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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.

Feb 13


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?


Jul 8


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?


Jun 1


Good Things Come to Those Who Wait for No One

Jun 1, 2017

Here’s a principle I vehemently disagree with: Good things come to those who wait. You know who probably came up with that stylish piece of wisdom? Someone in a position of power, tasked with managing the masses and getting them to obey orders. You can hear a teacher saying that, can’t you? Now, there, little […]

In: Hate Your Job?


May 1


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?


Oct 24


Don’t Sell Your Soul—Sell Your SKILLS.

Oct 24, 2017

Everybody knows how to do something, and that includes you. And guess what? That means you can teach someone else. And whatever you can teach someone, you can sell to someone. …And I say that without a shred of snake oil. Knowledge is what makes our world go ‘round. Now, more than ever, you can […]

In: Hate Your Job?


Jun 14


If You Ain’t Feelin’ Your Work Anymore: HONEY, BURN THAT ISH DOWN.

Jun 14, 2019

So, here’s an idea: making money is not courageous. Anybody can ring a bell for twenty years. “Look, ma—I’ve been standing over here ringing this bell for two entire decades—durh, durh, durh—and I finally got a sticker!” Making money is a relatively straightforward consequence of showing up to breathe in the right place. Cause and […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life, Hate Your Job?


Feb 18


Dream Zappers, Thought Terrorists, and Why You Should Be Weary of Anyone Who Tells You “I’m Just Looking Out for You”

Feb 18, 2019

OKAY. I just have to say this before I freaking hurl a tray of freshly-baked carrot fries across the room. (What? They’re good. SPRINKLE THEM WITH SOME CUMIN.) So today at 8:32am I got a text from a friend—like, an actual, IRL friend—who is thinking about registering for B-School tomorrow (since she, like so many […]

In: Hate Your Job?


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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