Ambition: Can It Be Too Much?


I knew my relationship was headed for the rocks after I had my son and still made the decision to go back to work, I had taken a career break for a year and a half due to the fact that I had a very complicated and at-risk pregnancy and once that stage was over, I was more than ready to get back to the new normal me full of motivation and energy.

But to be honest I didn’t know it would end on the reasons based on how ambitious I was.

That was what my ex-partner said; I was an ambitious woman, an entrepreneur who worked too hard for a woman and that he couldn’t deal with me giving workshops or conferences or leaving him to care for our son because I had to travel abroad and that he preferred someone who worked a 9 to 5 to the woman I had evolved too over time.

The thing I didn’t know back then is the importance of choosing the person you want to share your life with is you have to consider all aspect of your life now and who are aiming to be in the next 10 years because something I learned is that Love is precious and can be a great motivation for an entrepreneur or anyone who has it…it makes us believe in ourselves, stretches us beyond previously known limits and plants in us the strength and drive to reach beyond what we thought possible.

But what happens when the very same ambition becomes the major force that fights our happily ever after or the person you love doesn’t believe or support your ambition?

So, the question I asked myself is can too much ambition ruin you?

Most entrepreneurs have a natural gift of ambition. But I feel like we crave accomplishments, success and the need to be recognized for, otherwise social media wouldn’t be such a huge success.

We are usually willing to go the extra mile, take on higher risks, make more money than we would ever need and take the lip by throw everything we have in the process of making all these a reality.

To be honest when I look back four years ago ambition has always been a part of who I am and when he met me I was in the process of building my start-up from the ground up yet back then it was exciting; My ambition has been the source that has motivated me to work all day while simultaneously taking care of my son alone when he was a new-born at ungodly hours but yet get up in the morning prepare and head to work with a mind full of ideas and it is my sole driving factor for getting my startup to the next level that it needs to be.

This singular trait has been one of the things that despite swimming in the glorious waters of despair and the murky swamps of depression when I thought I was never going to amount to anything.

While I know too much ambition may end up doing one more harm than good, I also know that too little of it can keep you grounded and rooted at a spot.

Life Lessons on Ambition

The thing about having ambition is that it can become a vortex that usually sucks in everything in its path if we let it control or if we abuse it.

But before I dive into all the life lessons that have led me to be here today, I want to acknowledge that I am not a relationship expert and I am only writing these because I have learned a lot of lessons from my previous failures, mistakes.

Since I started my entrepreneurial journey, I have the rule of reading one book a month and I started 5 years ago and funny enough I have read more than a hundred biographies or books of legends and inspirational people who changed the world right now am reading a book recommended by an entrepreneur who inspires me Youssef Kobo, the book is written by Adam Grant is called how non-conformists move the world and funny enough half of the books being written by men(There are so many inspirational women who need to write their journey and share it with the world) and I am yet to find one who was not consumed with his or her ambition of succeeding to the point of obsession I would say and who didn’t reorient their life around their craft to be better. 

So It’s from these great people and my experiences that I have drawn the following lessons that I would like to share with you.

1. Have No Expectations

From my mistakes, I have learned to allow room for some disappointment taking into consideration the differences between people or when building your startup. Don’t expect too much from people or man or woman you chose to be with. Instead, focus on becoming a better person, work on your goals and career so that no matter what anyone says at the end of the day, you won’t downplay or have to walk on glass when it comes to your ambition because they do not believe in you or your reason WHY.

To be honest I believe that we all deserve someone who will support and appreciate you and your ambitions and yet still be there to challenge you and your idea whenever it’s necessary.

2. Set goals around your ambitions, not your partner

Am not saying don’t let them in on your plans It is ok to let them in on your plans but you should never build your life and career goals around someone because you never know what the future might hold. Build your life first so that when your person comes along, they will compliment your plans instead of being the lifeline your ambition needs.

3. Own your accomplishments and be proud of what you have done

Do not try to downplay previous success or accomplishments simply because you are scared they will find you to be arrogant or they are just simply not comfortable with your achievements. Ambition should never stay quiet, and if you try to be someone you are not eventually it will always find a way to express itself.

Don’t kill or let anyone kill your creativity simply because they are not comfortable with your zest and bursts of energy.

4. Master time management

Running a start-up will generally cause you to lose track of time especially when you are a mom. While its absolutely mandatory to catch up with that meeting or goal, There is more to life than just working as they say We do Not Live to work we work to live so be sure to keep a reminder or schedule that helps you remember other important things or take a break, spend time with family and friends and not be too consumed with everything on our to-do list.

5. Remain true to yourself and never let anyone make you doubt your worth

I know people who end up burying their ambitions simply because others or their partner, friends or family are not comfortable with their “larger than life” plans. You must be ready to defend your ambitions no matter the cost otherwise is it truly worth pursuing If you can’t pursue or defend.

And just know this If all fails, your willingness to try it is a success and you will never regret.

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