ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

Pet Peeves, Dried Egg Yolk + The Difference Between Having Freedom and Having OPTIONS.

In: Starting an Online Business

So, I had this grand epiphany the other day.

You see, I've always wanted a pet peeve. Everyone's got a pet peeve. At least one. But me? Not so much. I've never really had a solid pet peeve of my own, which has clearly left me feeling pretty deprived.

I mean, what kind of a person doesn't have a pet peeve? A nice person, maybe, but we all know I'm not a nice person. Nice people are only called nice people because no other adjectives come to mind, and when that's the case, I've got news: You're not a nice person. You're a dreadfully boring person.

And I'd almost rather be called anything else but nice. But that's besides the point. Stop distracting me.

Anyway, back to pet peeves, and the fact that I haven't had any up until now.

Sure, polka dots annoy me. Ditto for people who leave egg yolk on their plate without rinsing it, so then when the person doing the dishes finds it, it's caked on like super glue. I HATE THOSE PEOPLE. They're lucky I don't hide a machine gun underneath the sink.

But none of those things are things I'd categorize as a pet peeve, per se. (On second thought, the egg thing should probably go on the list.)

However, the epiphany of today is that–holy smokes–I do have a pet peeve! I just couldn't put my finger on it all these years.

Wanna know what it is? Do ya, do ya, do ya?

Of course you do. That's why you're still reading.

My pet peeve is one that you and I probably share–whether you realized it yet or not.

It's this: Lack. Of. Options.

Think about it. It's why you're contemplating starting your own online business, or why you've already started. When it comes down to it, that's it, isn't it? For option's sake.

Most people instinctively quote the reason as freedom. But freedom is really open-ended. Too open-ended. Realistically, you already have freedom. Technically, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, whether it feels that way or not. That's not to say there won't be consequences, of course, but strictly speaking, consequences are irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that you have freedom already.

But having freedom isn't the same as having options.

Freedom doesn't always give you power. There's nothing guaranteed when you have freedom.

Options, on the other hand, does imply power. It does imply some degree of viability. Options imply freedom, yes, but on the same token, they also imply potential. Options imply a positive outcome. Options imply some sort of guarantee that no matter which one you choose, things will turn out okay.

And that's the best position to be in of all.

One where you're calling the shots.

Having a lack of options is a precariously pissy situation to be in.

That's my pet peeve, and with good reason.

When you don't have options, you don't have any control. And when you don't have control, you don't have a life–just the illusion of one.

I'll do whatever it takes to keep my options open.

Options to work how I want, doing what I want, where I want. Options to live in whichever country I please. Options to sleep in if I need to, work late when I need to, or not work at all if I need to. Options to do what matters more, and do less of what doesn't. Options to take care of what needs to be taken care of, options to help those who need it, and options to buy the expensive tube of lip gloss if I damn well please.

Options to exercise my creativity as much as I desire.

Options to experiment.

Options to play.

Options to discover.

Options to be ME, as much as I can be, and have the world embrace it. (And, in many cases, even pay me for it.)

Options to listen to my soul. Options to follow my instincts. Options to play by the rules….or options to not.

And options to live in ways that I deem most fulfilling.

There's something to be said about the ability to live in ways you find fulfilling.

Not what your boss finds fulfilling.

Or what the rest of society finds fulfilling.

But what you find fulfilling.

It can also be really scary, too, because having those options means that not only do you have choice, you also have a new sense of responsibility.

To yourself.

To make the right calls. And choose the right way. And live up to your own expectations.

Yet, having the option to do so–scary as it may be–is still so worth it.

After all, if you don't take responsibility your own fulfillment…who will?

Certainly not those assholes leaving the egg yolk on the plate.

And certainly not me.

After all, I'm not a nice person.

I'm a mover. I'm a shaker. And I'm here to slap you around a little, spin you in circles, sit your ass down, and help you to see that you're not a nice person, either.

There's so many better adjectives to describe you.

So many adjectives–and, by extension, advantages–you can use to discover your own options.

Because that, truly, is a gift.

Options.

Remember:  Freedom doesn't always lead to options. But options, on the other hand, always lead to freedom.

Know the difference.

And then do something about it.

P.S. If you need a place to start, read this post. That should help light a fire under your ass.

Nov 30

2012

The $2,000 Offer to LEAVE a Company

Nov 30, 2012

When I was hired as Director of PR for AWeber, the VP of Operations called me into his office two weeks after I had started, and offered me $2,000 to leave the company. “You’ve been here two weeks now,” he started, “and you probably have a good idea if this is a place you’re going […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ ME >>

May 30

2014

Is Your Package Big Enough?

May 30, 2014

Confess. You’re reading this because the title made you think of male genitalia. (…And now you’re thinking about how weird the word “genitalia” sounds.) I know, I know. I tried to avoid it, but really, I can’t. Because today’s tip is about packaging your service or product offerings, so why be modest? I’m not even […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ ME >>

Feb 18

2016

An Ode to the Internet’s Worst Business Advice

Feb 18, 2016

A person, going into business for themselves for the first time: How can I get found? The Internet: Start a newsletter! Person: What, like a weekly bulletin? The Internet: No, like a newsletter. Person: So, like, write a bunch of updates about me, me, and me? The Internet: Yeah! A newsletter! Person: Every week? The […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ ME >>

Aug 4

2015

Please, I Beg You, Get a Niche. (No Matter Which Way You Pronounce That Irritating Word.)

Aug 4, 2015

Most annoying word ever: Niche. Come on, say it with me now. Nicheeeeeeeee. Oh wait, what’s that? You don’t know if it’s pronounced NIT-ch like an angry German or NEE-sh like a snobby Frenchman? That’s okay, neither does anybody else. DON’T LET THEM FOOL YOU. Kind of like how nobody actually knows how to pronounce […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ ME >>

May 4

2012

How to Be Taken Seriously in Biz + Life. (Does Not Apply to Douchebags, The President, or Anyone With The Name Barbie.)

May 4, 2012

Ever jump in a pool fully clothed? You gotta try it. Borderline rebellious, without landing you a spot in jail, or any unplanned pregnancies. (Usually.) I’m pretty sure I’ve jumped into more pools clothed than the average human being, which must qualify me for something. Something other than the insane asylum. Or the WWF. My […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ ME >>

Apr 5

2013

Reason #959 to Start a Business

Apr 5, 2013

Employment freaks me out. It’s hard to imagine putting all of your intellectual, emotional, and physical energy into a company – with nothing to show for it at the end of the day. Or, the end of your life. Maybe a savings, if you were disciplined enough, or a 401K, but aside from that, you’re […]

In: Starting an Online Business

READ ME >>

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.

Privacy Policy Info Here