When Being Ambitious is Both a Blessing and a Curse

It’s Women’s History Month, and I can’t help but reflect on my place in the world. Reflect and appreciate how far I’ve come.

And how far I have yet to go.

I have big dreams, and they are constantly flooding my mind. Ideas are popping in my head like popcorn pretty much 24/7. I love this about myself, but sometimes this can be overwhelming as well. I love everything that I do, but I can’t help but ask myself sometimes, “Why are you doing this?”

And, “Is it all worth it?”

It would be so much easier for me to skip all of my other ambitions and focus solely on my full-time job as a therapist. Focus only on helping families, managing an exceptional team of therapists and staff, and being the best CEO I can be.

To skip worrying about how many people will attend the second annual Louisville Book Festival or if they will love my new Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess 5-Books series as much as I do.

It would be easier to show up for work today, tomorrow, and every day after that and make that my ONLY goal and ambition. But I know I am not wired like that.

Years ago, I left a cushy state job with a pension to step out on my own as a therapist and business owner. Many thought this move was not in my best interest. Then I shared my lofty goal of being an author. At first, it seemed like everyone was on board with me putting out one book, but the second, and even the third? Not so much. Producing beautiful and timely diverse picture books soon morphed into a mission to start my own publishing house, and Make A Way Media was born.

But I wasn’t done yet. Not long after, I founded my nonprofit, It Pays to Read, and those around me thought it was “too risky” as well. Some asked. “Why don’t you volunteer for someone else’s nonprofit? Or, “Do you have the time to manage your own?”

But, I felt the fear and did it anyway.

And then there’s the Louisville Book Festival. LBF has a mission of celebrating and promoting the love and the benefits of reading, writing, and literacy. I believe literacy is a fundamental human right. Originally meant to be an in-person event, my plans had to be shifted on the fly when the world went into lockdown thanks to COVID-19. Talk about a significant pivot! Our first year was a success, and as much as I love this epic event, OH, what headaches it brought to my life! But what reward too.

My dreams must involve other people, and the truth is that people often let you down. Being an entrepreneur involves more than just financial risk; it involves emotional risk. There have been so many times I have wanted to quit, walk away and live a “normal” 9-to-5 life. But my heart calls me to do more.

I know now that every day I need to weigh the risks, make a decision, and continue to “make a way” towards my dreams, goals, and purpose. We get one life. And while I know people say this a lot, just for a moment, as you read these words here, think about that. Think about it deeply instead of just letting words bounce off our eyes like they so often do.

One life. Just one.

If you knew you were going to die in five years- what would you do with that time? Define it, recognize it, and DO IT. Do all the things you are dreaming about.

This is how I choose to live. This is how I keep going. Not giving up, even when I was tempted to do so, has paid off. Even though it is hard, even though the risk involves being hurt, let down, and even betrayed, I don’t regret trying. Not even a little bit.

I am here. I am doing it. This is what I will hold on to every single moment of my life. I am making a way for my dreams and the dreams of others by sharing my thoughts, experiences, and wisdom.

Just like I’m doing now. So embrace your ambition even when it feels like an anchor. Welcome the ideas popping in your head like popcorn. Look ahead, not behind, and power forward.

Where are YOUR dreams leading you?


Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess Series Book One in this amazing FIVE BOOK series is HERE!

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: is a heartwarming story about family, role models, dreams, and discovering a determination for growth. This five-part diverse picture book series shines the spotlight on a little brown girl who loves musical theatre and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams. It seems that everyone else has an idea for who she should be, but in the end, she discovers that she is the one who gets to decide.

Grab your copy of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess (Book One) in the Make A Way Media Bookstore or on Amazon in paperback form or for Kindle.

The story also reveals the very special family dynamic that Kayla shares with her mom- a hard-working woman who struggles with the guilt of not being as available for her young daughter as she would like. But as the story progresses, Kayla and her mom realize the impact of valuing the time they have together as well as the importance of seeing each other acknowledge (and pursue) their individual dreams. {ages 4 to 8}

GO HERE to order your copy of Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by veteran author, Deedee Cummings, the Kayla: Modern-Day Princess series is inspired by her own real-life princess and Broadway actress, Kayla Pecchioni.

Grab your copy of Kayla: A Modern Day Princess (Book One) in the Make A Way Media Bookstore or on Amazon in paperback form or for Kindle.


About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All ten of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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