MF 089 : Youngry’s Ash Kumra on Finding a Purpose and Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs
Updated: Jun 17
Ash Kumra is the founder and CEO of Youngry, a media company that inspires and elevates young and hungry entrepreneurs to thrive. Today, Ash will share how discovering his purpose led to starting a movement and why you should start each morning with a celebration of you.
Successes at a glance:
Founder and CEO of Youngry: a media compare that inspires and elevates young entrepreneurs.
Featured in Forbes and cited as starter of a movement to galvanize young entrepreneurs.
Honored and recognized by the White House twice as an entrepreneur making a difference.
Author of several books:
How Ash gets inspired to conquer the day:
As Ash tells it, he is a student of life. This is a philosophy that Ash learned from one of his mentors; best selling author and Youngry investor, Ryan Blair is one of the pioneers of social media-based 30-day and 60-day challenges that transcend traditional notions of marketing in favor of movements. This mindset not only motivated Ash to launch Youngry as a media startup but to cultivate a movement to inspire young entrepreneurs. For Ash, being an entrepreneur isn’t just selling a product or service, it’s a constant commitment and journey of self-development and self-improvement to better serve his market. Ash also learned this from his business partner, who is also the Chief Strategy Officer of SHREDZ®. As Ash explains, SHREDZ® can be seen on the one hand as a supplements and fitness-products company. But what defines SHREDZ® is its mission to change 1 million lives: a bold, audacious statement. This type of mindset is what inspired the name Youngry, which had in mind the celebration of the entrepreneurial journey by uniting entrepreneurs and accelerating them on their journey.
Importing this mindset to a daily practice, Ash tells us it doesn’t matter if it’s two hours or a minute, but you need to have time carved out each day to celebrate you before you start your day. If that sounds vague or esoteric, Ash breaks it down simply to this: do something that makes you happy. This can come in the form a spiritual practice such as meditation but doesn’t have to be, so long as it’s something that brings you joy and celebrates you. Moving Forward listeners, Ash has given you a macro and micro way to get inspired. Do you have a mindset that goes beyond a product, service or in the case of a career, a job w/ a paycheck? Are you part of something larger that is impacting the lives of others for the better? On a micro level, are you starting each day by celebrating you or are you following someone else’s agenda? Take that hour or if you’re busy, those precious few minutes to celebrate you, whether via spiritual practice or just by doing something that brings you joy. This is how Ash kick starts his busy days so that he can conquer and handle anything that comes his way. As Ash puts it, the real test is how you handle things that will and do occur that are out of your control. The more you invest in yourself before starting the day, the better equipped you will be to conquer it. And that listeners, is how you move forward with confidence and consistency.
Setback or failure that led to pivot and shift:
Ash starts by reminding us that when you’re living your spiritual purpose and are mindful of your tactical day-to-day actions, you are at your most free. You will open the path to allowing yourself to be the best version of you. Even though he has been entrepreneur for a long time, for Ash, Youngry is the first time he has truly achieved this state of living his purpose. In the past, Ash’s ventures were driven by fads, trends or for self-gratification and money. As a result of these less fulfilling and less authentic motivations, five to six years ago, Ash hit rock bottom. Ash self-destructed as his business declined and with no money or assets, he was forced to move to a neighborhood plagued with gang violence. Ash was not only filled with pain and despair, he was surrounded by it in the environment. It was at that moment, that Ash was inspired by Ryan Blair’s book ‘Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain’ (Paperback | Kindle), to take some time to reflect and gain greater self-awareness. From there, Ash shifted his perspective to always be cognizant of the fact that he is ultimately responsible for every decision in his life. To illustrate, Ash shares a recent experience where he was in early discussions with a potential investor for Youngry. This particular individual was a friend and showed tremendous enthusiasm for the project. However, when it came time to show up, he didn’t follow through. Ash was understandably disappointed. It wasn’t so much that this individual didn’t invest but that he didn’t even bother to say no; he just dropped off. Instead of stewing, Ash gained true perspective and ownership of the situation by realizing he should have bridged clearer lines of communication with this individual so there would no misunderstandings or hard feelings. Ash was not a victim of this individual’s not following through. Rather he was in complete control over his actions, his words and interactions. This one individual’s inaction, while disappointing, would not define Ash’s or Youngry’s success. Moving Forward listeners, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. As Ash shared in his daily practice, the reason why it’s so important to celebrate yourself is to be grounded enough so that you can handle the unexpected with grace under pressure. This tremendous introspective shift is what allowed Ash to get out of bad slump, to pivot and move forward.
Resource or cultural experience that inspired Ash to move forward:
‘Inside Steve’s Brain’ by Leander Kahney (Paperback | Kindle): recommended if you want to learn how Steve Jobs thought; how did get stuff done and what were some of the details behind Apple. This is a book Ash revisits and cites as one of the best manuals on how to get stuff done in a truly meaningful way.
Select books from Indian culture, written 5-10,000 years ago. For Ash, it’s the tenets on how to be the best person you can be and live the best life you can that inspires him.
Find books like this here.
Find great titles on Audible.
Nature: Ash loves the ocean and has to be near it. Or as he puts it, he would not trade a small beachfront home the size of a car for a mansion on the hills.
How Ash stays organized and manages his time:
Get enough sleep by getting up when you’re rested. Ash explains that it’s important to account for your past day’s activities, whether it’s rigorous exercise, a big sumptuous meal or both, by having the correct amount of rest. Ash does not get up at a standard time. That said, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should sleep in late. Ash advises that if your mornings are early, go to bed early – give up the Netflix or that happy hour so you can get enough rest. Be mindful of your body and how much sleep you need.
Be mindful: Ash circles back to his earlier statement about celebrating yourself. It’s not what you do but how often you stick with it. As long as you do something, whether it’s a minute or an hour, celerate you on a daily basis, before you start your day.
Favorite app / website / resource or productivity hack:
Mindvalley: a great hub for resources and practices to growth hack your mind. Ash highlights one of their apps, Omvana (IOS | Google Play), which has among many great features, a 16-minute guided meditation. This is Ash’s favorite go-to app for when he needs to regain his center and focus when things get hectic.
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Ash’s Advice for you to Move Forward:
Never give up! Time builds everything. If you see yourself in a business or career where things are at a rock bottom state, one of two outcomes are in your control. Either you will turn it around (and Ash has provided some great mindset hacks today to help you get there) or you will pivot as Ash did and find something that brings you greater joy and fulfillment. To get you on this path to pivot, start small. As Ash shared on this week’s episode, start with something as small as a minute of gratitude a day. Celebrate you. Then, double it the next day, triple it the next and so forth. Use a force multiplier to generate momentum and a mindset shift with the gratitude you express and this celebration of you. This is how a kernel of change can create huge momentum that will create the pivot you need so you can move forward.
Connect with Ash: