Ashley Stahl: The Road to Self-Discovery, Uncover Your Core Skills and Core Values for Career Success | E240
Ashley Stahl: The Road to Self-Discovery, Uncover Your Core Skills and Core Values for Career Success | E240
Ashley Stahl is a counterterrorism professional turned career coach, international bestselling author, and Fortune 500 spokesperson. Her book is You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, Design Your Dream Career. Her TEDx talk on intuition and fulfillment is ranked amongst the top 100 TED talks on the Internet, and her self-development show “The You Turn Podcast” is one of the top-ranked mental health shows in the United States.
In this episode, Hala and Ashley will discuss:
– Her start in the world of counterterrorism
– Doing what you are, not what you love
– How to make a You Turn in your life
– Getting in touch with your core nature
– The ten different types of core skill sets
– Finding your zone of genius
– Determining your core values
– Overcoming your limiting beliefs
– Paying attention to the turn signals in your life
– Networking as an introvert
– And other topics…
Ashley Stahl is a counterterrorism professional turned career coach, international bestselling author, and Fortune 500 spokesperson. Her book is You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, Design Your Dream Career. Her TEDx talk on intuition and fulfillment is ranked amongst the top 100 TED talks on the Internet, and her self-development show “The You Turn Podcast” is one of the top-ranked mental health shows in the United States. She maintains a monthly career column in Forbes, and her work has also been featured in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, CBS, SELF, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and more.
Ashley’s Website: https://ashleystahl.com/
Ashley’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashleystahl/
Ashley’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ashleystahl/
Ashley’s Podcast: https://ashleystahl.com/podcast-page/
Ashley’s Book, You Turn: https://ashleystahl.com/you-turn/
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[00:00:00] Hala Taha: Ashley, welcome to Young and Profiting Podcast. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited. I love it when people that I know come on the show because it's always such great energy. We've met a few times. You've been on the show in the past, so you came on Yap about a year ago. This was right before you launched your book.
We only teased out your book that came out in 2021 called U-Turn. So we're gonna focus on that today. But before we get started, I did wanna give an introduction of your career journey in case our listeners are new. They didn't hear your old episode, we replayed it. So if you want to hear our first episode together, we replayed it on the podcast just a couple weeks ago.
Yay. Yeah, we did. So I'd love to actually talk to you about your first career. It's not so often that I talk to somebody who started their career in counter terrorism. From my research, I found out that you really planned this out. You didn't really fall into it. You strategically planned your entrance into this niche.
Niche of a niche, right? Yeah. So talk to us about that planning, what you did in undergrad to sort of prepare for this type of career.
[00:02:56] Ashley Stahl: Yeah. It's so interesting because I remember going to undergrad, it's so weird to me that we have to pick a career path ish when we're 18 or however old we are in college.
Because the truth of the matter is you don't really know who you are or what you like until you try things on. Life is truly an experiment. How are we supposed to know what we like? It's like we don't tend to marry our first crush in preschool. You know? Why do we tend to marry and build our first career interest?
So it's always struck me as really odd that we need to make a career decision as young as we are in college. But I remember going to the career services office and telling her like, I don't really know what I wanna do, and. She gave me all the three worded tirades like, do what you love, follow your bliss.
The money's gonna follow, or whatever people say. And I just remember leaving that meeting feeling more confused than I'd ever felt before. And it was really in that moment that I realized, you know what? The best thing I could do is just pursue things that I'm interested in and see what sticks. And so a lot of people used to think I was an overachiever.
'cause I had three majors in college, but I was more just indecisive. I just didn't know what to pick and straddled all these worlds. So I majored in French government and history and I lived in France for a year with this little sweet family who I'm still in touch with. And I remember this moment where
I would go on these walks in western France by myself on Sundays.
And it was a really rainy city. I was in N. And one day it was like pouring rain and I saw this man across the alley from me. He hit his wife across her face.
Whoa. And he really clocked her. And she had this baby in her arms, which was even worse. And it was crying. And I locked eyes with her. I was like the only person on the street with them.
And in that moment, I wanted to save her. I wanted to help her. But instead I made a career decision about her.
And I think a lot of people make decisions about what career they're gonna be on in these moments that they're not even paying attention to. So this wasn't something I realized until I really looked back.
But at the time, I was interested in government, I was interested in history, and I just figured, you know what? I'm going to pursue these interests in French, hence my French degree. And the moment that I saw her, and she seemed so unprotected, so vulnerable, the first thing that came to my mind in my core values was protection.
How do I be a mama bearer? How do I protect people like her? As someone who understands politics and international affairs, he was yelling at her language. I didn't know, I just thought to myself, I'm going to go to the highest level of protecting people, and that's the government. And it was the time where we were searching for Osama Bin Laden.
I think that the Gen Z was impacted by the pandemic in a similar way that the recession impacted the millennial generation. And also nine 11. I feel like those events just are so ingrained in our consciousness, and so for me, being a part of the solution was something that was really inspiring to me. So from there on out, I learned foreign languages.
I always had language skills that were natural for me. I spoke Spanish when I was five. I was fluent in French by that point, and that was when I went on to learn Arabic and Dari.
[00:06:09] Hala Taha: Wow. So you were very, very intentional. Like we said, you kind of decided you were going to do this career, sort of just off a one-off experience that you had, which we'll talk about later, might not be the right way to choose a career, right?
Yep. So, It's comfortable to have a plan and that always feels right, but it can also be blinding as well. So talk to us about when you first started having doubts about your plan.
[00:06:35] Ashley Stahl: Yeah. I remember thinking, I just need to go in the best graduate school and as learn as many languages as possible. So I went to Kings College London because their Department of war was really well known for getting people jobs in the intelligence, national security space.
I got my graduate degree there, and I remember these little moments where after class we would sit in a lecture for five hours and ultimately what I experienced going to school in London was it was like a cultural rainbow. As much as it was also a culture clash. People would come into lectures, 300 people from all over the world, everywhere from Iraq to the United States, to Bermuda.
I sat next to someone, it was everywhere. I was really inspired by the diversity and the difference of everybody's thinking. It also ended up getting really heated. We were surrounded by different opinions, and I remember leaving those lectures and as kind of an ambivert, like, you know, I can be introverted, I can be extroverted.
I remember feeling really exhausted because I took on all the energy in the room of all the passion, all the disconnect, all the opinions. And I remember thinking to myself, am I too sensitive for this career? Just this information alone felt like a lot for my body to hold, and I would eventually learn as I ended up working in the Pentagon that the more I knew, the less I knew.
Even when I think about electing a president, I think about I had a security clearance, and the amount of information you don't know until you get your security clearance really makes it difficult for you to have a full picture of what commitments you can or can't make. So it was just really interesting to see the world through this lens, see politics through this lens.
And I've never identified as being like highly political. I was more interested. There were those whispers and what I like to call my book turn signals were these little whispers of, you might not be cut out for this. And I, I remember this other moment where after lectures were done, we'd sent a five hour lecture about world affairs.
Like your brain was about to fall off by the end, in my opinion. And I remember other classmates they would wanna go to happy hour and talk more about it. And I remember thinking like, I'm at capacity. I don't wanna talk more about this. I wanna talk about Britney Spears shaving her head last week, or like whatever pop culture situation is going on.
I just have a multifaceted personality and I remember thinking maybe this political world is too, too dimensional for me. And one thing that I really didn't consider along the way, the biggest turn signal that I can only look back at and really make sense of is my core values. I think far too many people think they know their core values, but they tend to be selecting words that are aspirational words, that are things they wish they were.
Not things that they actually are. So I thought that, I don't know, like security was a core value for me, and you can value something, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's a core value. One of my core values is connection. I would come to learn later, like there's a lot of disconnect and having to work in intelligence, go to foreign countries and turn people against their own state.
There's a lot of disconnect in having to not be honest about who you are for a higher mission, whether it's for the greater good or not. The journey along the way was in direct violation of my core values. So that was just the starting point of me really listening to that. But it was inconvenient. It's really inconvenient not to like your plan, because then you have to undo everything or you just sit with it, which a lot of people do, and I wasn't willing to face it yet.
[00:10:08] Hala Taha: Yeah. And so you went about, graduated your graduate program and started your job hunt. So talk to us about your first job hunt, because you ended up landing a job in the Pentagon, 23 year old, years old, a six figure salary, which is really unheard of for somebody just who graduated grad school, especially back then.
So talk to us about how you ended up landing that first job and what the job hunt was like.
[00:10:33] Ashley Stahl: It's interesting. I remember salaries were lower then because now with inflation things are inflating. But back then, actually I went home after graduate school, which is in Los Angeles where my parents live, and I took an admin job just so that I had some cash coming in while I could job hunt, because those of you who know the government, you know, U S A jobs is the job hunt portal and it is like a cyber abyss of nothingness.
It's based on points, it's like an applicant tracking system on steroids. So I knew I wasn't gonna get through that, which took me the alternate route, which was how do I get in. Through defense contracting. How do I go through private companies? Because what I learned was that private companies were willing to give me a security clearance while I did other admin work that would allow for the time for my security clearance to process for other people who go straight into the government, it's like a chicken or egg situation.
You need a security clearance to get a job, but you can't get a job unless you have a security clearance. So I ended up networking my face off to move to Washington DC in six weeks. I had like $5,000. I lived in a house with bedbugs for $500 a month with a bunch of roommates. You know, I remember this one girl, she was working for USAID and she would leave her underwear all over.
It was just like a brutal living situation. But I sucked it up 'cause I was like, I need to be willing to make this happen. And that was when I learned how to really talk to people. I fell on my face, I said the wrong things. And then I learned my own formula for how to give an elevator pitch, how to talk to someone in a way that creates.
Opportunities. So that was really powerful. That started opening doors for me. Next thing I knew, in six weeks, here's the thing about dc, you can eat free breakfast, lunch, and dinner in that city at networking events because it's just so social. So as a broke graduate, I was able to feed myself and network for six weeks and I ended up getting three job offers and probably having at least 200 cups of coffee.
'cause every networking event, I tell myself I need to meet someone. And I learn these little hacks like if you get there early, usually you're alone with the speaker who's like the most desired person in the room. So there's so many little hacks that I learned about people during that time. And that was what eventually translated into me working at the Pentagon.
And there was a woman named Jane Morris Mosbacher, just Jane Morris at the time. She worked at the State Department for Hillary Clinton and counter terrorism. And she was kind enough to help me leverage all my job offers and. Now she owns a company helping artisans all over the world get seen by companies like J.
Crew. So she's always in third world countries doing beautiful work. But I met some really special people along the way. And I think what I learned from that, for everybody listening, is that if you are willing to get on the bus, sometimes you're in the back, sometimes you're in the front. But if you stay on the freaking bus, you will get lucky.
That's just how it works. And so I got really lucky and got a lot of opportunities and ended up at the Pentagon.
[00:13:39] Hala Taha: Love it. So mental note for myself is we're gonna talk about elevator pitches and your networking hacks later on in this interview, but more of your stories. So you ended up 300% increasing your salary through negotiations, which is incredible.
So like what you were originally offered 40 K and you bumped it up to a hundred k. Or more, I don't know. Who knows? Just you tell me.
[00:14:05] Ashley Stahl: I was making minimum wage in LA as an admin of course, but when I got to DC my job offers ranged from 40 K to 65 K to 70 K, and we ended up negotiating me up to the six figure mark, and she really looked at me and said, this is what people are compensated.
Also, the job that I got for this defense contractor, they had actually filled the job with a lot of colonels from the military. And the reason that those hires weren't working out for them as ideally was because they wanted to delegate, which is what you're taught to do when you're a colonel. And they needed someone who was energetic like you or I, that was willing to go get your hands dirty, go do the work.
And so that was kind of what I had the energy to do, and it took me some pretty wild places.
[00:14:52] Hala Taha: Awesome. So let's talk about changing your path. So you get to DC. You're in this what you thought was your dream job. You've sort of already had some doubts in school, but you get to this amazing job making a six figure salary, you're in the Pentagon.
A lot of people would call this their dream job at that age, right? So what was your feelings like in that first job and when did you start feeling like, okay, I need to make a change?
[00:15:20] Ashley Stahl: Yeah. Well, early into my role there, I was working on Afghanistan and I was working with NATO to help people help the Afghans self govern more effectively when NATO withdrew.
So my job was to help the government vet our best and brightest from all sort of different departments and have them fly to Afghanistan and live there for one to two years and train their Afghan counterparts in the Ministry of Defense in the Ministry of Interior. And that was a time, and I write about this in my book, and my book is mostly about figuring out your career path, but.
I have my story kind of as like the spine of the book. I imagine nobody's as interested in my story as like figuring themselves out. So there's a lot more content in there. But I do talk about how it was a time in Afghanistan where there was a lot of insider attacks, meaning that these counterparts that were paired with US officials would sometimes turn on them because they didn't agree with our government.
They didn't agree with us being there, whatever the reason was. And so I ended up losing some people that I, I sent abroad, which was really devastating. Wow. And that was when I realized I'm too sensitive for this. 'cause I would live my life with these people for six to eight weeks. We would be together every day in DC.
My job was to oversee curriculum, which is interesting 'cause now I have courses online and stuff like that for your career. So it was kind of my first touch at curriculum and it was, what do these people need to prepare to be out there, you know, in what we call the war on terror. Like what did they need to effectively assimilate?
To their life in Afghanistan without creating cultural disruptions. So I hired Afghan generals. I flew them from Kabul to Washington DC to give presentations. We went to military bases. We would do vignettes where fake bombs would go off, you name it. And we would go through real life exercises. I spent time on this military base in Indiana that it felt like the hills have eyes, like it was a psych ward in the eighties, turned into a military base later.
And so it'd be me and a bunch of women from Afghanistan that were there as part of the exercises. And I've really fond memories of them. Like, you know, knocking on my door at 10 night with Booney bread or just like very sweet women. But it was a not your normal job in your early twenties. Most of my friends would be group texting me about their job at a marketing firm, fashion, pr, being an assistant, a production assistant.
All the standard things that you hear when people are finding themselves or choosing their careers. And I was like on a military base and in front of my eyes was like a fake. Sunken village with fake broken cars and like all this stuff that looked really real, by the way, for the purposes of military training.
So I was preparing to work in intelligence and that was my goal. And there's a lot of different roles in the intelligence in C I A world, but ultimately I had to make the decision as a curriculum person to arm everyone who was deploying with a gun, which meant from a curriculum standpoint, training people to have a gun so that they're not more of a threat to themselves than anybody else.
And that was when I realized I'm way too sensitive for this. And so I think a lot of people, we think too much about what we're interested in. And the thing is, there's such a big difference between, I don't know if we talked about this in our last podcast, being like a producer and a consumer of something.
[00:18:41] Hala Taha: I don't think so. I was gonna bring it up to you, but let's get into it now.
[00:18:45] Ashley Stahl: We are consumers of many things. I'm a happy consumer of cupcakes, massages, fashion, politics. That does not mean that I'm meant to be a producer of any of those things. And so for me, it was interesting to realize I love politics, but that doesn't mean I'm meant to be a politician.
I love cupcakes, but I'm a horrible baker. I love fashion, but I'm not meant to be a designer. This is how our brains tend to work when we're young and even later. And I think sometimes we turn our art, our hobbies into work when they're not meant to be there. And that's why the primary message of my book and every single chapter of the 12 has a core concept like core values, core essence, core skillset.
The message is don't do what you love, do what you are. And every chapter of the book is here to help you figure out, well, who are you? And that whole time in my life, I ended up actually being so all my friends were like, how did you get a job offer? It was the recession. So I started hosting little coffee groups on Sundays in DC.
And everybody ended up having me rewrite their resume. I was helping them and they would all say, you should be a career coach. And I was like, what does that even mean? Do they stand on the sidelines of your career? Like a hockey coach and like here for you like, and then I Googled career coach and I saw a bunch of like purple websites, which I have nothing against the color.
It was just very touchy feely stuff. And I was in not touchy-feely land at the Pentagon. And I just remember thinking like, what is this? And then I ended up getting the confidence to start my business anyway. And that's what took me out of the Pentagon and turned into my business with online courses for your career?
Actually, right now I'm carrying some skills for my time at the Pentagon that people don't really know. But I was friends with a lot of the speech writing team in Obama's administration, and so I've always been a good speech writer. My TED Talk has hit the top 100 the past few years, and I've actually written 40 speeches for Ted the past year.
Wow. And 39 of those people on stage. Let's talk. Yeah. Yeah. And so it's been really magical because I never would've, you know, that's the thing about life. You don't really know what skills you're gonna revisit. I left the Pentagon thinking this is complete, and all I did was put time in. I wouldn't realize 10 years later after having online courses, getting a book deal.
Weird fact, my book is a bestseller in Asia. Like I don't even have anybody out there. But it somehow dropped in Asia and did really well. Amazing. So all my courses are being licensed in Asia, and it's like, you just never know. So circling back a decade later and identifying more than anything as a writer and a speech writer and being able to write people's stories, I never would've thought my time at the Pentagon would've contributed to that.
But Obama, like him or not, he's a pretty good speaker and he had a speech writing framework that I learned. And so I've been writing TED Talks in that framework. I wrote my TED Talks in that framework for so many clients now, and it's just been. So unexpected that my life has taken me kind of back home to myself, which is the intention all along.
[00:21:59] Hala Taha: It's so great. I love stories like this and you'd be surprised how often people come on the show where they had some sort of career pivot and they took the skills that they learned in one area and applied them to a new area and all their other skill sets, and then they just blow up with success. And it's because nobody can uniquely offer the things that you're offering, right?
Nobody has the same experiences that you have and now you can package them up in a way that makes you so different and commanding and confident and, and everything like that. So congratulations on all your success. It's awesome what you've turned one career into the next, like you've totally transitioned and made a U-turn, as you call it.
So let's talk about your book, since we're already talking about U-turns. You call your book U-Turn. What does that mean exactly?
[00:22:45] Ashley Stahl: Yeah. Instead of a U-turn, like U take in traffic, it's a Y O U-turn. And to me it means that critical moment of transformation. Where you get really honest with yourself about some area of your life that just isn't working.
And I don't see myself as a guru. I feel like I'm everybody's friend just doing my work on myself too. But this concept was a phrase that I would tell myself all the time, like, I need to leave the Pentagon and make a U-turn. And I, I would comment like this. And so it just felt right to make it about my book.
And a lot of publishers wanted to call my book, find Your Dream Career and like slap a title onto it. But I wanted it to have the soul that I feel like it really holds. And it's been really cool to, um, see people resonating with the message and wanting to come home to themselves. So I think the number one rule when you're making a U-turn is that life is an experiment and the cost of admission of a fulfilling life is to make mistakes.
And it's not that we. Enjoy them. It's not that we look forward to them, but if we can accept them as a part of the process without making ourselves wrong for them existing, I think that's been really huge for me. Too many people put so much pressure on their career that I don't think they'll be able to figure it out if they live like that.
[00:24:05] Hala Taha: So interesting. And you say that core nature is really important and it basically, it's a voice inside of us emanating from who we really are deep down. So talk to us about core nature, how we can figure out what our core nature is.
[00:24:20] Ashley Stahl: Yeah, I feel like your core nature is really your essence. It's the energy and it's how the room changes when you walk in.
So I feel like Halo, yours is actually quite fun to be around. You're bubbly, you're very like sharp, businesswoman, capable, so you come off as real bubbly, no nonsense business capabilities. I feel like the room can feel that when you walk in, like you're around somebody who's competent, you're around somebody who wants to chat, you're around somebody who wants to play.
I feel like my core essence when I ask people and, and this is a power tool, is to ask people, how does the room change when I walk in? How does the room feel different because I'm in it? People always tell me like there's a deep soulful, like wise energy that I bring, non-judgmental, authentic, also sense of humor.
So I think that it's really the adjectives, maybe the top three or four that you hear from people that you think really get a good sense of you and how they would describe your energy when you walk into a room. So I actually had a woman at the Pentagon, I call her Jeanette in the book, just protect everybody's names, and she said to me, I had this whole moment when I opened up.
Well, first of all, I start the book when I'm in preschool at my graduation and I'm standing at the mic and I'm supposed to say what I wanted to be when I grew up and. It's funny because I said at the mic, I wanna be a writer, I wanna be a poet. And I left that right, like I went into defense and then I came home to that and now I'm writing all these TED talks for all these people.
And so it's interesting, I came home to the poet, I made the ultimate U-turn. But I remember this woman I, I wouldn't get, there was a little bit of like sexism with one of my counterparts, my colleagues and you know, he was kind of like all you would think about a little bit misogynistic as a woman when you're like in a place like D o d, department of Defense.
So he made a joke that I don't get a desk because I need to earn it just like women do in Afghanistan. That was like his literal, whoa. So it was day one and later I'd find out he was making a bunch more money than I was in the same job. So that was really hard to hear. But I remember this woman, Jeanette.
I think that the circumstances in there, even though I was getting paid well, even though I was using my degree, I had all the skills and I had a lot to be proud of. I remember feeling kind of low 'cause you can only be around people that see you in a dark light. So long until you sometimes start to question yourself.
No matter how much work you do, your environment matters. And so it wasn't like he had anything to say about my work. I was new there, but there was just that energy of misogyny. And it's funny 'cause people always say it's not really funny, but people are like, oh, how was that male dominated space? I'm like, you know what?
I met a lot of amazing men at the Pentagon that treated me with so much respect, helped my career, showed up for me, like no dramas. This was just one person. And I like to be clear about that. But I remember this woman, Jeanette, she moved to DC from the South. 'cause her son was in the Marines. She wanted to be near him.
She worked in like hr. And I came crying to her like, I feel so stupid. I don't have a desk. I can't even write this intelligence report. She found something in a closet like a drawer, three stack of drawers. And she put a chair there and she's like, this is gonna be her desk until we find you a desk. And I remember I said, well, maybe I don't even deserve a desk.
And she said, oh, Ashley, You are bold, you are communicative, you are wise. The room changes when you walk in. And we need that. It's like a ray of sunshine in here for all of us. And I never forgot that. And that was my introduction to core energy, core essence, core nature. It's all the same term to me. And she gave me a gift that woman, like her ability to reflect back to me who I was.
And I think that we all have, you know, there's different types of mentors in the workplace. There's a sponsor, which to me, a sponsor is somebody in your job if you have a job or if you have a business, a little bit different in a job where they advocate for you. They say your name when nobody, when you're not there, they're making sure that you get opportunities.
I love to be that person for my friends. Really lights me up to be in rooms. I just throw people out there as like possibilities for things. Puts a little pep in my step. Then there's the Wise Owl mentor, that's the one that's all about legacy. They've been there, they've done that. They're happy to talk to you.
Then I think the third one is one that I've used quite a bit is the paid mentor. This is someone like, I don't know, people call me a coach, but I feel like I'm more of like a coach consultant because I feel like consultants advise you on what to do and coaches ask a lot of questions.
But yeah, the core nature was so huge, and what I realized is that if you get feedback from people on your core nature, you can start to tune in to people who match your energy. Like if you start to listen to those adjectives people give you, you start to ask yourself, do these feel true?
Are these my core energy? Are these my core nature? Then I would say, well, who do you know that has a similar nature and what are they up to? And there's a second piece of the puzzle. I mean, there's many pieces in the book, but another piece that you'd mentioned that I talk about is your core skillset.
It's like there are some, a lot of people who are bubbly, who are communicative, but they might have different core skill sets. So it's important that you add that. It's almost like layer cake, like the bottom of the cake that holds you is your energy, and there's a lot more to it. It's not just how the room changes when you walk in.
It's also are you an introvert or an extrovert? And I know there's a lot of research on being an ambivert, but picking a lane really helps for this because if let's say words is your core skillset, that's mine. Then if you're an introvert, that's gonna look like I'm such a loner with these TED Talks.
You'll find me in cafes, I talk to my clients 'cause they're all walks of life, right? Like celebrities, billionaires, random people in the workplace. It's all sorts of humans that I'm writing stories 'cause that's what I love about Ted. You don't need to be anyone other than someone who has a story and me getting to pull people's story out.
But you'll find me as an introvert in coffee shops most of the time. That's what my energy supports. I used to go on speaking tours. I used to have a speaking agent and I could do it, but I was dying because I feel all the eyeballs on me and I need to sleep for an entire day After that,
[00:30:35] Hala Taha: I'm the opposite.
Yeah. More eyeballs. The more I'm like, yeah, this is so excited.
[00:30:40] Ashley Stahl: Oh my God. How do you do that?
[00:30:42] Hala Taha: I don't know. I get so excited from all the attention.
[00:30:45] Ashley Stahl: I love it. When you do a speaking engagement, do you prepare a lot? I love it. No.
[00:30:50] Hala Taha: Wow. I had a speaking engagement two days ago and there was a thousand people in the room.
I prepped my deck of course beforehand, but I really just did the slides and didn't even practice, and then while I was getting my makeup done, I practiced and I crushed it.
[00:31:03] Ashley Stahl: Oh my God. I want you to send it to me. Will you send it to me? I wanna see, of course. In your magic. And if you're ever speaking in Miami, you have to tell me I wanna come watch.
I was just in Miami speaking. I'm literally yesterday. No. Yeah, I really wanna see you. That's so cool. See, that's the thing, when I look at my speaking career, I love writing the speech. 'cause the poet in me gets to feel, but the delivery and the eyeballs, like no thanks. And so I do it when I have to do it.
And I'm great at it when I do it, but I'm not having my best life when I'm doing it. I have a lot of gratitude when people ask me questions and I see that I'm helping them and I do get in a flow state, but what it puts my body through, I would never build a career around it. And so I think for people listening, it's like once you know your core nature, that's the bottom of the layer.
Cake. Are you an introvert or an extrovert also? Energy levels. I have gotten Lyme disease, not once, but twice in my life. Like I've gotten two different tick bites for it, so I guess I'm like really supposed to have it, but I don't have that many symptoms outside of, I get sick easily. But the reason that's relevant is because I remember being a kid and like I would get a cold and most people they'll kick it in like a week.
Mine would be like six weeks, and so I would probably have Colts for like four weeks of the year. I had to get my tonsils out recently, which is such a cluster. If you're an adult, it was interesting for me because I realized like I am not capable of being in the workforce.
I'm not capable of having to run it by someone to be sick because there are many times, like you told me this morning, you woke up not feeling well and you kicked it with a bunch of ginger shots. For me, it's like if I don't feel well, I need to be the one that takes the hit for that. I don't want anyone else to take the hit for that If I cancel things.
I just remember thinking corporate is never gonna work, and so that drove me in my career and I think that that's huge. For your schedule, what is your rhythm? I do my best work from like 3:00 PM onwards, so I tend to work from like three to eight. I don't do anything before noon. So I think it's just important for people to kind of know what is your energy levels.
Because if you are honest with yourself, there are certain careers you really do need to just rule out they're not gonna work. And I think that people miss that when they think too much about their skillset. Like, oh, I'm good at words, or I'm good at service, I'm a humanitarian, I'm a helper. I'm good at technology.
But what's your energy levels? 'cause that's a part of the layer cake just as much as your skillset. This
[00:33:32] Hala Taha: is all super interesting. it's super, super helpful. I think anybody who's looking to do a career transition or just curious about, maybe they should have a career transition, they should really read your book.
So let's go over the core 10 skill sets in detail. I'm gonna rattle them off. Quick fire, and then you just like give us a minute of what we need to know about each one. So the first one is innovation.
[00:33:56] Ashley Stahl: Yes. Okay. So this is for the intrapreneur or the entrepreneur, and it really depends on your relationship to security and freedom.
So usually the intrapreneur is obviously their own book of business under the portfolio of brand, or they're the second in command. Second to the C E O, that's perfect for you. If you care too much about your financial security, you're not a huge risk taker, but you want the autonomy to take some risks and you're okay with working with someone's idea.
Or if you're an entrepreneur, it usually means you have too much pain, creative pain. If you're doing other people's ideas, too much pain, being on a salary, not taking risks, then you're meant to be the innovator entrepreneur.
[00:34:32] Hala Taha: Interesting. I'm gonna tell you what I think my core skillset is after all of this building.
[00:34:38] Ashley Stahl: Yeah. So this is quite literal or figurative. So the builders can be like a brand builder. Somebody who sees the world mentally through stacking, they see it through building, or it can be someone who's literally in construction using their hands to build. You wanna think about these skill sets, not just as skills, but energies that you're stepping into.
So it's the energy of building technology. Pretty straightforward. It's for the techies. Everything from the artificial intelligence creators to the IT genius bar, kings and queens. We need them. Motion. Motion is for everyone from the fitness influencers who want to be teaching people personal training to dancers.
It's people who are physical in their career service. These are for the helpers, the humanitarians, the customer service. These people need to be careful with the question of, are you really a helper or is this a coping me mechanism that you learned in your upbringing? Did you learn that being a helper is the way to show up and keep your family unit together?
Or are you actually just genuinely someone that likes to be of service beauty? This is for the artists. This is for the musicians. This is for the makeup artists, the interior designers. These are for the people who wanna make art of the world around them in some way, and they lead with that coordination.
These are for the operations people who cross the T's dot the i's the event managers. The project managers, the operations managers. I'm so grateful for them 'cause I have none of that skillset analysis. Okay, so this is actually a really powerful example. When I got into the Pentagon, I thought that, oh my gosh, I get to write a lot of intelligence reports.
I'm a good writer, right? No, I was actually in the analysis skillset, and that's a totally different side of the brain than creative writing. So this is an example of how people can misunderstand their skill sets. So analysis is what it sounds. It's for the academics, it's for the researchers, it's for the analytical thinkers, numbers, number crunchers, straightforward bookkeepers, investment managers, finance people.
If you're a number cruncher, you tend to know it. You love math. And there's so many different careers under that umbrella for you.
[00:36:51] Hala Taha: Yeah, it's so interesting 'cause as you're saying this list, I'm also thinking about my weakest areas and how I've hired people to fill them. And like my biggest support system at my company are like, for example, numbers.
I'm really good at it. And when I'm passionate about something like how to retain an audience on your podcast, like, okay, I'm crunching numbers 'cause I'm just passionate about that topic. But anything else, I'm like, please, like just I'll make money. You, you handle the books, right? So innovation is definitely, after you read all those, innovation is my top quality.
Which one does words fall under then for you?
[00:37:23] Ashley Stahl: That's words. That would be the 10th one. That's the final skillset. I think we went through maybe nine of them. So, oh, I was gonna say, where did words go? You're, yeah, that's the final one. So words is mine and these are for the wordsmiths. So whether you're a speaker and you're an extrovert, or whether you're a writer like me and more of an introvert,
[00:37:41] Hala Taha: I love that.
Awesome. So if our core skills are not immediately apparent to us, what do we do to figure them out?
[00:37:48] Ashley Stahl: There's a lot of research on this, the best question to ask people. And again, I reference asking people questions and I think it's powerful. But also, don't outsource your intuition. Trust yourself too. So I would say asking people, where have you seen me at my best?
Where have you really seen me make an impact, especially professionally? Can you ask a couple colleagues? Even your boss, that's gold. Professors, friends, parents, parents always have a really interesting perspective. I feel like a lot of people, there's this term in psychology, I have my graduate degree in psychology as well.
There's this term called fantasy bond. I think a lot of people have a fantasy bond with their parents where it's like this idea that we have an incredible closeness to our parents. 'cause it makes us feel safe to believe that when really sometimes we aren't really who we are in front of them or we're almost in like our family's patterns and ways of being to the point where we're not self discovering.
So sometimes your parents are a great group of people to ask. Sometimes they're not because they see you through this limited lens that you're not.
[00:38:48] Hala Taha: Hmm, interesting. So basically, if you're struggling to find out, you ask your friends, your coworkers, colleagues,
[00:38:54] Ashley Stahl: yeah, yeah. Where have you seen me at my best professionally?
And start to notice what skillset you're using when people comment it and ask yourself, where do you feel like you were at your best professionally? What were you doing?
[00:39:04] Hala Taha: So talk to us about how we can figure out if a job is not for us, by understanding our core skill sets, our core nature and energy, how can we determine like, okay, this job is just not working for me and I need to make a change.
[00:39:19] Ashley Stahl: There's two core dynamics. There's the what and there's the how. So the what is about your core skillset? What are you doing all day? What are the tasks that's directly tied to your core skillset? You could be a coder, like a techie at Disney, the same way you could do it for Victoria's Secret. You know what I mean?
Like the industry is irrelevant because, I mean, it matters based on the backdrop that you're standing in, but. Foreground is truly your skillset. That's what's holding your career. That's what you're harnessing and sharpening and growing in your career. So that's the what. But the second piece that we kind of touched on is the how, and this is where I think a lot of people go the wrong direction in their career.
The how has to do with your core values. So let's say that your skillset is words and you're a salesperson and you're an extrovert, so that makes sense, right? But let's say you're selling something you don't believe in and a core value is integrity, and you feel out of integrity selling the thing.
That's a core value issue. It's not a skillset issue. That person, to me, I'm gonna say, you know what? You still make sense for being in sales and being the extrovert and words person you are. There's so many other things you could do as an extroverted words person, but this is one thing that does make sense.
Here's the real problem, it helps me diagnose. There's a couple other things. Like I see careers as if it's three lily pads. So the first lily pad, I think a lot of people are on it, which is, I'm fine. I mean, maybe not the people listening here 'cause they're, it's such an act of self-development to listen to a show like this, but I'm fine.
Maybe they don't love what they're doing, but it's working for them in some way. They're paying their bills, they don't wanna think about it. Whatever majority of the population is there. That's why we're seeing 71% of the workforce that are disengaged with their jobs, trying to get another job or starting businesses.
The second lily pad is what I try to bring people to, which is knowing your zone of genius. And I've been in and out of a lot of companies helping their employees figure this out because they don't want their employees to leave anymore. They wanna just like reassign them somewhere that they're happy.
And so what's been interesting about this one is helping people figure out their zone of genius is an experiment. So when you're swimming from Lily pad one of, I'm fine to lily pad two, there's a lot of temptation to clinging onto things for the sake of having something, for the sake of having a plan.
That is very distracting and that can send you completely off. And so it's really important that you're able to get yourself into a place of saying, I'm in an experiment. I'm in the in-between. I'm trying things on and trying things on. Could be as simple as listening to podcasts, reading books, talking to people.
It could be as complex as taking a job and moving to a new city. You're still in the process of trial and error. And like people say, fail fast, try it on. And if you don't like it, accept it and move forward. I had a client once who got a job offer in Berlin and he was based in San Francisco and he's like, should I take it?
Should I not? And he was in so much agony trying to make that decision, and I remember trying to coach him on seeing how much it doesn't matter if he moves, what happens? How much are you gonna lose on your lease if you cancel it early in your apartment in San Francisco? Okay, so you're gonna lose $5,000.
How much of a pay raise is this? $50,000. Okay. What happens if you don't like it? Well, I guess I pack myself up and come back, okay, if you do that, how much do you have in your savings? Like da da, da. How long do you think it's gonna take you again? Then he realized like, wow, this isn't that big of a deal.
I'm gonna go try this on. He ended up loving it and it transformed his career. So I think it's really important that we give ourselves permission to be in the human experience, and that means being experimental. And that gets you to that second lily pad. And once you're locked in there, once you know your core skillset, life becomes a game of yes or no.
Your career becomes a game of do I want this opportunity or I don't, do I not? Because we all know when we see someone that's in their zone of genius, it's obvious. It's actually quite rare. It's really special. I have someone on my team that I'm like, man, you're such a boss. You are so capable and competent.
I don't see her as somebody that works for me. I see her as somebody that works with me. 'cause she's just so capable. And when people like her exist and she's clicked into what she's meant to be doing, everybody wants to work with her. The thing about opportunities is that they're just as abundant as they are.
Distracting. Opportunities can be a form of distraction when you're not intentional about the ones that you take. So really sitting with yourself of like, okay, this is my skillset and I'm gonna play the game of filtering through because people are gonna notice it, my yeses and my nos. And if people aren't noticing and you feel stuck, then start creating more opportunities.
Start getting out there and talking to people because people can hear you and see on your resume and see through your stories if what you are talking about really makes sense. And you have that gift. What about the third lily pad? Yeah, so that one is the one that I don't see everybody making their way to, and it's not better or worse, but I think that's really dharma.
I wrote my book from the third lily pad, and it takes one to know one. You can kind of see people on it like Kobe Bryant, you know, like rest in peace. I feel like people would see athletes like him and they were like, he's high on life in a different way. He's really in his dharma. And I think it's a lot of pressure to be in our purpose all the time.
And I don't necessarily think our purpose is always in work. Like we spend 90,000 hours of our life at work. That's two-thirds of our time awake on the planet. Like I get that we want it to make sense and to feel good. But the Dharma lily pad is really, when you've done the experiments and you've been willing to swim lily pads, you've not held onto plans for the sake of having them, but you've really let yourself be in the unknown.
I've been in a season of, I don't know, for like two to three years, and the difference between me and the people who aren't figuring it out and the fact that I did figure it out was that I didn't force ideas upon myself. I let my business be a crockpot, like a low simmer with the services that resonated for me, whether it was my career coaching clients and it took me years and then I finally realized I wanna write these TED talks.
And it has been like floodgates coming in writing these and, 'cause it's not just writing them, but booking people on stage. We work with a booker who does that. So it's just been eye-opening to realize like, you know, Joe Dispenza, he talks about the quantum field and how all these ideas exist in the quantum field.
And it's so funny 'cause when I thought about offering these TED speeches and bookings, that idea was always on the shelf. Like my TED Talk's been doing really well for a long time. I've written them for a couple business coaching clients or whatever have you. I never would've thought, oh, I'm gonna go offer these.
But that was an option for me five years ago. But I pulled it off of the Quantum Field shelf now. And I think what happens is you have to allow yourself to be in those seasons and order to pull things off the shelf when you're ready to do them.
[00:46:05] Hala Taha: I love that. And I can even think of my own story and career, and it's the same thing.
It's like I just offer the services and do the things that feel right. Right now. There's no big master plan. I'm not like in five years I'm gonna do X, Y, z. I'm just like, in this moment, this feels right and I know I can do it well and I'm gonna just attack it. So question for you and then we'll, we're gonna get into core values in a bit, 'cause I know we didn't cover that in detail.
But in terms of the core skill sets, I feel like my strongest one is innovation, but I also feel like I'm good at many of those things that you said. Do you just have like an order? Do you put them in order or something? What if you feel like you're good at a lot of those things?
[00:46:45] Ashley Stahl: Yeah, I mean, you are a queen, so I'm not surprised, but I will say a lot of people resonate with at least a few of them.
What's important I think, is that you pick which one you're leading with in your career the most because that's what influences your impact and your bank account, your impact, your fulfillment, your bank account. You can't sharpen three skill sets all the time. So I would say 70% of the time you wanna be in your core skillset, and then the other 30 you can be in other ones, but at least 70%.
You wanna be sharpening that and harnessing that.
[00:47:25] Hala Taha: So let's move on to core values. Earlier you mentioned that a lot of people think values are what, what they want to be. It's aspirational or they think that that's their values, but really it's aspirational. Can you help distinguish with us in terms of what values exactly are, how we can go about determining our values?
[00:47:43] Ashley Stahl: Yeah, for sure. So this describes it the best. I had a client who, he said adventure was a core value. And I said, okay, what's adventure mean to you? And he was like, skydiving, adrenaline, sports. And then this other girl who lives in Miami, she was a client years ago and she, uh, was making a career pivot. So she came to me and I was like, okay, adventure, what does that mean to you?
Because she told me adventure as well. And she said it was trying new restaurants in Miami. And I just remember being like, we need to define this. And this applies not just in our career, but in our relationships. The amount of people that are like, oh, me and my partner have the same values, but. For example, I just saw religion drive a couple apart.
They both thought that they valued religion, but the way it shows up is so different that it was, it was really a point of disconnect and not a point of connection for them. As far as being too aspirational goes, I had a client that I'll never forget, she was an attorney and she picked the word peace.
And I remember being like, you are a lot of things, but, and I know that you don't enjoy being a litigator all these years 'cause you're done with it. But peaceful is not one of them because if peace was truly a core value, you would've never ended up in this career. Your core values are the non-negotiable, fundamental principles by which you actively live your life.
So these are the core ingredients to your being. If you remove one, you are not there anymore, is the idea. So if you remove like wisdom, I'm not me anymore.
[00:49:11] Hala Taha: Yeah. Values always get me tripped up. I'm not gonna lie because a lot of people choose things and activities as their values. I feel like values are your decision making compass that you use when something's going wrong.
You can't think logically. So for me, like values might be like hard work or ambition or something like this, but then when people say something like adventure, I just don't understand how that's a value. I know that might be like too, yeah, no part of a question.
[00:49:40] Ashley Stahl: But there are people out there that when they're living their life, they feel happy and they feel fulfilled and they feel themselves when their life has an element of adventure.
But it depends on what that means for them. Right? So this guy, he literally does a adrenaline sports. Like every year he goes skiing in the Alps and like goes down the moguls and in between the trees. That's adventure for him. It's terrifying for me. But I think that without those activities, without those commitments, he's not him.
He's like a shell. So I think it's important to ask yourself, what are the words that represent the real truth of me? Not what I wanna be, and what you want more of is great to know. It's just not your core value.
[00:50:20] Hala Taha: Yeah. Okay. That's helpful. So in your book, you also lay out how certain limiting beliefs and blocks can keep us from doing what we need to do in order to advance our careers.
Can you talk about some of those limiting beliefs?
[00:50:32] Ashley Stahl: Yeah. Anyone who's listening right now, if you just write on a piece of paper, I'm not where I wanna be in my career because fill in the blank. I'm not in my, where I wanna be in my career or my business because this, that, or the other thing. Usually it's a limiting belief.
Sometimes it's true, right? Like my sister-in-law, she's from Panama, and she married my brother years ago. She wasn't where she wanted to be in her career because her Visa application hadn't come through and she couldn't get hired or whatever. These things were. Those are, there's some real logistics, but a lot of us will say like, oh, we need more experience, or we need to do this, or we need to do that.
To me, that's a limiting belief. Also, I think a gateway into your limiting beliefs is when you feel like your piece is disturbed. So to me, a limiting belief is a thought that you keep thinking that isn't working for you. That might not even be true.
I think that the portal into it is when you feel your piece is disturbed.
So if you feel a little stickiness in your chest, you feel a little tenseness in your day, the best thing you could do for yourself is pause just for a second, even if it means going to the restroom 'cause you're in a meeting. Maybe somebody said something and it's triggering something for you, but being able to ask yourself, what am I thinking right now that's making me feel so sticky?
And usually it's something that you don't have to be buying into. Our brains are like the NASDAQ ticker, just information going through and we don't have to believe any of it. Everything's made up. You don't. Might as well pick things that are helpful to tell ourselves.
Another thing that Byron Katie from The Loving What is Book Talks about, which is a great book for limiting beliefs.
She talks a lot about loving what is, and really taking a look at, is this true? How do I know for sure that this is really true? A hundred percent can you say with 100% certainty. It's true. Also picking evidence for the contrary. Do you have any evidence that this is not true? The thing about our neuropathways is that they tend to keep replicating themselves and doing the same things.
And I'm no neuroscience expert, but I know enough from reading enough research at this point, working in psychology, that it takes a lot of work to rewire our neuro pathways. So one of the most powerful tools that I like to do is forgive myself. So when I realize I'm in a limiting belief, when I realize I'm in a sticky belief.
So maybe you're in a meeting and somebody says something and you have a belief that you're not valuable in your conversation, you can go to the bathroom. What's causing you stickiness? This is the thought. And then I like to say, I forgive myself for buying into the belief that forgive myself for buying into the belief.
And I'll say it in silence. I'll put my hand over my heart in the bathroom stall. And I, I forgive myself for buying into the belief that I'm not providing value for this meeting. The truth is just because I'm more introverted. I'm more reflective, does not mean that I'm not providing value. It just means that I'm not the squeakiest wheel.
I'm not the loudest value provider. And the thing about that is I go into the truth. The truth is this, right? I said it actually means this. So forgive yourself for what the limiting belief is for buying into it, and then update it with the truth is, and it's not very powerful if you're like, the truth is I am valuable.
'cause then you're just playing pinging pong with yourself. But if you can get into a real deeper truth of like, well, the truth is, I'm just very this way. I had a story that my boyfriend, who's the best guy ever was an introvert, or he is not. He just takes a minute to warm up to people and he's a private person.
So I used to be like, or no, not even introverts, kind of a ruder story. Like, oh, he is a little bit antisocial. Not true at all. He has more best friends than anybody I've ever met in my life. He takes a minute to be an observer. Take in the room, right? What if he believed he was antisocial or even just me believing it?
I had to forgive myself. I forgive myself for buying into the belief that he's antisocial. The truth is he's an observer. He takes in the room, he's very thoughtful, he's very mindful of when he starts to contribute. So there's new stories we could tell ourselves all the time, and I, I see this forgiveness as like a boulder that you chip away at every time you forgive yourself.
Sometimes it's a little chip that comes off. Sometimes it's a big chip that comes off, but it's a lifelong practice because if you think about your beliefs, like we all have an inner thermostat for our belief system, and it's usually set by our parents unless we question it, unless we take a look at it.
So I grew up in a house where my dad lost his a lot of money when we were young. He lost all of his fortune. We were privileged to even have any in the first place, and we, we ended up almost claiming bankruptcy. And that really influenced my belief system about money, that you can lose it, that you can't have fun without it, that you're, you don't get parent, you know?
It was just so many different beliefs. It wasn't until later that I questioned. All of those, like, is this really true? Even he used to, in his money wounds, we would drive by houses in Malibu and he would be like, oh, that's a $10 million house. I remember as an adult looking at the house being like, oh, that's like $10 million.
Like I just inherited his belief. I remember seeing one for sale one day and it said 3.5. And it's not to say that I had $3.5 million, but it was to say that it was helpful for me to realize that I was buying into his limits. And the thing about our parents is that we live with them for more years, that we underestimate, like I'm 36 years old, I left my parents' house at 21, so I have more years living under their beliefs like a teabag sitting in a cup of tea.
You know, like I'm just this teabag soaking them up and I have less years on my own. I'm still rewiring those beliefs. So I think that puts it into perspective for some people.
[00:55:53] Hala Taha: Yeah. And Ashley, you really are very wise. You really have so many. Unique thoughts that are just so interesting and so well-spoken.
So words is definitely your thing. And why is this definitely your energy. So as we close out this interview, let's focus on networking. And I wanna start with the concept of rerouting. You talk a lot about it in your book. Talk to us about what rerouting is and what you do in your career to reroute.
[00:56:19] Ashley Stahl: Yeah, I would say one practice that I love is journaling.
And I love to write at the top of my journal and I don't do it every day, but when I'm feeling called, I write, what do you need me to know? And I believe there's something called Morning Pages in the artist way that suggests this. I've, I haven't read it yet, but I really wanna read it. It's just lower on my list.
'cause I have so many books for my, my own podcast guests that I have coming on, which I'm excited to have you come on. But I would say rerouting is the process of going inward, paying attention to the turn signal is the little moments, the little whispers that you get from your intuition. Um, my company, even though it's branded as my name, it's actually called Wise Whisper.
I think it's because intuition is a wise whisper, and once you start to pay attention to the turn signals and you are willing to listen to them, you're actually in a process of rerouting. So you're able to start to think, well, if this isn't for me, then what is, and whenever I feel like my career is flatlining, it's at a plateau, it's not interesting.
I realize one of the best things that I could do is have more conversations, because conversations are a super high way for clarity, and it doesn't have to be with anybody in particular. Obviously it helps to be pointed at it. Like find 20 people working with your core skillset and ask them how they feel about what they do.
You're gonna get a lot of information about what's next for you. It's inevitable. But I actually have conversations at the grocery store, like I just make a commitment when it's conversation time to put away my phone when I'm out and just be like, okay, I don't need to be on all the time, but I need to be available for a conversation.
And that intention, just intention being like my intention. To have open energy for conversations. And I'll always have different starters like, Hey, how's it going? Or, I don't usually talk about the weather, but it just depends on whatever. But I just open myself up to people and this practice has changed my whole life.
I got a huge spokesperson. I've, I've been a spokesperson for SoFi. I've been their national spokesperson for four years. I'm pretty sure that came through just like a random bathroom line conversation with someone. So you just never know who is listening or who you're talking to. And I, I talk about that in my book, my first networking event in dc.
I ended up talking to the taxi driver and I went with this Marine to that networking event, and he was like, why are you wasting all your time talking to this cab driver? And turns out he drove for the Clintons and he got me a meeting at the White House. So you just never know who you're talking to.
[00:58:44] Hala Taha: Yeah. Wow. You gotta be open for those conversations and treat everybody like they could be the C E O, you know, even if they're driving an Uber. Very cool. So, Last couple questions. Let's stick on networking. Still talk to us about how introverts can be better networkers and some of the tips that you mentioned in DC that you learned in terms of like how to hack a networking event.
[00:59:08] Ashley Stahl: Yeah, yeah. Well, first of all, I know you asked me about, uh, elevator pitch. So the first thing about introverts is just the mindset. You don't need to go into networking events or networking situations with a spray and pray mentality. My assignment for introverted networkers is just set a quota. Is it two kindred spirits?
Three kinder spirits? Tell yourself I'm allowed to leave after I've created lasting and real connections with three kindred spirits tonight. People that I really relate to, people that I enjoy talking to, maybe the first five people you talk to, they really don't count. If you're honest with yourself, you're not enjoying them.
So it's about quality over quantity. For them, it's about follow up. It's about nurturing your network. It's about offering value, staying in touch. As far as the elevator pitch goes, I think this is just advice for anyone, and I go in depth in the book about it, I think in the second half. But the most important thing to have in your elevator pitch, it's a four-part process.
So I'll give you the gold part of it since we're at the end, is your goal. So let's say you're talking to somebody, they're like, tell me about yourself. Well, first of all, you need to have your ear trained for an invitation into your elevator pitch, because it might not sound like what you think. It might not sound like, tell me about yourself.
It might sound like what brought you here? Or What are you doing? Or, you know, but it's all the same. It's an elevator pitch invite. And so you'll go into your pitch and at the end you wanna say, well, so that's what brings me here. At the moment, I'm looking to transition into pr, particularly in the fashion world, or at the moment, I'm really focused on meeting more podcasters who want representation for sponsors, right?
Like you have your agency holla. So having a very succinct one-liner that's like, here's what I'm focused on at the moment, letting it dangle in the air. Is really, really powerful for your elevator pitch. And another power question to ask people is, do you have any suggestions for how I can stand out as a candidate for X, Y, or Z?
So let's say you're a business owner and you wanna get a client, you know, or a contract, or if you're a job seeker, when you say that, it invites people to help you. If you're in the workforce, they might say, oh, well, I can pass your resume to hr. That'll get you to stand out. If you're a business owner, it might be like, oh, I know someone that needs those services, right?
Or, I know someone that needs what you're offering. So I think it's just about constantly putting it out there, asking for feedback and being conversational.
[01:01:27] Hala Taha: I love it. Well, Ashley, this is such a great episode. Yeah. Bam. If you're looking to make a U-turn in your career, then there's so much for you to digest from this episode.
Start off with figuring out who you are, identifying your core nature, your skillset sets your values, your interests. Figure out what makes you tick, and don't be confined by limiting beliefs. Ashley, before we go, what is one actionable thing our young and profits can do today to become more profitable tomorrow?
[01:01:54] Ashley Stahl: Hmm. I have to go back to the having more conversations. Think right now. Who are five people or types of people that you should be talking to to expand your goals? Write 'em down, pick one and go for it.
[01:02:08] Hala Taha: And what is your secret to profiting in life? And this can go beyond careers or finance or anything like that.
[01:02:15] Ashley Stahl: Sustainability. I think that in entrepreneurship, people talk too much about starting and making money and not enough about keeping it going. And keeping it going has to do a lot with what we talked about, which is your core energy levels. So I've built a business that works with my energy levels.
Sometimes I see you holla and I'm like so inspired because you have so much energy. I'm more inward. So for me, I've built a business. I probably work like no more than three to four hours a day. And the things that I do do are with a lot of intention and power. Then I step back and honoring my core energy levels.
That translates into my pricing. How many clients I take on a lot of intention that keeps me sustainable. And there's nothing more trite than someone who starts too strong and can't keep it up, and I don't want that for anybody listening.
[01:03:01] Hala Taha: So interesting. You're so right. Everybody has different energy levels and you can be successful no matter what your energy levels are, because you're extremely successful as well, even though I'm more of the type of person that works 12 to 15 hours a day, right?
So it's just so different. Okay, where can our listeners find out about you? Get your book, U-Turn. Tell us about your podcast. Tell us where we can find you.
[01:03:22] Ashley Stahl: thank you for having me. You're so good at this. I can see why you're climbing in the charts and like making such an impact. Seriously. My website's, Ashley stahl.com, s T A H L.
You'll find everything on there. Or my podcast, the U-Turn Podcast, Y O U, my book. Coaching everything that you could ever think about, and I would be so honored to hear from you on Instagram at Ashley Stahl. Let me know what you thought of this episode. Grateful to have Hala on my show. All your wisdom and yeah, just so grateful to be here.
[01:03:51] Hala Taha: Was such a great conversation. You dropped so many gems. Thank you so much, Ashley, for coming on Young and Profiting podcast.
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