ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Schmooze or Lose: Because It’s Important for Business, AND It Rhymes

In: How to Sell Yourself

People.

They're a curious breed.

But they're a (really) necessary part of your business. And your success. And your 80th birthday party, because who wants to go to an 80th birthday party with no attendees? Not me.

As it turns out, learning how to talk to them (all people, not just the 80 year old crowd) is one of the most important skills anyone–you, me, Superman and anyone public speaking alongside Obama–could ever learn. (If you're speaking next to Obama, first, congratulations, but second? Good luck not coming off as a sub par ant of a human.)

This past week, one of my business partners, Jenny, flew down to meet me here in Costa Rica for an intense week-long strategy session. There were mojitos. And massages. And spiders the size of your hand. And also, synergy.

You know, that whole thing where, when the right two people get together, you're more capable of big, bold, fireworks in this world than you are as individuals.

And one of the things that Jenny is strikingly good at?

Good old-fashioned SCHMOOZING.

Oh, is she a schmoozer. She schmoozed everybody in town, including pineapple man. And all these years, I thought I was good with people. If I'm good with people, Jenny is the wonderbra of social interactions. (Sorry, J-Fo – didn't mean to reduce you to an undergarment, but hey, you *ARE* an excellent support structure.)

Jenny's the kind of person that can walk into any social setting, and within 3 minutes, will have befriended at least 5 people, a waiter, the waiter's wife, and the grumpy asshat seated at Table 5.

She's got an incredible knack for endearing people to her almost instantly. (Except our photographer. We did a team photo shoot while she was here, alongside our right-hand woman, Meredith, and he was a tough cookie to crack. So, he can be the exception. FINE.)

When I asked her what her trick was, she slugged her mojito and proceeded to tell me this:

1. Touch people, already. Appropriately. They aren't a rare specimen in a museum–they're another human being, hoping to connect with you, too. Because isn't that what we all want? Have the confidence that they'll want to talk to you as much as you'll want to talk to them. And then, reach out and touch 'em. A touch on the arm goes a long way to communicate your sincere interest in them, and it'll force them to give you their attention. Every time. (Note: Men have gotta be careful with this one. Fine line between, “Wow, you're a fascinating person and I'm interested in knowing you” and “Hey, how 'bout me and you take a little walk…” Aim for sincere, not creepy. And for the love, ixnay on the “friendly shoulder rub.” (You'd be surprised the shit we women encounter.)

2. Speaking of sincere interest in THEM, actually have one. Ask them questions about themselves. Drop everything in your brain, and actually give a damn about their answers. When you can make other people feel important to you, you'll be important to them.

3. Take off your girdle and relax. Nobody cares if your smile is crooked. Have fun. Laugh with them. Be genuine. And be genuinely happy to be having that interaction right there and then. Whether it's the CEO of Nike, or the bus boy at your local watering hole, serve up the same twinkle in your eye, and love the act of being human together.

Okay, so she didn't really say that last part about being human together, and I totally edited it in, but I think that J-Fo's onto something, here.

Because that whole connect with humans thing? It's not going anywhere.

And if you want to thrive in this world? In your business? In your relationships? In your life?

You've gotta get better at this.

I'm convinced Jenny could walk into the Donald's office tomorrow and walk out with a billion bucks, a box of cigars and his cell phone number. Why do you think I've recruited her to work with me?

The question that remains is:

Could you?

Work on this, and you can have the world.

Work on other stuff, and you can have a piece of the world your future boss is presently negotiating.

Dec 30

2014

Repeat After Me: You Are Not Your Buyer

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It’s two days before the new year, and I’m doing exactly what you are: Dicking around on the internet and calling it “downtime.” It’s absolutely PHENOMENAL. But, as we all prepare to become supermodel [extra title=”Isn’t that your plan?” info=”tooltip” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]trazillionaire cigar-smoking business moguls in 2015, [/extra] there is one thing I want to encourage […]

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Apr 18

2013

Don’t Beg for Business. Command It.

Apr 18, 2013

Bring me to your granny’s birthday party, and I’m sweet as a lemon square. (My favorite.) Bring me to meet the parents, and I’ll bust out the pearls. Bring me anywhere, and you’ll get sweet, demure Ashley. But bring me to a board room? And it’s shark time. If you’re like most people, the mere […]

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Sep 14

2014

If you’re both killer & poet, YOU GET RICH.

Sep 14, 2014

“Most good copywriters fall into two categories: Poets and Killers. Poets see an ad as an end. Killers, as a means to an end. If you are both killer & poet? You get rich.” Ogilvy once said that about copywriters, but that’s just because he wasn’t around long enough to see the internet blow up. […]

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Feb 11

2014

STOP Giving Away Free Consults. I Beg You.

Feb 11, 2014

“Nobody ever paid top dollar for a cheap imitation. Don’t let somebody else’s business move dictate yours.” I wrote that in our TMF Facebook page yesterday. Here’s why: Keep in mind that the people you’re watching are winging their next move just as much as you. Yet, so many new business owners who are fighting tooth […]

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Aug 30

2017

$5 Discount or $5 Surcharge?

Aug 30, 2017

Would you rather get a $5 discount or receive a $5 surcharge? It’s the same change in price, just framed differently—and yet, I bet even the word “surcharge” just had you up in arms. LISTEN HERE, AT&T!!!!!!!!!!! That’s because humans are reeeeepulsed by the idea of losing something we already have. It makes us hangry. […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Mar 6

2014

Are You Selling The Wrong Thing?

Mar 6, 2014

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been guilty of making a list of “what’s included” that looks like this: Modules! PDFs! Videos! Audios of the Videos! Transcripts of the Audios of the Videos! Commentary on the transcripts of the Audios of the Videos! A revolutionary new—drum roll— Facebook Group! AND THERE’S MORE! Buy now and […]

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May 4

2017

How Do You Make People Care About Your Work—Even When Your Work Is Lofty, Intangible, and Abstract as F***?

May 4, 2017

I’m working with a client, right now, who wants to sell emotional intelligence. That’s the result you get when you work with her. EQ, instead of IQ. And emotional intelligence is actually really, really important. It’s one of the biggest predictors of success, believe it or not. She’s read the literature. I’ve read the literature. […]

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