Episode 6: The First Step to Business Expansion

Filed in All Episodes, Business Strategy, Leadership Development — October 26, 2021

About the Episode:

Welcome back to the Shamelessly Ambitious Podcast. We are quickly moving into the holiday season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year, 2021 is almost over. This is exactly why I knew I had to come in here and talk to you about business expansion and some of the steps that get completely missed when we have these massive audacious, bold and daring goals inside of us. So today I want to talk to you about the most fundamental step, the first step to truly expanding yourself and your business as we head towards a brand new year before we get started – your personal and business audit. It’s time to take the steps to fully show up in your life. Grab your pen, notebook, and tune in!

Topics Discussed:

  • The power of white space in your business and why you need it
  • A little intro into personal and business auditing and what it can provide you
  • Why the menstrual phase is Ash’s favorite phase of her cycle
  • The crucial steps that lead to business expansion, especially heading into the new year
  • Remembering that your intuition is the number one tool you have
  • Why you have to be an energetic match for your goals



Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

Ashley McDonald (00:01):

Hello, and welcome back to the Shamelessly Ambitious podcast. I can not even believe it. We are almost through the month of October and quickly, quickly moving into the holiday season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the new year 2021 is almost over. And this is exactly why I knew I had to come in here and talk to you about business expansion and some of the steps that get completely missed when we have these massive audacious, bold and daring goals inside of us, that we are believing are meant for us. And so today I want to talk to you about the most fundamental step, the first step to truly expanding yourself and your business as we head towards a brand new year before we get started. Of course, as always, I want to talk about what I’m grateful for today. I also want you to think about what you’re grateful for, and then we’ll talk a little bit about my cycle, because I think that the more that we have these conversations, the more that we will normalize the importance of understanding where you are at in your cycle in order to show up fully in your life.

Ashley McDonald (01:11):

So today I am grateful for CEO Mondays. I’m actually recording on a Monday today. I don’t typically do that. However, I leave complete white space on Mondays for myself, where I can really roll into my business. However, it feels gut, right, and obviously definitely changes per phase, but ultimately I allow the space to do what feels good so that I’m not constantly up against a schedule so that I can allow my creative juices to flow. Sometimes this looks like just the entirety of self-care like, that’s all that I need after maybe a crazy weekend with the kids. And sometimes it looks like dreaming and exploring and thinking of new ideas and new offers and new ways to support and just to fill you up, honestly, and today was one of those days. It was also one of those days where I sat and did some reflection.

Ashley McDonald (02:03):

So I love, love, love, love. And we’re going to get into this auditing. I love taking a moment to truly audit myself in order to, yes, you guessed it uncap maximum expansion in myself and my business. And I really, really, really liked to do that during my menstrual phase, which is where I’m at today. Now, the reason why I do this in menstrual is because I feel really reflective during this time. I’ve got a higher connectivity in my brain. I’ve got a little bit slower energy, but also this release for me has happened in luteal phase, the phase, right before menstrual. I always feel a little pent up just a little like, ah, I have things to get out. I don’t, I just, this there’s no other way to explain it. Then this like pent up energy. And in menstrual, I feel this like release and this, like, I always laugh when I see people’s faces.

Ashley McDonald (03:00):

When I say, cause I often get asked this, what is your favorite phase Ash? And it is a hundred percent menstrual, a hundred percent it’s menstrual because my schedule always really honors this like flow that I love. And I feel more expansive in like my daydreaming and my reflections and my inwardness. I’m so much more in tune with myself during this time, which means magic honestly just means magic. So today for my CEO Monday, I sat down to do this audit and I thought, oh my gosh, I got to record this episode right now. And so, because my schedule is mine in its entirety and I’ve nothing on the docket besides whatever feels good for me and my CEO NIS. I thought I’d come here to you during my menstrual phase when I’m feeling reflective. Yeah. I might not communicate perfectly today. You’ve already talked about this, but observation is a great time to do a lot of recordings because your verbal skills are like at top-notch.

Ashley McDonald (03:57):

So I might stutter a little bit. My editors might have to work a little bit harder, but that’s okay because I’m feeling incredibly reflective and expansive on the inside. And I want to share that with you. Okay. I’m sharing that with you today on CEO Monday. So take a moment really think about it. What are you grateful for right now in this moment? And if you have it in you I’d love for you to think about what phase you’re in and how are you honoring that phase right now? Or if you’re not, how can you honor it today? How can you find a way to honor it? Whether it’s the food that you eat or the alter alteration in your movement, right? Maybe you decide I’m not going to go for that crazy run. I had planned, I’m actually going to move slower because I’m in luteal right? What is it that you need today to honor your face?

Ashley McDonald (04:48):

Now, as we dive into this topic of expansion, both personally and in our business, I think it’s really important to take this moment to talk about how in tune mint and this intuitive energy of really being able to tap into yourself is one of the most fundamental skill sets that you can have as a CEO, right? Honest to goodness you, my friend have all of the answers on how to hit that next big goal on how to improve your relationship on how to feel better in your body. The issue is we often are so disconnected, so detached from our inside that we can not figure out how to align our outside. Right? And so almost always, I will tell my clients, if they’re just feeling this like anger, this frustration, I don’t know how to get there. Or even this excitement. I have this goal. I have this thing. I must always say stop just for a moment. And before you come to me, I’ll although I love helping

Ashley McDonald (05:57):

Before you come to me, what does the inside say? What does the inside feel? The most millionaire success habits that you could ever have is in tune with yourself. Okay. So in order to have business expansion, as we finish out Q4, as we move into 2022, I urge you to take the first step, which is to do a self audit, to ensure that you, my friend are an energetic match for your goals. Right? What I mean by that is we all have these goals, right? Like I want to feel this way in my body, or I want to hit six figures in one month, or I want to, you know, have the most sexually amazing relationship with my partner, whatever those goals are. Right. We all have these goals, but often what I recognize and in myself as well, is that our goals, if you could see me, you could see me.

Ashley McDonald (06:57):

My hand is raised very, very high. Okay. Here’s my goal. And my other hand is down here. It’s down here, like right below my chin. Okay. Can you picture it one hand up high? Like as far as I can reach it in the other ones below my chin and we typically set to set these goals, see that like verbal skills, we tend to set these goals super, super high, but our energy is right there below our chin. We are not an energetic match for the goals that we have set. Ash, what does that mean? Well, it means my friend that these goals that you were calling in these things that you want so bad for your life, they have to lower themselves in order to meet you where you’re at. Let me repeat that your goals have to lower themselves in order to meet you where you are, unless you are willing to do the work, to raise your energetic vibration, to meet your goal, where it is at to become an energetic match for whatever goals you set forth.

Ashley McDonald (08:00):

Whoa, where he’s excited as I am, because this is what I sat down for. I was just like daydreaming had all these ideas. I was taking the kids to school and I was just like, I have so many ideas. I can not wait to get in front of my computer. And just like map this off for Q4. So many good things. Oh my goodness. So many good things that being said, I knew I can’t go there yet. I can’t go there yet. I have to first pause knowing what my goals are, knowing all of these ideas that I have to make those goals a reality, that that’s all good and fine. But if I am not an energetic match for those goals, it doesn’t matter. Right. And this is where I come back to. Like strategy is beautiful and I can set up all the concepts, the offerings, the services that, you know, whatever to, to hit that goal that I have for Q4.

Ashley McDonald (08:50):

But if I am not an energetic match for it, it’s just not going to happen. It’s just simply not going to happen. Okay. So I sat down and one of the first things that I do, I guess I should call these things like step one, step one. One of the first things that I do is I set the tone. It is really easy to go into any sort of audit, just feeling really discouraged really down on not having hit your goals before or having those internal narratives, sort of like you’ve never done this before. Like just an FYI, that money goal is way out of reach or your marriage is Rocky. There is nothing we can do to fix this. Whatever those narratives are. They are, they are screaming at your sister. And so we have to do the work to set the tone. My favorite way to set the tone is to write what I call your to done list.

Ashley McDonald (09:42):

Okay. Essentially what this means is dependent on what it is that you’re doing now, for me, it was Q4. I have really incredibly huge, fun, exciting goals for Q4. And I have an idea of how I’m gonna make it happen. Right. I have that idea, but I need to be an energetic match. So the first thing that I did was sit down and look at what I have done already in 2021. I could sit here and I could focus on all the things I didn’t do exactly. Right. And that would be my narrative, right? Whether I subconsciously did this or consciously did this, my narrative would be looking at my brain would be seeking for all the proof that I can not make this very uncomfortably massive goal come to life in Q4. Right. So instead, I’m going to set the tone for this audit and I’m going to really look deep and see all the things that I have done.

Ashley McDonald (10:36):

All the magnetism I have brought in all of the accomplishments I have had. Now this doesn’t necessarily have to be, let’s say money-related or program lunching related or any of those. It can be anything. What is my to done list? So I just sat here in a brain dump for five minutes. I love the pen to paper, methodology of a five minute timer. And you’re just writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, letting your subconscious take over and day girl. I was like, wow. So funny that in one second, I could have been so focused on what I haven’t done. And yet when I look at this list, I feel so good. I feel like I am magic in what I do and the things I’ve accomplished on the trips I have taken on the fitness goals I’ve hit. Right. And I know we all have these period.

Ashley McDonald (11:18):

End of story. So step one is to set the tone, take a few moments, get the vibe going in your office or in your bedroom or at the dining room table where you’re at wherever you’re at. Turn the music on, grab your drink of choice, light a candle, and create your totem list. Set the tone. Okay. Step two is to get a little dreamy, take another five minutes and really dream about what your goals are, right? What are those goals? What is it that you are setting out to accomplish in these last couple of months of 20, 20, 20, 21? Right? What are they, what are they? Do you have certain financial goals? Do you have a program that you want a new program you want to launch? Do you have some marketing goals or visibility goals? Do you have some being goals as I call them? Or the goals within your home and with your VIP’s like really spending quality time with them or taking days off?

Ashley McDonald (12:09):

What, what are your goals? Just sit and brain dump. Okay. That’s step two. Okay. Step three, another five minutes. So we’re at, we’re like 15 minutes of effort here. Okay. It’s not that intensive, but step three is to sit down and again, pen to paper, five minutes here, you, you know what you’ve done? You know what you want to do now, I want to ask you who do you have to be, right? Or more importantly, who are you in that state? And what I mean by that is looking at that second activity where you jot down, jot it down. All of the goals that you have. I want you to, it’s called scripting to imagine as though you’ve already done it, you’ve done it. You’ve hit every single one of those goals, that fitness goal, that relationship goal, that, that business school, that visibility goal, that hiring a new team member goal. You hit them all. You freaking nailed it. Okay. You’ve hit all those goals. Who are you?

Ashley McDonald (13:08):

Who are you? Who are you now that you’ve had all those goals? How does your life look different? And I want you to just script it and scripting it is to act as though you’re already in it. And just imagine like, sort of, kind of journaling. Like my relationship with my husband has just catapulted into this like sexual libido expansion. And we are going on dates every single week. And we are kissing each other nonstop throughout the day when we see each other and we are like, literally daydreaming out. I have hit a six figure month in my business. I am only working four hours a day. I am just all these things like whatever the case may be, who are you as the woman who has hit all those goals? Who are you trying to get specific? What are your priorities? What are your boundaries? What do you feel inside? What do you see around you? Okay. Now step four is I want you to identify the gap.

Ashley McDonald (14:10):

We know it exists. That gap is the gap between where that goal is. Again, hand reached way up high and where you are because you just clarify where you want to go hand up in the air and you just clarified who you are in that space. And you know who you are now, what changes need to happen in order for that hand, that’s below your chin to rise up to your goals, instead of calling your goals down to you, how can you rise up to your goals? How can you become the energetic match for your goals? Some of my most important things that I like to look at is how does that version, that, that incredibly expansive version of me, how does she prioritize sleep? Sleep is one of the most non-negotiable assets that we have in showing up and having a focused energy and vibrant energy and all the things that we need in our life sleep.

Ashley McDonald (15:09):

So I know that that, that, that person, that woman, that I know that I am right. When I, when I am in that goals space, I am her, she does not skimp on sleep. She does not stay up late working. She does not get up early to do. She totally honors her sleep. I like looking at new nutrition and detoxification as well. Again, the highest version of me, she prioritizes her health, right? What are, what are a few things that I know I need to do in order to be an energetic match for my goals. And again, these are things we don’t look at. We set a goal and let’s say it’s a business goal. And it is so high and it is so brilliant. It’s so amazing. And so we get into massive hustle mode and we sacrifice every other aspect of our lives. And we hit that goal and we were a burnt out freaking mess.

Ashley McDonald (16:00):

Right? And that’s if we hit it because we really weren’t an energetic match for it in the first place. So we’re exhausted. We are fatigued. We do not feel good. Right. And then we’re wondering, why didn’t I hit this goal? Or why do I hit this goal? And it doesn’t feel good. My friend, you were not the energetic match you needed to be. So who is that woman? That highest version of you when it comes to nutrition and detoxification, when it comes to self-love, when it comes to her environment, what are some changes that need to happen in your environment in order to be an energetic match for your next goal? What about your mental health? Maybe one of the things you recognize is I need to invest in a therapist. I need to invest in a therapist. Every single I need to invest in a coach.

Ashley McDonald (16:45):

I need a program on money mindset. I need a book on whatever energetics, because I know that that’s an area. That’s a gap for me, between where I am now and the goals that I’m trying to go after, because my friend’s strategy is not the only answer. It’s not the only solution. And I see CEO after CEO, after CEO, just striving for the next best strategy. What is the email campaign I need? What is the, the sales page? Copy that I need no friend. No, that’s not it. Not to mention you get that copy. That copy comes to life. It’s birthed from you when you were the highest version of yourself, period. End of story.

Ashley McDonald (17:29):

Right. So step one was to set the tone. I like creating a, to done list to set the tone. I love it. Step two. What are the goals like? What are the goals? Step three. Okay. Step three. After you’ve determined what your goals are. I need you to determine who you are at that space, right? Who are you when you hit that goal? Really get deep here. Right? Step four is what’s the gap. What’s the gap. What are the adjustments that need to be made right now? And so five is to make those adjustments, sit down and figure out when Y how those adjustments are going to be made. My website’s being redone right now, really exciting. Cause a lot of big things are happening behind the scenes in Ash McDonald world. And I found this quote and it just like rocked my world and I wanted to leave you with it today. And the quote is she quietly expected great things to happen to her. And no doubt, that’s one of the reasons why they did.

Ashley McDonald (18:42):

We can’t simply critical and then get strategic. We need to really believe we’re worthy of that goal. And that does start in having enough internal awareness to know where the gap is and to make those adjustments to become the energetic match for our goals. She quietly expected great things to happen to her. And no doubt, that’s one of the reasons why they did now. Speaking of I’m super, super, super excited because one of the things that you’re going to notice and in my little corner of the internet is that I’ve had all of these incredibly important, vibrant ideas and teachings that I want to put out into the world. And I was really trying to figure out how to do this. And I had this like brain blowing moment that I had to do it my way, but I had to do it in a way that felt really good.

Ashley McDonald (19:31):

And so I’ve decided in Q4 that I’m going to be coming out with these different offerings, these different teachings, these like magnetizing, you know, between one and three day programs where you can just dive in and go all in with me and make some of the most massive shifts in your life and in your business because I am a holistic business coach in your life, in your business so that you can truly feel and, and magnetize and activate and expand into the woman that you’re made to be. I don’t, I don’t want you to have to join a three-month program and go, I want you to come in, get your mind blown, activate some really cool stuff with me and actually feel the shift in the moment. I want to help you change for life and expand into the CEO you were made to be by never, ever, ever forgetting that you’re a woman first.

Ashley McDonald (20:19):

And so my first program, I’m so excited about this. My first program, my first offering that is coming out. One of these like amazing offerings actually starts tomorrow. It starts tomorrow and it’s called awakened. We are going to rewire your brain. I’m not only going to teach you how your brain works therapeutically, but I’m going to help you identify the narratives that are holding you back. I’m going to help you reconnect to rewire that brain and truly step in to the greatest version of who you are to awaken into the greatest version of who you are, which fundamentally goes with this quote. Right? And no doubt. That’s one of the reasons why they did is because she expected it and she believed it. You have to be in control of your narrative. You have to be the author of your own story. And I feel so genuinely called to ensure that that is your truth, right? So today you got it. You got to join this program. Awakened, you have to be in this program, you have to be in this program. So if you’re listening to this, this program is going to be a couple of days long. If you’re listening this program, the program is about to start. So DME privately DME for the link and I will get you in and I will walk hand in hand with you to the most awakened version of yourself.


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I am the definition of duality—I swear like a sailor and break rules like it’s my job, but I also hold incredible space for my clients and work my ass off to help them achieve the success they’re after (but faster).

My background in counseling and my experience founding three multi-6-figure businesses gives me a unique perspective on what it means to show up and serve as an ethical and successful CEO. Leaning on my experiences, along with the experiences of the hundreds of women I’ve been honored to work with, I offer founders a psych-backed and human-first approach to scaling their legacies—both in and out of the office. 

I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to anything, but especially business. Because at the foundation of any profitable, sustainable, ethically sound business is one thing: humans being humans. And to do anything without first considering the human behind the action (i.e., with intention and vulnerability) is to remove our most powerful predictor of success—ourselves.

Around here, you’ll find a personalized and multidimensional client experience paired with a few tastefully dropped fucks. You’ll also find a new way of being in business that’s sustainable, ethical, and built around your life (not the other way around).

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