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.

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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May 4

2017

How Do You Make People Care About Your Work—Even When Your Work Is Lofty, Intangible, and Abstract as F***?

May 4, 2017

I’m working with a client, right now, who wants to sell emotional intelligence. That’s the result you get when you work with her. EQ, instead of IQ. And emotional intelligence is actually really, really important. It’s one of the biggest predictors of success, believe it or not. She’s read the literature. I’ve read the literature. […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Jun 12

2015

How to Sell a $250,000 Diamond Ring

Jun 12, 2015

You know how when you want to sound professional on the phone, you do that thing where you clear your throat, steady your voice, and then inevitably start talking THREE OCTAVES HIGHER in that sickening sweet, Southern-Belle-esque manner, almost as if you were speaking to a priest, or maybe the sheriff, all while using words […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Mar 13

2015

This Bastard Was Getting Paid $10,000 a Month.

Mar 13, 2015

This bastard was getting paid $10,000 dollars a month. He was on contract with my company at the time, brought on as a consultant to work directly with a young (and far less wrinkley-lipped) yours truly. This was some ten plus years ago, mind you, at a time when things like blogs were for morons who liked […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Feb 11

2014

STOP Giving Away Free Consults. I Beg You.

Feb 11, 2014

“Nobody ever paid top dollar for a cheap imitation. Don’t let somebody else’s business move dictate yours.” I wrote that in our TMF Facebook page yesterday. Here’s why: Keep in mind that the people you’re watching are winging their next move just as much as you. Yet, so many new business owners who are fighting tooth […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Sep 4

2017

Should You Offer a Payment Plan?

Sep 4, 2017

Yes—but only as a last resort. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes: that $2,000 course you’re thinking about taking is COSTS APPROXIMATELY THE SAME AS A SMALL HORSE, however—that’s not to say you wouldn’t purchase a small horse (neiiiighhh!) if you could, say, put $97 a month toward the beast in all its glory. Which […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Mar 6

2014

Are You Selling The Wrong Thing?

Mar 6, 2014

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been guilty of making a list of “what’s included” that looks like this: Modules! PDFs! Videos! Audios of the Videos! Transcripts of the Audios of the Videos! Commentary on the transcripts of the Audios of the Videos! A revolutionary new—drum roll— Facebook Group! AND THERE’S MORE! Buy now and […]

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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