Netflix has done it again. After successful shows like 13 Reasons Why, Netflix released a series that is totally #relatable–and this one’s particularly relevant to Millennials who want to break away from the corporate slavery to be their own boss.
But it’s not always smooth-sailing, as Girlboss lead character Sophia Amoruso (played by Britt Robertson) shows in the Netflix hit.
Here are seven things Girlboss reveals about being your own boss:
1. It’s Not Enough to Have a Groundbreaking Idea
What started Sophia’s path to entrepreneurship was that one jacket she chanced upon at a vintage shop. From there, she made her capital money and she got the bright idea to “flip” clothes. But one chance encounter with a limited edition jacket is not enough to get a business going. You need to figure out so many other details: Where will your products come from? Can you survive with the budget you have? Do you know enough to keep a business going? And, more importantly, is that kind of lifestyle sustainable if you quit your job?
2. Sass is Not Everything
Sophia is known for her quick temper, especially when people are “right” about her. Act like that and you’ll easily burn bridges that could be important later on. As an entrepreneur, you want to be connected to every supplier possible, and you want to be seen as trustworthy by your customers. If you’re always snapping back at them, you’ll gain a completely different reputation.
3. You Will Doubt Yourself Every Other Day
You’re doing something different. You’re taking risks. You’re standing up for something you believe in. And others may not see it the same way. There’s the parent who may be overbearing or lacking in trust, that previous employer who thinks you can’t hold a job, former colleagues who want to bring you down, and enemies who just want to see you fail. There’s also your biggest and worst critic–yourself. Don’t let the doubts get the best of you; it’s OK to not have it together all the time, but take a moment to collect yourself and keep on slaying.
4. “Nice” People Will Try to Bring You Down
They are everywhere–and they may look kind on the surface. Being soft-spoken doesn’t mean they can’t do you any damage, especially if they have friends who may not like seeing you succeed. Nasty Gal (aka the newcomer in a sea of vintage clothing shops) posed a threat, and a group of “purists” wanted to take the unconventional shop down because they didn’t like Sophia’s way of doing business. You may not be breaking any rules–or, in her case, not breaking eBay rules that others aren’t breaking as well–but they will still find flaws in you. It comes with being different. Deal with it professionally and power through.
5. You Need Your Own Website
Social media and auction sites may get you started, but if you want a business that lasts, you need a place you can call your own. Who knows where Facebook, Instagram, or eBay will be several years from now? Anything can happen to them; don’t let them decide the future of your business. Get that domain now and protect your business from a potentially damaging reputation in the future. (Think Sophia finding out late that the domain she wants is already taken. By a porn business.)
6. Customers Will Expect A LOT from You
Some customers will be easy to deal with. Those are your five-star-raters, and they are easy to please. Not all customers are like that, though. You will encounter your fair share of ladyshopper99’s–those who will blame you for a problem with the product, even though they may have caused the problem themselves. And if you fail to deliver, they are ready to leave a scathing review–one that is determined to ruin your budding business.
7. You Need Other People
The business may be your brainchild, something that came from your own ideas, but it’s not sustainable to push everyone away just because you want it to be your “thing.” As your business starts to grow, you will suffer physically and emotionally if you keep doing things on your own. Let other people help–and compensate them for it.
8. Working with Friends Isn’t Always Easy
You and your BFF-slash-business-associate may be soul sisters who complete each other’s sentences, but this doesn’t mean you won’t encounter any problems. The transition from being a helping hand to being an employee will be a tough one, if you’re not business partners to begin with. Keep calm and go back to number 7. Is your business worth losing your best friend over?
9. Anything Can be an Inspiration
You don’t need to complete a course on business management to find the right business name that sells. You don’t need to go on an epic cross-country adventure to find good ideas. You just need to be open to new experiences. Find something that is… you. Something that defines your business. Don’t focus on thinking of a business name; enjoying new experiences will get you there, and it won’t seem like an effort at all.