ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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“I AM The Best—And I Didn’t Get That Way By Letting Other People Call the Shots”

In: Client Nightmares

There’s a line in the show Suits when Harvey Specter says:

“I AM the best. And I didn't get that way by letting other people call the shots.”

By “other people,” he’s referring to his clients, of course, all of whom have paid him very good money to do what he does best—and yet still attempt to drive the boat themselves. They’re difficult; they disagree; they push back; they become little green monsters the moment money has changed hands. Because that’s what it is, isn’t it?

Money changes the dynamic.

And sometimes when a client gives you money, that dynamic changes to one of slave ownership. You're viewed as an order-taker instead of an advisor; a hired hand instead of an expert. The attitude is this: “They’re doing you a favor by giving you the work.”

This is not a healthy way to do business.

But here’s the catch: it’s not about the way your clients treat you. It’s about the kind of behavior you’re willing to accept.

So if you know best, you better damn well say so.
If you insist, then insist.

Because you won’t become the best by letting people who are untrained in your craft, tell you how to do it.

Aug 31

2017

The Three-Deadline Rule for Requesting Client Feedback

I’ve worked with a loooootttttttttt of kick ass writing clients over the years, and you know what’s always the hardest part? Never the writing. Always the logistics. If you do any kind of creative work, at some point you will need to request client feedback before you can move onto the next stage. Maybe you […]

In: Client Nightmares

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Aug 8

2017

My Two-Word Trick for Getting Over the Hump When You Have ZERO Motivation to Work On That Awful Client Project and You Sorta Kinda Hate Life and Humans In General and SOMEBODY SAVE MEEEEEEEE

When you’re having trouble finding the motivation, reframe it. Back in the day when I was young and silly and wasn’t selective about the types of clients I was writing for (AND WE ALL KNOW HOW FAR THAT RABBIT HOLE GOES), I’d often find myself doing work I didn’t particularly want to be doing. Can […]

In: Client Nightmares

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May 5

2015

Ass-Scratching Business Conundrum: Is It Worth It to Go Out of Your Way…Or Not?

You know what’s really messed up? Internet connections. Here we are building these creepy little awesome robots that get injected INSIDE YOUR BODY to cure cancer….making camouflage suits inspired by the octopus that automatically read their environment and adapt to mimic their surroundings, and coming out with wireless electricity, for the love of Edison…but you […]

In: Client Nightmares

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Jul 12

2017

The Other 50%: What Your Clients Really Want

She looked at me with worried eyes. “Do you really think my business is going to be great?” she asked, clenching her hands together. That’s when I knew what she needed. Not more advice. Not more brand strategy. Not more discussion on what she’s selling, and how she should position it. “J,” I said, turning […]

In: Client Nightmares

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Nov 7

2013

How to Raise Your Rates (Without Pissing Anyone Off)

Money: Love making it. Hate asking for it. (Unless the Tooth Fairy’s involved, in which case it’s all PAY UP, ASSHOLE.) Money talk makes us sweaty and uncomfortable and fidgety—mostly because we’re all trying to pretend money “ain’t a thing” when, in reality, it is a thing, and it’s called shoes. But just because you’d rather talk […]

In: Client Nightmares

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Dec 3

2014

How to Say No To Your Clients Without Being a Bitch

I want to talk about managing clients today, because everybody seems to have a love/hate relationship with theirs, and my theory is that the hate part comes from one of two sources: Tightwads. (Don’t work with them.) Not knowing how to tell them to BACK OFF, HOMIE. Begin a slow clap if you’ve experienced this popular scenario: Client pays […]

In: Client Nightmares

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May 23

2017

You Don’t Have to Be an Asshole to Be an Authority

There’s a conflict between authority and earnestness. You want to be viewed as an expert…but you also want to be down-to-earth. You want people to respect you…but you also want to be relatable. You want to command high fees…but you also want to be accessible. Most people flip flop back and forth between these two […]

In: Client Nightmares

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