Today on Behind the Magic we get to chat and get to know more about the woman behind the “I am Ashley Martin” brand and the book FOCUS. Ashley Martin is an Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker and Consultant to get you focused and become the best you. She has a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters of Educational Leadership and has a heart to educate, encourage and equip the next generation of leaders.
1. Can you introduce yourself, what’s your background in and what do you do?
Hey there! My name is Ashley Martin. I am an entrepreneur (author & speaker) and non-profit founder. My background is in education. I have done a lot of work in the faith-based community as well.
2. What are you passionate about and how did you get into your career?
I love, love, love encouraging and motivating people to go after their dreams. Human connection is a big deal to me. We were all put here together for a reason. I also love traveling, organizing, creating things, and expressing myself through writing. I utilized those passions in my career as an educator and have transferred it into my role as an entrepreneur.
3. Who’s the one person you’d love to work with?
Besides Oprah, Justin Bieber.
4. What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your life and career and how did you handle it and refocus?
I have overcome a lot of challenges personally and in my career. #metoo, heartache from relationship conflicts, and other hurts. In order to refocus at those various points, I had to press pause and reflect. Evaluating situations after you’ve experienced them is a must so that you can move forward fully in freedom.
5. The one piece of advice every woman needs to hear?
Be secure. Learn to fully and completely love who you are. Stop comparing yourself to other women and truly value and appreciate what you bring to the table.
6. Who are your mentors and real-life heroes?
I learn from several people and resources. By far, my parents and some close relatives have been my biggest mentors and real-life heroes. Other influential people in my life include some undergraduate professors, my spiritual leaders, and authors of the books I hold dear to me.
7. What’s the best gift and advice you’ve received?
The best intangible gift I received has been my faith. Without it, I would not have been able to sustain all the challenges I have faced. The best advice was given to me by my father, Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, Lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.
8. What does a typical day in your life looks like? Walk us through it.
All of my days are different. I choose a major focus for each day. That’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur, but if I had to share one day, I will. My first business of the day is my quiet and devotional time. I then prepare for the day ahead. It may involve working on a project (book or event), follow by phone calls and follow-ups. I may attend a workshop or networking event or work to prepare for an engagement. I aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week. (I need to do better). During the evening, I make a point to allow some down time- watch a 30-minute show. I’ll then continue to work on a project. I always end my day with down time by reading and writing 3 things I am grateful for.
9. If you had one super power, what will it be?
To be able to teleport. I love to travel.
10. What’s your mantra when it comes to life, love, work and health?
There is only one you. Be the best version. You only have one life to live, so live it to the fullest. Do everything you were put on this Earth to do.
11. What and who has been the most influential in your life.
My faith and family.
12. Can you share 5-10 tips or steps to help people be their best self?
a. Cut out and off negativity.
b. Learn yourself – strengths and weaknesses.
c. Intentionally get into a different environment. Meet new people. You need to learn how to interact with different people.
d. Take your rest seriously. Your body needs rest.
e. Drink enough water. Everyone’s intake is different.
f. Remain teachable and willing to learn something new.
g. Invest wisely. Your money, time, and relationships.
13. What’s your favorite book and author?
There are a lot of books but one of my favorites is “The Seven Habits of the Highly Effective People” by Steve Covey.
14. What recently moved you e.g. an event, action, speech or whatever?
Oprah’s Award at the Golden Globes. I was moved by what it represented – history making, diversity, and barrier breaking.
15. What 3 things are you most passionate about?
a. Encouraging and motivating others.
16. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
17. What is the most memorable or defining moment in your life?
Studying abroad in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. I studied and worked at an orphanage and recreation center. It was there that my love for and call to the next generation was confirmed.
18. Can you name 5 random things you like to do?
a. Go to the movies.
b. Spa Day.
c. Travel and visit the sites of that city/state/country.
d. Clean Out and organize spaces (It’s like something hits me and I get into clean up mode).
e. Crafts – painting or creating something.
19. What’s the best place you’ve visited?
That’s hard….Dominican Republic or Jamaica.
20. What does creativity mean to you and what’s your creative process?
Creativity means you get to create something that doesn’t exist. You get to use your mind to create solutions to problems. Creativity also means expressing yourself via any mode of communication – art, writing, product creation, speaking, or even fashion. My process varies but important components include ensuring my environment is conducive to creativity – good lighting, good temperature, great music that motivates me.
21. What do you do when you have a mental block?
Take that as my mind telling me that I need a break. So I take a break, walk, or if I know I need it a nap.
22. Share 5 words to describe your style?
Simple, classic, chic (when needed), unique, and at times bold. (I used to be heavily into fashion, which is not hard to do when your mother is a custom seamstress. I got away from it when I started teaching, picked it back up and when I went through my work challenge I let it go. During my rebuilding, a stylist friend really helped me to clean out my closet and start over a fresh.)
23. What’s your favorite fashion trend of all time, favorite fashion icon or designer?
a. I love the classic chic look.
b. I secretly (or not so much anymore) love the glamorous red carpet looks – dresses!!
c. I have been watching Pat Smith (wife of Emmet Smith), Queen Latifah lately. The other part of me is the complete opposite and loves jeans and a cute tee.
24. What did you love most about your childhood and how did it shape you?
The fact that I grew up around different people. It prepared me to have a global mindset which has been an asset.
25. What the funniest thing someone has said or done to you?
One day when I was working in the school system, a little kindergarten student came up to me and said, “what are you doing here?” I’m like, “huh? I work here.” He said “no, I saw you on that show last night with your sister. What are you doing here?” Pointing his finger and all. “I didn’t know you worked here.” I could do nothing but laugh. He thought I was Deedee from Half and Half. It was cute because he was so serious
26. If you could switch lives with anyone for 24hrs who would it be?
I want to see how she manages it all.
27. What does success in life mean and look like to you?
Success means I am fulfilling my purpose, I am thriving in all areas – spiritually, relationally, professionally, financially, and not just surviving. It means that I am healthy and whole.
28. What’s your biggest fear and how do you overcome it?
Believe it or not, it used to be fear of success. What came with it is what I was afraid of. When I realize that what I do isn’t about me it changed my mindset. My life is about investing in others.
29. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People judging someone before getting to know them. Like come on its 2018. We need to stop judging folks by what someone else said or our preconceived notions. Taking time to have a 10-minute conversation with someone can change everything.
30. Can you share some new things you’re working on? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
The work with my nonprofit is at the forefront. I see myself continuing that work in whatever shape that may take.
31. How can we connect with you and support you?
Instagram – @ashleym3710