The patriarchy is shifting, and women are rising into positions of power all over the globe. Boardrooms, think tanks, research institutes and even governments are finally welcoming women into leadership roles. According to Forbes, as entrepreneurship thrives, women are starting even more innovative businesses than men. Whether you’re dreaming of starting your own company or just hoping to get ahead in the company you work for now, we’ve got five pieces of killer career advice from some serious girl bosses to inspire you!
You’ve likely been seeing #girlboss pop up in your Instagram feed, and probably on the back of T-shirts and the covers of paperbacks on display in Barnes and Noble, too. You can thank Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso for that. At the age of 22, she started a sexed-up online vintage store that exploded into the uber-successful women’s fashion brand Nasty Gal. In 2012 the company was raking in over $100 million in annual sales.
But Sophia hasn’t jumped from win to win. In fact, her road to success has been paved with a lot of failure. Ten years after launching her brand, she was forced to step down as CEO. After stepping back from her company, she watched sales take a turn for the worst and Nasty Gal file for bankruptcy in 2016.
Instead of throwing in the towel, she pivoted. After publishing her bestselling book Girl Boss over three years ago, she realized millennial women were hungry for career advice. Enter her new venture, GirlBoss, where you can feast on career advice and open conversations with experts on everything from your 401(k) to vaginal steams.
So what is Sophia Amoruso’s best career advice in a nutshell? It’s pretty simple.
“Hustle, rest, repeat.”
To inspire you even more we asked five girl bosses across a variety of fields to let us in on their secrets to success.
Here are five pieces of career advice from five inspiring girl bosses:
5.) Tina Hedges: LOLI Beauty Founder
“Despite the brand’s infancy, Tina is already on fast track to innovation by cultivating a new and customized shopping experience for modern women to purchase (and blend) products that are uniquely suited to their individual skin care needs.”— @rachelschwartzmann, The Style Line (📷@phoebecheongphotography)
Who’s Tina Hedges? She’s a serial entrepreneur recognized by Forbes for shaking things up in the beauty industry. She used Bravo’s hit TV show Blow Out to promote her vegan hair care line and then launched another organic beauty company, LOLI Beauty. LOLI stands for “living organic loving ingredients” and has spearheaded the so-called farm-to-face movement.
All the skincare products are part of a clean beauty routine that’s made entirely from food-grade ingredients. Translation: It’s safe to eat your face mask. I recently asked Tina what her best career advice was for other aspiring entrepreneurs. Here’s what she said:
“Being a founder means living in a constant state of the now-or-never moment. The surest way to fail is to wait for the perfect time. From launching your own online business or raising money to pivot the product, you need to be comfortable with the imperfection of timing. As one of my mentors says, ‘The best way to catch a bus is to miss a bus, because at least you’re not standing at the bus station.'” – Tina Hedges, Founder and CEO, LOLI Beauty
4.) Anni Graham: Adventurous Wedding Photographer
Anni Graham is one of the most inspiring people I know. She also happens to be my sister-in-law, but I promise I’m not being biased. Adventure’s in Anni’s blood, and she’s managed to make a lucrative living out of it.
She grew up in India and spent her childhood at boarding school in the Himalayas. Following her sense of adventure, after high school she headed to one of the most beautiful places in the U.S., Northern California, where she majored in outdoor leadership. After posting her landscape photography, she started to grow a social media following and book gigs for travel and outdoor magazines.
Eventually, Anni pivoted (pivoting seems to be the key to success, FYI) and has established herself as one of the best adventurous wedding and elopement photographers. She wasn’t afraid to create a new niche by recognizing emerging trends in her field. Here’s Anni’s career advice for other aspiring creatives who want to work for themselves:
“If you want to be successful in a sea of creatives you have to stand out, and in order to stand out you need two essential things: confidence in your work (deep down you truly believe that your work is badass) and expertise in one particular thing (whether that is your product itself, or your process or the way you do business). The moment you become known for something, you are the only one who can do just that, the demand increases, your value increases and you can charge what you’re worth. Success.” – Annie Graham, Adventurous Wedding & Elopement Photographer
3.) Lauren Garcia, a.k.a. Lola: Lifestyle Blogger and Reality TV Star
I met Lauren eight years ago in New York City. She’s since gone on to start her own successful lifestyle blog, become a wife and mother and star in E’s hit TV series Total Bellas alongside her sisters-in-law, WWE superstars Brie and Nikki Bella, also known as the Bella Twins: badass girl bosses in their own right.
The success of Total Bellas bled into the success of her other ventures. Her lifestyle blog, What Lola Likes, exploded. On her blog you can find musings on the everyday joys and struggles of motherhood, her favorite product recommendations, fashion and home decor inspiration and some very honest marriage advice. Being open and honest is the bread and butter of her business. She’s both relatable and inspirational.
If you’re hoping to launch your own successful blog, here’s Lola’s career advice for other aspiring bloggers:
“The best advice I can give someone starting out is write what you know, not what everyone else is doing. I truthfully don’t pay much attention to other bloggers. I am constantly inspired and love following along but try not to focus so much on my feed and compare myself to others. You are not for everyone, and every brand isn’t for you. [When it comes to working with brands or paid partnerships,] choose who you would actually love to work with and don’t be afraid to say no to what doesn’t work for you.”- Lola, Lifestyle Blogger & Reality TV Star
2.) Jill Blakeway: Yinova Center Founder, DACM & Author
#TBT to when I was a young(er) Mom. 👩👧I’m talking about what I’ve learned by being a Mom @Expectful, where I'm honored to be this month's "Mom Who Inspires”. I was asked what lesson I’d like to pass on to my daughter and you can read what I said here 💕 http://expectful.com/blog/moms-who-inspire-jill-blakeway/ (clickable link is also in the bio on my page).
If you’re trying to conceive or are obsessed with alternative medicine, it’s likely you know who Jill Blakeway is. Crowned the fertility goddess by The New York Times, she’s a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, founder of the Yinova Center and an author. This girl boss has penned two books and is working on her third, all while running the Yinova Center (with her husband, Noah, and team), treating her own patients, appearing on hit TV shows as an expert in her field and starting a CBS podcast, Grow, Cook, Heal.
I worked briefly for Jill at the Yinova Center and was so inspired by her passion for her work and her genuine desire to help others. In a field like alternative medicine, critics wait around every corner. Jill has let her work speak for itself. She treats many IVF patients alongside their Western doctors and has helped hundreds of women struggling with fertility finally achieve their dreams of becoming mothers.
Here’s Jill’s career advice on how to stick with your business even through the toughest times:
“Find a purpose that’s big enough to sustain you through adversity. There will come a time when you are swept off course by a problem you didn’t see coming. Having a deep sense of purpose will help you to keep going. With the benefit of hindsight, I can see that every setback in my business was a chance to troubleshoot and make us better.” – Dr. Jill Blakeway, DACM, LAc
1.) Chelsea Skidmore: Comedian, Actor and Writer
Enter Chelsea Skidmore. She’s a stand up comedian, actor, writer and host of her own podcast, The Chelsea Skidmore Show. Chelsea and I first met in the East Village through my post-college roommate. Her natural ability to entertain is the first thing you notice about her. Ok, maybe the second. She’s undeniably hot.
The funny, brutally honest sexpot is her brand. That’s also just who she happens to be, and she makes no apologies. Chelsea’s not shy about recounting her dating adventures or the perks that come along with being young and attractive. She’s also open about thepitfalls.
If you want to catch her performing live, head to The Comedy Store, where she produces a monthly stand-up show called “Home Alone.” You can also catch her at the Melrose Improv, Laugh Factory, and Ice House. Or check out her podcast on iTunes.
Stand-up comedy is known to be saturated with men, but Chelsea isn’t intimidated. Here’s her blunt career advice to other aspiring female comedians:
“Trust what you think is funny, and f*** everyone else.” – Chelsea Skidmore, comedian, actor and writer
What do you think of these fab girl bosses? Any career advice you’d add to what they’ve shared? Let us know in the comments below!