She Built a Million-Dollar Business Giving Imposter Syndrome the Middle Finger

From trailer park to thriving million-dollar business owner.

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Credit: Heidi Hapanowicz
Credit: Heidi Hapanowicz

There’s a light at the end of the dead-end job after job after job. And when it comes to Ash Ambirge, her light is ‘80s neon pink strobe-light-bright — and moves to its own rhythm. 

While everyone was playing by the rules, Ambirge dared the status quo and gave it the middle finger.

If you yearn for a life outside of a cubicle and buzzing fluorescent lights, you’re bound to be told that it’s not “safe” out there. 

But Ambirge is your fairy godmother wearing pearls, leather, and tulle, saying, “Psst…let me show you something.” 

Ambirge’s just-released book The Middle Finger Project will offer a powerful dose of courage to anyone who questions the rules.

It unapologetically dismantles everything taught about the stability of a 9-5 job. And jolts you on a roller-coaster adventure as she talks about losing both her parents by the age of 21, growing up in a trailer park in rural America, and earning her first $2,000 from the backseat of her car. She went on to make her first $103,000 that year, and then goes on to earn several million dollars from her art.

I remember being at a mastermind meeting in 2013 and a colleague mentioned I should check out Ambirge during a discussion about marketing.

When I went to her website The Middle Finger Project, I was INSTANTLY hooked and devoured all the articles on her blog. The unorthodox ideas, robust use of words, and rock-solid advice were like nothing I’ve read before.

It was art. 

In her book, Ambirge takes you on the journey of turning her art into The Middle Finger Project®, “an online company and award-winning blog which has provided tens of thousands of young ‘women who disobey’ with the tools and mindset to reject the world’s expectations of success and get on their own path to happiness, wealth, independence, and adventure.”

The advice she shared in her book from the lessons learned along the way is a brilliant unFairytale.

While some people focus on following a specific set of rules, Ambirge shared this in her introduction: “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.”   

“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.”

Living a life you deserve can feel like a daunting dream when it seems like there’s one perfect, already written way to be successful. 

You think that dead-end jobs just come with the territory. That being happy is a child-like desire you should give up like eating chocolate cake in bed after 10pm. 

But what if there’s another way?

Ambirge proves that there’s an alley to a meaningful life and lays out in her book the steps you, too, can take to disobey the rules—and feel confident about thriving on your own terms.    

“Happiness is about getting what you want. But meaningfulness is about expressing and defining yourself while you do it,” declared Ambirge. 

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