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Passion and Purpose: An Interview with Ashley France

It is said; within our passion, there will our purpose be. “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you to your purpose.”~ Bishop TD Jakes.  

What are you passionate about? Our passion/purpose may not necessarily be grand to the point of taking over the web/media; well maybe not initially but could possibly be eventually. Whichever the case may be, following your passion/purpose; which could be as a professional or entrepreneur, will bring meaning and fulfillment to you as an individual and the world at large. Walking in your purpose will help someone who is “Stuck In The Middle!” ~Manekeu Ndoping

Ashley France believes in trusting the process. Read on to learn more about her...

Who is Ashley France for those who are reading about her for the first time?
Ashley France is a young entrepreneur from Maryland who has always created her own path to reach her destination. She is the fearless and strong woman who wants to help our generation succeed in their business endeavors while creating a platform that displays women empowerment and self-love.

In a nutshell, what would you say your life has been like from birth to now?
I was born and raised in the DMV area (D.C. Maryland Virginia). I went to Catholic school majority of my life and I also knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the legal field. I danced from the age of 3-15 and continued with cheerleading through high school. I went to the University of Maryland College Park for Undergrad where I majored in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I also joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. I then attended University of Maryland School of Law where I specialized in business and transactional law. I moved to Atlanta in August of 2017 where I started working in-house for a fortune 500 company. I quit that job at the end of 2017 and started my journey to being an entrepreneur full time. 

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We are almost mid-2018, how has this year been so far for you?
This year has been life changing honestly, 2018 has really been the time of growth and new beginnings for me.

What was your first job after college? Why did you make that choice?
My first job after law school was working at a pharmaceutical company as an NDA Legal Specialist. I decided to work there because I always wanted to work in-house and have the opportunity to work with a company doing legal agreements.

You've gone through a great deal of education to be where you are at this point in time. Looking back how important were your studies?
Education is not just limited to schooling, the experiences you have, while you are in college, can really shape you as an adult and help your growth. I definitely think my education was really helpful, if it wasn't for law school I would not have as much knowledge as I do when it comes to contracts and business law.

Most people these days do not value higher education. Is higher education important? What are your thoughts?
I do think higher education is important, but I also think there are different paths to get to the same goal. In this day and age, people are realizing you don't have to limit yourself to one job or one career. You can literally turn your passions into a money-making business with little to no education.

What did your parents do for a living? What impact did that have on your choice of careers?
Both of my parents work for the government. They have had long careers working in their respective fields and have received numerous awards and recognition. My mother is the definition of "google me." All her articles and awards immediately pop up on google. My parents grew up with little to nothing and yet they both received master degrees and have amazing careers, they worked so hard and achieved everything on their own. It inspires me to continue to work hard to reach all of my goals.

You are the CEO of ANF Consulting & Founder of Corporate Curly Brand. How did all this come about?
I had the idea for my consulting company and Corporate Curly Brand about a year before I acted on the idea. I have always helped my friends and family with their business ideas and provided business insight. Last October I got the push from my mentor to just start my company and stop procrastinating. Shortly after, I launched the Corporate Curly Brand. The idea behind this brand is to create a platform for natural hair women in corporate America. 

What does ANF stand for and how long has it been in existence?
ANF standards for Ashley Nicole France my initials! when I started my company I wanted to include my personal name in the company name. My company has been registered since December 2017. 

What services does ANF consulting offer?
The services we offer include Business Registration, Trademarking, Contracts, Brand Development, Social Media Marketing and Overall Business Consulting.

Why would anyone choose ANF consulting for BUSINESS & ENTERTAINMENT consulting?
They would choose my company because we offer every type of service to build your business from the ground up. We are connected with a number of businesses outside of our industry to connect our clients with. Even if we cannot provide a certain service to our clients we know where to send them to get the service that they need.

What is its purpose of Corporate Curly Brand & how impactful has it been?
The purpose of this brand is to create a platform for women with natural hair in corporate America. We display positive images of boss natural hair women in the workplace. We also have IG Live takeovers that discuss different topics within corporate America and the natural hair community. 

So far we've talked about ANF Consulting & Corporate Curly Brand. What other talents do you possess?
I have had professional training in dancing from the age of 3-15 and took golf lessons at a young age as well so I know how to play golf.

Nothing good comes easy and as such there are always obstacles trying to hinder us from achieving greatness. Has there ever been a moment when you wanted to throw in the towel? Speak a little on that and how did you overcome that moment?
YES! I recently posted something about this, there were plenty of times where I questioned if this is what I am supposed to be doing. Is this my true purpose? Should I just go back to the corporate world? But those were the times I prayed the hardest, asking God for answers. He would reveal little things that showed me this is my purpose.

Who and what motivated you this far in your career?
My family is a huge motivation, my parents have worked so hard to provide opportunities for me throughout the years. I want to be able to return the favor to them. Also, all of my followers and supporters who say how I inspire them to start their business and continue to push through all the trials that they face.

What would you do if you weren’t doing your current job?
I would be working in-house for a company working on legal agreements.

How do your values show up in your work?
I pull out all of the stops when it comes to helping my clients achieve their business goals. 

When you are not pursuing your passions what do you do?
I am watching Netflix, I currently love black lightning, going to brunch with my friends, hitting a music festival, or catching up on sleep. 

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What message do you have for those following passion?
Your purpose is your purpose, it was intended for you and you alone. Don't let anyone try to drive you away from walking in your purpose.

What is success to you?
Being able to live a lifestyle I do not want a vacation from.

Do you believe in LUCK? How much of your current success do you attribute to luck and how much to hard work?
I do not believe in luck, I believe in prayer and putting in work.

What is your favorite quote and why?
Trust the process, because this is something that I still struggle with today. You cannot cheat the process and roadblocks you face as a business owner. You just have to power through them and know you will be stronger on the other side.

ANF Consulting and Corporate Curly Brand in five years?
My consulting company will be a powerhouse for business owners and creatives. My brand will be a major platform for networking, black women in corporate America, and natural hair.

What is the best review/advice you've gotten so far about your business or as an entrepreneur?
Put 100% in everything that you do and deliver valuable content.

If you could send a message to yourself 10 years ago, what would you tell your younger self?
Life never works out how we plan it.

What are you NOT very good at?

Accounting, anything with numbers has never been my thing. Thankfully I have family members who help me with that part of my business.

Room, Desk & Car, which do you clean FIRST and why?
My room, because that is where I spend most of my time working.

Do you have any kids? If Yes, how are you able to juggle between family and your passion?
No, I don’t have any children. 

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself on this podcast?
None that I can think of at the moment.

How can people reach you?
You can reach me by following me on Instagram: Iamashleynicolee or by email info@iamashleynicolee.com

Thank you for your time Ashley.
Thank you for having me.

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