ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Nice Brands Finish Last

In: Finding Your Voice

[x_blockquote type=”center”]I take it as an insult when somebody calls me The N Word: Nice.[/x_blockquote]

Out of 100,000 adjectives in the English language, if the best you can come up with is nice, then I'm doing something wrong.

It's like spending Thanksgiving Day ripping out gizzards and mashing actual potatoes, only to be told that the food is “very good, thanks.” VERY GOOD, THANKS? What is this, a $5 blowjob?

Now that I've taken the blog to all new inappropriate heights, I might as well tell you what I really think. (P.S. To all my third grade teachers, I promise I'm still 45% wholesome.)

Being described as nice isn't a personality problem: It's a personal branding problem.

You might not think of it that way, but that's what it is. If your entire presence conjures up nothing more than the most generic word of all mankind, then either your personality is really that unremarkable (doubtful) or, more likely: You're not really yourself around other people. Choke. Punch. Gulp.

Reasons why you might not feel comfortable being yourself around other people:

  • You don't like yourself.
  • You don't trust yourself.
  • You're wearing anything resembling a speedo.

That's really it. It's not because of what they'll think of you. It's because of what you think of you.

So here's the rub: If you're constantly buffing yourself down, you might feel more smooth, but smooth isn't interesting. Smooth is flat. Smooth is dull. Smooth is, for lack of a better word, NICE.

For lack of a better word. What a tragedy.

The reason I'm talking about this, however, is not because I've suddenly turned into a raging life coach.

Rather, it's because the way we show up in our personal lives is the same way we show up in the professional.

Raise your hand if your entire brand feels bland? Raise your hand if you have trouble talking about yourself in interesting ways? Raise your hand if you've inadvertently smoothed all the edges of your business so you would look legitimate? Professional? Serious? Big? Smart? Important?

Serious question: Can your business be itself? Because now, more than ever, here's the truth:

[x_blockquote type=”center”]In buffing your edges, you behead your edge.[/x_blockquote]

And you know what's left after that?

A website that's nice. A business that's nice. And a brand that isn't a brand, but merely the latest form of—ahem—lip service.

Aug 12

2017

A Note of Support for All My Dreamers Getting Their Ideas Pooh-Poohed By Their Family, Their Friends, Their Spouses, and Their Neighbors (Fucking Neighbors, Am I Right?)

Aug 12, 2017

In the year 2010, friends would call and say: “So, how’s your blooooooooggggggg?” The tone was obvious: How’s your cute little imaginary friend that you think is going to save you from the real world that the rest of us have to suffer through? The year 2011, I made $103,000 with that blog—a far cry […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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Feb 10

2016

Nice Brands Finish Last

Feb 10, 2016

[x_blockquote type=”center”]I take it as an insult when somebody calls me The N Word: Nice.[/x_blockquote] Out of 100,000 adjectives in the English language, if the best you can come up with is nice, then I’m doing something wrong. It’s like spending Thanksgiving Day ripping out gizzards and mashing actual potatoes, only to be told that […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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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 […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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Jan 25

2018

Right Now, Someone Out There is Admiring You, Greatly.

Jan 25, 2018

They might not have said it. In fact, they probably kept it to themselves—“don’t want to seem like a creepy ass stalker.” But no matter who you are, you have changed things for someone. You have made them rethink their career. Rethink their stance. Rethink their makeup. (Because, hey, Urban Decay is a religion.) You […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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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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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 […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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Jun 15

2017

Having FUN Doesn’t Make You an Unprofessional Schmuck

Jun 15, 2017

Fun is underrated. We spend so much of our lives trying to get taken seriously, that fun becomes something we think of as shameful, dirty; something to be minimized in a professional setting. Giggles are juvenile; jokes are adolescent; anything more than a poker face threatens your status as “a respectable professional.” But that’s only […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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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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