Why Ambition is One of My Favorite Words

I’ve always been a person who was comfortable with ambition. The first job I ever wanted? President of the United States. (I still think I’d be better at it than Donald Trump.)

Lately, I’ve been talking with a lot of inspirational and hard working women. As I try my best to prepare myself for the move into freelance in a few months, I’m seeking out advice from those who have gone before me.




Melanie from Dear Debt was so kind to take time from her schedule last week to speak with me, and yesterday I chatted up Erin from Journey to Savings, Kayla from Shoeaholic No More, and Chonce from My Debt Epiphany. All three badass freelance ladies, all three killing it in different ways. All three of them have also stoked the fires of my ambition.

Going freelance full time is certainly not going to be easy, and there’s a lot I still need to do. I keep envisioning days of writing on a sun-drenched kitchen chair, an Instagram-worthy cup of coffee by my side. That’s definitely not what my upcoming life is going to look like.

But I’m more than willing to work towards that, and towards a new life as a writer. When I think about my current life, I’m uninspired and resentful of the work I have to put in. When I think about freelancing, I’m excited by the challenge it presents.

Our world is undecided on the word ambition. It’s ok for a straight white man to start a tech company and shoot for the moon. It’s a little murkier out there for a woman to try something similar. We don’t provide the same resources or give the same feedback to women starting their own businesses. How will you balance family AND work, we wonder? Can you really do it all? But who will cook dinner?

It’s not a bad thing to want more out of your life. I don’t define more as a Range Rover, a six bedroom home or yacht. I define more as a fulfilling daily routine, and work that satisfies you.

Reaching for those things can be ambitious. It is for me. It’s a bit audacious for me to leave my current non-profit and strike out on my own. Some would day it’s too risky- my non profit job is stable, and has a more clear career path. It’s better on my resume. Some people would say my ambition is blinding me to the smart choice.

Maybe it is! I am ambitious. I not only want to write to pay the bills, but I want to write something beautiful and lasting. I want to write books. I want my words to affect someone. I want to contribute something meaningful to the world. I have high hopes for myself.

Ambition is not a dirty word or a bad thing to be. No need to whisper your ambitions to a trusted few, or keep them to yourself entirely. Shout it out loud from the rooftops! Let people know who you are. Let them know what you’re about. Then, be about it.

I’m standing on a rooftop right now, proclaiming to the world that I’m going for the whole writing thing. I am reaching for the days of success and stability. I’m feeding my ambition. I’m not embarrassed, I’m not keeping it hidden. I’m inspired by those who have gone before me and thankful for what they’ve done. I’m looking forward to this next step.

How do you feel about the word ambition?

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10 Replies to “Why Ambition is One of My Favorite Words”

  1. I love the “instagram worthy cup of coffee” phrase, oh the images it evokes, lol.
    Noone got ahead by being a lazy lump and just hoping good things happen to them. Almost every successful person has gotten there through hard work, feeling passionate about what they’re working towards, and the ambition to get off their butt and do something about it beyond dreaming.
    Good for you for working towards that goal – resume be damned! It might look better for a resume for that career path, but if it’s not one you’re interested in, then who cares. You’re working on building a better resume for being a writer, which presumably would look better with more writing gigs on it, right? 🙂

    1. Amen! I don’t want to end up a CEO of anything, except my own writing career. The traditional workplace has never been a place where I’ve found much luck, nor happiness. So why continue down that path? I’m willing and able to work my butt off at something I want, and that’s what I’m gonna do.

  2. I believe many would be a better candidate than Trump, but since you’re interested, I’ll write you in on the ballot;) The word ambition to me is equivalent to a go-getter. Someone who won’t stop until they are fulfilled. And yes, you are right, it’s about much more than cars, money etc…fulfillment to me is an emotion that can’t be brought on by the number of things you’ve accumulated.

    1. #nevertrump am I right? 🙂 I like your go-getter definition. I’m the same way. It’s just someone who wants to pursue an interest with their talent, and doesn’t mind working hard until they get there.

  3. It’s a great word, and I’m excited for you to start something that will hopefully bring you not only fulfillment, but a better income as well!

    1. Here’s hoping! It’s a risk, but one I have to take!

  4. I love the word “ambition,” and ambitious people are my favorite kind. I’ve always said, “You have to talk to me about possibilities.” If I meet someone and they’re a “no” or a “you can’t do that” person, I know we’re not going to be lasting friends. As for those “what makes you think you can do that?” folks, we’re not even going to be having a lasting conversation.

    I think you are primed for success. And I love your definition: a fulfilling routine and satisfaction in your work. That is so important to me, as well. I’m cheering you on. I know you rock your freelance biz.

    1. Doubters who don’t even know you- like, what are they doing!? That’s just a rude thing to say in a conversation! Thanks for your encouragement. It’s going to be an exciting next few months!

  5. I would totally vote for you over Donald Trump… if you were 35. 😉 That was my pronouncement, by the way, on my 35th birthday: “And now I am eligible to be president of the United States. So I think I can pretty much handle anything.”

    I know that I did say that your nonprofit job would look better on a resume, but that was in a different context, of you talking about increasing your earnings, which is a functional, concrete thing. But now we’re getting into the much loftier, more emotional territory of your soul and what will feed it. And to that I say follow your heart, your gut, your dreams, and whatever else is telling you where you want to be headed. And you’re doing that, which is crazy awesome! I’m super excited for you that you’ve found your inner compass and you’re following it!

    And ambition… this is one of those “don’t get me started” moments. 🙂 Like how I got called bossy as a kid, but the boys were called “natural leaders.” Or how it’s somehow okay for Bernie to shush Hilary in a debate. I say, wave that ambition flag proudly and go kick ass. And don’t apologize for any of it. 🙂

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