ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Are You Sorry About Charging Money?

In: How to Sell Yourself

I was talking to a client yesterday, who, bless her heart, is LITERALLY working for free.

She feels bad charging.

And my goodness, she’s one of the smartest, most qualified women in her industry! She’s out there helping people every single day, in person, face-to-face! She’s spearheading an entire movement in Canada! And now the goal is to get her going online, translating her offerings into virtual ones so she can have an even bigger impact.

And yet, the moment money comes up, she clams up. The reason: *Because* she helps people, asking them for money in exchange feels too quid pro quo.

“What if I just charge $10 a head for group coaching?” she says to me.

“That depends—do you want to file for fucking bankruptcy?!” I joke.

“I could always just go to work at Walmart,” she jokes back.

“M,” I say. “Unless you’re trying to start a non-profit, profit doesn’t get to be left out of the equation.”

And she laughed, and we laughed, and it was at once apparent that so many of us are trying to do business, without any regard for the business. We worry that we’re being greedy and selfish and smarmy, and that “profit margins” are for people with an agenda. But in making it all about us, we neglect the health of our business. Your business is a living, breathing entity, just like you and I, and by starving it from its main source of nutrients—cash flow—you’re not being philanthropical. You’re being egoistical. You’re preventing the very people that need your help, from receiving it.

Because guess what?

You’re not going to be around for very long.

Don’t think of doing business as a one-sided transaction, in which you escape with all the money (while donning a cape and mustache) and everybody else goes home with less.

Think of it as a group buy in, with every single one of your customers contributing toward something that means something to them—and you.

We co-create meaning every day in our lives, and the truth is, we co-create businesses, too.

But if you don’t give someone the opportunity to buy in, it’s not just money you’re missing out on.

It’s mattering.

Jul 28

2017

If You Don’t Feel Comfortable Saying, “Step Right Up and Try My Milkshake, Folks!” There Might Be a Problem With Your Product—Not Your Confidence

Jul 28, 2017

Small soft chocolate lady was my favorite. She’d arrive in a sand-colored pick-up truck; a small one, I’d say, for a pick-up truck in Susquehanna County. She’d dismount as if she were in a rush, though I knew she was only going back to the grocery store she owned. I’d have her cone ready by […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Apr 18

2013

Don’t Beg for Business. Command It.

Apr 18, 2013

Bring me to your granny’s birthday party, and I’m sweet as a lemon square. (My favorite.) Bring me to meet the parents, and I’ll bust out the pearls. Bring me anywhere, and you’ll get sweet, demure Ashley. But bring me to a board room? And it’s shark time. If you’re like most people, the mere […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Aug 14

2013

Lots of Inquiries But No Sales? Help Is Here.

Aug 14, 2013

I get two questions all of the time: 1. How do I convert more email inquiries into actual customers & clients? (Who ideally have zero credit card limit and maybe even a mullet because wouldn’t that be fun?) 2. How do you manage to stay looking so young? Obviously no one really ever asks me […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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May 28

2012

Trailer Trash & Sex Appeal: The Trick to Selling MORE

May 28, 2012

To anyone and everyone selling something: Pay attention. The other day, I was having a conversation with a copywriting client who is building a business around teaching people how feel all sorts of hot and dynamite by eating raw. I said, “You mean like Crazy Sexy Diet?” And she said, “What’s that?” And I said, […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Aug 5

2013

CAUTION: Do NOT Pitch Yourself Like This. Ever.

Aug 5, 2013

I hate when there’s an elephant in the room. And let’s face it – we’ve got quite a few elephants roaming around our little online community. One of them is the fact that everybody’s trying to pitch everything, yet nobody knows HOW to pitch anything. For example, the other day we got this unsolicited pitch […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Sep 14

2014

If you’re both killer & poet, YOU GET RICH.

Sep 14, 2014

“Most good copywriters fall into two categories: Poets and Killers. Poets see an ad as an end. Killers, as a means to an end. If you are both killer & poet? You get rich.” Ogilvy once said that about copywriters, but that’s just because he wasn’t around long enough to see the internet blow up. […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Sep 22

2012

How to Cold Call Prospects Without Sounding Like a Tool

Sep 22, 2012

For those of you who don’t know, in a former life I used to sell advertising for an international print and online magazine. Think pencil skirts, a lot of telephone schmoozing, deal negotiations, contracts, national sales conferences and convincing a lot of fucking people they should give me thousands of dollars. You can imagine the […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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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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But no serial killers. I promise I won’t send those.

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