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My Pet Peeve About the Internet: No One Teaches Any Goddamn Substance

In: Starting an Online Business

I’ve been running a successful online writing & publishing business for almost ten years now.

TEN. Which is like seventy in dog years, and like a hundred and seventy in internet years, which might explain why my wrists ache so much. Does this mean I get to retire? Kidding. I wouldn’t retire from this gig if they paid me; who else is going to run your favorite blog named after a crude redneck gesture?

That said, as someone who is practically ancient when it comes to All The Online Business Things™, I have a lot to tell you. Things that aren’t being said. Things that aren’t being taught—at least not well. How do I know this? Because I see every Facebook ad that scrolls in front of my face. Sign up for my webinar on giving webinars! Build your email list! Learn my top ten secrets which aren’t really secrets at all!

There is nothing inherently wrong with those topics—webinars and email lists are incredible marketing tools—but that’s not the point.

The point is that there’s so much fluff out there; no one seems to be really teaching anything of any substance, and no one seems to really be learning anything, either.

You’re not learning how to run a real business; you’re listening to surface-level concepts regurgitated from the rest of the internet. Or somebody else’s webinar. Or somebody else’s podcast. But just because the internet doesn’t have higher standards, that doesn’t mean you can’t.

I was recently at Michael & Amy’s (brilliant) Heroic Public Speaking conference (see photo of me looking like I ate too much salt here!) and I had the opportunity to meet a lot of folks who are probably a lot like you—hungry, eager, and excited about the possibility of starting a business online that lets them stay home with their kids, travel to Timbuktu, or, you know, actually live a life that doesn’t revolve around getting ready to go to the office / going to the office / being at the office / waiting to leave the office / leaving the office / hating the office. It was so cool to get to talk to these people—to be invited into their brains and hear what it’s like for someone just starting out.

But you know what was really scary about it?

How sponge-like they were.

How eager.

How trusting.

All great qualities to have when you’re in the right hands, like Michael & Amy's. All dangerous qualities to have when you’re not.

Dangerous because there’s SO MUCH FAITH, that due diligence gets pushed aside. It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of sexy. And the internet makes it so much easier.

These days, if you’ve got a cute banner ad, you can practically swindle the entire world. And this grosses me out. It grosses me out because there are a lot of reckless humans out there who are just interested in making their next buck. People who look at you like prey—like numbers, like clicks, like sign-ups. People who actually have goals to do the least amount of work while making the most amount of money. People who do not care about you after you give them your money. People who you should not be trusting.

That said, we also live in a time when the potential to do amazing things together, and learn from one another, and teach each other what we know…is unsurpassed. When the internet is combined with integrity—that’s where it, and we, get our power.

Find the integrity. Seek it out. Demand it. And BE THE CHANGE, YO. Please. We need substance with the sexy.

I’ve been spending a lot of time hammering home my forthcoming book and getting my hands dirty offline, so things have been a little quiet around here lately. But mama’s back. And I am absolutely up to no good.

With the above piss and vinegar in mind, I’m coming to the table with an all-new breed of (affordable, easy) ways we can come together & become unf*ckwithable–ways I can talk wisdom & teach you the concrete tangibles of everything I know about being in business for yourself, especially online. The brass tacks. The nitty gritty guts. The stuff I whisper in my girlfriends’ ears who are starting their own businesses. The hard skills, the soft skills, and everything in between. And the best part? It’ll be done with flair. Never boring. Always smart.

Because we really are in this together. And I know we can do better than the fluff. Because the next hundred and seventy internet years?

Belong to you.

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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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