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.

Mar 30

2012

How to Be Able to Travel Whenever You Want

Mar 30, 2012

Can we please talk about the fact that tonight, I’m getting a ride to the airport from a random, way-skinnier-than-me (and probably you) Vietnamese woman named Kim, who works at the random nail salon where I got a pedicure yesterday? Yeah. That’s fucking weird, and it’s totally happening. And I’m totally excited about it, mostly […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Dec 4

2012

Finding Your Inner F-Bomb: What To Do When You’re Having a Hard Time Being You

Dec 4, 2012

So last night I did what any young lady would do whose internet has been down since Friday and, as a result, is staying in a randomly-selected hotel to mooch mega-bytes: Wondered what the fine would be for accidentally stealing one of these “firm” pillows–these things are fucking impressive. Side-kicked the air-conditioner upon discovering there […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Aug 16

2017

Too Shy to Stand Up and Sing Your Own Praises? Start Here, You Humble Little Lovebug, You.

Aug 16, 2017

Someone tells you that you did a great job, and what’s the first thing coming out of your mouth? OH NO BIGGIE, BARB, IT WAS NOTHING, REALLY—NO WORRIES, LEAST I COULD DO! We’re quick to diminish our efforts because taking credit for all the things somehow feels self-important; braggy; boastful; full-of-herself. Do this enough times, […]

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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Oct 25

2012

An Ode to Baller Status.

Oct 25, 2012

Lather up. Choose the perfume-scented body lotion. Put every last hair into place. Rock your most exquisite piece of clothing. Wink at yourself in the mirror. Pull out the stops. Look fucking smashing. And then get to work. Because when you feel like a baller? YOU ACT LIKE ONE.

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.

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.

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