HI GUYS. That was in caps because I’m so freakin excited to tell you about my unreal experience attending the 2017 Girlboss Rally in New York City this past weekend.
Life changing people. It was life 👏changing👏.
I will be releasing a YouTube video so you could see exactly what I saw, but here I will outline some of the amazing takeaways from the weekend.
1. Sophia Amorouso is SO NORMAL AND COOL.
I was lucky enough to have a VIP ticket. This meant that I ate in the VIP lounge, had awesome seating (like I was in the first row in the very middle and could almost smell the perfume that each Girlboss speaker was wearing), but most importantly…I got to hangout in the same place as the original girlboss herself: Sophia Amoruso. Our interaction occurred as follows:
I was scraping out the oatmeal I was given for breakfast as I looked up from my tiny little portion in the sample cup, only to see the most badass, put together, and smiling boss lady. IT WAS HER. I said “omg it’s Sophia” to my new found friend Nora who is the founder of PerfectPeach Swimwear (go check them out here) and she too was like “omg”.
Then, I marched up to her…got interrupted by a few other fan girls that asserted themselves in front of me to also make conversation with her and I waited my turn. I offered to take a photo for the girl in front of me. Once I had taken it, I realized Sophia was staring at me…waiting for me to say something. I froze for a sec because I was like wait…Sophia Amoruso is actually looking at me to begin conversation with her. WTF?! I began with “thank you“. Thank you for providing a place for all these amazing women to learn, connect, and support each other in a world where so many women do the very opposite for one another. She asked me where I was from. I told her I was her Canadian fan and we discussed how excited we were for the rest of the day’s events. I asked her where she got her shoes. She told me Net-A-Porter, and then I got a picture with her where I look like SUCH a fan girl; but I don’t care because it was one of the best interactions of my life.
When she spoke in opening and closing remarks, she was so raw and down to earth. She opened up about not just the great things she has accomplished, but also the more painful hurdles she has had to overcome. She exuded the true essence of what a girlboss does when they have success, when they fall down, and when they get back up.
2. Success Is An Inside Job.
One of my favourite speakers of the entire day was Gabby Bernstein. Gabby is a New York Times best selling author, motivational speaker, and spirit junkie. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of her until she strutted up to the girlboss stage in her heels and heavily patterned jacket.
She was INSANELY inspirational and well-spoken. You could tell she was in her element. These are the takeaways from her speech that every future girlboss needs to know:
- You don’t have to do everything and be everything right now. Appreciate where you are. Be where you are. Keep working hard and you will get where you’re trying to go, but obsessing over where you’re trying to go is not helping where you are right now.
- Speed up by slowing down. Asking for help is okay. Asking for help is necessary! You can’t do it all yourself and you can’t do it 24/7. You will get further if you are making efforts to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Take a second to breathe before picking up the phone, writing that email, or attending a meeting. Self care is just as important as presenting a successful pitch, crushing an interview, or making a sale.
- Say F it and go! Create your own opportunities. Say yes to the things you want to do. Don’t be apologetic for chasing your dreams or deciding to do what you want. If someone isn’t buying into you, you don’t want their help anyways.
- Make fun a priority. We aren’t put on this earth to work. We’re put on this earth to enjoy life. We work so that we can enjoy life; so why not try to incorporate as much fun as possible into your professional life as well?
3. Ashley Graham Is Also So Normal And Cool…And A Badass Risk Taker.
Ashley Graham and Sophia Amoruso engaged in a very empowering fireside chat in front of the 650 eager girlbosses. They discussed being comfortable in your own skin, going against the grain, and taking major risks.
Ashley told a story that was both empowering and eye opening. It was about the day she decided to switch modelling agencies (this is a big risk for an up and coming model in the industry). She explained how it could have potentially resulted in walking away from her growing brand, losing gigs, being turned away by new agencies, and essentially ending her career.
However, Ashley knew she was great. She knew there was a market for her size in the industry and she did her research. She put together a proposal with four other girls and marched into the office of a major modelling agency where she said:
- this is where the industry is going
- this is where you are missing out on
- here are the numbers
- this is how much money we can make
- this is how much money we can make you
The agency was so shocked by the information that they couldn’t turn her away and her career skyrocketed to where it is now. This taught me that taking risks is a good thing, however it is important to be well read, researched, informed and prepared to shut down any questions that come my way with cold hard facts that can’t be argued.
(yep I was this close!!!!)
4. We Need To Be More Politically Involved As Female Millenials.
I’m Canadian….so a lot of the political topics that were touched upon did not directly apply to me as they discussed the issues with 45 and the loss of the election. However, I’m just next door and it was still quite eye opening for me.
At one point in time, an audience member asked: “What can we do to make change? How can we go beyond voting and using social media to speak up?”. A panel member looked at her, raised the microphone to her mouth, and asked just one question: “Who here is considering running for office“. About two or three people raised their hand from what I could see. I was in a room of 650 of some of the most intelligent, driven, and influential women and not even 1% of us thought about running the country ourselves.
Did this make me re-think my entire life plan…no. However, it did make me realize where a lot of the issues lie. We just aren’t involved enough. I never even hear my friends discuss the political state of my own country, let alone discuss the possibility of having a hand in how it’s run. Therefore, I’m making it my personal mission to be more informed than I already am, and possibly consider the idea of being more active in the government one way or another whether it is municipally, provincially, or on a greater scale down the road.
5. You Need To Make Your Own Moves When Networking.
No self-made professional or CEO is just going to walk up to you and hand you a job. However, if you make an effort to go up to them yourself, ask questions and just be extremely personable, you’d be surprised how much they are actually willing to help.
I went to this event alone. Therefore, I had to put my wall down and be the ultimate social butterfly. It was amazing. All I had to do was reach out my hand, say “Hi, I’m Becca” and smile. People usually replied with the same and boom a connection was made. I had some amazing conversations with people from companies such as: Nike, IBM, Revlon, Bumble…the list goes on. These weren’t just like the interns or summer students either (no offence to them because I’m right there with you guys! <3). These were the Chief Creative Officers, Marketing Managers, Chief Executive Officers..etc.
They remember what it was like graduating school and feeling like you’re standing on the edge of a cliff not knowing where to jump. They will help you. You just have to be outgoing and make the first move.
6. We Need To Educate Ourselves In Financial Matters.
Unless you decided to attend a financial program after high school…
We need to take the initiative to read up on the current state of the economy, look at the stock market, actually invest, and save save save! The statistics that the panel for this segment of the day were throwing at us were insane.
Women do not invest anywhere near to as much as men, yet we get paid less, have to work harder for higher positions, and live longer. We’re literally on this earth longer with less money to spend.
My favourite stat that one of the women threw at us was:
If you said no to that last cocktail once a week. The one you don’t need. The one you could have definitely lived without (assuming it was around $10.00)…and invested it instead, within 10 years (I think it was ten years, but I know it wasn’t too many years) you could have $65,000! This blew my mind; and the rest of the audience’s too. One big “omg” came from the crowd in unison.
7. Find What Makes You Angry And Solve It.
This applies to the girlboss that wants to work in activism or the girlboss that wants to be an entrepreneur.
For the girlboss that wants to be an activist: Find the social/political issue that makes you angriest and pursue fixing it. This will be topic you are most successful in because it is the one you’re most passionate about.
For the entrepreneurial girlboss: Don’t just start a company selling hats because you like hats (I mean if you’re really passionate about hats and want to sell freakin hats then I’m not going to stop you). However, you should find an issue you have, or something that annoys you on a daily basis and FIX THE PROBLEM YOURSELF!
Whitney Wolfeherd, Founder and CEO of Bumble discussed how she came up with the idea for her outstandingly successful app. She identified the personal issues she had in terms of love and life and formed a social channel where she could overcome these problems. If one person is having an issue, the chances are they aren’t the only ones; and she was right.
After doing research, she realized women were also finding it hard to make friendships with women that were supportive and empowering of one another. So, BumbleBFF was born. Then they found that women wanted a place to connect professionally and lift each other up. This is where BumbleBizz came into play. Now it is a heavily used app, raking in the money, and being used by girl bosses all over the globe (including this one); all because Whitney solved a problem she was having herself .
All in all it was the best weekend of my whole life. If you have the opportunity to attend one of these events, I HIGHLY suggest it. You will not regret it.
Special shout-out goes to my girlboss mentor and boss: Lisa Aucoin. She is the reason I was able to go to the rally and is the most generous, empowering, and intelligent woman. Lisa is a trailblazer in her respective industry and still makes time to help those just starting out in their careers. I will always see her as part of the reason for any of my success in the future. Love you lots Lis.