ABSPancakes.com | AshleyDrummonds.com | www.ABSFitnessBusiness.com
I started out in 2009 as a NASM Personal trainer with a passion for helping people. Along that journey and as you will read below what sparked the idea, I created the ABS Protein Pancakes and was the first Entrepreneur on Season 7 of Shark Tank. From that, I have been featured on ABC Shark Tank, HSN, ABC Action News, Oxygen Magazine, Forbes.com, and so much more! After starting a personal training business out of a passion from health and fitness working with private clients she has taken that passion online and created a successful business with the ABS Protein Pancake line, ABS Fit Life TV, and The ABS Fitness Business coaching all helping people create a body, business and life they love! I also recently became a WSET Level 3 Sommelier out of my passion for wine which I am sure will one day be another business venture in itself! :)
My focus is to empower women to create a life, body and business they absolutely love through various coaching methods that involve inner and outer strength training. Using my own personal experience and education, I have helped hundreds of individuals not just regain control of their health and fitness, but also empowering individuals to create a life, business and body of their dreams!
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
Honestly, I was a personal trainer working exhausting hours looking for something I could do that wouldn’t require more of my time, but would allow me to increase my income and still help people. On top of that, I also was tired of eating food I didn’t enjoy simply to have the body I want so out of wanting to enjoy my favorite foods and make more money I took a recipe of protein pancakes that I used personally for myself for years and one day woke up with the thought of “I wonder if I packaged this if anyone else would buy it or enjoy it” and I started the process of learning everything I could about protein products, food manufacturing, building an online business and now it’s a globally recognized brand.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Oh gosh, there were a lot! Finding a manufacturer who would work with me as a start up and meet my minimums was really challenging in the food/nutrition world because most manufacturers wouldn’t even talk to me unless I could meet their minimum of 30,000 units plus when I was starting out with just a few orders each week. That took a ton of time researching and jumping on calls pitching myself and my product to find someone who would take a chance to work with me. On top of that, a lot of the growing pains was really just learning the back end of an ecommerce business and what all is necessary with creating skus, registering your barcodes, connecting API keys with your fulfillment center, getting packaging and nutrition labels approved, all while still just hoping and praying that it all worked out and would be a success. I had a lot of people who thought my idea of the ABS Protein Pancakes was “cute”, but didn’t take it or me seriously so I had to really develop a strong belief in myself and my brand from the very start which is what I think a lot new entrepreneurs deal with as well.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My family and friends were/are extremely supportive and always encouraging me to follow my heart and listen to my gut. However, business acquaintances and people I looked up to at the time didn’t have that same feeling which was super frustrating. I remember a business coach I had at the time telling me I should NOT go with my idea and that it was a huge mistake and I cried my eyes out because I believed so much that the ABS Protein Pancakes would be a big brand one day and my lesson on that day was sometimes it’s more important for you to listen to your own guidance then someone else’s but also being ok with that even if you are wrong and it does completely fail at least you honoured that voice inside of you.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Single most? Whew that’s tough to narrow it down to one thing. I don’t think I can because is a collection of the support of my friends and family, the perseverance to keep going, and just showing up every day to move one step closer to the business I wanted.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
That you really are so much more capable than you think. There are fewer people doing big things than what we all think when we first are starting out. When I first started I felt like I was just trying to stand out in a crowd of millions of others doing the same thing, but what I have learned is a lot of people give up and quit very quickly and sometimes being successful is simply just sticking with it and to keep going. You don’t have to have all the answers at the beginning. Just start and keep showing up.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Exactly that! Just start! There is never the perfect time, there is never a perfect formula, just start and you will figure it out a long the way. For anyone new to the business world, there are tons of ups and downs and we all are really just figuring out so don’t be afraid to not know or to ask for help. Successful people want to help others be successful and any of them who don’t aren’t people you want to connect with anyways lol. Start with where you are, with what you have and trust yourself that you will figure out the journey and answers in the process.