Ashley Stoyanov Ojeda was building her consulting career when she realized there was a lack of Latina representation in business. As the daughter of a Mexican woman, Stoyanov Ojeda wished she saw or heard more people like herself on the cover of business magazines or speaking on business podcasts.
“There was this need for a resource, a guide for Latina entrepreneurs,” Stoyanov Ojeda told Insider. “If you look at all of the big business podcasts, books, and people that we look up to, they’re all white.”
Stoyanov Ojeda decided to become that guide. Today, she’s a full-time consultant at her eponymous brand, Ashley K. Stoyanov LLC, and author of “Jefa in Training” — jefa means “female boss” in Spanish — a business guidebook written in Spanglish.
Before launching her latest business, Stoyanov Ojeda was already a creator: After graduating from Hunter College in New York City, she moved to Portland, Oregon, to “find herself,” and there fused her love for music, creative women, and community-building to launch a nonprofit.
What started as a monthly showcase at a local venue turned into an international organization for women’s songwriters. The event series spanned 16 cities and comprised more than 10,000 community members, Stoyanov Ojeda said.
That experience helped foster skills like business development, pitching, and scaling, which she uses for her consulting clients today. Stoyanov Ojeda shared her experience building her business and why diversifying her offerings and writing a book helped establish her as an expert.
This is an as-told-to essay based on an interview that has been slightly edited for length and clarity.
My consulting work has gone through various stages. I started with 90-minute, one-on-one sessions, which I still offer. But as I grew my customer base and established myself in the field, I began offering recurring monthly and weekly sessions, which are my most popular offering today.
I also expanded to speaking engagements, which has since become my most lucrative business branch, amounting to about 15% of my annual revenue.
Additionally, last year, I launched retreats where I bring clients to Mexico for business strategy sessions in the mornings and cultural activities in the afternoon. And I started creating content for university courses, which brought in about 10% of my revenue last year.
My highest-tier program is called “part-time COO.” When a client purchases this service, I join their team for a few hours each month, for three to six months, to work with the founder. We focus on a big goal, whether that’s a launch or pivot, and I’ll train team members and take part in team meetings.
In March 2022, I published “Jefa in Training,” which is a step-by-step guide to building your business that includes case studies and success stories from Latina entrepreneurs. Because it’s written in Spanglish, it’s targeted toward a Latina demographic.
The idea for the book came from a time in 2019 when my nonprofit was really growing but I felt stuck because the business didn’t have a proper foundation: There was no financial plan or strategy. I wanted to help other founders who might be in that situation today.
Once I introduced being an author to my portfolio, it created more opportunities for me as a consultant. For instance, it brought more speaking opportunities and created press buzz around my brand.
What people have to realize is that, before you decide to become an author, you have to think about what you want to get out of the book. You’re probably not going to make millions of dollars from book sales, so you have to know how to use the book as a tool instead. That could mean getting more clients, landing more speaking engagements, or becoming a thought leader.
A book can be a great way to develop that trust factor with your community. So I encourage others to go for it, but know that that’s how you have to use it.
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