Cover image for The middle finger project : trash your imposter syndrome and live the unf*ckwithable life you deserve
Title:
The middle finger project : trash your imposter syndrome and live the unf*ckwithable life you deserve
ISBN:
9780525540328

9780593189184
Physical Description:
xiv, 286 pages ; 22 cm.
Contents:
The guest list -- The rules were made up by some guy named Ted who ate a quarter pounder for lunch and has a dog named Wedgie -- $50,000 and a corporate discount at Denny's is not the key to happiness -- You should not "stick it out" or "make the best of it" or "just be grateful you have a job" -- "Welcome to the real world" is tiny penis syndrome in disguise -- The old way of working is dead -- No matter where you're starting, you can start again -- New! How to find your passion in 52 easy steps -- Every good idea is offensive to someone -- The world does not already have enough writers, photographers, designers, artists, nipple piercers -- You must be brave enough to cause problems -- Advice for hitting rock bottom with grace -- Act as if you are already a highly paid assassin -- Imposter syndrome is the mean girl at the party (and we hate her) -- Please follow your most dangerous ideas -- Selling yourself requires you to insist on your own brilliance -- Mo' offers, mo' money -- Do not let them money-shame you -- Perfectionism is an occupational hazard -- We must learn to become mothers to ourselves -- Doing work you love requires you to be brutally honest about what you actually love -- Growth comes from finding generous ways to share your work -- Picket fences are not a dangerous idea -- Full permission to do the crazy thing -- You are allowed to be selfish -- Plans are overrated -- There's a lot that's going to suck about this.
Summary:
After a string of dead-end jobs and a death in the family, Ash Ambirge was down to her last $26 and sleeping in a Kmart parking lot when she faced the truth: No one was coming to her rescue. It was up to her to appoint herself. That night led to what eventually became a six-figure freelance career as a sought-after marketing and copywriting consultant, all while sipping coffee from her front porch in Costa Rica. She then launched The Middle Finger Project, a blog and online course hub, which has provided tens of thousands of young "women who disobey" with the tools and mindset to give everyone else's expectations the finger and get on your own path to happiness, wealth, independence, and adventure. In her first book, Ash draws on her unconventional personal story to offer a fun, bracing, and occasionally potty-mouthed manifesto for the transformative power of radical self-reliance. Employing the signature wit and wordsmithing she's used to build an avid following, she offers paradigm-shifting advice along the lines of: * The best feeling in the world is knowing who you are and what you're capable of doing. * Life circumstances are not life sentences. If a Scranton girl who grew up in a trailer park can make it, so can you. * What you believe about yourself will either murder your chances or save your life. So why not believe something good? * You don't need a high-ranking job title to be authorized to contribute. You just need to contribute. * Be your own authority. Authority only works as long as you trust that someone smarter than you is making the rules. * The way you become a force is by being the most radically real version of yourself that you can be. * You only have 12 fucks a day to give, so use them wisely. --
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Summary

Summary

Fresh, funny, and fearless, The Middle Finger Project is a point-by-point primer on how to get unstuck, slay imposter syndrome, trust in your own worth and ability, and become a strong, capable, wonderful, weird, brilliant, ballsy, unfuckwithable YOU.

"Don't worry, this isn't a book about God, nor is it a book about Ryan Gosling (second in command). But it is a book about authority and becoming your own." --Ash Ambirge

After a string of dead-end jobs and a death in the family, Ash Ambirge was down to her last $26 and sleeping in a Kmart parking lot when she faced the truth: No one was coming to her rescue. It was up to her to appoint herself. That night led to what eventually became a six-figure freelance career as a sought-after marketing and copywriting consultant, all while sipping coffee from her front porch in Costa Rica.

She then launched The Middle Finger Project, a blog and online course hub, which has provided tens of thousands of young "women who disobey" with the tools and mindset to give everyone else's expectations the finger and get on your own path to happiness, wealth, independence, and adventure.

In her first book, Ash draws on her unconventional personal story to offer a fun, bracing, and occasionally potty-mouthed manifesto for the transformative power of radical self-reliance. Employing the signature wit and wordsmithing she's used to build an avid following, she offers paradigm-shifting advice along the lines of:

* The best feeling in the world is knowing who you are and what you're capable of doing.
* Life circumstances are not life sentences. If a Scranton girl who grew up in a trailer park can make it, so can you.
* What you believe about yourself will either murder your chances or save your life. So why not believe something good?
* You don't need a high-ranking job title to be authorized to contribute. You just need to contribute .
* Be your own authority. Authority only works as long as you trust that someone smarter than you is making the rules.
* The way you become a force is by being the most radically real version of yourself that you can be.
* You only have 12 fucks a day to give, so use them wisely.


Author Notes

Ash Ambirge is an internet entrepreneur, creative writer, speaker and advocate for women being brave & doing disobedient things with their careers and their lives. She is the author of The Middle Finger Project®, which is both the name of her hallmark lifestyle blog as well the title of her forthcoming book. Her voice has been called, "the most memorable on the Internet," "original in a world with too little of it," "not safe for work at all," and also, "really kinda sweary," which is definitely her favorite description. She splits her time between Philadelphia, PA, and traveling the world.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Internet entrepreneur Ambirge lays out a manifesto for unapologetic, no-holds-barred living in this entertaining debut memoir-cum-guide aimed at young women. Growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania, Ambirge dreamed of a stable, middle-class lifestyle. But after a series of misfortunes, including an abusive relationship and a death in the family, Ambirge found herself in a K-Mart parking lot, alone, homeless, and wondering what all her aspirations amounted to. The low moment forced Ambirge to find an inner strength that catapulted her over the year that follows, from sleeping in her car to getting a job in advertising to running her own successful online media company. Ambirge writes about her struggles and mistakes with candor and sharp humor, heightening the appeal of her call for "radical self-reliance," which amounts to confidence in pursuing one's passions for a living. And along with all the snarky irreverence, Ambirge gives a wealth of advice on entrepreneurship, including tips on battling perfectionism, negotiating, and selling ideas. Ambirge's blunt tone and helpful advice will appeal to any woman looking to shrug off a dreary, conventional career for a life of adventure, passion, and happiness. (Feb.)


Booklist Review

Following your parents' deaths, a series of bad decisions and abusive relationships led Ambirge to homelessness. After hitting rock bottom, she built a successful career as a blogger, writer, and copyeditor. Even those caught in situations less dire--like an unfulfilling job--need inspiration to take their lives to the next level. In her first book, named after her popular blog, Ambirge emphasizes that anyone can turn a passion project into a successful career. In "Please Follow Your Most Dangerous Ideas," she encourages the reader to list all of the businesses she could pursue and why; the descriptive language provides insight into what the reader should actually go after. In "Do Not Let Them Money-Shame You," she pleads with women not to undervalue their services. Her insistence that anyone can become a millionaire may grow tiresome, but Ambirge's ability to viscerally tap into human emotion is outstanding. Women are the target audience, but anyone looking for a career cheerleader will appreciate Ambirge's book (and her energy).


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter 1 The Rules Were Made Up by Some Guy Named Ted Who Ate a Quarter Pounder for Lunch and Has a Dog Named Wedgie Or: Surprise! Nobody Actually Knows What They're Doing GOD. *puffs on cigar* Now there's a fun-­filled topic. If we were really ambitious, we'd just dive right into the most controversial subject imaginable, given that this book contains all sorts of controversial ideas and it doesn't get any more polite from here. (Now might be a good time to fetch the vodka . . . and maybe a defibrillator.) Don't worry, this isn't a book about God, nor is it a book about Ryan Reynolds--­second in command. But it is a book about authority and becoming your own. It's not always easy to "follow your dreams"--   --­and ride off on a magical flying carpet made of SweetTarts and sugarplum fairies. It's not easy to trust yourself radically, or make bold choices that other people will not agree with, or "live life on your own terms." It's not easy to roll up and be all, "Yayyyyyyy, I'm going to quit my job and be an artist!" or "Yayyyyyy, I'm going to open my own bookshop!" or "Yayyyyyy, I'm going to skip around the Swiss Alps and make cheese in a loincloth and yodel in the afternoons and tell my overbearing sister to shove it!" Even in an age when all of these options are more available to us than ever, most of us are basically just drifting along, trying not to get cancer. But even when we do dare break the mold and try something new, the world throws some serious side-­eye. Who does she think she is? It won't last. This is just another one of her "big ideas." In response to the world's censure, we shrink. We second-­guess ourselves. And we secretly wonder if maybe they are right. Maybe we should "play it safe" and "bide our time" and "be grateful for what we've got"--­which, by the way, happens to be some of the world's worst advice. Being grateful for what we've got is why so many of us end up staying in dead-­end jobs that have us licking envelopes inside a dimly lit, six-­person of­fice in suburban Philadelphia (been there); why so many women end up staying in relationships they don't want to be in (ugh); why so many of us end up living lives that feel stale and dull and dreary and uninspiring (mmm-­hmmm); and why so many people end up resenting their every minute from the hours of nine to five, being mean to call center agents and rolling their eyes at babies and fantasizing about being hit by a tractor trailer and rushed to the hospital so they don't have to keep doing this crap. (That was me, once upon a time.) We're all trying SO HARD to be these levelheaded, responsible, card-­carrying grown-­ups that we trade in our sense of adventure and curiosity and wonder and creativity in exchange for what we think is a secure and reliable future, assuming that the more constipated your face looks, the more seriously you'll be taken. Now that I'm wearing this sensible pair of pantyhose, everything is going to be JUST FINE. Back in the day when I was still a Very Good Girl(tm), I wore those same pantyhose and drank milk and never talked back to authority. In fact, I loved authority. What took me a lifetime to discover, though, is that authority only works as long as you trust that someone smarter than you is making the rules. Take my first boss, for example. I worshipped the guy. I was young and hungry and he was supportive and encouraging and kind. When he spoke, it felt like I was receiving advice from the Dalai Lama. When he handed me my paycheck, he made me feel as if I'd just earned a gold medal. When I called in sick, he'd call and ask if I wanted soup. (I mean, it was probably from a can, but same same.) Then, one day, I walked in and saw my coworker straddling his lap. I ran out of the room as if I'd just seen a ghost. I knew that he was married with a wife and kids who all went to church and ate their Wheaties. But even more shocking, when I confided in my other coworker about what I'd seen, she fell to pieces. Turns out, she had also been having an affair with our boss . . . for years. I KNOW: I'm hardly the first woman to discover that some guy who seemed so nice was actually The Duke of Douches in his personal life. Still, it was a defining moment for me, and soon I realized that maybe adults weren't these profound, all-­knowing wizards after all. Maybe they weren't these supremely wise, enlightened beings. And maybe their opinions about life, and what I should be doing with mine, were--­dare I say it--­fallible. Over time it became overwhelmingly clear: everyone really was just making it up as they went along. (A mentor who pronounced "Sci-­Fi" like "Sky-­Fi" quickly cemented this notion.) The realization that no one actually knew what they were doing was terrifying--­you take out a mortgage for thirty years; no, you!--­but it also emboldened me: if the rules were made up by some dude named Ted who had a Quarter Pounder for lunch and a dog named Wedgie, then they didn't really hold that much weight, did they? Who says my résumé needs to be kept to one page? Who says sitting at a desk for eight hours is the responsible thing to do? Who says happiness comes from settling down with a "nice young man" with a decent golf swing and a "good-­paying job"? Not that good-­paying jobs aren't delicious. They're extra delicious. But I couldn't help but feel like there had to be so much more to life than a 401(k) and a crockpot full of ham. The truth is, I had always imagined that there was this high-­and-­mighty Committee of True and Actual Greatness--­the universal "they," if you will--­bestowing us all with this series of carefully crafted guidelines according to what was best for humanity. Like the USDA, when they tell you to eat your greens, I had always just assumed that the collective wisdom was actually wise, and that more experience on this planet automatically equaled more knowledge. I assumed that "they" were hard at work advocating for the greater good. But as it would take me great pains to discover: there isn't anybody out there advocating for you. Your own happiness is sold separately. And there's no such thing as The Committee of True and Actual Greatness (or even a guy with a dog named Wedgie): it's up to you to become your own. As it turns out? Radical self-­reliance changed everything for me. I went from being a lost and confused stray--­the queen of late cell phone bills, uncertain about everything, flighty with my every move, trying real hard just to make a grilled cheese, perpetually consumed by a dumpster-­full of existential angst, and (eventually) even landing myself sleeping in a Kmart parking lot--­to learning how to trust in my own voice, say "screw it" to anything that didn't resonate, believe that my own ideas were actually valid--­even if they were drastically different from everyone else's--­have the courage to let my passions guide the way, start my own creative writing company, design my life the way I wanted to (which included choosing not to have kids or a goldfish or even an address in the United States), travel the world, and give the middle finger to so many of the normal ideals and expectations that society markets to us as good. As a result, I ended up inventing an all-­new kind of job for myself that previously didn't exist as the founder of a kick- ­ass unconventional company--­also lovingly called The Middle Finger Project--­that runs purely on my creativity, lets me be myself, allows me to have fun with my work, gives me the freedom to travel where I want, allows me control over the way I spend my time, and earns me a weirdly obscene amount of money (don't worry, I haven't been responsible with it). I don't have to beg for time off to go to the gyno, don't have to pretend to listen in on conference calls with China, and don't have to label my yogurts the way I labeled my childhood diaries: "Property of Ash, open and DIE." By learning to become radically self-­reliant, I custom-­made my own role instead of being forced to retrofit myself into someone else's idea of what "work" should look like. Because if all of us are just making it up as we go along anyway, we might as well have a good time with it, right? I am grateful to say that I finally feel as if I've stepped into the most unfuckwithable version of myself as a woman who actually enjoys her life, so long as Keeping Up with the Kardashians isn't on TV anywhere nearby, and lives a much different version of it than most people. And what's neat about that is in the decade and some odd years since, I haven't looked back. That's kind of a record for me, since I used to question every decision I ever made. The way I got here, however, 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. It comes from making the dangerous choice, not because it is dangerous, but because it is big. Too many of the choices we make are small and safe, because that's what we've been taught to do. But by putting stock in your most dangerous ideas, you'll do far bigger things than you would ever do other­wise. And isn't that the point? To live a life that you aren't embar­rassed by? 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. Excerpted from The Middle Finger Project: Trash Your Imposter Syndrome and Live the Unf*ckwithable Life You Deserve by Ash Ambirge All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


Table of Contents

The Guest List Or: People Who Are Personally Invited to Read This Bookp. xiii
1 The Rules Were Made Up by Some Guy Named Ted Who Ate a Quarter Pounder for Lunch and Has a Dog Named Wedgie
Or: Surprise! Nobody Actually Knows What They're Doingp. l
2 $50,000 and a Corporate Discount at Denny's is Not the Key to Happiness
Or: In This Chapter We Give the Middle Finger to Soul-Crushing Work That Reeks of Lost Dreams and Bunn-O-Matic Coffeep. 11
3 You Should Not "Stick It Out" or "Make The Best of it" Or "Just Be Grateful You Have A Job"
Or: Stop Trying to Convince Yourself to Love a Life You Hatep. 26
4 "Welcome to the Real World" is Tiny Penis Syndrome in Disguise
Or: Everyone Is Insecure and Terrified to Be Their Weird, Wacky, True, Creative Selvesp. 35
5 The Old Way of Working is Dead
Or: It's Time to Reinvent the Way You Bring Value into the World (Disclaimer: Does Not Require Vagina)p. 47
6 No Matter Where You're Starting, you can Start Again
Or: Bad Things Happen to Good People (And Also Stray Girls from Trailer Parks)p. 56
7 New! How to Find your Passion in 52 Easy Steps
Or: You Are Not a Flaky, Irresponsible, Scatterbrained Fruitcakep. 74
8 Every Good Idea is Offensive to Someone
Or: Here's What to Do About the Dream Zappers, the Negative Nancys, and Probably Your Momp. 86
9 The World Does Not Already have Enough Writers, Photographers, Designers, Artists, Nipple Piercers
Or: Nobody Can Do It the Way That You Canp. 94
10 You Must be Brave Enough to Cause Problems
Or: In This Chapter We Give the Finger to the Things Keeping Us Trapped, Featuring Award-Winning Financial Blunders and Controlling, Douchey Menp. 106
11 Advice for Hitting Rock Bottom with Grace
Or: Here's What You Do When You Need to Break Glass in Case of Emergency and Rescue Yourselfp. 124
12 Act as if you are Already a Highly Paid Assassin
Or: Taking It Slow Is Only Good Advice for Junior High Prom Attendeesp. 138
13 Imposter Syndrome is the Mean Girl at the Party (and we Hate Her)
Or: You Must Believe You Are Good Enough to Be Receivedp. 144
14 Please Follow Your Most Dangerous Ideas
Or: Wanting to Do Work You're Passionate About Is Not Just a Goal for Self-Entitled Millennialsp. 150
15 Selling Yourself Requires You to Insist on Your Own Brilliance
Or: What If They Were Delighted to Hear from You?p. 164
16 Mo' Offers, Mo' Money
Or: Indecent Proposals Are Not Just for Demi Moorep. 175
17 Do Not Let Them Money-Shame You
Or: Tell Them to Come Correct, Baby, Because Making Money Is a Good Deedp. 187
18 Perfectionism is an Occupational Hazard
Or: Working Yourself to Death Is Not Cute or Helpful (And Your Waistline Can Vouch)p. 202
19 We Must Learn to Become Mothers to Ourselves
Or: Sometimes, the Bravest Thing of All Is Learning How to Become Softp. 211
20 Doing Work You Love Requires You to be Brutally Honest about What You Actually Love
Or: Maybe You Feel Like a Fraud Because You Are Faking THE ENJOYMENTp. 227
21 Growth Comes from Finding Generous Ways to Share Your Work
Or: How I Learned to Build a Business, Not a Prisonp. 234
22 Picket Fences are not a Dangerous Idea
Or: This Is for the Woman Who Wants to Approach Life Differentlyp. 243
23 Full Permission to do the Crazy Thing
Or: Just Because Something "'Makes Sense," Doesn't Mean It Will Make You Happyp. 249
24 You are Allowed to be Selfish
Or: Here Are All the Other Things You're Allowed to Want MORE OFp. 259
25 Plans are Overrated
Or: Sometimes You Just Have to Put One Foot in Front of the Other and Trust That You Can Handle What Happens Nextp. 265
26 There's a Lot That's Going to Suck about this
Or: Satisfying Endings Are for Porn Stars and Fairy Talesp. 272
Epiloguep. 277
Outro Music and Creditsp. 279
You're Not Going to Irish Good-Bye Me, Are You?p. 287