Today’s post is dedicated to the girl-bosses out there! And if you’re a guy, that’s cool too! I’m just pretty sure my following base consists of mostly women What’s a girl-boss? In my book, a girl-boss is a driven women that’s on the journey of building something incredible that represents who she is and what she’s passionate about. A girl-boss has a talent, gift, or skill that she brings her own unique spin to, and shares it with others. A girl-boss is one who is set out to change the norm, to break outside the 9 to 5 and create a work-life she loves while also providing for the needs of herself and her family.
My girl-boss journey started in January 2016, and it’s amazing how much I’ve learned in just a little over a year. I still have a ton to learn, but I believe I have some helpful tips to offer any ladies on their own girl-boss journey. I often get asked for advice on building a blog, business, etc. and I thought this would be a perfect way to talk about that. It’s a lengthy list, but these are valuable lessons I’ve learned and abide by. I’ve even mentioned a few fellow girl-bosses that I personally admire. So, here we go!
1) Work with excellence. Work for the audience you want, not the audience you have. What I mean by this is that whether your audience (followers, clients, readers, customers, etc) consists of 10 people or 10,000 people, work with the same level of enthusiasm, excitement, drive, and determination. Some people might use the phrase “fake it till you make it”. But the key is that there should be nothing fake about it. Truly value your audience, no matter how big or small, enough to provide them with great content and genuine interaction. Practically speaking, this might mean doing giveaways, posting quality photos, putting out consistent blog posts, commenting back to every person that compliments your work, etc. This is a slow and steady process that will pay dividends in your business and your reputation.
2) Treat this like a job, not just a hobby. When I first started out as an Interior Stylist, it was only a hobby to me. That’s not a bad thing entirely. Hobbies are things we love and enjoy doing, and that’s part of what being a girl-boss is all about – doing work that you love. But my mistake was treating it of lesser importance, simply because I wasn’t making much money from it. I didn’t prioritize The Mum’s Corner as a job at first, so once my business really started to pick up, it was sort of like a rude awakening. I had to shift my focus and rearrange my priorities very quickly, because paying clients were waiting on me. Form good habits now!
Treat this like a job, not just a hobby.
3) PLAN PLAN PLAN! I’m really working on this one, and I wish I had caught onto this sooner. Schedule your meetings in advance. Plan your blog posts days, even weeks, ahead of time. Make a schedule to set aside days or hours to get work done. In the beginning of your girl-boss journey, it’s easy to get in the habit of only working when you’re feeling inspired. Working out of inspiration is a GREAT thing, but it’s not sustainable. Your workload will grow, and there will come a time when you simply can’t afford to wait till you’re feeling inspired to really get after it. Besides, working even when you’re not feeling very inspired is where you truly cultivate and develop your craft. Start now, and get in the habit before it even becomes absolutely necessary.
4) Find a conducive environment to work in. The library. A coffee shop. A park bench. This is really dependent on what you do and what environment you need in order to focus. And it doesn’t have to be outside your home. I personally have a little corner of my own in my bedroom with a comfy, but firm vintage chair and an antique side table where I like to get work done. It’s decorated with a vintage lamp and small vases with flowers. I also LOVE to work in a good coffee shop. My personal favorite is Redefined Coffeehouse, a little coffeeshop less than ten minutes away from me. They have the best iced chai lattes around, and as an Interior Stylist, the design and decor is so inspiring and beautiful to me. It can get a little noisy at times as it’s a very popular spot, so always remember to bring headphones if you decide to go the coffee shop route.
5) Put away your phone. I know. Ouch. HOW WILL WE GO ON?! But really… it is SO easy to get distracted from your work when texts and notifications are blowing up your phone. Think about it – You see a text/notification, pick up your phone, check it out, reply to it, then scroll through what you’ve missed, put it back down, then try to remember where you left off in your work. This whole process may only take a few minutes, but when you do that 5-10 times, it adds up quickly, and soon enough you’ll have wasted 30 minutes to an hour on your phone. If someone has something really important and urgent, they can call you. For just a little while, turn on the “Do Not Disturb” mode, and customize your settings to only allow incoming calls from your spouse, family member, etc.
6) Find your drink. This one may sound silly, but I’m being totally serious. I’ve found that when you have a good drink to sip on while you’re working, it fuels you to keep going. It becomes an element of your “work routine”, and helps you to be diligent and consistent. My personal choices are usually coffee, coconut La Croix, or iced tea.
You’re going to get stressed and overwhelmed. And it’s okay.
7) Set goals and write them down. I’m not talking about New-Year’s-resolutions kind of goals. I’m talking about practical goals to get to the next level of your girl-boss journey, and have a game plan for achieving them. Because, let’s face it – a goal is just words on a piece of paper if you’re not putting in the work to see them met. This might look like setting a goal to put out two blog posts every week, to gain a certain amount of customers for your MLM business each month, to design new products before a certain date, etc. Only you know what those goals are, and only you know how you can prioritize so that those goals are met.
8) You’re going to get stressed and overwhelmed. And it’s okay. This one is new for me. Aside from The Mum’s Corner, I work two other jobs, meaning I work three jobs total. Some people have the luxury of being able to quit their day jobs and devote all their time and energy into building their business, but most do not. I believe the day is coming soon when I’ll be able to drop some of my work load and be able to devote so much more of myself to The Mum’s Corner, but today is not that day, and that’s okay. Despite what you see on Instagram, being a girl-boss isn’t glamorous a lot of the time. It means supplemental income. It means late nights trying to meet a deadline. It means juggling multiple work schedules. It means barely squeezing time in for a hair cut or a work out. It means *trying* to balance work and also being there for your family. It means not remembering the last time you washed your hair. You’re going to get stressed and overwhelmed. And it’s okay. I tried to escape the feeling at first. I thought it meant I was doing something wrong, but it’s simply part of the building process. It’s a season, and it will pass. In the meantime, be sure you have a strong support system to lean on. Ask for help. Pray. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Your business/blog/whatever can’t exist without you, so you need to be healthy
9) Learn from other girl-bosses. Like I said earlier, a strong support system is very much needed, but who better to relate to your journey than a fellow girl-boss? It doesn’t matter if they’re not in the same field as you. I personally learn so much about interacting with clients from my sweet friend Rachel at Rachel Meagan Photography. I learn a lot about professionalism and goal setting from one of my best friends, Christina, at Rivera Life. We’re all on different journeys, but we’re all on the same team. We’re all fighting to change the status quo, to provide quality products and services, to change the norm of a 9 to 5 job and do what we love while also providing for our families. Ask each other questions. Don’t be intimidated by the success of others. Learn from it.
10) Remember your purpose and your vision. Don’t forget why you started your girl-boss journey in the first place. When things get busy, stressful, overwhelming, and not so fun anymore, remember what drove you to this place and made your heart race with passion. Find your way back to the basics.
*11) Bonus Tip; find a great red lipstick. It will make you feel pretty and powerful. Mine is an orangey-red called “Samon” from Lipsense – bought from my sweet friend Lindsey who is killing it as a Lipsense distributor (Instagram: @lipswithlinds).