The Key to Fooling Everyone Into Thinking You’re a Natural at Public Speaking (Bye Bye, Stiff & Stuttery!)

IN: Communication, Confidence, Hard Stuff

“How many pisco sours have you had?!?!?!” The words galloped out of my mouth when my best friend, M, asked me—the girl who spells god with a lowercase g and who has openly questioned the institution of marriage—to officiate her wedding. The first image that came to mind was me standing on an altar wearing a maroon-colored robe, flicking water onto their foreheads and cueing Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act. The fact that my fingers wanted to type “alter” instead

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Create & Offer What YOU’D Want to Buy.

IN: Confidence, Creating, Selling


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  “THAT’S GENIUS!” said a lot of really sweet people really big brown nosers after the launch of Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends last week. Except they weren’t giving me the compliment because of what it contained, but rather, because of what it didn’t. “You mean you aren’t inundating everyone with another group? No forums? No Google Hangouts? NO HEART-CENTERED NETWORKING?” (By the way, heart-centered has just made it onto the Word Shitlist, which, FYI, refreshes on page load at the bottom

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Networking Event? Try This Creative Approach to Introducing Yourself.

IN: Communication, Confidence, Selling

Are these people on crack? It was the first thought that came to mind as I read this Inc. article that advises you to take your glass of warm Yellowtail, roll up to a stranger at a networking event and all but murmur in their ear: How can I help you? The theory is that you’ll get a better response by trying to be helpful than trying to be salesy—but in execution, this thinly veiled, “I’m here to help!” Pee-wee Herman

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Help! My Elevator Pitch is Falling (Seriously) Flat Chested.

IN: Communication, Confidence, Selling

There’s this collective group groan that happens when the words, “elevator pitch” are spen. (For the record, it sounds like: gggggeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrduuuurrrrrruhhhhhhSPLAT.) In my experience, this is usually for one of three reasons: Someone once insisted that if you’re ever riding in an elevator, you MUST! BE! ABLE! TO! SELL! YOURSELF! BEFORE! THE! NEXT! STOP! (So now you have PTSD every time someone asks you if you’re—ding, ding ding—going up.) You couldn’t explain what you do in thirty minutes, let alone

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Nice Brands Finish Last

IN: Branding, Communication, Confidence

Out of 100,000 adjectives in the English language, if the best you can come up with is nice, then I’m doing something wrong. It’s like spending Thanksgiving Day ripping out gizzards and mashing actual potatoes, only to be told that the food is “very good, thanks.” VERY GOOD, THANKS? What is this, a $5 blowjob? Now that I’ve taken the blog to all new inappropriate heights, I might as well tell you what I really think. (P.S. To all my

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Read This if You’re an Impatient, Demanding, Self-Critical Tart Who Gets Mad at Herself When Things, You Know, Actually Take TIME

IN: Confidence, Productivity, Success

What gets measured, gets managed has got to be the most annoying piece of business advice ever. (Right next to “create epic content,” “follow your passion,” and “don’t fart too loud when the mic is on,” of course.) Coming from a background in PR, I’ve always hurled silent insults at the whole “what gets measured, gets managed” thing, because many important outcomes—like positive sentiment, for example—are harder than Donald Trump’s head to measure. And yet, all these years later, I think

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On Becoming Unfuckwithable

IN: Confidence, Success

Unfuckwithable. If you’re contemplating themes for the New Year, I highly recommend borrowing this one. Unfuckwithable. Rolls right off the tongue and deep dives directly into your ovaries. But importantly? We need this. We need this because there are always going to be days—weeks, months, years—where everything feels hard. There are always going to be people who do wrong by you, es you don’t want to answer, decisions you don’t know how to make, money you don’t know where

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Constantly Guilt Yourself Over Doing “The Responsible Thing?” Maybe You Shouldn’t.

IN: Confidence, Success

There’s a lot of bullshit around the word “responsible.” We let this tiny word guilt us to the grave. Do the responsible thing. Act responsibly. Be a responsible adult. Don’t be so irresponsible. I don’t know if we should blame this asshole voice in our heads on our parents or not, but you might want to consider it. (Hi, mom!) There are a lot of things that are, by default, “responsible”—taking the kids to soccer, suffering through another Jillian Michaels

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“How do I raise my rates without making it awkward?”

IN: Confidence, Money Talk

  Well isn’t this the motherloving question of the year. It gets asked a lot sometime between the stages of that time you started your business and worked for peanuts because you were feeling wildly insecure about your worth and holy bananas I’ve been doing this for years and I’m still barely making rent even though I work around the clock, my armpits stink, and I haven’t seen the outside in days. You’ve come to the sobering reality that your rates

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Your Hatred is Wisdom

IN: Confidence, Productivity, Success

What is it? The thing you sighed with relief about this morning? The thing you didn’t have to do on a Saturday? The thing you exhaled about? (And maybe even shimmied around the room naked over. With this You Tube video playing. And at least two neighbors cursing you to hell.) That’s the thing.  Pay very close attention to this thing. Whatever you found yourself ighted to be able to skip today? Is likely the same thing you find yourself not ighted

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Do You Suck at Oral? A (Tongue-In-Cheek) Discussion on Why It’s Hard to Ask for Money

IN: Clients, Confidence, Money Talk, Success

My first sales call was the most disgusting thing I’d ever done. I mean, I don’t even like talking on the phone with people I know, let alone people I don’t. My for the phone ended after the 7th grade, when boys stopped calling and AIM instant messenger sank its teeth into our corsage-donning little hearts. Back then, I was an instant messenger queen. I proved myself through my cat-like ability to manage multiple chat windows at a time

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“I don’t feel confident in my work.”

IN: Confidence, Success

Are you squinting your eyes at the screen trying to decide if this describes you or not? (Of course you are, you’re probably reading this on an iPhone the size of my elbow.) It’s kind of an ugly characterization—nobody wants to admit to feeling less than confident in what you’re doing. And yet, I’ve got news: It’s so, so common. Here’s how it shows up: :: You’re nervous as hell about sending that invoice :: You pray when sending a

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Look, We’ve All Got Our Faults. *Stomps Cigar*

IN: Confidence, Hard Stuff, Success

Lo, we’ve all got our faults. I, for one, have a wrinkly ass neck. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know when it happened. But all the sudden there are s as deep as the Panama Canal cutting across my trachea. Fortunately, all the resveratrol I’ve consumed over the years seems to have spared my face…so far. Or, I don’t know, maybe I should be thanking Laura Mercier for that. Ever since I was twenty one, I’ve been

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Big Things Don’t Happen in Big Ways

IN: Confidence, Creativity, Success

. That dot is where you are. ——–>           . This dot is where you want to be. (Which makes me sound like a woman named Bonnie with big hair in a cheesy 1985 Visa commercial, but alas, I’m just a woman named Ash with big hair in 2015.) People have been talking about how to “reach your goals” for a realllllllllllllllllllllllllllly long time. Which is a worthwhile discussion, of course, because we all know that

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If You Don’t Seem Capable…You Aren’t

IN: Confidence

The way you hold your wine glass. How leisurely you pour your words. The conviction found in your fork, as you slowly and quite iberately raise each bite to your mouth, as if rushes were for commoners and you hold the greatest secrets of the universe right there in between your forefinger and your thumb. Maybe you do.  After all, there’s something about being the most confident person at the table that wreaks a healthy havoc in the minds of

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When You’re Suffering, Do It Anyway. And Let NOTHING Stop You.

IN: Confidence

“I’m sorry I bailed on you,” the neatly folded note began. It was 2013. I am at a retreat, and this was the note I received from a fellow participant; a ly woman in her early 30’s with whom I had made Friday night dinner plans. I had waited for an hour in the lobby, my black jeans tucked into my chunk heeled, cream-colored leather ankle booties. I wasn’t in a hurry; I’m never in a hurry. I just assumed

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To Have a Routine or Not to Have a Routine: That is the (Worst, Most Annoying, Head-Pounding) Business Question

IN: Confidence, Hard Stuff

At 5am, I write. Around 11am I go for a jog. I never eat the skin on a chicken. And on Sundays, after a morning fuck, I do my accounting. I used to think that habit & routine were for the birds. I used to think that doing certain things a certain way all the time was the equivalent of jail. I used to think that predictable was for boring people, and methodical for the scared. Scared of life. Scared

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When You’re Scrappy, You Don’t Give a Sh*t

IN: Confidence, Hard Stuff, Life

I like the term scrappy. I’ve always pictured some femme fatale bobbing and weaving and diving and  into any number of ways to get the one and only job done that she’s there to do: Win. It reminds me of my favorite Will Smith quote (oh, you don’t have a favorite Will Smith quote?) “The only thing that I see distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out worked, period. You might

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Entrepreneurs: When your life is fantastic and fucked up, all at once.

IN: Business 101, Confidence

You know when you have a problem? When you own EIN numbers than you do You know? It’s like—what are you doing with your life? Here you are, coin’ up business plans, when you know what you really ought to be coing? LUNCH. Because let’s face it: Just who is Paula Dean and what has she put in my meatball? Entrepreneurs are funny. You know how you know when you’re a real entrepreneur? When you actually like the torture. You

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Overalls and Ball Games, Twelve Packs & Venison: Overcoming an Economic Depression with Dignity

IN: Confidence

I grew up in the greatest place on earth for exploring. There were stone quarries. Wide open fields. Farm boy boyfriends. And, than anything, nice fucking people. (Novel, right?) People who held doors, people who smiled back, people who waved at each other as they passed in their cars, and people who formed a community that, whether they realized it or not, were really like one big old family. Kind of like the mafia, but with less guns. (Unless it was the first

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A Story for the Downtrodden, Destitute, Distressed & Despaired

IN: Confidence, Life

I come from what you’d call a humble background. I grew up in rural poverty in the poorest county of Pennsylvania, where we hung out at stone quarries and had the first day of hunting season off from school. We lived in a gold and white trimmed mobile home I was horrified of, and I would purposely walk the long way around the block to the bus stop so the other kids wouldn’t know where I lived. (They did.) My mom

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Feeling lazy? Unmotivated? BLEH? Open Up, Sweetheart. Here’s Some Medicine.

IN: Confidence

So yesterday I’m all, “MUST START NEW YEAR WITH GOOD HABITS,” which obviously leads to drinking an entire bottle of wine AND taking a jog, in that order, because COMPROMISE. So here’s me all decked out in black spandex, feeling like a bonafide hot chick ninja like you see in movies (except my legs are chafing, I’m sweating like a pregnant wildebeest, and my pony tail makes me lo like a wet rat because despite having tried for thirty some odd

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Hurling Macbooks, Clubbing Pet Hamsters & Other Sunday Pleasantries

IN: Clients, Confidence, Hard Stuff

I used to tell my mom everything—from my (entirely uneventful) thoughts on men, to my idealistic views on the world (ignorant conservatives should have their bibles switched out for a Spanish-only edition as punishment for being cruel to immigrants), to the many “what do I do?!” moments one has while attempting to be an adult. Or…something. Then, of course, she had to go and die, which meant a lot of things, but also this: My friends were doomed. I have

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Extortion, Manipulation, Fraud & Deceit: Breaking My Silence

IN: Confidence, Pet Peeves

For nearly a year now, I have not slept. My fingers are constantly in motion, as I pick and pull and peel from the anxiety. When someone I grabs my fingers and holds them down against my will, my body automatically defaults to using my teeth to skin my own lips, shred by shred, before moving on to force my tongue along my bottom row of teeth, catching on the croed parts, over and over and over and over,

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When You’re Having Buckets of Sh*t Dumped On You Left & Right

IN: Confidence, Hard Stuff

Once upon a time, you were young and inspired, and you knew things about the world. Things like peanut butter tastes better without jelly (fact), the height of a girl’s ponytail likely matches her socio-economic class, and best friends forever means forever, because anything that’s engraved into a half heart necklace is a SERIOUS COMMITMENT. And then? It all hit the fan. You discovered peanut butter no one will take you seriously wearing a ponytail, and stainless steel half-hearts give

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Just The Tip: Anytime You Question Yourself, Promise Yourself Better Answers.

IN: Confidence

You ever do that thing where you’re about to start that business, write that bo, ask for that advance, release that product, pitch that service, or maybe just tell your boyfriend you want to try anal…and then you hesitate? Flinch? Get nervous? Worried? Scared that the response is going to be something like, “WHAT ARE YOU, OUT OF YOUR MIND? HOW DARE YOU? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” (For the record, after a few Chardonnays I happen to think I’m

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You Don’t Need a Job, You Need Guts: In the Name of INDEPENDENCE.

IN: Confidence

I have no business being rich. I grew up curling my bangs in a trailer park, using food stamps to buy popsicles, dating boys who milked cows, bringing boom boxes to stone quarries, and thinking tinted car windows were the ultimate sign of prestige. If you made a sitcom hybrid of My Name is Earl, Roseanne and The Office, you’d find my 15 year old self waving awkwardly from the back of somebody’s blue pickup truck – except probably literally,

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