ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Big Things Don’t Happen in Big Ways

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

.

That dot is where you are.

——–>           .

This dot is where you want to be. (Which makes me sound like a woman named Bonnie with big hair in a cheesy 1985 Visa commercial, but alas, I’m just a woman named Ash with big hair in 2015.)

People have been talking about how to “reach your goals” for a realllllllllllllllllllllllllllly long time.

Which is a worthwhile discussion, of course, because we all know that goal setting is the kale of personal development. Which is to say, it’s like god…but with more fiber.

Speaking of kale, I ate it for the first time Friday night when Laura asked me if I wanted some as an appetizer, and I totally nodded my head as if to say, “Oh sweet child, doesn’t everybody like kale?” Little did she know SHE WAS TAKING MY KALE VIRGINITY. That’s right, Laura. You popped the big K. Surprise! And not did you pop my K-cherry, I’m pretty sure there were anchovies in the kale, which basically means Laura Belgray is god. I have never in my life put one of those creepy little fish twerps in my mouth, and yet, here we are, kale-chovie-ing it up over there in the meatpacking district. I had never felt like a more sophisticated human.

Then again, any and all imaginary or real sophistication was quickly canceled out when I remembered the conversation I had that morning with my favorite book agent as we strolled New York City’s streets. We walked through The Flatiron District, and I actually thought a building that said “flatiron”? …Was a steakhouse.

The answer to your question is yes, I did want to promptly throw myself into a man hole, but you know what?

Not that much.

Because looking stupid is a work hazard for every artist.

In a world of people like you and me—people like writers and designers and creators and artists—we only get rewarded when we take risks. There are no automatic pay raises, no employee work manual, no standard anything. So if we’re going to do our job, and if we’re going to walk the edge our job requires, that means that, oftentimes, we’re doing it blind. And you know what? That’s okay. Because if I’ve discovered anything, it’s that success is less about doing it perfectly, and more about doing it, period.

You know how I ended up on the sidewalk with a top agent from one of the #1 literary agencies in the world telling me they want to work with me?

By sitting my ass in a chair every single morning from 5am-8am.
By responding to Seth when he emailed me and said, “Go, go, go.
By thinking about the best ways to position my work.
By sending a query.
By responding back when she said, “Tell me more.”
By hustling to proofread my chapter samples.
By spending every free minute developing a proposal.
By flying to NYC.
By showing up prepared.
By asking for it.
And by pressing the clutch, over and over, until I upshifted to where I needed to be.

In short, the answer isn’t about facing your fears so much as it is f*cking them. You don’t have time to get scared if you don’t make the time.

Because success doesn’t come to those who wait. Success comes to those who don’t.

Go, go, go.

Big things don’t happen in big ways. They happen in a lot of small ways that, slowly but surely, lead up to a big outcome. It’s cause and effect at it’s finest.

Yet instead of focusing on the effect, perhaps it’s worth thinking more about the cause.

What are you causing?

What are you causing today? What will you cause tomorrow? What will you cause this month?

You have power, you know.

And the biggest dots in life—the ones you can see on the horizon, but don’t know how to get to yet—they’re waiting for you.

And sometimes, it doesn’t matter whether you mistake an entire city section for a piece of meat.

All that matters is that you keep putting one foot in front of the other as you walk down the block.

Going…going…

…gone.

Oct 26

2012

I Need Help. (Not That Kind of Help, Jerk.)

Oct 26, 2012

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica, Panama & Colombia, I spent $258.92 at Zara Chile yesterday. I walked out with three new pairs of daisy dukes that I will inevitably think look better on me than they actually do, as well as a ripped up white-washed jean skirt, and a top or […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Nov 18

2010

The Woman Whose Ass We All Should Be Kissing

Nov 18, 2010

If I had a foghorn, do you know what I’d shout? (Besides how I’ll never understand why so many people think that God is actually a compelling justification for their particular policy preferences. /rant) What I’d really shout—what I truly believe our people desperately need to hear—is this and this alone: The well-being of our […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Oct 25

2018

Be Brave, Courageous, Interesting, Crazy, Difficult, Weird, and Downright Complicated. But Don’t You Ever Be Normal.

Oct 25, 2018

You know what’s fucked up? Normal. Normal is so fucked up. For example, it’s normal for expats to drink daily in Costa Rica. This is a terrible idea, and yet, because it’s done over and over again, it’s become normalized. NO ONE WILL GIVE YOU THE STINK EYE FOR SLUGGING A BEER AT 10AM, Y’ALL. […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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May 3

2018

Listen: Do What You Crave Without the Guilt. Travel to Italy. Enroll in That Workshop. Make Your Art Every Afternoon. And Hurl Yourself Into the Unknown—For This Is The Best ROI That Money Can Buy.

May 3, 2018

My almost-mother-in-law gets really fucking nervous when I travel—especially when I bomb off to South America for a month by myself to drink ALL THE WINE and celebrate ALL THE BOOK DEALS. But she doesn’t get worried in the typical way a mother might; not the way my own mother would have been worried, which would […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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Mar 14

2013

Success Is Where the Heart Is

Mar 14, 2013

He sat in the far corner of the room–no clip board, no notepad, no smile. I couldn’t make out his face–the room was dark and the curtains were drawn. I waited for Al Pacino to bust down the door, cigar in hand. I was seated near the door, at a table, with a woman named […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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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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