ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Shit You Should Never Feel Guilty About, Ever. Plus At Least One Johnny Five Reference.

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

There are a few things we need to get straight.

Shall I make a list? Because lists seem to be in. And lists also mean I don't have to figure out creative ways to transition paragraphs and actually think COHESIVELY. Because who does that shit on Fridays? Not me. Thinking cohesively, I'm pretty sure, is only reserved for Tuesdays. The rest of the week is some amalgamation (I actually spelled that right on the first try – na na na na na) of scattered thoughts, spurts of inspiration and at least fourteen servings of cheese. Pepper jack. Don't mess with the me when I've got a knife and a block of cheese in my hand. MOMMA BEAR AIN'T MESSING.

Anyway. Those items we need to get straight. They're about what it's like to actually run a business. And actually make it work. And, you know, actually be a human being all at the same time. 

Because I'm pretty sure you're beating yourself up for stuff that you shouldn't be. Because you just don't know that you're not the only one. And you probably don't have as much pepper jack as you should–let's be honest. And so I present you with:

THE OFFICIAL SHORT LIST OF SHIT YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT, EVER:

  1. Chipped toe nail polish.
    This is obviously number one on the list because my white toenail polish, which was once quite chic looking, has been chipped for two god forsaken weeks straight. And even I was feeling like this was, quite clearly, the end of the world. What does this say about me?! Am I letting myself go?! Why can't I just DO IT ALL LIKE SUPER WOMAN ALL THE TIME? But guess what?–my toenails may be chipped, but my intentions? Are certainly not. I'm making some BIG things happen. And if making big things happen requires chipped toenails? Then SO BE IT. Amen, pass the cocktail sauce.
  2. Being a total fucking basketcase.
    Do you know how stressful it can be to have all your livelihood, your future, your financial well-being, your reputation, your happiness, and, you know, YOUR NAME on the line every single moment of every single day? I'll tell you the answer: It's incredibly stressful. So stressful you might start biting your finger nails uncontrollably (not like anyone I know has ever done that), snapping at anyone who even so much as texts you (what! the! fuck! you want to hang out with me? can't you see how BUSY I am?), and waking up in the middle of the night like a total psycho, unable to sleep and tortured by your never-ending to-do list. IT HAPPENS. And it's going to happen a lot. So you've got two choices: Accept the fact that sometimes, you're just going to get all basketcase-ey, or beat yourself up for getting basketcase-ey. But here's a hint: The former is going to make you less basketcase-ey in the long run. And we like long runs. Even when there's sweating involved. 
  3. Just not being able to do it.
    Sometimes, you're just going to suuuuccckkkkkk. You're going to be overwhelmed. You're going to be overworked. And you're going to be overstretched. And as nice as that opportunity that just landed on your desk is–MAYBE EVEN THE ONE YOU'D BEEN DREAMING ABOUT–sometimes, you're just not going to have to decline. Sometimes, you're just not going to be ABLE TO. Because the great opportunities you currently have on your plate, require that you sacrifice other great opportunities. But sometimes, that's okay. They'll be back–and just when the time is right. Of this I am convinced.
  4. Eating the fucking dinner roll.
    This is metaphorical for CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK. In my case, I'm famous for nit-picking on myself for the smallest of things. Like…eating the dinner roll when I should probably just, ahem, push it aside and gnaw on a brussels sprout. But you know what? So what if I ate the dinner roll? I also drank two liters of water, took a bike ride, poured my heart into my work, laughed with an old friend, and did an amazing fucking job at life. I WIN.
  5. Totally screwing it up. 
    Because you know what? This is all a work-in-progress. This life. This business. This day. THIS MOMENT. And even you. It's all a work-in-progress. And works-in-progress are not perfect. They're messy. They're slipshod. They're chaotic. Disheveled. And imperfect. Imagine walking into the construction site of, say, what's projected to be the future world's tallest, most beautiful skyscraper. And you immediately just start yelling at the top of your lungs, “WHAT IS THIS SHIT? WHY AREN'T THE MARBLE FLOORS IN YET? WHAT ARE THESE THINGS ON THE FLOOR?!?! NAILS?!” No. You wouldn't do that. Because you'd know it's a work-in-progress. And it's on its way. But right now, today, it might not be there yet. But that's okay. Because soon, it's going to be the world's tallest, most beautiful skyscraper. And everything's going to work out. But you've got to have some patience in the building stages, because 'round these parts, there are no magic genies. And it's all a work in progress. And this is all just a very obvious metaphor for the fact that you are the future skyscraper. And it's going to be messy for a while. And you're going to leave nails on the floor. And IT'S OKAY. Because don't forget–most of the rest of the world isn't building anything.

In closing, stop beating yourself up, because those bruises on your heart aren't very flattering.

And the next time you find yourself getting frustrated, irate, unreasonable, idiotic, steamed, ticked off, and/or otherwise angry at yourself for not doing everything perfect all the fucking time, you should:

a) Read this post.

b) Smell some flowers or something.

THE END.

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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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