Want to know how I started out on my sacred business journey as a Crystal Healer & Teacher?
I get so many students asking me to share my story of how I started my healing business. So this week I’m sharing a special behind the scenes look at my sacred business journey, how I got started and how I got to where I am today.
I know so many of my Love & Light students are on their own paths to creating beautiful, sacred businesses. But many of you are on the fence about whether you should follow you heart and take your business full-time.
It can be so scary sometimes, but I want to encourage you with my own personal sacred business success story.
I’m here to tell you – the world needs you to share YOUR special gifts!
You have to follow your heart and the clues from the universe…
They’re there to tell you that this healing work truly is what you are meant to do.
You can listen in to the podcast above, or watch a special video interview below where I share my story. Enjoy!
Kelly: Hi everybody and welcome! Today we’ve got Ashley Leavy with us and she is the founder of the Love & Light School of Crystal Therapy. Hi Ashley, welcome!
Ashley: Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for having me.
Kelly: Thanks for being here. I’ve been really looking forward to this interview.
Ashley: Me too. I know we’ve had it planned for a little while, and I’m just so excited to dive in today and share with everyone.
Kelly: Yeah, great. So tell us a little bit about your story and how this all came about for you. I know you’ve got this amazing school now. How did you get from where you started to what you are doing now?
Ashley: You know, if I look back I never ever would have guessed where things were going to take me. It was one of those things where I was really just, sort of, kind of, following the doors of the universe opening for me, following the breadcrumbs, so to speak, from one thing to the next. And I’m so happy that I, kind of, listened to those little gentle nudges that I was getting because I couldn’t have asked to be in a better, happier place in my life and in my business.
So, for me this journey really started all the way back when I was a little girl. I was always interested in crystals and I would spend a lot of time with my grandfather, and he had a really large mineral collection. We’d sit in his study and he’d show me different things about the crystals and tell me about them and that was a really special time for me. You know of course when I became a teenager I got a little too cool for that stuff and, kind of, took a step back from it. It was really in my early twenties that I started to kind of reconnect and rediscover that part of myself and found that I was really looking for some deeper spiritual meaning in my life.
I had done quite a bit of self-study up until that point, learning what I could from books and from, kind of, scouring all corners of the internet. And it wasn’t until 2007 that I actually took my first professional crystal healing training with an instructor. And that was a huge transformational moment in my life! Because I finally got to really experience what it was like to learn about crystals, to share about them in a group setting, and it was, kind of, that fork-in-the-road moment for me.
Because I had actually been finishing up my degree at the University of Wisconsin in botany. I had a degree in horticulture, but there was a lot of, kind of, family and societal pressure to go do something that was going to make more money. So everyone said, you know, go back to school, do the botany degree. So I was kind of on this path to something that didn’t really resonate with me at a soul level. I mean, it was kind of like, at that point I could go have this career in botany where I was making genetically modified organisms for Monsanto or something like that, which really didn’t feel good.
Or, I could totally, you know, take this other fork in the road and listen to what I really felt called to do, and it was so scary because, you know, it was the same from everyone. “You’re never going to make any money. You’re never going to be successful. You might be happy, but you’re going to be eating macaroni and cheese out of the box for the rest of your life”. And that was really hard because I felt so torn, like, I didn’t know what the right decision was.
But ultimately I decided the other path really wasn’t making me happy. And, I saw a lot of people in my life who chose that kind of a path and were stuck in a job that wasn’t fulfilling, that they were really honestly pretty miserable in, and that carried over into really every aspect of their life. And I told myself at that moment I didn’t want that to be my story. And so no matter how hard it was, no matter what kind of odds were stacked against me, I was going to make it work. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no business experience. All I knew was that I loved crystals and I had a passion for that and that’s what made me happy and I was going to go for it.
Kelly: Yeah, and it’s so courageous, because so many people feel that way and don’t, you know, they just can’t bring themselves to do it. So yeah, it’s amazing that you did. What was the first kind of nudge into that that you took into the business?
Ashley: Yeah, well, I think the thing for me when I really weighed those two options, it was scarier to think about spending the next, you know, 10, 20, 30, 40 years of my life in a job that wasn’t going to be fulfilling. That was much scarier to me than making this big decision to go do something totally that was just this really fulfilling, kind of, a soul calling. So the very first thing I did after I took my professional crystal healing training was that I decided I really wanted to do this as a career. I wanted to have my own crystal therapy practice.
I started seeing clients, and the very first thing I did, just to get some practice, was actually just offer free sessions. I really didn’t have, you know, enough confidence yet to charge for my services. I was still figuring things out. And I thought, hey, this will be a great thing. So every person that I met that was kind of interested in what I was doing, I would invite them for a half an hour free session with me. So I’d do a 30-minute session. Because where I was practicing, it was also new to a lot of people. Crystal therapy isn’t a super mainstream thing like massage. It’s certainly probably not even as well-known as something like Reiki. So, it was challenging because it was kind of like introducing this new modality into my community.
So, I did a lot of free sessions, I went to a lot of really smaller community groups, women’s spirituality and support groups, groups for women entrepreneurs, and just talked about what I did. And then invited people to come see me for a free session. Because, like I said, I didn’t have much business experience, didn’t know what I was doing, but that just seemed like the best way at the time to, kind of, get myself out there.
While I was doing that, I was really building my confidence, because people would come see me for a free session and sometimes they’d come back and see me for a paid session as a follow up. And that was such a good feeling. Like, okay, there is some momentum. There is something happening here. It was kind of killing two birds with one stone. So I was just starting out. I was helping to build my skills and my confidence and my niche, while also kind of putting myself out there, educating my community a little bit about what I did, and it was a really good fit.=
I think the transition for me from being a practitioner into what I do now really started shortly thereafter. I found in the second half of my sessions, a lot of what I was doing was really talking to my clients about what they could do with crystals. Because part of what had kind of inspired me was, you know, my personal transformation and how powerful I felt like the stones were when I worked with them personally. And although I was getting a great deal of joy and being really fulfilled by the work I was doing with my clients, as my practice started to grow, it became more apparent to me that the thing I was most interested in was empowering other people to, kind of, take charge of their own healing. And the best way for me to do that was through teaching.
So, I’d usually spend the first half of the session doing some healing work and then the second half of the session teaching and giving my clients a little homework. Because ultimately, I wanted to see them, kind of, go out into the world and make their own relationship with crystals and do their own healing. So, once I’d kind of been doing that for a while, I realized that I really loved it. I mean, I loved doing the healing sessions, but the teaching just took me to a whole other place of happiness. And I knew that that was something that I had to do more of. So I started to put together some small events.
I dropped out of the university and started working at a New Age store in my community, and around the same time this was happening, the person I worked for at the New Age store, my boss, was looking for a business partner. She was getting to the age where she was thinking about retiring in the next few years, and I thought, “you know what, this would go so well with building my practice. This is something I really want.” But I was in my early twenties. I had no business experience, I had no money, I had no any idea what I was going to do, but I thought, you know, somehow I have to make this work.
So I, kind of, went to her and laid it all out on the line, and said, “Listen, this is something in my heart of hearts I know I’d be good at, I know I want to do, I would be so excited to do this with you, but I have no idea how I could ever afford to make payments to buy in and be a partner”. And she said, you know what – and I’ll never forget these words – she said, “You really have an ownership mentality. You treat this business like it’s your own, even though you’re just an employee here. I’ve been wanting to ask you to be my business partner, but I know you’re still thinking about whether or not you’re going to return back to school next semester, and I didn’t want to put pressure on you.”
And that was like one of my biggest signs from the universe. Like, okay, I am supposed to do this. This is something that’s important. She feels it, I feel it, so at the time where we became business partners, it really allowed me to grow and expand my business even further.
We had a small space where I could offer sessions. I could, kind of, schedule them in during my workday, which was great. I know a lot of people don’t have that luxury, but you know, I think the lesson in this is to really find something that’s going to work for you, that’s going to work for your lifestyle and what you need to create, and just piece things together around that. I mean, it doesn’t have to look like what anyone else is doing. It can just be your own thing. And I never would have thought that I would have even had those opportunities available to me, and just by speaking up, speaking my truth, and saying what I wanted and needed from the universe and from my support network around me, that’s what really started to put all those things into place.
Kelly: Yeah. And you’re really working from that abundance mindset really, you know, where you know you’ll be taken care of if you just follow those nudges.
Ashley: Absolutely. And you know it’s one of those things I think a lot of people, they tell the universe, “this is what I want,” but the universe also waits for you to, kind of, take action and, you know, really make those first steps, take those first steps, whatever those are. So, for me it was just speaking up and saying, “this is something I want.” And that was a really difficult conversation to have, but I thought, you know, again, you know, what’s the worst that could happen? She could just say, “Well, thanks for saying that, but it’s not really going to work out for me.”
Kelly: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ashley: She was so wonderful and we worked out a payment arrangement and she was okay with it, because she was, you know, planning on retiring a few years down the road and she said, you know, “I can wait. I don’t have to have it all at once.” So that worked out really well and it was actually the, kind of, perfect thing for both of us.
So, from there I started to do more events because we had this great space at the store. I started teaching more classes. I was still building my practice. I started to have some regular, repeat clients, which was really fueling my confidence. I was really starting to, kind of, own it. You know? And it was that thing of, even though I didn’t have the previous experience, even though I didn’t have business training, I was just really honest with myself and learned from every experience, my successes and my failures, and just got really clear on what was working and what wasn’t.
When something wasn’t working, instead of throwing myself a pity party, I would just think, “Okay, this isn’t working, so what else can I do, what else can I try?” One of the things that I got really a lot of clarity on was that this teaching thing was really bringing me a lot of joy. And I thought, so far, my heart has not let me down. You know? I have listened to the things that have made me the happiest, the things that I really want in my life, and I’m going to go for more of that. So I said, the teaching is really making me happy, I’m going to go for more of that. So I started hosting some workshops in our space at the store, which was lovely. I really got to connect with a lot of wonderful people and I started sending actual physical mailings, because this was back out ten years ago…
Ashley: …to everywhere in the local area I could think of that might have people that were interested in the kinds of classes I was teaching. So I was sending some mailings out to other metaphysical stores and health food stores, and co-ops, and yoga studios and all kinds of places where I thought, you know, my kind of people were hanging out. And little did I know, that’s actually like an amazing marketing thing to do. I just had no idea that that’s how you are supposed to do it. So I was really on to something.
And one of the businesses that got my flyer for one of my upcoming events was actually about an hour and a half away. And I didn’t even know this when I sent the flyer, because I was, you know, just trying to do research online of who I could mail these things to, and one of the places that I had sent a flyer to was actually a healing arts school. I thought it was just a crystal shop, but it was a crystal shop with the healing arts school attached. And this is, kind of, another one of those, you know, breadcrumbs from the universe moments…
I got a phone call from the woman who owned that school, and she said, “You’re not going to believe this, but my crystal therapy instructor just told me that she is moving to India for two years to go on this wild, once-in-a-lifetime spiritual journey, and now I have no one to teach our crystal therapy program for an upcoming semester. And I got your flyer in the mail and I’d been asking the universe to help me and provide me with this person who is supposed to teach crystal classes at my school, and then the very next day your flyer came in the mail and it said crystal therapy teacher.” And she said, “I knew I had to call you and would you be willing to put together a curriculum and come and talk to me?”
So I met with her. That really pushed me to outline the best crystal program I possibly could. And there was nothing like this at the time. So, this was a full certification program. It was 13 classes at the time that people had to go through. They’d actually make a year commitment out of their lives to go and get this training. And, it was such an amazing experience because I got to work one-on-one with people and see those transformations take place.
And I at that time had started, kind of, networking with people all over the world that were interested in crystal healing, because it still wasn’t super mainstream. So I felt very isolated and very alone a lot of times in my interest, and my hobby, and it was really hard to find others who said that’s why I reached out to people online.
I found this great online community and started sharing with them about everything we were doing in the program at this healing arts school, and I started to have people ask me, “well, can you bring that online?” And I said, “yes, I will figure it out.” So you know, again, no business experience, no tech experience, but I said, “I’m just going to make it work.” And a year later I had the program up and running. I had my first 20 students enrolled. You know, I started small but it’s just been growing ever since.
Kelly: Wow, and that was– how long ago was that?
Ashley: That was just in 2011.
Kelly: Okay, yeah. Fantastic. So, when you think back, if you had any opportunity to maybe do things a little bit differently, if you had had, say, a bit more experience, what would your words of wisdom be to anyone who is sort-of starting out? What might you do a bit differently?
Ashley: You know, that’s such a good question, and I was really kind of trying to think of that before our interview, and I think the thing I wish I had done sooner, not only in my crystal therapy practice, but then once I had the school and began growing this whole different kind of online business, I wish I had gotten a business coach. I wish I had connected with a mentor.
And there were so many resources available to me that I didn’t even know about. Here in the States we have the Small Business Administration. There are all kind of mentors who volunteer their time to help you. And now, I’ve been working with a business coach for several years, and it’s someone I still turn to for help all the time. I wish I had done that sooner, because as soon as I started to have that, just that objective third party to help me evaluate and really be more considerate about my decisions and my choices, just have an outside perspective sometimes, that’s one step back from everything else that can see the big picture a little bit more, rather than being wrapped up in all the details, that’s what’s really made a huge impact on my business.
I think I have always had a good intuition about which direction to take and how to implement and strategize, but just having someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to give you a little bit of guidance and clarity, or just help talk through something, so that you can get clarity for yourself, that’s something that I wish I had done so much sooner.
Kelly: Yeah, yeah, I definitely feel that for sure. And it comes back to that abundance mindset too, doesn’t it? If you are in scarcity or whatever, there is a real fear of putting your money out there before you’re even earning it, or paying for that sometimes in the early days especially when you are starting up, it can seem like, how I am going to come up with a couple of thousand dollars to pay somebody to mentor or coach me through the process when I am not even bringing anything in yet? And you have to sometimes put yourself right out there, throw yourself into the fire, to get exactly what you need, and just have to have faith that it’s going to come once you, you know, follow that trail of crumbs, like you said.
Ashley: I am so glad you said that, Kelly, because that’s exactly what stopped me. You know, I was trying to bootstrap my little business and grow it from nothing. You know, although my New Age job was doing great and I was able to support myself and my family with that, it still wasn’t enough to take what I was living off of and then reinvest that into growing this business. So it was really like every little bit I made in the business, I reinvested and reinvested, and it was so hard to make the decision to put those dollars into a coach when it seemed so uncertain at the time. Rather than investing in advertising or marketing or something like that.
So, I got really creative and found tons of ways to do free marketing for my business, which were great and really helped me. But then, you know, it was that fear, exactly what you said, that kind of scarcity mindset, is this really going to pay off, paying someone else for their expertise? And, like I said, as soon as I started working with that coach, I just saw my business skyrocket, and that’s like the one regret looking back that I wish I had done sooner because I feel like I’d be even further ahead, like I’d be able to reach so many more people and be so much more fulfilled.
And, it’s something that I encourage everyone to really take a hard look at. And if you’re feeling some fear-based thoughts creep in about it, really challenge those and ask yourself where they are coming from. And I you know, I mean, the bottom line is, if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. You also need to be realistic. But pushing yourself a little bit outside your comfort zone can be really beneficial too.
Kelly: Yeah absolutely. Definitely. Do you have any bits of technology or a tool of something that you’re currently using that you just couldn’t live without that you can share with us?
Ashley: I have several.
Ashley: My absolute favorite thing right now that my whole team uses is Canva. It is actually an online graphic design program basically. It’s totally free to use but then they do have little things, like if you need some stock photos to use in your business, they have things that you can purchase, but I just love it because it’s really easy. I am not a very good graphic designer. It is not a strength of mine. But I feel like with Canva I can even make something that looks beautiful and that I feel really good about. So Canva’s great. And that’s a great resource. It’s one of my favorites just for creating some cute little thing that you want to put up on Facebook, or, you know, to promote a program or something like that. I love it.
Another thing that’s been really instrumental in my business just in the past 8 or 9 months has been Infusionsoft.
Kelly: Oh yes.
Ashley: It is an email marketing software. I love it. If you’re not using any kind of email marketing software, you definitely have to get on board with that. I started out with MailChimp and it served me well for many years and then I just needed a little upgrade in the past, like I said, in the past year or so. So I kind of moved up to Infusionsoft, but that’s been really great for me.
And then the other thing that I really love is Zoom. Because my team is actually scattered all over the world. I have business coaches in California and Chicago, my VA lives in New Zealand, my customer service associate’s in Tennessee, so we can all get together on Zoom and we can have virtual conferences and it’s really easy to use and it’s free.
Kelly: Yeah, yeah, I love it. That’s great, thanks for that. I just wanted to ask you how do you optimize your day as an entrepreneur and with multiple streams of income, different things happening as well as sometimes you’re in the actual, you know, whether it’s working with clients, but then you’ve got other hats where you’re promoting/creating, like, there’s a lot of balls in the air really when you’ve, you know, when you are a creative type person and trying to bring that into business as well. So what are some of the things that you do to make it all work for you?
Ashley: I guess, a little bit, actually ties into the technology question. One of the tools that I really love is Asana and it’s a project management tool. There are others like Base Camp and things like that. I found Asana works really well for myself and my team, and that just helps me take one big project, list out every single step that I need to take to complete that project, and then it lets you assign it to yourself or a staff member or team member and then also put a due date on it. It’s also really cool because you can comment back and forth, different people can add ideas, and that really just helps me get things organized and kind of map it out. So that helps me really stay on track and see what’s coming up in terms of deadlines and due dates.
The other thing that I would really recommend to anyone watching, I read this life-changing book last year. It was called The 12 Week Year, and I can’t remember the author. It’s probably right over here on my bookshelf. But it really talked about, instead of looking at your whole year and everything that you want to get done for the year, you just look at the next 12 weeks and you pretend like if you only had those 12 weeks, if that was really like your year, how would you organize things differently? What would you focus on? And it really makes you put the most important things first and not get so caught up in the little tedious things.
Ashley: It’s kind of like that 80:20 rule, right? Like 80% of your time usually gets eaten up in the other things and it’s really only 20% that really has an impact. So, 20% of the work ends up having 80% of the impact. So, that really helped me get a lot clearer on how I needed to structure and prioritize things and then when I go into my project management software like Asana, it just helps me look at it through a different lens. You know, what’s really urgent and important, and if something’s not important, I don’t do it. If it’s not urgent, I do it later. So, it just really helps kind of get that organized and keeping me and my team kind of on the same page.
Kelly: Great, yeah, that’s really good. And do you have something that you can offer to the audience today? I think you might have a little free gift there that would be fantastic for them to come over and check out?
Ashley: I sure do. So, the thing that I wanted to share with everyone who’s watching is my Marketing for Healers Checklist. And although this is something that I designed specifically for healing arts practitioners, it’s really something that you could use in any service-based business.
And it’s some creative, boot-strappy ideas to doing marketing on the cheap when you don’t have a big budget to invest. And it’s just something that I kind of compiled for myself as a little checklist, and then I thought, I people would love this, because these were all the things that I did in the earlier days to build my business before my business could, you know, afford bigger kinds of advertising campaigns and that sort of thing. And most of the practices, we still use today, even though we are a bigger company now.
Kelly: Fantastic, I think I might download that one for myself. So, we’re going to put a link through the video and everybody can come over and jump on and download that one. So that sounds amazing, thank you.
Ashley: You’re so welcome!
Kelly: Thanks so much for your time today. I really enjoyed. I’m going to have to go back and re-watch this interview because you just gave me so much to think about. I really appreciate it.
Ashley: Well, thanks so much for having me, Kelly, it was my pleasure.
Kelly: No worries at all. Enjoy the rest of your evening. I know it’s evening where you are and morning over here, so, I hope it’s fantastic, what’s left of it, for you.
Ashley: Thank you.
Kelly: Okay, thanks Ashley.
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