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

Hi Ashley, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
One of the most important lessons in business is that those closest to you are not always your means to money. Leave your expectations at the door and find long term clients. Your friends and family are great to help spread the word, but do not expect them to spend money. Often people assume they should receive free services or discounts and when you are starting a business or even when you become established your price is your price. If you have long time clients and your prices increase (which they should) you can always make exceptions for those who have proven to be consistent and support your business. Starting a business is not easy it requires long nights and not much pay if at all in the beginning. No one asks large brand names for the “friend” discount so you shouldn’t have to sacrifice that either. Stand firm and know that your business matters and you are worth what you charge. Make sure that your customer service, follow up and product or service matches the expectations you put out to the world. One happy client can turn into multiple referrals so don’t give up! It is not easy but you will and CAN do it. Charge your worth and add tax!

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?
I am extremely passionate about fitness, health, self-love and self-care. I believe with the right tools and guidance anything is possible. My struggles with weight and my relationship with food has helped me to grow myself personally, my business and help others to love and accept themselves. I have learned that my purpose is so much greater than what I ever imagined. Through my eating disorder, I have learned to overcome fear and be the best me I can be. Self-love is so important to staying consistent, motivated and wanting to be your best self. Love who you are and taking care of your body should be a priority for living a truly happy life. Accepting and understanding that health is not a certain size or shape and doesn’t define beauty, but how you take care of your body for the long haul and giving yourself grace is hardest challenge I’ve had to overcome. Seeking your own inner happiness is the best gift to yourself, love you first and fill your cup before you can fill others.

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?
If I was to give an itinerary for someone visiting Atlanta I think some one of my go-to places would be Piedmont Park whether you are walking around enjoying a beautiful day, one of the many festivals or sweating out a workout there is always something for everyone of all ages including our four legged furry family. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Sublime Donuts. After head over to the heart of the city to check out Centennial Olympic Park, ride the Ferris wheel, check out the Georgia Aquarium or the Coca Cola Museum. Don’t forget to visit Martin Luther King, Jr National Historical Park to be inspired and pay respects to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. If you are looking for some light retail therapy or a bite to eat you can stop by Atlantic Station, Krog Street Market or Ponce City Market. For a night out on the town make sure to check out Oak Atlanta on Ivan Allen Blvd for happy hour, comedy show, dinner or the upscale nightlife experience.

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?
I would love to give a shout out to my support system and family. They encouraged me in tough times and tears to not give up, keep pushing and living in my purpose. They have helped me continue my personal journey but also share my story and help others. I also am very thankful for She Wins Society sisterhood which provides a safe and empowering space for women to prioritize their self-care and personal development. I’m honored to be on their Coaches Council for my expertise in fitness and health. Not only do I get to share my knowledge but the sisterhood and bond of members is so positive and uplifting.

Website: http://www.thinkhealthbyashyd.com
Instagram: @thinkhealthbyashyd
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thinkhealthbyashyd

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