5 Tips to Maximize Your Success as a Leader + My Success Story [Podcast Interview]

In this episode Ashley shares with Christie the pivotal moments in her career that helped lead to her season of success, including the one thing that happened early in her career that changed it all. You’ll learn 5 tips to maximize your success as a leader as well as tips and success stories directly from Ashley that shape the powerful work being done within The Own Your Worth community.

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For me and my clients. It’s really about allowing them to step into their power by recognizing their value and their contribution.

Christie Lindor: You are now tuned into MECE Muse Unplugged, a podcast for go-getters on their journey to greatness. Unlock the secrets to your success through insights, inspiration, and education.

Hey, my go-getters. Welcome to The MECE Muse Unplugged podcast show. I’m your host, Christie Lindor, thrilled to be bringing you episode eight and today we’re actually going to talk about maximizing your season of success. Again, this is season two, which is all centered around the science of success. Really excited that we also get a chance to speak with Ashley Paré, CEO of Own Your Worth, and I’ll introduce her in a moment. She’s going to talk a little bit about her journey to greatness as well as how she maximizes her season of success. But, I picked this topic for a specific reason. It took me a while in my life to realize and even recognize a season of success. And what do I mean by a season of success? Let’s just say that you are in a space, whether it’s at work, it’s at home, but you’re really experiencing what I call consecutive wins, right?

So things are really going your way. That could be related to a number of different things. It can be related to your education, to your finances, to your love life, any area of your life where you have kind of set out goals and you’re starting to see, wow my goals are actually… I’m realizing them. They’re happening and you get really excited. And then you notice one thing after another start to really kind of come together and it’s a really, really exciting time. Well, I actually didn’t realize how important it was to one, recognize that, but then two to actually do something about it, to keep those wins because what happens is that, and again, this is from my own personal experience, would love to hear yours, go-getters. But what I find is that when I’m in a season of success, the universe is open and there’s a space and time that’s been created where I can continue to manifest and build momentum at that level.

And I think that’s so important to recognize. So again, I didn’t do that before or I kind of thought, “Well I’m just having a lot of luck.” So I chucked it up to luck. You know, I find that it’s not about luck, that there is kind of a method to the madness. So I actually thought about what are some things that I’ve been doing to really continue to catapult my seasons of success? And I came up with five tips that I want to share with you and then we’re going to introduce our guest for today’s show. So number one, and I just mentioned it, but I want to repeat it again because it’s so important. Recognize and acknowledge when you are in a season of consecutive wins, when you are on fire, so I like to say. Recognize that and acknowledge that. I think it’s important because what you can do is what I would say number two, when you’re in that moment, practice gratitude.

And when I say… Practice it on steroids. I find that practicing gratitude when you’re in that season and that moment you acknowledge it, but it also helps prolong the season. It helps create opportunity for more wins, and it just seems like when people are winning, they’re always winning. There’s an intent to that. So one, recognize it and knowledge when you are in a season of wins to maximize that time. Two, practice gratitude to prolong that season as long as you can. But number three I find is that be very intentional about the way that you move during this time because depending on the decisions that you’re making, again, I’m being very generic here and talking about this, but I find that when you’re in a season of wins, sometimes you’re in the space where you’re thinking this time is forever. This will always be the case and that’s not so, so I really say be very intentional about the way you move, be very thoughtful about the decisions you make to really help you not only prolonged the season, but to set yourself up for future seasons of success.

Very, very important. Number four, do not stop. Keep going. I think sometimes, again, when we’re experiencing wins and things are on the up and up, we may get to a point where we’re like, “Hey, things are good.” And we want to slow down. And for some people they may want to slow down, right? They may want to kind of just take it all in and bask in the glory of the moment they are in their life, but I personally think this is the time to continue to build on that momentum. Don’t just stop. In my opinion, I think just kind of be able to really keep going, keep pressing on, keep those habits. Whatever habits that drove you to this moment in time, keep doing those things and you’d be surprised what other opportunities, what other doors, what other things happen and manifest in your life as a result of continuing that onward motion.

And my fifth and final tip for you, if you find yourself in a season of success in order to maximize it, I think you have to really understand that every season looks different. So I may have had a season of success, let’s say four or five years ago, and whatever happened in that space of time, whoever I met, whatever opportunities unfolded, that will never ever happen again. Now I may replicate and I might find myself in similar situations or similar circumstances, but that space in time, that’s gone, right? It’s gone. And so do not compare yourself to others. Don’t say, “Well man, my friend or my colleague, she had a bigger season of success than I did.” Or anything crazy like that. Don’t compare yourself to others, but also don’t compare your one season to another season in your life.

Very, very important. Understand that each season really unfold and they manifest in a particular design, in a particular way for a reason, and being able to have additional seasons of success. Don’t try to make it look like something that happened in the past because I’ve seen this happen with mini go-getters. They try to replicate a success that they had and then it becomes fleeting. They spend a lot of time trying to replicate something that happened that really may have been a once in a lifetime type of circumstance or opportunity. So those are my five tips on how to maximize your season of success. So with that, I’m going to introduce my next guest to the show, Ashley Paré. She’s one of my favorite folks. She’s the CEO and founder of Own Your Worth, an organization focused on helping people through career negotiation break the glass ceiling.

So a little bit about Ashley. She’s actually spent 12 years in corporate human resources space. She’s going to talk a little bit about how she went from being in corporate to starting her own company. She’s also a TEDx speaker, she’s been featured in numerous publications, and her sweet spot is the ability to really help clients be able to release any limiting beliefs that they have and helping them really negotiate raises and open and really discover their own worth and be able to create the impact that they want to in the world. So as a leadership and negotiation coach, she’s been doing really, really well. I’ve been watching Ashley on the rise in her journey to greatness and she’s definitely in a season of success. So I remember when I thought of this episode, I was like, “Who can I tap that I’ve seen that’s been on fire?” And Ashley’s just that. So with that we’ll bring you Ashley.

Welcome to The MECE Muse unplugged. Ashley, how are you doing today?

Ashley Paré: I’m doing great Christie. Thank you so much for having me.

Christie Lindor: I am so excited to have you on the show. I feel like I’ve been seeing your journey from afar and from near for the last couple of years and it’s been such a blessing to just be in your ecosystem and just kind of see it unfolding. So I’m really excited to have this conversation with you today.

Ashley Paré: Thank you so much. I feel the same about your journey, so I’m excited to be here.

Christie Lindor: Yeah, yeah. So before we delve into Own Your Worth, your organization, want to kind of have my listeners really get a chance to get to know you. So I’ve got some couple of questions I want to ask to kick it off. My first question is, if your life was a book, what words would you use to describe the chapter title that kind of really exemplifies the current journey you’re on right now and why?

Ashley Paré: Oh, what a big question. Making bold leaps. For me, the chapter’s going for it and not waiting, just taking action.

Christie Lindor: Going for it. Okay. And why is that the chapter title of your life right now?

Ashley Paré: Because so many of us, and myself included, we have dreams. We think, what if? We think, in the future when all these perfect situations occur and it’s just the time is now. The time is now and nothing really holds us back except ourselves. So going for it is just giving myself permission to follow my dream and follow my passion and really speak my truth.

Christie Lindor: You know what’s interesting about that question? I feel like I’ve asked this question to multiple people that’s been guests on the show and they’ve always had the same theme, at least so far. It’s always about kind of the action and I think that really to me embodies why you are a go-getter, right? Because it’s about going for it. Right? So I love it. If you can maybe share a couple of stories with us that really helped shape your journey. Share with us whether it’s moments in your life in the past or currently that you feel has really kind of shaped where you are today.

Ashley Paré: Yeah, I think just looking back over the course of my career, I’ve had the privilege and honor of working with so many different amazing organizations, different industries from startups. Very early on in my career I was working with CEOs and CFOs and really I just feel like I got a crash course in the business world. Having started my career in HR working with smaller companies in tech, it just really opened my eyes. And so I feel that I got the best lessons in life and business throughout my career journey so far. But something that really sticks out to me as I’m looking back now from where I am as a pivotal moment was I was an HR representative and my first job after school, and I was learning to interview people, I was learning to run payroll.

Ashley Paré: I just had access to all aspects of HR. And the thing that really stuck with me was that I got access to pay data very early in my career. And so I saw what everyone was earning within that organization. And I remember specifically saying, “Ah, if that VP can earn X amount of money, then I’m going to make that someday too.” And so for me, that started this motivation I think within me because I had first of all access to information that many people didn’t, and I just created this goal. It was kind of arbitrary at the time, but that was a door that opened for me that allowed me to go after what I want and not take no for an answer.

Christie Lindor: I love it. Any other moment that you can think of past, present that’s shaped your journey to date?

Ashley Paré: I mean, making the decision to leave my corporate career was a big one, but it was something that happened over time. So I started my business, Own Your Worth, as really just a passion project. I just started teaching salary negotiation workshops because it was so important to me. And from there I started coaching clients and it just came to the point where I could no longer, right, have my career and run my business and I made the leap and it just felt so right and empowering when I made that decision, even though there’s still so much unknown, I just knew that’s what I had to do. So that was another big moment.

Christie Lindor: Yeah. That actually leads to my next question and maybe you can describe for our listeners a little bit about what Own Your Worth is all about.

Ashley Paré: Yes. So I’m a coach and consultant and I work with my clients to help them feel confident, help them create impact, and help them earn more. So originally my business started because I was really passionate about closing the gender wage gap and of course I still am, but my business has evolved to… I created a leadership program for women who want to own their worth and so I teach the leadership skills, including negotiation, that were really missing from my career. Everything from building influence, to making a case, to self care and feeling confident. So my organization is working with clients individually and also with organizations. I do a lot of speaking, a lot of workshops with leaders and organizations who are committed to empowering their employees and creating great cultures.

Christie Lindor: With the type of negotiation workshops that you offer, I know you mentioned specifically kind of those in the corporate space, do you also work with entrepreneurs or people that are like yourself who are currently in corporate and looking to make a leap?

Ashley Paré: Yes, great question. I do. And it isn’t something that I tend to talk about because I usually get the negotiation questions, but a lot of my clients have either started their own businesses or have been newly minted entrepreneurs themselves. And that’s been a big surprise for me because people have come to me to say, “Ashley, how have you done this?” And I wasn’t picturing myself as being an expert in that space at the time, but it’s really been wonderful to help others see that if I can do it, they can do it. And there’s so many different ways to start a business or to create a passion project or a career that you love.

So yes, I absolutely work with… Because from the entrepreneur’s standpoint, it’s really important that you own your worth as a business owner because you have relationships with clients, you have relationships with vendors, and being paid fairly for your work, many of us are givers and the name of the game is to not burn yourself out running your own business, but to create a life and abundance that will support you and your family.

Christie Lindor: Yeah, I actually asked that question because I actually come across other go-getters who are either it’s for their side hustle or if they have made the leap to entrepreneurship and that’s the part that they just don’t teach you in school. And I think unless you kind of grew up in an environment where you had access and kind of saw that in action, if you didn’t have that or that wasn’t really taught to you, that’s just not a skill that particularly women, it doesn’t really kind of come natural. So I was curious if you did something with entrepreneurs. So that’s great to hear that you do.

So when you talk about negotiation, are you using a particular industry methodology for your services or is it something that you kind of created?

Ashley Paré: This is something that I’ve created. And so really my methodology and approach based off of not only my career in human resources and what I’ve seen from the employer side, but my own personal journey navigating my career and climbing the corporate ladder. Again, despite the information and access that I had. So there’s a lot of information out there now and courses around negotiation, but for me and my clients, it’s really about allowing them to step into their power by recognizing their value and their contribution, and then building a case around that. So for me, it’s this beautiful combination of the client’s journey and self-reflection about what they want and then the tools to figure out how to ask for it.

And as I shared in my TEDx Talk, the biggest piece I think around negotiation is being willing to walk away. That if you’re attached to any outcome, you might not be in the right place to make your ask.

Christie Lindor: Yeah. So with kind of negotiation tactics, is there any micro habits that you can share with the listeners that they should consider? Taking your workshop is definitely one and go-getters, we’ll have links to Ashley’s organization and some of her upcoming workshops out there on the show notes, but is there any one micro habit you would say people who want to really kind of hone the skillset of that they should consider building now that it’s not much or maybe not something they thought of that would be really impactful?

Ashley Paré: So from a go-getter perspective, because this is really for people who are motivated, right? Because they want to be recognized, they want more responsibility, they want to make an impact, and they also want to be paid competitively for their contribution. I think these habits that tune into yourself and ignore whatever your company is paying in terms of the process. So what I mean by that is so many organizations will say, “Oh, we only promote people once a year.” Or, “There’s no money in the budget.” Or, there’s a lot of objections that we may hear that some of us will just take as truth. And I like to flip that and instead ask the listeners to ask themselves, where do they want to be by the end of this year? So if someone really wants to be promoted within the next three to six months, now is the time to start building a case, to start preparing, to start practicing, and to start getting all of the feedback you need. So that way you can go to your boss and really give your boss that leeway.

I mean weeks to couple of months to actually get the job done for you. Meaning there’s so much from an approval standpoint that you have to start now if you want to see the results that you’re looking for. And I think a lot of people wait until it becomes emotional. And this is what I did in my own experience when I didn’t ask for a raise in this particular company, but I had wanted to. I was afraid of hearing no and that held me back for awhile. So by the time I did ask, I was so emotionally wrapped up in it because I felt like I had been unseen for so long and part of that was on me.

Christie Lindor: Yeah. When I think about negotiation, Ashley, I think the default that comes to mind is money. You know, to your point about getting paid your worth, how about other intangibles? Do you find clients coming to you, let’s say for example they want stretch opportunities at their place of employment or they’re looking to find career sponsorship or mentorship or if it’s creating even a joint venture or anything that’s not… It may not be money directly. It’s an indirect monetary benefit. Do you find people coming to you for those types of negotiation tactics or is it more on the monetary side that you find most people are interested in?

Ashley Paré: So I think the money is the hook or is something that people feel from a pain standpoint, especially if someone finds out that a peer of theirs is making $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 more than them. So oftentimes by the time I meet a client, they’ve either realized that they’re underpaid or it does have something to do with money. However, when we dig in, it’s so much more about the other pieces. And so the intangible stuff is usually what dwindles first or an employee may lose first and then by the time, and actually they realize, “Wow, now it’s also impacting my paycheck.”

That seems to be a motivator to get people to take action. So yes, I work with clients who really just want to ask their boss to create a new path forward for them within their company. Right? Or they see a need within the organization and they’re like, “I want to be this person, so let’s create the role.” So yes, sometimes that does come with money, but it’s really about the client creating their ideal career and future. And what I see happen just also from my HR work is that many, and this is somewhat of a generalization, but I’ve seen it over and over again.

A lot of women are motivated by creating impact and relationships and doing good work, which is yes, very important, but it’s also very important that you are paid fairly. So they go hand in hand, but each person that I work with, they’re the ultimate decider of what’s most important for them in their life. So for me, early in my career, I loved to travel. I want to travel, I wanted to earn more to catch my student loans. I had different motivators than what motivates me now, which would be more flexibility, ability to make decisions, creating strategic impact. So all of those factors play into making an ask because it’s about, what’s going to keep you committed and motivated to give it your all within your organization?

Christie Lindor: I love the work you’re doing, Ashley. I think it’s so, so needed, so purpose-driven. So I look forward to see how you evolve your business. So for you, what’s next for our Own Your Worth?

Ashley Paré: Yes, I am running the next leadership program, which is called The Activator later this year. And really in terms of just getting this message of owning your worth into as many organizations and minds as possible. So I’ve already started to see it, but a lot of my clients started speaking or writing and there’s just this amazing ripple effect. So for me, I want to work with more organizations who are ready and willing to create positive, equal cultures in terms of the work that they’re doing. So for me, I think it’s really just more speaking, getting up on stages and sharing my message and really just continuing to create this movement to really impact corporate culture for the better.

Christie Lindor: Awesome. And I’m on the same mission as well, so I love the angle that you’re focused on. So it’s good to know that I’ve got a partner in crime with helping shape kind of the future of work. So Ashley, as I mentioned to you before, this season is about the science of success and I do have a question I wanted to ask you just around that topic. Are you ready?

Ashley Paré: I’m ready.

Christie Lindor: Okay, awesome. So I personally… And I could be completely wrong, but I personally feel like just from everything that I’ve known about you over the last several years, Ashley, I feel like you’re in a season of success right now. So when I say season, meaning at least on the outside looking in and it may not feel like that to you, but on the outside looking in, I definitely see you making leaps from one major milestone to the next.

So in my mind, once I seen that, you know, you see that collectively, I call that a season. And so I feel like you’re in one and would love the listeners to hear from you, what are ways that you are maximizing your season of success right now to get the most out of it?

Ashley Paré: Yeah, it’s a really great question. Success, this is a word that can have many meetings to different people. And for me it’s really about creating impact and having the opportunity and really the blessings to be able to connect and meet so many people and be a small part in their journey forward. And so, as you said, looking from the outside in, yes, there’s a TEDx Talk. There’s all amazing, amazing things that have happened to me. And for me, maximizing that has been really being intentional about first of all, who I work with and what I say yes to and the opportunity to get even more clear with myself on what is this organization that I’m building.

So I’m maximizing on it in terms of, how can I sustain this no matter what’s happening on the outside? But in terms of how much time am I investing in my business? In the beginning, it was all the time. All the time and I realized, “Okay, this is not sustainable.” So now that I’m seeing a lot of movement actually, it’s okay. Building processes, hiring great people, really giving myself permission to take a break and to take rest because I really am in this for the long haul and I want this work to reach as many people as possible. So I think I’m maximizing it by really just allowing you to say something like that to me, Christie, and just taking it in to be like, “Wow, I have worked so hard and this is wonderful and amazing and I’m so grateful for all this opportunity to really share my work with the world.” So I’m maximizing it I think for most by taking it in and also preparing for the future at the same time in the best way that I can.

Christie Lindor: Said like a true go-getter. I love it. Let’s see. My last question for you today. This is one I ask all my guests, what is a fun fact about you that someone cannot Google?

Ashley Paré: Oh, I don’t think you can Google this, but I can make my eyes dance. I can read my eyes shake back and forth. If I look at you in the eyes, my eyes will wiggle all over the place.

Christie Lindor: I’m honestly trying to imagine what that looks like. So when you say make your eyes… Your eyeballs or-

Ashley Paré: Yeah. Yeah.

Christie Lindor: Really?

Ashley Paré: Some people can wiggle their ears, I can make my eyeballs move.

Christie Lindor: That sounds like a circus trick, Ashley.

Ashley Paré: I guess. Does that qualify as fun? I think it’s more fun for the other person.

Christie Lindor: Oh my gosh. If you ever record that, please send it my way. I’m like, “We will have to post that.” Because I just can imagine it and it just is so funny.

Ashley Paré: Yay, I’ll send you a personal video

Christie Lindor: Awesome. Awesome. Well thank you so, so much for being a guest on the show, Ashley. If people are looking to connect with you, how can they find you online?

Ashley Paré: Yeah, the best way is to head on over to my website, which is ownyourworth.com and you can connect with me there, either emailing me directly or hopping on to any social media channel. But my website has not only my TEDx Talk, but all the ways that you can connect with me. If you want to reach out directly, I’d be happy to chat with any of your listeners and see them on social media.

Christie Lindor: Awesome. Well, thanks again, Ashley. Loved having you on the show. Hopefully you can return when you’ve decided to take on another great aspect of your journey. We’d love to have you back.

Ashley Paré: Yes, thank you so much Christie. I enjoyed it and thanks again for having me.

Christie Lindor: That concludes today’s show. I want to thank my guest for being with us today and thank you, my go-getters for tuning in. There are hundreds and thousands of podcasts out there, and I’m so glad that you’ve chosen The MECE Muse Unplugged to connect with. So make sure you check out today’s show notes. You can go to www.mecemuse.com for more information. Please feel free to subscribe to this podcast, share it with your friends, and rate it. Until next time, here’s to your journey to greatness.