Stand Tall In Your Story: Ashley Butler
Speaker 1: Hello, this is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of the Badass Womens Council podcast. And I'm super glad that you're here. We have a very, very, very special series, binge- worthy one might say, called Stand Tall in Your Story. And these episodes come to you straight from an event that we held on March 8th of 2022, called Stand Tall in Your Story. It was held at the Vogue theater in Broad Ripple, Indiana, and it features seven amazing women who have been through an experience that I host every year, called Rise and Thrive. A seven month experience for these women to really discover themselves again, so that they can stand tall in their story. And as they go through this seven month experience, there's a story that bubbles up in them. A very human story that they know that they need to share because someone, or many someones, probably need to hear it. And so I'm excited to bring these stories to you. As I said, they're short and powerful and mighty and binge worthy. So let's get started, shall we? Next up, we have Ashley Butler and Ashley is the founder of a company called MySherri. And before she founded this organization that's really changing the perspectives about how high achieving women see household duties and responsibilities... Which y'all need to check that out. It's a very important and interesting message that she has and company that she started. Before that she started this company, she has been an anesthesiologist, as you do. It's a great example of one of the concepts that I write about in my book, that life is long and we can explore lots of different careers in our lifetime. We don't have to be stuck with one thing. So she has modeled that exceptionally. In fact, exceptionally is a word that I would use to describe Ashley. She doesn't do anything a little bit. Everything is done to the pinnacle of success. She, as a singer, not just a singer, a mezzo- soprano, a singer that could have gone on to sing professionally, and ultimately didn't choose that route. Went in to become a doctor, and not just a doctor, but an anesthesiologist. And now as a founder, she's absolutely exceptional in what she's creating for her team and her clients. And she's a storyteller as you're going to see here in her story, here we go.( Singing).
Ashley Butler: So I'm going to start this... Can you hear me? inaudible. Awesome. I'm going to start out with it's way past my bedtime. My team knows this. Eight o'clock I turn into a pumpkin, so we'll see how this goes. My mom has a photo of me when I was about 12 years old. I was standing out in my grandma's backyard, looking up at a tree. I don't know who took the photo or why. And I didn't know that it was happening at the time, but as I look back at the photo, what I do know is exactly what I was doing at that moment. I was staring up and I was watching a bright red Cardinal flit from branch to branch, listening to its distinct call. And then hearing from a distance, another return its call. With one final call, the bright red bird launched itself into flight toward the other. This was a pivotal moment in my life. Watching that bird take flight. You see, by that age, I knew what it meant to be hungry and sometimes cold. I knew that some mornings where I woke up would not be where I would lay my head down to sleep that night. In fact, the day that photo was taken, my mom, brother and I had just moved into one 15 by 15 foot bedroom at my grandma's home. The change was sudden and abrupt, like most things in my life at that point. But my dad had, once again, threatened to kill my mom and she finally believed him. So there I stood watching as this bird took flight, thinking to myself, I wish I could fly, fly away from all of this and never come back. It was on that day, that a feeling inside of me took the shape of a little bird. And I knew that it was going to carry me to more glorious places than I could ever imagine. Of all of the things I might not have had growing up, I did have the ability to excel in school. And boy, did I see education as a way for me to spread my wings and fly. So I set out on a path to become a doctor. On this journey, my little bird grew and spread its wings, giving me the power, not just to fly, but to soar. And once I landed, I was top of my medical school class, accepted into a competitive specialization in one of the best programs in the country, and recognized not only for my ability to lead colleagues, but to comfort patients. Despite this so- called success, medicine did not deliver the freedom I had imagined. I was entrapped in a sick healthcare system with high expectations to produce profits, not to heal people. I hit the walls of the system that enclosed around me. My wings were broken. I was broken. And somehow my bird had been trapped in a golden cage. I didn't see any way out. My bird, that had carried me so far, was now silent, locked away deep inside of me, where I thought it would remain forever. My bird was dying. And so was I. It seemed the most compassionate thing to do was to hasten a comfortable end for my suffering bird in me. Because for me as a physician, death is not scary, it's simply a part of life. And so on a cold day, last March, I set out to work in a haze, knowing exactly how our story would end, but it turns out that my bird had different plans. From deep inside, I began to hear just its faintest call. And I knew I had to get out of that hospital. The call told me that it was not yet time to leave earth, but time to leave medicine. And so, as I stood in front of those hospital doors, feeling the warmth of the sun streaming through the glass windows and the rush of the cold air as people came and went, I moved toward them and the waiting cold. It was like throwing the door of that cage open, ready for my bird and I to fly once again. But as I stepped through the doorway, I realized that we were not flying, we were falling. There is an exhilaration that comes with falling, but there's an undeniable fear that accompanies that. And it took me a little bit to realize that falling was all part of learning to fly again. My bird flitted and fluttered with excitement, as I explored what possibilities existed for me outside of medicine. I dedicated myself to being CEO of MySherri. You see, MySherri is a dream I founded. One that employs and then deploys an amazing in- home workforce that takes care of the task list that rattles around in our mind sucking up energy. The one that you're probably thinking about right now. And it gives valuable time back to us for the people and projects that matter most. Because let's be honest people, no one is giving us a gold star for a perfect looking linen closet, just not happening. And over the past year, this dream has blossomed into a reality where we've given dozens of women, thousands, I'm going to say that again, thousands of hours back to spend on more date nights, story time with kids, or wait for it, simply relaxing. What? What? MySherri makes home a destination. And we do that while also taking care of the amazing people who do this work. Where's my team at? Boop. As my bird continued to give me the courage to fly higher, I met other women who had their birds caged for all sorts of reasons. Like Lindsay, CEO of a fast growing company who wanted to be a client of MySherri because it turns out her real passion is not folding laundry or doing dishes. It happens to be building and growing relationships with her husband, her children, and her team. Or Tiffany, an employee, who didn't even believe that we were a real company when she applied, but she wasn't fulfilled by her prior work and believed in what we were building. So she decided to give us a shot. And in return, we opened up our arms wide and welcomed her into a culture where we really care about our people and they get gold stars for perfect linen closets. Or my cousin, Nicole, who continued to work as a nurse, even when that wasn't any longer her calling, because she, quote, went to school to do it. It was really important for her to be able to build a business and spend time with her children making priceless memories that matter. All of these women made a choice to open up that cage door and fall into flight. I've been fortunate to be a part of that with them. And I wanted them to know that they weren't alone. And like that Cardinal at the beginning of my story, calling off to another far in the distance, I want women to know that someone is here listening. And I will fly to you if you need me. My bird's name is hope and I'll share the greatest lesson she has taught me. Sometimes you must fall before you can fly. Thank you.
Speaker 1: And she didn't even get a wine flight before she shared it tonight. So sorry about that. I think we're all starting to see how important it is to squash this achievement based culture that has infiltrated our work, our education, and our lives, so that we can be more free to be ourselves. Thank you for sharing your story so much. Give another hand for Ashley. Thanks for being here for our binge worthy series Stand Tall in your story. I have a super doper fun thing starting this summer. This could be the best summer of your life. In fact, that's just what I'm calling it as the tagline. So starting on June 21st, which is the first day of summer, I'm launching a four month, Your Summer Story series. The best summer of your life. And it is a combination of reflection and connection, which you know that's what we're about around here. So it's all virtual. It's a series of journal prompts and information that comes from my book, Write Your Own Story. You can participate from anywhere in the world. We will give you, each week, workbooks and reflection questions that you work through the summer. And also each week, I'll pop in with a live, teaching you on the little concept or a little conversation that we'll have. And then each month we'll gather together as a group and you can share how it's going and learn a little bit from each other. I'll give you all the details in a document. So go to wethrive. live, look for the best summer of your life information. And we'd love to have you join us. We start June 21st.
The Rise & Thrive experience has been transformational for our leading ladies and their businesses. The 7-month-long experience leads to the Stand Tall In Your Story series, where the women of Rise & Thrive share their stories on stage, bringing everyone together to connect and celebrate.
This episode is the fifth story of Rebecca's Stand Tall In Your Story series, featuring Ashley Butler, who tells her story about how she learned the lesson: You must fall before you can fly.