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How to Start an Online Business When You Are Not an “Internet Person”—And Are Seriously Doubting That You Can Do This

In: Hate Your Job?

So, the other day one of my best college girlfriends reached out and was all, “Ashhhhhhhhhh! I need your helpppppp! I’m trying to start an online business but I have no idea what I’m doing and you’re obviously the first person that I thought of, muahahaha.”

(She. Is. Adorable. She’s been hand-painting wooden signs and wants to figure out how to sell ‘em on the Internet like a champ.)

She’s not the only one: this same message is on literal repeat in my Facebook Messenger, which I am the queen of hardly checking. But when I do? That’s when I see the hoard of awesome folks I’ve met over the years, many of which are getting on board with the whole online business thang, but have no idea where the **** to start. (That word was duck, obviously.)

One friend is starting an interior design inspo website.
Another is trying to market her services as a house-sitter.
Another is working on making a name for herself as a makeup artist.
One wants to be a writer, and another, a photographer, and another, a travel consultant.

And that’s just the beginning! Sh-ee-it, there are so many different things you can do, now that the Internet is A Thing.

The problem I always run into when I get these messages, however, is that: (a) It would require weeks/months/patience to teach my friends how to build what I’ve built; (b) I’d get carpal tunnel in the process; (c) I’m delightfully on my first major book deadline (T-minus 16 days!); and I would only be able to repeat myself so many times before actually going cross-eyed and demanding gin.

So instead, most of my homies have been forced to have to figure it out on their own. And then they don’t know what to do first, second, third. And then they get overwhelmed. And then they throw in the towel. And then their families starve. And then they go bankrupt. AND THIS IS BASICALLY ALL MY FAULT.

Sooooooooo—this year I’m doing something different. Instead of leaving everyone hangin’—which makes me picture something very dirty—I’ve made the thoughtful and conscientious decision to partner up with—drum roll—B-School. B-School was created by Marie Forleo, a friend and colleague and superstar in the online space who made it her business to dedicate herself to teaching other people the life-changing magic of USING THE INTERNET. Like, everything that my friends want to know about starting a business online? Marie teaches once a year—and only once a year—during B-School. So instead of me re-creating the wheel, I’ve decided to endorse the living lights out of her program as THE THING you should 10,000% do in 2019 if you are someone who is:

  • Wishing you had an online business so you could stay home and make your own schedule and feed yo’ babies and also travel to the South of Italy when the mood strikes
  • But have no idea how to get started
  • Or what to sell
  • Or how to sell it
  • And you realllllly want to be in control of your schedule
  • And how much money you can earn
  • And be able to work from anywhere
  • And do work that doesn’t actually make you want to fucking die
  • Using the computer and an Internet connection

I wouldn’t be telling you to do this if I thought I could give you better advice. But that’s the thing: I can’t give you better advice. Everything she’s teaching in B-School is exactly what I would tell you—and exactly what you need to learn and understand when you’re just starting out.

Yesterday I tried to explain some of the principles of online business to my friend, Hezz, who’s also working on a project of her own, and I quickly realized just how different Internet People are from Regular People—and all of the things that I’ve learned as an Internet Person is not stuff that Regular People know. Like, at all. Even the term “landing page” strikes fear in the hearts of Regular People. 😉 But that’s exactly what B-School is best for: teaching Regular People how to be Internet People. I mean, I’ve been doing this for ten freaking years, and most of the people I know in real life still have no idea how I earn money. They have no idea how I travel to foreign countries four to five times a year and (ever-so-humbly) earn a high multiple six-figure salary online and get book deals and live this crazy, happy-go-lucky lifestyle that I’ve hand-crafted for myself. They know it has something to do with my blog, but they don’t know how. They don’t get it.

B-School teaches you how. B-School will help you get it. It’s the literal blueprint of everything I did, except Marie is way better at video than me. And that’s just one more reason why I’ve jumped on board to say: YES, YOU SHOULD TAKE THIS COURSE IF YOU NEED IT.

Here’s what I'll advise: if you are thinking about starting an online business in any capacity, click here and put your name on the B-School list to (a) Watch Marie's free video training on the 13 keys to a successful online business; (b) Suss her out and decide if you like her style; (c) Keep watching her no matter what you decide, because she’s an excellent example of what you should be doing from an online business perspective; (d) Join B-School if you think it’s a good fit once it opens on February 19th; (e) Report the fuck back to me and tell me what you think.

I really do believe in this—and you know it takes a lot for me to believe in anything. Especially God. But this is actually The Big G of online business programs, and I’m so serious about this, that I actually became a paid representative. Which means that, just like my relationship with Bench, I will get paid a commission if you click through and do decide to sign up for B-School. I hope you’re okay with that, because I think this is useful for all of us. While the money is nice, I became a B-School partner because you need this, and I cannot do it better.

(Do you hear me? I cannot teach this better. Not even if I added a bunch of swear words. Marie’s perspectives are exactly what beginners in online business need.)

That said? I’ll have a very special surprise for you once B-School actually launches on the 19th, if you choose to buy it as a customer / die hard of The Middle Finger Project. So keep your eyes peeled and watch for my emails in your inbox—this is something I have never done before.



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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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