“Ding, Ding, Ding! You Can Have Fun Now!” <—The Universe Is Never Going to Send You This Email, Yo

IN: Hard Stuff, Life, Success

I’m going to England tomorrow. By which I mean I’m stepping inside a long metal torpedo and sitting my fat ass down on some murky blue pleather for an exact distance of 5,429 miles across a cold, dreary ocean that always makes me wonder things I shouldn’t ever wonder. Like: Would I actually remain calm in case of THE BIG EVENT, like I think I would? Would I place my oxygen mask a top my bouncy little cheeks, knowing exactly

EXPAND

Poets & Killers Get Rich

IN: Creating, Selling, Success

There are two groups of people: Poets & killers. The poets are running around with their heart placed firmly on their sleeve, hoping that if they do authentic work, it’ll sell itself. The killers, on the other hand, are running around selling everything, none of which is actually authentic, nor genuine, nor useful. (We call these people “scam artists.”) Yet, neither one of these groups is going to make it. Truth is, you might be as authentic as they come, but

EXPAND

Do Something Brilliant With Your One Little Speck

IN: Branding, Business 101, Creativity, Selling, Success

You ever have a hate relationship with an acronym? Take YOLO, for example. Are you as ambivalent about it as I am? Like, ay, in theory “you only live once” is true (two points), it’s an effective argument for engaging in questionable behavior of any kind (five points), it’s a built-in retort when your husband wants to know who ate all the sweet potato fries (seven gazillion points), AND it labels you as someone who may actually know how

EXPAND

There’s So Much Drama Around EVERYTHING.

IN: Hard Stuff, Success

There is so much drama. Around. Everything. I hear it everywhere. In es. In tweets. In friend’s secrets. In whispers across the internet. Should I launch this? But what about that? What if I fail? What if nobody buys? What if I wasted my time? What if my heart breaks in the process? Should I name my business something traditional or creative? But what if I hate it later? What if I decide to go in a different direction? Should

EXPAND

[New!] UNF*CKWITHABLE GIRLFRIENDS

IN: Success

If you are a woman, I want you to raise your fucking hand. If you’re going through some shit, I want you to raise it even higher. If you’re out here going HARD to make it—if you’re finally starting that business, finally ending that other one, finally going in a new direction, finally stealing the hours, finally demanding that cash, finally going all-in, finally swallowing the lump in your throat, finally loing yourself squarely in the mirror, finally strapping stilettos onto your

EXPAND

My Pet Peeve About the Internet: No One Teaches Any Goddamn Substance

IN: Business 101, Pet Peeves, Success

I’ve been running a successful on writing & publishing business for almost ten years now. TEN. Which is like seventy in dog years, and like a hundred and seventy in internet years, which might explain why my wrists ache so much. Does this mean I get to retire? Kidding. I wouldn’t retire from this gig if they paid me; who else is going to run your favorite blog named after a crude redneck gesture? That said, as someone who is

EXPAND

Headspace Is Like a Goddamn Unicorn

IN: Creativity, Productivity, Success

Headspace. Even though it feels about as mythical as a goddamn unicorn, it’s a thing. I know most of us would feel comfortable using a keyboard full of hypodermic needles than, you know, actually rela, but in my experience over the last decade running my own business, there are few things I find essential. You are not a machine. You are not a slave. And you certainly didn’t start a business so you could sit inside a dimly lit room

EXPAND

Read This if You’re an Impatient, Demanding, Self-Critical Tart Who Gets Mad at Herself When Things, You Know, Actually Take TIME

IN: Confidence, Productivity, Success

What gets measured, gets managed has got to be the most annoying piece of business advice ever. (Right next to “create epic content,” “follow your passion,” and “don’t fart too loud when the mic is on,” of course.) Coming from a background in PR, I’ve always hurled silent insults at the whole “what gets measured, gets managed” thing, because many important outcomes—like positive sentiment, for example—are harder than Donald Trump’s head to measure. And yet, all these years later, I think

EXPAND

Sometimes in Business, You Need to Do YOU.

IN: Hard Stuff, Selling, Success

The dead horse of the decade is the target customer. You’re asked to create personas. Put yourself in their shoes bras. Get inside their head. Imagine what’s keeping them up at 3 o’clock in the morning. (For the record, it’s that their ass is getting fat and they totally forgot to make coies for their kid’s bake sale.) So there you went, thinking about everything from the target customer’s perspective. What will they want? What will they think? What will

EXPAND

On Becoming Unfuckwithable

IN: Confidence, Success

Unfuckwithable. If you’re contemplating themes for the New Year, I highly recommend borrowing this one. Unfuckwithable. Rolls right off the tongue and deep dives directly into your ovaries. But importantly? We need this. We need this because there are always going to be days—weeks, months, years—where everything feels hard. There are always going to be people who do wrong by you, es you don’t want to answer, decisions you don’t know how to make, money you don’t know where

EXPAND

Constantly Guilt Yourself Over Doing “The Responsible Thing?” Maybe You Shouldn’t.

IN: Confidence, Success

There’s a lot of bullshit around the word “responsible.” We let this tiny word guilt us to the grave. Do the responsible thing. Act responsibly. Be a responsible adult. Don’t be so irresponsible. I don’t know if we should blame this asshole voice in our heads on our parents or not, but you might want to consider it. (Hi, mom!) There are a lot of things that are, by default, “responsible”—taking the kids to soccer, suffering through another Jillian Michaels

EXPAND

You Don’t Have to Run Some Big, Cheesy Sale to Do Well

IN: Life, Selling, Success

Picture it: Your d ones are sitting around roasting chestnuts on an open fire, while you’re hunched over the (pumpkin-pie-greased) keyboard, biting your fingertips and worrying whether or not you’ll have enough money to pull through to January. But what if you didn’t have to run some humongous holiday sale? What if you didn’t have to put ALL the pressure on yourself? What if you could make a few small changes and have it double your revenue in December-so January

EXPAND

Your Hatred is Wisdom

IN: Confidence, Productivity, Success

What is it? The thing you sighed with relief about this morning? The thing you didn’t have to do on a Saturday? The thing you exhaled about? (And maybe even shimmied around the room naked over. With this You Tube video playing. And at least two neighbors cursing you to hell.) That’s the thing.  Pay very close attention to this thing. Whatever you found yourself ighted to be able to skip today? Is likely the same thing you find yourself not ighted

EXPAND

Do You Suck at Oral? A (Tongue-In-Cheek) Discussion on Why It’s Hard to Ask for Money

IN: Clients, Confidence, Money Talk, Success

My first sales call was the most disgusting thing I’d ever done. I mean, I don’t even like talking on the phone with people I know, let alone people I don’t. My for the phone ended after the 7th grade, when boys stopped calling and AIM instant messenger sank its teeth into our corsage-donning little hearts. Back then, I was an instant messenger queen. I proved myself through my cat-like ability to manage multiple chat windows at a time

EXPAND

When New Opportunities Show Up, Waving Their Ta Ta’s

IN: Success

There’s a lot of…pressure these days. Post to ! And ! And Instagram! And Vine! And ! And AREN’T YOU PERISCOPING YET, YOU CURMUDGEON? Speaking of self-important broadcasts, have you started your podcast yet? Are you #1 on iTunes? DON’T YOU HAVE PLANS TO START A PODCAST?! I’m continually fascinated by the flock’s constant need to do shiny. Everyone’s so goddamn afraid they’re going to get left behind; that they’re going to miss the next best thing. It’s like you

EXPAND

“I don’t feel confident in my work.”

IN: Confidence, Success

Are you squinting your eyes at the screen trying to decide if this describes you or not? (Of course you are, you’re probably reading this on an iPhone the size of my elbow.) It’s kind of an ugly characterization—nobody wants to admit to feeling less than confident in what you’re doing. And yet, I’ve got news: It’s so, so common. Here’s how it shows up: :: You’re nervous as hell about sending that invoice :: You pray when sending a

EXPAND

Eventually you’re going to get to a point where you have to make a decision between wonderful and phenomenal.

IN: Success

“Can I be of service to you and your team as an informal advisor?” It was an e I didn’t want to have to send. I had been working off and on with Dan for years now. Dan was the ideal client. The CEO and founder of several big-time, multi-trazillion dollar companies you’ve heard of, he was whip smart, had his shit together, employed a brilliant team, and was somebody I respected and admired very much. Phone conversations with Dan

EXPAND

Look, We’ve All Got Our Faults. *Stomps Cigar*

IN: Confidence, Hard Stuff, Success

Lo, we’ve all got our faults. I, for one, have a wrinkly ass neck. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know when it happened. But all the sudden there are s as deep as the Panama Canal cutting across my trachea. Fortunately, all the resveratrol I’ve consumed over the years seems to have spared my face…so far. Or, I don’t know, maybe I should be thanking Laura Mercier for that. Ever since I was twenty one, I’ve been

EXPAND

On Not Allowing: A Message for When You’re Feeling Whiny

IN: Life, Success

“Just to let you know,” the massage therapist warned over the phone, “I’m blind.” She arrived to my house by taxi, and as she pulled up, she loed out the glass toward me as if she could see me…even though she could not. The art of the gesture stunned me. “Hello!” I greeted, wanting to be helpful without being condescending—a I wasn’t sure how not to cross. As she exited the car, the taxi driver—a shy, round thirty-something man

EXPAND

Plan On Being Nervous, Brilliantly

IN: Hard Stuff, Success

Being nervous sucks. Your pulse races. Your brain blanks. Your hands shake like little assholes. You tell yourself to take deep breaths, but the minute you do, you then worry that the entire room can see the fact that your heart is, in fact, doing the electric slide up and down your rib cage. (God help your soul if you’re wearing Spanx.) We’ve all had these moments—we’re a nervous bunch, you know? (Yes, even the confident ones.) Whether it’s the

EXPAND

Big Things Don’t Happen in Big Ways

IN: Confidence, Creativity, Success

. 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

EXPAND