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Much like “postfeminism” and “leaning in”, many find the term “girlboss” problematic: women worry that the need to qualify female success with this phrase can be degrading, performative and not all that empowering.
Also, there must be something wrong with a term that’s been hashtagged over 15 million times on Insta, right?
It’s precisely because of how easy it is to identify with being a girlboss that the term’s stuck – anyone, of any age, can be a girlboss. Like it or not, the notion of the girlboss has launched a revolution of sorts, inspiring millions of women, from the YouTuber on the rise to the mumpreneur.
The term was originally coined by Sophia Amoruso, former CEO of Nasty Gal, whose bestselling memoir #Girlboss later became a show on Netflix. Nasty Gal reached $300 million in revenue before Amoruso had to file for bankruptcy and had a very public fall from grace. Since then, Amoruso has been rebuilding her brand with the launch of Girlboss Media, a lifestyle company with a podcast, online magazine, social network for entrepreneurs and events.
It’s clear that being your own girlboss is all about being resilient, determined, hard-working, and passionate – and it’s about embracing that side hustle to see where it can take you. Here’s some of our favourite advice from girlbosses we love.
“My best investment has been in myself. That sounds kind of selfish, but it isn't. You do have to invest in yourself to grow and develop to be more valuable and useful, whether that is by going to networking events, to the gym to invest in your fitness, or in learning new skills. If you don't invest in yourself, how can you be a good parent, how can you be good in your career? It is not just about me, me, me – it is about doing the best for my family and those around me. This is where we women have gone wrong. Men have been doing it for years.”
“I see men pitch unicorns and women pitch businesses.”
“Don't be intimidated by what you don't know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”
“There is no perfect fit when you're looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”
“If you’re frustrated because you’re not getting what you want, stop for a second: Have you actually flat-out asked for it? If you haven’t, stop complaining. You can’t expect the world to read your mind. You have to put it out there, and sometimes putting it out there is as simple as just saying, ‘Hey, can I have that?’”.
“You need to sit there and talk about your value. Talk about what you have done that has increased revenues, increased engagement, or how you've been working from nine to nine, even though you are only supposed to be working from nine to six. And that you are a salaried employee, so it's not like you're getting more money. And based on your input, into that company, and based on the metrics and the things that have happened because of the things that you were doing, that's why you deserve the raise. You don't need a raise, you deserve a raise,” Banks told Business Insider on her tips to negotiate a raise.
Martha Lane Fox
“Everyone battles inner demons and confidence can sometimes be one of these. I might appear confident with all that I have accomplished, but I just wake up and switch my brain on to confident daily… no matter who you are, you have something valuable to contribute so make sure you believe in yourself.”
“Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave to me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.”