Overcoming the Struggle


Ashley Joves is no stranger to struggle. Within 3 years, she’s been dealt one of the hardest hands a startup practice can face, and overcome it. This same resilient mindset is carrying her through these present trials.

“Anyone that says that doing this is easy is lying”

When Ashley launched Smile & Co three years ago she was entering into one of the most saturated markets for a dental practice in Folsom California (1 dentist per 660 people). Success would take clever marketing and a practice model that stood out.

6 weeks after launch, and now beginning to see momentum, Ashley met an unplanned obstacle. She began to feel sick; her two sons had a stomach bug and figured she had picked it up. Turns out, she was actually pregnant with her now third son. Her nausea and sickness took a toll on her seeing new patients, sometimes needing to even send them home from their appointments because Ashley was unable to see them.

After a year of balancing 3 sons and a new practice, Ashley receives a cease and desist letter from her attorney concerning her brand. This brand was more than a name, it was her identity, it was her story, and this brought out the fight in her. After a year and a half of legal fees, halted marketing, and hefty settlements the name “Smile & Co” was finally hers.

“When your back is to the wall, it makes you find a way out”

These trials Ashley faced and the trial we all face with COVID-19 and the economic downturn are not easy. They take real determination and fight to make it through. There are some of the ways Ashley has been able to keep her head up in these times, that we can all take inspiration from.


We need a foundation of hope to turn to when our world starts collapsing around us. For Ashley, prayer and faith that this will ultimately work out for good have navigated her when the way is unclear.


Our day can become a whirlwind of activity before we know it, and finding time to focus can keep us from getting swept up in it. Finding an hour to herself in the mornings has given Ashley the time to get her mind right before a busy schedule. She’ll spend time listening to podcasts, practicing mindfulness techniques, or just quietly reflecting on her thoughts.

For those looking to practice mindfulness, the Headspace App is FREE for all health care providers through the end of 2020.


Ashley’s patients, staff, and colleagues have given her the support and connection she needs to make it through hardship. She’s a part of a Facebook group for other startups, a slack channel where she and her team share uplifting thoughts and funny memes, and even has patients reaching out to see how she’s holding up.

“We’re not going through this alone, we have each other”

If you’re looking for a group to connect with, especially if you’re a startup practice owner, Ashley’s startup group on Facebook is a great place to jump in and stay connected!


The dental practice landscape is changing at an ever faster rate. Protect your investment by putting together a strategic marketing plan customized to you. Schedule your consultation with me.

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