How One Founder Found His Next Act, Surfside

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KAMIL MANKA ON UNSPLASH

Originally published at Forbes.com

Since beginning these posts about compassionate leadership last Fall, I have had the great honor of meeting amazing thinkers, world changers and entrepreneurs. This summer, I partnered with a gifted film producer named Kevin Wood so I can share a few compassionate conversations with my neighbors in the Hamptons through video as well as text.

I recently sat down with, Ashley Heather, the accomplished, kind and hardworking founder of The Spur, a community and co-working space for entrepreneurs like himself in the Hamptons. If there’s one thing we can learn from him it’s that when we pursue our passions and personal interests, our path is lit up by opportunity. I would call Ashley a linker, one of the Seven Pivot with Purpose Leadership Types found here:

7 leadership types
pivot typesCOMPASSIONATELEADERSCIRCLE.COM

Ashley falls into the linker category because he is currently wearing several hats including founder, mentor and investor. One of his current ventures is Off the Scale is a platform aimed at transforming healthcare. He is constantly drawn to new technologies, people, and his superpower is to be able to connect the dots in business and collaboration.  His advice to other linkers includes structuring your time and finding ways to leverage all the relationships you are developing concurrently.

Ashley moved to New York City from the UK in 2001, and fueled by his passion for business and technology he founded MusiKube, an app that allowed you to identify what song you’re listening to in real-time. This is just one example of Ashley taking the initiative in pursuing something that he loves, music, and turning it into an exciting venture.

There’s no denying that being an entrepreneur certainly comes with its highs and lows. For Ashley, he has enjoyed his work and the access he has had to some of his heroes including Richard Branson and Bill Gates. In our interview, that we filmed at the Spur in Southampton, NY, he also touch on some of the difficulties and loss he’s faced such as having to cut 80 percent of his employees at one point in his journey.

Despite the challenges, he’s always bounced back and encourages others to do the same. In 2008 he founded his second company, one of the first social commerce agencies that managed to thrive despite the economic crash and was one of the first to capitalize on social media and social platforms as a way to improve business. It eventually sold, allowing Ashley to find more balance in his lifestyle, focus on some philanthropic ventures, and transition from a Hampton “weekender” to living here full time with his beautiful family. His idea for The Spur came about as an opportunity to help others like himself find work-life balance and create a space of productivity, innovation, and connection.  

Ashley’s journey is motivating and his entrepreneurial spirit is infectious. In this video of the interview, we dive deeply into his role as a linker and how he’s able to combine ideas with his interests for great success and fulfillment:

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