We’re thrilled to kick-off our first Prowess Tribe Spotlight of 2020 with Ashourrina Henshaw. One of the many things that we love about Ashourrina is her unmatched devotion and participation in the Prowess Project tribe. She is the first to welcome a new member and provide suggestions when one arises. Our community would not be the same without you!
Background – what have you done, where are you from, what do you want us to know about you?
A little about me: I grew up in a south suburb of Chicago but I always knew I wanted to escape the Midwest, and more specifically, the “suburbs” so I’ve moved around a lot. At 18, I left home and moved into the city to “find myself” that journey took several failed relationships, getting mixed up with the wrong crowd, a lot of mistakes, even more tears, and 5 years to spiral through. I am not sure I can really say I have “found myself” but I definitely have improved the quality of my life and I’d like to think I am also improving the quality of those lives around me. Regarding what I do: I am very proud of being a 28 year old real estate investor. My boyfriend and I purchase properties in Northwest Indiana, renovate them, and then turn them into long term rentals. In addition to that venture, I am a full time project manager for EMG where I manage construction projects for fortune 500 clients. I also am a licensed real estate agent in Indiana and I am working on stating up my first company for real estate analytics. (You heard it here first!) Most importantly, I am a dog mom. Needless to say, I am very busy but I couldn’t be more thrilled with where I am now compared to the person I was 10, even 5 years ago.
How does the Prowess Project mission -empowering women in the workplace – speak to you?
One thing I recently learned about myself is that I want to own my own business. I had this idea a few years ago in college and an opportunity arose where I could have had a phenomenal (albeit male!) partner. In discussing ideas with him, I started to get “cold feet” and have doubts about why “I” could be the one to make this idea become a reality? Who was I to start a business? The lack of self confidence not only destroyed my ability to move forward, it also made me appear to be a weak partner. After unraveling this confidence issue (among other issues, with a licensed therapist) I am finally getting to a place where I believe in myself. A huge part of raising up myself is being surrounded by like minded woman who feel confident and powerful. Prowess Project gives me platform to help myself grow but even more than that, it provides me a way to give back by interacting with other woman and providing insight where I can be of benefit.
Describe the moment when you realized “holy sh*t, Prowess Project is going to change the world!”.
I was visiting my sister in Austin a few months ago and she invited me to a business meeting for Prowess Project. I was so jet lagged and half asleep when she came to tell me she was leaving for her meeting but I was so intrigued by the company that I threw something on and ran out the door. It was at this meeting where I sat with Leah and Ashley and got a first hand experience at what the mission of this company is and how they were going to completely rock the workforce as we know it. I was completely blown away by the way they worked together and I was in awe of how intelligent they all were. This was the moment I knew these ladies could take over the world if they wanted to.
What’s your all-time favorite productivity hack (this can be in personal & professional life)?
My phone – I know it’s going to sound so simple and lame but I think I have downloaded (even paid for) several apps promising to help make you the most productive. I’ve tried tactics like time blocking, the pomodoro timer, working on the hardest task first, working on the easiest task first, etc and it all just gets old real fast. The only true method I use consistently is the notes app to jot down literally everything I think of on the go and the reminders app. Oh, and the calendar app. Everything I do goes on my calendar. Seriously though, the reminders app is pure gold!
If you could bring attention to one thing that women deal with or excel at, that goes unnoticed or unthanked, what would it be?
The expectation that they must manage everything. School sign-ups? Guess who is taking time off to drive the kid? Packing for a trip? Guess who double checks if the husband packed his decongestant? (spoiler alert, he didn’t.) It’s not just in our personal lives. Woman are so trained to think they have to be the one to take care of everything in the household that now that we are in the workforce, it spills over there. We prep people for meetings with no recognition, we manage large projects and events where people still complain that it wasn’t perfect. I’m not saying that it’s all bad, and I hope my answer doesn’t read that way. I just get so fired up when I think of how responsible women have to be compared to male counterparts both personally and professionally and it irks me that it is still the social norm. This is exactly why I am so thrilled to be part of Prowess Project and in a tribe of women who are on the forefront of helping cultivate this WAY OVERDUE change
What does a “me” day look like to you? (how do you recharge?)
The day for sure starts with sleeping in. After waking up naturally, not from my alarm, I’d hop in the car with my dog and take a trip to Starbucks. Cold brew in one hand, puppaccino in the other, I’d head back home and sit in the big comfy chair and turn on the tv. The rest of my day would be just as uneventful. My version of recharging consists of doing nothing. I tend to keep myself really busy and to prevent burnout, my ‘off’ days are completely off. I may lay out by the pool, I may get lunch with a friend, but I most definitely am not doing work and I most definitely am snuggling with my 95 pound “thinks he’s a lap” dog, Buddy.
I’m going to be honest, I really struggled with this question because I couldn’t come up with an actual definition. However, what I came up with, is that empowerment is a feeling. I have been dealt some crappy cards over the years and I think for a while I let myself drown in that. I allowed myself to believe I couldn’t have all the great things. Then I met someone, my now boyfriend, who helped me realize I do deserve “all the things”. I felt empowered when I worked 2 jobs during college so I could graduate with a kick ass degree all paid for by myself. I felt empowered when I applied for 100 jobs and a fortune 500 company hired me on the spot right out of college. I felt empowered when I was the only woman in a group and instead of letting them take the lead, I did. I guess if I had to some it up in a definition, empowerment is not accepting life but creating it. Creating and manifesting opportunities that help better your life and the lives of those around you. More than that, empowerment is feeling like you deserve these opportunities and that you’re worthy of greatness.
How can we connect with you?
LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram – Search for Ashourrina and I promise I am the only one!