Refinery 29 is a great source of inspiration for your personal development and everything else that’s lifestyle related. I personally love to check out their “work and money” articles. Especially as the urge to develop a project of my own grows stronger and the need to travel is very present. The website keep me keen with interviews of strong independent women and with great angles. I’ve been tweeting links to articles on a regular basis and I wanted to share the 5 most remarkable lessons I’ve learned from Refinery 29 (and one by Beyoncé -obviously-).
Lesson 1. “Collect as many diverse experiences as you can…because it will be these experiences that make you so valuable in the future” by Rebecca Van Dyck, head of brand marketing at Facebook in Refinery 29 article “How To Be Successful“
I’ve always found it important to gather as much experience as possible. For me that immediately means different types of internships when you’re younger, different positions at companies, helping out at friends photo shoots and most of all travel. I’ve still very much considering packing up everything and leaving the country for a while. Those who are close to me have heard me say that way too much.
At the age of 26, it’s the best time and also the worst time. It’s the perfect time to either give up everything or to move up in the corporate ladder. But what if that last one is not my path? It might go against a traditional way of life (as I already mentioned here) but not every body needs the same things in their life. I’m still quite away from the white picket fence dream and would rather go out and explore a little bit. In my opinion, traveling is one of the best ways to get to know yourself better and to develop a different and more open way of thinking and thus develop yourself even further.
Lesson 2. “Confidence comes from powering through insecurity with such regularity that it no longer becomes paralyzing to your goals.” Josephine Lee, artistic director in Refinery 29 article “Powerful Chicago Women“
Everyone has insecurities from time to time. I personally tend to get them at the weirdest times. I love this quote because it completely changes the way I think about them. In stead of shying away from insecurity and maybe going for ‘safe’ places and situations, you should challenge yourself. Only in this way you’ll gain more confidence. This goes for both social and professional situations. I’m a big believer in doing things that scare me. Examples are booking a solo 3-week journey through Thailand last year or applying at companies that you never expect to get in (how did you think I started working at Ann Demeulemeester in the first place?).
Lesson 3. “What would you do weren’t afraid?” by Beyoncé in Refinery 29 article “Beyonce leads Time list of 100 most influential people“
Of course I had to include at least one Beyoncé quote in this article. I’m not the biggest fan of all her music but when it comes to inspiring me on a career of personal level, Bey is one of the go-to women. She’s a true powerhouse, self proclaimed feminist, a one women brand and can change our vocabulary like no other (surfboardt anyone?).
I loved and have re-watched the documentary “Beyoncé: Life is but a dream” because it shows how she knows what she is doing and she works her ass off (also a good docu on another power women is Annie Leibovitz: Life Through A Lens). The quote I wanted to include in this post is “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”. If you weren’t afraid of losing a safe and steady income? If you wouldn’t fear failing? If you knew that no matter what, you would always have a safety net? If everything would always land on its feet? I know what I would do. How about you?
Lesson 4. “Hey, it’s ok to be a late bloomer” in Refinery article “14 Late Bloomers Show Us Why The Wait Is Worth It”
Sometimes you can feel like time is running out and you’re not growing/developing fast enough. As I have said before ‘30 seems like the age upon which you should have reached most of your goals‘. The Mark‘s and Tavi‘s of the world have built their skills and empire before turning 25. But have you considered that you might not have to be in such a rush? You can spend time “honing your craft, seriously considering your path, experimenting with different outcomes, and working out what will make you successful.“
Vivienne Westwood opened her first store in her 30s, J.K. Rowling was still broke at the age of 30, Jon Hamm (aka Don Draper) was only casted at age 36 and Martha Stewart didn’t know what she wanted to do until she was in her late 20s. Which leads me to another great quote by Martha and leads me back to my first lesson: “Broaden yourself. You don’t have to focus when you’re 20. I think the broader you are, the better it is. Later you can focus on your real interests and ideas. The ultimate goal is to be interesting and useful…If you’re successful on top of that, then you’re way ahead of everybody.”
Lesson 5. “Take control of your career and believe that anything is possible” by Soraya Darabi, co-founder of Zady (and well Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, as well) in Refinery 29 article “5 ceiling shattering women to inspire you“.
If anybody should believe in you, it should start with yourself. Easier said than done right? I can sometimes make the mistake of waiting too long thinking that opportunities might be offered to me. Having had some experience in the working world, it has become very clear that those opportunities will never appear if you don’t go after them yourself. Being a ‘modest Belgian’, showing how well you’re doing and what you’re worth goes a bit against our, and mine, nature. Being open about this however is quite necessary in today’s reality. Other people will only see how well you’re doing if you’re willing to show it. Not in a braggy annoying way, but in an honest and clear manner. If you’re doing things in your free time and they’re relevant to your professional life, share them with your boss. I’m well aware (believe me) that this isn’t really as easy at is seems.
So that’s it for the 5 (quite personal) lessons I’ve learned from Refinery 29 (and Beyoncé). I love to hear what you think about these things! Do you feel like these type of articles are as useful as I find them? Do you love inspirational quotes as much as I do? Then please do comment in the section below. And now a little bit more Yoncé, cause who runs the world?!