10.7.17

It's Ok Not To Be A #GirlBoss: It's Ok Just To Do You

A term arguably coined by the founder of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso, 'Girl Boss' is the phrase we're seeing bashed around every corner of the internet to describe generally #winning - no matter how big or small those achievements. As someone who runs two of their own businesses, has launched a podcast, is about to move house and has less than three months to go until their wedding, it's something I've been referred as many times - but essentially I'm just a hustler that gets sh*t done. I've always burned the candle at both ends, juggled as many responsibilities as possible and struggled to 'relax' or turn off from more ideas and opportunities that could be The Next Big Thing: it's in my nature to work hard, strive for more, be in control of my own future and support myself so I have to rely on nobody else to get to where I want to be. If that makes me a #GirlBoss then so be it, but it's not the be all and end all of who I am. 


With so many bloggers, influencers, celebrities and businesswomen apparently 'winning at life' it becomes increasingly hard for those among us that are happily toodling along not to feel like a failure. You only have to open Instagram to see people traveling from the Maldives and back again via Paris to find yourself questioning whether your own levels of success will ever compare to theirs - and do you know what? It doesn't have to. You don't need to live a super shiny, designer handbag, perfectly coiffed hair, high flying life to be happy, and you don't have to be businesswoman of the year to be deemed a success. 

Your job does not define who you are. Your job is simply a way of providing an income so you can do what you want to do; we shouldn't be defined by our job titles or income, but the impact we have on the world or the footprint we leave behind in others hearts. For me, life is about enjoying those moments with our loved ones or seeing as much of the world as I can; it's about reading those un-put-downable books or snuggling up and watching Harry Potter on repeat. I hustle because I want to have the freedom and flexibility to not work; I hustle because I want to reach the heights of success I can now, so I can chillax a bit for the next ten years. I've been self-employed for over four years and now I've gotten to a position where I'm financially stable, confident and comfortable with my own abilities and have the contacts to know there's something around the corner; but that also brings with it the ability to take a Monday off to get a pedicure and have coffee with my best friend, or spend a Friday afternoon at a wedding dress fitting.

One of the most frustrating phrases I ever hear is "you've got as many hours in the day as Beyonce." Yes I do, but do you know what? I don't have her millions in the bank to pay for personal assistants, personal trainers, stylists, nannies, hairdressers, business managers, accountants, lawyers and so on. Those bloggers you see on Instagram looking incredible and living the life a supermodel would be jealous of? They also have managers, photographers, web designers, video editors and personal assistants to help them - and then most of the images are photoshopped and edited to look nothing like the original anyway. We're so frequently force-fed these images of the 'ultimate feminists' knocking out of the park that it's easy to forget that success is all relative, and that feminism is about choice: choice to work 15 hour days and take over the world, or choice not to work at all.

Some of my friends are full-time mums, or work part time in a supermarket for a bit of pocket money. Some of them juggle a full-time job with picking their kids up from nursery, while some of them are happy leaving at 5pm and having nothing to worry about but what's on the telly that evening. Some of them like painting, or playing the guitar, or taking photos or tasting new beers - but none of them are simply defined by what they have on their CV, how many Instagram followers they have, how many tropical locations they've visited, how much money they have in the bank or how busy their diary is. And talking of busy - it shouldn't be something we seek to be at the expense of actually living our lives, it's something that should be temporary before we get back to having the time to do what we actually want to do.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's ok to be a Girl Boss, but it's also ok not to be a Girl Boss - it's about what's right for you and not feeling under pressure to be the ultimate success story, if other things are more important. I devoured Sophia Amoruso's book in a matter of days and found it hugely inspirational, but that didn't mean every word was relevant to me in the moment; I took away little nuggets of inspiration and felt that I really could achieve whatever I wanted if I put my mind to it, but also that I was quite happy living my life without the added pressure of a fashion empire. Not all of us are supposed to be high flying businesswomen; some of us are supposed to be mums, teachers, artists, doctors, writers or whatever makes us happy. Some of us are content making people's coffee or helping them choose a new fragrance; some of us are happy working with the young, elderly, disabled or dying. We can all make a difference in some small way, but that doesn't need to be by being a Girl Boss. It just has to be by doing you.

Do you feel under pressure to be a Girl Boss? Let me know your thoughts below...


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22 comments

  1. Loved this post!!! Emoji claps

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    1. They're the best kind of claps!

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  2. Hayley I loved this post! I think we see so much pressure put on people nowadays to be doing everything and to be amazing at it all too. We all need to worry less about what everyone else is doing and do what we want to do. I'm a little fed up of the ridiculously edited and Photoshopped images that seem to be everywhere now, which is one reason why I often prefer following slightly smaller bloggers where they are writing and photographing things themselves x

    LuxeStyle

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    1. I feel like there's so much 'dreamland' and not enough reality now, which makes everyone think that dreamland is reality - and it's not. It's incredibly hard not to compare and get caught up in it.

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  3. Sometimes I can't help but feel under pressure when scrolling through the explore feed on Instagram. This post is EVERYTHING I needed, thank you!

    Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE
    IG | @viviyunn_

    ~

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    1. I've heard a lot of that today! And I'm so glad... x

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  4. This was a great read. Whilst I think it's amazing to celebrate women and their achievements, the term 'Girl Boss' irks me slightly. It makes females winning or being in a position of power workwise sound novel. I couldn't agree more though, it's not the size of the accomplishment or how it compares to others. Something as small as getting dressed could be a big deal depending on the person's situation and I don't feel we should be comparing our achievements if there's the risk of alienating others in doing so.

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    1. Absolutely Amy. I read an article about how Girl Boss was patronising as it essentially labels women as being little girls with so much to learn, rather than celebrating their achievements on an equal level as men. You wouldn't hear 'Boy Boss' so it really got me thinking.

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  5. Yes and yes and yes! I work because I want to have more free time and money to explore the things I like. I recenlty asked for a payment cut in order to start working 6 hours a day, just so that I have more time to feel... like a human being. I like my job, I like my clients, I like my boss, but I don't want to spend most of my day in front of a computer. :) It's my own way of being a girl boss. For me, being stressed out and rich (or at least better off than many of my friends) is not a thing.

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    1. You can have all the money and things in the world, but if you don't have any time or anyone to enjoy them with what's the point?

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  6. I see the pictures of impossible lifestyles and feel a twinge of "If only" then I remember I am a nurse and don't need to be a Girl Boss!

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    1. Exactly - you're busy saving lives and making an incredible difference.

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  7. Loved this, so very true.

    TINYTWISST.COM

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  8. I completed agree with all of this, it's such an important message!

    Jess x
    http://www.acornlifefitness.com

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  9. Hey, thanks so much for sharing. I'm having a bit of a career crisis at the moment and don't know what I want to do or where I want to be. It's refreshing to read something that's not focussed on how we can have it all or do everything. I want to work so I can afford to have fun in life and not worry about making ends meet. Having hit 30 I've realised that for me, careers are not everything, life is short and I want to have fun. Thanks again, Bx

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    1. I'm glad it's helped. I think we've become too focused on reaching such career heights as a measure of our own value, that we've forgotten that may not be right for everyone - it's about doing what's right, important and of value to you.

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  10. I can relate to this on so many levels, there is a huge amount of pressure on women to be 'Girl Bosses'. I didn't go to uni but have been in full time employment for the last 7 years yet can still feel inadequate against friends that went to uni and now have 'better' jobs. I've decided that I work to live not live to work and I'm fine with that. Thanks for writing such an honest post! x

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  11. I always felt pressure on what I call the messiah girl boss where we mostly see beautiful women super skinny promoting weight loss (I swear I hate the skinny mint tea weight loss promotion) while travelling somewhere in Europe while I look at my Instagram + my blog and my life and it nothing alike to those that we see on the internet. Good for them that they're successful but it's important to remind our self that they came from ground zero just like we all do sometime the stairs are a little bit longer but each step no matter big or small is a success.

    Michelle| www.brokebutflawless.com

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  12. This really resonates with me because I am a small time blogger, I do it more like a hobby and for the love of makeup and skincare. It has helped me develop skills like writing and photography (I can definitely see a difference in the latter!) but sometimes the constant bombardment from social media can make me feel like I have achieved close to nothing. I am always grateful for family who are more supportive than expected and posts like these remind me that I have a full time job as an advocate and I blog on the side, I travel once in a while and everything is ok. I am exactly where I should be and I ought to enjoy the journey without comparing myself to others or striving for perfection.

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  13. "Your job does not define who you are. Your job is simply a way of providing an income so you can do what you want to do" - You have no idea how much I needed to hear this right now. Lately I've been feeling like my career is going nowhere and that I'm an absolutely rubbish blogger, but I think that's because I keep comparing myself to others rather than doing things because *I* want to. Thanks so much for a really uplifting post!

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  14. I've never really thought before about the pressure and expectation to be a #girlboss ... But thinking about it, I think that is exacty what the industry expects us to be. Which is potentially a little unfair.

    But I'm happy to be a boss somedays and a minion on others, because thats who I am I guess.

    Emma | HarmonyBlaze.co.uk

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