As an entrepreneur, I often need a dose of #inspo in my life. Navigating the highs & lows of the day-to-day isn’t always easy. What do I do when I need to kick ass on a presentation or send a daunting proposal? I look for inspiration in podcasts, online articles & books. Podcaster & entrepreneur Lewis Howes & his School of Greatness podcast is one of my favs. Last year, I took the leap & attended his live podcast conference event in Columbus, Ohio. This year I returned with some huge takeaways that I wanted to share with our network. His podcast serves as a vessel of knowledge, chock-full of interviews with incredible entrepreneurs from across the globe. Read on for a few quotes that really stuck out to me from speakers at his 3-day conference.
You’ve probably heard of a little film called Wonder Woman — it’s only the highest grossing live-action film directed by a woman. But Jenkins’ career didn’t begin with the awe-inspiring Amazon. Her 2003 film Monster (produced by & starring fellow #GIRLBOSS Charlize Theron), was named one of the best films of the decade by film critic Roger Ebert. Jenkins found her ultimate success through her hustle. To raise the money to make Monster, she made many short films, wrote her own screenplay & cast a young actress named Charlize Theron, who went from being relatively unknown to winning the Oscar for Best Actress. This lady never quits & we can't wait to see what she makes next.
If there’s any one person in the film industry to look out for right now, it’s powerhouse director Ava DuVernay. In 2012, she directed the immensely powerful historical drama Selma, becoming the first black woman to have a film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. But she didn't stop breaking ground there; DuVernay is also the first woman to direct a film exceeding a budget of $100 million for her work directing Disney’s upcoming A Wrinkle in Time. Her movies aren’t the only reason we love Ava DuVernay — before jumping head-first into the film-making world, she ran her own public relations firm The DuVernay Agency. Throughout her entire career, she has never stopped helping other artists and creators. She often uses her voice to call for inclusion and empower women and people of color, both within the industry & without.
This. Woman. Does. It. All. Known by her stage name Grimes, Canada native Claire Boucher writes, produces, engineers, & performs music as well as editing & writing videos. The ultimate musical Renaissance woman, Grimes began her life in Canada studying neuroscience before she went on to become one of the most eclectic & forward-thinking artists out there. When she’s not spitting out ethereal experimental music or writing the next big hit, she devotes her time & resources to advocating for equal opportunities for girls in STEM fields, even doing an interview with Teen Vogue from the 2017 Apple WorldWide Developers’ Conference.
WondaGurl is the the alter ego of Canadian-Nigerian Ebony Oshunrinde & she is absolutely SLAYING the scene right now. The kicker? She is only 20 years old. That’s right. Twenty. Since winning The Battle of the Beat Makers contest at 15, her career has skyrocketed. While most of her peers were graduating high school & starting college, WondaGurl was creating music with artists like Jay-Z (bringing to life the song “Crown” from his “MCHG” album), Travis Scott & Drake. This young producer has a big bright road ahead of her — & we’re happy to join her ever-expanding fan club.
Bozoma Saint John
Named Billboard’s “Executive of the Year” in 2016, Bozoma Saint John is everything we aspire to be. Currently the Chief Brand Officer for Uber, Saint John cemented her legacy as one of the greatest names in music as the Head of Global Consumer Marketing at Apple, where she spearheaded the successful Apple Music streaming service. Saint John has come a long way from the pop-culture-obsessed 13-year-old girl who moved the U.S. from Ghana years ago, working with with huge names from Beyoncé (remember that FIRE Pepsi commercial she did back in 2002? Yeah, thank Boz for that) to the late CEO of Apple Tim Cook.
As chairman & COO of Atlantic Records as well as the rest of her life, Julie Greenwald has proven that she not only gets the biz — she's using it to put more good into the world. Under her watch, the label saw 18 Grammy nominations & became the not simply the only label to have the RIAA certify four albums across Gold & Platinum, but the record label with the most RIAA-certified singles. With a particular interest in helping others, she pushed for a mentality at Atlantic that's more focused on great artists than just market share. We love what this #GIRLBOSS is doing at Atlantic & hope to see more powerful women at the helm of the industry.
Patty Jenkins image from Wikipedia/Gage Skidmore. Ava DuVernay photo from TheSource.com. Grimes photo from LiveNation. WondaGurl photo from Hollywood Reporter. Bozoma Saint John photo from Blavity.com. Julie Greenwald photo from Billboard.