Ashley Blackington Quotable Media


Streamline Your Family Life with Ashley Blackington


Struggling to keep up with the chaos of work and family life? Do you desire a more harmonious balance? It is possible to unravel the clutter and create a more functional system, and today’s guest, Ashley Blackington, the innovative mind behind Dovetail Designs, has created just the solution. Her home management system is the key to achieving a more efficient, organized and streamlined approach to juggling all the responsibilities, ultimately leading to improved work-life harmony. With her insights, you can optimize your own home management and feel more on top of your day-to-day.

Joining me today is Ashley Blackington. With a background in occupational therapy, and running a household that includes 4 children, Ashley crafted a unique home and family management system out of necessity, that addresses the challenges faced by busy moms in juggling work and family responsibilities. Ashley is also the host of the And/Both podcast.

If you come up with a systems approach to doing these pieces, it’s easier to bring your family or whoever you want to bring into this space with you if you have a system that they can adopt. – Ashley Blackington

In this episode, you will be able to:
  • Simplify and streamline your home and family management system for a stress-free lifestyle.
  • Empower your family with effective goal-setting strategies for a harmonious and fulfilling life.
  • Master the systems approach to organization and time management for increased productivity and balance.
The resources mentioned in this episode are:
  • Connect with Dovetail Designs on Instagram at
  • Visit the Dovetail Designs website at to explore and purchase the products, access the podcast, and find more information about the company.
  • Subscribe to the And/Both podcast for insightful conversations with moms who are pursuing their dreams and goals while managing family life.
  • Connect with Quotable Media Co on Instagram at @quotablemediaco.
    Share the podcast episode by taking a screenshot and posting it to your social media stories, tagging @QuotableMediaCo to show your support and help spread the word.

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Empower family with effective goal-setting

In addition to serving as a family organizer, Dovetail Designs encourages goal setting. It’s this unique focus that sets Ashley’s products apart from others. Dovetail Designs breaks down major goals into actionable steps, helping families to track their progress over time, keep each other accountable, and celebrate their collective achievements.

Simplify and streamline home management

Ashley Blackington, founder of Dovetail Designs, believes in the power of organization to simplify and streamline home management. Recognizing the often haphazard and confusing family calendar systems, Ashley designed a collaborative and efficient solution. The Dovetail system, offering tools such as wall calendars, planners, and notepads, allows families to amalgamate information in a central place, saving time and minimizing confusion.

The key moments in this episode are:

00:00:00 – Introducing Quotable

00:01:53 – PR Visibility Boot Camp Membership Program

00:08:01 – The Birth of Dovetail Designs

00:09:58 – Transition to Full-Time Business

00:12:35 – Pandemic Impact and Customer Interest

00:14:01 – Starting and Growing the Business

00:16:37 – Building the Team and Fundraising

00:17:55 – Anne Both Podcast

00:20:23 – Dovetail Framework and Courses

00:25:28 – The Dovetail Collection and Course Bundle

00:28:02 – Balancing Life and Business with Multiple Kids

00:29:29 – Managing Expectations and Productivity

00:31:22 – Adapting to Parenthood and Entrepreneurship

00:32:28 – Connect with Other Founders

00:34:43 – Connecting and Engaging with the Podcast Community

Timestamped summary of this episode:

00:00:00 – Introducing Quotable
Alessandra Pollina introduces Quotable, a podcast for female entrepreneurs. She shares her background and the purpose of the show – to share valuable insights and experiences with other female entrepreneurs.

00:01:53 – PR Visibility Boot Camp Membership Program
Alessandra talks about the PR Visibility Boot Camp Membership Program. It’s a six-month program focusing on visibility, reputation-building, and brand development. The program includes videos, templates, accountability, and live calls.

00:08:01 – The Birth of Dovetail Designs
Dr. Ashley Blackington shares the origin of Dovetail Designs, a home and family management system. It started with a need for better communication within her family, leading to the creation of a calendar and planner, addressing the lack of effective planning tools.

00:09:58 – Transition to Full-Time Business
Ashley discusses the transition of Dovetail Designs from a side project to a full-time business during the pandemic. She reflects on the challenges and opportunities of selling planners and calendars during a time when people were more focused on meal planning and grocery organization.

00:12:35 – Pandemic Impact and Customer Interest
During the pandemic, Dovetail Designs saw increased interest in the meal planning and grocery organization aspects of the system. Ashley highlights the effectiveness of the recipe binder and meal planning tools in helping families manage grocery shopping and meal preparation.

00:14:01 – Starting and Growing the Business
Ashley discusses how her business naturally evolved over time and the transition from paper-based to digital aspects.

00:16:37 – Building the Team and Fundraising
Ashley talks about her scrappy startup team and her approach to fundraising, focusing on non-dilutive funding and grant applications.

00:17:55 – Anne Both Podcast
Ashley shares the inspiration behind her podcast, “Anne Both,” which aims to have honest conversations with moms about balancing life and pursuing their goals.

00:20:23 – Dovetail Framework and Courses
Ashley explains the importance of a systems approach for organization and introduces the Dovetail Schedule Academy, a course designed to help moms set up a system for their home.

00:25:28 – The Dovetail Collection and Course Bundle
Ashley discusses the integration of the Dovetail collection with the course, emphasizing the importance of having a course where participants have something tangible to show for their efforts.

00:28:02 – Balancing Life and Business with Multiple Kids
Ashley discusses the challenges of managing her business and four kids, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing and creating a long runway for tasks.

00:29:29 – Managing Expectations and Productivity
Ashley shares the need to be gentler with expectations, considering the impact of parenting on productivity. She emphasizes the importance of leaving extra time for tasks.

00:31:22 – Adapting to Parenthood and Entrepreneurship
The conversation delves into the unique challenges faced by parents with multiple kids. Ashley highlights the need for efficiency and self-care in managing a big family and a business.

00:32:28 – Connect with Other Founders
Ashley advises solo founders and parents to connect with other founders for support, emphasizing the value of building a community for sharing experiences and insights in entrepreneurship and parenthood.

00:34:43 – Connecting and Engaging with the Podcast Community
Alessandra and Ashley discuss the importance of community-building and invite listeners to engage with the podcast through sharing and connecting on social media.


00:01:57 – Alessandra Pollina
Okay. I’m super excited to be here today with Dr. Ashley Blackington, founder and CEO of Dovetail Designs. And actually, first of all, thank you so much for coming on. And I can’t wait to hear more about what exactly Dovetail Designs is. I want people to get to hear that straight from you.
00:02:12 – Ashley Blackington
That’s awesome. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here. And of course, I love talking about the thing that I love doing. So I’m excited.
00:02:20 – Alessandra Pollina
Start by telling us what exactly Dovetail Designs is, because I hate to say, but you can’t really tell from the name, and I want to hear what it is, and then just start telling us, where did it come from? How did it come to be?
00:02:33 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah. So it is like any business, I believe we start from this place of trying to solve our own problem and then realizing that maybe our own problem is not just within ourselves and within our own family. So dovetail started with the need for my family, for us to have better communication within my family, within our home. And so it started with a calendar hanging on the pantry door in my house that was jammed full of stuff, hard to follow. And it was just this thing that I just sort of dreaded having any sort of contact with because it was always just a mess. Right? Like, no matter the pens, the highlighters, the strategies, whatever, it just was always a mess. And so my background is in occupational therapy, and it is a decidedly very low tech career. And what I love about it is just this task analysis is really kind of the hallmark of what we do in OT. And it was like trying to break down why the calendar was such this jumbled mess. And so I ended up one day just, I pulled it off the door, I flipped it over, I got out a ruler, took all the highlighters, and decided that I was going to create something that was a better set up for my family. And it just kind of has grown from there. So that’s the origin piece there for you?
00:04:03 – Alessandra Pollina
Yes. I love the built from necessity. We just need something better. So how do you describe it now exactly? Is it a calendar company? I feel like there’s more to it, but I want to hear, how do you describe it? Is it like an organization calendar product?
00:04:23 – Ashley Blackington
I call it a home and family management system. And so it started with the calendar, and then from there, once I had prototyped that and gotten it to a place where it was really working, things were laid out. There was a feeling of relief. There was a better place for, like, I could put stuff up there. And if my husband was doing something, I didn’t always have to interact when it came to that. I didn’t have to be the interpreter for the calendar because it wasn’t just like this brain dump space for me where everyone had to come back and have me explain or interpret everything for them. So once that got all built out, then I created a planner that has all of the pieces of the wall calendar, and then it has additional parts that I think are really missing in a lot of the planning products that are out there. So one of them is work on goals and a plan for how to start with big goals and then break them down as you go.
00:05:22 – Alessandra Pollina
So there’s that.
00:05:23 – Ashley Blackington
And then came the recipe binder and the grocery notebook. And then a little while later, came, like, a one week at a time notepad. And then this collection kind of grew, and it became what I do call the dovetail collection. And that is something that you can buy the pieces individually, you can buy the whole thing together and set it up as a system. So they’re all designed to function individually, but you can layer them together to create the system that you need for your family to help you now and then as you grow down the line. I know it’s one of those things where I’m just like, it keeps kind of snowballing, and I’m trying to figure out. It’s that trying to figure out the friction piece and trying to make it more efficient so that people can get the stuff that they need out of their head, but in a place where it’s still useful and collaborative. And it’s just built on this idea that the things that we keep talking about in social media and things that we all know to be true, being that we want equity at home and we want collaboration, but if we don’t have the tools to create that space, we’re not going to be able to move forward in that direction of the goal. That’s the paper piece. And then there is a digital app that sort of does the blend between the two.
00:06:51 – Alessandra Pollina
Oh, wow. So that’s something that you would share with your family, and everybody has access to it also.
00:06:58 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah. So the app, it’s designed to really be a blend between the productivity platforms that we use for work, where no one expects the other person in your office to be able to read your mind. And the utility of these family apps, where it’s all designed around working together. So I call it, like, the love child of those two worlds.
00:07:19 – Alessandra Pollina
It’s so useful because I’ve personally tried so many things. I really haven’t found a collaborative way to manage these things. I totally have that calendar on the wall, and I think I’m the only one who looks at it, and my son does look at it a little, actually. I think that’s actually kind of useful, but I don’t think my husband ever has touched it.
00:07:43 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah, it’s hard.
00:07:45 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah. And then I’ve tried the apps, too, and I can’t get him to use them either. And I’m like, this doesn’t help if it’s just me on it. I could just be using my own calendar, like my own to do list and whatever. But, yeah, it’s hard to find something that works for everyone and that actually works in the way that you want it to. So I’m excited by this, and I totally see the need because, yeah, I haven’t seen anything really like that. And I think especially as busy women, everyone who listens to this podcast, as business owners, we need that kind of support. Like, as you alluded to, it’s like we want some more equity in the home. We need support, and I think we’re also used to organizing our time and being on top of this kind of stuff when it comes to work and we’re in charge. But then at home, it’s like we don’t necessarily want to be in charge or need to be or should be in charge. It should be more collaborative, as you said.
00:08:39 – Ashley Blackington
And I think, too, I guess maybe another way that I look at it, too, is my husband is not incapable. And I think that sometimes that’s what happens, is I couldn’t get enough information out there in a way that was effective enough to be able to truly pass off that task. So there is so much that’s written about this and you see everywhere, and we all just went through this massive last couple of years of like, I don’t even know. But it’s this idea that if I can’t pass off that task, then I never really get a chance to have any sort of relief on that. And he’s somebody that wants to do that. He wants to take on these things. He doesn’t want this set up where I’m doing all the things. So there has to be a way to put things out there in a way that someone else can effectively pick up that ball and run with it. So that was where the digital piece came from, because I was like, there’s got to be a better way, some sort of blend between those two worlds of family and workplace and how to create that.
00:09:45 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah, totally. So how long ago did you start this? When was that day that you took the calendar, the existing calendar, off the door and started mapping it out? And what has it been like since then? Business.
00:09:58 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah, it’s been a little wild. I started prototyping in 2000, and I prototyped for a long time, like probably a year of trying to figure out the best strategy and the best spacing and all of that stuff. And so probably about a year, and then in around 2019, I linked up with a graphic designer and started the process of creating the files to scale this bigger than somewhere outside of my own home. And then I sent everything off to be printed around February of 2020, not knowing, like, the rest of the world, what the rest of the year was going to look like. So at the time when I was doing all of this, this was kind of like a side thing for me. I didn’t start dovetail with the intention of it being my full time thing, because I was working, consulting with families to make plans and make changes in their own home so that they could age in their home or if their parents wanted to age in their home. That was my primary job. And so this was like, oh, I think this is really interesting, and I think it could be helpful, so let’s just keep sort of rolling on with that. And then once the pandemic started, I had just had my fourth baby.
00:11:18 – Alessandra Pollina
Oh, my gosh. That was one of my other questions for you, was, how many kids? Because I know it gets exponentially more to schedule with every kid.
00:11:27 – Ashley Blackington
Yes, let’s get out. Yes, exactly. So he came home from the hospital. He was born a couple of days before the start of the pandemic, and then I’m home, and then a couple of weeks later, all of these print products show up and I’m like, I guess the balance has shifted. Like, I’m doing this now. And then the consulting just sort of died down because I couldn’t at the time, I had two kids that I was doing home, school, whatever with, and then one, I had a toddler, and then I had a brand new baby. So that was the transition for me.
00:11:54 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah, a lot. And you couldn’t really go into people’s homes anyways, right. Were you physically going into people’s homes for the other job? You said you were helping people figure out how to age in their home and stuff like that.
00:12:06 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah. Once everybody was home and having a brand new baby, I was like, this is not a feasible thing for me to do right now. I guess I’m glad that timing.
00:12:17 – Alessandra Pollina
00:12:18 – Ashley Blackington
Perfect timing.
00:12:19 – Alessandra Pollina
Although did people also have a lot less to schedule? What was it like to sell planners and calendars during a pandemic when people were like, I’m not even leaving home? Did that factor into things?
00:12:35 – Ashley Blackington
The thing that was really interesting was that, and I found this with my own family, is like, I had more people that were really invested in the meal part of the system. So one of the things is a recipe binder, and that’s where you print something off online. And you hole punch it and you stick it in the binder versus all of these scraps of paper that are usually a collection, or like the Pinterest.
00:12:59 – Alessandra Pollina
Boards, where recipes go to die because you can never remember which ones you actually made or whatever else.
00:13:05 – Ashley Blackington
00:13:05 – Alessandra Pollina
00:13:06 – Ashley Blackington
So our recipe binder was a collection of recipes of things that I had made that my kids would eat. And so at the time, like the rest of the world, going grocery shopping was this whole experience all on its own. And so during the pandemic, having those two pieces together for a family of six, we went to the grocery store once a week and never ran out of food because we were so diligent in the planning process and really able to easily make sense of what we needed and what we didn’t need. And so that was just sort of something that I had talked about in the beginning, and then that was really what people were interested in. And then once the pandemic sort of washed out, for lack of better terms, that’s when more of the planning piece that came to be the more sought after part of the system. So it’s been kind of a good blend across the board.
00:14:01 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah. Cool. It sounds like it sort of naturally worked out the way that it could to help you grow the business. And so you were full time, essentially, in that pretty much from the beginning of when you actually really got it going.
00:14:14 – Ashley Blackington
It sounds like, yeah, that piece didn’t start until 2022, like, the development of that. So in the beginning, it was all paper based, and it was getting those products launched and out into the world. And so the last year, it’s been really focusing on more of the digital aspect of it and then bumping up everything else. Right. Like, now the products are developed and they’re out there, and so it’s really just trying to spread the word and share it.
00:14:45 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah. What did that launch look like? What have you done to get it out there and to share it with people?
00:14:50 – Ashley Blackington
I’ve done a couple of different things. Like, I did an accelerator, which was really helpful, I think, for me, more than the products, because I think what happens is that especially somebody that I did not have a business background, I have a healthcare background, but can be really intimidating when you start going through more of the hardcore, I guess, business side of things to say, like, okay, this piece I don’t really know that much about. Like, I don’t really understand this terminology and what this all means and how to connect these pieces together. So the process of going through an accelerator and getting the pitch deck worked out and talking about the different parts and pieces that I needed in order to grow the business on the back end, versus the social media posts and the newsletter and the emails and all of those things, those pieces are easier to kind of pick up as you go. But the business pieces, I’ve done more behind the scenes, focused to be more comfortable, to be able to talk about it on the front end.
00:15:54 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah. And what does the business look like now? Is it still mostly like, you doing stuff, or do you have other support, other a team? What does that look like?
00:16:03 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah, I have someone that helps with social media. She is much like, it’s a native language for her, which is lovely. And I have a CTO who does all of the digital piece. So it’s the three of us, we are a very scrappy startup team. And then we have a couple of people that are, I guess I would say, waiting in the wings pending the next iteration of fundraising and things like that to come.
00:16:31 – Alessandra Pollina
Amazing. And, well, now I’ve got to ask, what is the plan for that? What is the fundraising look like? How are you? It sounds like you have plans for growth. So can you tell us anything with that? Because I know that’s always a hot topic. People like to know, how are we growing these things? How are we fundraising if we need to or want to?
00:16:49 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah, the fundraising piece, I think that many people will say, I don’t think I’m alone in this, like, realizing how involved fundraising is. It doesn’t matter the level that you’re doing, whether you’re writing grants or you are getting into angels or early precede vcs, things like that, it’s a huge lift to get that stuff off the ground. So currently I’m focusing on all forms of nondilutive funding as we grow the number of people, downloads of the app, and usage of the app and things like that. So I’m kind of in this weird coffee table space where I have grant applications going out and there’s more people that are downloading the app and using the app and giving feedback on the app. So we’re sort of the small snowball size along the journey of growing it into a snowman.
00:17:47 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah, I like that. You just launched a podcast, right? I think you mentioned something about that when we were talking before. What’s connected to the company, to the business? Like, you’re talking about related topics or what’s that like?
00:18:02 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah, so the podcast is called and both. And it is a podcast that came about because of, I think, too, this is again, a pandemic offshoot is where we had prior to the pandemic. I think many people that friends of mine and I know my own perspective is like, we’re doing all of these things and everything is great and we’re balancing our life and all of that, but we’re not really. It’s just that transition from individual to mom and how that piece looks and how the world that we live in now with this social media forward facing, only show your good pieces. It actually creates division among moms and families who are trying to just do the best that we can. But you log on to social media and everything looks like everyone else has it all figured out, and you’re like, oh, my God, I’m a hot mess, or I’m whatever. And so what I really wanted was to have conversations with moms who are doing the things to take care of themselves and doing the things that light them up and pursuing these dreams and goals, whatever they are. Not every person that comes on is like a Fortune 500 CEO. Because I think that that’s part of the issue is if we only show these big, successful stories, we’re leaving out opportunity to build community. So it’s conversations with moms, and I love it. It’s so fun to meet all of these incredible women that are doing amazing things for themselves, to push away from trying to have family and do all of the things for the family and not no longer believing that that’s the thing that fills your bucket, but doing things that actually fill their bucket alongside this juggernaut role.
00:19:55 – Alessandra Pollina
I love that. Okay, wait, what’s it called again? Just say it again so people can. We’ll put it in the show notes, too, though.
00:20:00 – Ashley Blackington
It’s Anne both podcast. It’s that idea that we all live this and both life. So let’s talk more about it than just that other piece.
00:20:09 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah, I love that. I feel like I have to ask since this is what you do. Just for those of us who struggle and haven’t yet purchased your products, now, we’ll probably go get them. But is there any kind of main tip or some kind of takeaway that you share with people? Because I know you said you have courses and everything, too. You’re obviously talking about this stuff a lot and have a lot of experience and knowledge around it. But is there any one thing that you would say we should do? Try to work more collaboratively with our family and keep our schedules organized in a way that.
00:20:45 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah, I think that the big thing is that, I guess the hallmark pieces of dovetail is that the idea that you. I think what we do, and I definitely did this for ever and ever, is we buy a product and then we try and fit our life into that product. That’s why you buy the new planner and you open it up and it’s like, okay, the planner, it’s structured in the way that I need to do this, but it doesn’t actually fit the way that you are living your life. You use it for a little while, but it doesn’t really quite meet that need, but that’s a single product. So I think that my biggest piece of advice, and I think it may be, I don’t know if it flies in the face of what everyone else says for organization, is that if you come up with a systems approach to doing these pieces, it’s easier to bring your family or whoever you want to bring into this space with you if you have a system that they can adopt. If you say, we’re going to have our grocery list here, and it’s just sort of like a random space versus this is our grocery notepad, or this is our grocery notebook, this is where things go, or this is where the calendar is. So if people can understand how the system is designed to work in your home, it doesn’t matter what you use. I would prefer, honestly, as a business owner and a bomb to have something that all works together. But I think it’s important that people have a hard time adopting a single point strategy, and I think people do better with adopting a system. So if you can walk your family through that process of what it looks like for you and then bring them in line on that, because humans are routine driven, habit based, that’s what we like to do. So opening up the habits and the strategies that way will create more opportunity for collaboration.
00:22:42 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah, I like that. So anything else about how it works? Well, you said something about incorporating the dovetail framework. So is that kind of what you’ve been talking about? Is there anything else to the dovetail framework? Or is that just, that’s the system of how it all works together?
00:22:56 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah, the framework itself is like the organization piece of how all of these, the strategies for how to put all these pieces together, like the steps to go through when it comes to setting up routines in your. What? That’s what I teach inside of dovetail schedule academy, one of the courses. So there’s dovetail schedule academy, and that is one that walks you through how to set up the system and how to incorporate that in your house without just sort of starting from scratch. So it’s like that gradual on ramp piece. And then I have another one, which was also something that was born out of my own frustration. Dovetail is the third business that I’ve started, and I feel like there’s such a divide between where people want to start a business and the process of launching that piece in terms of just the beginning minutiae that you have to go through, like registering and setting up a website and all of those pieces that I wanted to put it all together in a way that people can walk step by step through that. And it’s really designed for moms because I think a lot of moms, and especially pandemic wise, thought about this idea of starting their own businesses in response to the massive scheduling and the financial offset and all of those pieces that come along or that we sort of deal with. But everything out there that’s sold as business building is that idea of burning the midnight oil and hustle and all of that stuff. And if you’re already up at 02:00 a.m. Feeding a baby, you can’t stay up until 02:00 a.m. Or you’ll never sleep. So it’s just this roadmap course of walk you through it so you don’t waste time, you don’t waste the money that you would by doing something ahead that you really needed to build up to. So it’s just trying to help more moms start businesses so that we can have more moms in business.
00:24:44 – Alessandra Pollina
Oh, my God. Amazing. Okay. A lot. So you have the products. You’ll have the paper products, the digital app version, the courses podcast, and for kids.
00:24:56 – Ashley Blackington
Yes, I know. Yes, it’s a lot, but it’s all come over time.
00:25:02 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah, well, I love it all works together. Obviously, as you said, it’s all snowballed from the initial idea. It all makes sense, and it’s all like, well, actually, now people need this. And now people also need this. So I love how you’ve brought that all together so good. I just love it. I think it’s so needed. Like, decrease that overwhelm, make things run smoother in the home, as a family, all the things we need.
00:25:28 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah. I mean, there’s so many great products out there, but it’s so hard to find something that’s all layered together in a way that really sort of takes those pieces of friction and smooths them out. And when we’re talking about the different pieces of the details that it takes to run a home, do you find.
00:25:45 – Alessandra Pollina
That most people, just out of curiosity, do people buy the whole system at once, or do people kind of start with the planner or the calendar and then they end up buying the other pieces? Because I think, right, you sell them separately, you can get them individually, or you can buy the whole collection at once.
00:26:00 – Ashley Blackington
I think it’s funny when I meet people in person, when I’ve done a show or an event, like a holiday thing or whatever, people that I get a chance to talk to about it that are looking for something like this are like, yes, that’s what I need. So once people have a chance to hear about it and read about it and all of that, it’s generally speaking, the people that find it are the people that are really looking for a system like this. So it’s usually the collection. And I just bundled the collection with the course so that if you buy the course, there’s an option to have the collection with it. So that as you’re working your way through the course, you are setting up the system so that when you’re done the course, you have the system versus the way that I think traditionally it’s been done where you buy the course and then you buy the products, and then you have to do it, which is essentially doubling your work for no reason.
00:26:52 – Alessandra Pollina
I love a course where you’re actually doing the thing. I actually have something to show for this. I actually completed the thing. I think that’s great. Okay. Well, I always ask people, what’s one thing you wish you knew more about when you first started the business or one thing you wish you knew when you first started?
00:27:07 – Ashley Blackington
When I first started the business, I wish that I knew how to optimize from the beginning. It’s such a chicken or egg question for me, because it’s like, you don’t know what you don’t know. And that’s the part that I think is really frustrating as a solo founder or as a new business owner is like, we only get more efficient when we make mistakes. So I guess I wish that I knew that I was going to have to make a whole lot of mistakes in order to get to that place. You just have to do it. You have to be willing to make mistakes, and you have to be willing to put stuff out there in the world that just totally falls flat and know that that’s just an iteration versus feeling like, okay, well, I guess this wasn’t meant for me. So lots of mistakes.
00:27:52 – Alessandra Pollina
That’s a good one. There’s one more thing I always ask, but I actually wish I had asked this, too, especially since you’re like a productivity kind of scheduling kind of person. What does your day look like with four kids and running the business with all of these components? How are you doing that?
00:28:08 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah, my day. What’s different in different seasons? I think that’s also really important because I think that what gets put out there is oftentimes I have days where I get up and I’m like no, not today, I cannot do this. And although I love all these parts of my life, sometimes you’re just like oh my God, the tide is rising and I don’t know what is going on. So when my kids are in school during the school year it’s definitely easier because I do have that time where I can truly focus on the business. I do work at night for a little bit but I’m getting better about boundaries around not working so late. My kids are in bed at 730 or so. I get stuff done between 730 and nine and that gives me time to relax and hang out. But I do do stuff during the day so definitely there’s a lot of spinning plates. A lot of it is just prioritizing using the products, what needs to get done in certain times and then having a long Runway for everything. That’s what I found is the most helpful is like if I think it’s going to take me six weeks to get something up and going, I actually need it to be eight weeks because there’s so many things that can all happen and change in that time. So being gentler with the expectations that I have on when things can get done because it’s true, I don’t have the ability to be productive like I did when I was 25 and had no children. I have to factor in that as well.
00:29:41 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah. And I like that. Such a great just practical tidbit of like leave extra time because it’s true. I run into that too and I only have one kid and I feel like the amount of days he stays home sick from school and things like that and it’s just like oh, okay, I guess the plan is going out the window and I can only imagine what that’s like when it’s times four. I honestly don’t know how people work at all when they have more than one kid. Feel like there’s just so much up in the air you can’t control it all.
00:30:14 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah, I think that’s the thing, right? If you are so rigid in everything, I feel like that just leads to this feeling of like oh my God, I’m doing the wrong thing or I’m never going to finish this or whatever. Versus if you give yourself a little bit of breathing room and know that things are going to come up, then when things come up, it’s like, okay, well, that stinks. But I’ve already accounted for that in here. And then if it doesn’t, like, knock on wood, if it doesn’t, then you have more room to carry on. Put that energy towards something else or maybe work on another project or whatever you want to do with it.
00:30:49 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah. And it feels good to be ahead of schedule rather than feeling behind the dream.
00:30:54 – Ashley Blackington
00:30:55 – Alessandra Pollina
I mean, I can’t even imagine, but I’m sure that would feel really good, right? Yeah. I truly like, whenever I see someone with multiple kids, I’m like, tell me all your secrets. I would love to try it one day, but I just also can’t imagine.
00:31:07 – Ashley Blackington
It’s so funny because especially in the podcast, I didn’t realize how many moms that I am talking to where I’ve done ten episodes so far, and I think, like, four of them are moms that have four kids. And what I’m noticing is that when people have one or two kids, there’s still that I can do it. I can totally muscle through this. I can totally do it. But then once you get to that, you have more kids than you have hands. That’s when people are like, okay, I can’t function doing all of the things in that way anymore. I have to figure out what to do differently, and I have to take care of myself. So I think that the four kid or the five, six, anything more than three, I think that’s when people are like, the light bulb goes, that there definitely needs to be a different set up. And I think that’s when you start to see a lot of different solutions and a lot of different changes, which you’d expect it to be the opposite. Right? It’s like, oh, my God, you have all these kids. But I think it’s just like, you have to be really efficient, and you have to know what you can expect and what you can’t expect. And you have to account for all that variability because there are so many factors at play when you have a big family like that.
00:32:20 – Alessandra Pollina
Yeah, I’ll take your word for it. Any last word of advice that you’d want to share with other entrepreneurs or other moms?
00:32:28 – Ashley Blackington
One of the things that I would love to pass on, and this is advice that I wish that I had gotten in the beginning, is that especially if you’re a solo founder, and especially if you are a parent, is to connect with other founders, because I think a lot of times what happens is you are in your own echo chamber, and when you have all of these things going on, that kind of crash into your day and everything sort of feels like this, especially in the beginning, like a juggle and a struggle, that if you have somebody else or a group of other people who are in that same position, it’s going to feel much less echoey. I think that was something that I didn’t do in the beginning that I think would have made the beginning of launching my business much easier. I mean, it was a pandemic, so I couldn’t. But if I could go back and do something differently in a different time, that’s what I would do. I would definitely reach out and connect with other founders earlier on just for that own self piece.
00:33:28 – Alessandra Pollina
Yes. That’s like the whole impetus of this podcast was I was like, I need to do that. And started this. Well, started first a meetup group in person, and then the podcast came from that. So I completely agree with you on that one. Well, tell people where they can find, first of all, your products and how they can buy stuff and also how they can connect with you. If there’s any other ways to follow you or connect with you online.
00:33:53 – Ashley Blackington
Yeah, so it’s Anne both. Podcast is a podcast. My instagram is at Quotable Media Co Quotable Media Co Is the website. There are links there for products, for the podcast. All the information is there. And then if people have any questions about products or setting up a system or courses or anything like that, info at Quotable Media Co To send any questions there.
00:34:18 – Alessandra Pollina
Okay. We’ll put all that in the show notes, too, so people can find it easily and check it all out because I think people are going to want to use this.
00:34:26 – Ashley Blackington
Well, I hope.
00:34:27 – Alessandra Pollina
Thank you so much for coming on and for telling us about it and for being here.
00:34:33 – Ashley Blackington
Thank you. Well, thank you very much for having me. I love what you’re doing in helping build community, so I’m really excited to be a part of it. So thanks for having me.
00:34:41 – Alessandra Pollina
Thank you.

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