ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

Feel Guilty Anytime You’re Not “Being Productive”?

In: Productive Mother

I wrote today's tip earlier today about copywriting. It was pretty fucking good, actually. I might have even made a joke about ham.

But then I stalled.

I hated the tip.

The tip was useful, for sure. The tip was original, most definitely. And the tip was something that some people might have even printed out to remember later.

But the fact is? I'm not interested in later. 

How many pieces of advice do you have bookmarked somewhere for later? How many notes did you take so you could reference them later? How many books did you buy because you thought you'd read them later?

That tip would have been one more thing you added to the pile of later. 

So I left it in draft form. And I opened a new blog post. And I decided to write this instead.

Because I want to say something that's going to matter now, not later.

And that something isn't about copywriting. It isn't about marketing. It isn't about selling. And it isn't even about business.

It's about your life.

Because right now, that is what matters. Not because it's 2014 or because of some other glossy optimistic horseshit. But because,

If you don't get a life, you won't have a business. (Or anything else. Not even stale curly fries.)

I saw a blog post this morning from a girl who was pretty pissed off about what I wrote yesterday.  She was defensive. Reactive. Trying hard to rationalize her behavior to the world. Apparently, she had recently committed one of my (incredibly opinionated) top “business crimes” for 2014: She put the ubiquitous “In an attempt to be productive…” disclaimer in her email signature line regarding which times of day she would be responding to emails, “as a courtesy to her clients.”

But I could hear the apology through her words. The words that so clearly said, “Please don't be mad at me, client, I need to shower?” The words that said, “Take it easy on me, I'm doing the best that I can.” The words that so clearly tried to justify that she did, in fact, have a life. 

And this struck me. Over the head. Without a helmet.

Because usually when you start a business, you end up having to defend the fact that you have a business to everyone in your life. The late nights working. The non-stop emails. The Twitter culture that no one understands. And the fact that, no, I cannot run your fucking errands in the middle of the day.

But more and more, I'm seeing the opposite:

People desperately feeling the need to defend the fact they have a life…to their business.

And it's on that note that I'm going to get down on bended knee, canoodle your hand, look up at you with big fawnish doe eyes, AND THEN SLICE YOUR PANTS SO I CAN TATTOO THIS ON YOUR KNEE CAP:

Pleasepleaseplease remember that, despite every Pinterest board you've ever set your eyes on: Your life is not actually measured by the number of breaths you take, or (WAIT FOR IT) “by the moments that take your breath away.” (Because if that were really true then my life is measured by Jillian Michaels DVDs. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THAT WOMAN.)

But, rather, your life is measured by—surprise!—absolutely nothing at all. 

(And that incredibly optimistic message is the one I wanted to shower you with today.)

Look. Nobody's grading you. Nobody's keeping score. Nobody's sitting behind the curtain, waiting to reveal you as some evil fraud. And if we're being honest?  You've been so busy that you don't even know what your life is measured by, either. 

All you've been thinking about lately are the things your business is measured by. Subscribers. Sales numbers. Profit margins. Stats.

But what about the number of inside jokes you have with your lover? Have you been measuring those? Or the number of times “Achy Breaky Heart” came on the radio and you belted out every single (godawful) word? How about the number of minutes you actually spent admiring the Christmas tree this year? Did you even spend any? Or the days when—shocker—you didn't open the computer?

Start measuring those.

Because if I could give you any tip?

The last thing you want is for the actual people in your actual life—

To unsubscribe.

Jul 31

2012

Be Selective With Your Energy. In Fact, Be Downright Arrogant.

Jul 31, 2012

I’ve stopped checking my emails every day. Before that, I shut down my Behind Closed Doors program. And this past Saturday night out with the girls? I drank…sparkling water. Yet, I can confidently confirm that I am not pregnant, suicidal, dying of cancer (at the moment, anyway) or just having such great sex that I […]

In: Productive Mother

READ ME >>

Oct 12

2017

We Are Overthinking EVERYTHING

Oct 12, 2017

We’ve all got these really exhausting mental scripts we tell ourselves. For example, earlier today I was telling myself I was going to exercise, but then I told myself that, well, maybe notttttt, because I had something heavy for lunccchhhh, so I probably wouldn’t have the energggggy, and then it’d be harder than usuaaaal, and […]

In: Productive Mother

READ ME >>

Aug 7

2015

The Answer To: “Where Do You Get The TIME?!?!”

Aug 7, 2015

Me: I’m writing a book! People: Where do you get the TIME? Me: Every morning! People: WHERE DO YOU GET THE TIIIIIMMEEEEEEE?! Me: It’s in my schedule. Every morning, from 5am to 8am. People: But I could never cooooommmmmiiiiiittttttt to thaaaaatttttttt. Me: So what do you do when you have a client that needs something, […]

In: Productive Mother

READ ME >>

Jan 3

2014

Feel Guilty Anytime You’re Not “Being Productive”?

Jan 3, 2014

I wrote today’s tip earlier today about copywriting. It was pretty fucking good, actually. I might have even made a joke about ham. But then I stalled. I hated the tip. The tip was useful, for sure. The tip was original, most definitely. And the tip was something that some people might have even printed […]

In: Productive Mother

READ ME >>

Jul 2

2015

Turns Out, You *Can’t* Do it All—So How Do You Pick?

Jul 2, 2015

You know who’s funny? People who try to do everything. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship with time. Contrary to popular opinion, time is not always there for you when you need it. Yet, then you are all cute, telling yourself you’ll just “fit it in”—whatever “it” might be that day. Why does everyone think they’ll fit it in? […]

In: Productive Mother

READ ME >>

Dec 11

2014

Million Things To Do? Prioritize by ROI. (And Then Get a Life.)

Dec 11, 2014

So if you’re anything like me (which obviously you are or else you wouldn’t be reading this blog and/or wishing for those last 10 pounds to magically fall off), you’ve constantly got a never-ending stream of STUFF TO DO. When you run a business, that never-ending stream sextuples in size, and you begin to feel […]

In: Productive Mother

READ ME >>

Jul 31

2015

The 140 Character Email: An Experiment in Sanity

Jul 31, 2015

You know the email. The one you’re dreading responding to—not because of what it says, but because the second you open it, all you see is A GIANT, LOOMING TSUNAMI OF TEXT lurching at your face as if the sender had taken the entire Sunday edition of The New York Times, reformatted it into one […]

In: Productive Mother

READ ME >>

Jun 18

2019

Feeling Overwhelmed (And Who Friggin’ Isn’t?): Ask Yourself This Three-Word Question

Jun 18, 2019

There are loadssss of questions I ask myself during the day. Things like, “Where have all the cowboys gone?” and “How awkward was my hello to the neighbor just now?!” And “I’ve eaten two salads in a row—AM I SKINNY YET?” But those are just the kinds of questions you ask yourself when you’re a […]

In: Productive Mother

READ ME >>

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.

Enter your email address and I’ll send you my advice column every week sharing everything I’ve learned—and so much more.

But no serial killers. I promise I won’t send those.

Privacy Policy Info Here