Today I am talking to Allison Walsh. She is a speaker, a leader, a brand and business expert. Her crowns include VP of Business Development at Advanced Recovery Systems, the founder of Allison Walsh Consulting, mom of three kids, and (quite literally crowned) Miss Florida.
In this episode we will cover:
- Doing business the right way from the start.
- Coaching and transformation.
- Being intentional as a parent and an entrepreneur.
- Be a lifelong student.
You can learn more about Allison Walsh Consulting on their website.
Check out She Believed She Could Podcast and Dear Mind, You Matter Podcast.
To speak to Allison directly, DM her on Instagram.
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Episode 231: Wearing Multiple Crowns with Allison Walsh Transcript
Andrea: [00:00:03] Welcome to the Legalpreneur podcast. I’m your host, Andrea Sager, founder and CEO of Legalpreneur Inc. As a serial entrepreneur and someone that works exclusively with small business owners legally protecting their business, I’m dedicated to covering common legal issues faced by business owners, providing you with the business knowledge you need to catapult your businesses growth and showing you just how some of the world’s most elite entrepreneurs have handled these legal and business issues themselves. In true attorney fashion, the information in this episode is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only, and you should always consult with your attorney before implementing any of the information in the show. Hello. Hello. Welcome back to.Another episode of the Legalpreneur podcast. I am so excited to be joined today by Alison Walsh of Alison Walsh Consulting. She is also the vice president of Advanced Advanced Something. Alison, thank you for joining me. She’s going to tell you what she is the vice president of. Yeah. Also, please tell everybody how you got to where you are today because I love your story in your background.
Allison: [00:01:16] Thank you. Yeah, I’m super excited to be here. So, yes, I were a couple crowns. Vice president of Business Development and Advanced Recovery Systems. I like to say that I was the OG of AHS, so I was the second person brought on to the team back in 2013. And literally it was like dirt in a dream, right? We had this vision of creating this amazing behavioral health company that was going to change and save lives. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. And we have 1000 team members now across the country. We are located physically in seven states. We also launched a mental wellness app during the pandemic as well to better meet the needs of people struggling. But we’ve had 40,000 people change their lives in our centers since we started. And to me, that’s such a special, special responsibility and honor to be able to walk alongside so many people that are literally changing their lives. So that’s one big area of focus. But it really kind of started when I was 18 years old. I got involved in the behavioral health care industry. I started a nonprofit for eating disorder, awareness and prevention after my own battle when I was in high school. And so that really motivated me to want to make a difference in people’s lives.
Allison: [00:02:29] And so started that foundation was speaking was really using my voice to create change and prevention and awareness. And about six years, five, six years later, I was crowned Miss Florida and had the chance to go to Miss America and put that message on stage and really take advantage of a really loud microphone that I had during that year. And so from there, just stayed in the behavioral health care industry, thought I wanted to be an attorney, so mad props to you, but went to law school because I wanted to really kind of like fight insurance companies because I was seeing all of these people being denied care and coverage. And I was like, This is not fair. And I was so, so upset about it, but realized during law school that I could I could do different things with that legal degree. So I ended up not even sitting for the bar. I did graduate, but decided that was not for me, but simultaneously started consulting. And that’s kind of where Walsh Consulting came from and have worked with amazing women that are just really leveling up in business in life alongside building this company. So and I’m a mom of three, so there you go. A crazy story.
Andrea: [00:03:34] I love it. I have I had the goosebumps the whole time. I was like, oh, my gosh, so much we could dive into one thing that is like burning on my mind because I think a lot of people are here as you have been part of the AHS team, which sounds which sounds like it’s more maybe not necessarily the corporate world, but more of a corporate setting. And now you also have your own thing. I would love to hear how you started that, your own thing and how you’ve managed to stay at the top of your game. I mean, you’re.
Allison: [00:04:07] Yeah.
Andrea: [00:04:07] You’re the VP. I would love to hear about that.
Allison: [00:04:10] Yeah, absolutely. And I think for me, the coaching and consulting side of it was always something that was kind of going on. It was the lever that I could push or pull, right, depending on what was needed of me. And obviously, you know, I carry a lot of responsibility within advance recovery systems and have a lot of people underneath me and need to pour in. But I also find so much fulfillment and joy in pouring into others, and they’ve always complemented each other in so many different ways, ways beyond what I even thought they would. And so a lot of the women that I work with, they always expect me to be on top of whatever’s next. So I’m constantly learning and growing and developing, and then I’m able to share that with R’s too. And on the flip side, I’ve ended up when I first started coaching and consulting, I was younger. I was coaching people close to my age range, whereas now I’ve been able to evolve that and as a result I’m able to work with women who are in the corporate setting, who understand, I understand what their needs are, I understand their challenges. So my ideal client has really evolved over time to as I’ve evolved. And so that’s been really fun, but always really making sure that my priorities are straight and that I’m not taking on too much. There was definitely a period of time in which I was spread really thin, like when we first started this company back in, Oh gosh, this was around 2014.
Allison: [00:05:31] I mean, we had one facility when we first started. It was still very small in comparison to what it is now. But I also had a physical location, a studio that I coached out of, and we had 200 clients. Like, it was nice, right, that we’re flying in from all over the country. I had a business. At the time the company blew up when we merged that iteration of the business. And so in 2014, she got pregnant with her fourth kid. I got promoted at RS like we were positioned for growth. We had partnered with private equity. It was game time and we were like, Something’s got to give, right? And so that was a perfect opportunity to kind of readjust the business to make sense for my life at that time, but to still give me the opportunity to do it. And so we wound down the physical location. That’s when I pivoted into like an online business model back in 2015, and it was able to make it work for me and kind of adjust the clientele, right, and what I could show up and do for them, because I never want to compromise quality in anything that I do. But sometimes that means you have to reduce on the quantity side. So it was a really important pivotal time. Otherwise I don’t think I would have been able to do either. Well, so But yeah, it’s fun. Love it, Love all the crowns. Yes. That I get to wear.
Andrea: [00:06:43] Including the Florida crown.
Allison: [00:06:44] Yes, exactly.
Andrea: [00:06:46] I love that. It’s amazing. So tell me about transitioning out of that with your business partner. We hear a lot of talk about business partners and it sounds like you may have had a clean break, which is wonderful. What I love to hear, I would love to hear like, did you all have any written agreements between the two of you? Which is fine if you don’t, but I would love to hear hear that be played out 100%.
Allison: [00:07:08] So both of us went to law school. Ironically so. And even there, I mean, we were really good friends before and we wanted to be really good friends after no matter what. And we’re godmothers to each other’s kids. Like it was really important to preserve the relationship. And so that was one of the first things that we did was put those things in place. And I’m really glad that we always had that document to reflect back on, and it was just part of it. We didn’t make it emotional. I think sometimes people think, Oh well, there’s a contract, it’s never going to get to that. And it’s almost like they get offended by it. But I think both of us having an appreciation for it, our husbands are both attorneys too, so there’s just a lot of law and a lot of respect for the law and what it can do to provide that infrastructure and support for people. And so it was just part of our process, and we did it from the very beginning, and that was really helpful. And then we had to continue to lean on legal documents and legal advice as the business continued to evolve because we had different things of different vendors, freelancers, all the things, right? I mean, so much more than we realize. But it was important for us to have that strong foundation. And I encourage all of the clients that I have now to start the right way, like you’re going to end up making so many more mistakes than you realize. It’s just entrepreneurship and it’s like, have the foundation have the things in place to protect you, your business, yourself, everything. It’s just best to do it the right way from the beginning.
Andrea: [00:08:38] Yes. And I love that you mentioned about getting, you know, having everything in writing. And I wish I had data on this. But what I would love to see data on is the amount of disputes that happen between partners that don’t have a written agreement versus those that do have a written agreement. Because I, I what I try to explain to people is, look, the goal is to never have to rely on this document. And that’s because everything is clear. It is clean cut in this agreement. The reason so many issues do come up when there is not a written agreement is because you have an idea of what this partnership is in your head and your partner has another idea in their head. And at the end of the day, no matter what, no matter how similar you are, it is not the same vision. Right? And if you don’t put it all on paper, that’s when the issues come about. So I’m so glad that you mentioned that.
Allison: [00:09:30] Oh yeah. No, that was really important. I mean, it’s the foundation and you’re absolutely right, because there. They don’t want gray areas. And at least when there’s something in writing there, is that something to look back on and be like, Oh, actually, that’s not how I thought it was. Got it. Check myself so and so.
Andrea: [00:09:49] I would love to hear How do you support your clients today? And I’m in. More specifically, is it one on one coaching? Is it group coaching? Do you have masterminds? Because I feel like you, Alison Walsh, are like one of the OG coaches back in the day because if you want to talk about coaches today, they started yesterday or last year. And so going back to 2013 and I feel like those are the OGs.
Allison: [00:10:13] Oh yeah, and even it started before. So 2013 was that iteration of it. So yes, no old school over here, right? So it actually my first one when I first my first version started in 2008, I’ve always loved the one on one transformation. And so that to me, and even with my team now, right, like I love coaching sessions with my team at RS too, right? Like it’s I love taking somebody from point A to point C and I love I call it like the light switch effect where it’s like all of a sudden they realize how freaking awesome they are and it’s like, Yes, we can do anything. So I love that. So primarily one on one have really also embraced some consulting work from a corporate perspective to like team based. I’m always running some type of a challenge or community, so I’ve got the she believes she could community and the society as well which is more of just an on demand platform to continue to enhance your business and your brand. But like right now we’re going into a goals challenge. I love the end of the year because you can get so much momentum and then canceling on yourself in the beginning of the year is not an option because you’ve gained that traction.
Allison: [00:11:18] So I’ll do fun things like that too for the community as well, but really love working with ambitious women who are just ready to crush it and level up and focus on themselves. Most of my clients on that side of the house are starting something new. Whether they’re launching a business, they’re launching their personal brand. Like That’s my number one package is the launch of brand package, or they’re really investing in themselves to write a book or they’re doing something. They want to be a speaker, right? So we’re like packaging them, we’re polishing them up, we’re getting them ready, and we’re building up their mindset and their resilience too, so that they can really kind of step out on their own and be confident and really nail it. So that’s really kind of where I spend the most of my time and energy, but also love speaking and workshops and all that fun stuff too.
Andrea: [00:12:04] So, oh, I love it. And I want to touch a little bit on the personal side, having three you said three kids, right?
Allison: [00:12:10] I do have three kids.
Andrea: [00:12:12] How old? How old are.They?
Allison: [00:12:13] Ten, six and three.
Andrea: [00:12:15] Oh, my gosh. Okay. So as a mom of two, minor, three and five. So my goal, obviously, like, I want the world I am one of I’m like, I’m not going to slow down my career because I have kids, because I want to bring them along with me. So I would love to hear your perspective being this boss woman in corporate as an entrepreneur and having three kids. And I don’t like to ask like, Oh, how do you handle it with three kids? But I just want because like, what? He’s asking your husband that, but I want to because, I mean, nobody’s asking my ex-husband, Oh, how are you handling your job when you have two kids? But I love to hear from the women that are doing so much and how they’re incorporating their kids as much as possible And what they’re doing.
Allison: [00:13:07] Well, I love this question because I work every day to inspire them to chase their dreams, too, and they know that this is mom chasing her dream. And I think that if I did anything less than this, I’d be dimming my light and I never want them to dim theirs. And so I really try to embrace and cultivate within them whatever their passions are. I try to connect back everything that I’m doing to explain why and like, what is this doing and why is this lighting me up and why does this matter to me? And what does this do for us as a family and all of those things? Because, you know, especially my girls, my son is my youngest. I have two girls and then a little boy, my my ten year old daughter is highly impressionable right now, and I want her to believe in herself. 1,000% like that is my mission. And I want her to see in her what others see in her as well. And so I can only do that by bottling that myself. Right. And building her up, but also showing her that mom’s going to take brave and bold risks. Mom’s going to chase her dreams. Mom’s going to do these things because they matter, right? And and I’m going to prioritize. I’m going to carve out time to do the things that I need to do for me. And so that’s really important. And I do take her along for the ride, and I have really transparent conversations with her about things that I wish I would have had conversations about younger, you know, like around money, around chasing the dreams, around the work that goes into it, right.
Allison: [00:14:25] About discipline and consistency and commitment. And all of those things are so important for kids to learn that they don’t necessarily get those lessons in school. And so you have to, as a parent, really be in. Know about it. So that’s really important. The other thing that is really important to me is to show them that I am I’m doing the things to right. So especially when it comes to taking care of myself because I’ve lived this life that I’ve had and I had my own battle in high school and I’ve walked alongside thousands and thousands and thousands of people that have struggled. I have to prioritize myself and what matters to to me as well. And so they know that I get up early so I can work on me so that by the time they wake up, I’m ready to pour into them. And so that’s the routine I’ve created for myself, and it allows me to show up and be a great mom and be able to do all of the other things that I want to do. So just really honest and transparent conversations around that for them has made a big difference. So I hope that’s that’s helpful for those moms out there that are listening.
Andrea: [00:15:27] Absolutely. I that’s and that’s where I am. Like my daughter’s three. My son is five. And my daughter, she’s young to really understand, but I still like every opportunity that I get. I mean, they’re young. And at the stage where when mommy has to travel, they are sad and they want to come along. And finally, we have our conference in Phoenix. And I had told my parents, I said, I really want you all to come and bring the kids. And so they’re coming. And I am so excited and I’ve been hyping them up. I’m like, y’all, they want they want to come to work with Mommy. And I’m like, Y’all are finally going to come to work with Mommy. And so they’re all excited. And really, I Have you heard the song lately? It’s called Daydream by Lily Mayela. She was on America, too. She’s on America’s Got Talent. I have my daughters singing that every single day in the car. She’s like, Mommy, put on our favorite song. And that literally I’m literally like, trying to instill it in the kids. Like, you can do whatever you want because a lot of people ask me, they’re like, How? Like, how have you been able to do these things? And I’m like, literally, like, there’s literally nothing special about me. I just believed my parents when they said I could do whatever I wanted. Like I just believe them. So I’m like, Oh, I’m just going to daydream and go and try and make it happen.
Allison: [00:16:48] No, And I love that. I love that. And I think they need to. Right. And I love that your kids are going to see you in action, too, because it’s going to give them the opportunity to see you in a new light and in your zone of genius doing things that you love and that you’re happy doing. And yeah, it’s hard to travel, though. I think that’s the other thing. I mean, we were chatting before we hit record and I had a week of travel last week and I had my village write my parents, thank God and our support team at home. I’ve got a great nanny that’s been with us for six years. That really is our our rock all the time. And but I’m I ask for help. Right? I’ve got another travel week coming up, too. And it’s like pulling in the people so that I know they’re okay so I can be okay. Right? Like, if I don’t feel like I’ve got that, then I’m all over the place. So it’s like really asking for help to, I think is something that sometimes moms feel guilty or that they shouldn’t or that they have to be everything to everyone. But at the same time, like we all have things that we need to do and ways in which we need to show up for ourselves, for companies, for clients, for whoever it is like. So make sure that you’re showing up for your kids to buy by making sure you’ve got enough support and that you feel really good about that too, because then they’ll feel better about it as well.
Andrea: [00:18:04] Yeah, I know the kids. That’s been one of my bigger challenges, especially since they’re their dad and I split up because he’s very much the the kids are my number one priority. I’m not going to do anything in life except focus on them, which is great. I’m like, If that’s what you want to do, that is amazing. That is not what I want to do. Like, I want the world and I want to bring the kids along with me. And so I like I literally just trust and know that right now they may cry as I leave. They may get really sad and beg for me to come home. But I just know, like, hey, as long as I’m very transparent with them and explain, like they’ll be older and they’ll understand and they’re going to see like, Hey, Mommy was selfish about achieving her dreams, but that’s okay, because now I know that I have permission to be selfish, to go after my dreams.
Allison: [00:18:55] And it’s important for them to see that. And I think different stages and phases of life to will allow anybody who’s listening to make those decisions like I was in my specific role several years ago. Pre COVID, right, was heavy travel, heavy expectations. And I realized during COVID that I actually really wanted to be home more still able to travel, but not three weeks out of the month. Right. Like, I can’t I couldn’t do that anymore. And especially with three and and I think having those brave conversations with whoever’s on your team, Right. I had to have that conversation at work. Like this particular role is I can’t meet the needs and the way I once. But I still have can add all of this value to the company. And we’re at a place where maybe we could redefine what this looks like. And they were awesome, you know, and they had the ability to flex with me to to create a new position to allow me kind of stay in my zone of genius, to have a good integration and still be out in front and representing the organization in great ways, but not every day in the field. And so I think knowing yourself to and where you are in your career, where you are in life and being okay with it being fluid, right. That it doesn’t just because it’s one way now doesn’t mean it has to be that way in a few years and really creating what a success look like for you right now and then building everything else around that instead of allowing somebody else to drive your success. Plus you’ve got to own that piece of it and then build the life around it that you want.
Andrea: [00:20:25] Oh, I love that. I’m not going to ask any other questions besides your last questions because I love that. Like what? What does success look to you right now? Like, build that? I love that. So I could sit here and talk to you all day. But the one question that I do ask everyone on the podcast is what is your number one business tip? It doesn’t have to be related to your industry, your niche. Just if anybody off the street came up to you and said, Hey, what is your number one business tip in general? What is it?
Allison: [00:20:56] Don’t be afraid to do the work. I think there’s this misconception right now, and I don’t know if it’s social media, I don’t know what caused it, but that everything’s supposed to be easy and you don’t have to work hard. And it’s like you actually don’t have to do anything for passive income. You just have to do this one thing. Yeah, but there’s like all this other stuff that gets set up before you can even make a passive income. So it’s like, you know, I think that that’s one thing that I struggle with, especially because I hire so many people, right? Like I have a huge team and all of these things and work ethic and discipline and doing the work like blinders on Mindset strong, put your head down, get it done and continue to learn every single day. I think that’s the other thing. So maybe I get two tips, but don’t be afraid to do the work and be a lifelong student because things change quickly. Things are always evolving. There’s always something new. There’s so much potential in this world. And I think if you have a very limited mindset or approach to things, you’re going to get left behind. Just always learning, always growing, always improving. It’s that 1% better mentality that we’ve really ingrained in our culture here, and it allows you to stay fluid and flexible to as you go.
Andrea: [00:22:05] Amazing. Alison, thank you so much. Can you please tell everybody where they can find you, where they can check out all your programs?
Allison: [00:22:14] Absolutely.
Allison: [00:22:15] So Alison Walsh Consulting has a ton of wonderful goodies on there. That’s all of the consulting side of things. If you’re interested in the podcast, I actually have two. So you are on my She Believes She Could, which is awesome. All about female empowerment. We also have to remind you matter for advanced recovery systems. They’re talking a lot about mental health and wellness and really taking care of yourself. And of course our app Nobu and all those fun things you can download from the App Store, but very active on Instagram. So feel free to DM me whenever it’s at. Alison Walsh I always respond and I love that community too, and I’ve got a book coming out next year, so stay tuned for when. Oh so probably fall of next year. Manuscript is due in January and it looks like it’ll probably be a fall release, but really excited to be publishing with Wylie and it’s a whole new adventure again, just learning as I go and really embracing the journey and very excited to share everything.
Allison: [00:23:07] That was incredible. Congrats. We will definitely be on the lookout for that. And Alison, thank you so, so much. This is incredible.
Andrea: [00:23:14] Thank you so much. I appreciate being here with you.
Andrea: [00:23:19] Here at Legalpreneur, we’re committed to providing a supportive legal community for all business owners. I know how scary the legal stuff can be. If you found this information helpful, I would be so grateful if you could share it with a fellow business owner. And quite frankly, it doesn’t cost anything to write, review or subscribe to the show. Your support helps me reach more listeners, which allows me to support more business owners in their entrepreneurial journey. Have any questions or comments about the show? Feel free to drop me a line on Instagram. I promise. I read all of the messages and comments, and if you want to be a guest on the show or know someone that would make a great guest, simply fill out our application form and a team member will reach out if we think it’s a good fit. I’ll see you in the next episode.