ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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UM, QUESTION: What are the Things You Hate, Actually *Giving* You…Homie?

In: Hate Your Job?

They say that a behavior stays alive because it serves you in some way. AKA, If you’re eating the entire fridge, it might be because you actually hate your work and you’re trying to escape it any way you can, because YOU ARE TIRED AND YOU NEED A BREAK BUT YOU’RE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD GIRL TO GIVE YOURSELF ONE.

*smooths skirt* 

I think about this often. Like, while I have Downton Abbey reruns playing in the background, and the neighbors are downstairs having a toga party, I’m over here pondering why we do the shit we do. Because we do a lot of distressing shit, don’t we?

We stay in jobs we don’t like.
We say yes to things we aren’t excited about.
We don’t always try as hard as we could.
We work with clients we actually sorta kinda…despise?
We procrastinate starting the new website.
We spend our days doing things that are entirely forgettable.
We lose our lives to obligation.

We fail to make the change.

The common explanation is that we’re scared—wah, wah, wah, WAH. That we really want to try, but we’re crippled with fear—even though life could be better.

My theory is this: in some small, twisted way, these fuck magnets are making our lives better. They are serving us in some way, even if it’s not obvious, and even if it hurts us in other ways. What do you get out of doing this thumb-sucking work every day? You get to relax, for now, because life is frigging hard and you need a reprieve. What do you get out of doing the mundane client work you are SO over? You get to not have to really apply yourself. What do you get from letting other people tell you how to live your life? You get to not be responsible if things turn out badly. What do you get from not really trying as hard as you could? You get to maintain illusions about your own performance, never really finding out if you royally suck.

Contrary to appearances, we aren’t scared: we’re self-serving. Everybody does everything for selfish reasons, even if those things don’t appear to be helping. We all know the person who falls into alcoholism as a way to cope with their anxiety: drinking takes a lot away from them, but it gives them something, too. It gives them peace, even as it wages war.

So what are the things that you hate, actually giving you?

And, more importantly, how can you get that from another source, instead?

Finding out how to get your needs met is not just some self-help mumbo jumbo: it’s one of the most important business decisions you can make.

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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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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Feb 17

2015

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.

Feb 17, 2015

Nearly ten years ago when I started my first copywriting business, I struggled with the things most new business owners struggle with: Telling a client your fees while silently thinking shitshitshitshitshitshitshit! Having no idea if your fees are too high or too low or WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSE TO BE CHARGING?! Constantly worried […]

In: Hate Your Job?

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Aug 6

2019

“I Don’t Know What I Want to Dooooo, And I’m Kinda Confused, and I’m Feeling Like a Flakey Little Fruitcake, Ash!”

Aug 6, 2019

WITTY BANTER. Biggest turn-on ever. (Because we’re just opening with that, okay?) Like, I don’t even care if you’re wearing coveralls and haven’t shaved in forty-nine years: if you’re witty, I’m going to want to jump your bones. Which I won’t do, ahem, given that I’m in a relationship and all, but this is a hypothetical […]

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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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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