NextAdvisor Ashley Ward: Your Success Is Defined By How Happy You Are

Ashley Ward is one of the NextAdvisors signed up to advise our community in our Business Advice Programme.

As a coach, mentor and people performance innovator, Ashley is passionate about inspiring business leaders to make the most of their talents and their people.

As a seven times CEO over 26 years with four public offerings behind him, he has experienced extreme learning. He led the IPO of Orchestream in 2000 to its £1b market cap, and as MD of Cray Communications/Anite Networks led the turnaround and executed its sale in two parts to Cable & Wireless and Intel. Ashley has been involved in around 20 M&A transactions as CEO as well as around 20 individual VC funding deals. He is a former professional racing driver and instructor and competed at international level for 13 seasons and over 200 races. 

Ashley is ready to start advising you on your business. For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here

In the coaching world his 'extreme mentoring' is unique and can simply change life, return sanity and delete stress. Combined with the 'take care of you' and 'treats' approach clients become 'unclutted by the unnecessary' and double or treble their energy to effectiveness ratio.

TNW: Tell us about your current role/venture. What’s at the top of your mind with regard to your business?

AW: I’ve started an entirely different kind of PR agency. We create the messaging and communications to help our clients touch their markets and drive emotional engagement with their audience. The thesis is quite simple. Companies and teams that are liked by the market just do better, by far. It’s a combination of great communications combined with coaching and mentoring – it has a powerful effect and replaces complexity and the academic approach to business with the pragmatic; stuff that works. Simple.  

TNW: Which business topics are you most interested in providing advice on?

AW: Leadership behaviour to get the most out of people and opportunities. Press and PR.

But the biggest of all is the subject of happiness; it’s a choice, a conscious state of being. Never is it a consequence of success; rather success is a consequence of it.

TNW: How should a NextAdvisee approach their relationship with you, to get the best out of you?

AW: Don’t take themselves too seriously whilst ruthlessly using the advice I give.

TNW: What do you see as the benefits of an advice relationship, for the advisor?


My definition of wisdom is the realisation of the enormity of my own ignorance. I learn from new and fresh thinking.

TNW: Do you currently have a mentor?

AW: Many; every person I coach I learn from. But my greatest mentor in business, sadly long passed now, echoes in my mind daily and that’s after 30 years!

TNW: Which business matters have you most needed advice on during your career?


Dealing with the boredom of clutter. Success! I no longer ‘do’ clutter.

TNW: What is the most useful lesson you have learned from a mentor?


 Setting expectations realistically while shooting for the stars.

And defining the small steps; each one of which is easily achievable, that take me to the place I need to be.

TNW: Who would be your dream mentor in a fantasy world (they can be living or a historical figure)?

AW: Lord Horatio Nelson – the greatest leader of people the world has known. Brilliant strategist, respected by all levels and dared to be very different.  

TNW: Is there anything we haven’t asked you, but you would like to share with our community?

AW: There is no glory in heroic failure. It hurts and the learnings are not worth the price; prevention is better than the cure. Success is possible if you keep it simple. Success is not defined by money, it’s defined by what you contribute and how happy you are.

There’s such a huge amount of help around today you do not need to fail, it would only be because of not learning from the sources of wisdom.  

Ashley is ready to start advising you on your business. For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here

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