ASH AMBIRGE

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“Never Lose Your Sunny Disposition. It’ll Be the Most Important Asset You’ll Ever Have.”

In: Finding Your Voice

Her name began with an H.

I brought the card down to the hotel lobby with a little swing in my pulse—not because I was nervous to give it to her, although in retrospect, maybe I was. I didn’t want it to seem like I was bribing her. (Or, you know, ASKING FOR SEX.)

“My first Kate Spade!” she exclaimed, swinging the lid off the round pink and orange box with the same overflowing enthusiasm that had been the very reason for the gift in the first place. I had recognized that enthusiasm, like bumping into a dear old friend, or accidentally stumbling across an old photograph you forgot existed. It was the naked, natural kind. The kind they had told me, once, never to lose.

“Never lose your sunny disposition,” I had written in the card, telling her the same. “It’ll be the most important asset you’ll ever have.”

Later that afternoon, I, too, received a card.

It was sealed in an envelope, slipped under my door, as if we were secret lovers. “Meet for a quick drink at 5?”

Over the course of three spritzy Chicago-brewed ales, we hopped from sofa to sofa all around the Arts Club Cafe in the new Restoration Hardware, which, if you haven’t heard, is no longer just a home furnishings store—it’s Gold Coast Chicago’s place to see and be seen, with a swanky restaurant inside. It was just a block away from the hotel. She wore the golden earrings I had picked out.

“I believe things happen for a reason,” she said.

She then continued to tell me that she had been feeling stagnant, and uninspired in her job, and entirely unsure what to do next. For her—a Wisconsin broad—Chicago was the big city. She had gone there. She had done it. But what do you do when you get there and…it’s not enough?

She then told me that the day I checked into the hotel and she discovered what I did for a living, inspiring women to lead original lives and make money bravely with The Middle Finger Project, and Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends, and the upcoming reveal of Unf*ckwithable BOSS (yup, it's coming, and I'm bringing the heat hard, so stay tuned!)—she had hope.

“I gave my notice to the hotel,” she started. “And then you come along with your card to always stay true to myself, and it was exactly what I needed, in that very moment of time. I teared up. I was terrified I was making a mistake.”

But H had it all wrong.

I hadn’t come along to give her hope—she would have figured it out eventually—she had come along to give it to me.

To remind me that the richest experiences in life only happen when you're in them—not merely observing from a distance. And the only way you can really be in them is by being out of your own head. To stop worrying about how you'll come across—for example, I used to worry people would think I was naive if I was as warm and friendly as I am by nature—and just BE THERE, as right and true as a carrot is orange. Anything less is committing fraud against yourself. And anything less is not doing you the favors you think it is.

We all know that the most important asset you'll ever own isn't money, and it isn't stuff, and it isn't power.

But sometimes, we forget what is.

And sometimes, being able to look into the mirror and see your dear old friend smiling back—the same one that makes you smile, the way you do with an old photograph—is the most important thing you could ever own, because it's the one thing that no one else ever can.

And that, alone, is remarkable.

Even when you forget just how remarkable you are.

Jul 31

2014

Anytime You Question Yourself, Promise Yourself Better Answers.

Jul 31, 2014

You ever do that thing where you’re about to start that business, write that book, ask for that advance, release that product, pitch that service, or maybe just tell your boyfriend you want to try anal…and then you hesitate? Flinch? Get nervous? Worried? Scared that the response is going to be something like, “WHAT ARE […]

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Nov 7

2015

Your Hatred is Wisdom

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What is it? The thing you sighed with relief about this morning? The thing you didn’t have to do on a Saturday? The thing you exhaled about? (And maybe even shimmied around the room naked over. With this You Tube video playing. And at least two neighbors cursing you to hell.) That’s the thing.  Pay very close […]

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2017

I Wrote This For The Ones Who Care What They Might Think

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“Oh, but they’re going to say ________________________.” That I’m not really as smart as I think I am.That I think I’m better than them, now.That I’m putting on a show. Good news: you can stop micro-managing all the thoughts that don’t belong to you, darling.  Their thoughts belong to them, just like their children do. You […]

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2017

The Competition Doesn’t Have Sh*t On You

Aug 25, 2017

There’s never been a person who went to school for accounting and said: BUT WAIT, I CAN’T BECOME AN ACCOUNTANT BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DOINGGGGG THATTTTTTTTTTT. There are plenty of people out there doing exactly what you want to do—times eleventy thousand. “But there are already so many writers / designers / candlestick makers” […]

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Dec 12

2017

To The People Who Keep Asking Me When I’m Having a Baby

Dec 12, 2017

“When are you having a baby?” “You’d be a great mom.” “You’ll regret it later if you don’t.” “You HAVE to have kids!” …and I used to think people were pushy about making me try seafood. Though the decision not to have children actually reminds me of that: people are really convinced you’re making a […]

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Sep 15

2015

Plan On Being Nervous, Brilliantly

Sep 15, 2015

Being nervous sucks. Your pulse races. Your brain blanks. Your hands shake like little assholes. You tell yourself to take deep breaths, but the minute you do, you then worry that the entire room can see the fact that your heart is, in fact, doing the electric slide up and down your rib cage. (God […]

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Aug 15

2014

How to Be the Most Confident Person At The Table

Aug 15, 2014

When somebody doesn’t buy from you, which are you thinking? “Man, I’m a loser”  or “Man, they’re a loser.”  Getting cocksure is the very first order of business. And if you don’t feel sure of yourself, you know what you need? Not more clients. You need to sit your ass down, read 100 books, grovel for the […]

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Sep 1

2017

The World’s Funniest Fucking Soaps, Uh, Ever

Sep 1, 2017

You should know that I have officially discovered THE BEST THING THAT’S EVER BEEN MADE (after Cards Against Humanity, of course) and I had to share with you because I don’t keep anything from you (except for that one thing) and because we could all use some inspiration and also because CAN WE JUST LIGHTEN […]

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Oct 26

2017

Sometimes, Being Difficult Is an Act of Devotion

Oct 26, 2017

Nobody wants to “be difficult.” Those words have stigma tattooed right across their rear. Just hearing them makes you think of that psycho in line at the grocery store, berating the cashier for not accepting her expired coupon. (She’s also wearing Uggs, for the record, and DEFINITELY has a soggy cigarette hanging out of her […]

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Oct 29

2015

“I don’t feel confident in my work.”

Oct 29, 2015

Are you squinting your eyes at the screen trying to decide if this describes you or not? (Of course you are, you’re probably reading this on an iPhone the size of my elbow.) It’s kind of an ugly characterization—nobody wants to admit to feeling less than confident in what you’re doing. And yet, I’ve got […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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