How had I gone from a 13-year-old, plagued with suicidal thoughts, a stutter and five school exclusions to a public speaker, running my own business, managing 20+ people, and now, being named as one of the 100 most powerful entrepreneurs in the UK at 18? I was lucky enough to find my area of speciality at quite a young age; which has helped me achieve the success I have now. But believe me, it hasn't been easy and never will be.
The problem is that this cartoon image of ambition is not what true ambition is about at all. In reality, ambition is simply the desire to make the most of your potential to achieve something special, which would make a profound difference to your life and to those of others, whether that be through success, achievement or distinction.
I was speaking at the 30% Club from "Schoolroom to Boardroom" seminar: an afternoon where new initiatives which target young women, at school, university and early careers, were being launched. Needless to say, I was a small fish in a very big pond. Or, to continue the rowing analogy, a novice in a Blues boat.
Jobs are horrible aren't they? What a waste of a life. Pity people who enjoy their job. They truly must have nothing. Still, while superrich psychopaths run our society you've got to play their sick, soul-destroying game. After all life comes with a monthly subscription charge, so here's how to get the job which will make everyone else think your life is great...
Ever sit down at your desk to get stuff done, and then don't know where to start? Moments before your head had been spilling over with all the things you needed to square away, and yet when your computer is turned on and ready to rock.... sadly, you are not? If this happens to you, you are not alone.
I'd find myself grabbing a woollen jumper to combat the goose bumps inspired by talent shining through or when I recognised myself, some years ago, in these young people at the early stages of their careers. Talent in abundance. Ambition and drive overflowing. Desire to develop and grow. If ever there was evidence that young people are the antithesis of the lazy, lethargic stereotype in the media, this was it.
Ask any sports star or pop star what they want and, without hesitation, they will say a 'Gold' or 'No. 1.' They set ambitions and then go about achieving them. I'm not saying we should all want a number one song in the charts, but shouldn't we all be setting goals for ourselves? Join a gym? Learn how to cook properly? Find a hobby?
When Gail is visiting her son in hospital, it is Stella who suggests bringing a 'bottle' over the following day. When Chesney is feeling "a bit down", Tyrone pops is head in with eight cans of lager. Now I don't mean to sound like a miserable sod, but how many of us are guzzling back seven nights a week? If you are, please get help.
She knew that she didn't want to make partner. She knew that her health, family and ability to make a difference in the world were part of her definition of long-term success. Someday, she'd have the luxury of stepping back. But first, she wanted to build something up to step back from. She wanted to get promoted. And she wanted another promotion after that.
In a media culture dominated by the ubiquitous voices of adult writers, bloggers, politicians and more it is incredibly refreshing to see a rise in the prominence of young and ambitious people, attempting to take some of the limelight, and shed it on their own important and equally interesting projects.
It was with some disappointment that I recently learned that nearly two thirds of people in the UK give up on their dream career by the time they are the tender age of twenty years. Many of these people - one in four to be precise - stated that they gave up due to a lack of confidence, while 31% stated that they didn't feel they had the right skills.