How to Hit Rock Bottom and Come Back a Business Owner (Without Breaking a Nail. Or Going Insane. Or Resorting to Prostitution. Mostly.)

ash ambirgeI’m pretty effing honored to have Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project offer up a guest post to Redhead Writing. If you don’t know her, you should. If you think I’m irreverent, she’ll flip you shit and then make you sit in it. ‘Nuf said. Grab a coffee and a Snickers – this post is one that requires some settling in (and it’s worth it).

It wasn’t long ago that devastation quickly and quietly ambushed my life, culminating one night in a deserted K-Mart parking lot in the slums of South Philadelphia.

I sat in my car, underneath the unforgiving glow of an insect-encrusted floodlight, alternating between holding back the tears and not being able to stop them, followed by sporadic outbursts of kicking, yelling, screaming, and wailing at the universe for handing me this monumental test of strength that I was not, in any way, ready for.

Fucking universe and its perpetual lack of good timing.

I had hit rock bottom.  Not just any rock bottom, but the mother of rock bottoms, one covered in glass shards, stale cigarette butts, and dirty diapers, accompanied by a thick aroma of dread laced with despair.  Though, in retrospect, that might have just been the scent of late-night Philly streets–hard to tell at the time.

In that moment–my monumental moment of failure–I had exactly twenty-six dollars and thirty two cents in my checking account, zero available credit, and, as of one harrowing hour prior, no where to sleep that night. I had always known this moment could come at any time, and for many years, I feared it more than anything. My parents were both deceased by the time I graduated college, leaving me without much support and the unexpected title of bad ass orphan. That’s what I like to call it, anyway, because orphan alone sounds far too pathetic for someone who was once voted Most Likely to Succeed by her high school peers.

Boy did they fuck that one up.

I had known that if I slipped up anywhere along the way, this moment would one day find me. And lo and behold, suddenly there the bastard was, staring me in the face, taunting me with the smugness of victory. Life had brutally defeated me, once and for all.

So, amongst the crying, and the sobbing, and the punching of car objects that weren’t meant to be punched (your dashboard is much more durable than you think) I did the only thing that seemed right at the time–something I had never done before.

There at the steering wheel in the K-Mart parking lot, I, Ashley Ambirge, prayed.

A funny sight to see, actually–a recently-turned-homeless agnostic who doesn’t even know how to pray, praying. But clearly, I needed help, and since there didn’t seem to be any men with white horses nearby, I figured this god character would have to do.

I started with a little something like this:

So…hey, man.  Errr…sir…errr…god.

It’s me. The girl who lit the bank dumpster on fire in the 6th grade. I know you remember that day, don’t you? I still can’t believe we didn’t get caught. By the way, just so we’re clear, we totally didn’t mean for that to happen. You know how it is the first time you ever light a match–you don’t know it’s going to burn your finger so fast, and in a moment of panic you might make the fatal decision of throwing it, rather than blowing it out. Whoops. How were we suppose to know the dumpster was full of paper? Anyway, that’s not actually why I’m phoning you tonight.

The real reason is because, to be blunt, I suck. It’s been made very clear that I suck. This moment is testimony to the fact that I suck. But here’s the thing–from this day forward, I’m going to try with all my might not to suck. Not anymore.  No more sucking here. (Within context, of course.)

So, with all due respect, I was thinking that if you were feeling particularly chipper, maybe you could pull some strings and help me out of this mess. I know you’ve got a whole bunch going on right now with the economy, the Middle East, starving people in Africa, and fucking with Bush as as your new favorite sport, but right about now, I could really use a member of your angel posse.  I mean, what do you think?

I was met with silence. Apparently this god character isn’t much of a talker.

I stop, let my head fall to the steering wheel, and sob some more.

I’m fucked.

Growing up, I had always been one of those annoying girls with the annoying list of accomplishments. Student Council President. Captain of the volleyball team. AP Calculus kiss ass. Prom Promise Princess.  (Which basically means you vow not to do the nasty in your $200 Jessica McClintock dress, and then go out and do it anyway because, ohmygawd, it’s high school, and like, Troy Collins will totally let you wear his varsity jacket if you do.)

Brownie-baking, fund-raising whores.

And yet, that’s exactly who I was.

So much so, that the founder of Monster.com awarded me a full scholarship to a well-known private university.  I went on to graduate in the top ten of my college class, with not one degree, but two. I even went ahead and got a Master’s degree for shits and giggles (because isn’t that why anyone gets their Master’s degree?).  Later, I worked my way up the corporate ladder in marketing, and then as an account executive in advertising sales, handling national accounts and being awarded high praise (and compensation) for my efforts.  At one point, I had the perfect job, the perfect car, the perfect outfits, the perfect life, and even the perfect home.

And yet somehow, it all came tumbling down, and the next thing you know, there I am praying. Just goes to show that anything can happen, really.

It’s a long story as to how I went from picket fence to K-Mart, but I think the words, “financial irresponsibility,” “illegal Mexican immigrant lover” and “nearly choked me to death” sum it up quite nicely.

I loved him.  Madly.  Passionately.  Irrationally.

Until the day I was forced not to.

Until the day he slammed me up against the wall of our apartment, his hands tightly gripped around my neck, my air supply completely cut off. I waited for him to let go, and started to panic when he didn’t. I looked him in the eyes, and pleaded with him with my own, but what glared back at me was a cold, unfeeling hollow shell of what once was. He gripped tighter. I cried harder. And in that moment, I was sure I was going to meet my fate.

That was one hour prior to my K-Mart moment of glory.

I had managed to escape, taking what little clothes I could gather, piling them into the trunk of my car, and driving away as fast as I could. Though, with a quarter tank of gas, and only $26 to my name, I knew I wouldn’t get very far. For years I hadn’t played it safe with my finances, and now it was finally time to pay in more ways than one. And I was scared.

Fortunately, that whole bad ass orphan thing had an up side, principally in making me unapologetically stubborn. I might have only had $26, but I’d be damned if I couldn’t find a way to survive.

I knew I needed to draw on what resources and knowledge I had at the time, and that’s exactly what I planned to do. There would be no more reliance on opportunity to come a knockin’; it was time for me to start busting down some goddamn doors uninvited. So, I did the next best thing to praying.  (And drinking, of course, since that seems to be frowned upon while seated in an automobile.)

I opened my MacBook.

Beyond the freelance writing I had been doing, I had a little secret weapon that I had been building up, called a blog. It wasn’t just any blog; it was a blog titled–ahem–The Middle Finger Project (what? it’s classy, shut up), and it was a blog with about 2,500 subscribers at the time–something that, to me, was an accomplishment of sorts. On the blog, I talked about the importance of freedom in our short, short lives, and promoted entrepreneurship as a means of achieving that freedom. Freedom so we could do work that mattered to us, freedom so we could be with people that mattered to us, and freedom so we could focus on the things that mattered to us.

I knew that eventually I would turn it into a business, but wasn’t quite ready to take that full leap. I kept relegating it to a far off place called, “soon,” but the week I became homeless, I suddenly realized the sheer value of utter disaster:  Sometimes, you have to be on the brink of it, in order for motivation to override procrastination.

So right then and there, I decided to take a risk–I would try and leverage my blog and skill set to the best of my capabilities, in an attempt to create something of value for my audience that I could charge for. I wasn’t in the best mental state, and would need some time to develop said resource, but $26 surely wouldn’t last me until it was finished. So, I did something that, at the time, I thought was unconventional:  I decided to offer a pre-sale of the product I hadn’t yet made, nor had no clue how to make. I was nervous; I had never sold anything on my blog before, and wasn’t sure what the reaction would be, or whether anyone would even bother buying something that didn’t yet exist. I was even more nervous that I’d be laughed at, and that I’d lose every subscriber I ever had. But, I had no choice–it was sink, or swim, and I was determined to thrash my way through it, no matter what it took.

So in that very moment, there in the K-Mart parking lot, under the beam of the unforgiving, insect-infested light, I wrote this post. (Note: The original copy announcing the pre-sale has since been edited, which makes me sad, but the majority of the content is still in its original form.)

Throughout the post, my pain is hidden, buried deep beneath such encouraging words that, admittedly, I wasn’t sure I believed at the time. But after all, they say a blogger typically writes what s/he needs to hear most, and this is a prime example.

This blog post was a desperate attempt at me trying to save my own life.

The next day, I closed my eyes before pushing publish on the post from an internet cafe, and gave myself a quick pep-talk: It’s now or never, Ambirge. The worst that could happen is the no one pre-orders the book, and you’ll have to start asking friends to borrow some money and a couch. That isn’t so bad, is it? Surely someone will help. Won’t they?

I took a deep breath and hit publish.

And I sat, and waited, and gritted my teeth, and chipped away at my nail polish, refreshing my Gmail over and over, hoping to see the words “Sale – EJunkie” come through.

But nothing came.

Nothing within the first two minutes, that is.

Suddenly, right before my very eyes, my angel posse arrived, because the next thing you know, not just one sale came through, but several.  And more.  And more.  And even more!  I couldn’t believe what was happening; did my audience believe in me that much?

Within an hour I had sold 20.

Within two hours, I had sold 60.

And by the end of the day, I had sold 116.

At my pre-sale price of 50% off, at $12 a pop, that amounted to $1392.

I’d never been so grateful.

That $1392 did more than get me some gas money; it gave me the initial faith that I needed to continue, to start hand-crafting my own reality, rather than waiting for someone else to come along and give me the opportunities I wanted.  That was some time ago, but the lesson I learned that day–the value of creatively leveraging your talents–is one that has since helped me build The Middle Finger Project brand and turn it into the full-time business I had once only dreamed about. Fast forward to present day, and I just closed last month out with $10,132 in revenue, all from that little vulgarly-titled blog of mine–the vehicle that made all the difference in the world for me, the moment I finally started letting it.

And to think:  All it took was financial ruin with a dose of abuse mixed with a smattering of homelessness.  Funny how that works.

I haven’t told this story often, for fear that telling it would make me appear weak and somehow unworthy. Yet, as I’ve grown, and as my business has grown, I look back and reflect, only to realize that the only reason I’ve been able to reach the level of success I have today is because of the cracks in the foundation–as it turns out, those cracks don’t represent flaws, but rather, marks of character. Badges of honor. Street cred–literally. And the start of a journey that has only just begun.

For me, disaster was my saving grace.

Perhaps the universe doesn’t have such perpetual bad timing, after all. I’d normally insert some feel-good horse shit here about embracing your circumstances, and looking on the bright side, but at the end of the day, that’s a joke.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  It isn’t about imagining the silver lining. It’s about taking the sharpest knife you can find, vehemently slashing through all of the bullshit, and yanking it out with your bare hands.

You have no choice.

And if, by chance, you ever find yourself in a K-Mart parking lot in the slums of Philadelphia, I have only one piece of advice:

Lock your fucking doors.

And then get to work.

Because truth be told? There is no angel posse.

This one’s all you.

186 comments
soulareeyes
soulareeyes

Despite the tears in my eyes of my own situation, your site... your mission really - and [the virtual] you seem to serve as the only 'umfff' to light whatever depleted source I have to do something productive today that will get me out of the fucking hole I'm in. I speak this from the other side though. 44 wasn't supposed to be this low, lonely and hard - at least that's what I thought. Chapter 13, two kids - one a senior and no further plans for what will happen with her next mostly due to our financial state and probably the lack of guidance we've provided as parents along the way because we were too caught up in our own bullshit to get out of our own way. Friends who I've stopped chasing after, frustrated by their lack of commitment and understanding of what it means to be a friend. A husband who's been in a perpetual state of mid-life crisis who I've watched attempt a number of jobs that led him to be a vacant hole of a person with barely, if any self-esteem left and left him making only 25% of what he used to and who is probably on the brink of getting fired because that's the sort of self-sabotaging model he's grown familiar with. And a '96 Honda Civic that acts up every few weeks leaving me to wonder if I'm going to make it to my next money making opportunity or at least get my kids to where they need to be so they don't feel the embarrassment I feel.

There are some positive nuggets (at least that's what my head tells me some days) like, I managed to complete my EMBA in 2013 and was feeling top of the world for most of the year following. I thought I found the true me and real happiness after spending a month in Southeast Asia. But then I let myself get sucked back into the trappings of Western culture and social expectations and that once 'connected and conscious' feeling I had to myself, my husband and the world seems like a distant memory.


I'm depleted. More depleted than I ever been.


There are few things that get me through a day.


I meditate... everyday - not just that once a week bullshit attempt. I really attempt to - some days I really suck at it. But I know that for the past 21 days since I started that it's made the rest of life's suckier moments a little more tolerable. I probably say fewer mean things in a day and able to shrug it off with a 'fuck it' vs. letting it consume the rest of my day. But I don't swear any less. ;)


I exercise... not everyday, but every time I almost don't I remind myself, sometimes saying out loud, "I promised me I would." Even when my Achilles, knees, hips, back or eyeballs hurt.


I try to find something motivational - usually online because I can't afford much else. I think I reached the end of the road with TEDTalks though and was getting to the point that even some of those annoyed me because many of them represent only ideals that have meaning in short, unrealistic moments.


Then I found your site. I'm not much into angels either. But I could sure use the wisdom of one bad-ass bitch's insights and inspiration. 


I don't know which of my 3, 4 or 5 ideas to focus on first. Or whether any of them line up with my husband's or if I should even see. But maybe I shouldn't worry about his role in it anyway and follow the path meant for me.


To be continued...
(ha! like an idiot, i just realized I didn't even post this on your middle finger project site... oh well, fuck it - your words were still inspiring and it felt good to make some admissions to somebody, somewhere)

soulareeyes
soulareeyes

@Erika Napoletano @soulareeyes 

Thank you Erika. You brought the first genuine feel good smile to my face I've had in a long time. When the reservoirs are dry, it's about digging deeper and finding that perserverence to muddle through the muck ;)

Finding sites like yours and the Middle Finger Project have lifted me the past couple of days and give me hope that there are ways to be discovered yet.

CHISEL. Training
CHISEL. Training

I love when people who are experiencing haymaking success share their story of the trek to where they are. It shows us that what you live and breath for, what makes your heart beat everyday, does not happen overnight and it isn't always lined with rainbows and lollipops. A valuable lesson to learn at any age, but especially when young and rearing to go like myself.

MzTree
MzTree

Best post ever to read on Monday morning at 9am. Time to get to work!

michtravels
michtravels

You are a goddess. Not like I need to tell you that, but if you ever need reminding...I just signed up for your blog and read some of your postings, and it hit home in so many ways (I'm wearing my mom's ring today, too - she died 20 years ago, and it took an act of sheer will and several years for me to even say DIED), and I'm always learning, living, loving, occasionally testing the waters with a sharp stick, and searching for my most authentic self and how to express it within the boundaries of the most healthy relationships I can create, and in which I find myself. ON-going. Here's to passion, and I look forward to reading, learning and sharing more!

AllieLeFevere
AllieLeFevere

Brilliant!  Ash, you're awesome. Thanks for the vulnerability, inspiration and wit. 

ShareRoss1
ShareRoss1

Love this! Love Ash. Love the whole darn thing! Rockin!

Jane Frankland
Jane Frankland

Brilliant! Amazing & good for you Ash. I can relate to this. Watch out for my story ...

ThisLoser
ThisLoser

This is very cool and inspiring story, and I am a subscriber to your blog. It's interesting, no doubt. But... I just can't help but think that your rock bottom was several miles higher than mine and other's.

Bridget Pilloud
Bridget Pilloud

There is totally an angel posse. And I'm thinking my friend, that you are part of it.

Tracy Neely
Tracy Neely

Wow, this was powerful and while reading this Erika, I was rooting for you. I think God brings you things just when you need to hear it. In talking with someone about some tech stuff on FB, I noticed that someone else had posted your blog post on her page. Miracles happen all the time!

Anna Long33
Anna Long33

Wow, I had no idea. Thanks for sharing Ash. I know some of the best breaks in life have come from circumstances that no one is envious of. Call it what you will (angels wings or not), but thanks for sharing regardless.

Priya
Priya

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing this. I love your writing! I don't know what it feels like to be homeless, but I do know what it feels like to be broke and jobless. So glad you found a way to make things work for you! but I mean, really, who needs money when there are plenty of  nice bridges to live under? 

Annie Anderson
Annie Anderson

Honey, you didn't just kick my ass with this post, you reamed me a new one. Properly. And that is fucking awesome! Thank you!

Paul Jones
Paul Jones

That freaking rocked.  I read a Bitch Slap and an Ass Kick in the same day, and my brain fills with a little bit more drive.  Life will deal cruel hands, and its how we rebound is what makes us.  The old quote about being knocked down 7 times, but getting up 8 kept coming to mind as I read your post.  Thanks again for that swift kick.  I sure needed it.

James D. Burrell II
James D. Burrell II

Clearly, you'd be flicking off the camera while striking some sexy pose though. Thanks for the cornerstone comment; I'm seriously blushing, and I do form superb right angles and wield my protractor like a damn pro. There's no way I could be any more inspirational than you. Honestly, if I could spread your words on a piece of toast (like a nice homemade jam) and eat them, I'm pretty sure I could derive enough sustenance to survive. Hope you're having an ass-kicking Monday. 

Regina Smola
Regina Smola

Wow, talk about encouragement beyond the norm. Riveting! I remember living in my car at the age of 17 and sleeping in it parked on a country road behind a prison wondering, "what the heck do I do now?" I worked 3 jobs at minimum wage and wondering, "does it get any better than this?" Now I work for myself doing what I love, finally, at the age of 46. Thanks for sharing your story, Regina Smola

Heather
Heather

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. This is an amazing story. I applaud you.

Steve
Steve

This is one of the most incredible stories I've ever read! Ash, you have a gift not only for writing, but for inspiring, motivating, and drawing out true emotion. Awesome post!

Nicole Fende
Nicole Fende

I was riveted from beginning to end. With this kick in my patootie, I'm going to go sell something NOW!  You rock.

James D. Burrell II
James D. Burrell II

I'd say Ashley's story brings an inspirational tear to my eye, you know, the same tear that wells up at the end of some dramatic sports film like Rocky, The Natural or Remember the Titans.... well at least for the males out here. I'd say that but I won't fearing Ashley's retort telling me to stop being a cry baby and start getting out there and making something of myself. The Middle Finger Project was one of the first blogs I ever visited when I began my blogging adventure nearly 8 months ago, and without fail, she renews my drive each time I stop by. My dad uses the saying, "if a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump its ass so much" ad naseum to illustrate, that we have 2 options: 1) sit around and bitch about our plight/our situation or 2) embrace it and go out and live life to the best of our abilities. Clearly, Ash is one of the poster children of the latter. 

The Redhead
The Redhead

I have a story about a hairdryer and a hostel. Probably not as good as yours.:(

bailann
bailann

Awesome and crazy inspiring. 

rob
rob

i fucking love you ash, which is why i made you my homepage. cuz i want that attitude as soon as i wake up my ibook. sadly, i am NOT mediterranean. 

rachel
rachel

I love it. In my house we call it the "Cousin Sylvia" method, named after a cousin who once told a legless man, "I don't care if you don't have legs. Run faster!"

The Girl Who Knows
The Girl Who Knows

And p.s. I'm working on a docu film right now - so your story really touched me. If you've got 9 minutes and 5 seconds...check out the project / watch our trailer: www.recoveringirma.com xoxo

Stephanie Watanabe
Stephanie Watanabe

FUCK yeah girl. Fuck yeah.  That is some seriously inspired goodness here. Intellectually I understand that anything is possible. But it takes stories like this, people like YOU, to help me to really feel it, straight down to the core. Thanks for opening up to your own fears and promptly kicking their ass, so that we can all be inspired to do the same. ROCK ON!

Andre J.C. Bor
Andre J.C. Bor

Ash, thank you for this brutal honest story. You encourages me to go on, to see my life as a business, and my blog as a platform.

Dara
Dara

I am so glad you shared this story! We are often hesitant to share our messes, but our messes in life is what makes us relateable and gives us credibility. This make you MORE relatable, not less and makes what you are doing even more inspiring. On many levels- that you had the self esteem to leave that relationship, when so many women stay in abusive relationships. That you had the cojones to come up with the idea just hours after going though that. That you rejected the role of victim and took charge of your life. Knowing these circumastances helps those of us who are aspiriing to create a similar type of business (or at least me, anyway) see that pretty much any obstacle can be overcome. I'm still struggling to figure out what my topic will be - and how to get anyone outside of my immediate friends and family to read my blog- but stories like this keep me motivated. Thanks.

Camila
Camila

"hand-crafting my own reality, rather than waiting for someone else to come along and give me the opportunities I wanted.  That was some time ago, but the lesson I learned that day–the value of creatively leveraging your talents–is one that has since helped me build The Middle Finger Project brand and turn it into the full-time business I had once only dreamed about."  I need to copy and paste the above into my brain.

The Redhead
The Redhead

And that's the phrase I've been searching for: fearless honesty. I might steal that, Pam!

The Redhead
The Redhead

She rocked it and I'm glad you thought so , too, Mari. Appreciate you stopping by today.

Sara
Sara

Ash...Thank you for sharing your story.  And as for the universe's perpetually bad timing...not today, my friend.  I have a similar story, and yours encourages me to use mine to leverage MYSELF forward.  You effin' rock.  But you already knew that.

spencerspellman
spencerspellman

*Stands and applauds* Wow. Love the honesty and find strands of my own story in this. I love the honesty and telling your story when many people wouldn't because of the fear of weakness and so on. You've been a favorite of mine for a few months. I love the honesty, the "realness", and living YOUR dream. I love it. I found myself 13 months ago beating my dashboard, cursing God, lying on the top of a financial meltdown mountain, and facing a divorce. I didn't create a product per se, but for the first time in my life I took control of my life, did what I wanted to do, and did life on my terms. It was a year of taking risks and was the best 12 months of my life. I've never felt so happy, free, and content in my life and doing exactly the things I want to do. I'm living my dream. It's been somewhat therapeutic though to be open about it and write about my story on my blog. The world needs more people that don't do what's expected of them or what they "should" do, but what they want to do and how they want to do it. BRAVO!

Sandi
Sandi

I know that rock-bottom place. I know it well. Thanks for telling your story! I loved it, and I am inspired. 

Tarondo
Tarondo

Looks like your prayer was answered after all ;)

CamelsAndChocolate
CamelsAndChocolate

I don't even know what to say but WOW. Truly motivational--I love your grit!

Anthony Middleton
Anthony Middleton

Ash is THE blogger who got me off my arse and actually do something, instead of just bitching about my life not being how I want it. *smashes violin with hysterical laugh* Epic story and I hiiiiiighly recommend "You don't need a job, you need guts." 

Sherryl Perry
Sherryl Perry

Wow! I don't know what else to say other than thank you for sharing. You have another new fan. This was truly inspirational.

Big Girl Branding
Big Girl Branding

I know, me too! :( Hopefully the next one eh? :) We need to plan a bloggers meet up in Orlando! lol

Tawny Broadbent
Tawny Broadbent

a deep respectful bow to your general awesomeness, and a heartfelt thank you for whipping my ass out of complacency.

Big Girl Branding
Big Girl Branding

Well the only thing I'd have to disagree with is call bullshit on no angel posse.  I've had too many of my own experiences tell me differently!  God uses our circumstances and the people in our lives to work inside of us and mold us into the people he wants us to be, but damned if we can do it without a little divine help from him!  Excellent post Ash love, I'm so proud of you! :) You've always made me smile and think harder on things I may not have considered before on TMF, and you deserve all the success and happiness in the world!  I'm so glad that you're finding it, both on the inside and the outside and I've been happy to watch the journey!  BIG hugs lady! XoXo!

Trackbacks

  1. […] was inspired by a post today—How to Hit Rock Bottom and Come Back a Business Owner—and it’s put me at a bit of a crossroads of sorts. Right now I’m hemming and hawing […]

  2. For me, disaster was my saving grace. – Ash Ambirge…

    “The only way you can tell the difference between disaster and opportunity is to decide to make an opportunity out of every event.” – John T. Unger In last few days, I’ve heard several inspiring true stories of disaster and……

  3. […] s1);})(); Yesterday, Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project BLEW UP this blog. I mean, of all that is right and holy, it was like a legion of rabid nuns laid siege to a castle […]

  4. […] on the list today is a post from Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project.  Be warned,  this is a pretty blunt post,  but it says a lot of […]

  5. […] Red Head Writing: How to hit rock bottom and come back a business owner (without breaking a nail. Or going insane. Or … […]

  6. […] even though they might have good jobs or even strong support systems. On Redhead Writing this week, Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project talked about her experiences with this. For others, it might be not finding a job after graduation. My friend Brook had a major […]

  7. […] How to Hit Rock Bottom and Come Back a Business Owner (Without Breaking a Nail. Or Resorting to Prostitution. Mostly.)  Guest post by Ash Ambirge of TMF, over at Redhead Writing.  Ash’s posts always inspire me to get off my butt and do something. […]

  8. […] and avoid making the same mistakes again… Last week, Ashley Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project blew up Erika Napoletano’s Redhead Writing […]

  9. […] big action and getting big results. Sometimes this certainty comes from inspiration, other times desperation (when you can’t afford not to have it […]

  10. […] was inspired by a post today—How to Hit Rock Bottom and Come Back a Business Owner—and it’s put me at a bit of a crossroads of sorts. Right now I’m hemming and hawing […]

  11. […] 1. How to Hit Rock Bottom and Come Back a Business Owner (Without Breaking a Nail. Or Going Insane. Or … […]

  12. […] of her for being strong enough to let it go in the face of the ridicule and regret and every other emotion people will treat it with. […]

  13. […] I hit rock bottom and let go of my own failure that day, I received a beautiful gift:  the feeling of being […]

  14. […] How did I get to this point? Partly out of necessity, and partly because I was beyond inspired by Ash Ambirge’s story. If you’ve not read it:  she risked asking her readers to buy her (as-yet-unwritten) first […]

  15. […] you’ll be better equipped to move through the time of difficulty. You will probably hit rock bottom at least once, but becoming a conduit of life-giving energy will carry you […]

  16. […] How to Hit Rock Bottom and Come Back a Business Owner […]

  17. […] I was alone & scared in the middle of the night, with everything I owned and no place to […]

  18. […] pull $97,000 my first full-time year in business with The Middle Finger Project…after becoming homeless and starting over from scratch? (And even invited you to follow […]

  19. […] to sprinkle pieces of it over time as well. For example, that’s why I recently published the piece you may have read on Erika Napoletano’s […]

  20. […] the most exciting day I have had in a long time. It’s almost 3 a.m. here and after reading this post about hitting rock bottom and coming back a business owner, I have decided to finally take the […]

  21. […] This is how I can tell stories of illegal immigrants, abuse, and sleeping in my car. […]

  22. […]  Asking for your help is a huge, giant crazy step for me. It reminds me of Ash Ambridges story here. […]

  23. […] ::  It’s because of her that I found my strength again after The Mexican. […]

  24. […] Blog Post: How to Hit Rock Bottom and Come Back a Business Owner (Note: this is actually a guest post that Ash wrote for another blog but it remains one of our […]

  25. […] between not settling and not starting.”  Post coming up on this topic next week.  Also read this post in preparation. (You see me giving you homework!  Yes, I am.)  Fair warning – the post has […]

  26. […] The aforementioned Ashley Ambirge has a back story that’s as raw as it gets, but which she has shared willingly with the world – check out How to Hit Rock Bottom and Come Back a Business Owner (Without Breaking a Nail. Or Going Insane. Or … […]

  27. […] my Saturday Morning Coffee post week before last that I asked you to read this article.   When Ashley Ambirge writes a post, it doesn’t matter what I am doing, I stop and read it. […]

  28. […] Ash went from rock bottom with nothing but a car and $26 dollars in her pocket to her name to becoming a blogging rockstar. Instead of making lemonade out of lemons she took the lemons and set them on fire while laughing manically. […]

  29. […] Ash went from rock bottom with nothing but a car and $26 dollars in her pocket to her name to becoming a blogging rockstar. Instead of making lemonade out of lemons she took the lemons and set them on fire while laughing manically. […]

  30. […] politics and Ash Ambirge reveals pretty much everything – including how her Mexican lover tried to kill her and the death of both her […]