Ashley Bernardi’s career took a couple of Goldilocks-style turns before she landed on something just right. Her story is punctuated by broadcast-worthy soundbites, which she honed after spending a decade as a network TV producer.
“I was traveling the world producing breaking news stories and I had a baby at home,” she says.
While covering events like Virginia Tech, presidential elections, and renewable energy, Ashley began to feel the tug of working motherhood.
So she traded in her passport for a 90-minute commute in the Washington, D.C. region. While Ashley loved her pivot to PR, she couldn’t help but do the math, recounting “that’s three hours I could spend with my family.”
“I am missing out on the most precious moments of my daughter’s life,” she remembers feeling at the time.
When Ashley’s second daughter was born, an “entrepreneurial fire lit inside,” and she began to dream up a way to fully integrate her career and family life.
Taking inspiration from her own mother’s journey as a “mompreneur” behind a successful dance company, Ashley took the plunge with the help of mentorship and resources from the Small Business Administration.
“I launched my company literally in my daughters’ playroom in my basement,” she says.
“Here I am four years later and loving it.”
Today, Ashley runs Nardi Media, a media relations and publicity business, with a fully remote staff, so she can be present for her three daughters.
“I want to be the first person they see when they get off the bus,” she says, describing how important it is that her daughters see her–and only her–at 3:30 p.m. every day.
While starting a company isn’t the only way to go remote, it’s what has allowed Ashley the most flexibility to meet this goal.
Women Helping Women Succeed
“My life is really fun and I wouldn’t say balanced or the same any day,” says Ashley. “It’s all integrated: my work and my play and my children.”
She’s a big advocate for anyone looking to do the same thing–whether it’s her employees or clients she works with.
“It’s no coincidence or mistake that the majority of authors that do come to me are focused on–my interests–parenting, supporting women at work, supporting women at home, health, wellness, science and business.”
Ashley shared lessons from her journey to get to a harmonious place for her career and her family. They’re as relevant for entrepreneurs as they are for anyone looking to continue building their career remotely.
Her first tip? Timing is everything.
“I wish I hadn’t waited so long but everything in my world that has happened has been the right timing,” says Ashley.
Surround yourself with the right people, including experts and “a team that can help support you and grow with you.”
“I don’t have my MBA, I didn’t go to business school but I knew I needed people who knew what they were doing,” she says.
Finally, don’t forget self-care.
“As a mom and business owner, I learned the hard way that one of the most important things I need to take care of is my health,” she says.
Whether you’re building a business or you’re on conference calls from sunrise to sunset, it’s easy to blur the lines working from home.
“I didn’t realize the serious health implications it has when you don’t take care of yourself,” says Ashley.
“But it’s so true when they say put your oxygen mask on first.”