Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

The Red Hot Truth About Sex, Selling & Success (That Will Make or Break You In 2011)

In: Online Marketing

Are you ready for this?  Because I'm totally going to tell a mom story.

I'm going to tell a mom story in a post with the word “sex” in the title.  But it's okay, because you're going to love the story.  And then you're going to go off into the world and do amazing things, all thanks to MY MOM.   If she were still alive, I'd absolutely make that her Christmas gift, because who doesn't want their words of wisdom being broadcast to the world, potentially changing lives?  It's almost as good as being quoted on a coffee mug.  You know–the good kind you can get in Barnes & Noble?



On with the story.

So, when I was a little girl (read: under the age of 14), I was painfully shy.  You'd never know it now, but it's true.  I desperately worried I was never as witty as my peers, or that somehow, everyone knew more than me, and if I opened my mouth to say something, it would inevitably come out sounding stupid.  And I was morbidly, gruesomely, violently afraid of sounding stupid and, worse, I was even more afraid of being laughed at.

Oh god was I afraid of being laughed at.

As a result, whenever certain social situations came up, I was terrified on the inside.  It was a lot of pressure trying to come across as cool with the cool kids, who had started taking an interest in me.  I had to constantly be monitoring the next words out of my mouth.  When they were talking, I was busy thinking of the next thing I would say, rehearsing different lines in my head before I actually said them, silently punishing myself when none of them seemed good enough, or clever enough, or funny enough.  I thought that any minute they'd see through me, and suddenly they'd realize I wasn't one of them.  The gig would be up, and I'd be called out for what I was–just some shy geeky girl who somehow snuck past their radar.

So naturally, I turned to the same top consultant that any adolescent girl turns to: My mom.

Rather ironic, considering that she, herself, was as introverted as they come, with her gardening and her books and her paintings and her pottery.  But as it turned out, from years and years of practice, she had managed to figure out a very special trick–a trick she promised would, in fact, make people like me without me having to worry about saying the right thing all of the time.  This was sounding good.

“My sweet Ashley,” she said, as she looked at me with kind, sympathetic, brown Italian eyes.  “The key is to stop concentrating on how you feel, and to start concentrating on how the other person feels.”

“Oh yeah?” I replied.  “And how am I suppose to do that–telepathy?”

“Ash,” she said.  “If you truly listen to the other person, and start showing a genuine interest in them, you'll make them feel good.  And when you make someone feel good about themselves, they'll automatically be drawn to you because of it.”

“But the best part,” she continued on, “is that if you're really listening, you won't have to think about your response at all–it'll just come naturally.”

I digested.

I pondered.

I nodded my head.

And then I went out and–gulp–experimented.

Interestingly enough, it turned out that–for the first time in the history of moms worldwide–she was actually right. This, coming from a woman who, consistently and for reasons unknown, insisted on pronouncing “Sci-Fi” as if it were, “Sky-Fi.”

Her words are something I've never forgotten, and I guarantee, the next time you meet someone, if you encourage them to talk about themselves, they will love you. Potentially boring at times (this is where a bottle of wine comes in handy), but it works.  Some kind of self-validation crap–who knows.

But at the end of the day, I have my mom to thank not only for my surviving and thriving during my teen years, but also for the success I've experienced throughout my life in biz-nass.

And that's really the whole point of this story, because as much as I love rambling on about my mom and her self-help-bookish-ways, this absolutely applies to business as well.

The next time you're selling something, whether it's a product or a service, or even something without a price tag attached, like your opt-in email list, your ideas, or even YOURSELF (no, not like that, sicko), you've got to think:  HOW CAN I MAKE IT ABOUT THEM?

At the end of the day, when you make it about them, they'll like you.  And when they like you, they'll buy from you.  Period.

How do you suppose the shy girl turned out to have some of the highest sales numbers in the nation, back when I was doing magazine advertising sales?

How do you suppose I grew this website?

Most importantly, how do you suppose I manage to convince so many good-looking guys to fall madly, passionately in love with me?

Okay, so that was a lie.

But you know–in theory it could work.  Though, I probably don't want to be thinking about my mom during THAT particular social situation. I recommend that you don't, either, although my mom was pretty hot.

Even if she did say Sky-Fi.

Oct 10


Why “Business As Usual” Is Usually Killing Your Business

Fun is underrated. It’s no longer enough to do a good job, provide good customer service or deliver on time. Those things aren’t competitive advantages; they’re the expectation. And since they’re the expectation, you’re not impressing anyone. What isn’t always the expectation, however, is how fun it’ll be to do business with you. Not just pleasant. […]

In: Online Marketing


Oct 19


Make 50% of the Population Hate You

“Make 50% of the population hate you.” My editor reminded me of this the other day when we were talking about the main argument of my book. (And then I immediately wanted to tongue her.) Because that’s what arguments do, after all: they stand in opposition to something. They take a stand, plant their flag, […]

In: Online Marketing


Jan 27


You Can’t Sell Tickets to The Titanic if You’re Marketing it as a Rowboat

Like it or not, people do judge a book by its cover. And that cover happens to include the words on the front. There’s a palpable difference between the words, “hire me” versus “engagement fees.” There’s also a difference between “buy now” and “apply now.” (Even though those “apply now” snobs drive me insane.) And there’s a difference between, “Cost: […]

In: Online Marketing


Sep 14


A Quick Piece of (Marketing) Advice for Every Broke, Newbie Entrepreneur Who Doesn’t Have Two Cents to Rub Together (YET…)

A question I get a lot is: what a limited marketing budget, what’s the one thing you’d do? And my answer is this: I would talk. I would talk about it everywhere, in front of whoever will listen. The medium doesn’t matter—the fact that you’re out there talking does. Instagram videos. Twitter streams. Podcasts. Webinars. YouTube. […]

In: Online Marketing


Sep 10


Know Who Your Haters Are

Tiffany’s doesn’t try to sell diamonds to a sixteen-year-old girl. Nor are they offended, nor worried, when teens aren’t flocking to their stores. Tiffany’s knows that sixteen-year-old girls most definitely aren’t their market. And I also imagine that, were a sixteen-year-old girl to proclaim that Tiffany’s sucks absolute DONKEY BALLS, they wouldn’t take it to […]

In: Online Marketing


Jul 6


We Don’t Sell Those

There is a rose company, here in the UK, that doesn’t give a fuck that they don’t sell daisies. It’s delightfully refreshing, in fact. There are no apologies about it; no wishy washiness; no trying to cover all the bases. Just this base is fine, thanks. Notice the quiet confidence it exudes? I’m also betting […]

In: Online Marketing


Jan 10


The Day The Cash Register Became Obsolete (WTF?)

Note:  This post contains adult language. It’s so adult, you might swear you’ve just been transported to a seedy, smoke-laced Las Vegas strip club filled with large Italian men. The good news is that you haven’t. The bad news is that somebody let me have my own blog. And…so we begin. What I want to […]

In: Online Marketing


Exclusive VIP Access

Join The Middle Finger Project mafia—over 75,000+ disobedient humans strong—and as a welcome gift (which I promise won’t be a thug named Vinny), I’ll send you a top secret discount code for our best-selling courses, kits and workshops. Because #SOLIDARITY.

It’s free, and you’ll also get new posts every week, plus at least one GIF of Betty White for the win.

Privacy Policy Info Here