On today’s episode, Ashlee Sang talks about how you can work with purpose-driven solopreneurs and service providers. She also explains how you can base everything you do in your freelance businesses around a set of core values—and how that will help you make decisions, find the right clients and grow your business.
Ashlee lives in Central Illinois. She owns Ashlee Sang Consulting, where she works with visionary founders who want to grow their impact and their business in a way that’s rooted in values and propelled by purpose.
Before doing brand messaging strategy and consulting, she worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations, including a human rights education non-governmental organization (NGO) in Senegal and a local branch of Habitat for Humanity. The common thread has been sharing messages that matter.
Ashlee began working with purpose-driven founders after learning about the conscious consumerism movement. She wants to work with businesses that have a mission and impact in the world.
Ashlee always keeps that goal in mind as she selects clients. She has taken plenty of projects in the past that didn’t align with her values and she realized she always dreaded the work and the client. Now she focuses on attraction marketing—walking the talk and standing up for her values as a way to set herself apart.
Before living in Illinois, Ashlee lived in Senegal for four years. Moving there was the most formative decision of her life. She was studying anthropology, French and linguistics as a study-abroad student and ended up meeting her future husband. So, after graduation, she moved to Senegal and landed a job with an NGO.
In Senegal, she learned a lot about herself, about interpersonal and organizational communications, and about viewing different cultures from various perspectives. The years in Senegal shaped how she now views the world and supports her goal to provide empathetic accountability because she has met and spoken to so many different types of people. For example, it has helped her develop clients’ audience personas because she can better get into other people’s heads and hearts.
Ashlee believes in making value-based decisions. She has a set of core values that she operates from. The list includes intentionality, progress, open-mindedness. They guide who she works with as well as her offerings.
Making value-based decisions impacts both your marketing and your operations. For example, it helps with knowing what to post on social media, who to pitch to, how much to charge and who to hire.
Ashlee recommends sitting down and creating a list of values and periodically reevaluating that list.
This way of working supports prioritization and hedges “shiny object syndrome.” It shows up in the everyday work and in the big decisions.
The benefit of basing decisions on your values is alignment: If it feels better for you, it feels better for your clients.
Ashlee supports the nonprofit 1% for the Planet and highlights this on her website. As part of this, she has committed to giving 1% of her revenue to an environmental nonprofit of her choice.
She also lists her brand values on her website, but living your values is more important than just listing them.
When you take the time to do this foundational work—your personal vision, your business mission, your list of values—it makes decision-making throughout your life and business easier.
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To help you get clear on your values and how to apply them to your marketing and decision-making, download Ashlee’s free book “Stand Up To Stand Out Workbook.”
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