On Wednesday, October 5th, I had the pleasure of attending the kick off to one of Atlanta’s most coveted events, All 3 Coasts, better known as the A3C Music Fest. This is a place where artists and entrepreneurs from all over come to Atlanta to share, network and give thoughts on all things hip hop culture.
One of the events biggest features, leading up to the concerts, are celebrity panels that are held throughout each day. One of the most compelling was the panel featuring record industry veteran Phillana Williams, music manager Diana Schweinbeck, Ncredible’s Amber Grimes, Bossip’s Janee Bolden and Shanti Das the Hip Hop professional.
These five women made it clear upon arrival that they were there to discuss more than what it takes to make your coins as a girl boss, but were there to give advice on how to keep and grow them.
From the way others perceive us in any workplace, to what it really takes to be a boss, to how they got their start in their industry, to that annoying misconception that “we can’t hang with the big boys”, and even down to the best apps that can help you manage your money, it was all there! These ladies were truly able to drop a few gems that are noteworthy.
1. To be a girl boss or boss lady (whichever term you prefer) does not mean that you do whatever you want to do.
The misconception is that if you are your own boss, you can clock out at 4:00 p.m. and be completely done with the day while lavishly spending your earnings without a care. WRONG! The truth is that there are other people you have to think about when you are an entrepreneur. There are so many priorities that come with cutting the checks and making the rules, you have to be ready to be disciplined when the time calls, and also know that some days 4:00 a.m. will be your clock out time. If you are having a hard time keeping your account in check the panel recommends mint.com, which will send you notifications of your spending habits and what you spend the most on.
2. Be disciplined and have substance because when you are making money you have to reinvest in your company.
This is the moment when holding yourself accountable seems all too real. It is always key to keep in mind that just because something may seem like a good idea does not mean that it will always work. Sure, we all conjure up these beautiful ideas that seem great until it is time to execute them. We all fall short sometimes, but falling short does not mean that you quit all together. Create a timeline for execution with realistic dates and goals for yourself, or even remember “S.M.A.R.T.” which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
3. Be relentless and outwork everyone else.
There are ways to navigate any industry without selling yourself short of your goal or your own standards. Maintain your self-respect even when your buttons are being pushed. Sometimes as women we are forced to prove our “100 percent” selves just to show our male counterparts that we can do everything you can but more, and possibly even better. Go above and beyond if you have to! If something is due at 5:00 have it in at 4:00. Your work ethic will speak volumes girl!
4. Create your own level.
As women we have something that most men do not, and that is the ability to pay attention to certain details. Even if you are in a field where the men dominate, be the woman that is set apart. As Amber Grimes stated, “not acting like a woman is not cute in business, if they wanted to work with a man they would have hired one.” As women we have so much to offer to a workplace and have already contributed so much already for those girl bosses coming after us. Why would we want to stop that by trying to get to his level?
5. When it comes to joint entrepreneurship, know what you are getting into and with who.
Sure it is perfectly fine and recommended to collaborate with ventures who have the same goal in mind as you do; in fact, they may offer your audience something that you do not. However, remember that it is your best bet to not over commit. While it is nice to have a joint effort between several companies, try not to bite off more than you can chew!
6. Trust in any relationship happens naturally.
So when I heard this come from Diane Schweinbeck I knew that I had scribble this one down in my notebook. This is such a universal gem because it literally works for any relationship in your life. These things happen naturally when they work without force, and when the relationship happens naturally your business is sure to run better even with the occasional flaws.
7. Organize, take note and utilize your phone for both.
Since we all cannot afford a personal assistant, when it comes to starting your business you are the star of the show…essentially a one-woman band. You are production, direction and the actor so it is pivotal that you take charge of every element in your business by getting that planner and using your phone when you need to take a few quick notes. On the panel, Diane notes how she screenshots major events, saves them to her phone, and does not delete them until the event is over. Find a method that works for you, the options are literally endless.
8. Sometimes you can be a jack of all trades but a master of none.
You have to find a starting point ladies, and like many other aspiring girl bosses, we are multifaceted and multitalented. This is so amazing because we are capable of so many things that we, as Amber Grimes says, “have a hyphen” when it comes to your trade skills. It is totally up to you how you choose to spend your 24 hours, but incredibly important that your time is spent making sure all of your ideas are working cohesively for your business.
9. Determine if it is worth your energy to tell that bug in your ear how you really feel.
We will all have those moments when someone says something to you that will make you want to tell them all of the things that you have been holding in. As hard as it is, determine if it is really even worth it. Some situations do not deserve our time or entertainment, and in most cases reacting to them pushing those buttons is all that they want in return. If you can help it, do not stoop to their level. Seriously, do not allow them to be a hindrance of what you are going to get done.
10. Take care.
This is probably the hardest thing for a lot of us. As women we wear multiple hats that do not include taking a break. Get in tune with yourself and your body and know when it is time to shut the computer down, place your phone on do not disturb and get some rest. How are you going to run a business when you can hardly function? Make time for yourself through yoga, meditation, taking a me day or whatever you find calming but make sure you do it! You have worked this hard and honestly, you can take it.
Leaving this event left me full of inspiration and tips to navigate the business world from a woman’s perspective. We can do this ladies! Utilize every resource from GroupMe to keep your team up to date, all the way down to subscribing to entrepreneurial magazines that can keep you a step ahead on what is next. Even if you are having trouble managing your money, take time at your bank to set up a savings account that will automatically draft money from your checking and get with your bank’s financial consultant. Or even if it is something as simple as taking note of events, write it down where you can see it. Post your goals and make them happen! We are all capable of being amazing girl bosses, it is just up to you to get there.