Ashlee Arnold is vice president and chief financial officer of e7 Health and U.S. Drug Test Centers; the former offers preventive health and wellness services such as physical exams, vaccinations, laboratory testing and drug testing, while the latter partners with companies to help maintain drug-free workplaces.
What are your three biggest professional accomplishments?
First and foremost, it is the position I have achieved. This is not just a 9-to-5 job. I really had to work hard, step outside of my comfort zone, and invest myself in achieving this goal. I also had to inspire my team to work with me to create and perform our duties while achieving a level of excellence. All of the hard work has really paid off even though at the time, I didn’t realize what my position would develop into.
Second is opening our e7 Health office in downtown Chicago in 2014. It was a risk to open it nationally instead of just keeping it here in Las Vegas, but it has been very successful.
Finally, taking U.S. Drug Test Centers from a branch to becoming its own entity and nationwide company. We were successful locally, but to reach out all over the country and offer the same services, that was a gamble. But it’s now one of the most successful drug testing companies in the country. All of us invested time and energy without any guarantee.
What is the key to a successful budget?
Accuracy is vital, and that includes analyzing the data for realistic projections. There are so many factors to consider, not just profit and loss or investment of capital. There are hidden costs to consider, the rate on investment, and assigning a monetary value to time invested. Of course, payables and receivables are part of the equation as well as projects scheduled for the future. Emergencies are also a factor in a budget to include unexpected costs. I maintain an attitude to budget for everything and anything that can happen, because the one time you don’t budget for something, you will wish you did.
What’s the best business advice you’ve received?
Work smarter, not harder. It is not about the time you put in but your heart and energy. You need to ask yourself if you really love what you do and if you really love the company you’re with. If you don’t, then it becomes a burden. Just because you work 100 hours a week, doesn’t mean you are going to be successful or your company is going to thrive. You need to know when and what to delegate, and cultivate a great team to support you. If it is a solo effort involving hundreds of hours, you are not going to reach your goals.
Where’s your favorite place to explore or people watch in Las Vegas?
I love walking my dogs in the dog park and watching the other dogs and their owners. I have a husky, Dax, and a German shepherd, Trigger, and watching them play and run with the other dogs brings such joy to me. Fur parents are the best to watch since they interact with their pets and also feel the same love that I do for Dax and Trigger.
If you could change one thing about Southern Nevada, what would it be?
I would have to say the never-ending construction and roadwork. All of the lane closures and detours can be so frustrating. When trying to run a business, theses delays cost me time and energy. I understand that these improvements need to be made, but there has to be a more productive way. I would research how other cities handle their roadwork and implement the most successful ways to complete it with as little interruption as possible. We depend on our roads and we are a driving community.
What is your dream job outside of your current field?
I would become a motivational speaker. I would first want to reach out to younger people, especially out of high school or college, and give them the tools to follow their dreams and understand that they could have a superior role in a large company at a young age. I know about the reports of excessive college debt due to loans and grim news about employment. But I would inspire everyone that regardless of their age or background, they can do anything they want as long as their heart is in it. While finances and making money is essential, it is not just about making money. If you hate what you do for a living, regardless of how much you make, you will burn out so quickly.
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
Maui would be my first choice. I finally visited Hawaii, and I fell in love with the island. The people in Maui are so sweet and I like the pace of life. It is humid there, so that would be a change, but that would benefit my skin. The food is so fresh, and the surroundings are amazing. There are so many activities with a chance to also relax on the beach.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
I have to admit that if people don’t use correct grammar or spelling in their emails or other communications, that just irritates me. I don’t want to read a run-on sentence or see too many periods. It just drives me crazy if someone can’t compose a properly worded and formatted email, especially when you could potentially be working with them.
If you could spend a day in anybody’s shoes, who would you choose and why?
It would definitely be Darren Hardy because I think he is an amazing motivational speaker. Darren is an author, which is another one of my goals, and his daily motivational texts inspire me. I would love to meet him one day. He is an inspiration, and I appreciate his views on many subjects.
What is something that people might not know about you?
I literally eat breakfast from McDonald’s five times a week. Every single morning, I order a sausage McMuffin with no egg along with coffee. I it to get me going.