ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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When You’re Having Buckets of Sh*t Dumped On You Left & Right

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life

Once upon a time, you were young and inspired, and you knew things about the world.

Things like peanut butter tastes better without jelly (fact), the height of a girl’s ponytail likely matches her socio-economic class, and best friends forever means forever, because anything that’s engraved into a half heart necklace is a SERIOUS COMMITMENT.

And then? It all hit the fan.

You discovered peanut butter isn’t actually sophisticated, no one will take you seriously wearing a ponytail, and stainless steel half-hearts give you rashes. (Sorry, Tara.)

You discovered other things, too. Things that hurt. Like that people sometimes lie to get ahead. And the people you trust most will break it. And not everybody will do the right thing when they should, leaving you with your heart agape.

You discovered that sometimes, the only thing you can rely on is yourself – and even then, you discovered you won’t always be able to do that. You’ll let stress get the best of you. Humans bring out the worst in you. And situations transform your brilliance into average.

And all these discoveries will slowly, but determinedly, carve the letters R-I-P into your conviction. Into your confidence. Into your faith – both in yourself, and in others.

And soon you’ll feel like you don’t know, at least with any certainty, much of anything. In a world of unpredictable humans, behaving in unpredictably disappointing ways, the things you thought you knew for sure turn into nothing more than a passing mirage. After all, things are not always as they seem.

And that’s the most excruciating discovery a human can make.

It’s excruciating because in order to do great things in this world, you need to feel safe. And when the world and all its complexities and dramas and people and disappointments keeps reminding you that they will get you the moment you let your guard down, you don’t feel safe – you feel vulnerable, and apprehensive and cynical. And when you don’t feel safe, you don’t have the luxury of creativity or focus. And without creativity and focus, you can’t make big, amazing ideas come to life.

So what do you do? What do you do when you’re having buckets of shit dumped on you left and right, and you’re not even sure you can depend on yourself to be bold, or brave, or anything remotely useful?

Two options: Invest in a good umbrella and stand there with your thumb in your mouth. Or, get up the nerve to confront the jerks with the buckets.

Because the way to feel safe in this world isn’t always about putting up the best defense; it’s about being willing to take it in the face in order to get out there and RUN YOUR OFFENSE.

Operate in offense.

This is how you begin to feel safe and take risks. This is how you build trust where there was none. You stop letting things happen to you, and you start happening to things.

Because by default, an object in motion will stay in motion. But an object at rest?

Stocks up on umbrellas.

Jan 7

2014

You Are Not a 7-Eleven.

Jan 7, 2014

“People need to understand what the fuck BUSINESS HOURS mean. I’m not 7-eleven, folks. I am not. If I wanted to be, I’d just run a 7-eleven. Big Gulps all the fuck around.”– Got that email from a frustrated business owner yesterday. I laughed so hard I almost spit wine on my bed. (I said almost. […]

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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Jun 9

2017

The World Isn’t Your Mommy

Jun 9, 2017

You know what’s crazy? There’s not actually a team of people assigned to your life, sitting around monitoring your blood work, and your bank accounts, and the health of your relationships, jotting down notes, circling areas of concern. There’s no supervisor. No one checking your progress. No one setting quarterly reviews. As a result, we […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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Jun 14

2019

If You Ain’t Feelin’ Your Work Anymore: HONEY, BURN THAT ISH DOWN.

Jun 14, 2019

So, here’s an idea: making money is not courageous. Anybody can ring a bell for twenty years. “Look, ma—I’ve been standing over here ringing this bell for two entire decades—durh, durh, durh—and I finally got a sticker!” Making money is a relatively straightforward consequence of showing up to breathe in the right place. Cause and […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life, Hate Your Job?

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Jan 23

2019

OH, NO, SORRY TO DISAPPOINT. All Fucks Are Currently on Backorder. We’ll Alert You When This Item Is Back in Stock.

Jan 23, 2019

So there’s this tall, spiky, sassy-ass house plant on my balcony—the thing looks like a punk rocker troll, or maybe a pile of swords, planted upright. (Scratch that, it’s definitely a pile of middle fingers. Oh, how apropos! THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.) Anywauurrrrryyyyy, if I don’t water this motherfucker for just one day. Just ONE day. All […]

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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Jul 20

2018

What to Do When Your Work TAKES OVER YOUR ENTIRE LIFE—and You Need to Get Some Friggin’ Boundaries, Up In This Joint

Jul 20, 2018

I have a little ritual called Eucalyptus Spearmint. I’ve got it in body lotion, and in spray, and in candle (obviously), and I’ll put my little feet up on the ottoman in the living room (okay, fine, they’re big, entirely undainty feet), and I’ll slowly, and tenderly, give myself the best fucking foot massage this […]

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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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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