For Ashlyn Carter, the sounds of stilettos echoing off the floors of an Atlanta high-rise were music to her ears. Life in the fast lane felt like the career she’d always dreamed of… until partial hospitalization for an eating disorder brought her face to face with some hard decisions. Just months after saying “I do,” she found herself turning in her two-week notice and knocking on the door of entrepreneurship.
In today’s interview, Ashlyn shares her story of building a seven-figure copywriting business and how she navigates working from a place of rest rather than hustle in a world that so often whispers that success is doing more, more, more.
When I look at the list of credentials my friend Ashlyn Carter has, I can’t help but be impressed. An expert in copy writing for entrepreneurs, the founder and CEO of Ashlyn Writes, 90+ clients, 500 students, 6 ½ years in running a 7-figure business.
Pretty good, right?
When I asked Ashlyn to talk about the journey to get where she is today, she said simply, “Something had to change.”
Fresh out of college, she started working in the high-stress world of corporate marketing. She was also nurturing a creative side hustle: a calligraphy business. In that same season, she got engaged and started the work of planning a wedding, too.
“Juggling my job, my side hustle, and my wedding—it was a lot. All of the sudden, I felt incredibly out of control.”
For Ashlyn, control came in the form of counting calories. Over time, that turned into a full-blown eating disorder, eventually resulting in a partial hospitalization.
“I was so sick, so stressed, and so clearly struggling. In talking to a friend who was freelancing at the time, I realized maybe there was a different way. A way to get paid to do what I loved without the stress I was experiencing.”
It was time for a change.
As soon as she got out of the hospital, Ashlyn put in her two-week notice at work and began building her own business.
“I didn’t know what I was doing, but I felt absolutely no fear. I had no fear in leaving, no fear in not working, no fear in trying something new. All I felt was free.”
For Ashlyn, that change meant the start of a brand-new business where she was creating the culture, calling the shots, and making things happen the way she wanted them to. As she networked with other creative entrepreneurs in the area, she realized just how valuable her way with words really was.
“The more I talked to other entrepreneurs, the more I realized there was an Ashlyn-sized gap I could fill. I could ease their pain around wording on their websites. I could articulate what their brand represents in their emails. I could give them a voice.”
She started the business by offering copywriting services to her clients. Over the years, she developed an educational side, creating templates, coaching, courses, and more to help business owners hone their writing skills for themselves.
“So many people are told they’re bad with words, but I really think anybody can learn. I mean, I was told the same message about numbers. My whole life I thought I was bad at money and math, but the reality is, I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.”
And as a business owner, knowing her numbers was key.
“I always believed that more = more in business. More clients = more money. More projects = more growth. But my formula was wrong. If I could fix my pricing and understand how to make my numbers work for me, I could actually work less and still make what I needed.”
So, she changed her plan. She changed her formula. She changed everything about the way she approached her work to give herself exactly what she was looking for when she started her company: rest.
“I want to work from a place of rest, not hustle. And now I know that’s possible. I can find rest in doing the work I love. I can find rest in creating rhythms that work for me.”
Creating rhythms of rest gave Ashlyn the margin she needed to live the life she wanted to live, for her job, for her family, and for herself.
“Now, I look at everything on the plate of my business and consider which ones are things only I can do. Those things, I take on. And I create systems and rhythms to take care of the rest. In this approach, I’ve finally found some harmony.”
It’s been an absolute honor to know Ashlyn over these past five years and to watch her business and family grow. She is one of those people who strives to give her very best to anything she is doing—work, family, friendships. She is genuine and kind and great at serving others. I’m so glad to share her story with you today!
Be sure to press play to hear more of Ashlyn’s story (it’s a good one!) or download the full transcript.
As an entrepreneur, international speaker, mentor, and marketer, Ashlyn Carter is the premier expert for copywriting for creative entrepreneurs. She’s the founder and CEO at Ashlyn Writes®, a copywriting business and marketing curriculum source for creatives. 90+ 1:1 clients, 5,000+ students, and 7-figures in revenue later, she’s pinpointed what it is that helps lock in half-a-million dollar launches for digital marketing campaigns.
Ashlyn has worked with major brands’ marketing efforts, including Delta Air Lines, Synovus Banks, Ford Fry Restaurants, and supported entrepreneurs including Jenna Kutcher, Amy Porterfield, Julie Solomon, and more. She’s been honored as 30 Under 30 in the Alpha Delta Pi international organization as well. She’s been a contributing educator with Creative Live, ConvertKit, and HoneyBook, and have been featured in Forbes, Southern Living, Style Me Pretty, and more. Ashlyn lives outside of Atlanta and convinces her husband, baby, and toddler to go with her to grab tacos weekly.
July 14, 2022