Y’all, I am so excited to introduce you to Ashlee Hightower McHugh of Contracts for Creatives and Cobalt Chronicles. She gives us all the deets, so let’s jump right in!
Where can we find you?
Share a bit about your background:
After graduating from law school and passing the bar exam, I practiced law for over three years at a large, national law firm in Birmingham, Alabama. I then transitioned into a more corporate legal job in Washington, DC at a global publishing company where I worked as a legal editor writing and editing legal articles.
While working as a legal editor, to scratch my own creative itch, I launched a style and travel blog, Cobalt Chronicles. As I dove deeper into the blogging world and began to meet creatives in different fields (photographers, graphic designers, event planners, etc.), I realized there was a hole in a lot of my peers’ businesses - they weren’t utilizing contracts to protect themselves and their businesses.
With my background in the blogging world and my legal expertise, I launched my Contracts for Creatives business!
What prompted you to start Contracts for Creatives?
Through the blogging world and by being immersed in the creative scene in DC, I realized that there was such a need for legal assistance in the solo entrepreneur and creative entrepreneur space. I love being able to use my law degree and legal background to help clients who I want to see succeed. I'm a big believer in community over competition, and I'm happy that I can contribute my set of skills to help my clients grow their businesses.
Who is your target client?
I work mostly with solo entrepreneurs who are running creative businesses. Most of my clients are female, and although I don't specifically market myself to female entrepreneurs, I do love that there are so many women out there pursuing their passions and crafts! My clients range from bloggers, photographers, web designers, graphic designers, event planners, artists, prop stylists, professional coaches, etc.
What does your typical morning look like?
You can actually read all about my morning routine in this recent post I published on Cobalt Chronicles! I'm an early riser. I wake up every day between 5:00 - 5:30 AM. I love the mornings. I find so much peace in the morning hours. No text messages, no inundation of emails, no horns honking outside ... I'm most productive in the mornings. The hours between 5:30 - 11:00 AM are when I get the majority of my deep thinking projects done for the day.
Organizational tools you can’t live without?
My Erin Condren planner and legal pads. I use my planner for the big picture and daily tasks, and I use my legal pads for dividing each day up into time blocks. I have a separate sheet for each new day of the week. I'm old school and write everything down.
One legal tool you most frequently recommend to your clients?
I think the best legal tool someone can have is to not be afraid to challenge contracts and ask questions about contract language they don't understand. Knowing when to reach out to an attorney for a second pair of eyes is a great tool to have in your back pocket.
One piece of advice to other solopreneur and small business owners:
Know your worth. And then add tax. It's a phrase that the founders of The Blog Societies always have on display at their annual conference. I hosted a workshop at the conference last year, and I'll be there again this year! I’m excited that Kate will be hosting a workshop too! It's so important to know your worth as a solo/small business owner and stand your ground on that worth when setting your rates.
Ashlee, thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me to teach us more about what you do for influencers and creatives. If you don’t already, follow along with Ashlee here: www.ashleehightower.com and @contractsforcreatives
Until next time!