Jemimah Ashleigh is an Australian entrepreneur with an interesting story. She started her career in law enforcement before finding her true passion and setting up her own jewellery business, Tangs Design.
Having built three successful businesses from scratch, she is a highly sought-after business consultant, mentor, speaker and will be releasing her first book in this year.
How did you discover you entrepreneurial side?
I had a chance encounter with a silversmith in New York City who showed me to work with metal. I ended up making a ring with him and I knew immediately that’s what I wanted to do with my life.
I ended up researching as much as I could about business and subsequently, co-founded a podcast helping people to start and navigate the business world.
Your career has been hugely varied, what made you get into the criminology side of your work?
My parents had always worked in that area and I had a flair for Legal Studies and a keen interest in law. A teacher advised me when I was choosing university degrees that I should pick something I was interested in rather than a ‘job’ at the end of it. I chose to complete my Undergraduate degree in Security, then Law and then Criminal Intelligence.
What prompted you to set up your own jewellery business?
I started making jewellery when I returned from New York City for myself. Then for friends and then for friends of friends. It was a natural progression. My business was really a passion project turned into a business.
What advice would you give to others looking to build a business from scratch?
Mostly, if you are looking at going into business, you need to be 100% in. Starting a business and only half kind of doing it, is really difficult. Be all in for your idea.
Can you define a key turning point or ‘a-ha!’ moment in your career?
I left a career in law enforcement, started a jewellery business and then a podcast. And every single time I would see someone from my law enforcement life they would ask me WHY and I would spend a lot of time explaining to people the how and why I was doing what I was doing. About 6 months into the journey, my friend Andrew across the table said to me, “explain this to me.”
I said no.
I was done explaining myself to other people. Do your job and let the results speak for themselves.
What’s been your biggest achievement in business?
Being named one of Australia’s Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs by My Entrepreneur Magazine but mostly being able to do my dream job every single day.
You ran the Business Experiment podcast, what have you learned from this?
You don’t have to be an expert in something to start it. We Googled how to start a podcast. Next minute, we were everywhere.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to set up a podcast?
Google is helpful when setting up a podcast!
Find a topic that no one else is talking about. Just go for it. Don’t over think it. We started it with an idea and went for it.
Why do you think self-care is so important for entrepreneurs?
95% of businesses fail in the first 5 years. I don’t think it’s because we don’t have good ideas, tools or good communities – it’s because we burn out.
Self care is mandatory.
You’ve struggled with anxiety in the past, how did you overcome this?
I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in 2015 and this initially was overwhelming. I went from fully functioning to barely being able to leave the house. I also slid into depression briefly before medical intervention. It was a combination of therapy, medication and learning self-care practices.
There are times when it still flairs up. When this happens, I need to check in with myself, make sure I am alright and look into therapy.
Over time, it’s gotten easier but it’s something I manage daily.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to take control of their anxiety?
SELF CARE. SELF LOVE. RESTING.
This is so important. We have overwhelming work schedules and you are no good to anyone or your business if you are running yourself into the ground.
Get medical intervention. Seek professionals.