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 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

Aug 8, 2017

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 22

2014

10 Phrases You Need to Eighty-Six From Client Emails…FOREVER.

May 22, 2014

Everybody worries about being nice these days. We tiptoe around our own words, soften everything we say, and generally ask permission to have our own opinion. But unfortunately, nice isn’t a selling point. People do business with competent people, with smart people, with successfully branded people, with interesting people, with creative people, and with people […]

In: Client Nightmares

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Jul 12

2017

The Other 50%: What Your Clients Really Want

Jul 12, 2017

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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Jan 16

2014

Your Genius Isn’t Always Obvious

Jan 16, 2014

You know when someone questions one of your decisions, and you smile and nod politely, but in your head you’re all, “I DON’T NEED TO JUSTIFY MY DECISIONS TO YOU! WHO ARE YOU? OF COURSE YOU WOULDN’T SUPPORT MY DECISION, PERSON WHO HAS NEVER DONE ANYTHING, EVER. WHAT WOULD YOU KNOW? YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE […]

In: Client Nightmares

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Nov 12

2012

Resent Your Clients?

Nov 12, 2012

Too often you do things you shouldn’t. Because you worry that if you don’t answer that email at 11pm, if you don’t squeeze them in this week, if you don’t work within their budget, if you don’t do the extra round of revisions for free, if you don’t accept their god damn Facebook request, there’s […]

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?

May 5, 2015

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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Nov 7

2013

How to Raise Your Rates (Without Pissing Anyone Off)

Nov 7, 2013

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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