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.

Aug 30

2016

$199 vs $200: The Difference of a Dollar is Never Just a Dollar

Aug 30, 2016

I was recently told a story about a man named Uncle Bill who went to Colombia, stayed in a hostel, and climbed the ladder into his bunk—even after the four bottles of wine. Uncle Bill wasn’t your average uncle, though. Uncle Bill was eighty-nine years old. Which sounds like a lot, when you say it out loud, […]

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Apr 23

2014

Caution: Stop Masturbating With Your Money.

Apr 23, 2014

Last year I had $224,225.77 in business expenses. That’s a metric fuck ton of cash for a small business to be throwing down, and probably more than my mother ever made in her entire life. And yet, I’ve never been so pleased and here’s why: When you do it right, your expenses aren’t expenses. They’re […]

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Nov 6

2019

Percentage Off or Flat Rate? Memorize This Bomb-Ass Trick 🙌

Nov 6, 2019

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.) But there is one rule, however, that I think is pretty nifty. It’s called, “The 100 Rule.” And if you’re running a business and intend on running a […]

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Oct 2

2012

Not Making As Much Money As You’d Like? Time to Fix That.

Oct 2, 2012

Money. You have enough, or you don’t. Over the years, I’ve do-si-doed around both sides of that dichotomy. As a pre-teen, my mom and I sometimes had to borrow money to buy a roll of one-ply toilet paper to get us through the weekend. Scott brand. I remember it was Scott, because it was always […]

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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 […]

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Jan 23

2014

Hourly or Retainer OR….

Jan 23, 2014

»  Cash flow challenged? »  Do a bunch of work you won’t get paid for until you bill next month? »  Burned in the past by clients who disappear & never actually pay the bill? No, this is actually not the opening to an infomercial, as much as I’d love to show up on my […]

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 […]

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Sep 26

2013

How to Save Money For People Who Are Notoriously Bad At Saving Money

Sep 26, 2013

You haven’t started saving for retirement yet. You don’t know how you’re going to pay your taxes (because you haven’t been keeping up with—what are those silly things called?—quarterly payments.) You certainly don’t have a rainy day fund. <—Said while laughing hysterically into your beer. And college? Well, the kids will just have to open […]

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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