What does it look like to tap into your intuition and run a business with a chronic illness? Ashleigh was experiencing total burnout and stress in her new business before she sat down and assessed her intuition to do what she knew to be true.
Ashleigh Ryan is a project manager and online business manager for 6-figure business owners in the health and wellness space. She helps them manage their businesses so they can systemize, optimize, and find balance.
Ashleigh has always wanted to join the health and wellness space but only got to do it last year after losing her job and receiving a Fibromyalgia diagnosis. After struggling to balance both her feminine and masculine energy in business, Ashleigh has mastered how to tap into her intuition to serve her clients and also nourish herself.
Continue reading to learn more on how to run a business with a chronic illness!
Can we talk about your background and why you even wanted to start a business?
Ashleigh: I have a very diverse background when it comes to my working career; I have sort of tried everything throughout my twenties and doubled in a lot of things. I ended up working in musical theatre, which is what I studied at university.
It was my full-time job for a couple of years, which was super exciting but incredibly stressful because it became my whole life. I later left in the middle of last year when I became unwell.
I had always had an interest in health and wellness and wanted to work in that space one day – but I didn’t know how. When I quit my full-time job last year, I was thinking about how I could work in that space.
I had heard about the role of a virtual assistant mentioned a few times before and as I started to explore that area, I realize I could target the health and wellness industry and work with the people I look up to. It’s been a year now in that space, but I have transitioned to different roles now working as a project manager and online business manager for beautiful business owners in the health and wellness space.
I help them manage their businesses so they can systemize, optimize, and find balance.
Would you mind sharing about your chronic illness?
Ashleigh: I was diagnosed early last year with Fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness in the body plus other mild symptoms. I had been sick for a really long time and was diagnosed after a series of many other tests.
It all came together after the pandemic hit, and I experienced chronic stress from losing my job. The Fibromyalgia that I have, flares up when I’m under intense periods of stress or when I’m not looking after myself by overworking without taking any downtime.
I’ll have to deal with this condition for the rest of my life. But I’ve been able to figure out what does and doesn’t work for me and find the support that I need to run a business and be well the majority of the time.
I created this job so I could do a good job but also take the time I need to stay healthy.
Do you have any specific routines? How does your structure look like?
Ashleigh: It’s been trial and error. I didn’t realize that I was recreating the stress and the format of my previous job when I first started my business by taking on too much work and overcommitting.
I have had to reassess a couple of times if things are working for me and I pivot accordingly. I have given up not having one way of doing things to become more flexible in how my business looks and how it might look in the future.
The best way I found of managing my Fibromyalgia is through talk therapy and impactful stress reduction. What that looks like now is that I’ve reduced my clients and set my hours to avoid the mental strain and have enough time to keep myself healthy.
I’ve also introduced a CEO-day, which is my day where I do my things, so I don’t have to work on weekends. I feel I have found a beautiful flow to my week that feels nourishing and allows me to do a better job for my clients.
Where did intuition play a role in your journey?
Ashleigh: I’ve always been intuitive even though I ignored it. It all starts in my gut. I’m, however, a bit of a slow burner who has to sit down and think about it before taking action, so it wasn’t necessarily one thing.
I didn’t at first understand the importance of having feminine and masculine energy in business.When I learned I was more masculine; I realized I don’t want to build that in my business. I then started to sit with myself, listen, and assess what is going wrong and what I want it to look like.
I lost half my clients and income when I decided to make changes in my business, which caused me to doubt myself, but the blessing was that I wasn’t in a super financial strain to fill those spots quickly. I took a month off and switched to my intuition, which enabled the true messages to come to me quickly. It’s been really helpful listening to my intuition and going with it and not resisting it.
When you say sitting with your intuition, what does that mean?
Ashleigh: I used to not give myself what I need by restricting myself into a routine, but now I do what I feel like whenever that happens for me. I tap into my intuition at any one time with a combination of meditation, journaling, and going for quiet walks. This always brings me to what I know to be true.
What is entrepreneurship like in Australia and what’s going on in terms of Covid?
Ashleigh: My understanding is that there has been an enormous take-off in entrepreneurship in Australia over the last 18 months. It’s a growing industry that’s not going to lose its steam any time soon and I feel very lucky to have stepped into it at this time.
Entrepreneurship is definitely a big thing, especially online even in Covid lockdown.
CONNECT WITH ASHLEIGH RYAN