Is anyone else feeling a little bit exhausted seeing people talking about the ‘hustle’, the ‘daily grind’ and being a #girlboss? I know I am.
Recently on Twitter I saw somebody calling out for a blog post that says, actually, it’s OK to not want to be a #girlboss. I read the tweet and sighed in agreement – I wasn’t the only one.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all about female empowerment. Seeing women smashing it at work, launching their own businesses and generally kicking ass makes me happy.
The bit that bothers me is that so many people seem to think there’s only one way to do it – and that apparently involves dressing a certain way, working every hour under the sun, spending all your money on business equipment and never giving up/changing your mind.
Here are some snippets of said advice that came up when I googled ‘How to be a #girlboss’:
“To run your own business you’ll have to cut all unnecessary expenses – so you can forget buying that bag you dreamt about for so long… Take a deep breath and think only business.”
“Looks do matter. As your business status changes, so will your appearance. You’ll have to adjust your appearance, the way you move and present yourself to the new status.”
“You should have a designated time for the gym and leave spaces in the day to eat. This way, you can’t use the “I don’t have time to workout excuse”, and of course, you’re not just sitting around eating all day – which you shouldn’t be anyways.”
“The thing is, nobody likes (or respects) a quitter. So finish what you start and finish it well.”
Just copying and pasting those snippets gives me rage.
First thing’s first, dreams come in all shapes and sizes. For one person, their dream may be to become CEO of their own company. For someone else it could be to raise a happy and healthy family. And of course there are countless other dreams in between, and every single one is valid.
We shouldn’t be shamed into thinking we’re lazy if our dreams don’t match those of others. So here are three big truths I want you to go away with.
1. It’s OK to want a simple life
It’s OK to be happy where you are in life and/or career. It’s OK if your big dream is simply to be happy. It’s OK if the thought of running your own business makes you break out in a sweat. It’s OK to want to lean back instead of lean in.
None of these desires make you any less empowered. In my opinion being empowered means knowing what you want and being true to who you are.
2. There are different ways to become a #girlboss
You don’t have to dress a certain way, work yourself into a nervous breakdown or change who you are to be successful. If you want to launch your own business or progress in your career, you can do it your way. You can work hard and you can play hard. You can take time off when you need it and learn what routines work best for you.
You can wear dungarees, sit on your sofa eating chocolate all day and still be successful. You can remain caring, kind and YOU.
3. It’s OK to change your mind
So much of this so-called advice online makes out that we have to know exactly what we want, make a master plan and stick to it, no matter what. And I’ve got big problems with that. First of all, we don’t all know what we want. It takes time to get there. It takes trial and error. It takes experimentation.
Once we do know what we want, we have to learn along the way. We have to make mistakes, falter, fall off course.
Sometimes it’s here that the magic happens. We might stumble into inspiration or find a fortuitous fork in the road. You can change your mind. Adapt your goals. Evolve ideas.
So there are my thoughts on the whole #girlboss thing. What are yours? Have you made magic happen in your PJs? Or do you think I’m totally off base here? Let me know in the comments or come and join the discussion on Facebook.
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