ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Are You Making Money or Losing It? Also: Porridge

In: Money Talk

It's never just about the money coming in; you have to consider the money going out. 

When you take on a job, sure, you might earn $5,000.

But what's the cost of earning it? 

If you have to forfeit 3 other projects (and your favorite Wednesday night TV show) for a combined total revenue of $15,000, you're not making money. You're losing it.

As an example, when our team embarks on a copywriting project, oftentimes we get asked for heavy consulting advice, too–from how a program should be structured, to what a service should include, to what price points should be…and every element of their business model.

So in order to serve those folks, say we decide to offer some type of $500 consulting add-on.

Sounds like a great upsell, right?

Wrong, and here's why.

Because consulting takes time, and it takes energy, and it takes a lot of it. It isn't something you can just throw out there off the top of your head–you've got to be strategic. You've got to investigate. You've got to dig deep. You've got to form an educated opinion, based on a client's specific circumstances. In short, you've got to do a good fucking job.

And while that's all good and well, if I have to dedicate the rest of the working day to doing that, then I can't use it to do other things. Things like: Writing a book proposal, marketing our company, creating business-changing workshops, building useful resources, and more. In other words–all of the other high leverage activities that are much more useful to a whole group of people, instead of just one person, and are also more profitable, too. (My favorite win win.)

So when you frame it like that–which makes better business sense?

Allowing for a $500 consulting add on, maybe selling 4/month for a total of $2,000…because you feel obligated to.

…Or giving yourself the bandwidth to make an extra $100,000 this year through smart, higher leverage efforts?

Because if you could have made $100K doing something else, then offering your consulting add-on for $2,000/month or $24,000/year in revenue minus expenses (like employee salaries), then at best you've just lost $75,000.

At worst (and more realistically), you've lost more than that.

My point?

It isn't that you don't want to help people. It isn't that their money isn't perfectly good money. It's simply that you need to pick and choose your business battles.

And pick and choose your business strategies.

Put on your cost-benefit analysis thinking cap.

Be smart.

And while you're at it?

Don't run around doing business without a contract, for goodness sake.

It's poor form, and then I'm going to have to come visit you in the slammer, and then you're going to be all mad I didn't bring cookies, and then I'm going to be all, “But I don't bake cookies,” and then you're going to grimace and fling a spoonful of porridge at me.

And then I'm going to be pissed.

May 7

2013

Are You Making Money or Losing It? Also: Porridge

May 7, 2013

It’s never just about the money coming in; you have to consider the money going out.  When you take on a job, sure, you might earn $5,000. But what’s the cost of earning it?  If you have to forfeit 3 other projects (and your favorite Wednesday night TV show) for a combined total revenue of […]

In: Money Talk

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Jun 14

2017

Spending Money is Not a Sacrifice, But a Strategy

Jun 14, 2017

Spending money is not a sacrifice, but a strategy. Most people don’t look at it like that, though, and so they spend less—and end up making less, too. But money is like a lever—which, not so coincidentally, comes from the French word, “to raise.” If you think of a seesaw, on one side you have […]

In: Money Talk

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Apr 11

2019

Ladies: DO NOT LET THEM MONEY-SHAME YOU

Apr 11, 2019

You know what’s been blowing RIGHT up my skirt lately? That women are shamed for wanting money—as if this is a bad thing. We’re shamed for charging it, for thinking about it, and for daring to create something that we—brace yourselves, folks—want money for, in exchange. There’s this unspoken code of conduct that comes with […]

In: Money Talk

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Jul 14

2017

The Case For Charging Good Money (Featuring an $800 Example)

Jul 14, 2017

So here’s some crazy shit: a few weeks ago, I spent $800+ on supplements. DID YOU ALMOST PASS OUT AT THAT NUMBER BECAUSE I DEFINITELY DID. But there was good reason, however, and that good reason includes the words “hypothyroid” and “dangerously deficient” and “body full of inflammation”—which explains SO MANY THINGS, including why dropping […]

In: Money Talk

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Jun 9

2015

Making Money is Not as Hard as Most People Make It

Jun 9, 2015

There is a distinct and profound difference between people who make money and people who don’t: the money. Hard, cold, beautiful bendy stacks of cash. I know there are a lot of people that say money is evil and your nostrils will catch on fire if you want anything other than world peace, but usually—and pardon […]

In: Money Talk

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May 31

2019

How to Be a Bitch About Money: The 8 Money Policies Every Freelancer NEEDS to Avoid Getting Burned Like a Ham Sandwich—Including the Rock-Solid Refund Policy That Slays

May 31, 2019

Eight-thousand dollars. Eight-thousand dollars! EIGHT-THOUSAND DUH-OLLLL-ERS. That’s the (actual) amount of cold, hard cash one designer recently had charged backed by a client—and her credit card company sided with the client. Mother of ouch. More than that, though, this kind of crisis can be absolutely devastating to a freelance business that’s operating paycheck to paycheck, […]

In: Money Talk

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Sep 13

2017

If You’re Making Less Than $300,000, WE NEED TO TALK

Sep 13, 2017

$300,000 sounds like a big fucking number, doesn’t it? But I have to tell you, that with the tools we have nowadays with the Internet, there’s almost no reason why you shouldn’t / can’t be making this in your business—WHICH SOUNDS LIKE A POMPOUS THING TO SAY, I REALIZE, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, #TOUGHLOVE […]

In: Money Talk

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Mar 12

2013

Percentage Off or Flat Rate? How to Run a Sale That SELLS.

Mar 12, 2013

I hate rules. No swimming after eating. Let him call you. Sorry, our video library can only be watched from within The United States. (Stab. Stab. Stab.) No white after Labor Day. And other silly rules like stay on your side of the road. …I kid, I kid. That last one can slide–as long as […]

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Apr 16

2019

29 Creative Ways You Can Find Some Extra Money on the Fly, In a Pinch, When You’re Strapped and When You’re All: SOS, Cash Flow Where’d You Go?!

Apr 16, 2019

The other day I urged women: do not let them money shame you. Do not! Even though they’ll try to. Even though, because you’re a woman, you’ll be deemed “delusional” and “scammy” and “self-serving,” the more money you charge—even if it’s the going rate. And yet, when a man charges the same thing, they are […]

In: Money Talk

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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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