brain might need evidence.

[41:56] – People don’t respect perfection. They respect realness.

[45:51] – It is okay to bring the same love that you have at home with your family to your work life. It shows up differently, but you can have it.


Connect with Ashlie:

            Humane Startup Website

            Instagram  |  Linkedin

Links and Resources:

Instagram  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube

She Sells with Elyse Archer Home Page

Speaker 1 (00:02):

Welcome to she sales radio. I am so excited for today’s conversation with a beautiful human being, a client, a friend, an amazing mom and wife, a powerful career woman. And this woman has made huge quantum leaps in her life. And some really bold and powerful moves to devote her career to changing the startup in the sales world and to really be a champion of mental health and wellbeing of everyone involved in the organization that she supports, um, as well as to really change the way that we do sales to be far more ethical and far more inclusive as well. And so you’re gonna hear from my guests momentarily, Ashley Collins, we were so excited to have you, uh, but I’m gonna share just a bit of her background first. So you know who she is, what she’s all about, and then we’re gonna get into a really great conversation.

Speaker 1 (00:53):

So with over 15 years in sales and startup executive roles, Ashley witnessed first hand that the role of the leader is lonely and riddled with mental health landmines that affect every area of the business. She’s on a mission to heal the way we work and shift the entire scene from the top down after serving as a two ex two times founding team member, living through her life after exit and launching a platform to self sustainability in Europe, there isn’t much, she hasn’t seen her experience, the aftermath of both positive and negative at this point. And she founded humane startup, a coaching training and consultancy organization where she combines her infield experience and therapeutic training to empower leaders, to achieve hyper growth, to be the force of the change they want to be and to feel good doing it and beyond Ashley, I am so excited to have you on the podcast. Welcome to shoe sells radio. Aw,

Speaker 2 (01:44):

Thank you so much for having me. It’s an absolute pleasure to be

Speaker 1 (01:47):

Here. Oh my gosh. Well, I know there’s, there’s so much that we’re gonna get into today. And so I think the biggest opportunity for us is going to be staying on time. <laugh> cause there’s a lot I wanna cover with you. So I know today’s gonna be really fun because not only are we gonna talk about humane startup and what you’re doing and um, and, and how people can start to incorporate some of these principles into their own organization, we’re also gonna be doing some live coaching and we don’t have that pre-planned, which is also really fun, but people will get to hear kind of behind the scenes of coaching. And I think every top performer and top producer gets coached. So I’m excited to, you know, have the opportunity to, well, we’re gonna go wherever it goes and hopefully help you solve some challenges or absolutely achieve some good outcomes. So, you know, I, I think we get a glimpse of your background and your journey through that bio, but I know there’s been so much in terms of your own experience in the startup world, in the sales world that prompted the creation of the humane startup and your new app startup therapy. So share as much as you want to slash as, you know, as much as we have time for today. Just about like your background and what prompted you to launch this brand.

Speaker 2 (02:58):

Yeah, absolutely. So the, the, the journey for me really started about 12 years ago when I followed two very dear friends out of a cushy corporate job, uh, to found our first company. And I went into that with the complete beginner’s mindset and, and really no understanding of what I was in for. <laugh> very, very nice move on, on my part. Um, and it was I’m, I’m only really beginning to truly appreciate what a phenomenal experience that was. Uh, we bootstrapped that company. We sold it for 10 times revenue in 18 months to indeed. Um, and it, it was intense. Like I didn’t at the time didn’t really realize that that’s not like how this went for every startup who was, who was just setting out. Um, and we, we did have, we ticked a lot of the boxes for success. You know, we, we had financial success.

Speaker 2 (03:58):

Um, many of us stayed on post acquisition to, to launch some pretty powerful careers with, with the acquiring company. Uh, but both myself and a few others in the co-founding team. We, it was, it was almost like a congratulations tears, your existential crisis moment for us, because we had anchored so much of our purpose in the success of this company. And we really hadn’t thought about what happened after that. <laugh> wow. Yeah. You know, um, and, and each one of us handled it in, in different ways. And it was at this time that I was introduced to the concept of something called gold medal syndrome. So this is something that, um, Olympic athletes, um, high performance athletes experience as well, where you you’ve, you’ve got this really big goal that you’ve set for yourself, and then once you achieve it, achieve it, it’s sort of like anti-climactic, <laugh> because right.

Speaker 2 (05:01):

I’m really anchored into a larger vision or, or a larger purpose. Uh, and so that kind of put me on a 10 year path to really trying to better understand myself, to protect my friends. And I did stay on, um, with the organization that acquired us for five years in an executive capacity. I relocated to the UK with them, uh, and, and it was a phenomenal experience. And I ultimately left that, uh, that organization to found a second company with that same team, um, and very different set of circumstances. We’d all grown a lot. Some of our attitudes had, had shifted quite substantially since the sale of the first company. Um, and, and there were, you know, some sad moments you saw, some relationships really suffer, uh, on the back of, of us, maybe not doing some of the, the deep inner work. Uh, we had, you know, across a couple of us, we had some pretty profound health impacts that started to creep up as we, you know, were sort of using numbing or escape mechanisms to deal with what we were or not deal with what we were feeling inside.

Speaker 2 (06:12):

Uh, and, and it got all a bit much. And so I kind of jumped chip <laugh> and went somewhere that felt, uh, felt a bit safer. Uh, and as, as I navigated that process, I sort of had this epiphany moment where I was like, why wouldn’t, why wouldn’t I just explore putting truly therapeutic practices around supporting founding team members, just like me, so that this doesn’t significantly shift who we are as people that it doesn’t come with, all of these side effects and, and consequences. And a lot of it was driven by loneliness, not feeling like you had anybody to call when the chips were down. Uh, at that time I hadn’t worked with any coaches, myself mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so I’d been to, I’d been trying to tackle things on my own. And our, the acquiring company actually had coaches on staff, uh, that they provided to their leaders, which I think is a very bold move. I loved that. And so that really introduced me to this world, uh, of, of coaching, um, and, and also some of the, the, um, modalities and practices that I now bring into, into, into my work. Um, but it it’s really a mission driven by personal experience and witnessing the journey of some people that I, that I really, really care about. Mm

Speaker 1 (07:30):

Wow. You know, it’s so interesting, like just kind of putting myself in your shoes and thinking about the behind the scenes of that energy in the startup. Right. And I’ve, I’ve been a part of multiple startups. I’ve been part of one that was like right from the ground floor, obviously I’ve started up my own. And, um, it’s like, everyone’s, journey’s a little bit different, but to think about, you know, the pressure that was the pressure that’s felt the way it’s so easy, I’m sure. Just to like, totally throw yourself into your work and forget about family, forget about health, forget about all of it. And then it’s kind of like, what’s the coming up from, for air after the acquisition or after it doesn’t go the way you thought it was gonna go or whatever. And who are you where, you know, where has your life taken? And I would imagine, like, you just feel disconnected from yourself, from your tree, like in so many ways, it seems like you can get off center with that. So,

Speaker 2 (08:24):

Yeah. Yeah. And I think, I think for all of us, if we, if we had had the kind of support that I’m looking to plug a gap for now, it could have felt a lot different for all of us, like really being clear on why we were deciding to get into hashtag startup life, right

Speaker 2 (08:43):

Know, to, to begin with, um, you know, felt more anchored in to, into that vision and purpose so that we didn’t hand over our agency and our power to too soon. I think we made some good calls in, in some areas, particularly around how, you know, how we did or did not decide to raise funds to, to control like our product and, you know, and making sure that all of that stayed on on point. But, you know, I think that’s one of the things that I see happen so frequently with founders, um, and, and revenue generators, I think particularly in a startup environment, as a revenue generator, you play such a pivotal role in the success of, of the business mm-hmm <affirmative> and you, you do end up carrying a lot of the pressure, whether you’re part of the co-founding team, uh, you know, or, or not. And so you start making decisions out of alignment with your values and your purpose, because you’re buckling under that pressure mm-hmm and you haven’t, you’re not really clear on your mind what that, why is and what those values are. And so it can be very easy to, to sort of make conflicting priority decisions. And that’s where some of those, you know, not so fun things, uh, you know, start, start to crop up.

Speaker 1 (09:57):

What does it mean to you to be a humane startup?

Speaker 2 (10:01):

What does it mean to be here,

Speaker 1 (10:03):

To be a humane startup? Like, what is it your definition of a humane startup? What does that look like to you?

Speaker 2 (10:08):

Yeah, for me, it is about caring quite simply about more than just profitability mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, I am, I am not anti-money <laugh> by any

Speaker 1 (10:19):

Stretch of you’re here in sheels world, we love money. We love making money. I mean, we’re not mad at it, right? I

Speaker 2 (10:25):

Do. I love wealth. I love power. I love influence

Speaker 1 (10:28):


Speaker 2 (10:28):

<affirmative> um, you know, but I just think that there are different things that we can do, uh, with wealth, power powered influence. And I think for me at its absolute core, it’s about rejecting the idea that the only thing that matters are your shareholders and your investors mm-hmm and really thinking about the extended impact of your business and the good that it can do for the planet, for your community, for the workers that you can employ and really fortify to ensure that you stay the course, even when the pressure’s high, because the reality is it’s gonna be high most of the time. Um, but that doesn’t have to feel bad. You can sustain that and you, you can bring an approach and processes and methods to conducting business that allow you to flow through those external influencers without handing over your power and your agency and being the force of change that you set out to be.

Speaker 2 (11:35):

And I feel like there’s never been a better time to start to, to carve out your own path for how you want to do this. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, you, you look at, uh, you know, I’m a big fan of B corporations. Uh, the fact that they even exist <laugh> yeah. Is phenomenal. And the numbers are growing substantially year on year, we’ve got over 700 of them now in the UK employing over 43,000 people. That’s a huge impact. Right. Uh, and I think that that society is, is demanding more from leadership, whether that’s in the private sector or in the public sector. And you’re starting to see a lot more, uh, you know, cross channel collaboration across these groups to ensure that that we’re having the impact that, that we set out to have. And business can really be a phenomenal force for good if we let it. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (12:30):

Oh my gosh. I couldn’t agree more. And I’m curious to hear a little bit, because obviously you have a whole methodology that you teach and it’s, it’s more than we’re gonna be able to cover today, but you talked about, you know, in your own life, some practices that you implemented to help with mental health to help with wellbeing, to help with, um, you focusing on the whole person outside of just bottom line. And I know these are things that you probably teach startup founders and leaders to do as well. What are maybe like one to two things that you think every startup leader or startup revenue producer should be focusing on to help them to, to help them stay whole <laugh> through that process for BA lack of better words?

Speaker 2 (13:12):

Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the most powerful tools that, um, I put in my toolkit was acceptance and, uh, commitment therapy mm-hmm <affirmative> and working within a framework. And one of the first things that, that you do when you’re sort of moving through that process is to define your core values and then look, which is a really challenging, that sounds so much easier than <laugh> yeah. Than it actually is to narrow down like the three things that you actually care about. Not that you think you should care about or, and like crossing some things off that list. Like that brings up some stuff. Oh yeah. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but I, you know, getting clear on those three really clear on those three, and then it, it gives you almost a decision making framework, right? You’re either making moves towards becoming the person that you want to be based on those values or away from the person that you want to be based on those values.

Speaker 2 (14:13):

And it just really simplifies that process, especially when external factors can feel a little bit overwhelming. Wow. And then the next piece of that is, is conducting routine check-ins on those things across all of your life areas. Uh, and there are a bunch of different frameworks for that. I particularly work with 12 different life areas that I routinely check in on and I calculate a concern score for those. So I go through and I look on a scale of one to 10, how important is that life area? To me, that value domain to me, and then how much energy and attention and action am I giving that right now, I calculate the Delta and I try to do that around every 30 days. And then, you know, some things pop up like, huh, <laugh> maybe some of the, not so fun thoughts and feelings that I’m having right now, or because I have this area of my life.

Speaker 2 (15:05):

That’s really important that I’m neglecting. So I need to recalibrate some things and focus some energy here. And I think that whoever you are, that’s a valuable framework for you. I think as a leader, it’s really important to get those things right. Because as, as the impact of your decisions is quite substantial, right. And so being able to check in and just make sure that you’re cutting back on those away moves, we’re clear on our values. And we’re routinely checking in on how we’re doing across because our external, our internal world reflects out into our external world. And then that, that has an impact on society and our employees and, you know, and the planets, depending on <laugh> what area of business we’re in. So yeah, I would say that that’s probably been the most valuable foundation I’ve put in place for myself. And it’s something I work on from jump with my clients.

Speaker 1 (16:01):

That’s so powerful. You know, I remember there was a time in my life where I, someone asked me, like, what do you do for fun? And I remember at the time I was so just, it was my career, was it, it was, it was all I did ate, breathe, sleep. And I was like, what do I do for fun? And what do I had no idea what I like to do?

Speaker 2 (16:21):

You don’t even have fun.

Speaker 1 (16:22):

Do I have I really, I mean, it was a very sobering and kind of embarrassing moment to think. I haven’t thought about this for years. And I think I, I would imagine that people can relate to that to some level, like if, when you’re really in it with your career and whether you’re in a high pressure sales role or whether you’re leading a company, it’s so easy to just get all consumed in this one of 12 areas of your life. Right. But life is so work is so much better and easier when we’re focusing on the other areas and yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (16:59):

And it’s always amazed me. It’s been like one of the great philosophical questions that I’ve had is like, why do leaders not encourage their teams to cultivate this in their own life? Because preventing workaholism from creeping in to your team only benefits your productivity. It only benefits your revenue. There’s so much research behind this now. Um, but there’s still this, I still catch a lot of folks working against their own best interest out of fear and out of thoughts of scarcity, like, I’ve gotta, I’ve gotta double down on the hours. I’ve gotta work with these finite resources. I’ve gotta do these things, not realizing that you can just increase folks’ capacity and then they’ll have more time to do the things that they love and bring a completely different energy to <laugh>

Speaker 1 (17:53):


Speaker 2 (17:54):

To their work, you know? Yeah. So it’s, it’s really remarkable. Um, and everybody wins when, when we, when we create this space for humans to be humans yeah. And to fill their lives of joy <laugh>

Speaker 1 (18:09):

Oh yeah. I love that so much. I love that so much. Take a moment. And we’re, we’re gonna go into coaching in a minute, but take a moment. And I’d love if you could share a little bit about startup therapy, this new app that you have coming out I’m and I know we’re like it’s sometimes soon from the release of this app gods are so this, so it will be, this episode will air before then, but soon it will be coming out. So, so share a little bit about this. This is so exciting.

Speaker 2 (18:37):

Oh, this, this is my, my baby. I, I am so excited for this. What, what I really wanted to do was make a therapeutic community available to start founders and their teams, regardless of where they are in their life cycle. I know it can be tough and you’ve gotta be, um, you know, mindful of how resources are allocated in the early days. Um, and so I just wanted to ensure that I could reach as many folks in the startup community, as I possibly could, uh, provide them with one-on-one coaching options through with self-paced courses, um, digital tools and resources for journaling and completing evidence based exercises to just navigate this journey with a sense of inner peace and pull on the resources that they need when they need them and at the right time. And so that’s really what startup therapy is, is designed to be, there is a free community that you can join, just so that you have folks to communicate with that relate to the experiences that you’re having.

Speaker 2 (19:51):

Uh, you will also be able to the, the first course we will launch will be a seven day challenge that will be completely free for folks to take. Um, and it’s really, it is based on acceptance and commitment therapy, just because I felt that has been such a powerful thing for me, that I feel more people, more folks that I could equip with those tools, the better the business world will become fast. Um, and then there will be some follow on more extensive 12 week courses that will come through that. And then you can also engage me, uh, in, in private coaching, directly from the app as well. So it’s sort of your, your, your home hub for, you know, for all things startup therapy related. <laugh>

Speaker 1 (20:30):

So exciting. I love the concept. I love the model. I love how accessible it is, so that will, you know, that will be out at some point soon. And we’re, we’re so excited. I can’t wait to check it out. Um, that’s incredible. So, you know, I think this is part of what makes you a great coach is that you came into this episode and you said, I wanna be coached. And you said, I don’t have a specific agenda. I don’t have like a specific question for you, but I wanna be coached to demonstrate the power of coaching. So I, I think that’s what makes a phenomenal coach, a phenomenal coach is they get the power of it and they’re open. So, um, so you’re at my mercy now. <laugh> and the best way,

Speaker 2 (21:11):

It’s like my favorite place to be Elise <laugh>

Speaker 1 (21:15):

Well, so here’s what I think here’s what I think would be fun. So we literally, we don’t have an agenda here. We haven’t pre-planned anything, but I think, I, I think this will be a good start. So let’s say you and I are meeting again, hopefully for Yorkshire putting in <laugh> in London in a year <laugh> or something really lovely like that, but it’s a year from now we’re meeting and we are celebrating that you’ve just had the most phenomenal year of your career, the most phenomenal year of your life. Everything you could imagine has happened, no consequences or limitations. So what does that look like for you?

Speaker 2 (21:53):

We’ve got well over a million users that have downloaded the startup therapy app. Okay. I, the, our home in Raleigh is paid off and we are using that as a, a, a proper second home for the family to enjoy and splitting time between the us and the UK. Uh, we’ve completed all of the renovations on our house here, and we’re taking one phenomenal family ho like full on family holiday <laugh> per term, uh, over the half term breaks together. Um,

Speaker 1 (22:35):

Where did you go on your trip? Where, where was your phenomenal, full term vacation that were celebrating that you took?

Speaker 2 (22:42):

Uh, this, the next one will be to the Maldives hands down.

Speaker 1 (22:45):

Beautiful. Okay.

Speaker 2 (22:46):

Yes. Dying to stay in one of those over water bungalows with a practice

Speaker 1 (22:50):

<laugh> oh, yes. Oh yes. So you just, okay, so you just got back from the mal Daves, you stayed in an overwater bungalow. Beautiful. Okay. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and then anything else

Speaker 2 (23:03):

I’ll also be driving? Um, my new G wagon

Speaker 1 (23:07):

<laugh> yes. Like I said, we’re not mad at money on this show, so driving <laugh> love it. Okay. Anything else?

Speaker 2 (23:19):

Oh, gosh. I think, you know, absolutely. Sebastian, my eldest son will be fully recovered from, from his most recent operation and back to his sporty life as an 11 year old boy playing with his brother in the back garden, which is something that I haven’t been able to see in almost three years. Wow. Uh, so very much so looking forward to that, mm-hmm <affirmative>, um, I think also would love to get my book out into the world that has been hiding behind the scenes for quite some time.

Speaker 1 (24:00):

<laugh> okay. So you’re a published author. Incredible. Okay. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and the book has come out this time next year.

Speaker 2 (24:08):


Speaker 1 (24:09):

Okay, great. Great. Okay. What else?

Speaker 2 (24:19):

And I would, I would like to be on the Forbes top coaches I’m on the Forbes top coaches list.

Speaker 1 (24:26):

Great. Okay. Beautiful. Anything else?

Speaker 2 (24:34):

No, not for now.

Speaker 1 (24:36):

Okay. This is a good start. <laugh> so just to recap, so we are meeting, we’re celebrating, maybe we’re meeting at your home in Raleigh, cuz then we’re like neighbors, which is really fun. But so you have, we are celebrating that you’ve had a million users who have downloaded startup therapy, your home and Raleigh is paid off. You’re splitting time between the us and the UK renovations are completed on your house. In the UK. You just got back from this incredible vacation in the mal deves you have a beautiful tan and I’m super jealous and you’re looking amazing. You are driving your G wagon, which I love your son is fully recovered from his operation, playing with his brother again in the backyard. Your book is out in the world and you’re on the Forbes top coach’s list. So this is good. This is like, we’re really celebrating.

Speaker 1 (25:24):

Okay, beautiful. So as you, as you think forward to that time, and sometimes it’s helpful to even like close your eyes and go with him and just really connect with that. Um, and I know you’re someone who connects with your vision quite a bit. So, you know, this may come up right away, but if it doesn’t, that’s fine too. But what is, what is the biggest question you have right now about how to get there? What feels like the biggest obstacle or hurdle that you’re bumping up against for this vision to truly become a reality for you?

Speaker 2 (25:58):

Yeah. This, this comes up for me at each stage of my journey. I, I grapple with this in a different way. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and it is that self trust.

Speaker 1 (26:10):


Speaker 2 (26:10):

Mm-hmm <affirmative> can, is this really, for me, this little girl from Northwest Indiana, you know, who’s, who’s a first gen university graduate. Can I, can I really do this is this for me? Um, and I know the logical answer to that. Sure. But those are, those are the tough thoughts and feelings that, that come up in new ways. <laugh> mm-hmm, <affirmative>, mm-hmm <affirmative> um, you know, each time I hit that next, that next phase. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (26:40):

And I will we’ll take in aside and then we’ll, we’ll talk about that. I appreciate you sharing that because I think for everyone who’s really doing it. Right. And for all of your clients too, who are leading these companies and who everyone’s looking to as the leader, like everyone has that come up, everyone has this little part of them. That’s like, am I qualified? Is this for me? Like really people are answering to me about this. Right. So we all have it. So I appreciate you verbalizing that. Let me ask you this. So what part of you is the part that questions, whether this is for truly, for you and whether you can trust this vision?

Speaker 2 (27:19):

Oh girl. We know that that’s scare little girl inside <laugh>

Speaker 1 (27:25):

Yep. Yeah. And are you comfortable talking, like, talking about it cuz this is yeah.

Speaker 2 (27:29):

Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s important to be open. I think part of the reason that leaders feel so lonely is that we pretend that we’re not, you know, experiencing this, but we’re just as human as the person next to us. So yeah. Right. Open book here.

Speaker 1 (27:48):

Yeah. Yeah. And we’re, you know, we’re not gonna get into like a full blown inner child piece here, but this is, I think, recognizing like, oh, that’s the little version mm-hmm <affirmative> of Ashley, right? That’s young Ashley. Yeah. Who’s not trusting about how old was young Ashley, when she stopped trusting herself. We’re not gonna go like deep into details here, so don’t worry, but just gimme a

Speaker 2 (28:10):


Speaker 1 (28:11):

Nine. Okay. Okay. Beautiful. Um, what is young Ashley concerned about in terms of this vision? What is nine year old Ashley concerned about in terms of this vision

Speaker 2 (28:27):

Not executing perfectly?

Speaker 1 (28:31):


Speaker 2 (28:31):

Mm-hmm <affirmative> not being perfect.

Speaker 1 (28:34):


Speaker 2 (28:34):

Being perfect. Um, and not being better than everyone else.

Speaker 1 (28:43):

Mm-hmm <affirmative> so I think that’s really go ahead. Mm-hmm <affirmative>

Speaker 2 (28:46):

No, I just, you know, in the spirit of full transparency, I think that’s, that’s always been, I have a history of seeking validation by being number one, getting it done faster, you know, four times more, you know, just doing a good job. Yeah. I’ve never allowed that to be because it’s in almost like an addiction to that praise. Totally. Oh my gosh. Can you believe she did this? Yeah, she did this thing. And so that that’s been something that I, I am working on a lot is just being okay with the pace at which things go mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and, and recognizing that, however it goes is perfect. Wow.

Speaker 1 (29:38):

I love that. And I, and I appreciate you sharing that too, because I think again, so many people can relate to that and there’s a lot of leaders who are subconsciously operating with that paradigm and not even realizing it. Yeah. So it’s like, you know that at least you recognize that and you’re, you can be conscious of going into this. Those are kind of the two things that I wanna be cognizant of when they come up. So that need for perfectionism. And then that need for like, this has to be better than everyone. Right. So it’s validation number one, yada, yada. So noticing that part you, so, I mean, what’s gonna happen if that part, if we let little Ashley lead the growth of startup therapy, <laugh>,

Speaker 2 (30:23):

I’m gonna start projecting all sorts of things onto my extended team as I translate that pressure onto them. <laugh> yeah.

Speaker 1 (30:31):

And it’s kind of like what’s, what’s, um, you know, powerful about what you’re sharing here is it’s, it’s what you’re helping to coach other people on too. Right. It’s it’s the same. So you get to be conscious of that in your own journey. I think what would it look like to show her examples and what does she need to see in terms of examples where companies have been very successful, very profitable, um, very impactful and it hasn’t been perfect and maybe they weren’t number one when they started. Right. Like maybe it was more of a slow burn, but what’s sort of ex like, even just thinking of people, you, maybe you have to call it people, but like companies, you know, or examples, you know, do you have some examples that you can show, well, Ashley and kind of talk with her about them?

Speaker 2 (31:17):

Oh, absolutely. I would say our own company mobile, when we first founded it is, you know, a living breathing example that I was in. Um, and I, you know, I was not the CEO, um, that time around and I was able to witness our CEO’s journey very close and, and up front. And I would say that he had a very healthy attitude to, he had a very strong belief of self. Um, and you know, it’s, it’s interesting, you know, cuz his, his go to expression was, there’s always a way out. It doesn’t matter how hard this feels or what’s coming into our world. There’s, there’s always a way out. And he was just unfazed by whatever came. He’s like it’s okay. Everything is gonna be fine. We’ll figure it out. We will figure it out. Um, and so I think I can draw more on, on, on that experience. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (32:16):

Yeah. I’d love that. So I would do, I can’t remember if, when we were coaching previously, if I had you do this or not, but I would have, I would create a board of advisors on mine. It’s literally it’s we did we do that, just like an index card with your board of so, so it’s, it’s super fancy. Mine is on an index card and I wrote out some names and it was, these are the people whose I, I want them as my board of advisors as I lead and grow this. I don’t need to know them personally, necessarily. Some of them I did. I think it’s eight. I don’t usually recommend more than eight. I’d say like six to eight max. Um, they can be people, you know, personally, they don’t have to, they can be alive or dead, but it’s people who you want to emulate their approach, their decision making process, how they lead.

Speaker 1 (33:01):

And so looking at them as like, these are my board of advisors and anytime I find myself needing to make a decision, anytime I find myself stuck somewhere, anytime I find myself maybe going back into an old pattern or habit, um, like what would so and so do, like what would, you know, the guy you’re just talking about do or what would so and so do and how would they approach this? And let me try that on for size. Yeah. Cause you’re gonna get to really stretch and grow yourself personally through this process too. It’s, you know, it happens to all of us, right. Is as founders. So, and then, yeah. Um, and then the other thing I would really look at is what did nine year old Ashley need that she didn’t get at the time that, where she could just like relax and just be a little girl, what did she need?

Speaker 2 (33:50):

Just that reassurance that she was safe and everything was gonna be okay. That mistakes were going to be made. And that, that was how she was going to learn and that everyone was still going to love her. <laugh> yeah.

Speaker 1 (34:05):

Yeah. Beautiful. So really spending some, are you doing a lot of like inner child time right now? Or are you spending a lot of time with, okay, good, good. So, so just communicating that with her. Right. And um, I, I don’t know how much fun she had growing up or if she didn’t feel like she got to have enough fun too, but like what did she love to do for fun?

Speaker 2 (34:29):

She didn’t really do much for fun. I think. Yeah. You know, from a very young age, it was a lot about the responsibilities and the work that needed and, and the caring for others. Um, you know, so it wasn’t, I don’t think little Ashley ever even got to think about what she <laugh> doing or, or indulge those things. Sure.

Speaker 1 (34:54):

Um, so close your eyes and I want you to just be sweet nine year old, little Ashley right now. I’m just so much love for her. So much compassion for this incredible little girl who felt responsible for everyone around her. And she wanted to have fun. She didn’t get to necessarily, but she wanted to have fun. What would’ve been really fun for her to do or what does she wanna do now to have fun?

Speaker 2 (35:25):

She loves to sing to run. Mm-hmm <affirmative> just be outside.

Speaker 1 (35:38):

Beautiful. So can you, I know it’s a little late where you are. I don’t know if you can do this tonight or first thing in the morning. Oh no. It’s

Speaker 2 (35:48):

I’m so sorry about that.

Speaker 1 (35:49):

The light is great. No, no. I’m just thinking about timing for what I’m gonna have you do. Um, but this is, so what I would love for you to do is either tonight or first thing tomorrow, can you go outside and just, it’s like a play date between you and little Ashley and just have fun and sing, well, take her singing outside, singing in the garden. Right. And just letting her be a little girl and let her, like, if she hits a note, that’s not perfect. Like it’s okay, girl. I’m so glad you did like let it out. <laugh>

Speaker 2 (36:19):

Love that. Mm-hmm

Speaker 1 (36:20):

<affirmative> just letting her have so much fun and really playing with. Um, I, I would, I would write down the thoughts, like the specific thoughts that show up around perfectionism and the specific thoughts that show up around, like, I can’t make mistakes or yada, yada, and then we want to, we wanna start rewiring some neural pathways there. So are you actively writing down limiting beliefs as they show up?

Speaker 2 (36:46):

Yes. Yes. That is a practice that I have retained.

Speaker 1 (36:49):

<laugh> beautiful. So do you have some new ones that you’re instilling right now around making mistakes and what progress really looks like and all of that? Or do you wanna work on some together?

Speaker 2 (37:00):

Yeah, let’s, let’s work on some together. Let’s get some

Speaker 1 (37:03):

Questions. Okay, awesome. So what’s the, and again, thank you for demonstrating this cuz everyone has this. It’s just, most people aren’t even aware of it. So like you’re really helping a lot of people with this. Um, so what’s like give me one specific thought that shows up around it. Not being okay to make a mistake.

Speaker 2 (37:24):

People are gonna stop liking me. Oh,

Speaker 1 (37:28):

Okay. Stop liking me if I make a mistake. Mm-hmm <affirmative> okay, great. And

Speaker 2 (37:34):

Maybe like, isn’t the respecting me. They’re gonna stop respecting me. Okay.

Speaker 1 (37:40):

Great. People are gonna stop respecting me if I make a mistake. Okay. And this is where I love that you’re writing these down and you’re consciously aware of this. This is where I would say for everyone listening, you want to know these thoughts like you want to actually, I have mine written down on a spreadsheet on my computer. It’s like super sexy. Uh, but it’s, it’s like the index card, right? Basic stuff, words. <laugh>.

Speaker 2 (38:02):


Speaker 1 (38:02):

You wanna know ’em when they show up, otherwise these things just slip by and they, you keep programming your brain this way. So people are going to stop respecting me. If I make a mistake is the limiting belief. So we wanna write that down. We wanna know what that is now we wanna investigate. Is that actually true? So I’m just gonna ask you, is it actually true that if you make a mistake, people will no longer respect you?

Speaker 2 (38:24):


Speaker 1 (38:25):

Why? Why not?

Speaker 2 (38:27):

I, I think it all comes down to how you handle the making of said mistake. Um, and if you are open and honest about making the mistake and then learn from it and put things into motion, mm-hmm <affirmative> versus attempting to cover up or, um, make excuses or pretend that the mistake didn’t happen. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, so I think it’s, it’s less about the mistake and more about what you do with the mistake. And I think people have a lot of time and a lot of admiration for folks who are willing to admit their own mistakes and share that learning with other people.

Speaker 1 (39:08):

Okay, beautiful. So we wanna, when we’re debunking a limiting belief and we always know it’s a limiting belief, cuz we feel bad. We have a negative emotional charge when we think the thought. So when we’re debunking it, we wanna write it down. Then we wanna investigate. Is this actually true? So we just now, and that was spot on what you just said and we need to also give your brain evidence that what you just said is true, cuz analytically, you get that, but there’s still a subconscious program that this is happening. So is there a time where I wanna start personal first? So we’re gonna look for a personal example first and if we can’t find it, we’re gonna expand and look for an example of someone, you know, is there a time where you made a mistake and people actually respected you more because of how you handled it?

Speaker 2 (39:54):

Yeah, that probably happens daily with my kids. If I just let it in. <laugh>

Speaker 1 (40:01):

Take my hand too. Okay. So, so give an example.

Speaker 2 (40:04):

Yeah. Um, I responded in a way that I was not proud of, um, in a teaching moment with my son earlier this week. And once things had calmed down, I just came back to him and was like, I owe you an apology. Like here’s how I wanted to show up in this moment. Here’s how I actually did show up in this moment. And here’s what I’m gonna commit to doing differently moving forward. And he was just a ball of love. Like he wrapped me, wrapped me up in the biggest hug of all time and was just like, it’s okay, mommy. I make mistakes all the time. Yeah. You know, it’s just like, oh <laugh>

Speaker 1 (40:47):

Amazing. So, so that beautiful example right there. I want you to take yourself to that when the brain tries to throw this story at you of people are gonna stop respecting me and literally remember this because I, I don’t think people respect perfect people, don’t respect or trust. Perfect. They respect and trust real. Yeah. I mean, that’s it at the end of the day, like if you want respect and trust from people, which of course we all do, it’s not gonna be about you being perfect. There’s something we don’t trust with it subconsciously it’s gonna be about being real. And so showing that example and just thinking about him, rap, like wrapping up in your arms right. And how much it bonded you together. So we wanna always give your brain evidence of what’s actually true for me in my life. Yeah. Right. And then what would be, so we wanna have a new, a new phrase that we can throw out there when, when that old thought pattern fires. So, I mean, I’ve, I’m happy to help you think of some examples, but I want you to come up with one first. So people are going to stop respecting me if I make a mistake, what’s the opposite of that? Or what’s your real truth?

Speaker 2 (42:00):

Relate to me for like my being open and honest about my own humanity. <laugh>

Speaker 1 (42:14):

I’m just taking some notes, um, stereotyping. So being open and honest. Yep. Mm-hmm <affirmative> awesome. So I would, I would have that one in your affirmations. You can play with things to like, um, mistakes, draw me closer to my clients and my family. Like, but like real playing with that. Like the more, just real I am actually the more, the more money I make, the more relationships I build, the more people respect me. And then just again, showing little Ash, Ashley, that evidence in your own life. And then also in stories of other founders and other really successful entrepreneurs where they screwed stuff up, but they were real, they were honest, they owned it and it it’s always an opportunity to grow respect if we handle it that way.

Speaker 2 (43:04):


Speaker 1 (43:04):

Right. And then, so, so what I would do is are you listening to affirmations daily? Are you like reading them? What’s that process like for you?

Speaker 2 (43:13):

Yeah. Haven’t been as disciplined with that late.

Speaker 1 (43:16):

Okay. Yeah. So, so here’s what I would do is I would get, um, I would write out, I, I want you to connect with who is the woman who leads this company to what’s your ultimate revenue goal.

Speaker 2 (43:30):

Yeah. I mean, I definitely wanna be well over seven

Speaker 1 (43:32):

Figures. Well over seven figures. Okay. So let’s just, let’s say multi seven or eight figures. Right. So who is the woman who leads this company to eight figures and writing out a vivid, detailed description of who she is? So what’s her life like? I would even like, I would, I would write it out kind of with that one year vision that you just shared. So what is life like now? We’ve got a million users who have downloaded startup therapy. We’re splitting time between the us and UK, yada yada, what is family life like? And writing out that vivid description in present tense, like I’m so happy and grateful. This is my life. My book is published. And then really looking at who is woman who has that reality? What are her characteristics? What are her attributes? What are her thoughts? And the way that I do mine is it’s like a vivid, detailed description of my life as I want it. But embedded with affirmations embedded with things that I’m rewiring embedded with with emotion too. Right. Cause we wanna re that’s how we’re gonna convey it to the subconscious is the emotion and really, really like mapping that out, writing it out, recording it with emotion and then listening to it multiple times a day to start to really rewire those neural pathways.

Speaker 2 (44:43):


Speaker 1 (44:44):

So I would, yeah, I would do that soon. So you can start really, really stepping into that. So

Speaker 2 (44:51):

I should accept it.

Speaker 1 (44:52):

I love it. I love it. And I know you’ll do it. Was that helpful? Is there anything I can like go deeper in, in terms of that specific piece?

Speaker 2 (45:00):

No, I think that really gets a great start. And what I, what I’m hearing right now is just that reminder that it, it is okay to bring the same love that you have at home with your family, to your professional life. Mm. And that may show up differently, but it’s safe to do that.

Speaker 1 (45:20):

Yeah. Yeah. That’s so powerful. Yeah. And just bringing that in and having that love for yourself, having that love for the people around you, cuz that’s a big piece of why you’re creating this right. Is to change the culture. So you get to be the living, breathing embodiment of the change that you’re creating and it is gonna take willpower. It is gonna take guts. It is gonna take a huge amount of self-awareness of when the old patterns show up and it’s gonna take practicing acting as if that’s why I want you to get so connected first to who’s the version of me who does this and then start, it’s just, it’s practicing, stepping into that identity of her and helping little Ashley feel safe along the way. Like she’s okay. She’s loved, she’s seen she’s adored, but she’s not the one who needs to lead or drive this yeah. To the next level. So yeah. Yeah. Amazing. Um, okay. I know we’ve got just a few minutes and I wa so if there’s, if there’s any other quick coaching question, we can probably do one or two minutes, but I wanna make sure we also have time for you to tell people where to connect with you and how they can get involved. So is there anything else coaching wise that you’d like some support around?

Speaker 2 (46:31):

No. I think that, I think that really does get me started on this, on this next phase, you know, it’s, it’s, um, it’s always a pleasure working with you because going through each integration brings up and each initiation brings up its own. <laugh> a new level of things you thought you had healed already

Speaker 1 (46:50):

Small time, every single time. And people think like, I thought I had dealt with this and it’s like, I

Speaker 2 (46:54):

Thought we so over this.

Speaker 1 (46:55):

Yeah. But I think, and I, again, I so appreciate that you brought this one up because sometimes people get concerned, like why is imposter syndrome showing up right now? Why am I like going back into old habits? And it’s literally, you’re just on the verge of your next level, that’s it? Cuz we always heal to the level of our consciousness. Right? So there’s a whole new level of consciousness expanding. So now you get to, you get to work on that piece and you’re gonna raise up to a whole new level in your life and really like, you get to be the woman who leads this company so powerfully now. So it’s, it’s a great thing. It doesn’t always feel great in the moment, but it’s a great sign that there’s so, so much growth happening. Yeah, absolutely. So yeah. Oh, well that was, that was really, really beautiful. So okay. Ashley, tell everyone, where can they connect with you? What’s the best way to get in touch. If they wanna talk with you about what you’re doing, tell how they can find out out startup therapy. Let’s do, ’em all the things.

Speaker 2 (47:46):

So if you visit, uh, and join our newsletter, you’ll be the first to know when startup therapy has cleared all approvals through the and Google play stores, uh, and is available for download. Uh, and you can also book a free 30 minute consultation with me, uh, through the website as well. Or, you know, you can certainly connect with us through all of the social channels. We’re just humane startup on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, you name it. <laugh> find me on your favorite channel. <laugh>

Speaker 1 (48:21):

Brand consistency is a good thing. So yeah, yeah. Uh, well I am, um, I’m just so excited for what you’re doing and I’m, so it’s been such an honor to see your journey over the past, like year and a half now, like really of what you’re creating and the moves that you’ve made to, um, to get really uncomfortable to launch this. Like I know there’s been a lot of that and it’s, it’s gonna pay off for you and for so many lives and soul who you’re gonna touch. So just wanna acknowledge you for that and for the powerful work you’re doing in the world.

Speaker 2 (48:55):

Well, thank you so much, Elise, it’s been really profound working with you and I look forward to, you know, sort of my own form of supervision as I <laugh>, as I continue to navigate this journey.

Speaker 1 (49:09):

Amazing. Amazing. Well, thank you so much for coming on this show today and I’m just, I’m so excited for your journey and for everyone listening, go connect with Ashley. I, I think it’s a beautiful opportunity to, you know, to book that consult, to have a call with her. I can just tell you from having known her for years and, and being able to work behind the scenes with her too, like her heart is so pure and she genuinely wants the best for everyone she connects with. And so it’s a really, really beautiful opportunity and then definitely connect, uh, with Ashley and with humane startup on social as well. So amazing episode my friend. Thank you.

Speaker 2 (49:47):

Thank you so much. Talk to you

Speaker 1 (49:48):

Soon. Talk to you soon and to you my listener. Hey, thank you so much for listening in. Uh, please give Ashley some love on social tag her, let her know what the biggest takeaway was from this episode. And I’m so grateful to have you in the, she sells community. I’ll see you on our next episode. Bye for now.


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