What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
Well, a whole lot of things.
I spent the day at the Amazing Women Entrepreneur Conference at the beautiful Wanderlust space in Hollywood. If you are ever in the LA area, I highly suggest stopping by this 3-floor, gorgeous indoor/outdoor space for a yoga class, sound-healing or hot bowl of kitchari, Ayurvedic lentil-rice soup.
This conference was all about empowering female-change makers, particularly in the health and wellness, creative, fashion and philanthropy fields. Speakers such as writer Danielle La Porte, Nasty Gal Founder and #GIRLBOSS author Sophia Amoruso, feminine financial advisor Kate Northrup, plus-sized model turned positive-body-image author Katie Willcox, THINX period underwear and Daybreaker early-morning dance party founder Radha Agrawal, Former President of the Oprah Channel (who worked with Oprah for 20 years) Sheri Salata, Health Aid Kombucha founder Daina Trout, amongst many others shared their struggles and findings as modern female entrepreneurs.
What I took most about this conference is that we’ve entered a new, paradigm shift into more feminine energy, the age of Aquarius. By feminine I don’t necessarily mean female but a more feminine, softer and collaborative yin energy that both men and women possess.
In this emerging, feminine-driven world, there is a new form of leadership- one where we lead as women, not men.
Yes women have been in the work-force for decades, but now there is a new quality to it. We’re no longer women dressed in pantsuits behaving as men. We are now leading, achieving and doing.. In our dresses. And I absolutely freaking love it.
We’ve entered a backlash. The feminist movement of the 1960’s, as powerful as it was, made us feel like in order to be successful, we must step into our masculine. We were told to get out of the kitchen and into the office and totally let go of our maternal instinct, as if it were our point of weakness.
All things that make us women- our emotions, our intuition, our creativeness, our compassion, our empathy, our ability to think outside the box.. were all deemed as negative.
“Don’t be so emotional,” I was told as a child by my loving Dad. “Think rational. That is the only way you’ll be taken seriously.” I was told from a kid, as many of us were, that our emotions were our Achilles’ heal and to survive in this dog-eat-dog world, we must cut ourselves off from them.
Now, we see a generation of older and highly successful women who have withdrawn from their feminine in order to be taken seriously (one may become our President.) Sister, I just want to let you know… It doesn’t have to be this way.
We can lead, achieve, dream and accomplish everything we desire without hiding the fact that we don’t stand up to pee! We are powerful women, emotional and all, and this compassion and empathy is what is going to take us higher places than any man has ever gone.
The feminine is not run by jealousy, competition or aggressiveness, but rather cooperation, community and compersion (the sense of being happy for someone else’s success rather than jealous.)
It is not longer a race to the top. There is more than enough pieces of the pie for us ALL to share. As soon as we realize that someone else’s success does not take away from our own, the sooner we can come together to collaborate and GROW collectively.. And it’ll take us further than we could ever go alone.
Another finding that came to me is that we must all let go of this conditioning that in order to be taken seriously, we have to fit a certain “job” or “role.” There is no one role because there is no one type of leader. We must all tap into our own unique resources because that is what makes our leadership style so unique.
We can let go of the old framework that says you need a PhD in this to talk about that. We’ve intellectualized things so much in the masculine.. Now it is time to feel them. Our bodies hold innate wisdom that we are unaware of. When we just listen to our intuitions, they’ll take us places we’ve never imagined.
In this new shift, there is no more space for cookie-cutter careers. We are now able to take long-standing professions like doctors or chefs or therapists, and tailor these jobs to make them our own. Maybe you use your education as a Doctor to become a healer and educator or your experience in culinary school to make organic, plant-based meals or your degree in psychology to formulate your own type of creative movement therapy. The possibilities are endless.
Our career isn’t just something we do from 9-5. It is a reflection of who we are and what our mission is.
At the workshop, I met models turned body-image activists, psychologists turned art therapists, ballerinas to CEOs and everything in between. There is no one face to an entrepreneur and we can create our professions to be as multifunctional as we are.
To step into our power, we have to let go of this guilt that so many of us hold. We are told we have to be perfect; have a thriving business, well-taken care of children, a full refrigerator, happy marriage, busy schedule, active social life and svelte body. Somehow amidst of all this activity, we still are supposed to have time to cook dinner, spend quality time with loved ones, go shopping, practice yoga, plant an organic garden and make our own skincare products. Let’s be honest, most of us barely even have time to wash our hair.
We have to be okay with saying no. No successful woman got to where she is by saying “yes” to everything that came her way. We have to set boundaries for ourselves and realize that by saying “yes” to everything, we’ll be left burnt out. A burnt-out woman is not a good entrepreneur, lover, friend nor mother. Engage your “no” muscles to become mentally stronger.
Most importantly, the foundation of all of our success is self-care. We have to carve out time to tend to our basic needs. Yes it may be Saturday night but if you haven’t slept all week, then you are best spending the night in rest then checking off another task of going out to dinner, even if you feel like you are “supposed to” because it is a weekend.
Women, I have a public service announcement; we can’t do everything. We often have this wonder-woman mentality where we feel like we have to do it all. I want you to know that your number one priority is your personal health and wellbeing.
If you aren’t physically and mentally balanced, you’ll have no foundation to build your empire on. The most long-term successful women have some sort of self-care routine, whether it is yoga, eating well, journaling, meditation or exercise. Your well-being is the framework that everything else is based on. People don’t invest in a company; they invest in you.
All in all, I’ve seen that there is no one type of female entrepreneur because there is no one type of woman. We are all in unique phases of our lives that demand different areas of focus. For some of us, it’s all about our career. For others, our number one priority is our kids. And for others of us, it’s both.
In this new shift of the feminine, we don’t have to choose just one or another; family or career. We can have the two, side-by-side, in a life that is as full as we are.
Thanks to the Internet, we have entered a whole new world of opportunities that was never imaginable before. You can breast-feed your baby while working on your online business. You can schedule your workday so you can pick your kids up from school. You can even organize your schedule so you only work a few days a week and spend the others with your kids. We don’t have to let go of our maternal instinct in order to make it to our board meetings. Heck, you can even have your baby on your lap while on video-conference at the meeting. This is the beauty of living in this new feminine era.
We are setting the framework for the new type of female leaders that lead from this sacred space of their feminine. Today’s women don’t feel like they have to become men in order to be taken seriously, nor are they afraid of stepping into their masculine. We are fueled by our Shakti, the infinite source of feminine energy that exists inside of all of us, both men and women. When we are tapped into Shakti, the creativity that flows through us is endless. It’s such an exciting time to be alive and I can’t wait to witness the progress women make as the new change-makers of the modern world.
Love and light,