We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Nusrala and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
In terms of habits that have helped me succeed as a business owner and find success in my brand, I find these are the same exact habits I not only grew up with, but also carried into my vastly different first career, and now into my own business. Some of them are probably just naturally ingrained in me, and others have required a little discipline to get in a good groove.

A brief background to set the stage — I grew up with pretty strict parents all the way until I went away to college at 18. I went straight into a 10+ year career in finance. Yes, finance! The exact opposite of a creative! The continuation of being rigid, scheduled, and deliberate in certain ways has carried through my life and adult career(s). And although I live a completely different life and career path now, I find that these are the same skills that have helped me succeed in going into business on my own and building a successful brand and career.

**Consistency** – Whether you take a class or course to get starting building your business or get advice from a good mentor, this always seems to be a word and habit that comes up over and over. Success requires consistency; they are very much synonymous. This is everything from being consistent in your technique and craft, posting and marketing your work, presenting yourself to and responding to your clients, and so much more. Humans, by nature, typically like to know what to expect from you. They thrive off of structure and a theme. This all stems from consistency. I’ve found since building this business that that repetition and staying uniform in all of these facets has helped build trust in my work and my brand – and from that, comes more rebooked appointments, referrals, and money.

**Schedule and Organization** – I am going to sound like such a mom here (I AM a mom of 3, haha!), but I cannot harp on this one enough. It drives me bonkers when I try and work with someone who is not scheduled and organized. Not because they aren’t by nature, but typically because I find that all the roadblocks that these same people seem to run into is all based around on not being organized. I’m going to get really geeky here, but to find success, it’s imperative to have a consistent filing system, a steady schedule that doesn’t burn you out, and time blocking activities that help get the admin side of things done. I know what you’re thinking – “We’re creatives, and this sounds super boring!” Well yeah, I’m not claiming this part is glamorous or fun, but what goes on in the background directly correlates to success in the foreground.

**Tenacity and Drive** – I feel like this is one you really can’t be taught; it’s something deep inside of you. It comes from the question “How bad do you want it?” When I decided to switch careers in my 30s, I knew I couldn’t be successful unless I was all in. By that, I don’t mean quit your day job immediately or compromise your income, but you need to come up with creative ways to schedule in building your business and brand. That may mean getting up an hour earlier or staying up an hour later (or both!). It may mean sacrificing going out with your friends once in a while to schedule Instagram posts or foregoing that food delivery service to put money into a class or business supplies. But it all comes down to the same thing – how badly you want this. Building your own business isn’t for the faint of heart or for the lazy, at least if you want to be something much bigger than mediocre. That desire to be hugely successful has to be present day in and day out.

In saying all of this, I realize how stiff I sound… and I’ve grown to accept how it can come off over the years. It takes some degree of rigidity and “boring stuff” to keep climbing in success. That’s why these things are “habits” and not ” things I do sometimes when I feel like it.” Someone once told me that if you don’t wake up thinking about your business, craft, and all the things that can make it great first thing in the morning, and go to bed doing the same, you don’t really want it that bad. When that’s you, you’re ready to be a big success!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I entered the “hair world” already knowing that I really wanted to focus on hair extensions. Three certifications later, I am understanding that this particular craft isn’t just something to have in your back pocket, but rather, something there really need to be “specialists” for. The biggest challenge to overcome in this world is the stereotype of hair extensions “rip your hair out” or “destroy your hair.” The problem with this theory is that stylists are able to get certified quickly and for usually a small fee, but end up installing 1 hair extension set per month. Of course stuff is bound to go off kilter! My biggest conquest in this industry was building a business and brand specifically around hair extensions, and that alone. As of now, I am certified in 6 different methods, and formally trained in one additional method. What sets me apart from others is not only the full and complete consultation in finding the right hair extension for that person, but maintenance and proper pricing that goes right in tandem with that.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is such a great question, because I am from little ‘ole St. Louis, MO, so showing people around LA has always been such a treat! In terms of your typical sites to be seen, I love showing people the Santa Monica Pier, the Observatory, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the hike up to the Hollywood sign. But just as much as I love all of the places everyone has seen in the movies is my love for all of my local places – EPLP rooftop bar in Weho, Starfish Sushi in Silverlake, paddle boarding in Long Beach, and sipping the best wine and eating the finest cheese at V Wine Room, to name a few!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My success is attributed to the following people – My hair extension mentor Buddy Sharp out of Dallas, TX, my two most important teachers at Paul Mitchell Sherman Oaks Nic N and Verania D (we actually combined parts of each of their names to come up with our 3rd child’s middle name – that’s how important they are!), my teachers at Bellami, and of course, my husband (the most important!!) for sacrificing his time and putting many of his own dreams on hold to help care for the kids on many, many late nights while I pursued getting my education and growing my business and career.

Website: www.thatblondestylist.com

Instagram: @that_blonde_stylist

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/That-Blonde-Stylist

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