Yes, you read that title right. I'm giddy with excitement about this post. No, not because I have an incredibly immature sense of humor and laugh when I read vulgar things such as "the middle finger" (ok...maybe I do). That's not the reason I'm giddy, I'm giddy because I'm going to introduce you all to the lady behind the middle finger, (ha ha- I had to) Ash. She's a balls to the wall entrepreneur who's going to tell you why you don't need a boss.
That's Ash... the genius behind The Middle Finger Project. If you aren't quite sure what The Middle Finger Project is or think you might be thinking of something else, don't worry I'm here to help. The Middle Finger Project is Ash's website built to help small business owners gain more clients, rake in a bigger cash flow and use the internet wisely. When I discovered Ash's website I really thought she was sitting on my sectional, laughing at me wearing my boyfriend's old college football shorts and telling me to get up, get motivated and that my dreams of becoming my own boss can become a reality. I spent a large amount of time reading The Middle Finger Project and shaking my head to agree with everything that was being said. Ash provides great e-courses on how to find the motivation and determination you need to jump-start your own small business and sometimes isn't that the hardest part? Ash was kind enough to let me ask her some questions and I was so excited I didn't know where to start. I could have asked her a bazillion more questions but here is what I came up with.
1. What inspired the Middle Finger Project?
An asshole, of course. (Can I say that on this site?) But, no, really. It all started when someone decided to give me a lecture on the facts of the real world, and told me that nobody liked work, but that they did it because they had to. And then he followed that up with, "Welcome to the real world." I decided he was wrong, so I started TMFproject back in 2009 in order to reject the status quo and rebel against mediocrity, which was its original tagline. :) Later, I discovered that what I was really after was freedom coupled with self-actualization, which I was able to find through self employment...specifically by leveraging the internet to do my soul's work. And--holy hell--as it tuns out, I DO like work.
2. You say that it is ultimately about “guts”, how would you define guts?
In a nutshell? It's not about joining the real world--it's about molding your own reality. That's guts. And so many people are scared to death to do so, because even though they've got that empty nagging feeling deep inside of them, the risk of failure and of looking like an idiot and, in my opinion, the fear of hard work, prevent them from doing anything they'd truly be proud to do. Without guts, you're living your own tragedy.
3. What is the safety and security in being an entrepreneur, in being your own boss?
Ha - well, for starters, no one can fire me and take away my income at the drop of a hat. :) But secondly, I love being in control of my income and the way I run business. It's incredibly liberating. I know that if I need more money, I can make more money. And I also feel confident knowing that things are getting run the way that I want them--right up to my ridiculous autoresponder I currently have up, which is sarcastic and silly and fun. Not your typical business. :)
4. What has been the most satisfying part of being your own boss for you?
Definitely the travel! That was a very large motivator for me when I began the path of self-employment - I wanted to be able to travel wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Two weeks a year is a pathetic excuse for a vacation - I didn't want two weeks - I wanted my entire life. Every single moment of it. So, running my biz from my laptop allows me to do just that. I'm in Barcelona, Spain right now, spending a few months here. I just came from 9 months in Santiago, Chile. I've also lived extensively in Costa Rica, and soon, will be headed to spend some time in my hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, before taking off again. Freedom of location is AMAZING.
5. How can an individual identify their ideal life and job? It sounds like quite a big goal, is it possible?
You know what? It IS a big task. And answers don't just appear out of thin air. I believe that finding some answers comes as a function of two things: 1) Giving yourself the time to really sit back and THINK. Too often, our culture is just all go-go-go and no one really has anytime to truly do some deep thinking. 2) Getting out there and experiencing all sorts of new things. If you haven't found that one thing that lights you up inside, I believe you just haven't tried it yet. :) Experience breeds possibility.
6. What is the number one thing you have learned about yourself by being your own boss?
I am terrible, terrible, terrible at staying organized! When you're in a position of high-profile online, for example, you get tons of requests and emails every single day - and I'm a stubborn ox in that I like to answer my email personally. But...I'm also terrible at keeping track of everything and remember who needs what, when. Lists are my savior!
I want to thank Ash for taking the time to answer a couple of questions for the Scatter Girls and want to encourage all of you to check out The Middle Finger Project.