- a strong desire to do or achieve something.
- “her ambition was to become a pilot”
- desire and determination to achieve success.
- “young men and women with ambition”
The Isolated Past
Two and a half years ago I sat in my parents house feeling stuck, isolated, and alone. I was trapped. I co-owned a SaaS company in Barcelona and after experiencing continual issues with my partner my only options left were to stick it out and deal with the cards I was dealt or run away like a dog with his tail between his legs.
So, in the meantime I created a third option: walk, don’t run, over to my parents house back in the states to open a fancy U.S. office and desperately hold on to this dream of building a SaaS company worth millions. Ambitious right?
So there I sat at the kitchen table (aka fancy office) with my unconditionally supportive mom and dad, telling them how much it would help to know someone else who had gone through this and made it out successfully… or at least alive. The anxiety I felt in those days was crippling and the fact I knew not one other soul who could truly understand made it even worse. I knew entrepreneur’s block was just around the corner if I didn’t push myself out of this isolation and meet likeminded women.
So there in the kitchen I decided to cancel my scheduled 7:00 pm pity party and find a solution for my loneliness and isolation. After spending years living outside of my country working long days and weekends I successfully pushed away most of the people I had in my network. So, then and there I decided I would make my own little gang of women entrepreneurs who would be each others:
- Support System
- Business coaches
- No sugar-coated feedback source
- & Friends
My whole demeanor changed right there within a 5 minute timespan as I started to imagine life being surrounded by people who just get it. Who are going through a similar rollercoaster ride full of thrilling ups and scary downs. Who don’t look at you with deep concern and worry each time you describe the challenges your company is facing and the possible outcomes. People who simply get the journey of being an entrepreneur, they get why you do it and they get why it doesn’t always work out.
As I turned to describe this new idea to tackle entrepreneur isolation my parent’s faces went from “oh dear she’s really lost it this time” to “okay she might be on to something”. It’s been months that my parents had been living with an Eeyore version of their daughter and all of a sudden Tigger had come into the picture. Now that I had their attention bouncing around the room it was brainstorming time, what would I call this thing?
The Future Redefined
Women With Ambition was one of my first ideas but right away I was nervous people would think we are a group of greedy women desperate to get to the top. Ambition has meant many things in the past but it generally is positive in the context of men (successful, motivated, diligent) and negative in the context of women (greedy, pushy, aggressive).
Once I realized why I felt so cautious of the word ambition I also realized the opportunity to change the future of women with ambition, to redefine this word in our context and help shape the image of successful female founders. When I think of women entrepreneurs who have made it to the top I think of their ability to solve problems, innovate, adapt, listen, learn and be resilient as hell. This isn’t a movement against men and their success, it’s a shift in how both genders perceive women and their success.
They say you are a reflection of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I say these people shouldn’t be chosen by default. They should be carefully chosen to reflect not only who you are today but who you want to become in the future.
Now I Challenge You
So here's my challenge for you. To celebrate International Women's Day write down 5 women in your life who are ambitious. Then write down 5 compliments of each women that have nothing to do with physical appearance. Our perception of ambition can change if we train our minds to see the overwhelmingly positive.
Send your list of 5 ambitious women and 5 compliments of each to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter a contest to win the book Thrive by Arianna Huffington! 🎉
Together we can create a bright future for all Women With Ambition! Happy International Women’s Day to all the people in the world who support and empower each other! Keep on shining!
Written By: Kelly Rogan
Kelly is the founder of Women With Ambition, a tech startup consultant and avid lover of dogs, travel, running & family time.