Ep 1. Tapping Into the Heart of a Purposeful Mom

I'm Ashley!

My mission at The Purpose Gathering is to help driven momtogs like you level up, so you can build a sustainable business AND a fulfilling family life. I do that through authentic brand photography for mompreneurs and my signature program for mom photographers: Side Hustler to CEO.

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I want to share with you my journey thus far, through entrepreneurship and motherhood, and how I got to where I am today. You might be wondering where this podcast came from, so I just want to give you guys a little taste of what my life has been like thus far and bring you along with me on this journey. So, if you’re ready, let’s dive in.

Hey girl, I am so excited to be here with you right now. This is surreal, this is my first episode. Wow. This is insane, you guys I never even saw this podcast on the radar. It’s something that you asked for, and so I decided to show up in my most authentic way. So, every time we’re here together, you can totally expect that I’m going to say it like it is, I’m going to be totally real and authentic. And I’m super excited to be here with you guys today. So, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing right now, thank you so much for tuning in and listening to this episode. Your support means everything to me.

Before we get started, I think it’s so important for you to know my story and how I got here today. So, I’m going to go all the way back, way, way back to when I was seven years old, this is when I met my husband. We went to the same church, we grew up together, we have so many of the same memories. And you know what? We even have pictures together when we were little, it’s hilarious actually.

So, we started dating in high school, over this ancient thing called AIM. Does anybody remember what that is? Yes, so AOL instant messenger, it all started back in the day when you actually like typed out your messages and you had to wait for the person to actually be online. It was fun. Anyways, over a pretty long conversation, we figured out that we both liked each other, and we set up our very first date. We went mini golfing, it was really fun actually, because I won and my husband, still to this day can’t stand it that I always beat him at games, but that’s for another topic.

Anyways, we dated all through junior and senior year of my high school days. He is just about a year and a half older. We got engaged shortly after high school graduation and we ended up getting married New Year’s Day of 2008. Best day ever! Now, he’ll never forget our anniversary. I honestly didn’t plan it that way, but it’s actually kind of worked out.

In December of the year, we got married. I graduated from ASU with my degree in Elementary Education, but it was in the middle of the school year and all the teaching positions were under contract. So, I needed a job like yesterday, because student teaching in case you didn’t know, doesn’t pay you anything. So, I spent an entire semester working for free and we really needed some money.

I did what I know best, and I found a nanny job. Now, I was very upfront with this family and I told them, Hey, I only can stay for a short time. I’m looking for a teaching position, so this is going to be very temporary. And they said, that’s fine, we totally understand. I joined their family and they welcomed me with these absolutely welcoming arms, and I stayed for four and a half years.

During this time, I dabbled in photography, I turned my hobby into a business. I had my daughter Scarlet in 2011 and then I started solely specializing in wedding photography in 2012. I raised my daughter, her first year with that nanny family. The kids loved her like a sister, it was the best gig. Once I got pregnant with my son, and my nanny kids only needed after school care, I felt like it was the right time to part ways. Now I have to tell you guys, this was such a sad decision. I was with this family for four and a half years; I mean their kids were like my kids. It was really hard; it was also super difficult to leave because that nanny income was steady.

And let me just be honest, it was good money guys, and my photography business was just not steady income, it wasn’t. So, this transition was so hard for me, and I know that some of you guys can relate. Maybe you have a full-time job right now and your passion project is on the back burner, or maybe it’s not. Maybe you guys are hustling really hard and you’re doing both. I can remember that feeling and I understand exactly what you’re going through. And I feel like that could be a whole topic in and of itself is how do you know when you’re ready to take that leap?

But I’m here to tell you the, the decision never gets any easier. I feel like you’re never really ready. You just sometimes have to take that jump and trust that everything is going to work out the way it’s supposed to. So now, once I had my son and I welcomed this new baby into our family in 2014, it was an enormous game changer. I thought juggling a business with one child was hard, try throwing another one in the mix. I mean, forget it guys, my priorities were all over the place. I was sleep deprived, lonely, overwhelmed. I found myself crying in the closet like all the time saying things like who is going to take care of me? I just remember that, I don’t know why, but like I just remember saying those words out loud- who is going to take care of me?

I felt like no one else that I knew had this deep-rooted understanding of what it felt like to feel torn between raising a family and building a business that I loved. So fast forward to August of 2018, I’m sitting in my bed, my husband already went to work my kids are asleep. It’s dark, I can only see the glow of my bedside lamp. I’m journaling, I’m kind of doing my Bible study that I normally do in the morning. I’m thinking, I’m probably doing a devotional at this time. I can’t even remember exactly what I’m doing, but I know that I was journaling. And I was just writing out my thoughts and my heart to God, and I just remember thinking, I should start a workshop for mom business owners.

And seriously, as quickly as that thought came to my mind, I was already thinking of all the ways that would fail. All the reasons why that was a horrible idea and would never happen. I’m already talking myself out of it, I’m coming up with just endless excuses of why I’m not equipped for this, and literally, I can’t pull this off. Quickly, I just pushed the thought out of my head and I just keep writing. I’m like, okay, mope, not happening. I heard that, I don’t even know where that thought came from. Like, nope, just going to check that, toss that right out the window.

But for the next several months guys, I just kept wrestling with this idea daily. I mean, clearly it wasn’t my idea, it was God’s. He kept laying it on my heart like day after day after day, and it was tugging at me. But every day, I came up with fewer and fewer excuses, until one day I stopped asking, why me? God, why are you asking me to do this? I think you have the wrong girl. And I just started saying, why not me? No one else is doing this. Maybe. Maybe, maybe just, maybe this could be the answer to all of my prayers.

So, one day I decided after watching a YouTube video, because that’s what I do. I just love YouTube, and I literally typed in how to start an event, like how to run a workshop. And the video that I watched it said, just pick a date and start telling people about it. So that’s what I did, I just picked a date and I decided I’m going to do this. No more excuses. In February of 2019, I started the Purpose Gathering, a meetup community for local mom business owners in Arizona. And the following month, I hosted our first meetup.You guys, it was at a restaurant bar and grill, it was in their little private meeting room and 15 moms showed up. I only knew a few familiar faces and all the rest were brand new. People I had found on Facebook, people I had found on Instagram. These moms were craving the community that I was too afraid to start. So, month after month, I kept showing up, putting on these meetups for these mamas. In July, I’m so proud to say that I put on that incredibly impossible workshop. Mom’s lives were changed that day, and it was because I decided to just put my insecurities aside and just go for it. It was incredible how many mamas came up to me after that workshop and were just so thankful for my heart and for following God’s call.

I have been stretched so much more than I have in my whole life over this past year. I’ve grown as a business owner, as a leader, as a mom, as a wife. Everything in my life has changed. I have met the most amazing women as a result of this community. I have a huge network now of mamas who get what I’m going through. They know the struggles, they feel what I feel, and I’m no longer alone.

And I am so excited to finally have a platform to take this mission and this community globally and reach even more women who feel like they have to choose between being a good mom and incredible business owner. And I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to choose. The purpose of this podcast and the community I’ve created, is to let you know that you can do them both and you can do them well.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed hearing my story and my heart behind this community. Every time I tell this story, I get really emotional. I think it’s because all the feelings come rushing back. Those closet moments filled with tears, overwhelm, and frustration. The loneliness I felt for so many years, and how I just so wish I had this community back then. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. I know the struggles you face; I feel what you feel, you’re not alone. And I am so excited to have you with me on this journey.

Thank you for listening to another episode of the Purpose Gathering Podcast. As we end our time together, remember that you were created for more. You were created to thrive with purpose and not just survive. So, go out there, and live your life with confidence and courage. To become a part of our amazing online community and connect with likeminded mompreneurs, head to the That’s M-A-M-A-S, to join our private Facebook group.

If you enjoyed today’s episode, I would love for you to take a screenshot and share it on Instagram. Be sure to follow and tag me at The Purpose Gathering. If you haven’t had a chance to leave a review, please head to iTunes. Even if you’re an Android user and let other mompreneurs know why you love the show. Each review is so valuable to me and helps more mamas like you find this show. I choose one review every episode to share and yours could be the next one.

I’m so proud of you for listening and investing in your future. Together let’s link arms and make a lasting, positive impact on our families and communities. You’ve got this girl, and I can’t wait until next time.


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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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