Find out more about creating a movement and find Ashley online here: http://www.ashleybeaudin.com/
Search for her hashtag #imprefectboss on Instagram!
Hey everybody, if you listen to last week’s episode, we talked to Rodney Smith, who was really starting a movement with his lawn cutting business, cutting people’s lawns for free, that needed help. And he created a movement where people started doing this all over the country and becoming part of his organization. And so I wanted to talk about that a little bit more and dive into it. And so today I have with us a expert on creating movements. So if you have a business, or you have an idea for a business, or even if you want to help an organization that you volunteer for, create more of a movement, this episode might really help you. So I’m excited to share with you a little bit more and have you hear more about starting a movement. Welcome to the art of living big. My name is Betsy Pake entrepreneur, author and personal success coach. This is the show that brings you stories and small ideas to help you live a big life. I hope this once a week podcast will inspire you, motivate you and encourage you to think differently about what could be possible for your life. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now let’s go live big. Hey, everybody, I am here with my friend today. Ashley Bowden. Hey, Ashley, thanks for being on the show.
Thanks for having me.
So tell everybody I Well, I feel like I say this every single week. Like I really love you. But I only have people on I really love. But there’s something special about you. And people will know what I mean, when this interview is over. But tell everybody what it is that you do and who you who you’re who you be.
Yeah, totally. And so as you know, my name is Ashley. And I work with women who are on a mission to help them create movements to go along with their brands. So I’m really big into working with people to if they don’t know their message already to discover it. And then if they know it already, to help turn that message into movement so that they can really grow their business in a meaningful way. And then at the same time, I also run, I also like live the talk because I run my own movement called the imperfect boss, and which is all about liberating women from perfect and getting them to really own who they are in the online space.
Which is so hard because there is so much noise online. And there’s so much of like showing us like this perfect Instagram profile and this perfect website and right there is like this undercurrent of like we all have to be perfect to be worth something.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think we have all felt like the sting of that in a way.
Yeah. So how do we get over that? Like, what do we do?
I think honestly, part of it is just, which is what really happens through these campaigns that I do is just, and getting ourselves to a place where we can just bring who we really are. So bring the good stuff, and also bring the messy stuff and use that in a way to connect with our audience to connect with people. So and so for example, you know, like, in my own life, I could say, you know, I wasn’t always this confident, like, there were times where I really felt insecure. And I really felt like I didn’t have a voice and it was and you know, through discovering who I am, that I was able to start really increasing my confidence. And then I can start to share that story start to share those kinds of imperfections with people. And it really creates a sense of connection not only with my audience, but just in general, just a general sense of connection with people.
Yeah, just like general humanity. Like we all feel these ways. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I think that I find that a lot. And I think different platforms, different social media platforms, maybe allow you to be more of who you are than others. I struggle a lot with Instagram. And there’s stuff I really like about Instagram, but for me to post pictures on Instagram, I just feel like they’re not like, they’re, you know, I don’t have a theme. There’s not and it’s this thing that I really struggle with because like you and like a lot of people listening, I do have a message and I have a message that I think really could help people to feel more joy and have more happiness in their life. But for me to share it and so I you know, I’ve even found like Snapchat has been sort of my fun thing because I can be silly and stupid. And I know it’ll be gone in 24 hours. Lets me sort of be myself and I wonder, like am I testing that out to see how it goes before I bring that in once I really Bring it, that’s when things will really start to flow for me. Don’t you think it’s when we really bring it who we really are that things start to flow?
Oh, yeah, absolutely. I feel like that’s when the magic begins. Yeah, yeah. And but even what you’re saying like, because when I started then perfect boss Instagram Stories wasn’t a thing yet. And, and so I feel like since Instagram Stories has become more of a thing, it’s it’s offered a little bit more real in terms of the Instagram platform. But I always say to people like Instagram is where perfection like see now?
Yeah, yes, right. I even wrote about that in my book. I wrote a book that came out last year, and I wrote about that very thing about being on Instagram, and how I could feel totally fine. And then I’ll go on Instagram. And then I’m like, No, I’m not doing this, or I’m not doing that. And I think I believe everybody does that to an extent, whether it’s on Instagram or just in life in general. But I, I definitely think there’s got to be some sort of shift in how we see ourselves.
And I feel like many times the things I would say to myself are things I would never let anyone else say to me.
Yeah, yeah. Right. Yeah, I think we all feel that way.
And so the imperfect boss, tell me about that. So it’s hashtag imperfect boss? And what do you do with that?
Yeah, so how I run the perfect boss is really centered around campaigns. So get these campaigns are like, three day events, almost, where I just get people, as many people as I can to sign up. And during those three days, we post confessions. And so it’s a confession, style type campaign, and so on all the last ones. And it’s been really centered on posting confessions, about your imperfections about what it really looks like, behind the scenes to run a business. And so people will share confessions about really serious things like and, you know, really fearing failure, or, you know, they’ve lost a lot of money or, and sometimes they are a struggle, a lot of women have, like around being a mom and being an entrepreneur. And, or sometimes, you know, they’ll share like, you know, more lighthearted things. So, you know, they like what we were kind of joking before this call about, about like, not wearing pants,
yeah, that’s a real thing. thing.
And, and so people will share that, and it, whether you’re sharing like that serious stuff, or whether you’re sharing like more the lighthearted stuff is, I it’s like such a bonding agent for people. And because we suddenly feel less alone in it, and we’re actually, really, so many of us are struggling with the exact same things. And, and so when I did the first campaign, which actually did the first one in May last year, so it’s coming up a year, and
it’s gonna make a year and
since the first one, like really resonated, really took off, and in terms of it just didn’t really strike a chord with people. And I think it’s, it’s just what we’re saying, because I really targeted Instagram. And it was kind of like this breath of fresh air where people felt like they could suddenly breathe,
right? Yeah, cuz I see it everywhere. Where when you when you run the campaign, I see everybody posting with that hashtag.
Yeah. Yeah. Which I think is probably how I found you originally. Yeah, probably.
Yeah. Yeah. So I think that’s such a huge thing. Because I think especially well, I say, especially because that’s my experience. But in my experience, when I have been an entrepreneur, is when I’m the most lonely, because I’m home alone all day. And the most fulfilled because I’m doing something I really love. So it’s this weird, like, push and pull. Where I love it. Yeah, I am, like, like feeling really isolated. And I think that’s a common thing that I see over and over again.
Yeah, we definitely we feel
alone, like we feel. And I think part of it too, is just I think perfection really plays into that so well because then it’s like you’re going on Instagram and you’re thinking wow, like their lives look nothing like mine. Yeah, like, um, you know, like, I have fears and I’m Not making that much money or I don’t have that many friends. Right? Yeah. And so I feel like that only adds to the isolation because then it makes you feel alone. But then it’s like, at the same time, you know, somewhere in the back of your head, that that’s probably not real life and that you’re not getting the full picture. But it’s a really hard tension, I think to navigate. And especially like, if, you know, let’s say you’re having a bad day, and you, you go on Instagram, and you see all this, all these lives and businesses that look close and perfect. And you’re not like in your head, you’re not thinking, Oh, that’s not real life. You’re thinking, man.
I’m not doing enough. Yeah, I’m not doing enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not. And I think if somebody’s listening, and they don’t own a business, it doesn’t matter, you still do this, right? You still open up Instagram, or whatever it is. And I mean, I’ve heard research that says, like, your stress level goes up, the longer you’re on social media, like your, you know, your desperation level increases, I think, but I you know, I find that so much. And I and I wonder, what’s the message that I want to be sending, you know, because, like, I’m so not perfect at all, I don’t even attempt it. And I’ve posted stuff before, and someone has said like Photoshop, and I was like, Oh, my God, if if, if I was going to Photoshop, I would look better than that.
like, there’s that fear, even if you throw a filter on it, that you’re gonna like, get some sort of like hate mail. So when you’re talking, and you work with people to create movements? Yeah. And that’s something that’s so interesting to me. Like, from a psychological standpoint, but what is that? What is the shift that people make when it goes from, you know, just sharing your stuff and just, you know, sharing and hashtagging perfect boss to that becoming a movement? Like, how do you make that shift?
Yeah, like, how do you make the shift from a movement to a message or a message to a movement? Yeah,
Yeah. So basically, how I kind of would describe it is you so you have a message, and then you basically design a moment using that message. And so that people can get an experience of your message. So yeah, I love that. Yeah. And so for them perfect boss, for example. So I say My message is all about like, you can be liberated from perfect you can bring who you are to the table. And so I’ve designed these campaigns where you get to post confessions and see what it really feels like to talk about your imperfections or to talk about the vulnerable parts. And then people, you know, they get changed or transformed in that process. And then it starts to become, that’s how it starts to lend itself to movement, because, and you’ve given someone an experience of your message, and then they’re hooked. And
I really like that, that makes a ton of sense to me and experience of your message. Yeah,
yeah. Yeah, exactly. It’s an interesting thing. Because I, it’s been an interesting thing to kind of lead as a business, because I don’t think that it’s a common
thing that gets talked about. Yeah, yeah.
Well, I know, you know, Seth Godin wrote that book called tribes, which is is so so good. And, and, and that really is like a movement. How do you create a movement, you know, and he’s got his little twist on it, and you have yours, which is cool. But like, where does somebody go like someone that’s listening? And they like, I have this really good idea? How do I, but I have, you know, I don’t know, let’s say they have 800 followers on Instagram, you know, they don’t have 9000 followers. Yeah. So how do you start something like that? Do you, like get a group of your friends together to all hashtag it, and so that you can start to create? Because, like, I’ll use myself as an example, because I’ve got a little mini movement going with my start small, lift big, but I definitely think it’s something that could help people if they would just try it. So how would I even go, you know, I have like two or 3000 followers on Instagram, what would I even do?
Mm hmm. Well, kind of just as an encouragement that I like to tell people to is when I started the perfect Boss, I think I had, like 1200 followers. Oh, really?
Yeah. So you’ve really built that then? Yeah. So
yeah, I didn’t have a huge following. And I think I can prove to people that you don’t have to have a huge following to start a movement. And really, it’s like when you started a movement, that’s when you get the following, I think, right? Yeah. Yeah. And so basically, you could do it a couple different ways. And I think it all depends how much and In how much you really want to put into it, yeah, but I think it’s really important, off the top to really have a solid idea. And, and a solid idea that’s really going to resonate with people. And you can test that out, you know, by obviously, like, it’s like asking for feedback. And when people you know, are you gonna, like pop up to Facebook groups even ask for feedback? And depending and listen, I would steal it, I don’t know if that’s in the habit. And then and, and then decide like how many people you want to rally around that for your first go at it. And so if you want to do campaign style like I do, I started working like, probably around two months, before rallying people to get involved behind the scenes. And so people in my current community people that I had built relationships with, but I also relied in a huge way on influencers. And which anyone who’s seen the perfect boss knows that like, in the last campaign, I worked with over 150 influencers.
And, and influencers. Like if somebody is listening, well, how would you define an influencer?
Basically, I think there’s a lot of definitions out there. But I, for me, my boundary about what is an influencer is that it’s anyone who has a following like over 2500 to 3000. Okay, okay. Yeah, some people would be like, influencers are like over 10,000. But, and that for me that that’s what I would see, because they have enough of a following to have a voice. Right. And yeah, a lot of people. Yeah. And, and so then, you know, just start, I just started reaching out to influencers. And some of them I had already built relationship with, but a lot of them were cold pitches. And and so I’m a really big fan of pitching. And I’m a really big fan of writing, like an really amazing pitch email, because you don’t know how far I can actually take you. And my first campaign, I actually had this, I had this situation where I had, I don’t even know how this happened. But I had pitch someone, and then I, some guy in Australia, email me and I guess, whoever I had pitch it forwarded my pitch to him. And about how good my pitch was. Ah, yeah. And so he just emailed me to tell me that he thought my pitch was really good. That’s awesome. Which is pretty good. Yeah, I’d say. So. Yeah. So when you’re doing movements there, I think there’s a lot of pitching involved. Because if you’re gonna rally people, even if you’re, you can even just be pitching people that you know, but you’re still needing them to buy into your idea. Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. So
I like that. So you just rallied some people, you got some people that you were aware of, and you just sent them a pitch asking if they would help out as you tried to, like, encourage people to join in.
Yeah, exactly. And, and so. And then at the same time, I was kind of like, doing like the whole landing page and getting people to sign up as participants. And but they’re really excited. I this is what I found, like, the movements are these campaigns really explode like when they’re happening, and right, yeah, especially like Instagram, because it’s like, well, if you know, say you’re like scrolling Instagram, and then I see your movement, and I see someone else post about it, and then someone else post about it. And then I’m like, What is it? Yeah, don’t know what this is. And that’s kind of the effect that can happen with lumens, especially on Instagram.
Right? Because that’s really how I found you. I saw everybody posting stuff. And then I was like, What is this? What is going on?
Yeah. where’s this going? fan?
Right? Yeah, yeah. And it was fun to follow the thread. Because if that is your tribe, you know, if someone’s listening, and they see a hashtag on Instagram, and you click on it, and it is your tribe, like every single post, you’re like, Oh, my God, yeah. Oh, my God. Yes. Oh, my God. And really, that’s when it is great for the movement, like instigator, but also for the people that are joining in because all of a sudden, you don’t feel alone and you feel a connection and you don’t feel like it’s this harsh, cruel, perfect world on Instagram, right?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You can find community, right.
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So so that’s super cool. So now, lots of times people and I know in my audience, there’s, there are some amazing savvy women that listen to this podcast. And yeah, they have ideas, but sometimes that that I have like going well, that’s an idea. But I would never dare to do anything because what if it didn’t work? Right? So do you have any advice for people like that? Like, where do you go when you’ve got, like, I’ve got my own advice. They know, they know what I have to say about it, because I say start small.
But right. But like,
do you have any thoughts on that on what they? How would they even start to bring their message to the world?
Yeah, I am.
I think that part of it is just like that initial commitment. I’m just gonna try this. And
we do notice this thing.
Yeah, go ahead. Sorry. Go ahead.
Okay, I just noticed the thing with people, and especially, like, really creative people were, were really scared to commit. And not only like, to a message maybe, but even to services or offerings that are products that we want to create. And because I think we are afraid of failing, we’re really afraid of the thing just flopping. And, and I feel like, what neat, like, the first step that needs to happen, is just like that inner commitment. Like, I’m gonna give this my everything, and I’m just gonna see what happens. And almost have like, you can just pull yourself out of the equation, like, in terms of like, if this is really well, or if this is a huge flop, that is a a defining factor of who I am as a person. And
yeah, that’s so big. Yeah, I do. I remember when I wrote my book last year, it was my second book that I wrote, and my first one did really well. And the, but the second one was more like who I really was, if that makes sense. Yeah. And I remember, and I actually think I put it on Snapchat, where I had the manuscripts completely done, it was off to the publisher. And I like threw it on the table. And I said, that’s separate from me. Like, if you like that what I just made or you don’t like that. It’s separate from me, it doesn’t have any leads to do with me anymore. It is its own thing. And I remember that moment, because it was really, like sort of liberating, like, like it or don’t like it. But it doesn’t mean I’m not good enough. You know what I mean? Yeah, and I remember that was like, a strong moment where I felt like, yeah, that’s, that’s right. If I want to keep creating and keep sharing stuff, I have to feel like it’s separate from me once it’s out of my body.
Yeah, that’s really good.
Yeah. But I think that’s hard. I mean, I think it’s really hard for people. It’s still hard. I mean, it’s still hard for me, because I do want to create a movement. And I find like, this resistance that I’m feeling of, like, if I put something out on Instagram, and it doesn’t work.
Yeah, it’s definitely a risk. Yeah.
It’s just like, you got it.
It’s almost like that idea, like the passion for it has to be bigger than the risk of it.
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Where you have to say, like, I’m willing to fail. Really, that moment of, I’m willing to fail. I’m okay with that.
Yeah. And I think we
need to celebrate failures, so much more than we do. Because, yeah, because failures really like understanding something that didn’t work. Like it’s really a victory because now you know, some way that doesn’t work.
Yeah, I had
I had a little like side business that I did last year, and and then it kind of flopped. It was a subscription box. And anyone who’s ever tried to do subscription box knows out hard they can be. Yeah. And and I really, like it really gave me a lot of kind of just like is just a lot of experience and learning how to deal with failure well, and in. And so one of the things that I was really big on to you is that through that experience was letting myself be sad. Hmm, yeah. And I said to myself, like, like Ashley, like you can take today to just be sad about this. Because when you’re doing any, like when you’re doing this stuff when you’re doing the work, and you’re like putting your heart into it, and you like build these expectations, and you build an excitement for what could be and so when it doesn’t work out, and when the expectations Don’t get mad then and obviously there’s some grief involved in that. And then I think what happens a lot of the time Is that when we experience failure, we don’t give ourselves time to process it or to feel the pain of it. And then we kind of just do this thing of like, oh, like moving on to the next thing. Or like, kind of like, just kind of stuff it down and move on. And I have just become a huge advocate for like, just processing emotionally, some of the things that can come up in our business like failure. Mm hmm.
Well, don’t you think that’s what we do anyway? Like, we if something’s uncomfortable, we try to ignore it.
Oh, yeah, totally.
And then it screws us up.
Yeah, totally does.
I think that’s really powerful to be able to say, like to have a grief that when you said that, that struck something in me, like, if I fail, or something doesn’t go the way I want, like, it’s okay to feel the grief about it, to feel sad about it, and to give yourself the time.
Yeah, to be original the time and I am just even just like put, put like boundaries around it. Like I’m giving myself one day, I’m giving myself two days a week. And then you’re not dwelling in it. But you’re giving yourself the space. Yeah.
To do it. I like that. You know, it’s funny. My husband is he is really a wonderful supporter of all the crazy things I try. Yeah, not too long ago, just in the past couple of weeks, I had just a day where I tried a bunch of new stuff. And it didn’t work. I you know, I was doing a master class online and the internet screwed up. And you know what I mean, there was just a million different things. And he said to me that next day, he said, don’t work. Just do a bunch of stuff, watch some funny movies. Like, bring the dogs for walks, you can get outside, like find things that bring you joy. And at first I felt so guilty, like, No, I have to work like, you know, I’m not where I want to be, then I must continue to work. But having that time to like just experience joy reignited my creativity. It gave me so many more ideas than I would have had. Then if I had just tried to like push through.
Yeah, I love that. I love that.
Yeah, I think like anybody listening to like, if you experience something that doesn’t go the way you want, you know, whether it’s at work, or it’s a creative endeavor, or with a relationship or anything else, give yourself like, be okay with like giving yourself a hot minute to just go, you know what, I’m gonna let myself feel it. And then I’m going to do things that fill me up. Because I think we’ve we, we think that’s frivolous, especially as entrepreneurs, I think we think that’s frivolous. But I think it’s so important.
Oh, yeah, it’s so important. Especially like if you’re, if you’re doing that, like if you’re maybe processing like some of these difficult things. What are you doing to, like, take care of yourself? Or what are you doing to re energize or fill yourself up after pouring out like that?
Yeah. Yeah, really super important. Yeah. So we’ve talked about a lot of things we’ve done about not wearing pants when you work from home. The hashtag imperfect boss, so people could find you that way, too. Yeah. And then tell us your website. So people could find you there, too.
Yeah, it’s just it’s Ashley voted calm. And I’ll
link to it inside the show notes. Yeah. And so we’ve talked about starting a movement. And if you have an idea, if you’re listening, and you have an idea, it doesn’t matter if you already have a business surrounding it, like create some momentum around your idea and then launch a business and you’d be in such a better position. So if someone’s listening, you know, actually, you could help them start a movement. They don’t have to already be a business owner. They don’t already have to have something in place. Right? They could hire you to work with you to launch their movement in a different way.
Yep, absolutely. You don’t. Yeah, you don’t have to have all your ducks in a row. You just need to have a heart and an idea for something big. Yeah.
Yeah. And then to get your message to a movement just to have people experience your message. I love that. Yeah. Cool. Well, thank you so much for coming out to play with me today. I appreciate it, getting to talk to you and share your message and pick your brain just a little bit. Yeah, thank
you so much for having me. I had so much fun. Yeah,
Thanks for including me in your journey today. Remember, you can find me all over social media at Betsy Pake. I’d love to hear what you think. And, as always, here’s a little message from my husband.
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