ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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“My Brand is Boring As Fuck. With a Capital F.”

In: Starting an Online Business

Andddddd it’s a wrap!

We took The Cotswolds by motherloving storm this past week, as I led a cozy, intimate business retreat with five killer women in the English countryside, complete with fireside chats, darling little pubs, open-air picnics, tons of peppermint tea, and, of course, trekking around in our wellies through refreshingly moist meadows to get that crisp, fresh air into our lungs. (And our brains. Because let’s face it: when you’re inside all day, sucking in the same air as your vacuum cleaner, shit gets stale—and that includes your creativity.)

So what did we talk about? Everything!

However, there was one primary theme that took center stage by design: the importance of contrast. So many new business owners are trying so hard to “do it like they should” and “get taken seriously” and not have their authority questioned, that they end up building their business around the lowest common denominator. So instead of creating something worth paying attention to, they end up not creating, but copying, for the very act of creation requires originality. And yet, that’s the one thing that everyone’s the most unsure about: how to create something that feels fresh?

After ten years of creating fresh-feeling concepts for brands around the world, I can assure you that the answer is not by inventing an all-new thing; it’s about taking whatever you want and learning how to put an all new spin on it. The way you do that?

By finding the contrast.

To illustrate my point, on Day One I wore a knee-length, bright fire-engine-red slip dress—complete with lace around the edges—on top of a white tee-shirt with red letters scrawled across the back: ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE. I then layered on multiple strands of pearls, and paired the outfit with teal flats and a smoky rocker eye. I asked the girls: what do you notice about my outfit? After a short discussion, my point was made: it was an outfit full of contrasts. Tee shirts and lace. Pearls and rocker eyes. Red and teal.

And it’s that contrast that makes something interesting.

Which is exactly what we need from you. We don’t need you to be the best. We don’t need you to be the most. We don’t need you to be like everybody else. What we need is for you to create something of interest.

And the way you do that is by taking one idea and smashing it up against another. You create friction. You create inequality. You create conflict. And this is how you breed originality.

As it turns out, the best new ideas aren’t new at all—they’re recycled.

They’ve just figured out how to pair the right materials.

Nov 20

2017

Not Sure What to Sell? Here’s a Shot of Inspiration.

Nov 20, 2017

Most people think they need an actual product to sell—but what if the experience was the product? One of my favorite websites on the planet is TabletHotels.com, who have vetted and hand-selected some of the world’s most gorgeous, well-designed hotel spaces. I always go there first, looking for accommodations, because: it’s a feast for the […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Jul 10

2014

What To Do When You Hire Them And…They Suck.

Jul 10, 2014

So you started a business and before you knew it you were regularly lip syncing to Gaga while kicking ass, taking orders, AND taking names—which, for the record, I hear is a mafia term. Isn’t that delightful? Suddenly, you found yourself with an extra $5 and immediately shouted to no one in particular, “I’m going to reinvest […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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May 4

2012

How to Be Taken Seriously in Biz + Life. (Does Not Apply to Douchebags, The President, or Anyone With The Name Barbie.)

May 4, 2012

Ever jump in a pool fully clothed? You gotta try it. Borderline rebellious, without landing you a spot in jail, or any unplanned pregnancies. (Usually.) I’m pretty sure I’ve jumped into more pools clothed than the average human being, which must qualify me for something. Something other than the insane asylum. Or the WWF. My […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Jun 20

2013

23 (Surprising) Reasons To Work for Yourself

Jun 20, 2013

You discover things you never knew about yourself. For example, you know how sometimes people play that annoying game and ask you what you’d do if you only had 24 hours to live? And so you sit there and scratch your ass, and then say something poetic like, “I’d go to the beach and let […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Jul 11

2017

Take What You Love, And Figure Out How to Sell It To Someone—And Boom, You’ve Got Your Dream Job

Jul 11, 2017

So, listen, I’m not gonna lie—we got to our new London flat this morning, and the second I walked in, I FINALLY UNDERSTOOD THE MEANING OF LIFE. (P.S. You’re following these shenanigans via my Insta-stories right?) Which is entirely materialistic of me, of course, but I’m of the age these days where I don’t really care because […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Jun 6

2013

10 Uncommon Truths Every Business Owner Should Know

Jun 6, 2013

I’m not sure if you’ve ever served ice cream for a living, but there’s one thing you should know: It’s terrifying. From little league ball teams showing up twenty seconds before close (always a great time), to people who NEVER SPECIFY WHAT SIZE THEY WANT EVEN THOUGH THE PRICE IS DIRECTLY CORRELATED TO THE SIZE […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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May 14

2017

The Noodle Test: Is Your Business Idea Any Good?

May 14, 2017

When you’re weighing out your business ideas, do not cave to the pressure of having to do something new. You do not have to be the first—you just have to be the only. There’s a difference. If you think about it, there are plenty of restaurants using all the same ingredients. After all, there are only […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Aug 5

2017

“My Brand is Boring As Fuck. With a Capital F.”

Aug 5, 2017

Andddddd it’s a wrap! We took The Cotswolds by motherloving storm this past week, as I led a cozy, intimate business retreat with five killer women in the English countryside, complete with fireside chats, darling little pubs, open-air picnics, tons of peppermint tea, and, of course, trekking around in our wellies through refreshingly moist meadows […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ ME >>

Dec 19

2013

Are You a Dangerous Liability In Your Own Business?

Dec 19, 2013

How many books do you have in your Kindle library that you haven’t read yet? How many times have you said to yourself, “I should really learn how to write better copy,” or “I should really learn Photoshop,” or “I should really learn how to shower more regularly instead of rotting away in my yoga pants […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Feb 14

2014

Don’t Invent a Product Name. Engineer One.

Feb 14, 2014

It’s 4:30 in the morning and I’m boarding a plane to Nicaragua. Today’s tip should really be: Don’t board a plane before you having at least one successful hour being awake. It’s bad enough trying to successfully stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night; try stumbling through a gigantic metal maze of […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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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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