Denise Ashurst [deniseashurst]
What is the business idea that you are working on right now? How did you come up with it?
I am looking to build a marketing business, focussing on copy-writing for businesses.
People have been telling me to write a book for years and I have fought shy of it, but then I built a blog and my book is building there. The feedback I have been getting has been incredible and it just gave the shove I needed to think about free-lancing.
Meantime, I am looking to build a network marketing business built around teaching and training in marketing.
I will see how things pan out.
Is there a website, blog or social media link where we can see more about your project and/or yourself?
I have a blog here: http://DeniseAshurst.com
I tweet by the name of http://Twitter.com/DeniseAshurstUK (my American cousin got there first!)
I am on Facebook and use this as a learning and chatting forum. Because this is more personal, I use my nick-name Dee Ashurst
What is your professional background? What were you doing before?
For many years I have been involved in the Community Development sector in a range of settings, both urban and rural. I have encouraged, enticed, persuaded and cajoled community groups or individuals who were not previously active to become engaged in their local areas in order to help them achieve the changes they sought.
More often than not I was also facilitator, trainer and coach all rolled into one with the organisations they worked along-side too.
More recently I focussed on communications and media, but the world of spin-doctoring in government departments is not a happy one.
I decided to take my communications skills to the private sector and set up my own business where I was in control of what I worked on. Now I sleep better!
How did the entrepreneurial spirit rise up in you? Were you exposed to entrepreneurship in your family or your social environment when you were a child?
The universe always has the final move. What shifted me was a car up my rear, shoving me into a car in front... Six months (plus) recovery gave me a lot of time to think and a meeting with a former colleague who had also left the civil service to set up his own business.
He gave me a taste for marketing (thank you David of Treenergy) and I started to look at what options were available to me.
I searched online and the rest is history.
Do you have partners working with you on this? How do you split the work with them?
My dog, Moby, keeps me engaged with the outside world and motivated on a daily basis to work from home! Eventually, I will be taking him to my venues as opposed to the other way around.
Describe your business plan as briefly and simply as possible.
I am a subscriber to various online free-lance sites and bid for cop-writing jobs which come up there until my main business gains momentum and I can write purely for myself or train and coach others in copy-writing.
I utilise a range of online media to promote marketing training for those wishing to advertise on and off-line. I have have a web-site and two blog hubs also which I up-load marketing related content to.
Eventually, my aim is to build a team of marketers who through their activities can fund my ability to automate some of the processes and also to out-source some writing to others coming in behind me.
I seek to build and coach a team of other would-be home-business builders who will in turn coach and teach their own teams.
The mission? To help people achieve the greatest possible financial freedom and empowerment through building their own entrepreneurial spirits.
What have you achieved up to now? What have you yet to achieve?
Achievements as an entrepreneur are: getting started and sticking with it in spite of some pretty dire challenges.
Constant learning of new skills.
Balancing evolving priorities.
Yet to achieve building the team I seek to have around me... and perhaps a life-partner who shares the same professional goals.
Are you looking for investors? What are you offering in exchange for what?
Not particularly for in my own business. I want to do as much as I can independently right now. I am not sure what my options are here, other than promotion of any ventures in which they may be involved.
That being said... I can offer other entrepreneurs access to cutting edge strategies for their own wealth building.
Do you have employees or people that you outsource tasks to? What do they do?
Other than my accountant, not yet. One day.
Entrepreneurs have a reputation as "control freaks." How do you avoid that?
I have a sister who keeps me earthed and as an ecologist at heart, it is difficult to become completely ego-centric. That being said.... it's a fine line isn't it?
How do you balance work with relaxation?
I surf and walk my dog and get enough sleep.
I also love what I do, so it does not feel as taxing as a 9-5 would.
What is your main motivation: being your own boss, adventure and discovery, getting rich, doing good for others, or is there something else?
Time freedom, ability to live how I want to (e.g. living by the sea and surfing daily is an aspiration). Becoming rich enough to share wealth with a variety of causes I am passionate about. Making sure my much younger sister never goes through the levels of deprivation I have if I can help it.
What do you think of big corporations? Would you work for one?
At this point, I never want to be an employee ever again. I believe I am psychologically unemployable!
I do not wish to generalise about big corporations per se, because there is after all good and bad whatever the context. That being said older, more established corporations need to start to shift their own agendas towards a future more in balance with e.g. ecology and eradication of deprivation and inequality.
They also need to develop their transparency and democratisation.
Describe two moments of maximum fear and maximum satisfaction that you have lived through in your business adventure.
Maximum fear - the prospect of having to give it up if I did not earn.
Maximum satisfaction - finishing a day with priorities fulfilled.
When you need guidance or advice, where do you find it?
Daily. Where ever I can get it. My business partners, online, other business owners, books, dvd's, outdoors amongst nature, when ideas and solutions come to me!
What do you do to maintain morale and continue persevering in low times?
Mother nature, my dog, my cat, my sister
Which well known entrepreneurs/enterprises do you admire? Why?
Any women who have children and continue to stick with their business.
i love Kim Kiyosaki, because she is possibly the most business savvy woman who works to empower other women and help them achieve financial freedom
What other types of businesses are you frequently tempted by?
SEO coacing. Website building businesses. Anything related to education and empowerment.
Are these times of crisis good for beginning a business?
What would you call success? Where would you like your business to be five years from now?
I live by the sea. I am self-sufficient. I can afford to invest in my preferred stocks and shares.
I have a personal assistant to take care of administration.
I have out-sourced writing of articles and video scripts.
I have a team of at least five people who are doing as well or better than I am.
i am coaching virtually full-time and master-minding with other business leaders.
I am able to donate to charities regularly.
What skills would you advise a want-to-be-entrepreneur to acquire?
Discipline. Focus. Daily habits and rituals. Single-mindedness. Attachment to a big vision.