ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Create & Offer What YOU’D Want to Buy.

In: Starting an Online Business

 

“THAT’S GENIUS!” said a lot of really sweet people really big brown nosers after the launch of Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends last week. Except they weren't giving me the compliment because of what it contained, but rather, because of what it didn’t.

“You mean you aren't inundating everyone with another Facebook group? No forums? No Google Hangouts? NO HEART-CENTERED NETWORKING?” (By the way, heart-centered has just made it onto the Word Shitlist, which, FYI, refreshes on page load at the bottom of this website.)

“Nope,” I replied. “It’s a traditional subscription. That's why the price point is so favorable.”

At which point, the brown nosers make a quizzical face reminiscent of the kind you make at 2AM when you can’t remember if you put the fucking noodles away. (Apparently, adulting requires more brain RAM than originally anticipated.)

 

Ash Tweet

 

Girlfriends was modeled in large part after The New York Times Insider, one of my favorite subscriptions that gives you a one-of-a-kind look inside The New York Times as a business, with articles written through the eyes of their journalists and staff on topics like what it’s like to shadow Obama, tour with Trump, or infiltrate ISIS-controlled territory to get the story. (By the way, did you know The New York Times even has an online store full of things like custom birthday books made with historical newspaper reprints and all sorts of creative memorabilia any writer would heart emoji all over?! Which sounds suspiciously dirty.)

In short, I’ve been obsessed with their top secret column for a while. Like, drippy, piping hot pizza on Sunday afternoon obsessed, or my favorite nude Chanel nail polish and ripped jeans obsessed. (PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: CHANEL DOES NOT CHIP NO MATTER HOW MANY TYPES I TYPE THE F-WORD.)

So in the fall, as I thoughtfully considered how to bring more mentorship to the table in a way that felt good, I decided that I would do it through my favorite medium of all: Snapchat.

Just kidding. That little yellow ghost and I are having relationship issues.

 

Ash Tweet

 

The medium is writing. And creating a product that mentors you & allows me to utilize my chosen medium leverages my skill set better than anything else I could be doing. (Like softball. Total shit at softball.)

But more than that, it’s a professional / personal / vaginal policy of mine to create things that feel like artwork, not grunt work. Why is everyone doing things they don’t want to be doing? My guess is because the internet is like a high school popularity contest, and the way you get admitted into the “clique” is by following all! the! trends!

But the tragedy in this is that the trends don't need any more followers; what they need are more leaders.

And that’s why I started Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends—a simple, straightforward, easy, breezy $25 subscription that, due to its beautiful simplicity, has almost become nontraditional. Almost mythical. Like Bigfoot or the Lochness Monster.

I talked about this in the Unf*ckwitahble Girlfriends salon last week, in fact: The offer being THE OFFER—the world can take it or leave it, but adding more to it doesn't make the offer better. It just makes it more bloated. Simple is good enough when you sell it correctly—the difficulty arises when you doubt you're good enough to keep it simple.

More and more, I find myself craving smart & simple. And in this crowded online space, I think we all are. This subscription is my way of bringing us together; of posting a flag in the sand beckoning us all to cut through the noise of every bonus webinar, every countdown timer, every overpriced PDF, every “value-driven,” entirely average, completely contrived, unremarkable blog post, every course containing regurgitated information, every marketing tactic you're rolling your eyes at.

The bar keeps getting set higher and higher for what constitutes a respectful exchange between reader and writer / learner and teacher / customer and business online, and we need to be paying attention. This online community is being shaped by what we vote for with our wallets, what we accept as acceptable, what we, ourselves, put out to the world.

Put yourself out there, but make sure that the you you're putting out there…is actually YOU. Your products, your services, the way you do business—it's all an extension of your reputation. Your personality. And in some cases maybe even your character.

Do not compromise on those things.

Choose to offer what you'd want to buy.

I urge you to create with respect—for your customers, for your readers, and most of all?

For yourself.

You do get to choose, after all.

 

Aug 17

2017

“How Do You Make Money From a Blog / Social Media / Your Grandmother’s YouTube Channel?!”

Aug 17, 2017

People ask me this cute shit ALL DAY LONG. It’s a very confusing topic, I suspect, because many folks assume that you are throwing up advertising banners from 1998, rockin’ those Google AdSense clicks like nobody’s business. To be fair, that is a thing—I’ve strategized with one company in particular doing 3-4 million every month in […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Oct 25

2012

An Ode to Baller Status.

Oct 25, 2012

Lather up. Choose the perfume-scented body lotion. Put every last hair into place. Rock your most exquisite piece of clothing. Wink at yourself in the mirror. Pull out the stops. Look fucking smashing. And then get to work. Because when you feel like a baller? YOU ACT LIKE ONE.

In: Starting an Online Business

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Feb 22

2015

The Smell of Desperation

Feb 22, 2015

You can smell the desperation. You see folks running sideways all over the internet trying to get noticed, be bigger, get heard. But there’s a simple truth that a lot of people forget: If your message is weak, no one’s going to care, no matter how loudly you parade yourself around. Have you ever had […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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May 14

2017

The Noodle Test: Is Your Business Idea Any Good?

May 14, 2017

When you’re weighing out your business ideas, do not cave to the pressure of having to do something new. You do not have to be the first—you just have to be the only. There’s a difference. If you think about it, there are plenty of restaurants using all the same ingredients. After all, there are only […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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May 4

2012

How to Be Taken Seriously in Biz + Life. (Does Not Apply to Douchebags, The President, or Anyone With The Name Barbie.)

May 4, 2012

Ever jump in a pool fully clothed? You gotta try it. Borderline rebellious, without landing you a spot in jail, or any unplanned pregnancies. (Usually.) I’m pretty sure I’ve jumped into more pools clothed than the average human being, which must qualify me for something. Something other than the insane asylum. Or the WWF. My […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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May 30

2014

Is Your Package Big Enough?

May 30, 2014

Confess. You’re reading this because the title made you think of male genitalia. (…And now you’re thinking about how weird the word “genitalia” sounds.) I know, I know. I tried to avoid it, but really, I can’t. Because today’s tip is about packaging your service or product offerings, so why be modest? I’m not even […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Jun 20

2013

23 (Surprising) Reasons To Work for Yourself

Jun 20, 2013

You discover things you never knew about yourself. For example, you know how sometimes people play that annoying game and ask you what you’d do if you only had 24 hours to live? And so you sit there and scratch your ass, and then say something poetic like, “I’d go to the beach and let […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Aug 7

2014

Tweet When You’re Dead

Aug 7, 2014

Death is weird. One minute you’re painstakingly slaving over the perfect Facebook status update, worrying about the new wrinkle in your forehead, and crying hysterically over the fact that you spilled a drop of creamer on the counter and WHY! CAN’T! ANYTHING! BE! EASY!, and the next, well, you don’t even have the privilege of […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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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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