ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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“I Don’t Know What I Want to Dooooo, And I’m Kinda Confused, and I’m Feeling Like a Flakey Little Fruitcake, Ash!”

In: Hate Your Job?

WITTY BANTER. Biggest turn-on ever. (Because we’re just opening with that, okay?) Like, I don’t even care if you’re wearing coveralls and haven’t shaved in forty-nine years: if you’re witty, I’m going to want to jump your bones. Which I won’t do, ahem, given that I’m in a relationship and all, but this is a hypothetical jumping of the bones, which is definitely allowed, as decreed by Queen Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project Kingdom of the North.

First of all, are you with me on this? The whole witty banter thing? If I could only pick ONE mildly superficial quality in a partner, that might have to be it. There’s nothing like a good verbal spar. Not only is it attractive as hell, it makes you feel connected to one another. Like you’re the only two people in the room, and you’re having the greatest word sex alive. It’s the best foreplay. You hardly even need any bitty tickles after that. The witty tickles are much more effective.

At least, this is how I feel about life. I’m bringing it up, not because I want you to rethink your subscription to The Middle Finger Project and the lunatic that writes here (HI!!!), but because I was trying to think of a fun example of something I know for absolutely certain about myself. And that is definitely one thing I’m positively sure about: I’m a sucker for wit. I crave it, I love it, I respect it, it makes me feel good. It makes me feel understood. It makes me feel like the world isn’t a giant asshole. Because that’s what connection does: it makes you feel…safe.

And also apparently sexy.

A few other things I know for sure about myself? I’m an ideas person, not an operations person. My brain works best at five o’clock in the morning. I find long-term projects very rewarding when they’re one of my own, but torturous when they’re with a client. I like closure. I like a fast pace. I need to be learning new things in order to be happy. A significant portion of my budget for investments goes towards travel, because I’ve found it to be one of the best investments there is. Boutique hotels make me more excited than almost anything on the planet. I can turn anything into a business. (And I probably will.) I’m better than most people at making money. I’m also better than most people at selling their work—which is why the former applies. I’m terrible at logistics. I want nothing to do with an office. My mind races around at 90 mph, so I always need people to help me stay organized. Building new things fascinates me. Stagnancy murders me. And by golly, if you forget to bring my extra side of buffalo, I WILL SLAY YOU.

The reason I’m bringing all of that up? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how so much of our suffering comes from not really knowing who we are or what we want or what we need. I mean, what are the things you can list that you know for sure about yourself? I’m not just talking about witty banter; I’m talking about the bigger stuff. What do you love? What makes you come alive? What’s your greatest superpower? What do you freaking want?

If you can’t answer those questions, you can’t steer your life. Like, if I didn’t know that I need travel the way most people need air, I wouldn’t have known to prioritize flexibility with my career—and I might have committed to doing more local work that required my physical presence. Likewise, if I didn’t know that I need intellectual banter in a partner, I wouldn’t know to prioritize that: I’d just be dating dude after dude with massive side burns. (SIDE BURNS!) I wouldn’t really have any meaningful criteria by which to go by. And when you don’t have any criteria, you don’t have any control.

The same applies to your work and your life.

What do you know that you need? What standards have you set for yourself? What’s the criteria by which you’re making decisions? Do you have any? Or are you just letting events happen to you, like a giant free for all?

The first step in figuring out what you want to do is figuring out who you are. What makes you tick? What makes you burst out in fucking song? What makes you happy? And how can you organize your work and your life around those priorities?

It’s time to make some demands, ladies.

You ain’t here to carry out a bunch of mediocre, unremarkable duties. You’re here to have fun and enjoy your life. So, it’s worth considering: what does that actually mean? It’s only by answering that question, that you can begin to answer the others.

May 1

2013

Here’s an Opportunity – TAKE IT

May 1, 2013

I’ve got a theory. Don’t tell anyone, because if they take it to heart, they might get even better at this business thing, and then what’s going to happen is that one year from now, you’ll somehow find yourself eating red velvet cupcakes at their book signing instead of your own, except you won’t just be […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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Feb 13

2019

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

Feb 13, 2019

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 […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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Jul 8

2017

You Find Peace With Your Work Through Tension

Jul 8, 2017

It’s never as scary as it seems. Everything you’re worried about happening? Won’t. It might seem intimidating, the world—putting yourself out there, taking the chance, trying something new, going all in, showing up, asking for help, connecting with strangers, and, ultimately, gambling your ego and everything you know to be true. There will be a […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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Feb 17

2015

Starting a Business Isn’t for Weak People, Shitty People, Irresponsible People, Undisciplined People, Stupid People, Forgetful People, Lazy People, Irrational People, Impatient People, or People Who Blame Everything on Obama.

Feb 17, 2015

Nearly ten years ago when I started my first copywriting business, I struggled with the things most new business owners struggle with: Telling a client your fees while silently thinking shitshitshitshitshitshitshit! Having no idea if your fees are too high or too low or WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSE TO BE CHARGING?! Constantly worried […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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Jul 1

2017

I Became an Entrepreneur Because My Life Stopped Being Fun

Jul 1, 2017

I’m in the airport, on my way to London. London is officially my favorite city in the world because it’s the one place where I don’t feel like an overdressed moron. (Try going anywhere in Costa Rica with even so much as kitten heels and YOU WILL LOOK RIDICULOUS.) I’ll be there all summer, excited […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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Apr 28

2017

Make Something That Matters

Apr 28, 2017

Things aren’t always what they seem. An email list full of 100,000 people is meaningless if only 100 of those people open the emails. Similarly, an email list of 100 people, with 100 of those people opening them, does mean something. Who is more successful? And who is doing something that actually matters?

In: Hate Your Job?

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Dec 1

2017

“I Want to Do Something Else…But What?” Welcome To The Fucking Question That Everyone Is Asking Themselves.

Dec 1, 2017

I have a dirty little hypothesis. It’s about the discontent. The unrest. This global epidemic that’s happening behind closed doors of women wanting something else. It’s why the LuLaRoe, the Advocare, the Younique. It’s why books like Eat, Pray, Love became bestsellers. It’s why we’re spending so much time on the Internet, too, and drinking […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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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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