10 Ways To Be A Girl Boss (Without Owning Your Own Business)

Girl boss.

You’ve probably heard this term thrown around on Instagram or in the home decor and office aisles of Marshall’s and Target. It’s everywhere – on notebooks, T-shirts, plaques, Pinterest, Twitter, Mashable, and phone cases…just to name a few.

You have heard stories of strong, determined women approaching challenges with vigor and motivation to prove others wrong.

The term is greatly valued these days, especially as “The Year of the Girl” unfolds and more and more stories of women CEOs and entrepreneurs rise to the level of books, TV stations, and news articles.

If you’re anything like me, “Girl Boss” motivates you, and scares you a bit.

I love the rise of productive, inspiring women doing great things for others and their communities. I love listening to podcasts like How I Built This and reading books like Yes, Please, Bossypants, and The Year of Yes… but I don’t own my own business. I’m not my own CEO. So there is this (slight) disconnect I feel from this “Girl Boss” trend and it got me thinking.

How can I embrace this Girl Boss mentality in my every-day life? Check out my Top 10 ways below.


{ONE} Listen to yourself talk.

It may sound self-absorbed, but listening to yourself talk helps you learn your struggles. What are your filler words? Do you up-talk? Once you can pinpoint these, practice speaking with confidence and authority.

{TWO} Non-verbals are everything.

Communication is 10% what you say and 90% what you don’t say. The way you sit or stand, what you do with your hands, and what facial expressions you give help communicate your message nine times more than the words you choose. Be aware of your non-verbal communication, even when sitting at your desk.

{THREE} Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

I received this advice from my mentor years ago. Dressing for the job you want embodies confidence, a goal-oriented mindset, and a push towards the future. It not only makes you look professional, but it also shows that you care and do what it takes to succeed.

{FOUR} Make time for yourself first (even if it means waking up a bit earlier).

I listen to a lot of podcasts, watch videos, and read books all about productivity. One of the trends I’ve realized is that people wake up early. I’m not a self-proclaimed early bird, but this year I’ve begun waking up 1-2 hours earlier than I did in 2017 and the results are incredible. Girl bosses wake up early and they make time for themselves (and their passions) first. Wake up and write that blog post, send that email, read that book. Whatever you do, make time for yourself first so you can continue that energy and passion throughout the rest of your day.

{FIVE} Live life goal-oriented.

Girl bosses do not live life without a plan. They do not go through each day wondering what their goal is or what to-do to check off next. Live your life with purpose, with goals, with aspirations. Strive for something. That alone separates you from the crowd. Many will blend in and do the bare minimum. Go above and beyond, no matter how small.

{SIX} Don’t come with a problem without a solution.

THIS. One of my most memorable and incredible professors taught me this and it is one of the most life-changing lessons I took away from her classes. A Girl Boss does not come with problems for others to solve; she solves the problems. She comes with unique, thought-out solutions. She sees an issue and approaches it head on with determination to make it better.

{SEVEN} Respond quickly – don’t waste someone’s time.

Email, a phone call, a tweet, a letter. Whatever it is, respond quickly to it. Be respectful and be efficient. Procrastination results in missed connections and opportunities and a poor reputation.

{EIGHT} Help others in their journey, too.

Girl Bosses help each other out. They do not stab each other in the back or do things in a twisted, catty way. Help others in their journey, too. We need to stick together, not drive each other a part.

{NINE} Find your cheerleaders. 

Find those who can mentor you, cheer you on, encourage you, and help you grow. The world has plenty of critics; finding haters will be easy. When you find those who want the best for you, never let them go. No one gets to where they are today all by themselves.

{TEN} Go for it.

“{Girl Boss means to me} Always pitching your idea, even if it’s crazy, too big, or it’s never been done before!” – @NatalieHines1


Did I miss one? Share what Girl Boss means to you in a comment below! 

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The Year of 3 Words: A Mid-Year Update

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At the beginning of 2018, I declared this year a year of three words.

You may (or may not) be wondering how 2018 is shaping up to my three-word description. I decided to ease your minds and give you a mid-year update. It is June, after all, and the year is halfway over (whoa, that’s weird). It’s time for a little checkin.

Change. 

Change is inevitable and my Type A self can’t cope with it sometimes, but this year there has been good change, bad change, and uncomfortable change.

Changes in habits: less coffee, more water, more reading & audiobooks, less TV, less clutter, more budgeting, more time with people I love.

Changes in life: Updates at work, new house, new professional accomplishments, new friends, new perspectives.

Not to mention many changes that have pushed me outside of my comfort zone.

Needless to say, change happens pretty much every day and I’m learning how to embrace it and trust God every step of the way.

Do.

I’ve written about wedding planning multiple times this year so you know how the “Road to I Do” is generally going, but just in case I haven’t made it clear, this is the biggest “Do” of the year and I am pumped.

At the beginning of the year, a few other “do” items included: complete my social marketing certification, buy a house, read at least 25 books, and write more letters.

So far, I have completed my certification, we found a house, I have read many books, and love writing letters when I can. I’ve also traveled to places like New York and Boston, worked on a few incredible projects, and have begun training for my first official 5K (a big deal for a non-runner like myself!).

“Do” encompasses so many things, so it has been interesting to see how 2018 has unfolded this way. It’s not always about checking things off. Sometimes a “do” is a mindset, just like my third word of 2018 is.

Joy. 

This is one thing that is not a “check off the list,” so to speak.

Joy is a choice and something that takes focus and practice in order to make it a constant part of your life. I have a post-it note on my mirror that says “Joy is a choice,” and this year, in the good and the bad, I try to focus on that mindset.

An easy way to do this is instead of saying, “I have to…” replace it with “I get to…”  A mindset makes all the difference.

So that’s a bit of a recap as the year keeps flying by! What about you? How are your three words going for 2018? This week I challenge you to revisit your goals and be motivated to keep going!

7 Lessons From My Mentor

I’m going to get a little personal here.

I usually try to keep it pretty upbeat and positive on my blog, but I am going to be totally honest.

I’m heartbroken.

I recently lost my mentor, a truly beautiful and brilliant person inside and out. The world is a little darker because she is no longer here.

The loss is deep for so many who knew and loved her. She was incredible, innovative, and inspirational. Her mark on the world changed a lot of people, including myself.

As I, and so many like me, try to process the unimaginable, I’ve started thinking about the countless lessons she taught me, whether she knew it or not.

It would be ignorant to keep these lessons to myself; what good does it do to keep what isn’t yours?

These lessons are not just for me; they’re for you, too.

{ONE} Be kind

Everyone is going through something, whether they tell you or not. Be kind, you never know what’s happening underneath.

{TWO} You are your own advocate

Confidence is key. You can do it. You can pitch that crazy idea, go the extra mile, create that special project. Advocate for yourself and don’t put yourself down…You’re worth more than that and you can do more than you think.

{THREE} Ask “Why?” and “What if?”

Think big. Ask questions, learn always. Let information help you grow. Never stop being curious. Ever.

{FOUR} Dream bigger

Dream it and do it. Those are words from Walt Disney himself, and my mentor embodied this. Just because it’s a dream doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Make them realities. Dream something crazy and then do it bigger. What do you have to lose?

{FIVE} Try the impossible

People are going to tell you no and that it can’t be done. Try. What’s the worst that can happen? You never know unless you dare to dream bigger and do things. It always seems impossible until it’s done.

{SIX} Believe in others

There is no “I” in team. No one gets to where they are by themselves. It takes a village. Believe in others and give them the encouragement they deserve and need. One of the best things my mentor taught me is the value of giving back. Thank people who helped you and do the same for others. Be kind, the world already has plenty of critics.

{SEVEN} Work hard, stay humble

It is absolutely incredible how much my mentor accomplished in her life. She worked insanely hard and hardly ever talked about her accomplishments, achievements, and successes. She was humble and always grateful. No matter how much you achieve, never let it get to your head. Work hard and stay humble.

 

 

 

 

In memory of my mentor.

Monthly Roundup: May Favorites

May flew by in a blink of an eye! I had a feeling it would…It was such a jam-packed month filled with mini adventures and I loved it!

The busyness of the month is also why I’ve been MIA lately (whoops). I’ve been working on a secret project for you all, yes, but life offline has been a bit crazy in general!

With so many fun things, it was hard to pick just a few to share as my May Favorites, but below is the list so check it out!

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{ONE} Brooklyn Bridge

I kicked off the month by escaping to New York City for a girls weekend with my mom and cousins. We traveled to Chicago a few years ago and decided to plan Girls Trip 2.0 a little closer to home this time.

We checked many things off the bucket list including trips to Central Park, the Alice in Wonderland Statue, Alice’s Tea Cup Cafe, Chinatown, Little Italy, and a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I’m a fan of all-things adrenaline but I have to be honest, at the top of the bridge I felt a little shaky! It may have been the wooden boards and being able to see the water when I looked down, but it was still something I’m glad I did.

{TWO} Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, New York City

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum was another place I wanted to visit while in NYC. I had read reviews and seen a few pictures online and thought that although it looked weird and a bit creepy, I had to see it for myself. I’m so glad we did! It ended up being the highlight of the trip. The wax statues were unbelievably realistic and the gallery included statues of Michael Jackson, Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Ronald Reagan, Usher, The Rock, and Amelia Earhart. Definitely a must-see!

{THREE} Engagement Photos

Luke and I had our engagement photos taken in May. After rescheduling the photoshoot three times due to absurd DE weather, we finally had a beautiful (hot!!!) afternoon and went to Winterthur Museum & Garden for the day. Stacy Hart Photography did an incredible job and you can view the entire gallery here.

Dress: Dress Barn // Shoes: Payless

{FOUR} Registry

May was the month of checking random wedding to-dos off the list. We had fun scanning things and creating our registry at several of our favorite stores. I never knew I could be so excited about registering for plates and kitchen utensils, but alas here we are. #Adulting

{FIVE} The Knot Wedding Website

I mentioned in a recent post, 5 Wedding Planning Tips From a Budget-Friendly Bride, that I would be saving paper (and money) by creating digital RSVPs instead of requiring my guests to send back paper cards. The Knot makes it easy to create a personalized, user-friendly website and it’s been fun creating one for our guests. I even linked our registries to the website, too!

{SIX} The Royal Wedding

Yes, I was one of those suckers who woke up at 5am to watch The Royal Wedding. Judge me all you want, it was worth it. If not for the fashion then definitely for the memories of my mom and I drinking tea and watching the event unfold across the pond.

{SEVEN} Mercy by Jodi Picoult

2018 is all about change and one of the habits I’ve recently changed is avoiding social media before bed. About 30-45 minutes before I call it for the night, I open a book instead of the Instagram app. During a recent thrift store visit, I picked up Mercy by Jodi Picoult (my favorite author of all time!) for $2. Best two bucks ever spent because I’ve been reading Mercy and it is phenomenal. Picoult wrote it back in the ’90s, but it is a timeless, thought-provoking, and captivating read.

Monthly Roundup: April Favorites

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It finally feels like spring (and sometimes summer!) so to say I’m excited is a MAJOR understatement!

This April roundup is being posted a bit later than I wanted, but that is because I have a very exciting announcement coming soon, so I’ve been working on that a lot behind the scenes!

April was a month of unpredictable weather, lots of coffee, and slowly (but surely) checking things off. We’re also official less than 200 days away (!!) from saying “I do” so the to-do list is growing like crazy and we couldn’t be more excited for the big day.

Here are a few things that have been on my radar in April:

{One} Audiobooks

I’m a book lover with limited time. Nothing can replace the feeling of a book in your hands, but lately I’ve found myself obsessed with audiobooks. I listen to them while driving and at work when I’m not in the mood for the radio or my iTunes playlist. My latest listen: Seriously…I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres (published in 2012, but still just as funny!).

{Two} Florists

I found a florist! Cue all the praise hands. After months of researching and sitting down with different vendors, I found one who is reasonably priced and extremely talented. I can’t wait to work with her to make the ideas in my head come to life!

{Three} A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place was one of the most well-done movies I’ve ever seen. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and never once was bored or sick of the plot. A must-see, but be warned there are some gross scenes so if you have a weak stomach (like I do!), consider this a warning!

{Four} The Movement Challenge

I challenged myself to move more in April. I wrote about it in a recent post (check it out here!) and it was definitely a life-changing experiment I will continue in May and beyond. I’m a firm believer in always pushing yourself and creating challenges to overcome so The Movement Challenge was a great way to do that!

{Five} Cherry Blossoms

All the cherry blossom trees bloomed the last week of April and I was in love. The photo above is from my front yard and when I woke up one morning, seeing it in full bloom was an incredible sight. Gotta love spring joys ❤

The Movement Challenge: 6 Ways to Move More

This month I’ve been challenging myself to MOVE.

Now this may sound pretty straight forward and obvious, but if I’m being honest with you (and myself), some days I’m really bad at moving. I work in an office where I sit for most of the day, whether at my desk or in meetings, and when it’s a busy day I am usually “chained” to my desk. (Not really, but you get the idea.)

I mentioned in my Monthly Roundup: 7 March Favorites blog post I received a Fitbit HR recently from my fiance. I love it but it also was a visual reminder that I didn’t move enough during the day. It alerts me every hour to walk at least 250 steps and on some days in March, I would go a few hours (if not most of the day) without walking a single step from 9-5 p.m. (Terrible, I know.)

They say sitting is the new smoking, so this month I decided to do something about it.

I still work at a desk job so my 9-5 p.m. schedule can’t change too much, but here are a few habits I’ve started to incorporate more movement into the day.

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I’m changing my “I can’t” to “I will.” Before action comes the mindset. I sometimes say, “I don’t have time.” That’s not true. I do make time for what is important to me. If movement was important to me (and it is), then the mindset must change. In April I began changing my thinking from “I don’t have time” to “I will have time.” Using an “I will” statement is a promise I don’t want to break.

I wake up earlier. Let’s be honest here, we love sleep. I’m not a self-proclaimed morning person but this month I’ve been trying to wake up 1 – 1.5 hours earlier than I did in March. When I wake up earlier, it is so difficult to get out of bed, but when I’m up, there are no excuses to skip my workout. I can’t say “I don’t have time,” because I do! So I roll out of bed and do Insanity and by 7:30 a.m. (when I’d usually wake up), I’ve already completed 3 healthy habits: more sweat, more steps, and more water.

I park farther away. Granted, the parking garage is directly below my office building so I don’t have to walk blocks to arrive at my desk. BUT, parking farther away from the entrance makes me walk farther and therefore, move more.

I take the stairs. I refuse to go on an elevator unless I absolutely have to. In the mall, at the office, in a hotel… wherever it might be, I don’t take the elevator. I opt for the stairs. It gets my heart pumping a bit if there are multiple flights to climb and it is also an easy way to get more movement in my day.

I drink more water. This is a win-win because you a) drink more water and b) walk to re-fill the bottle. This month I’ve tried to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day, which is honestly a lot harder then I originally thought. Consequently I’m less hungry, feel healthier, and consume less coffee (sad but good).

I walk laps around the office. I can get so buried in a task that I don’t even realize I need a mental break. My Fitbit HR helps me out because it buzzes a reminder that I need to walk before the hour is up. It’s my cue to stop what I’m doing and take a lap around the office. Even a 5-minute mental break from looking at a screen makes me feel refreshed and motivated to do my best work.

I’ve enjoyed The Movement Challenge so far. It’s not only been a positive change, but a much needed one. What are some ways you add movement to your day? Leave a comment below!

A Pop of Yellow

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I’m not sure about you, but I’m not a ‘yellow’ person. I never thought I could wear it, let alone pair it with a royal purple dress.

But alas, here we are.

When my friend offered to lend me her yellow leather jacket for Easter, I couldn’t resist.

“Why not?” I thought.

At first, I felt very Easter egg-y, colorful and bright. I don’t usually wear anything that bold. To be honest, I almost chickened out when I first tried it on. I felt like a giant yellow highlighter!

But then I realized life is short, why worry about the color jacket I wear? Wearing a little yellow never hurt anybody. It also got me thinking.

To wear bright yellow (paired with an equally colorful purple dress) took a bit of stepping outside of the fashion comfort zone. It encouraged me to be a bit more confident and rock the yellow jacket, not just wear it half-heartedly.

Yellow isn’t my color and will never be a color I choose willingly, but daring to try something different and challenge the way I view spring fashion was fun. I definitely recommend pushing your fashion limits to try something new. You never know – you could end up loving it!