Ambitious Guilt: No longer feeling guilt when a side product/idea dies.

Nov 30, 2017 · 2 min read

Ambitious Guilt is the worst. Stop the guilt for starting and not finishing things. It’s often about the journey not the end.

Let me be the first to say I start many more things than I finish. My pitch deck is decades long. This week alone I sketched, drafted, designed, UX’ed or coded 4 different projects. That will assuredly never see the light of day.

Then something different happened. That rare moment in an ambitious designers life when they see something come to fruition. I finished something.

It isn’t grand, or special. It’s simple and only took me a few hours. A simple blog that only takes me 2 mins to create a post. A list of the #mustplay games on my mobile device. But, I finished something and it felt grand. But it was tainted by the thought of the previous projects from this week that I haven’t finished. Then as well all the draft posts, designed pitches and art projects in my garage.

It felt sour. Then this morning, I got this text.

I have 7 drafts on Medium that are all awesome. Ugh. I need to finish writing them. — from a buddy just now.

I responded in kind.

I decided I wanted to stop feeling guilty about not finishing projects. I do start quite a lot. If I get to finish one or two that is fine. If it was really that awesome, I would find the time to get it done. Too much Ambitious Guilt has been piling up around here.

I liked that term. Ambitious Guilt. So I am adopting a No Ambitious Guilt policy. I will continue to start many more projects then I can hope to finish. The change will be with me. I won’t feel bad about projects dying on the vine. I love to create as much as I love to launch. In fact, I love to create more than launch.

Creating is what I am going enjoy, and when projects fall apart or partners get hired elsewhere — it won’t get me down. I am Ambitious Guilt free.


Written by


Director of Product Design & Creative Consultant

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