This blog is part of our blog series, The A to Z of Being Babyproof, a celebration of the attitudes and behaviours it takes to balance career and family – because “babyproof” is not a destination, it’s a blueprint for having it all and making it work.

Over the last few weeks on the blog we’ve been exploring the nature of feminine ambition and discovering that, whisper it, it’s ok for women and mothers to be ambitious. In fact, as we’ve seen, you no longer even need to whisper it – you can be out, proud and shout it from the rooftops! Ambition is not a dirty word. There are many great reasons for taking ownership of your life, career and passions (I talk about those more fully here). Embracing your ambition is the only way to achieve your full potential and be your best self – you absolutely owe it to yourself to try.

Feeling galvanised and dreaming big isn’t the whole story though. Your ambitions need to be harnessed and directed into meaningful actions and goals, and that takes knowledge and a bit of practice. To give you a kick start in structuring your ambition – have a look at some of these helpful resources.

Books.

ambition resources
Well – where better to start than with Baby Proof Your Career – The Secret To Balancing Work and Family So You Can Enjoy It All,  my book on preparing women to confidently meet the challenges of working motherhood. We all know balancing work and children is not going to be a walk in the park for anyone, but maintaining a strong drive, ambition, and belief in yourself is the key to making it work. In the book I go through different processes for visualising your journey, working out what you want and more importantly, why you want it, and offer practical strategies for developing achievable goals. We are also shortly launching an online course of the Babyproof Your Career Programme – you can find out more about it here.

 

 

ambition resources

 

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Although originally written way back in 1937, this is one of the most influential books on personal development and success that has ever been published. Hill presents his 20 year research into the lives and philosophies of 500 of the most successful people in America to come up with a blueprint of the skills and mindset required to achieve exceptional success, plus a 13 step approach to reach these goals.  An inspirational read that has undoubtedly stood the test of time.

 

 

 

 

ambition resources

 

Goals! How to get everything you want faster than you ever thought possible by Brian Tracy. Tracy cuts to the chase by presenting a comprehensive yet simple system for setting and achieving goals with a 21 step strategy. He gives advice on determining your values and strengths, and tips for building self-confidence and self-esteem. It’s a huge global bestseller so he must be practising what he preaches!

 

 

 

 

ambition resourcesStrong Woman – the truth about getting to the top  by Karren Brady. The autobiography of Britain’s best-known business woman is a motivational read for ambitious women everywhere. Covering her impressive career from humble beginnings in advertising sales to becoming vice-chair of West Ham Utd and being appointed a life peer, the book also highlights how she balances her personal and professional lives (she has 2 children), and how she coped when facing serious illness. And yes, she has some seriously nice shoes!  Be inspired.

 

 

ambition resources

 

Lean In  by Sheryl Sandberg. Facebook’s COO and one of the world’s most powerful business women set the world alight with her ground-breaking work on women’s ambition. In it, she examines what women can do to help themselves get on in business and shows how individual women making small changes can effect larger change on an institutional scale.

 

 

 

 

Networking Groups

As we discussed on last week’s blog, surrounding yourself with like-minded, positive and ambitious people is a great way to keep you feeling energised and driven. There are some brilliant networking groups out there that can help you do just this. Each has their own remit and membership base – so whatever stage of your career you are at, you will be able to find one that suits you.

  1. Sistersnog Network. The best in London (but I am a member so might be biased!) A selective private business club for women business owners and decision makers, Sistersnog is packed to the rafters with dynamic, inspirational female entrepreneurs and leaders who are all itching to share their contacts and networks. As one member Julie Sondack puts it, ‘I love being a sister, adore bouncing ideas off other members and it’s a pleasure to connect with other business women who share my enthusiasm’.
  2. City Women Network. Another London-based network, the CWN is a selective group representing senior level women from varying professions. Their aim is to further the professional development of female talent in business by enabling members to make valuable connections with each other and build their influence.
  3. Fractio Vitri Network (Breaking the Glass Ceiling) – this network for young women under 35 is part of the wider We are the City group. It provides a supportive community for young women and new graduates starting out on their careers in the City and aims to expand the pipeline of talented women moving up the City career ladder.

Apps

If you’re leading a busy life, a goal tracking app may be just what you need to channel that naked ambition into positive achievements. Here are a few suggestions.

 

ambition resources

  1. Strides (available on IoS) (link) This app allows you to set goals, targets and keep track of habits. You get flexible reminders – and if you love stats, lots of lovely charts to illustrate your progress.
  2. GoalsOnTrack (available for IoS and Android). This mobile and web-based app helps you set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals and track your progress, whilst also helping you to split your larger goals into more achievable chunks. The journal feature allows you to record your goals and progress in a bit more depth.
  3. Coach.me (available for IoS and Andriod). This app lets you develop good habits in any sphere of your life by encouraging you to build a chain of achievements and to resist breaking the chain. Realising that group support and motivation can help you achieve your goals, the app allows you to interact with other users, get coaching or advice and set up reminders to perform tasks.

 

Hopefully with these tips, resources and a healthy dose of ambition you’ll soon be able to turn your passions into positive achievements. Good luck!

 

Are there any other networking groups you would recommend for motivational support? If so, let us know by joining in the conversation in our groups on Linkedin or Facebook

Look out for the Babyproof Your Career Online course launching soon. To register your interest, click here.

 


ambition resourcesCaroline Flanagan is a Keynote Speaker, Babyproof Coach and Author of Babyproof Your Career, The Secret to Balancing Work and Family so you can Enjoy It All. Caroline believes passionately in the dream of having it all, and founded Babyproof Your Life to train and prepare ambitious career women for the marathon of working parenthood so they can find their own way to #enjoyitall and #makeitwork. You can reach Caroline at caroline@babyproofyourlife.com