Imagine you’re sitting in a room with the brilliant minds of ClassPass, Brit + Co, True & CO, Goop, Flywheel, Equinox, Bumble, Outdoor Voices, and Glossier, and all they want to do for an entire day is teach you how to become a better girlboss. Sound good? It did to us too, which is why we ventured all the way from Austin to LA for the Girlboss Rally hosted by the founder of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso. Because we were bummed to not be able to take all of us with you in our carry-on (although hopefully you were following along via Instagram and Snapchat!), we curated our favorite lessons from the top talks of the day so that you can also learn how to be a girlboss:
Commit to Something with Gabby Bernstein
The big idea here? In order to succeed, you just have to wake up, lean in, and make it happen. As Gabby said, “Beliefs are just thoughts that you keep creating.” Instead of putting your energy into more and more thoughts, it’s more important to put your energy into what’s working, being a light and and figuring out what your story is so you can tell it and transform others. Instead of wishing for your dreams, actually start working on them. The system is there for you to break, so make up your own way of doing things and create your own path.
Main Point: Dream less, do more, and share it with others.
How to Be a Bawse: Lilly Singh in Conversation with Sophia Amoruso
When it comes to being a bawse, one of the most important things you can do is invest in yourself, whether that be money, time, or energy (ideally, all three). You have to own what makes you different—don’t just commit yourself to a niche. When you don’t know what to do, just throw yourself at anything that will have you. The worst that can happen, Sophia says? “You fail.” But as long as you keep good company and you’re in a good environment, the worst isn’t really all that bad.
At the end of the day, the best form of inspiration is doing what you love and absorbing as much of it as you can. So if your to-do list has something you hate on it, figure out a way to not have to do it. That inspiration we were just talking about? Schedule it in to your life, Sophia recommends, making it a point to find inspiration once a week. “The more you expose yourself, the more the creativity flows.” It’s not up to you to justify the work you’re doing or how you’re doing it—it’s up to you to let your success do the talking.
One of her biggest points on how to be a bawse? “Get a lawyer!”
Main Point: Invest in yourself and inspiration, focusing on what and who you love.
Building a Better Mousetrap: Payal Kadakia, Brit Morin, Michelle Lam in Conversation with Elise Loehnen
If you’re looking to build a company that genuinely supports women, the first step is to simply ask women what they want. As women, we have to band together, right? There is a genuine desire to help one another, so take advantage of it. From there, you can make a plan to test out what people want and get feedback. Keep those lines of communication open between you and your customer—you’re asking them to be real with you, and they’ll appreciate the same back.
When there’s a million things to do and your to-do list just won’t get done in one day, don’t get overwhelmed. Make a dent in your work and view that as your success, because it is one. Sometimes the small things matter than the big ones, like your platforms. Sure, it would be great to get your product into the hands of every female Facebook user, but those tiny communities who love all over your product? Those are the ones you want to hold onto.
As you’re reworking your brand, you have to look at both the past and the future. Go back to the beginning (à la Hilary Duff), see what worked and go from there. Then look at new platforms, learning how they work so you can be the first one on them. Make sure that throughout all this, your story is compelling and consistent.
And when you’re looking for help, take this major piece of advice from Brit Morin: Don’t be afraid to send out all the ask emails. Just make sure they’re personal and professional—according to the Brit + Co founder, those have three times the conversion rate to just any old correspondence.
Main Point: Stay true to your product, customers, and hustle.
Follow the Leadership: Sarah Robb O’Hagan in Conversation with Sheree Waterson
It’s not easy being the leader and setting the tone for everyone else—you often feel like you have to do and be everything to everyone. But guess what? In Sarah’s words, “Art cannot imitate life if you don’t have a life.” If you’re constantly trying to do everything at once, you’re going to find that not only will you self-destruct, but your work will as well.
As a leader and just a human being in general, there’s always going to be something else you should be working on, but as Sarah points out, “You can have it all but you can’t have it all at once.” What does that mean? Make what you can happen, but when you can’t, it’s better to admit your flaws because this is where you get power and grace. People will be constantly needing things from you, but trying to people please, contrary to popular belief, isn’t actually all that nice because it builds up false hope and expectations.
When everything isn’t going as planned, remember that “the bad things are [better for] learning than the successes”. The universe may just be waiting to deliver you what you want in a different way than you expected, so always say yes and never be scared to be the first. Because guess what? It’s never, ever too late to make things happen.
Main Point: Leadership is hard, but you have to own it and prioritize boundaries for your own sake.
Engineering Obsession: Tyler Haney, Emily Weiss, Whitney Wolfe in Conversation with Sophia Amoruso
To create a product or experience that people are head-over-heels for, you have to feel that way too—it all starts with finding the right environment you love and getting people to do the work that you can’t. If you don’t have a great team, then what’s the point? If your team members don’t care about the company’s success, you will not succeed. People are the beginning and end to everything a company does, with the end goal being to really, truly cater to the needs of your demographic. Ask yourself: Am I solving a problem?
When it comes to the everyday part of business, it is important to be direct with people, focusing on their experience overall. An often overlooked example? Packaging. People like pretty things and will pay more for them. It also just shows that you care and how no detail is too small for your consideration. How a story is told matters, which is why written communication is equally important.
The obsession may not be built so quickly, but when you’re feeling lost, you often discover totally new ways of going about you work, so take pride in what you do. Don’t be put off by others in your industry—remember to listen to your instincts, stay true to your business, and that there is more than enough space for everyone to succeed. And remember, above all else, that whether it be good or bad, “this too shall pass”.
Main Point: Listen to your people.