This is an awesome time to be a badass business babe! It seems like everywhere I look, women are doing amazing things. I am perpetually inspired by seeing what other women are creating in the world, and instead of comparing myself with them (a hopeless task), I focus instead on what I can learn from them.
As Tony Robbins says, success leaves clues. If you want to go big with your dream, it’s essential to pay attention to what other people do. You don’t need to start from scratch, and in fact, doing so is an enormous waste of time!
Below are a few great quotes from some badass business babes. The reasons I respect these women are numerous: they set bold goals and are on an unstoppable quest to achieve them, they do what they believe to be right, and they are all making plenty of money doing what they love. That, to me, is the modern dream!
“Bad bitches are taking over the world.” — Sophia Amoruso
LESSON 1. This is YOUR TIME. “One day” and “someday” will never come. It’s so easy to get sucked into the cycle of safely doing what needs to be done, and then you’ll wake up, you’ll be 65, and your life will have passed you by.
You may not feel like a bad bitch right now, but trust me, you are. If the people around you don’t make you feel awesome, go in search of people who do. Every single woman I spend time with is one who uplifts, inspires, and encourages me to be the best I can be. You deserve the same!
“I can never be safe; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.” — Beyonce
LESSON 2. Keep on pushin’. You might be at the very start of your journey, or you may have achieved plenty. It doesn’t matter either way: you can never rest on your laurels. It’s imperative to keep improving, keep refining, and exceed your own expectations.
This is not to say you shouldn’t celebrate your successes — doing so is essential! But once you’ve popped that bottle of champagne, spent the weekend in Miami, or rewarded yourself with a one-person dance party, get back on the horse. Figure out where you want to go next, write down the steps, and get to it!
“If your goals aren’t synced with the substance of your heart, then achieving them won’t matter much.” — Danielle LaPorte
LESSON 3. This is one of my favourite pieces of advice. If you’ve ever ticked something off your list and felt a big sense of nothingness, this one will resonate with you, too. It’s vital to set goals that really matter to you.
Danielle’s whole Desire Map ethos is based around figuring out how you want to feel, and then aligning your goals accordingly. It is a seriously smart way of creating a life rich with purpose.
“I think success is continuing to push yourself forward creatively and not sort of becoming a caricature of yourself.” — Lena Dunham
LESSON 4. When you’ve discovered what “works”, don’t rely on it. Avoid the trap of falling back on what you’ve always done, and what people expect from you. Sticking to the tried and true might be safe, but that’s the antithesis of growth and evolution.
Ask yourself, “How can I continue to push the envelope? How can I challenge myself creatively today? What can I do that no one would ever expect?” It’s imperative to find ways to make your work exciting. If you’re bored, so are the people watching you!
“I am a businesswoman who goes to work every single day.” — Tyra Banks
LESSON 5. If you want to master something, you have to be devoted to it, and you have to be prepared to make sacrifices to get it off the ground. Every single successful woman I know has had to turn down invitations because they had work to do. That is just how it is.
If you’re expecting your business or your art to flourish overnight without relentlessly tending to it, you are sadly mistaken. Wonderful things are only achieved when you are committed to them, so dig your heels in and devote!
“There’s this idea that everybody has to have everything right away. But you have to let the slow burn happen. I wasn’t the superstar. I had to work for it. Really long hours.” — Jenna Lyons
LESSON 6. Instagram would have us all thinking that overnight successes are popping up all over the world, and multiplying in the night. The truth is that it takes ten years to be an overnight success!
Remember, too, that appearances can be deceiving. Plenty of so-called successful people are privately struggling. If you’re not where you want to be, don’t sweat it. As Marie Forleo says, “If you want to be an overnight success, you need to be an everyday hustler.”
“You’ve got to trust people. And because I am a control freak, sometimes that’s difficult for me, because I want to micro-manage absolutely everything. I can’t hand over. But I’m trying to do that more.” — Victoria Beckham
LESSON 7. No (wo)man is an island, and no matter how smart, efficient, or self-sacrificing you are, you will never get as much done alone as you would with a team.
If you, like Victoria Beckham, suffer from Control Freakitis™, you have to learn to let it go. Slowly begin to delegate small, non-life-or-death tasks, and grow from there. I promise that if you can get the hang of collaborating and delegating, your creativity, productivity, and income will absolutely skyrocket!
“No matter where you are in life, you’ll save a lot of time by not worrying too much about what other people think about you. The earlier in your life that you can learn that, the easier the rest of it will be.” — Sophia Amoruso
LESSON 8. You know the old saying: “Opinions are like assholes: everybody’s got one.” When you’re doing unconventional things, you’ll quickly hear about it from others. If you listen to everyone, you’ll end up discouraged, demotivated, and pissed off!
You can get around this by making a list of people whose opinions you really value. My list has about 5 names on it, and I encourage you to make yours equally brief! As long as you worry what your family, friends or foes think about you, you will always be their prisoner. Throw off those shackles and do your damn thing!
“My focus is my art, and that’s what I love to do. I have to be really passionate in order to do something. I’ve turned down many things that I just didn’t believe in.” — Beyonce
LESSON 9. Learn how to say no! In the past 8 years, I’ve been offered hundreds — if not thousands — of opportunities, but sometimes, what you say no to is more important than what you take on.
It can be tempting to take the money and run, but you have to consider the long game. If you’re offered a project that doesn’t feel good to you, or you align yourself with something that goes awry later on, it can tarnish your reputation forever. You have to stay true to your vision!
“If you want to be EXTRAordinary, you will not get there by hanging around a bunch of people who tell you you’re not extraordinary. Instead, you will probably become as ordinary as they expect you to be.” — Kelly Cutrone
LESSON 10. Be picky about who you spend time with. Only give your love, energy, and attention to people who make you feel luminous and embolden you to pursue your dreams. The world is full of negative naysayers and fearful fatalists, and they won’t add anything useful to your life.
It’s better to be alone than surrounded by a flock of funereal frenemies. When you start changing your life, it’s normal to feel a bit lonely for a while, but don’t worry: your tribe is on its way! You just have to keep the faith.
“Amazing things happen when you’re having fun and doing something you love.” — Jenna Lyons
LESSON 11. Being able to have fun and do what you love is the ultimate sweet spot, and when those two things come together, truly magical things happen.
If you don’t love what you’re doing right now, either figure out how to make it fun, or start doing something on the side that is fun. When you hate your work, your whole life sucks. You deserve so much more than that!
“Life is short. Don’t be lazy.” — Sophia Amoruso
LESSON 12. Hell yes. You can sleep in, watch reality television, and dither around later. This is the time for action. If you have a dream, go after it! You will never have more energy or enthusiasm than you do right now, so don’t waste your energy on trivialities!
I believe in you, and so do Sophia, Lena, Jenna, Kelly, Beyonce, Victoria, Tyra, and Danielle. Go out there and kick some ass this year!
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Title photo from Julia Manchik.