Success isn’t about fortune with Ashley Horner

Ashley Horner is an absolute power house she has a lot of roles wife, mother, works with body, has a training facility, editor-in-chief for train for her magazine, has a clothing line ebook and it keeps on going. Besides having complete training plan she offers inspiration and motivation on the daily on Instagram. I had to have Ashley on to really ask her how she does it all.

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Tell us a little bit about Ashley Horner and what you do.

Right now I’m in Virginia Beach and I have a training facility out here called American Sled dogs. It’s a free training facility we offer classes and it’s an open gym membership availability and we offer this facility to anyone who has a deployed spouse. They can come train here for free and really let out their emotions out on the gym. We kind of guide them and walk them through that deployment. I’m a mother, I have 3 little boys, I’m a tri athlete, power lifter, ultra runner, pro body builder. I have the Unbroken Foundation which is a foundation that helps battered and abused women find beauty in their strength once again and I have a clothing line called Valkerie.

I love that you’re so passionate about helping women and helping military spouses. How did you get the idea to go in that direction?

It’s awesome that I have the platform that I have in social media and to be able to be that voice not only in the fitness industry but on a broader aspect internationally but I don’t just do it for likes or for follows. I feel like there’s a bigger purpose of what I’ve been building for the past couple of years some might like to call it my empire. I feel like in the last year I’ve been searching for that greater purpose. Not just being a fitness person or just a trainer but how I can reach the broken people who truly need help and military is close to my heart. I’ve always been a huge supporter of the military. I have tons of friends who are spouses of the military and not only that the battered and abused women. I have no personal stories or scars that could even compare to what they have been through but I know there is some building blocks that have to happen from the moment they reached these shelters to building themselves up, to be whole again and to really feel beautiful once again and find beauty in their strength.

To be able to have an impact on people’s lives, that’s true success. No matter what anybody wants to do, as far as an entrepreneur, if they’re passionate about it they will be successful and they’ll realize along that journey that success isn’t just about fortune, it’s not about fame but at the end of the day it’s going to bed knowing you gave 100% that you’re fulfilling your passion, you’re changing lives.

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How did you actually start out and how did you take the leap to start so many different businesses?

I literally was broke. I had no money and I had just $5000 saved up. I put most of that into creating an online business and online store. I wrote my first ebook, Becoming Extraordinary. I was so nervous when I first launched that because who’s going to believe in my training and my philosophy.  I was using social media as the platform in terms of marketing myself and showing these trainers bits and pieces of it but I was so scared and I kept telling myself, “Ashley, you just have to trust yourself, you have to trust your vision, wanting to help other people. You have to trust what you have believed in this entire time.” And so I did.

I think there’s a difference, people can have dreams and they can sit on them and think about them for years or they can go and chase down that dream and never stop until they have reached it. That’s what I do. I don’t just like think about something in my head and think, “Oh. Maybe that will work…” I find a way I want to do that. I am going to find a way to make that work.

Can you share specific moment where you just felt super proud of your business and all the things you’ve grown?

It’s been awesome working with in creating the training program, Charlie Mike which is something that I wanted to do with them from day 1. On launching that training program, going out to the headquarters and standing in front of the entire staff and facility of, members and people who have been with me from day 1, like my managers and Daniel and Keith. To be able to stand up and tell them thank you for always supporting me. That was a surreal moment, to stand up in front of all those people. Another one was I recently signed with Reebok. I have 2 girls that work with me directly and they help answer emails and correspondence with some of my bigger companies that I represent, and Reebok was super impressed with the professionalism of my team that I have.

Can you share a disappointment or flop?

One of the things I really struggled with was finding individuals who have the same work ethic as I have.

 How do you even to manage an account like Instagram that has 380,000 followers?

There’s really no rhyme or reason to my Instagram or my social media feed. I just try to post and be as transparent as I can and real to my followers. To really try to self reflect and remember why I started in the first place and I let my viewers really try to see that through social media.

What would you say your best tip for growing your Instagram?

I would just say make sure to at least post three times a day. Being transparent is always key as far as branding, in a world full of gold fish, how will you stand out? How are going to stand out as an individual? And what makes you different and what makes you unique? I think that is really important and what people are forgetting. They think that just because they take a picture, have a professional photographer take their photo, they’re automatically a fitness model.

What is the one thing you do in your day that contributes to your success?

Well, definitely the quiet time I have in the morning is really important. I try to have open communication with my team. There’s not one specific thing that contributes to my success. I think it’s important to have weekly team meetings. That’s something that we do in the gym that’s with my coaches.

How do you juggle everything?

Every moment of my day is my planner. I use my time very wisely. Every moment of my day is scheduled and I am very busy.  I don’t think there’s a specific formula for balance. You just have to play everything as the week comes and stick to that schedule but you also have to be really flexible and know that it’s okay if you missed a training session or if you have a meeting you absolutely cannot miss. There’s ways around things just to make everything flow together.

Do you believe in balance?

Yes. I definitely believe in balance. I have a specific time where I’m not on my phone anymore. Whenever I get my boys I shut off work until they go to bed.

Tell us a little bit about your Unbroken Foundation.

The Unbroken Foundation is a brand new foundation.  I will be running from Virginia Beach down to North Carolina which will be 280 miles in efforts to raise $15,000 to 20,000 to rebuild them a house. Hopefully their house will be fixed and then I can come in there and build them basically like a weight training room with one of my training programs Breaking Boundaries or Recreating New and help them with that.

Click here to listen to Ashley Horner on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes

Connect with Ashley:

Ashley Horner is a wife, mother, and unbelievably talented athlete. She also owns a training facility in Virginia named American Sled Dogs and is the Editor-In-Chief of “Train For Her” magazine. Ashley is also the founder of the Unbroken Movement Foundation, owner of the Valkyrie clothing line, and author of 13 ebook trainers. Ashley is undoubtedlyone of the most well-known and respected female voices in the fitness industry.

This episode was sponsored by Make Media Over. Use code BLISSFUL for 10% off your package! 

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 5 Pack of Not Ketchup, sample pack the Granilla Bar and variety pack of mixes from Among Friends and Smart Cookies from Bitsy’s Brain Food) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

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ashley horner interview


Are you an imposter?

Are you an imposter? Today I want to talk about something that I’ve been feeling: Imposter Syndrome.  I don’t know if you ever heard of it but if you are someone who sets really high expectations for yourself, you are a high achiever and you don’t settle for mediocrity then I am guessing that you’ve probably felt like an imposter before. Imposter syndrome is basically feeling like you’re an imposter or a fraud and everyone is going to find out. It’s like you have this secret that you’re not really as good as everyone thinks you are or your not really the expert that some people think. Let’s chat about how we can get over those feelings of being an imposter because if you are saying, “Oh yeah! I’ve totally felt like this before,” then I’m pretty sure you are a really high achiever.  I’ve heard about this from celebrities like Tina Fey, Kate Winslet and Don Cheadle just saying they woke up in the morning and they’re thinking, “How did I get here…” “I can’t go off to work because people are going to find out that I’m not who I say I am…”

I’ve been experiencing that for a little bit recently especially from this podcast because I’ve had so much amazing feedback and so many people, listeners and friends have been saying, “I love your podcast. I can’t believe you’re doing so much. You are really rocking it. I’m so proud of you. You’re so successful.” And I’m kind of like, “Me? What are you talking about?” I have been having a little bit waves of that and my husband is really, really good about helping me stop and kind of smell the roses and he always says”You have accomplished this…” My downloads have been increasing every podcast release and honestly I am proud. I have been trying to take time and celebrate it a little bit but I am the queen of just blowing through successes, not stopping and really appreciating them and feel like an imposter.  You’re going to find out that I’m a normal person who wakes up early, just works hard and has a goal and a vision. There’s nothing really special to what I’m doing or there’s nothing really I’m doing that you couldn’t be doing if you wanted to be…so Imposter Syndrome basically. If you feel like this then let’s talk about some ways we can get over it.

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Ways to get over imposter syndrome

Take ownership of the successes you had.  I have a hard time with this one but I’m really working on it. Accept that you created your success and you deserve it. You obviously did something right to get where you are so take time, stop and appreciate the success.

Stop thinking so much about yourself. Have you ever just thought, “What are other people going to think of me if I put this out there, if I put this product out there, or this recipe out there or share this story. What’s everyone else going to think?” Stop thinking about what everyone else’s going to think about you.  Just stop making it so much about you. No one is really worrying that much about you. Just focus on giving, sharing out value and sharing your story. People will really appreciate that and resonate with it. If someone else has something to say then they shouldn’t be part of your tribe and they can just move on.

Appreciate the people who are supporting you.  I’m sure you have a little tribe or a community of people who really take the time to build you up. Go back and look at those blog comments or those reviews you’ve had or anything that you have that can build you up. For me that might be my Amazon reviews for Blissful Eats, that might be Tweets or emails that you guys have sent me about the podcast and links that you’ve posted about the podcast. Go back and look at those things that really build you up and make you feel really good. That will just kind of help you get grounded and focus on the fact, “Okay. I am where I am supposed to be and I am doing this. I deserve the success that I am having.”

Stop comparing. You are on your own journey; your chapter 40 is not going to be the same as someone else’s chapter 40 so stop comparing yourself…especially to someone else’s highlight reel. We tend to share our highlight reel and don’t share our failures. We mostly just share successes. You don’t know what the next person has been through so only compare yourself to yourself.

Share out your story. Be authentic, stay true to you and share what you’re comfortable with. Share the high’s and the low’s. This podcast is to share other entrepreneurs ups and downs so you can get a tiny little glimpse into what they’re doing. I hope you can find something tangible that you can kind of walk away with and also see that other people obviously have failures too. If you share out your highs and low’s people will kind of be drawn to you because you are just being honest and putting yourself out there.

Everyone Has Doubts

Everyone has doubts and everyone started somewhere. I personally love Chalene Johnson. She is someone who just always shares her truth and doesn’t ever try to sugar coat her story. I was listening to one of her podcasts this morning and she was just sharing about how she used to be a personal trainer with a broken down jeep. She used to go to people’s houses in her dream community and eventually now obviously she lives in that dream community. She totally doesn’t have to share about her start  when how she used to work out of her jeep. The point is everyone started somewhere and just because you aren’t having all the success that you want to have right now, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Be authentic, share what you know and share what you don’t know. Also regarding Imposter Syndrome don’t let that hold you back. Stop avoiding things just because you think that you’re not good enough. Just believe in yourself and tackle them. Maybe you haven’t started a new job or maybe you haven’t written the book you want to write or write a certain blog post or develop a physical product like granola or nut butters because you don’t think that you can do it or you don’t believe in yourself enough. Well you CAN do it. Make a plan and start and tackle all those things.

Imposter Syndrome can be very real and it can definitely hold us back. I hope  by doing these 5 things: accepting your own success, stop thinking so much about yourself, appreciate the people who support you, stop comparing and share your story (the high’s and the low’s) that you will get over this Imposter Syndrome. Your message is so important and you’re trying to just make the world a little bit of a better place and that’s so important and we need people like you.

Stop the Imposter Syndrome. You are doing an amazing job.

I would love to hear from you. I want to hear what has been holding you back and how you have glimpses of Imposter Syndrome. If you try any of these 5 things then definitely Tweet me or find me on Instagram or Snapchat. I think a lot of times even just saying it to someone can even help us get over that. Share out your story, share out your message and stop being or feeling like you are an Imposter because you’re not.

Click to listen to Are You an Imposter on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 5 Pack of Not Ketchup, sample pack the Granilla Bar and variety pack of mixes from Among Friends and Smart Cookies from Bitsy’s Brain Food) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

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Do you believe in balance?

Do you believe in balance? I’m always thinking about life and staying balanced because to me it means a lot. I’m a working mom of 2 little girls. I always am working on that delicate balance between work and taking care of them. I’m really lucky that my husband and I are both entrepreneurs and we share the duties of taking care of our girls, along with having some other child care, like pre-school. This podcast topic came up for me this topic because I was listening to an episode of Amy Porterfield’s podcast and she was talking about different lies that we tell as entrepreneurs and she doesn’t personally believe in balance. If you want a really interesting episode, definitely go listen to episode #98.


I want to know what you think, do you believe in balance? I don’t believe that you can have a perfectly balanced life in every single aspect but I do believe that you can get pretty close. And no, I’m not running a multi-million dollar business so maybe, hopefully when I get to that point then it will change, but I know for me some things just are non-negotiable, my family, my kids, I always have to have a balance between them and work. And maybe that means some of my other balls that I’m juggling will fall, but that’s okay.

I want to talk a little bit about balance and priorities and how you can figure them out to live a happy life because really, I am happy. Like I said, is every single aspect of my life perfect? No. Of course not. But the parts that I have in balanced I feel really good about.

If you’re listening, you are probably an entrepreneur; whether you have a side hustle, if you are a full time entrepreneur or you just have your own business. Balance is basically when all parts of your life come together in a way that’s right for you. It is truly personal, it’s going to look very different for you than it is for me. Like I said, in this season of my life when I have 2 young girls, they are gonna be the most important part of my day and that’s how I structure it.

I want you to think about, “What is your balance and where are your priorities?” Some parts of your life you may want to think about are financial, your family, your environment, your personal growth, love, your fitness and friendship. What makes you feel good, when you feel like you’re in balance?

I want you to really think about: do you feel like your living a life that you want to live or do you need to make some changes? Think about what you need to work on most.

If you like this post, then use my little cheat sheet to dive deep into figuring out your priorities. You will be able to examine different parts of your life, where your priorities are, what you’re most happy with and what you need to work on. You can get that cheat sheet by filling out the form below or by clicking to get my priorities cheat sheet here.

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How to figure out what balance means for you:

  • Think about what areas you need to work on the most.  I love looking at the cheat sheet because I’ve done this for myself.  Write down a few things that you can do to work on the areas that you’re not a hundred percent happy with. For me, one thing I struggle with is, in meeting up with friends in person.  I don’t get to see my friends as much as I’d like to. One thing I want to work on is just seeing a in-real life friend once a month. For this season of my life once a month definitely works for me. I just did it this past week and it always leaves me feeling really good. I want you to think about what’s an area you need to work on.
  • Be very specific. For example, if it’s fitness and health for you write down 2 or 3 things that you can do that will make you feel better and do better with this area of your life. Maybe it’s waking up 5:30 in the morning ,3 times a week or maybe its spending 30 minutes meal prepping on Sundays to make 3 different snacks. Be really specific so you can measure it and say, “Okay, I did this,” or “Okay, I didn’t do it. I need to do it next week.”
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Do this for each part of your life that you are not totally happy with. What do you need to stop doing, to make time for the things that you really love and the things you want to improve on. For me, when I first started this, it was mindless, useless internet searching. I use to spend so much time on the internet, just browsing, looking at things that didn’t matter and didn’t make me any smarter. It was making me really unfocused.

What makes you happy? It changes! I’m in the season where I have really young kids but that might be different for you. That’s why it’s so personal; figure out what a happy life means for you and once you do this, life changes so every 6 months re-adjust and look at this again and figure out what it means for you.

When you have you’re priorities in alignment and you have identified what’s important then its very easy for you to look at opportunities and look at things that come up and decide yes or no. On another business podcast I talked about the importance of saying no. When you have your priorities figured out and your life is in balance, then it’s very easy to say yes or to say no. Going back to Katy Widrick’s interview, I love that she said she had passed up so many opportunities that other people would have jumped at, but they just didn’t fit her priorities and didn’t fit for her family. It’s very easy to say yes or no when you have your priorities down on paper.

I would love to hear what you think about this. Do you believe in balance? I believe in balance but not every single part of my life is going to be perfect. I have my priorities and I have the things that are most important to me and those are my non-negotiable, those are my top of the list.

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Let’s hear it! Do you believe in balance?

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Just Be Yourself with Jessica Merchant from How Sweet Eats

Jessica Merchant is a full-time recipe developer, content creator and blogger. She has been writing the food blog, How Sweet Eats, since 2009, when she finally discovered a way to mesh her passion for building recipes with one of her other favorite things: writing. She is madly, outrageously, inexplicably in love with food. In 2014, she released her first cookbook, the best-selling Seriously Delish. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pa with her husband Eddie and son, Max. In her spare time, she loves reading, writing fiction and practicing yoga. And margaritas. Obviously.

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In this episode you’ll learn:

    • How Jessica got the idea for How Sweet Eats
    • Where she finds daily inspiration from.
    • How she stays balanced.
    • Her proudest moment so far in her business journey.

How did you get the idea for How Sweet Eats and how did you get started?

I truly got the idea because I was stuck in an office job that I swore would never work from the time when I was little. I knew that I didn’t want to work in an office or in a cubicle and that is what I found myself doing. And I didn’t have much to do. I think that I came across blogs but I really wanted to start a lifestyle blog and at the time I didn’t really have the means of doing one. I mean I didn’t have any photography, I sat at this desk from 8-5 and so I decided that I would just write about what I was cooking for dinner. I guess sprinkle in with some lifestyle things and I didn’t tell anyone that I started it. I didn’t know anything about blogging, I didn’t know anything about the technical side, I didn’t think about a name… I truly didn’t know. I just started like a little personal diary on the internet. But the way I truly got started is when I went to free Wordpress and picked a line from my favorite James Taylor song and went from there.

Biggest flop.

“I am such an all or nothing person. It’s a horrible thing but I am just so passionate about the things I love and so just don’t care about the things that I don’t.

I definitely fell into comparison trap at the beginning that even though everybody else is doing something, every other blogger is doing this and maybe getting cool opportunities from something. It just might be not right for me. I need to continue to stay true to myself. If it doesn’t feel right in my gut then I know that I shouldn’t do it.”

Major advice and take aways

Blissful bites podcast Jessica Merchant from How Sweet Eats


What has been your most proud moment so far?

“My proudest moment is being consistently genuine in the internet and really staying true to who I am. I really have not done anything that am not super passionate about or believe in.”

How to find inspiration!

Where do you get your daily inspiration from?

“Truly, I get it everywhere. I get recipe inspiration anywhere from maybe eating out a restaurant. I get it from seeing a billboard when I’m driving, from seeing a magazine cover, through looking through a magazine, from a beautiful cookbook. Having a creative mind it’s easy to pick up inspiration from anything. You kind of look around and see it.”

Where do you see yourself and your company in five years?

She sees herself writing a novel and she is also working on a tween fiction series right now. She would love to see these things as her main career but still be able to do her blogging.

How do you stay balanced?

That’s definitely my biggest challenge since having a baby. Before having a baby I could work 80-100 hours a week and never felt burnt out. Now I’m definitely struggling to find that work-life balance.

What do you do that makes each day successful?

Obviously I look forward to a cup of coffee every morning but what I’m really into is bullet journaling, which is creating my own planner with a notebook.

Jessica finds inspiration on the DAILY and works hard to avoid the comparison trap. Want to hear how? To hear more from Jessica, listen to her masterclass from the Food Entrepreneur Summit for free here.  If you’ve been stuck in the comparison trap, or are there right now, then you need to get out! You need to figure out how to move on, get inspired and get back to creating great content for your audience, then watch the summit masterclass for free!

Jessica Merchant

Where can we find you?Blissful Bites Podcast Jessica Merchant from How Sweet Eats 

Jessica is a completely self-taught photographer and recipe developer, has a true way with words, and shares herself through recipes, daily musings and, of course, on Snapchat. Jessica loves neon colors, lip gloss, bacon and most importantly is a mom and wife. 




Jessica Merchant