Women In Media: Ultimate Edge Communications MD, Aleisha Haslemore

Women In Media: Ultimate Edge Communications MD, Aleisha Haslemore

While most teenagers are spending their student loans on cheap booze and tearing it up in Bali, Haslemore -the first New Zealander to compete at a World Synchronised Ice Skating Championship – got a $35,000 personal loan at the age of 19 to pay a business coach upfront. Here, she tells B&T’s Women In Media how it paid off…

Niki Waldegrave
Posted by Niki Waldegrave

What is the bravest career move you’ve ever pulled?

Stepping outside of a job that I was very good at and starting my own media agency. It was the boldest, most outrageous move I have ever made in my career and, trust me, I have done a lot of crazy things; but this one beats them all. Twelve months down the track I’m grateful that I managed to bolster-up the courage to leave my securities, ignore everyone who told me I couldn’t do it and take the first step into what has already been an incredible ride!

But 35-grand on a business coach does appear a lot?

Yes. When I was 19 I got a personal loan of $35,000 at 14 per cent to pay a business coach upfront, not knowing how the hell I was going to pay it back. I stepped out of my comfort zone, borrowed an entire year’s salary to register for a business mentoring program designed to teach exponential thinking and the strategies required to achieve extraordinary results. That’s what backing yourself and stepping outside your comfort zones are. Long story short, it was repaid in double within the next six months. As a result of this program, I quit my job in the printing industry and started a career in media. With no prior experience, I learned to mirror the masters and went on to win multiple awards, broke several records and went onto launch my own media agency.

What is your proudest career moment?

My proudest career moment so far would have to be winning the Rising Star Award at the 2014 Women in Media Awards. To be recognised as an up-and-coming female in the industry was a real honour and something that I will always be grateful to be acknowledged for.

What’s been the most challenging thing about setting up your own agency?

The most challenging thing is to figure out what your next best step is when there are probably about 20 different things you should be doing right away to improve the business as a whole. At the very beginning there is so much to do and it can quickly become overwhelming. I had to learn fast to chunk the big stuff down and tackle one thing at a time. I soon realised that anything that wasn’t the best and highest use of my time needed to be outsourced.

What’s your career goal?

To build a brilliant agency! One that is highly respected for the exponential results it delivers for clients. I want us to be known for always going the extra mile and hitting campaign objectives out of the park!

Who is your industry hero?

I would have to say Ciaran Davies, CEO of the Australian Radio Network. In the time that I worked for Ciaran, I was just so impressed by his whole philosophy. He transformed the radio business for ARN from a very traditional, slow moving business to a dynamic and leading force in the industry. For me, he’s just a really great example of what can be achieved when you really believe in your company vision.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

One: follow your passions as far as they will take you. You might just surprise yourself and discover what you are really capable of. Two: At critical moments, back yourself and follow through without doubt or hesitation. Three: Give of yourself generously along your journey and ‘pay it forward’ every chance you get.

And make sure you enter our Women in Media Awards, or nominate a colleague, here!