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.

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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Feb 13

2019

How to Start an Online Business When You Are Not an “Internet Person”—And Are Seriously Doubting That You Can Do This

Feb 13, 2019

So, the other day one of my best college girlfriends reached out and was all, “Ashhhhhhhhhh! I need your helpppppp! I’m trying to start an online business but I have no idea what I’m doing and you’re obviously the first person that I thought of, muahahaha.” (She. Is. Adorable. She’s been hand-painting wooden signs and […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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Jul 8

2017

You Find Peace With Your Work Through Tension

Jul 8, 2017

It’s never as scary as it seems. Everything you’re worried about happening? Won’t. It might seem intimidating, the world—putting yourself out there, taking the chance, trying something new, going all in, showing up, asking for help, connecting with strangers, and, ultimately, gambling your ego and everything you know to be true. There will be a […]

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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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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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Oct 24

2017

Don’t Sell Your Soul—Sell Your SKILLS.

Oct 24, 2017

Everybody knows how to do something, and that includes you. And guess what? That means you can teach someone else. And whatever you can teach someone, you can sell to someone. …And I say that without a shred of snake oil. Knowledge is what makes our world go ‘round. Now, more than ever, you can […]

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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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Jun 18

2017

Seek Pleasure, And You Will Have Found Your Work

Jun 18, 2017

Procrastination is not a symptom of something that’s wrong with you, your brain, or your level of commitment—it’s a clue. Something is wrong with it. The thing you’re doing—do you really want to be doing it? Does this actually give you joy, or have you roped yourself into yet another maze of obligations and onuses, […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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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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