Steve Jobs has cited that ‘Be Here Now’ by Ram Dass “transformed [him] and many of [his] friends”. ‘The Seat of the Soul’ by Gary Zukav was the book that most influenced Oprah Winfrey’s career. And Spanx founder Sara Blakley listened to Wayne Dyer’s ‘How to be A No-Limit Person’ when she was 16-years-old and attributes it to some of her success.
Our most recent guest, Ash Ambirge gives credit to a radio DJ announcing the presale of a Rihanna album for being the catalyst in finally ‘trashing her imposter syndrome and living the “unfuckwithable” life she deserved.
What? Is there a rule that inspiration has to come from reading a minimum of 255 pages?
In 2009, she had $26, bad hair and was sleeping in her car in a KMart parking lot after a series of bad decisions. Fast forward to today, she’s the CEO of a multimillion dollar writing empire and author of The Middle Finger Project who travels and drinks way better wine.
So why did the presale of Rihanna’s album make her put in the work, work, work, work, work, work?
That announcement made her realize, “Hot damn, art is worth paying for. And you don’t necessarily have to have that art finished in order to exchange it for future value.” She had her ideas, her creativity and a journal. There wasn’t exactly WIFI in the KMart parking lot those days.
Remember internet cafes?
“Being a freelance writer was my ultimate goal” shared Ash “I put out a couple different offers to the world: the first was ‘hey, you know what, I’m going to write a book…if you would like to preorder it, here’s the link.’ Secondarily, I followed that up with ‘and also I’ve been getting a lot of requests from people who seem to really like the voice on the blog, so would you like me to write for you?’”
She simplified things for the Women Your Mother Warned You About, “So much of making money is just standing up and being like, ‘Hey, here’s what I can help you do’” and summed it all up with what she comically refers to as “The Hot Dog Theory of Money”.
An analogy where she compares selling your product to selling hot dogs on the Jersey Shore; if a customer approaches you and says “‘hey, I want to buy a hotdog, how much is it?’ You’re just gonna be like, yeah, it’s a buck 75, here ya go. It’s gonna be a simple interaction and you’re not going to negotiate the price.” And if you think that analogy is clever wait till you hear her talk about “tiny penis syndrome in disguise” and “big dick energy.” You’ll have to check out the full episode for all of that.
Back to the hot dogs though. Essentially, if you’re not willing to negotiate the price of a hot dog why are you willing to negotiate the price of your product, your talents, yourself? “Pricing is just like this little declarative statement…it doesn’t need to be a conversation” Ash told co hosts Gina Trimarco and Rachel Pitts.
We should all take a page from Ash Ambirge’s book! And we can by visiting TheMiddleFingerProject.org.
You never know, it could be just the inspiration you need to turn yourself into the next business magnate, media executive or author. Or you could always wait until you’re sleeping in your car to, in Ash’s words, ‘give yourself permission to sell your own talents.’