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Not Making As Much Money As You’d Like? Time to Fix That.

In: Money Talk


You have enough, or you don't.

Over the years, I've do-si-doed around both sides of that dichotomy.

As a pre-teen, my mom and I sometimes had to borrow money to buy a roll of one-ply toilet paper to get us through the weekend. Scott brand. I remember it was Scott, because it was always Scott. I wasn't allowed to buy anything else. But I always secretly longed for Charmin. I so desperately wanted to be the kind of people who bought Charmin. I imagined they had lake houses, and swing sets; walls that weren't made of fake wood paneling and parents who weren't single and disabled. I imagined they had everything you could ever want in life, those people.

Today, I buy the most expensive, most luxurious toilet paper on the god damn shelf.

I did something similar when I got my very first job out of college.

I bought a $3,000 mattress on my lunch break. My friends were horrified. But they hadn't spent all of high school sleeping on an old blue chenille love seat with a pillow and a blanket.

Luxury became my redemption.

Money became my redemption.

I deserved it.

And I wanted to make up for every last roll of Scott.

I wanted to make up for every humiliating afternoon when I'd make up an excuse to my friend's older brothers, who drove cars by then, to drop me off two blocks away from where I really lived.

But most of all, I wanted to make up for every pained look I ever saw come across my mother's face; every time she wanted to be more for us, but couldn't. Etched in my memory is the time I begged and begged for a Little Mermaid tee-shirt from the Disney Store, but we couldn't afford it. And the following week, when she surprised me with a hand-painted Little Mermaid tee-shirt, which I cruelly dismissed, telling her I could never wear something hand-painted.

She cried.

She was doing her best.

Maybe as the result of these things, or maybe for some other reason, I became fascinated by money.

Why so many douche bags had so much of it; why so many good people had so little of it. As a young professional just getting started, I took making money as a fun little personal challenge. I looked at money objectively; I studied what the wealthy Philadelphia suburbanites did, who I was now surrounded by. How they talked, walked, acted. I went to networking meetings and social events–I once even befriended a 50-something woman with a white mink coat named Reba, who knew everyone and everything, took me to the swankiest restaurants, and made a ton of money, too.

I wanted to know how.

And that's precisely how I ended up in marketing and sales–I quickly discovered that no matter who you were or what you were doing, if you understood these two things better than anyone else, you win the game.

I consumed myself with both subjects.

I tested theories.

I played the game.

But on behalf of my company at the time.

And then eventually I got irritated that my income was capped as an employee, so I quit and started my first business–I knew that all that networking would pay off, by then. But more importantly, I knew that this was the way to make any real money.

I learned to be scrappy.

I learned think smart.

I learned that money is everywhere if you just know where to look.

And more importantly, how to look.

Fast forward several years.

Many of you know that when I started TMFproject from scratch, I ran a public case study on myself on how to hit 6 figures that first year.

That was no accident.

I knew exactly what I was doing, which is why I announced it publicly.

This year, we were well beyond that at the 6 month mark, and we're growing as expected.

The point is that making money isn't difficult–it's simply knowing how to do it. When no one's handing you a paycheck anymore, you need to learn how to produce your own. And it's not as simple as slapping something up on a website, crossing your fingers, and hoping the world discovers it.

That's where marketing and sales come into play.

Whoever you are.

Whatever your situation.

There is hope.

And the money and dignity to follow, right behind it.

May 1


YOU AREN’T CHARGING ENOUGH. Here Are Twenty Big, Fat Reasons Why.

May 1, 2019

Andddd (drum roll!) we continue our discussion about money with the biggest, hairiest, most existential question in all of entrepreneurship: “How much should I charge?” While other people are worried about how much they’re spending, YOU have the ass-clenching task of worrying about how much you’re earning. (Let’s be honest, your ass did clench up […]

In: Money Talk


Sep 26


How to Save Money For People Who Are Notoriously Bad At Saving Money

Sep 26, 2013

You haven’t started saving for retirement yet. You don’t know how you’re going to pay your taxes (because you haven’t been keeping up with—what are those silly things called?—quarterly payments.) You certainly don’t have a rainy day fund. <—Said while laughing hysterically into your beer. And college? Well, the kids will just have to open […]

In: Money Talk


Nov 1



Nov 1, 2019

Isn’t pricing a GROAN? Like, you physically groan when it’s time to “figure out your pricing,” because WHY DOES IT SEEM LIKE THE MOST ARBITRARY THING ON EARTH? How do I know if it’s right? Is it too high? Too low? Will anyone buy it? Am I selling myself short? Does the price match the […]

In: Money Talk


Jan 23


Hourly or Retainer OR….

Jan 23, 2014

»  Cash flow challenged? »  Do a bunch of work you won’t get paid for until you bill next month? »  Burned in the past by clients who disappear & never actually pay the bill? No, this is actually not the opening to an infomercial, as much as I’d love to show up on my […]

In: Money Talk


Apr 16


29 Creative Ways You Can Find Some Extra Money on the Fly, In a Pinch, When You’re Strapped and When You’re All: SOS, Cash Flow Where’d You Go?!

Apr 16, 2019

The other day I urged women: do not let them money shame you. Do not! Even though they’ll try to. Even though, because you’re a woman, you’ll be deemed “delusional” and “scammy” and “self-serving,” the more money you charge—even if it’s the going rate. And yet, when a man charges the same thing, they are […]

In: Money Talk


Jun 14


Spending Money is Not a Sacrifice, But a Strategy

Jun 14, 2017

Spending money is not a sacrifice, but a strategy. Most people don’t look at it like that, though, and so they spend less—and end up making less, too. But money is like a lever—which, not so coincidentally, comes from the French word, “to raise.” If you think of a seesaw, on one side you have […]

In: Money Talk


Aug 30


$199 vs $200: The Difference of a Dollar is Never Just a Dollar

Aug 30, 2016

I was recently told a story about a man named Uncle Bill who went to Colombia, stayed in a hostel, and climbed the ladder into his bunk—even after the four bottles of wine. Uncle Bill wasn’t your average uncle, though. Uncle Bill was eighty-nine years old. Which sounds like a lot, when you say it out loud, […]

In: Money Talk


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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