ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

You (Still) Don’t Need a Job.

In: Finding Your Voice

MYTH:

You think to yourself:  “You are no Chris Guillebeau; you should just go find a job.”

–Fear expressed from an actual reader email

If you've fallen into the trap of thinking you aren't interesting enough, not smart enough, not savvy enough, not fill-in-the-blank enough, you're, first, wrong, and second, ignorant of the way the world works.

This is no cheesy, self-help, have-faith-in-the-power-of-you! speech—as much as I love those—this is about cold, hard facts.

While it is absolutely true that you will not appeal to everyone (it's impossible), you DO have tremendous appeal—just to the RIGHT PEOPLE. This is key.

While Chris Guillebeau is great, he is only great because there was a group of like-minded people who supported him.  There are many others in the world–the wrong people–who might not think so.  Those people don't matter–only your right people.

How do you find your right people?

Here's where the internet comes in.

The internet is crucial in helping us do work that's meaningful to us—now we have the ability to stand in a crowd, exactly as we are, hold a sign up telling the world what we stand for, and have a like-minded audience flock to us—our RIGHT PEOPLE.

In the past, you had no sign—only big corporations did–and you were obligated to have to push through the crowd, toppling people over to get to the front, just so you could stand in line, waiting to be recognized by one of those corporations. In order to do so, you couldn't be exactly as you are—you had to be exactly as they wanted you to be.

A clone. A cog. A dispensible resource.

Why do you think they call it “human resources?”

It's a fundamental shift in power, my friends, and it's time to start using it to your advantage.

MYTH:

“I've already invested so much of my time & money into this career; even though I'm miserable, I don't want to waste it all. I should just stick it out and be grateful for what I have.”

–Thought-process expressed from actual reader email

Being grateful & gracious is nice.

Especially when your grandmother gives you birthday money.

BUT.

There's a fine line between being “grateful” and “settling”–and it's essential not to confuse the two.

The distinction is quite literally a matter of life or death; those who choose (note the deliberate use of the word “choose”) to exist on this earth as nothing more than a pawn in someone else's game are merely biding their time. You don't want to bide your time; you want to DO SOMETHING WITH IT.

Settling has NO BUSINESS in your heart, in your mind & in your LIFE.

Think of it this way: So you've dedicated the first 20 years of your professional life doing something you hate. If you continue on that path, an investment won't be recouped—an investment will be lost. That investment will be your life.

You cannot get that time back, no matter what you've done in the past; better to cut your losses and make sure you don't make the same mistake for the next twenty years.

MYTH:

“I work for a nice company. I do what they ask. They pay me a fair wage. That's just life—you do work in exchange for money. I can't complain.”

–Perspective expressed from an actual reader email

Yes, you can complain, and you should.

I cannot stress how antiquated this approach to the work-life equation is.

You don't do work in exchange for money. You do work in exchange for a SMALL PERCENTAGE of the money that your role profits the company.

If it weren't profiting the company, your role wouldn't exist. And the only way it can profit the company, is by creating a gap in the value you provide, and what you're paid. The difference that's left over is theirs to keep. And then you go home with just enough to pay your bills and you wait, like a dog waiting to be pet by its owner, for your next bone—your next small percentage of money that is your paycheck.

This does not have to be “just life.”

Are you really willing to sell your life for a mere $100 a day or so?

That's essentially what you're doing.

On top of meager earnings (in comparison to the value you provide), there's also the opportunity cost—what you must give up in order to work at your job. In order to do one thing, you must forgo something else—unless you can be in more than one place at one time, in which case, contact me ASAP because I want in.

In order to make $100 a day, what must you forgo?

Maybe it's spending time with your children. Maybe it's being able to travel. Perhaps it's having the leisure to paint, cook or read when you need a break.

Or maybe what you forgo isn't tangible—maybe you forgo your energy, your vibrancy, and your zest for life.

Now THERE'S an opportunity cost to be considered.

On the other hand, if you can learn how to build a business around your life, by leveraging your passions and the power of the internet, the opportunity cost of doing so will be in forging the 8-10 hours a day you spend wishing you were doing something else. And that's a good thing.

AND you get to keep all of the profits.

Apr 5

2012

Fuck Plan B. You’re on the A Team.

Apr 5, 2012

His name is Oskar. He’s Rastafarian. I met him when I first came to Costa Rica in 2004 and watched him trying to sell his paintings day after day on the beach, sweating, struggling to speak English to the tourists who passed by, working from dusk until the wee hours of the night to make […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Oct 22

2016

Your Opinion About Yourself Doesn’t Matter

Oct 22, 2016

Real talk: I think you’re a liar. A very, very convenient liar. I can call you that because we’re all in the same club. Because the thing is, when you’re out there doing creative work, and new work, and work that has no manager, no support team, no pat on the back, there are days when […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Jun 15

2017

Having FUN Doesn’t Make You an Unprofessional Schmuck

Jun 15, 2017

Fun is underrated. We spend so much of our lives trying to get taken seriously, that fun becomes something we think of as shameful, dirty; something to be minimized in a professional setting. Giggles are juvenile; jokes are adolescent; anything more than a poker face threatens your status as “a respectable professional.” But that’s only […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Feb 10

2016

Nice Brands Finish Last

Feb 10, 2016

[x_blockquote type=”center”]I take it as an insult when somebody calls me The N Word: Nice.[/x_blockquote] Out of 100,000 adjectives in the English language, if the best you can come up with is nice, then I’m doing something wrong. It’s like spending Thanksgiving Day ripping out gizzards and mashing actual potatoes, only to be told that […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Mar 20

2014

I Brought 20 Hookers to Central America on Business.

Mar 20, 2014

I sloshed on yet another layer of gloss, steering frantically with one hand while trying not to rear end a truck full of cows. I mean, what would I tell the Life Hooky group? “We didn’t pick you up at the airport in San Jose because, see, there were these cowsssssss.” Even I would think I […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Sep 15

2015

Plan On Being Nervous, Brilliantly

Sep 15, 2015

Being nervous sucks. Your pulse races. Your brain blanks. Your hands shake like little assholes. You tell yourself to take deep breaths, but the minute you do, you then worry that the entire room can see the fact that your heart is, in fact, doing the electric slide up and down your rib cage. (God […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Aug 25

2017

The Competition Doesn’t Have Sh*t On You

Aug 25, 2017

There’s never been a person who went to school for accounting and said: BUT WAIT, I CAN’T BECOME AN ACCOUNTANT BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DOINGGGGG THATTTTTTTTTTT. There are plenty of people out there doing exactly what you want to do—times eleventy thousand. “But there are already so many writers / designers / candlestick makers” […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Oct 8

2015

Look, We’ve All Got Our Faults. *Stomps Cigar*

Oct 8, 2015

Look, we’ve all got our faults. I, for one, have a wrinkly ass neck. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know when it happened. But all the sudden there are lines as deep as the Panama Canal cutting across my trachea. Fortunately, all the resveratrol I’ve consumed over the years seems to have […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

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.

Enter your email address and I’ll send you my advice column every week sharing everything I’ve learned—and so much more.

But no serial killers. I promise I won’t send those.

Privacy Policy Info Here