social impact, Startup

10 Month Update: Headed to San Diego for a founders retreat! #StartupLife


Hey guys, thanks for stopping by… so I’m gonna keep this short and sweet because I’ve been working on building the foundation of my startup, SoPac, Inc. for quite sometime and it’s just about ready to meet the crowdfunding community except for one little part… developing and actual infrastructure!!


I’m a natural networker and always jump on the opportunity to get involved in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area for any marketing, social media, startup, or entrepreneur focused events to meet more like-minded people (it’s hard when you’re not in college anymore and juggling 3 kids) but sadly the opportunities are just too far and few between!


You see I’ve been on this entrepreneurial mission out for just under a year and this whole thing started by accident in the first place. A year ago right now I was just a stay at home mom, part time server, and a new college grad trying to put her degree to use but, like I’m sure many of you experienced as well, -I could hardly get an interview let alone a response to an application which is why I readjusted my approach. I started blogging on LinkedIn about my experience, I really dug into the Minneapolis community meeting anybody and everybody who worked somewhere I wanted to work, or held a position I thought I’d be suited for out for a cup of coffee. I made great connections and truly was able to understand and caresse just what was going on in my community; and it was not right!

The education that I had tirelessly fought for over a span of almost 10 years (three children and one being a preemie to boot) provided me with a plethora of skills across any sales, marketing, or advertising role but if you tell the business community that they’ll tell you those are three completely opposite INDUSTRIES you have to pick one… So then you pick, let’s say sales, and the first question you’re asked is do you have any experience? Coming from 15+ years in the service industry I feel very confident in my sales skills so obviously replied with advanced skills… but do you have any quota experience? Like that is supposed to be some sort of trophy benchmark proving your ability to convince others to buy things. Yet when I tell you I can literally watch the drool form on my guests mouths as I describe a suggested meal suited to their current demeanor and remain one of the top rated servers for per person average ticket price, that doesn’t count? Really? My demeanor and personality was infectious with positivity and optimism and although many of my meetings did not result in a potential job lead I was being recommended continuously & my resume was being passed around as a suggested prospect lead for recruiters…. Long story short within a six week period I had grown my LinkedIn platform from 600 to over 3000 completely organically; that’s over 400% growth in half the time with a highly engaged community & raking in the top 1% viewed within my connections.


Now I’m a born and bred entrepreneur, so that should’ve been no surprise to me that it was time to turn my natural talent into a full-blown startup grind! It’s probably no coincidence that right around this time is when I was introduced to Gary Vaynerchuk and within a matter of eight minutes my life was forever changed. The YouTube video passed around for some Monday motivation titled the most important word stop me in my tracks as I listened to this raging voice describe every single one my thoughts, ambitions, and outlook on life as a natural hustler in a positive spin. I think that’s why I had never really made the connection to entrepreneurship because I always carry this negative connotation that my natural hustle was something negative, self-serving, and not well received amongst my highly dysfunctional family. 
Gary Vaynerchuk made it easy to differentiate the emotional baggage I carried from being deemed selfish, manipulative, & only out to benefit myself to an epiphany of self awareness and actualization that my skills were not only a positive treat highly desired by many too timid or scared to speak up but in fact was much more than a talent and more like a superpower! I call it like it is, I say what I mean and I mean what I say, and I’m confident in my education and realistic view to challenge corporate standards and take this disruptive path as a highly vocal advocate for social technology integration without fear. It is not that I cannot fit into a corporate role outlined by ancient history, but that I meant to lead others in this massive transformation to a digital economy. So, I started my own company… SoPac Inc. – SOCIAL iMPACT BRANDING helping small businesses and entrepreneurs learn how to leverage social media to build your business.

Now of course there’s a much more elaborate and detailed plan for how I intend (and am in progress) to build a massive start up that is a global social platform connecting people in an automated project management CRM system that is meant to change the entire way people work… but like I said that’s for the next crowdfunding campaign! Stay tuned though… it’s not far away!


Which brings me to the purpose of this entire story… Nine months in and what’s sitting in front of me: is to design a clearly drawn out roadmap for this epic start up, a secret Facebook group with just under 100 members of early beta suppliers, a team of eight from around the world that have come together to build and produce, which is the MVP proto type model of how my start up would work. 
I have established partnerships with an AI company out of San Diego, as well as a partnership with eCatalog services specializing in Amazon integration and shopify stores, & I’m the creator of the first ever Snapchat movie called the #GlobalSnapSwap which featured over 30 of your favorite social influencers all giving an inside look and first-hand perspective of where they were at in the world. Through Snapchat takeovers you’re literally able to take a trip around the world, 30 countries all in one day from the palm of your hand in real time leaves me with a current connection and presence literally around the world… so what’s stopping you Ashley you might ask?? Like I said I do not have the actual engineers or digital architects to help design the functionality and experience for users on my team and while maintaining my current load of social media clients I continue to try to crowd source for like-minded people to become potential cofounders illuminating the need for VC funding to hire out

(ideally we all want to bootstrap, right?)… 


Thus leading to this ever exciting invite to attend this once-in-a-lifetime, potentially life-changing, glorious opportunity made available through the community partnered with a San Diego-based VC firm currently moving into the Minneapolis area. The Twin Cities start up community is co-hosting a founders retreat located in sunny San Diego and directly aligned with the San Diego tech community for a fun and friendly founders retreat amongst some of the brightest and most driven entrepreneurs currently in the startup community across the United States! A five-day meet up that includes transportation to and from the airport, room and board alongside a partnered roommate in a beach front house and what most definitely will be an undeniably priceless and valuable networking opportunity for someone like myself… 

Wish me luck!

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