World Reimagined

How Entrepreneur Ashley Graham Is Contributing to a More Conscious and Sustainable World

Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham, Founder of The Conscious Publicist, is helping purpose-driven businesses share their stories. 

As a true believer in the theory that businesses and their leaders can be a force for good, Ashley and her team focus on helping clients build conscious connections and relationships, which she calls the "people relations" aspect of the process. Ashley sees this aspect of what she does as essential to creating a more conscious and sustainable world, and helps clients develop the practices and modalities needed to make connections with that goal in mind.

Starting and running a company requires patience and growth, both of which Ashley has practiced with the guidance from her inner circle as well as those who have been where she aims to go. Over the years, Ashley has incorporated lessons and benefits of mentorship and  the importance of self-worth into her business strategy to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship.

Below, we asked Ashley about her transformative journey and constant evolution as a business leader, as well as the one piece of advice she would give to anyone starting out on their entrepreneurial path.

Q: Tell us the story behind your company’s founding. How and why did you start working on The Conscious Publicist?

A: When I started The Conscious Publicist, I wanted to merge my passion for conscious living with my love for public relations, thought leadership, and media creation. I have always been interested in the power of storytelling and how brands can positively impact the world by sharing their stories authentically and in-line with their values. I saw an opportunity to help purpose-driven businesses and visionaries share their stories in a way that increased their visibility while creating meaningful change and connection.

At the heart of The Conscious Publicist is the belief that businesses and their leaders can be a force for good. We work with clients committed to positively impacting the world and we help them amplify their message to reach the right people. Our approach is to build long-term relationships with our clients so that we can truly understand their brand and create PR, thought leadership, and media strategies that align with their values and goals.

I believe that conscious living is the way of the future. As people become more aware of their decisions' impact on the world, they seek businesses and leaders with the same values. By helping purpose-driven companies to increase their visibility, we are helping to create a world where conscious living is the norm rather than the exception.

The Conscious Publicist was activated to merge my passion for conscious living with my expertise in thought leadership, PR, and media marketing. By helping purpose-driven businesses share their stories with the world, we are helping to create a more conscious and sustainable future.

Q: What problem does The Conscious Publicist solve? 

A: The Conscious Publicist solves the problem of purpose-driven businesses, digital entrepreneurs, and visionaries needing help to amplify their message and gain visibility while reaching their target audience. Many of these businesses and leaders may have important news and stories to share. Still, they may need more resources, expertise, or strategy to communicate their message to a larger audience effectively. By providing PR and media services that are aligned with our client's values and goals, The Conscious Publicist helps these businesses and leaders to create a strong brand identity, increase their visibility, and amplify their message in a way that resonates with their target audience—ultimately achieving their mission of making a positive impact on the world.

Q: What makes The Conscious Publicist different from others in the space?

A: We have a unique approach to curating our offers and services to align with our client's mission and purpose. Our offers are designed to create a balance between "doing" and "being," which is not something that most companies in this space prioritize. We don't just focus on PR and media strategies. We also address the personal and interpersonal aspects of the work. We help our clients develop the character traits and strengths needed to succeed in their mission, and we create a supportive space for them to feel confident, seen, heard, and recognized to shift and transform through this work to make a lasting impact.

Overall, our approach and offers are an all-inclusive package that combines the services of a public relations coach, a conscious communications guide, and an executive media strategist. We provide a full-service concierge experience tailored to our clients needs and goals. This approach ensures our clients receive the support, guidance, and resources they need to share their message and impact the world successfully.

Our unique approach and commitment to helping purpose-driven businesses positively impact the world make The Conscious Publicist a genuinely one-of-a-kind company.

Q: What were the most difficult and most impactful lessons you’ve learned starting and running a company? 

A: One of the most significant lessons I have learned is that growth takes time, and it requires patience and consistent effort. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a business and expect immediate results. However, building a successful company is a long-term endeavor requiring small daily steps to make significant strides forward. Focusing on daily progress and staying persistent has helped me achieve long-term success.

Another important lesson I have learned is the value of seeking help and guidance from others in positions I strive to be in. It was tempting in the early stages to seek advice from those closest to me. However, seeking advice from those in positions I strive to be in has provided invaluable insights and guidance that has helped me avoid common pitfalls to achieve my goals.

Finally, I have come to appreciate the importance of self-worth in business. As an entrepreneur, it was easy to get caught up in the metrics and numbers of business and overlook the value of my worth. However, understanding my self-worth and how it aligns with my business goals has been integral to achieving success. Integrating my self-worth with the market analysis of my work has helped me make informed decisions that align with my values and goals to create a balance between the two.

Ashley Graham

Q: Have you felt like giving up? What made you persist?

A: Yes, I can relate to feeling like giving up at times. However, my desire to create a life filled with purpose and meaning for myself and those around me has always kept me going. Whenever I face a challenging situation or setback, I remind myself of the bigger picture and why I started on this path in the first place. Whether leading a business aligning with my values or striving to make a difference in my community, having a clear purpose helps me stay motivated and focused.

Additionally, having a support system of people who believe in me and my goals is invaluable. Whether it's family, friends, or mentors, having people who encourage me and offer guidance and support has been instrumental in helping me persevere through challenges.

Persistence is critical to achieving any goal, and it requires a certain level of resilience and determination to overcome obstacles and push through difficult times. I often draw inspiration from other successful individuals who have faced similar struggles and persevered despite the odds. Their stories remind me that anything is possible with hard work and dedication, which speaks to the purpose and mission of the business.

Ultimately, it has been essential to keep my eyes on the mission and stay focused on my long-term goals, even when the going gets tough. With enough perseverance and a willingness to adapt and learn from my experiences, I can overcome any obstacle and achieve success in whatever I set out to do.

Q: How do you celebrate successes along the way?

A: As an entrepreneur, I know firsthand the importance of celebrating wins. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget to take a moment to acknowledge how far I've come. 

When I achieve a business goal or experience a win, I take the time to celebrate myself. Whether it's by taking a moment to appreciate the hard work I've put in or treating myself to something special, celebrating wins is essential to staying motivated and focused.

Sharing the news with my team or business partners is another way to celebrate. It's a chance to recognize the collective effort to achieve our goals and build camaraderie with those I work closely with.

Ultimately, celebrating wins helps me to stay energized and excited about my business. It reminds me why I started and allows me to remain committed to my vision. 

Q: How have you grown as a leader since starting The Conscious Publicist? What experiences have contributed to this growth?

A: Since becoming an entrepreneur, I have undergone significant growth as a leader. One of the most important contributions to my development has been the realization of the habits, patterns, and thoughts that hinder my ability to lead effectively. As a result, I've become more self-aware and proactive in addressing these limiting beliefs or practices, allowing me to continually evolve and improve my leadership capabilities.

My commitment to personal development has been crucial in this growth process. Additionally, leading a company has exposed me to managing partnerships, navigating complex situations, and making difficult but proactively conscious decisions. These experiences have taught me the importance of effective communication, empathy, strategic thinking in leadership, conscious communication, delegation, and collaboration. I've learned to listen to my partners, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and provide guidance and support where necessary. These experiences allowed me to foster a positive and productive work environment supporting my partners' and my growth and development.

Finally, the challenges and obstacles I've encountered while running this business have taught me to be resilient, adaptable, and solution-oriented. I've learned to stay calm under pressure, think critically, and find creative solutions to problems. 

Q: What would you tell your younger self if you were to start your entrepreneurial journey all over again?

A: In terms of my entrepreneurial journey, I often reflect on my younger self with fondness and nostalgia. I remember the excitement and enthusiasm that fueled me in those early days and the fears and doubts that sometimes held me back.

If I could speak to my younger self, I’d encourage myself to cultivate a deep sense of inner confidence and courage. Starting a business requires a level of vulnerability and risk-taking that can be daunting, especially for those who struggle with self-doubt or fear of failure. However, I now know that taking calculated risks and putting myself out there is essential for growth and success.

At the same time, I would remind my younger self that failure is not the end of the road. Failure can often be an invaluable learning opportunity. I would urge myself to embrace the mindset of "failing forward," which means using setbacks and mistakes as opportunities to refine my approach, learn from my experiences, and ultimately move closer to achieving my goals.

Ashley is a member of Dreamers & Doers, an award-winning community that amplifies extraordinary women entrepreneurs and leaders by securing PR, forging authentic connections, and curating high-impact resources. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and get involved here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Gesche Haas

Gesche Haas is the Founder/CEO of Dreamers & Doers, a private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through visibility opportunities, resource exchange, and collective support.

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