On March 3 I had the privilege of attending the first ever Girlboss Rally, hosted by entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso. This rally brought together over 500 attendees and featured over 50 successful women entrepreneurs and CEOs who shared lessons learned and tips for success. Sophia is an entrepreneur in the fashion industry and her story is featured in the book #Girlboss, where she takes you through her ups and downs as a millennial entrepreneur. There was a lot shared at the rally, but below are the three things I believe us govie gals can learn from women entrepreneurs.
1. Stop multitasking: For a long time we have been trying to learn how to multitask in order to tackle several things within limited timeframes. More often than not we find ourselves juggling multiple projects and tasks at work hoping to maximize our achievements. The message from several women at the rally was plain and simple: stop multitasking!
Create a realistic “to do” list and try to tackle a few items a day. Don’t beat yourself up if you were unable to tackle items 4 and 5; just roll them over to tomorrow’s “to do” list. Now, I am not encouraging you to slack and miss deadlines, rather to be smart about your daily work goals. Prioritize tasks and projects and never bite off more than you can chew. The quality of your work will be 100 times better if you are able to allocate enough time for each of your projects. Remember that it is also ok to say NO if you are asked to take on more projects when your plate is already full.
2. Leave your emotions out of it: Another helpful piece of advice from one of the rally speakers was to leave your emotions out when it comes to work. She explained that she is not asking us to be robots and not have emotions at all, but rather be more aware of your emotions at work. Sometimes we let emotions trick us into thinking that everyone’s out to get us in the workplace and we tend to make things personal. We are emotional beings (and I am not just talking about women here, but humans in general), therefore it is very difficult to leave emotions out of anything we do. But what we can do is keep our emotions in check.
How many times do we get angry or frustrated with the people we work with and feel the need to strike back? The advice here is to pause for a moment and think: is it worth your time to strike back? Is it going to help get the task done? Is it going to help get things done faster? Most of the time the answer to these questions is no. Also note that the advice here is not to become a doormat and let people step all over you, rather to be aware of your emotions and recognize the situations where you need to choose efficiency over pride.
3. Bounce back from setbacks: Recently, Sophia Amoruso’s company filed for bankruptcy in hopes to stay afloat while they sorted some things out. However, last month they announced the closing of the few stores they had opened. As heartbreaking as this is for any business owner, Sophia saw this as an opportunity rather than defeat. At the rally, she said that she still doesn’t have it all figured out and that she hopes she never does. According to her this is what keeps us curious and learning—and I agree!
Failure is not a sign of weakness; it’s just a painful part of our professional growth process. We’ve all had our setbacks at work and whether it was a minor mishap in your project or getting fired from a job, we need to able to bounce back and get right back at it. Take your time to recover from the setback, but don’t let it make you doubt your abilities and potential. As a govie, I sometimes feel more susceptible to discouragement due to the perceived lack of support. It is important to find champions and people that have your back to help you through the setbacks in your career—I have been fortunate to have found a great support system. These can be your mentors, supervisors and even your peers.
These are only a few things that we can learn from successful women entrepreneurs. These three specific pieces of advice were taken from rally speakers Whitney Cummings, Lilly Singh and Sophia Amoruso
Michelle Rosa is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.