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Don’t Work Your Way Into Your Client’s Heart; Shoplift That Shit.

In: How to Sell Yourself

A Brazilian spontaneously kissed me on the mouth last night.

I've decided I like it when this happens.

That's not to say this happens frequently, but, it probably should.

After all, back in my college days I may or may not have been nicknamed make out bandit; infamous for swindling hazy, Budweiser-soaked kisses alongside a dingy old refrigerator, shoplifting men's hearts and holding them ransom, stealthily making my escape before anything could get too…couple-ish. Maybe it lasted a week. Maybe a month. Maybe just the duration of the kiss. Depended.

Which, really, is just to say that I'm no stranger to The Brazilian's ways. Not my first time at this rodeo, sweetheart.

Except right when I thought I had him pegged, was precisely the moment he did the one thing I wasn't expecting him to. 

The thing I despise; the thing I've mocked men for years behind their backs for; the thing I've always considered more appropriate for the fourth grade playground. And probably not even there.

Can I kiss you?

My first instinct is almost to correct their grammar–what are we, fucking savages? It's may I kiss you, silly schoolboy, and no you may not. The moment is now tainted.

A requirement of a good kiss, in my mind, has always been the fact that it's not talked about ahead of time–it's just done. And while I appreciate the courteous attempt at chivalry, it's almost as much of a mood killer as bringing up your mother at any point in time while naked with another human being. You just don't do it.

In other words, there should be no asking in kissing. NO ASKING! Just an inch of the neck forward. A tilt of the head. Perhaps a lower back caress if you're feeling particularly coordinated. And maybe that move you see all the time in romantic comedies when guy lifts her chin toward his with pointer finger? You know that move? Yeah, that's a good one. DO THAT MOVE.

But keep the asking to a minimum–there is no politeness in passion. No crying in baseball, no asking in kissing, no politeness in passion. If she doesn't want to kiss you, you will know. 

I sense an onslaught of well-intentioned emails saying, “But..but…there is politeness in passion! It's about mutual respect!'

Don't send me that email.

I will send you back a picture of a naked 104 year old woman as revenge, and then your hard drive will blow up. And then you won't be able to send any more emails for at least 24 hours while you look for a new computer, and while you're doing that, an exotic bird from the wild plains of Kansas will poop on your head. And then it's going to be all my fault for writing this blog post.

The reason I'm telling you all of this…

…is so I can turn around and contradict myself entirely, because once the Brazilian pulled the fatal “Can I kiss you” card, something about the way he did it ACTUALLY WORKED.

It's quite possible, of course, that it's because he's BRAZILIAN and because his name is ALESANDRE. (His name really is Alesandre. I cannot even make something up so delicious.) But at the same time, there was something about the way he said it–with astute confidence, as if it didn't matter what my response was going to be. He was going to kiss me anyway, that Alesandre. Right on the mouth.

I should take a moment to inform you, of course, that immediately preceding THE QUESTION, he had sauntered right up to where I was standing, extended his hand, and spun me in a circle before simply saying, “Como te llamas, bella?” What's your name, beautiful? He looked at me in awe, as if I were a rare and breathtaking mythical creature; one he had only heard about in storybooks as a child.

Meanwhile I'm all, Damn this new lipgloss must be bomb.

And then just like that, the new lipgloss was very much removed from my mouth. The Brazilian went in for the kill in front of everyone present–his friends, my friends, the rest of the city of Santiago–with zero shame, and even less desire to stop.

Where's that damn gratitude journal hiding when I NEED it, anyway?

The point of this post is not to brag about the fact that yours truly KISSED A BRAZILIAN (though I do think it should be duly noted).

Rather, it's about how having the right amount of confidence can (seemingly) make or break even the most dismal of situations. Even when you've flat out convinced yourself that you'll never again kiss a guy who has to ask your permission. Make-out miracles happen. Others probably do, too.

Because while you're not a Brazilian, you ARE a business owner trying to sell your customers on kissing you–in a sense. And in that sense, confidence is, by far, the number one thing you should be learning how to bring to the table–before marketing, before selling, before what color fucking fairies you're printing on your business cards. And I don't mean inner confidence, though that's obviously paramount as well. But outer confidence. Swag. Charisma. Charm. Appeal. 

Because when you seem like you've got it goin' on–others assume you actually do.

And when others assume you actually do, you command respect.

And when you command respect, everything else takes care of itself.

Have a presence.

Make a statement.


And then reach out your hand, look ‘er in the eye, twirl that new opportunity around, and boldly introduce yourself.

But whatever you do, try not to follow with, “Soooo…can I, um, sell you something?”

There's no self-conscious asking in selling, either.

You just go for it.

One inch of the neck at a time.

Make-out bandit style.

…Shopliftin' client hearts.

Have a presence. Make a statement. BE SOMEBODY.

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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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