Let’s cut to the chase, ladies: all of us have felt like an imposter at some point in our lives. It seems to be like one of those nasty yeast infections because it keeps coming back, right?
If like me, you too are tired of putting up with ‘impostership’, meet Ash Ambirge.
For the uninitiated (no, this is not an invitation to join her cult), Ash is is an internet entrepreneur, author, creative writer, and advocate for women being brave and doing disobedient things with their lives and careers. She went from $26 and sleeping in her car in a Kmart parking lot to earning her first million dollars with nothing more than a laptop and an idea, and today she’s all about inspiring other young women to use their talents as a lever for reinvention—whether you need to escape your safe but predictable life, or you’re trying desperately to escape the trailer park like she once did. Bet you wish there was a cult you could join now, huh? Well, here’s the next best thing:
Ash runs an award-winning blog called The Middle Finger Project where she writes about how to become Unf*ckwithable. Expanding on the short, pithy advice on her blog, her book of the same name, The Middle Finger Project, draws on her unconventional personal story to offer an empowering and occasionally potty-mouthed manifesto for the transformative power of radical self-reliance and taking risks.
Unconventional how, you ask? She started from the bottom for real. Unlike Drake. (No hate, just had to get that out of my system.)
★ Girl grows up in a trailer park in rural America
★ Mom = social anxiety, doesn’t leave house
★ Dad dies when girl is 14
★ Mom dies when girl is 21
★ Girl leaves small town. Goes to big city. Tries hard to fit in with people who paid real money for “nude” as a nail color.
★ Becomes disillusioned to discover nobody actually knows what they’re doing and the rules were made up by a guy named Ted who ate a cheeseburger for lunch and has a dog named Wedgie.
★ Leaves job. Rebels. Sleeps in car in Kmart parking lot.
★ $26 left. Lots of chicken nuggets.
★ Hears radio announcer. New music album available for pre-order. Suddenly realizes that value comes in many forms—not just in material things she never had—and art is worth paying for. And? It doesn’t have to be *finished yet* in order to be exchanged for future value.
★ Takes hidden talent—writing—and uses it to create an all-new job for herself.
★ Earns her first $2,000 from the backseat of a car.
★ Uses it to kickstart her new life.
★ Makes first $103,000 that year, and then goes on to earn several million dollars from her art.
★ Learns lots of lessons along the way, like: You must be brave enough to cause problems. And: Sometimes you’ve got to be a bitch about money. And: Every good idea is offensive to someone. And: Selling yourself requires you to insist on your own brilliance. And: We must learn to become mothers to ourselves.
In her trailblazing book, she reveals *exactly* how you too can rebel against the status quo and always be yourself, even when it’s the hardest thing to be.
“I NEED TORN DOWN SOULS TO READ THIS. I need them to see that they can do so much more than they think. And not just them, but anyone who feels like an imposter every single day of their life. Anyone who doesn’t know what else to do. Anyone confused about their career. Anyone who doesn’t have passions anymore. Anyone who feels like they’ve lost themselves. And anyone who is still really just an innocent babe inside, trying to find their way.”
Also, look how YUMMY the cover is:
Before you think I am a kiss ass, here are some WICKED snippets from The Middle Finger Project.
Exhibit A: We all go to work every day and feel good about the fact that we have gone. But what have we done?
It’s one of the central questions of this book. What does success mean? What does it mean to dedicate your life to a task? Have you chosen well? And how do you know?
How do you know when THAT FEELING you get—the one where you wake up every day feeling empty and dead inside as if you’re just going through the motions and you’ve practically lost the will to brush your teeth—is because the nature of the job is truly that abhorrent or because you are truly that hard to please? And what do you do in either case?
How do you know when you’re just being erratic and flighty and doing that thing you do where you’re never happy with anything and always crave change and constantly need to be in motion, journeying, lured with the promise of new? (Which explains why you’re currently wearing a set of shamanic healing beads in the form of a G-string, studying to become a life coach.) How do you know when you should dig in your heels and stick it out—be dedicated, committed, determined—or just take the chance and leap? Into a new career? Into thug life? Into oncoming traffic? And how do you know if any of it is right?
Exhibit B: The way I got here was not by dutifully obeying the rules—I got here by disobeying them instead. And THAT is what this book is about. Unlike the rah-rah, powder-puff brand of cheerleading you might think of when you hear the mildly mortifying term “self-help” (don’t worry, we can just call this: HELP), this book is intended to be a bad influence. But a bad influence in the best way. Because the argument here is simple: Radical self-reliance comes from following your most dangerous ideas.
My promise to you is this: There will be no safe advice. There will be no cutesy adages. There will be no whitewashed Instagram images of me holding a golden retriever. There will be no “ten minutes a day to gratitude.” There will be no instructions to drink more water. And there will certainly not be any mindfulness meditations.
What there will be, however, is a lot of blunt talk and honest insight laced with sarcasm, f-bombs, and salty pizza pie. Because salt is better than sugar, obviously. And also because sometimes we need the salt to burnnnn. To make us feel something. To wake us up and give us the courage to become dissatisfied. To rethink what’s possible. To make that dangerous choice. And to start your own middle finger project today.
And finally, Exhibit C: We’re always told not to start things we can’t finish—yet another example of traditional wisdom hooey-ing everything up. Ditto this whole notion of winners never quit and quitters never win. Winners quit all the time, because they trust the inner anarchy that says, “This is not quite right . . . yet.”
We need more attempts, less success. Success means that you picked one thing and then did it long enough to master it—which is less remarkable than it seems. Like, Hey, I’ve been standing here ringing this bell for forty years, Bob—I finally got a sticker! Success is often a function of persistence, not necessarily purpose. It’s predictable. It’s prosaic. And it’s awfully lonely once you arrive, especially if you do not like yourself once you get there.
You obviously want the book by now, and YES, it is available through all major retailers like Barnes & Noble. But being an Amazon fan and an affiliate, here is the Amazon US link:
And when you’re done reading, don’t forget to tell Ash and the rest of the world how much you loved it.🤗
DISCLOSURE: This post contains an affiliate link, which means at no additional cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. Every affiliate sale helps me keep this site running. So go on, do me a favor and buy something :)