Have a plan for how you want to fund your business up front and execute that vision.
Ashley Black was born in Alabama with a debilitating disease called Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). She refused to accept her disability and defied every doctor’s prognosis. Ashley intuitively took control of her own symptoms, surprising everyone by growing into a competitive gymnast.
In college, Ashley Black worked as a fitness instructor at a gym owned by a man deemed “the strongest man in the World” and then for a well-known weight management company.
In her mid-twenties, Ashley developed a bone-eating bacteria that almost took her life. With fierce determination, Ashley survived but was left with a severely damaged hip, pelvis, and spine. Once again, Ashley Black was staring down an exhausting future of pain and life forever disabled.
With a sheer will to thrive, she chose to take back her fate. Ashley traveled to India to receive custom pelvic implants. This time Ashley’s journey into self-healing was drawing from the deepest motivation of all – her three kids and her desire to find purpose in her pain!
Studying medicine all over the world, Ashley Black finally found a formula that allowed her to live a functional life. At the epicenter of her medical victory were a new calling and a life devoted to studying, developing and researching new solutions and ultimately helping others to heal as she had learned to heal herself. Fascia, relatively unknown, was the focus of Ashley Black’s studies.
Ashley Black’s “Yoda-style” methodologies were a quick success in the States and led to Ashley opening Fasciology clinics where she trained health professionals in her methods. Ashley Black worked as a healer and became known as the industry’s “secret weapon” helping professional athletes and celebrities of every kind for years to follow. Ashley could “fix” pain and performance issues that no one else could. Ashley attributes this crucial ability to a combination of her own “near-death experience, a divine knowledge… and years of focused, hard work.”
Ashley Black set out to heal herself. Now, she hopes to heal millions.
Enter FasciaBlaster,™ the quintessential story of “Necessity Breeds Invention.”
Ashley Black had always wanted to teach the fascia centric life. One day a man who survived Stage 4 Lymphoma came into her clinic. Ashley and her Fasciologists ™ started working with him to help his ravaged body that was void of lymph nodes. He became a believer. Turns out, this man helped inventors and business people partner with manufacturers. Ashley sketched the first FasciaBlaster™ on a to-go box and showed the healed man. Together, they made the first prototypes in 2012.
Flash forward to 2019 with over a million products sold, one of Americaʼs fastest-growing private companies (over a 700% increase in three years), millions of social media followers, a #1 best selling book, a TEDx talk, a second book, new product development, a research project being presented at conferences around the world, and most importantly daily lives being transformed by the FasciaBlaster™ tools! Currently executing global expansion!
Ashleyʼs mission is to advance the science and make sure Fasciologists™ will continue sharing her story and teaching when she is gone. To do this, Ashley needs to reach the “tipping point” of mass acceptance by acquiring 10+ million followers and customers, expand to the global market, establish a college curriculum and train her predecessors by presenting her fascia research at global conferences, compelling scientists to apply her methods to vast areas of the healing sciences in ongoing research. She also plans to develop game-changing documentaries for the general public to have the truth about fascia revealed.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I knew that I had more than a handful of different inventions that would all focus on helping people with their fascia. Knowing my inventions were pieces of a collective brand and that I wanted to create multiple products in the future, I thought it would be best for the company to center around my personal experiences, as Ashley Black the Guru, rather than one specific tool. That’s why all my owned social media and each of the websites curated for my brand all start at Ashley Black Guru and then branch out from there.
When I began the naming process for The FasciaBlaster™, I knew I wanted to include the word ‘fascia.’ Even though the term was virtually unknown, it was integral to all my work and I knew if this was as successful as it had the potential to be, fascia could become a household term for people all over the world. Adding the word ‘Blast’ or ‘Blaster’ was a no brainer. I am ultimately a lighthearted and playful person and the product name needed to echo that. When the idea of ‘blasting fascia’ came up, it was catchy, even a little fun and playful.The idea was blasting through fascial dysfunction and now I can’t imagine it being called anything else. A gamble? Maybe… but one that I had to take. The FasciaBlaster™ was the name of the product that rolled off the tongue and it lead to great verbs and adjectives such as “I blast”, Blastersisters, Blasterbaiters and the fun goes on.
And just like that, the Ashley Black Guru brand had found the inaugural name, combining science and fun.
Turns out, my gamble paid off. Ashley Black Guru and ‘blast’ resonated with the public and consumers were eager for knowledge and products. The FasciaBlaster™ products and the Ashley Black Guru brand name quickly blasted off all over. I am even more humbled and honored to lead this movement now that I carry with me the success of The FasciaBlaster™ and Ashley Back Guru. My purpose was coming to fruition and I was ready for it.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The Ashley Black Guru brand embodies the idea of living your best possible life, regardless of the cards you are dealt and that’s what I try to do everyday..
I spend part of every single day dedicated to my body, my happiness and well-being, and doing just that… living my best life. In that pursuit, I recently moved to a Blue Zone, where people live healthier lives and most to well over 100 years old. I adopt as much of their lifestyle as possible.
I am most productive when I am engaged and inspiring my audience, which requires me to ‘walk the walk’ and ‘talk the talk’ to best serve my company. I also love the elements of my job that let me focus on inspiring and empowering my amazing staff. Luckily for me, my family and many of my closest friends make up a big part of my team and they are intricate in helping me further the mission.
Daily, I place the highest value on my health and mental wellness (stillness).
To stay productive I must stay healthy and, for me, that involves eating farm to table, juicing, fishing, surfing, natural walking, yoga, workouts, hyperbaric oxygen chamber, massages, using the FasciaBlaster™ tools, Cryo-freeze, chiropractic and anything that helps to naturally heal and help me feel my best.
I practice mental stillness through devoted meditation. The quiet time I take everyday provides me with the answers needed to be my most productive, starting from a place of inner wisdom. When I have time to find a balance of purpose, pride, and pleasure in my activities, I’m happy, creative and can make high-level, smart and crucial decisions that help me help my staff execute the Ashley Black Guru vision.
A typical work day for me involves daily meetings with my executive teams, working on high level strategy with all departments such as PR, distribution, and social media. Interacting with my customers on all my social media channels every day is key for me; along with writing all content and designing new products. I’m involved in every aspect of my company but I’ve learned to work efficiently and do it from a place of health and stillness.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am very fortunate to have two things; an extensive history with my manufacturer and a dynamite audience.
My relationship and history with my manufacturer allows me to doodle new ideas on a napkin at lunch that comes back as a 3D rendering within days. That rendering quickly turns into an eerily and beautifully lifelike 3D printout that ultimately becomes an Ashley Black Guru product.
My audience constantly provides feedback and “wish-lists.” I listen and create products to fill the void. I’m constantly crafting new ideas and I have been my entire life. In fact, I have patents on things I can’t wait to bring to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is the fact that the everyday consumer is becoming more knowledgeable and self-sufficient, and they’re looking for things they can do to lead healthier lives, without a doctor or health care professional to point the way.
Obviously, this is good for my business and makes my job easier because people are looking for my products, even if they don’t ‘know’ they are looking for my products. Years ago, discussing fascia was considered pseudoscience and it’s wonderful to see a shift in society to this awakening and to watch the Ashley Black brand bring fascia mainstream.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I sleep and I don’t work if I am stressed. I am not addicted to ‘the chase.’ I find my productivity is best served when making little strategic moves that carry big impact. I don’t like to feel ‘busy.’ I focus my energy on my vision and I work to inspire my staff to help me execute with passion.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to intentionally build business and personal credit. Ask any entrepreneur what their obstacles are and I bet you will get a few common answers, one of which is the access to capital.
As an entrepreneur, your options are to borrow money or take on partners who bring their capital to the business.
Personally, I am a fan of borrowing money from the back. This is how I funded my start up and eventually bought out my original partners. Owning 100% of my business was very important to me and I could have done it faster if I had made banking relationships and the access to capital bigger priorities.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe that all disease dwells in the fascia and that fascia is the most significant system of the body. I think that my devoted fans understand that fascia is profound, but I think we have no idea that living a fascia-centric life will completely change the course of human health.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Listen to your gut instinct…ALWAYS
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that I use that I think is uncommon, is transparency and authenticity with my audience.
I take to live feeds on Facebook or YouTube with thousands of people watching with no hair styling, no makeup, bad lighting in an old bathing suit. I think it’s important to be myself, be real and transparent about my vulnerabilities in life and in business. I think this resonates with my audience in the age of “fake” and creates loyal customers that want to share the Ashley Black brand throughout the world.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure that was very challenging for me was how I handled trolling and suppression efforts against the Ashley Black brand online.. The age-old days where you could simply “ignore the haters” caused incorrect news to be written and shared about my company, mass confusion online as to the truth, and as a result our bottom line took a hit. I believe passionately in cyber reform and hope to see measures put in place to deal with these issues soon.
Personally, I have had to overcome my strong need to speak out against these ‘haters’ and defend what I know is the truth behind the FasciaBlaster™ and the Ashley Black brand name. Instead, I choose to stay focused on healing and helping those who need me, and by accepting the fact that ‘haters’ exist and learning to get ahead of them in order to minimize the effect they have on me and the Ashley Black brand name.
I’ve learned through this process that all successful businesses deal with these issues, so I just remind myself that this means I am making an impact.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Living in Costa Rica has given me perspective. I am always amazed by the strong work ethic of the locals. Some walk around all day long selling bowls, bird flutes, and uninspiring jewelry. I always wondered if they were selling things such as sunblock, eye drops, hangover remedies, cheap flip flops, things that people (tourists) really needed, would they be the most popular and dynamic sales force of all time?
It seems trivial, but what if you offered up these new ideas to the tourism department in each of these second world countries…? There very well could be a scalable business model there that could be just as profitable for the owner as it would be for the locals and their communities.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I’ve spent in the last year was on a private meditation session with a guru. Her knowledge was the catalyst that has taken my quest for higher wisdom to a whole new level and it truly has changed my perspective as a CEO and business owner.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The FaceBook and Instagram tool that allows you to conduct split-screen live interviews natively on their website or with third-party tools like BeLive or Zoom have been invaluable to a business like mine and the greatest part about it is…. IT’S FREE!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Breakthrough by David C.M Carter.
This book changed my life. It’s the most practical guide I’ve ever read for setting a goal to make a major change “north star” and the exercises are truly applicable to the book and help you reach those goals and make the changes you want to make.
This is often a Christmas gift I give to my friends.
What is your favorite quote?
“You are the architect of your life and your pencil is your inner peace”
1. Ignore the Haters
2. Don’t ever stop fighting.
3. Place value on your health and your mental wellness.
4. Have a plan for how you want to fund your business up front and execute that vision.
5. Listen to your Gut.
www.ashleyblackguru.com – Brand/Professional Website
www.fasciablaster.com – Product Website
– YouTube Page
– Amazon Page
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.