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The Middle Finger Project: Trash Your Imposter Syndrome and Live the Unf*ckwithable Life You Deserve Hardcover – February 11, 2020
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"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.
“I f*cking love a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it—and even better, is willing to share her secrets so we can all get ours too. Ash Ambirge is a whole mood, and trust me: you want to be in it.”
— Sarah Knight, New York Times bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
“If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Ash is here to help you see that you have more chances to make a ruckus than you ever thought possible.”
—Seth Godin, author of This Is Marketing
“Every woman who has felt even an iota of dissatisfaction in her life needs to read this book. Ash’s insight and wisdom is a gift to us all.”
—Laura Jane Williams, author of Our Stop
“A voice we must pay attention to, and a must-read for anyone who has never felt good enough (ahem: that’s everyone).”
—Susie Moore, life coach and advice columnist, author of What If It Does Work Out?
“Ash Ambirge is Ryan Gosling-sent proof that you can live life on your own terms, burn up the rule book, and do what lights you up. The Middle Finger Project is the instruction manual for people who don’t read the manual.”
—Matthew Kimberley, author of Get A F*cking Grip
“Ash’s writing might make you quit your job, start a whole new life, and feel braver than you’ve ever felt before.”
—Jamie Varon, founder of Shatterboxx
“A hilarious guidebook to reject the status quo and live your unf*ckwithable life. This is the anti-self-help self-help book you’ll be giving to all your friends.”
—Amber Rae, author of Choose Wonder Over Worry
“Who the F says you have to be a good girl, ask permission, pay your dues, punch in, clock out, stick with one hair color, live the kind of life where a beanbag is ‘company culture,’ and you have to label your yogurt? Whoever says it, Ash Ambirge has a simple reply—and you’ll find yourself raising a finger, too.”
—Laura Belgray, author of Talking Shrimp
“Gutsy, bright, and filled with the perfect blend of instruction, inspiration, and irreverence, this book makes you realize that it really is all possible —even for those of us who’ve been knocked around in life, don’t fit the ‘standard mold,’ and truly despise green juice.”
—Jenny Foss, founder and CEO of JobJenny.com; LinkedIn Learning Author
“This book is a reminder that even in our darkest hours we can be resourceful and courageous. Ash reminds us that we are worthy of so much and stronger than we know. Everyone who reads this will be better for it.”
—Cathy Heller, author of Don’t Keep Your Day Job
“This funny and fabulously insightful book is f*cking gold—a must-read for any woman who is ready to stop playing small in life.”
—Noor Hibbert, life and business coach; author of Just F*cking Do It
"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."
About the Author
- Publisher : Portfolio (February 11, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0525540326
- ISBN-13 : 978-0525540328
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.8 x 1 x 8.54 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #242,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2020
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When the Middle Finger Project arrived, I was ill on the couch, contemplating the ceiling fan as if it could unlock the Secret of Life. I'd been there for the better part of three years. It's a long story I'd rather have a root canal than lay on you, but suffice it to say, when Ash's book arrived, I felt not so much like I was dying, but that I already had. And that my work and my own book—which I'd been so Ash-like ON FIRE about and so close to launching before all hell broke loose in my body—had gone with me.
It's very hard to read when you're dead.
But I...Walked. All. The. Way. Across. the room, picked up The Middle Finger Project, and started reading.
Page by page, Ash hugged me with one arm and smacked me upside the head with the other, in all the right ways. Page by page, she said (yelled, snorted, whispered), "You can do it." "You better f*ing do it, Little Missy." "Look what I did...you know, it hasn't been a basket of f*ing roses for me, either." I laughed. I cried. I even changed out of my pajamas.
Page by page, fresh ideas about my own work popped like hot-buttered popcorn, activated by Ash's fresh ideas. Oh my! An IDEA! I remember those! How delightful! Page by page, I was inspired by the power of resiliency, self-reliance, grit, persistence, and creativity TMFP contained, but it wasn't because Ash wrote about those things. No, I was inspired by those things because that's who Ash IS.
And that's when I remembered: that's who I am, too. And THAT chick CAN change the f*ing world. The one here watching the ceiling fan? She's not dying. She's just regrouping. Today, my underwear. Tomorrow, the world!
Yeah, it's like that. If you want to stay uninspired, doubtful, and afraid to be your best, badass self, do not read this book. If, on the other hand, you want (or need) a reminder to BRING IT, BIOTCH, get the book and let Ash do that for you. Sometimes, all we need is someone who's flipped convention a joyous bird and done her thing without apology to remind us we can do the same.
I am a professional personal development “junkie” and have read a slew of books... and have grown tired of the same old same old information but in someone else’s “voice” and version of it. So when someone said, “Oh THIS one is different, she will actually TELL you what to do. That was her point in writing this book!” I got excited and bought it during presale.
I will say I was disappointed that this was another “I had a shitty life, and look what I’ve done” book. Although I did sympathize with what she went through, especially losing her father and mother at such a young age (I cannot imagine), it still didn’t hook me on how this could relate to my life. I realized with this book, and many I’ve read, is that I’m reading books from the wrong people for ME. I’m a mother active with raising my daughter so for me to read a professional personal development book by a woman who has no children and whose sole responsibility is herself isn’t my book. I can’t relate.
I am bored with the do whatever it takes books- where it feels you need to give 110% or it won’t work. When I read that Ash originally worked from the moment the sun rises to 9pm, her relationships suffered bc of it, her health suffered, and then she had to go to a month long expensive retreat to realize what her life needs to be... I can’t relate. If it’s fiction, I don’t need to relate and can flow with the story and enjoy being lost in someone else’s interesting life. But for me, a personal development book has to relate in some way.
I wish there were actual tools here versus the same old “here is my shitty situation, and I didn’t let it stop me!” stories. Yes, I’m amazed how she has come so far with her history and challenges. I will always applaud that. But for me to value the content of a “this is how to” book, I can’t go through every chapter asking,
“OK, so how does the average woman actually GET there?”
This is another book where I found the same inspirations, revelations, needs, and basic tips that every other book out there has. I don’t think some of these writers even realize how they are just regurgitating the same stuff. It happens all the time.
If you have the time and want some laughs, a very raw and real voice, and yes and interesting life story, it’s not a waste of time. If you are young, ready to hit the pavement and need some inspiration and have nothing but yourself to look out for, then read it. If you are down in your luck in a gutter and need a kick in the ass, then read it. I will say I never view a book as a waste of time - I can always pull a few takeaways from one.
However, if you’re a mother that only has 9-2 M-F and you’re looking for a realistic inspiration to be inspired to follow some passions and goals, this may not be the author for you.
1. You don’t need have a vagina to appreciate the power of the message. Danglers alike will relate.
2. If you know or have even crossed the “Ash path” you will read this in her voice and her energy will explode at every word. I am now a speed reader. Thanks Ash!
3. I need to hear the audio book version because it’s guaranteed to be hilarious.
4. I call straight BS that the drink won’t be a Long Island. $2 Pitchers on Tuesdays (or was it Thursday?) prove this from past experience.
This is an amazing work of art that will lead you into an eternal Q&A about what you should really be seeking in your life. You will likely leave the final virtual Speakeasy with a wicked life hangover and full of emotions and doubt of all your life decisions.... the odd thing is it will feel so RIGHT!!! And to those that follow this path: I look forward to see your greatness.
To Ash: May you keep keeping on and being the inspiration the world deserves. Your reach will always be longer than you’ll ever be able to imagine. I hope we can cross paths again and have one more LI together (or 3). You truly are an impact to all that are lucky enough to have met you or will meet you.
To all the doubters, negative Nancy’s, Neysayers, and the progressively blind. Here are 2 Middle Fingers!!
Top reviews from other countries
The kind of book you start to grieve for finishing when you realise you only have a couple of chapters left.
I was going hoard it and ration the last chapters. Then I realised how un middle-finger-project that would be so I stayed up to finish it. Then lay awake smiling like a woman with dangerous ideas.
A week later, I'm still smiling.
This book is sublime. It makes the notion of raising a defiant middle finger to other people's rules make perfect sense.
Here's what I love:
Very precise and un-coy use of words. Decidedly NOT languishing in the inarticulate cliches that fog much of the discourse in the personal development sphere. This book feels so meaningful to me and I suspect would feel meaningful for every woman who is less than delighted with her job. The book has already had significant impact on my whole way of being and approach to my own creative business. Ambirge's powerful writing voice is a thumping banner of liberation. Her ideas run counter to conventional thought. This book asks us to question the outdated modes of being that keep us feeling feel so caged. Ambirge ignites many more questions about 'the way things are' and the way we might be allowing ourselves to live.
This book doesn't simply talk about using uniqueness as an asset, the author's very unconventional and brilliant life-project demonstrates that those damped down ideas we keep within us about 'the life I want instead', can be dragged out by the hair and CPRed into reality.
Ambirge establishes a platinum standard of author-integrity with this book because she does not step back or disclaim at the end. Rather, she invites women to a practical riot of leaving their unhappy jobs to go after the life they actually want.
Ambirge is a class act and truly a 'whole mood' you want to be in...
(YES, BUY THIS BOOK and sign up to the excellent TMFP emails)
True to her style, Ash tells the story of how she went from being completely broke, slept in her car to running her own business that allows her the freedom and lifestyle that she wants. This book challenges the readers to think beyond the box, take risks and believe in themselves, and so much more than that. I love her sense of humour and her unfuckable attitude. Thanks again for giving the world your gift again Ash Ambirge!