Ashley J. Hassard is a Canadian entrepreneur, teacher, publisher, photographer, model, motivational speaker, philanthropist, and overall life enthusiast.
As an educational specialist with a background in human ecology and leadership development, she’s a strong believer in the power of positive psychology and utilizes it to empower individuals and communities around her.
What makes an opportunity exciting to you – in business or in life?
What makes an opportunity exciting to me is when it has equal parts challenge and impact.
I’m a big believer in the power that can come from stepping outside of your comfort zone, so if it looks like it’s going to force me to step up my game a little, learn, and grow, then that’s absolutely something I’m going to be interested in!
On the flip side, while something definitely has to be challenging, it also has to contribute towards some sort of larger impact. Simon Sinek said it best when he said, “it starts with WHY,” and I really do believe that in order for something to stick, it has to have a purpose you align with, and it definitely has to appeal to your “why.”
What has been the greatest shift in your career or life, and how did you navigate through it?
I think the greatest shift in my career came when I realized that I was actually the captain of my own ship. Sure, people can give you directions, but ultimately, it’s up to you to chart the path, make the move, and set sail.
What has been your favourite experience you love to share?
Everything in life is 90% mental, and the other 10% is in your head. This I learned from a man named Ray Zahab, who, after running across the entire Sahara Desert, realized that there is absolutely nothing in life that you cannot do. In 2011 I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Bolivia with him to run a marathon a day for six days straight with four other inspiring youth, all with the goal of educating, inspiring, and empowering kids worldwide, and it totally and completely changed my life. It was through that impossible2Possible adventure that I learned first-hand that there really is nothing that can’t be done once you set your mind to it.
What are you up to right now that people should know about?
Oh gosh, there are so many wonderful things going on right now!
Aside from teaching and photography, I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on Drawbox Inc., a design and fabrication company that I started with my husband just over a year ago. Essentially, we’re kind of like the Willy Wonka’s of the marketing world, creating unique and creative marketing assets that really help brands stand out.
I’m also dedicating days as the Editor-in-Chief for the Canadian Bride Guide, an online publication that seeks to bring diversity and inclusivity to the bridal market in a fun, accessible, and curated way.
And finally, I’m so lucky to be spending some time as of late working with an amazing team of local community leaders to put on the 3rd World Youth Conference on Kindness. It’s this phenomenal initiative put on by Faze Media and UNESCO that hopes to encourage youth to embrace and celebrate kindness in a million unique ways.
That’s pretty much the gist of it as of late – and I honestly just feel so ridiculously lucky that I get to be even the tiniest part of it all. 🙂