Woman Owned Wednesday: Ashley Albrecht
Ashley and I met years ago, when I had just moved to Philadelphia from New York City. I am almost positive that I had come across Ashley in my research while transitioning out of television production. I didn't yet know what I wanted to pursue, but television production and live event production are pretty similar and I reached out to Ashley on a whim, hoping she'd respond to my cold email.
Not only did she respond, she suggested that we meet for breakfast (or maybe it was lunch? It was over 10 years ago!) and I felt connected to her from the moment we met. We never had a chance to work together until she reached out to me in 2019 to ask for my help in marketing a new kind of parenting conference that she was bringing to Philadelphia. The focus was on conscious parenting, which is a style of parenting I have followed for over 8 years now, and the keynote speaker was Dr. Shefali, one of the most renowned experts in the conscious parenting space. I jumped at the chance to work with Ashley and Dr. Shefali, and the conference would have been a huge hit had it not been shut down because of the pandemic.
But Ashley and I remained close, and when she contacted me about a new coaching business she had launched while her event business was closed during the pandemic, I jumped at the chance to work with her. We bartered; I helped her with her brand strategy and marketing, and she gave me parent coaching sessions. I am not sure she can say the same about me, but the work we did together changed my life. I am a better parent--and a better person--because of Ashley Albrecht. I'm so excited to get to share her story with you below for another installment of Woman Owned Wednesday.
Ashley Albrecht: Albrecht Events and Free & Fearless Parenting
1. What is the name of your company and what do you do?
Through Albrecht Events, I create and execute event experiences for corporations that help facilitate guest’s ability to connect with one another. And with Free & Fearless Parenting, I provide wisdom and spiritual psychology coaching to help create meaningful connections within relationships.
2. How long have you been in business?
Albrecht Events has been in business for 18 years. I started coaching 2 years ago.
3. How did you decide to launch your own business?
I was between jobs, just married, and knew of one probable client that could get me started. My husband encouraged me to take the risk knowing there wouldn’t be a safer or better time to try. I took the risk and hoped for the best while also putting in a lot of time an effort towards its success. Growing up my parents had their own business and I knew at heart that I wanted to be in charge of my own time and work life.
4. What challenges did you face in the process of launching your business?
I didn’t know where the business would come from or how I would find clients without having an established track record. The uncertainty was scary and I said yes to everything. Some of those things were not the right fit but I learned from that experience. I am a creative person and also had a lot of fear about establishing bookkeeping and accounting processes but was able to receive this help from my husband.
5. Did you feel as though there were resources available to you, specifically as a woman business owner?
No, I didn’t feel there were a lot of resources available to me that went as deep as I would have wished. The industry organizations I joined were helpful and became a supportive community for me. People within those organizations believed in me and took me under their wing. This gave me the confidence to keep moving forward.
6. Do you have a mentor?
I have had so many mentors at all parts of this journey and continue to find them along the way. Everyone is a teacher in one way or another and for one thing or another. There have been people who helped me with sales, people who helped me fine tune event operations, people who have helped me find my authentic self. It’s hard to call out one when so many people have made a significant impact in my personal development. Since the pandemic, I have been on an inner wellness journey and Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Gabor Mate and Suzi Lula have provided the tools and wisdom to assist me on this path.
7. Books you recommend?
8. What do you love most about running your own business?
I love the freedom it provides. I can decide who I want to work with, how much to take on. I can decide where I want to invest my time, money, and energy. I can decide how to support my body on any given day. It has allowed me to offer my employees and my kids what they need for their own nervous system regulation. Currently my daughter does school from home and that works because of the freedom I have in running my own business.
9. What is your least favorite aspect of running your own business?
I can become easily overwhelmed with all of the things I think I should be doing for the success of the business and I can’t do so many of them due to time and energy. It is easy to get into a place of fear, self critique, perfectionism, and self doubt when you are the one responsibility falls to. I’ve made a lot of progress on this but it is a daily practice to release this pressure valve for myself.
10. What is your best piece of advice for other women who are thinking about launching a business?
Do the inner work to learn to trust in yourself and the unique gifts you offer. Do the inner work to learn how to respond rather than react. If you are coming from a place of service to others, your offering will resonate and the right people will show up for you. Increasingly become more present to be able to make decisions from this place and know that every experience is valid even when it feels uncomfortable and imperfect.