Takeaways From The "Girlboss" Netflix Show
⌛ By Kaylin R. Adkins ⌛
I’ve watched Sophia Amoruso closely over the past two years. I mean, I know that sounds stalker-like, but I really admire her not-taking-no-for-an-answer attitude, unique resilience and overall #Girlboss revolutionary mantras. I have read through Sophia’s 2014 #Girlboss memoir and 2016 Nasty Galaxy a few times, and each time, I gain something. I read #Girlboss when I was stuck in a hotel near Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy Airport (thanks for the like on Twitter, Sophia). It calmed my nerves (I have airport anxiety) and made me engage in my inner #Girlboss dialogue.
I have listened to every episode of the Girlboss Radio podcast, read every blog on Girlboss.com and am combing through all of the Girlboss Rally content. The digital ticket was one of the best purchases on my business credit card this year. And shout out to Chase Ink (and myself) for using my cash back on the digital ticket, #Girlboss style.
So, I was excited when Netflix released its “Girlboss” series on April 21. I finished the series today, and I must say, I liked it. I will also say that I have already identified with Sophia’s character, though, so I’m not looking at it from an outsider’s skeptical lens. The negative feedback (like this, this and this), though, is from people who don’t understand the overall brand and movement. This is for millennial women who want to own their own businesses and/or lives. It’s for anyone who has started something from nothing. Uh, try every business owner ever. It's full of girl power and a dash of inappropriateness -- the perfect #Girlboss staple. And yeah, it's the midst of Nasty Gal's bankruptcy and other things. Is there ever a "perfect" time? Probably not, but it's the right time.
Here are five things I took away from the “Girlboss” series. Trust me there are more. But, here are some main ideas:
Don’t be afraid to be yourself and run your business like you want — and that your customers want, too.
All of us, I think, have relied on others to tell us what matters the most in our business. The sooner you step away from that mentality, the better you will be. Follow your own path for you and your customers. Be your own type of rebellious. If someone gives you advice, it’s up to you to take it. Don’t be pressured to take it. When I started my business, there were times it was taking shape into something I didn’t necessarily want. Learn what you want. Sell modified vintage clothing. Be a public relations consultant and choose to focus on the good — and not the bad. Do what makes your company tick. Do what makes you “you.”
Always learn new things.
Sophia loved “…For Dummies” books. The important thing about having your own business — and just making it through life — is learning something new every day. It could be something small-scale, like finally learning how to poach an egg like you had in London or figuring out how to code your own website. Always focus on being better than you were yesterday. For the past two years, I have been immersed in my professional and personal journey. I’ve learned so much through successes and missteps. The deviated paths are life’s little silver linings and blessings in disguise.
I know what it’s like to be an office gypsy.
When you’re running a business, you accumulate stuff. While my public relations and writing business can be done from anywhere, it’s still nice to have a place where all of my folders, ideas and inspirations live. As I prepare to FINALLY have that happen (hopefully, within the next month or so), the scene where Sophia has all of her stuff in her small apartment resonated with me. There’s stuff everywhere. That is me every day. I’ve been running my own business from multiple locations since its inception, and after 2 years of that, it will be wonderful to have my own office space. So, yes, I understand that desire and need. You can’t be truly focused if your business items are scattered about.
Being a workaholic can sometimes affect your relationships.
I don’t know if there is a true work-life balance, but working all of the time has its pros and cons. My parents taught me to work hard, and I have done that from an early age. I started my career at 14, and now, 15 years later, I have experienced career successes and have learned much about myself and the industry. There have been times in my life that I needed my work just to function in the mornings when I woke up and when I went to bed at night. That was not my own form of balance, and other facets of my life suffered. Be mindful of the cultivation of your dream, but don’t be afraid to relax sometimes. This is actually relatively humorous coming from someone who doesn’t know when to step away from #behindthehourglass and actually just read a book all day, write stream-of-consciousness passages in her journal or play Nintendo Switch until her fingers hurt. It’s important to also cultivate “me” time and to spend time with your loved ones. Take time to get more inspiration. Go to Paris. It helped me get my mind back on track and make some changes when I returned home. Then, get back to work.
Also… imperfection is perfection.
I have had so many freak-out moments like in the 12th episode of "Girlboss," where Sophia is mad after seeing jumpsuits in mass quantities in a boutique. She’s sitting on the floor of her Nasty Gal headquarters, stuck between her dream and its associated anxieties. Anything worth having will ignite an emotional rollercoaster. This happens for me with my business pretty much every day. You think you’re doing so well, and then: poof! Something knocks you off your pedestal (like your own anxieties), and you have to rebuild that pedestal from scratch. “You’re a woman who started a business from nothing.” You will have your moments in the sun and those masked in thunderstorms. It’s OK. I love thunderstorms anyway.
For all of those people who criticized this show: get over it. All of us need a movement to stand behind and to find our motivation in life. Don’t knock a good thing that is getting a lot of millennials moving and helping us work hard to achieve what we want in life. It's meant to be humorous and less than serious. It's meant to encourage us to follow our passions.