#STYLE YOUR BIZ™ with Ashley Strommen, Co-Founder of SUTRA Superfoods

WHAT DOES YOUR MORNING ROUTINE LOOK LIKE? I wake up around 5-6am every single day (weekends included). I’ve always been an early riser and these quiet sunrise moments are my version of sexy heaven. I start off by taking my 2 pups for a walk than drinking a warm lemon water with apple cider vinegar and cayenne. Once I’m done swigging that, I’ll make a hot SUTRA Black with a bit of coconut cream and sit down to write my gratitude list. I’ve been doing this for a little over 3 years and I always type or write 10 new things each day that fill me with unencumbered joy. Next, I will meditate for around 10 minutes and wake up my boyfriend Max Altschuler, CEO of Sales Hacker. Once he’s up I’m able to make a racket, so I prepare us fresh green juice, smoothies, detox water, and sauteed veggies and eggs. Lastly I roll out my yoga mat and crank out some poses. Some days I’m tired as a wildebeest and flop around restlessly, and other days head standing with the strength of a lion and dancer posing with the grace of a flamingo.

WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? I am exceptionally lucky that I get to live my dream each and every day knowing that every small or big task that I accomplish for my business is in turn helping the world. A photo that I take for our Insta account could be seen by a mother who is pulling out her hair, unable to sleep, and stressed beyond recognition. In seeing that post, she decides to give up her caffeine addiction and because my companies healing superfoods give her greater energy naturally, she feels like a better mom, wife, and human. The thought that the daily grind of growing a startup leads to people feeling better and living healthier lives, makes all the stress worth it.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? Every Entrepreneur struggles with juggling multiple plates, wearing 20 hats, and multi-tasking with record speed. This can become very stressful and people are prone to burning out. That is why it is so important to continuously engage in self-love activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul while cranking out work. This could mean taking a break every 2 hours to walk outside and feel the sand/grass/gravel (depending on where you live) between your toes. It could mean a yoga class, bathtub, dance party - anything to break up the time between calls and staring at your computer. I find when I schedule in these self-care activities my work becomes more inspired, my employees have greater motivation, and the company kicks a ton more ass.

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU DO FOR YOURSELF EVERYDAY? A lot of people who have met me recently don’t know this, but I lost years of my life due to Lyme Disease and Heavy Metal Poisoning. I was bedridden with reduced brain function for 3 years and spent another 2 years struggling while receiving natural treatments. Because of this, I have a very regimented diet and lifestyle that I abide by - no cheat days.

A gluten/dairy/sugar/meat free diet is something that has kept me in remission and I take immense pride in. So anytime I go to the kitchen to make myself a salad or blend up a killer smoothie - it’s time that I am appreciating this healthy life that I now lead and feel grateful as a plum.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO INVEST IN WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS? Your team! Everyone has talents, but you cannot be arrogant enough to think that you are a master at all facets of running a business. Even if you are sufficient to fabulous, there are not enough hours in the day to tackle everything. Hire out anything that you either don’t love or aren’t amazing at. Find people who are passionate in these areas. An accountant that sleep talks spreadsheets on the reg, a FB ads team that booty pops every time a sale is made. Your team is what is going to support your business to achieve the goals that your wildest dreams don’t even dare to imagine. Invest in the best that you can afford.

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST MOTIVATION? My father is my hero, my mentor, and my best friend. He came from nothing - and I mean nada. He was an addict, broke, with limited education and he built an incredible business and life because of his grit and determination. All I want to do is make him proud. The number one thing on my bucket list is to make my father so proud of me that he is speechless. The day that I can check that off I’ll change it to, “make my dad so proud of me that he pees his pants.”

HOW DO YOU STAY FOCUSED/PRODUCTIVE AND MAKE THE BEST OF THE SAME 24 HOURS THAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS? “You do you, man” is something I say frequently. I truly believe that everyone has optimal times, strategies, and locations that make them the best worker they can be. A ‘zone’ of sorts that allows them to crankedy crank out work. Your job is to figure out that formula and a way to create that environment as often as possible. I personally hate offices, the 9-5 work hours, and stodgy scratchy business attire. I get nothing done when I have Peter and Paul yammering into their phones, 34.7 pointless meetings, and Linda stealing my food from the fridge (everyone has a Linda - and she is the WORST). The way that I stay focused and productive is between 6-11am, 1-4pm, and 6-8pm in my yoga gear with piano music humming, 13 different healthy beverages surrounding me, while continuously talking to my computer like a nutter butter. That is my zone. Figure out yours and you are gold.

WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO/FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA/USE AS A MENTOR? Ugh I have so many it’s probably inappropriate. I’d define myself as a ‘brander’ more than a ‘marketer’ or ‘entrepreneur’ so I fall in love with the color pallet and stories behind many Instagram accounts and follow them religiously. A few I’m slightly to exponentially obsessed with include:









WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE THAT YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN? Don’t send an email or speak to anyone involving your business when you are angry. Type out how you are feeling and walk away for at least an hour. Leading from emotion (unless you are elated giddy grateful) is never a great idea and stepping away for a bit allows you to compose yourself and figure out how to best speak to the subject with respect and compassion. This bit of advice I had heard numerous times, but it took viewing my boyfriend (and incredible CEO of Sales Hacker) Max Altschuler for it to stick. I saw him on numerous occasions become annoyed/grumpy/triggered by something and instead of reacting, he took a step back. When I would later overhear him speaking to his team and fixing the problem he was so stunningly calm, I knew it was something I had to implement myself.

WHAT IS THE BEST BUSINESS ADVICE THAT YOU’VE EVER GIVEN? I was speaking to an individual who was just graduating college and about to enter the work force. She was flooded with advice from a ton of people regarding what she ‘should’ be doing and had exceptional pressure to land something immediately. The girl stated that she was emailing and calling hotels begging for a gig because someone had told her the pay was good and there was an opening in that section of the market. I told her to stop looking and answer, “Describe your dream work life to me. What are you wearing? Are you at a computer or are you working with your hands? Are you inside, outside, in a car? Are you alone or surrounded by people? In an office, a kitchen, your bedroom, nature? Don’t think about what you are DOING, instead tell me what your environment looks, smells, and consists of.” The next week she called me and said that the exercise changed the game for her. She realized all of the jobs she was trying to force her way into would’ve never made her happy. She had become clouded with ‘should’s’ and now this clarity was leading her into a direction that she had confidence in.

*BONUS* WHAT DOES NO ONE TELL YOU ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? I think there is so much fake glamour out there in regards to Entrepreneurship. As though the moment you use that title or start a business you have money flowing in and fancy parties to attend. That is bullshit to the highest degree. People work their asses off and are broke for YEARS before they ‘make it’. It is really easy to give up and there are so many things that are going to make you want to do so, but running a business means being guided by blind faith. When you have a passion for something, and you know the product or service that you stand behind is going to change peoples lives for the better, you happily eat cereal for dinner and live on peanuts. You smile as you watch your corporate friends buy new cars and houses because you know that although your bank account is negative today, your combined hard work and faith is going to 40x them soon. So live in poverty with a passion and don’t be embarrassed. We were all there at some point and your pay day is coming

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