We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Cochran and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Growing up I never saw myself as a “Business owner” or on the journey of entrepreneurship; but life is funny like that. Within the last two years I have been blessed with two brands/businesses; AC Speaks and TRUTH NO CHASER. Although they are different; in a sense they are very similar. My concept behind both is guided towards using your voice to tell your story in a judgment free space. AC Speaks was formed while in the process of finishing my first book; Mask Off: Don’t allow your past to determine your present. After the book was published I realized I had so much more to share and say whether through books, motivational speaking, or mentoring. I take pride in sharing my story after years of running in hopes to help others find their voice and heal from whatever obstacles they faced. As AC Speaks I hope to continue to inspire people to stop merely existing and start living their best life; free from shame, guilt, embarrassment, and so forth. My mission is to take my experiences and be as transparent and honest so others can learn their scars are a sign of victory not a disgrace. I was done being silent and decided to speak up; hence AC Speaks. As a result of AC Speaks; I began doing Motivational Monday posts on social media and it struck the attention of several people; one of them was Jay Stroud. Jay and I attended the same church, but weren’t familiar with one another aside from mutual friends. One Sunday Jay approached me about being a guest on his new radio show he was working on; I accepted the invitation and that was that. Fast forward a month later; he presented me with a different opportunity: to join the team as a member not a guest. I knew it was another chance to help others; so I agreed. We got the ball rolling and then life happened again. For several reasons beyond our control the original “team” didn’t work out so Jay and I had a decision to make; proceed with creating magic or let our voices be silent. We recognized that God was behind the scenes orchestrating this partnership and aligning things; because we both strongly believed in the power of telling your story from your narrative so moving forward was the only option. My partner and I brainstormed for weeks on a name/brand that spoke for us and TRUTH NO CHASER was created. The name says so much to us; own your TRUTH with no sugarcoating. TRUTH NO CHASER is an Atlanta based multimedia company providing a live broadcast where we offer real talk for real people even when it burns. As we began to really dig deep and create great content God blessed us with 2 additional partners who were once guests on our show to share their story; Frankie and Tiffany Glenn. As we continue to grow we identify God had a plan all along. We just want to keep being obedient and try to help bring light to real life issues while being authentic to who we are. It is our mission to provide others the equal opportunity to control the narrative and share their story with no judgement. I know the future is bright for AC Speaks and TRUTH NO CHASER; and I am glad that I decided to step out on faith and follow my purpose.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
During this journey; I believe being open and willing to admit my wins and losses help set me apart. I am most proud of the fact that I stepped out of my comfort zone and opened up. For more than half of my life I was too afraid of being vulnerable and transparent; so I pretended. I knew in order to be successful as AC Speaks and a part of TRUTH NO CHASER I had to get over my fear and allow the walls to come down. When it comes to motivating others you have to be relatable and authentic; so it was important I faced my own demons. It took years of prayer, therapy, and journaling to get to where I am today; it wasnt always easy but it was certainly worth it. One main thing I learned along the way is you have to be willing to put in the work. Nothing in life comes easy; and anything worth having requires you to work. I want people to know you have to stop putting limits on yourself; if you want something out of life go get it. Lastly do not ever apologize for going after your dreams; you may help someone else along the way.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My friends and I love a good turn up but also need some chill time. So I would definitely recommend visitors to check out a few different restaurants that I enjoy; Poor Calvins, Co Atlanta, Crab404Atl, and Ra Sushi are some of my favorites. However I love the feel of Sivas Midtown, Suite Lounge and Monticello Atl as you get great food, music, and a fun atmosphere all in one if that’s their vibe. As far as hanging out; a few of my top choices would be Republic Lounge, Lava Lounge, Whiskey Mistress, or BQE. Next for shopping; go to Atlantic Station, Lenox Mall or Phipps Plaza. Next for Sunday I would recommend my church; Ray of Hope Christian Church or New Birth followed by a great brunch and maybe for educational purposes go to the Civil Rights Museum or take the Martin Luther King Jr tour downtown Atlanta.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
All my family and friends; for their continuous love and support. Darren Cumberbatch; AMD Branding for helping create AC Speaks & TRUTH NO CHASER Logo Darren Palmer: Self Publish N 30 days for helping me publish my first book and believing in me. Jay Stroud for helping me dig deeper and seeing my potential My TRUTH NO CHASER team (Jay/Frankie/Tiffany) for all their hard work and dedication to grow our brand. Anyone who has supported AC Speaks or TRUTH NO CHASER in some way; you are the real MVP for believing in me!

Website: www.maskoffbook.org & www.thetruthnochaser.com
Instagram: acspeaks42 & truth_no_chaser
Linkedin: Ashley Cochran
Facebook: @acspeaks42 & @thetruthnochaser

Image Credits
Aarion Joseph Marcus Goodman; Marx Photos Inc