Blueprints for Building Wealth + Financial Freedom

Ashley McDonough

Are you ready to redefine what wealth looks like for you, your family, and your future? We love it! But, how to begin?

Prudential knows all about the importance of generational wealth building in the Black community and understands that the journey to building wealth looks different for everyone. Blueprints to Black Wealth builds on Prudential’s long-standing commitment to invest in communities, organizations and institutions that drive economic inclusion.

To help you draft the blueprints for your success, we went to a new entrepreneur to see how they got started. Meet Ashley McDonough, a Howard University grad and the founder of Melanin On The Map—the first Travel App dedicated to minority travelers. It serves as a safe place for information, community, and travel income opportunities.

Ashley has always been destined for a career in travel, and right here she shows you how she did it, so you can be inspired to work toward your goals with confidence.

Passion Leads to Courage
Melanin On The Map was a passion project. Growing up first generation American, with both parents of Caribbean descent, traveling and culture was just a part of Ashley’s life. “As I got older and experienced more of both, I knew I wanted to create a platform and community that showcased more of that,” she says.

When Ashley took her first steps into entrepreneurship, it was all about research, research, research! “So many new entrepreneurs take the shortcut these days with social media and starting a business that they forget the basics in protecting the business,” she says. “From who I bank with, websites, developers, trademarks, LLC’s everything, I knew I wanted to own and operate a full travel business not just a travel hobby. I wanted to monetize so doing my research was important.”

Success, Style, and Substance
As an entrepreneur, Ashley views money differently than most. She believes that money is fluid, you have to spend it to make it and as entrepreneurs you should be smart and strategic with your money moves but not attached to it. “For me setting monthly income goals, saving goals and a monthly budget in business has helped me structure and strategize my business exponentially,” she says.

Now 5 years in, success looks the same as it did when she first stated—helping her audience create their dream life and hit their own travel and income goals for themselves. “I’ve worked hard, built a thriving 55,000+ community, coached 700+ travel professionals, took hundreds across the globe from Bali to St Lucia, now I’m focused more on systems and time freedom so I can still have the business I’ve envisioned, travel the world, and be financially thriving,” Ashley says.

Blueprints for Building Wealth + Financial Freedom
Ashley McDonough

All About Future Tripping
Planning for tomorrow started when Ashley made her first dollar. “One of the first things I did once I started making real money in business is open up several accounts, all serving a different purpose,” she says. “Opening up my High Yield Savings account allowed me to really see how my money can make me money and allowed me to easily start to save and invest.”

And now she is getting ready to tackle her next big goal—real estate. “I’ll be purchasing my first investment property this year as we head into international property soon after. Retirement for me will be all about enjoying the fruits of my labor from various parts of the world so I’m getting a head start now with the right business and financial goals,” says Ashley. “I turn 30 this year and believe it’s never too early to start planning for your future, I know my future self is already thanking me for it.” 

Inspired by Ashley? Yeah, we are too! With help from Prudential, you are free to build a Blueprint that can help empower you to reach your financial goals. Click here to start building your Blueprint so you can put your plan into action.

This article is part of a paid sponsorship between ESSENCE Communications, Inc. and Prudential Financial, Inc.  This communication is for educational, awareness and financial literacy purposes. All opinions are of ESSENCE and Ashley McDonough. Ashley McDonough does not promote, recommend, or endorse Prudential’s investment advisory products and/or services.


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