We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Graham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The initial thought that comes to my mind when reading this question is, “Woah buddy, where do I even start?!” If I had a dollar for every risk that I’ve taken in my life and my career, I’d be a millionaire. This should be a new business model. Sign me up! We, as human beings, take risks every single day. The word ‘risk’ alone is known as the possibility of loss, injury, or in entrepreneurship or business, the chance to lose more than you gain. In the current times, we take risks to physically connect with one another during the time of COVID-19, and with the U.S economy experiencing the waves of the next recession, we take risks to find the next opportunity that may bring more stability into our homes. To keep it simple, there is no reward for us to gain without the risk of placing ourselves in an environment or mindset that gets us a little uncomfortable to create change. The truth is, I’d take the chances of risk over and over again because risks are an essential part of life. The shifts and opportunities you receive through taking risks are infinite. Personally, I owe each one of the wins I’ve celebrated in my life to the risks I’ve taken. Although, some with better outcomes than the others, I aim to look at new risks with an open and receptive mind as I am a living testament to the shifts that you can experience through risks both personally and professionally. I leap towards risk because there is a transformation in the process which leads to experience. Where risk holds the ‘weight’ or why I believe it received its meaning, is when we choose to look at risk with scarcity eyes, a resistant mind, and a clouded heart. Yes, it’s scary when you hear words such as ‘loss’ and ‘injury’ when it comes to risk, but the only way you can truly experience what it feels like to gain is when you know what there is to lose. Life is about balance and you can only understand that balance through the ups and the downs that your experiences that risks provide you. If we were to perceive risks to lead to breakthroughs, can you imagine the risks we would take every day to shift our lives at any given moment?! It’s an incredible thought to ponder.
What should our readers know about your business?
Ashley Graham, Your Brandista, is a publicist & empowerment coach that works with brands to elevate their influence through aligned media strategies. Your Brandista elevates conscious media for & with personal brands & businesses through mindful, caffeinated PR. Every brand has a story that aspires to be heard. Your Brandista filters through the ingredients of your brand’s voice to shape into a tailored message that attracts vibrant visibility. This message is curated into your key angles that aligns your story with the right media influences, shaping genuine engagement and connection. I believe what sets me apart from others in my creative space is I have the divine ability to put myself in my client’s footprints to make their story my own. I work predominantly with the people or the main influence behind the brand/business for each campaign. In order to fully understand a campaign direction when it comes to storytelling, it’s important for me to walk the same path as my client. I allow myself to feel the emotions and the challenges they have faced in their life or in their business in order to be able to transcribe that in the media’s blueprint. There is an accelerated level of empathy that is required in the work that I do, which is how I can truly understand my clients and how I need to navigate the driver’s seat to the success of their stories being heard. With that being said, I have become VERY particular when it comes to the clients I work with. I strive to work with the people who know what it means to live through the conscious-mind versus the ego-mind. Our egos are incredibly arrogant and when you think about how the media is structured, it’s the largest ego-stroking tool out there. When you live consciously, it’s about using the media to elevate the impact for change or good that you have on others as a collective, versus the validation you may receive.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Coffee is important to me and I love when friends and family come to visit, so we can start our mornings with coffee from my favorites. Big shoutout to my favorites in San Diego: Better Buzz, Achilles Coffee, James Coffee, and so many others. As for sights to see, I lived across from Balboa Park for years and loved taking walks through the park with my guests. As for other places to visit, I love taking guests to Julian in the fall for pie, stopping in La Jolla Shores to see the seals, watching the sunset by Sunset Cliffs, and grabbing a California Burrito from anywhere, really.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give credit to the clients who have supported me throughout the years. I’ve not only had the opportunity to work with some of the most incredible women who have supported my work and my business, but who have become friends and mentors who inspire the next versions of myself. One of these clients has become my Transformation Coach who has changed my life in ways that I can’t even put into words. When I reflect back on our sessions together, it makes me feel an immense amount of gratitude that always leads to tears.
Photo Credit: Studio Luniste