Episode #93: What Being Quietly Ambitious Means to Me (& How I Really Own It)

I wanted to end the season with something I talk about all the time but haven’t explicitly explained on the podcast before: what it means to me to be quietly ambitious. 

Creatively Human is now…
Quietly Ambitious!

My podcast changed its name to Quietly Ambitious in November 2021. You might notice some older posts and episodes that use the old name, Creatively Human.

Listen to the Episode:



Ruth Poundwhite 0:06
You’re listening to creatively human with honest conversations about what matters to us and how it really feels to build an online business, put our work out into the world, make an impact in our own unique way, and importantly, to get well paid for it. I’m your host Ruth Poundwhite business mentor to quietly ambitious humans. Hi, and welcome back to the final episode of season five of the creatively human podcast. Before we dive into today’s episode, let me tell you about a brand new challenge I have got coming in May, is called success without sacrifice for sensitive business owners. And it’s all about rewriting the rules around what it takes to scale your business. As a sensitive and quietly ambitious entrepreneur. We’re going to dig into my rest framework, which stands for radical entrepreneurial self trust that makes anything possible in your business using your feelings and intuition as a business tool, rewriting the rules about who you think you need to be and actually using your sensitivity as a superpower. rewriting the rules about what you think you need to do, and the art of aligned action taking to help you launch with ease in a way that deeply connects with your right people. Five days together to explore what it means to successfully scale your business without sacrifice, it’s gonna be amazing. And I would love to have you join in. Just head to Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash challenge for more details. And make sure you sign up soon as the challenge is happening in early May. And if you’re listening after that date, go ahead and sign up anyway, as I’ll have something else for you. If you need that link. Again, it’s Ruth poundwhite.com, forward slash challenge. Plus, it’s all in the show notes on my website, Ruth Poundwhite, calm. I want to talk about something today that I actually talk about all the time in my business. But I haven’t actually explicitly explained it on the podcast before. And that is what it means to be quietly ambitious, what it means to me and also what it means to certain people in my audience who I asked about this. And I just want to let you know, before we dive in, that I originally recorded this alive. So if you hear me referencing it being alive or leaving a comment below, that is why I originally recorded it in my free Facebook group, which is no longer around. But I do have another free Facebook group, if you are a client, or anyone who’s bought anything from me, and you can join that group, if you buy my 10 pound pack of affirmations for sensitive business owners. But that’s just a side note. The Facebook groups no longer around now. But yeah, it basically explains what I think it means to be quietly ambitious, what people in the group think it means to be quietly ambitious, why we may have issues with the word ambition, how we’re reclaiming that, and the difference that can make really when you reclaim that as something positive and something unique to you. This is definitely something I’m going to talk more about in future seasons. But for now, here’s an introduction from me about what I believe it means to be quietly ambitious. But it’s come on really, really quickly and just talk about what being quietly ambitious means to me, because I hear this all the time that since I kind of came up with this, I can’t remember when I came up with the phrase quietly ambitious. I think it was what I had a business meeting with myself. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve probably heard me talking about having regular business meetings myself. But yeah, I had a business meeting with myself. So it must have been probably last year sometime. And I came up with this phrase quietly ambitious because I think I was doing I was doing some work on I think my clients, my ideal clients and also like my brand values and stuff. And what came to me was this, like, it just hit me it just came so clear. Like I am so ambitious. But I’ve never felt like I could own it. Because I do believe that being quite ambitious means different things to everyone. And I think that’s okay, like anyone in my facebook group, anyone in my community, we will all have different ideas of what it means to be a quietly ambitious human. But I think that one thing we all have in common is that we do have things we want to achieve. But we don’t always feel like we fit into the

regular regular societal definition of ambitious and ambitious can be quite like a masculine type energy to it. It could mean like sacrifice, it could mean hustle. It could mean like the doggy dog kind of business world and what believe is that being quietly ambitious is being connected to yourself and who you are defining your own version of success. And going for that, and doing it in a way that you’re really internally driven. Because I guess, if it was like dreams of like status and showing off to people, then we’d fall in line with the traditional idea of success and ambition. And actually, I read an article about people who are ambitious, and don’t necessarily tell people about their goals and stuff. And it said that, if you are like that, it shows that you are really internally motivated, and that what you’re going for is probably more of a real and true goal to you. And I loved that way of looking at it, I loved it, because I think for a lot of us, so for me, I just need to make this clear. Being quietly ambitious is an absolutely positive thing. However, I know that it’s not all positive, or that it can be hard to get to that place where you see it as all positive. And for a lot of us, we may have had goals, dreams, desires, and we may have been afraid to admit them to people, often. And I’ve seen this a lot with my clients and with myself, we are even afraid to admit them to ourselves. So I really liked when I read that article, and I, I’m afraid I call linky tricks I’ve heard this ages ago, and I can’t remember where it was it was on some online, newspaper or something. But it was really nice to kind of flip that story of like, because you can feel like if there’s if you if you are ambitious, but you don’t feel comfortable sharing it, it can feel a bit like icky, whatever. But actually, that’s such a positive way of looking at it. Like, you’ve got the things you want to do and go after you don’t necessarily shout about it from the rooftops, but it’s there. And it’s so real and true to you. And I just love that. Anyway, a couple of months ago, I posted in the Facebook group about what being quietly ambitious means to you. And I thought I would just share a few of the things that people said, and I would love it if you would leave a comment on this live and just get the conversation going. Because like I said, so many people, like so many people more than anything I ever say so many people come to me and say that phrase just resonated with me straight away. So I know it brings about a kind of emotional, connected feeling and people but I know that it’s like I said, really different for all of us. And so some of the things that people brought up in those comments was really interesting. Okay, so some sometimes people say to me that they’re quietly ambitious, because they don’t necessarily want loads of stuff in life, they just have like a strong feeling a strong values, and they want to live a life that aligns with that. And I think actually, that applies whether you have big, massive goals or small goals. And that’s the thing, like I’m not here to like go shame, or desire, shame anyone, like if you want to make loads of money, great, and I will support you. But equally, if you want a simple life, and that feels good and true to you, then absolutely will support that to a lot of people in the comments mentioned not necessarily shouting out loud about their goals, but it always being there in their heart. And I can totally, totally relate to that. And let me see, I’m just like scrolling through as I’m talking about this. And then there were a few kind of less positive descriptions, which I think are totally valid. And I think that we need to talk about that side of it as well. Because sometimes if you’re like a sensitive person, and you have big goals, like the reason you don’t talk about it, so for me, there are two sides of like not talking about one is just that I am a very internally motivated person. And I don’t necessarily feel the need to tell people my goals all the time, although I do definitely try to talk about my goals and ambitions more now, especially with like, people who get it. Like I think it’s really important to talk to people who get it. So like my mastermind group, my coach, things like that my husband now more so as well. And he’s starting to get

it more, which is good, because I know that sometimes when you’re running your own business, and you’re getting deep into the personal development stuff, sometimes your partner doesn’t isn’t quite at the same wavelength. But he is starting to get that too. So that’s really great. But yeah, so that’s the kind of more positive and internally motivated reason for not talking about my goals and ambition. But the other side of that, I think can be like the fear of looking stupid or getting it wrong or have people judging what you want or don’t want, you know, and there’s a lot of this talk in the online business world about how what we should be aiming for like being a millionaire or earning six figures and all of that and I know that so many of you in my audience don’t relate to that kind of language. And nor do I because although I do want to make a decent amount of money. It’s really about what that means, you know, it’s not an end in itself. So yeah, I know that quite ambition can sometimes be a fear of failing. And I need to keep it hidden because it’s not safe. But like we talked about in the Facebook group last week, I think it’s really, really important to notice, when we’re looking at our natural personality like we, we connect with the idea that we’re quietly ambitious. But we see it as a bad thing. Right, we see it as a bad thing that we’re not traditionally imbecile vicious, or we see it as a bad thing, that we are ambitious, because that word has had so many negative connotations, which by the way, I think that we’re all like reclaiming it and letting it mean what it means to us. And we may see it as a bad thing if we fail, right. And, like I said, when I read that article about the people who have their goals and dreams and desires and keep them quiet, but but keep quietly working away at them, the fact is that those goals mean more than, than necessarily the ones that are shouting about. And that’s just like one of those ways in which you can take something that you see as a kind of weakness about yourself and turn it into a strength. And that’s kind of why I came up with the term quietly ambitious in the first place. Because as a woman, as shy, introverted woman, I often found it, it didn’t feel like right to say that I was ambitious. And now that I have that language for it like that, knowing that I’m quietly ambitious, it, it’s just flip something in my head, and I’m owning it, you know, I’m really, really owning it. And that is what I want for all of us as well. So

Ruth Poundwhite 11:39

Ruth Poundwhite 11:39
that is what I mean about quite what it means to be quite ambitious. And I would love it if you could share what it means to you. And that’s the thing, although I talk a lot about dreaming big and being honest with yourself, and like uncovering new layers to what you really want and stuff. It doesn’t mean always aiming for more, more, more more, what it really means is aiming for what’s true. That is the key. Aiming for what’s true to you. So yeah. Let me know how you feel about the word ambitious on its own as well, because I think that’s really interesting to dig into. But like I said, it’s all about taking these things that we see as negative about ourselves and reclaiming them and turning them into something that we can really get behind. Before you go Don’t forget to go to Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash challenge to sign up to my free challenge which is coming in May. It is called success without sacrifice for sensitive business owners. And it’s all about rewriting the rules about what it takes to scale your business as a sensitive and quietly ambitious entrepreneur. It’s going to be amazing. Thank you so much for listening to another episode of creatively, human. If you have a moment, I’d be so grateful if you could rate and review the podcast, it really does make a difference. And if you’d like to carry on the conversation or ask a question for a future q&a episode, there are three ways to connect with me on the Facebook group on Instagram at Ruth Poundwhite or my personal favourite, my behind the scenes newsletter. Just go to Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash newsletter to subscribe and keep doing what you’re doing because your work really does matter.

Note: at this time transcripts are automated and unedited, which means errors may occur. But we hope you find them helpful!

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Show Notes

I wanted to end the season with something I talk about all the time but haven’t explicitly explained on the podcast before: what it means to me to be quietly ambitious. I also talk about why we might not identify with the word “ambitious” as sensitive business owners, and how redefining what it means has changed things for me.

“How much life are you exchanging for social media, and is it worth it?” 

Some of the things I talked about:

  • What it means to me to be quietly ambitious
  • Why I see quiet ambition as positive (& why I know some of us have trouble with the word “ambitious”)
  • Defining ambition for yourself
  • How owning my quiet ambition has changed things for me.

Links from this episode:

Other episodes you might like:

“My ego was judging how good I was at what I did by how many likes and comments I got.”

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Thanks so much for listening!

When you subscribe to updates you get access to 3 bonus episodes of the podcast – exclusively for email subscribers – that dive behind the scenes of my business (I talk about failures, money, community & more!)