ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Starting a Business Isn’t for Weak People, Shitty People, Irresponsible People, Undisciplined People, Stupid People, Forgetful People, Lazy People, Irrational People, Impatient People, or People Who Blame Everything on Obama.

In: Hate Your Job?

Nearly ten years ago when I started my first copywriting business, I struggled with the things most new business owners struggle with:

  1. Telling a client your fees while silently thinking shitshitshitshitshitshitshit!
  2. Having no idea if your fees are too high or too low or WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSE TO BE CHARGING?!
  3. Constantly worried someone was going to call you out and berate you and turn you into the police for saying / doing / breathing something amateur.
  4. Thinking everything will take you about an hour except WRONG because every single thing seems to take all damn day.
  5. Shrieking with joy the day you get your brand new business cards.
  6. Picking your teeth with said brand new business cards.
  7. Giving your new business cards to everyone you meet (after wiping the beef off).
  8. Playing it cool around strangers like you've done this for – yawn – YEARRRRSSSSS.
  9. Feeling like clients were needier than newborn babies.
  10. Having no idea what to say or how to charge or what to do when they asked you to do “one more little thing” that ended up taking you four days and three bottles of vodka.
  11. Not knowing a polite way to say, “no fucking way, lady”.
  12. And, of course, pooh poohing things like taxes because how much could it really be? (Did you just laugh nervously with me there, new business owners?)

Let me put it this way: Starting a business is not for the faint of heart.

It's also not for weak people, shitty people, irresponsible people, undisciplined people, stupid people, forgetful people, lazy people, irrational people, impatient people, or people who blame everything on Obama.

Assuming you aren't any of those people, then you might have a shot. It might take you the next decade to figure it all out, of course, but eventually you'll be okay. You'll screw up more than you ever did before, you'll make more money than you ever did before, you'll lose more money than you ever did before, and you'll wonder if you're bipolar more than you ever did before.

You'll think things are great. You'll think things are terrible. One day you'll wake up ready to set the world on fire, and the next you'll be ready to set yourself on fire, all the same. You'll experience your proudest moments, your weakest moments, your most embarrassing moments and your most memorable moments, too.

You will have no idea if anything you're ever doing is right (this doesn't go away after time, sorry), you will have no idea how to fix shit you do wrong, you will have no idea if you can keep at it for even one more day, and you'll have no idea who you are or where you're going or whether it's all worth it….for at least five years.

You'll go through stages where you'll think everyone is better than you, where you just want to throw in the towel, where you just want to go back to a “normal” life, and where you cannot remember what it's like to even BE OUTSIDE.

You'll hate people–and you'll hate people a lot.

You'll hate yourself–and you'll hate yourself for something every single day.

You'll hate being strong, being good, being responsible, being disciplined, being smart, being on top of it, being motivated, being rational, being patient, and not being able to blame everything on Obama.

And more days than not, you'll probably hate your business, too.

Nothing is all daffodils and babies' asses.

BUT…

Through all the bad days, the stressful moments, the awkward conversations, the uncertain decisions, the resentment, the doubt, the crazy, the overwhelm, there is one thing that you will have that no one else in the world does.

Balls.

Just kidding–though you've got a set of those, too.

What you'll have, that most people will never have, is something called MERAKI.

It's a Greek word, and it means pouring yourself wholeheartedly into something.

Because pouring yourself wholeheartedly into something is the only way any of us can ever feel fully satisfied, the only way we can really feel whole, and the only way we can feel like we aren't just sitting around, taking up space like that jackass at the end of the bar.

Meraki.

Business might not always be glamorous.
It might not always be easy.
But one thing it will always be?

Is yours.

From your heart to your head to your brand new business cards.

One moment of victory at a time.

Jun 1

2017

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait for No One

Jun 1, 2017

Here’s a principle I vehemently disagree with: Good things come to those who wait. You know who probably came up with that stylish piece of wisdom? Someone in a position of power, tasked with managing the masses and getting them to obey orders. You can hear a teacher saying that, can’t you? Now, there, little […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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Nov 10

2017

Stop Waiting to “Be Ready.” Or “Have Your Ducks in a Row.” Or Until the Baby is Born, or the House is Built, or the Kids Are Older / More Independent / Less of a Pain in the Ass.

Nov 10, 2017

I hear people talk about job security all the time, as if this were a real thing. But people really seem to like the concept, you know? I mean, I can’t think of anything more comforting than 40 years of standing in an elevator every day with Lou from HR. <Wide, delirious eyes.> I’m not […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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Feb 18

2019

Dream Zappers, Thought Terrorists, and Why You Should Be Weary of Anyone Who Tells You “I’m Just Looking Out for You”

Feb 18, 2019

OKAY. I just have to say this before I freaking hurl a tray of freshly-baked carrot fries across the room. (What? They’re good. SPRINKLE THEM WITH SOME CUMIN.) So today at 8:32am I got a text from a friend—like, an actual, IRL friend—who is thinking about registering for B-School tomorrow (since she, like so many […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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May 1

2013

Here’s an Opportunity – TAKE IT

May 1, 2013

I’ve got a theory. Don’t tell anyone, because if they take it to heart, they might get even better at this business thing, and then what’s going to happen is that one year from now, you’ll somehow find yourself eating red velvet cupcakes at their book signing instead of your own, except you won’t just be […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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Apr 28

2017

Make Something That Matters

Apr 28, 2017

Things aren’t always what they seem. An email list full of 100,000 people is meaningless if only 100 of those people open the emails. Similarly, an email list of 100 people, with 100 of those people opening them, does mean something. Who is more successful? And who is doing something that actually matters?

In: Hate Your Job?

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Oct 17

2018

We Need You to Give Yourself the Job

Oct 17, 2018

Today I will drive twenty six miles on backroads, through crisp autumn air, past dairy farms and old Citgo stations, and up a giant hill to my alma mater, Blue Ridge High School, here in rural Pennsylvania. I’m speaking to a group of seniors. Hijacking their last class of the day as I hoist myself […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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