In her soon-to-be-released book, Passion and Strategy go Hand in Hand, Aysha Treadwell goes by her maiden name in inviting readers to share her experience and hard-earned lessons as a business owner of ten years while revealing how to run a successful enterprise with love.
The book’s rhythm follows a quick and steady flow, tracing Treadwell’s journey as an entrepreneur from her first money-making pursuits and culminating to reveal how she was able to expand an award-winning adult day center that provides a much-needed service to the community.
Growing up in Indianapolis, Treadwell never imagined her life would follow the path she is on today. As the founder and owner of an established adult day center and having worked as a business consultant at the University of Georgia, Treadwell is a firm believer that entrepreneurs should not “reinvent the wheel” but rather build strategies based on tried and true processes and by learning from the example of others.
Treadwell offers her story as both a guide and a trajectory for other business owners to utilize for their own growth strategies. Her hope is that readers will apply what has worked for her, learn from her pitfalls, and then work to find their own strategies. In each chapter her advice grows more specific to drive home her key points. Throughout the pages, Treadwell shares how she learned to select the right team and manage it, as well as tips on creating multiple revenue streams, exit strategy advice, and she even shares insight on failing which can be summarized in the line “fail fast” and rebound faster.
Passion and Strategy go Hand in Hand is a heartfelt narrative, juxtaposed with strategy and practical tips through which Treadwell ultimately challenges her audience to revisit their “WHY”, the reason they got started in the first place.
Gwinnett Citizen interview with Author Aysha Treadwell:
GC: You stay pretty busy as a business owner, a consultant and a mother. What inspired you to write the book?
AT: “I’d been thinking about writing it since 2015. I’d been faced with so many challenges and I was like, ‘I know didn’t go through all this not to share it with other business owners.’ So, I started thinking about the book after I completed by MBA and expanded the center after buying the building. And I was like, ‘Okay. We’re going to survive this thing.’ At that point I was in the business for five years, and I had been through more than most, or I guess, more than I thought was normal or would have anticipated.”
GC: If there was one moment that summed up your journey as an entrepreneur, what would that be?
AT: “If I could choose one moment that really stands out, it would be when I purchased my building and expanded. I guess I had, you know, learned what to expect at that point.”
GC: Your book offers a wealth of practical advice for entrepreneurs and business owners. The sections about creating an ‘exit strategy’ are particularly interesting. What is this and why do you think this is important for entrepreneurs to understand?
AT: “It’s about asking the question, ‘Where are you now and where do you want to be?’ A lot of entrepreneurs, when building a business, assume that their children will take over. That’s not always the case [so you need to plan for the alternative]. I think I was first introduced to the concept at SBDC 2011 Growth Smart. And there, I learned that the first thing you want to do to pass on your business is scale it and grow it. Documenting your systems and where you want to go will help you strategize to work on your business, not in it.”
GC: In your book, you trace your first experiences as an entrepreneur back to your childhood when you sold candy for a local store. Can you tell me a little about that?
AT: “Yes. (Laughs) Growing up in Indiana, we had these neighborhood candy stores. As a kid, I would go there and buy blow pops, and the owner said, ‘Why don’t you sell these at school and bring me back a portion?’ The candy was cheaper if I did it that way, so that’s kind of how I got my first taste at business.”
GC: It seems you were, in a way, wired to be an entrepreneur. Do you believe that most business owners are born to be entrepreneurs?
AT: “You have to be a certain kind of individual. You have to be wired with risk-taking abilities, wanting to do it all yourself in the beginning. You have to be able to entrench yourself in your dream. So, I do think you have to be born with certain qualities that make you want to take those risks.”
GC: You tried a variety of different business endeavors before starting McKinley Community Care. When you found the senior care industry, did you feel like you had finally found your calling?”
AT: “Like I say in the book, it kind of found me. Through unique situations, it was presented to me, and out of love for our senior community, I decided I was going to be the one to show what senior care with heart looks like.”
GC: In one chapter, you describe the team-building and hiring process. After all these years, do you consider yourself an expert?
AT: “I know how to identify which people are better for certain jobs. People can sell themselves as one role or another, but we do have staff conduct meetings where I explain our expectations. I won’t hold it against someone personally for not being able to meet those expectations, but I have zero tolerance for anything less. And I always understand if someone wants to spread their wings and fly.”
GC: It seems you’re a glass-half-full kind of person. Do you think that’s an important trait for business owners?
AT: “Very much so. If you’re going to sit there and think of all the things you’re doing wrong, how are you going to focus on the necessary pieces to reach your dream?”
GC: In another part of your book, you talk about finding a work/life balance to spend time on yourself and with your family. How did you find that balance?
AT: “There were several things that helped with that. After finishing my MBA, I got 20 hours back in my week, so rather than going and working those 20 hours, I asked myself, ‘How can I take that time for me and my family?’ So, I started taking golf lessons. You have to know how to prioritize. You have to give yourself time to pause. A lot of people won’t make that time, but I think it’s critical for your longevity.”
GC: What are the most important lessons for creating a sustainable business?
AT: “No fear. Fail fast in some areas, and if they are not going to work, nip it! Do it with ease and love. I like the pace I’m at now. The pace of your life has to be with ease and love.”
GC: How long did it take you to write the book?
AT:“I started in January with a different focus, but then I went back and completely rewrote it to have a different focus. So, it was really two months to write this version.”
GC: Was the writing process ever emotionally difficult? Were you glad to finish?
AT: “The easy part was writing about the business, and the hardest was writing about myself. But I carved out time every night. And when I was done, I was like, ‘Yay. I have this time back again!’ I only finished the final draft today.”
GC: What do you believe business owners will find most helpful in reading your book?
AT: “First, I want to help them resonate with their WHY and implement strategies to help them reach wherever they want to go.
GC: Do you plan on writing more books?
AT: “Yes. I’d like to write stories about our senior citizens and caretakers and what they go through. I see these couples come in and it’s amazing to watch all the love they have and the love that they’re losing. One thing I’ve really learned from the senior care industry is what real love looks like.”
The Passion and Strategy go Hand in Handbook launch will be held July 26, 2019, from 6:30 to 11 p.m. The event will take place at The Vines Mansion located at 3500 Oak Grove Road SW, Loganville, Ga. 30052. Entry is free, and the charge for a signed book copy is $15.
Treadwell invites the entire community to come celebrate and bring their enthusiasm for business as she shares hers with family, friends, neighbors and supporters. She welcomes anyone everyone interested in expanding their business.
RSVP here: https://ayshatreadwellbooklaunchevent.eventbrite.com.