ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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If You Don’t Seem Capable…You Aren’t

In: Finding Your Voice

The way you hold your wine glass.

How leisurely you pour your words.

The conviction found in your fork, as you slowly and quite deliberately raise each bite to your mouth, as if rushes were for commoners and you hold the greatest secrets of the universe right there in between your forefinger and your thumb.

Maybe you do. 

After all, there’s something about being the most confident person at the table that wreaks a healthy havoc in the minds of others.

It’s unlike any spell you could cast; any conversation you could hold. The confident person—the truly confident—who elegantly manages to know exactly who they are, while not being arrogant about it…those are the ones who we want to pay attention to.

Not because confidence is attractive (though it is undeniably that), but because confidence is a language of its own; a signless sign language that makes statements without having to say more than hello. Statements that have us all sitting on the edge of our $500 Aeron chairs. (Nice try, ergo dynamics.)

Confidence is a tug of the human psyche.

A way of communicating how, exactly, this is going to go.

And when done correctly, it’s more beautiful than watching the New York City ballet.

Speaking of New York, I’m on my way there now. I’ve got some interesting business activities to tend to earlier in the week (read: lions and tigers and lawyers, oh my) and, of course, some really fun business activities, too. Meeting with my favorite book agent. Dinner with my favorite Belgray. AND RIDING IN ALL THE UBERS, of course.

New York is the place where
the confident skin their knees.

It's a place where everything you’ve ever worked for culminates at the doorstep of a couple of street addresses, complete with an army of sticky, flattened little blackened gum balls guarding the front entrance.

Except there is no real army of soldiers, standing at attention. (Get the hell off my page, penis joke.)

In fact, no one's standing guard to your big New York success.

The obvious next line here would be, “You’re the only thing standing in the way of your success,” blah blah blah, but beyond being disgustingly cliché, I don’t know that that’s entirely true.

Sometimes we do give it our all. Sometimes we do fall flat on our faces trying to make things work. Sometimes we aren’t necessarily standing in our own way—we’re just doing what we can to stand.

But there’s an ugly truth about the human race, you know. And that ugly truth is this: It doesn’t matter how much you know, how much you try, or how much you want something.

If you don’t seem capable, you aren’t.

And in this way, confidence doesn’t just affect an outcome—it effects it.

Which is why growing yours is one of the best business moves you can make.

:: Study power posing and ways to grow your creative confidence.

 

:: Look at the way confident people carry themselves. 

 

:: Research charisma. (Here’s a book I dig. Tip: The audio version is nice.)

 

:: I like Steve’s tip for approaching someone you’re interested in talking to within 3 seconds—or else you’ll talk yourself out of it.

 

:: Try an improv class—they say this works wonders for raking together your confidence.

Remember: A person's perception of you IS the truth, no matter how much we want to throw pickle juice on that idea.

We hate that idea so much because it hijacks our control; makes us feel like we’re helpless.

But, you’re not.

You never are.

Because like all things, perception, too, is malleable.

That’s not to say that in a manipulative way; that’s to say that in an honest way.

The certainty with which you utter the first words out of your mouth—you bet it affects your odds.

The way your vocal cords vibrate, modulating the flow of air being expelled from your lungs. Not trivial.

How fast or slow you speak your peace. (Hint: slow = confidence; people who speak quickly are often afraid their opinions aren’t worth hearing.)

These things all matter. (And note: Not one of them is about what you say, but how you say it.)

So I guess the real question is:

How bad do you want it?

You’re either in, or you’re out.

You’re either going to raise your chin, or lower it.

And you’re either going to charge the steps of every NYC address, blackened gum balls and all, and blow the world away—

—or you’re going to cower in your living room, and let the world blow by you.

Like everything, it's always a choice.

And like everything, she's yours.

 

Jun 28

2010

Do You Have The Guts?

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I can vividly recall the first time I wrote a resume. I typed away on our clunky, jumbo HP desktop, silently muttering words that shouldn’t appear in any resume each time autoformat would sneakily attempt to take over my painstakingly-created bulleted list of achievements. To this day, autoformat and I remain sworn enemies–and with reason, […]

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Nov 11

2010

You (Still) Don’t Need a Job.

Nov 11, 2010

MYTH: You think to yourself:  “You are no Chris Guillebeau; you should just go find a job.” –Fear expressed from an actual reader email If you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking you aren’t interesting enough, not smart enough, not savvy enough, not fill-in-the-blank enough, you’re, first, wrong, and second, ignorant of the way the […]

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May 27

2014

Do You Have Chickenshititis?

May 27, 2014

I have a friend named Melissa. (Yes, I have friends.) Melissa doesn’t have a job. She spent her twenties and thirties working for other people as a professional headhunter–(am I obligated to make a Headless Horseman joke here?)–before finally going back to school to pursue an advanced certification in Human Resources. And then she waited. And she […]

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Jun 11

2016

When You Feel Worthy of Being Seen…It Shows

Jun 11, 2016

  Let me tell you what: American women may have Victoria’s Secret, but Italian women have another secret altogether. You know it by the way she holds her head a little higher than yours, eyes on fire, gliding down the god damn sidewalk as if her and Mother Nature were tag teaming. It is not just […]

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Apr 18

2017

Growth Requires Muscle Tears

Apr 18, 2017

Yesterday I talked about change—and it’s no coincidence. I’m making some big changes myself, given that a lot of things are coming to an end, right now. Because iteration is what we’re all doing, every single day, even if it blows by us going 100mph down the freeway. (In a red Ferrari, smoking a cigar, […]

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Dec 28

2012

Forget Your Manners.

Dec 28, 2012

It’s polite to: …fulfill your obligations. …answer them back right away. …nod in agreement. …go with the flow. …do as you’re asked. …drink because they are. …take their call. …give your undivided attention. …fill the silence. …and always be there when they need you. Then again, no one’s ever done anything remarkable by always being […]

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Feb 10

2016

Nice Brands Finish Last

Feb 10, 2016

[x_blockquote type=”center”]I take it as an insult when somebody calls me The N Word: Nice.[/x_blockquote] Out of 100,000 adjectives in the English language, if the best you can come up with is nice, then I’m doing something wrong. It’s like spending Thanksgiving Day ripping out gizzards and mashing actual potatoes, only to be told that […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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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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