ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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This Bastard Was Getting Paid $10,000 a Month.

In: How to Sell Yourself

This bastard was getting paid $10,000 dollars a month.

He was on contract with my company at the time, brought on as a consultant to work directly with a young (and far less wrinkley-lipped) yours truly. This was some ten plus years ago, mind you, at a time when things like blogs were for morons who liked outer space backgrounds and hot pink flashing text. (Thanks a lot, 1998.)

He wore what he wanted, gave zero shits about formalities, came to the office twice a week, and had a place in The Florida Keys. Guy was living my dream. (Though I probably would have swapped for Costa Rica–wink.)

He–*clears throat*–was a copywriter.

This was the exact moment in my life when the clouds parted, a bird shit on my nose, and I sobered up to think: How can I sit in this office for $30K a year when there were people making $30K in three months, doing my favorite thing in the world: WRITING SENTENCES?

As it seemed, I had found a way to take my first love (writing) and combine it with my second love (money) in order to make a career out of it–WITHOUT having to become some smelly-haired, Top Ramen slurping “writer” who never made any “money” and who used quotes “overzealously” because she was “pissed” that the “world” had never “given her” a “chance.”

(By the way, the fact that I didn't know this was an option should be entirely blamed on my high school guidance counselor. Do they still have those frizzy-haired phenomenons?)

Anyway, as I was saying–*clears throat for a second time*–here was this guy, rolling in, pitching my boss $10,000 a month–without having any kind of internet presence, without having a blog, without Twitter, Facebook or any of the huge advantages we all have at our disposal today.

And yet, my boss was fucking thrilled to pay him. He was relieved he existed, and relieved he had an opportunity to give him some money in order to get MORE money in return.

Why? Because he made the value stupid obvious for my boss: You're going to give me $10,000 today. I'm going to turn around make you an extra $100,000 tomorrow. (Which is not just a fair deal, but a real big no-brainer deal. There's a difference.)

BUT–here's the caveat.

If my boss hadn't believed him, he would have told that guy to go pound sand. But he did believe him. And, as a result, the consultant and I went on to have a wildly successful engagement together, where we singlehandedly quadrupled the company's revenue in as little as six months. Which, as you can imagine, was far greater than the $60,000 the company paid to get that result.

If you're having trouble charging respectable money, then really think about what's happening. Money is a piece of paper you exchange with another person for X units of value. If you can't command respectable rates, it's not because you're not brilliant (you very well may be). It's because nobody believes that your brilliance matters to them.

Fostering belief is your job.

Obviously, you've got to be able to back it up (this is where things get dangerous in an online world, where any unethical shithead can set up a nice website and proclaim to be competent—please watch out for that) but as long as you know your stuff, then the biggest task on your plate is helping other people believe in you.

That's all that marketing is, you know. And that's why marketing can be fun & creative–not something you should dread, fear or get intimidated by. There is no right way to help another person believe in you. In fact, there are limitless ways. The best way, however, is by becoming one hell of a leader, spearheading the shit out of your industry, and taking no prisoners.

Making great money isn't a big mystery. Do you know what kind of advantage you have right now? You will NEVER be in such a leveraged position again. Right now, the internet is old enough that it's trustworthy to consumers, but young enough that it's still ripe for the taking. It still needs to be led. If you don't take that opportunity to LEAD IT, making great money is going to remain a mystery.

Because leaders don't just lead; they help others believe. Believe in their ideas, believe in their abilities, believe in their vision.

And in a world where everyone's competing against one another for the business, the person who leads?

Is the one who gets paid.  

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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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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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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Jun 12

2015

How to Sell a $250,000 Diamond Ring

Jun 12, 2015

You know how when you want to sound professional on the phone, you do that thing where you clear your throat, steady your voice, and then inevitably start talking THREE OCTAVES HIGHER in that sickening sweet, Southern-Belle-esque manner, almost as if you were speaking to a priest, or maybe the sheriff, all while using words […]

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May 28

2012

Trailer Trash & Sex Appeal: The Trick to Selling MORE

May 28, 2012

To anyone and everyone selling something: Pay attention. The other day, I was having a conversation with a copywriting client who is building a business around teaching people how feel all sorts of hot and dynamite by eating raw. I said, “You mean like Crazy Sexy Diet?” And she said, “What’s that?” And I said, […]

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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. […]

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Sep 2

2014

The Short, Slightly Sarcastic Answer to (At Least Eleven) Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Selling Yourself. Featuring: A Strong Opinion.

Sep 2, 2014

Q: Should I give away free consults? A: Are you running a business or a charity? EEEEEEEEEEET. Time’s up. The correct answer is [extra title=”Unless you *are* running a charity, in which case, oops?” info=”tooltip” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]business. [/extra] Ding, ding, ding. And businesses are for profit. Key words: For profit. Respect your own time and prospects will, […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Dec 9

2014

Running a Holiday Sale? Memorize This by Heart.

Dec 9, 2014

So the other day I’m Christmas shopping here in Costa Rica, which is automatically hilarious because, first of all, because they spell “Ho Ho Ho!” like “Jo Jo Jo!” which never gets less funny, and second, because Santa was dressed in a royal blue suit. (I still haven’t decided if this is posh or ridiculous, […]

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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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