Life Hacks

How to Boss Up When Life Gets Real

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There is so much to love about being an entrepreneur/lady hustler/all-around girlboss. You’re pursuing your passion. You’re tapping into all that badass creative energy. You set your own schedule.

The thing that blows about being a one-woman show? As you go, so goes your business. When you get sad, sick, or sucked down, your business does, too. And we’ve all been there.

Here’s your checklist for how to boss up when shit gets real.

Self Care

Self-care means different things to different people, but getting some nutrition every day is essential. Unfortunately, food is usually one of the first things to drop on the priority list when life happens. Buy (or order) some comfort food, but also stock up on some easy nutritional staples: good cereal, bananas, yogurt, protein bars—whatever it is you like that will be easy to nibble on when you don’t feel like eating. Remember: food is brainpower! You need to be fed in order to really, truly keep your mind up to speed.

In the immediate aftermath of whatever nosedive has happened, rest your mind and rest your heart. Take some time to yourself, whether that means going for a walk, seeing a movie on your own, or hunkering down in a comfy chair with a stack of magazines at the local library. Do things to which you have no obligation, but try to make it something that gets you out of the house (or at the very least out of bed).

Spending time on yourself is important. A rested and healing you is a more productive and vital you.

Don’t Self-Flagellate

When you haven’t been as productive as you’re used to being, it’s easy to beat yourself up for it. Don’t. You had—and have—Real Things happening, because you’re a person, not a machine. If you feel run down, then your mind isn’t going to be kicking at 100%. That’s normal!

Try being mindful of your thoughts. Learning to let go of the negative thoughts that pass through can be tough, but lots of stuff lives up there, and lots of what we think when we’re down just isn’t true. Think, “Would I say that to someone I love?” If not, let that thought go.

Easy does it, girlboss. Be gentle with yourself.


If you’re the type of person who can throw themselves into their work on the heels of upending life stuff, go all in and kick ass. But if you’re not (and many of us aren’t), that’s where prioritizing comes in.

Make to-do lists the night before rather than the morning of—this helps orient you to the day more quickly. It’s also helpful to sort your tasks. Marie Forleo has a great video on separating the “urgent” from the “important.” Your “urgent” tasks have to get done, but are also often busywork—emails, meetings, things like that. Basically, things that will get done anyway, and things that can be soul sucking to spend all your time on. The “important” tasks more often play into those long-term goals that are soul-feeding, something that’s especially important when you’re just getting back into the swing of things. Be sure to have at least one designated “important” task on your to-do list every day. That’s self-care, too!

Call in the Experts

Toughing it out when it’s just you is one thing. But it’s not just you anymore. It’s you and your business.

Whatever you are going through, sometimes bossing up means knowing when to call in the experts. Whether that means going to your doctor (or finding a doctor) or going to (or back to) therapy, sometimes seeking professional help for your personal life is the answer. When you’re an entrepreneur, taking care of your business means taking care of yourself.

Which, let’s face it, is always a good idea.

Jeanna Kadlec

Jeanna Kadlec is the founder of Bluestockings Boutique, an online alternative lingerie boutique whose motto is "underthings for everyone." For the last four years, she has called academia home. You can follow her on Twitter at @BluestockingsBo.

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  • Stephanie

    Great post! And if I’m honest a much needed one where my head has been lately. I think my favorite part was when you wrote “You had—and have—Real Things happening, because you’re a person, not a machine. If you feel run down, then your mind isn’t going to be kicking at 100%. That’s normal!”. I have recently had a lot of real life health problems in my family and I think that it finally caught up with me and I get very frustrated with myself at not being at my usual 100%. I’m working on being kinder to myself and taking care of myself. Thanks for the encouragement and great timing with this post :) Happy Sunday!

    • Porsha Thomas

      Stephanie! So happy that Jeanna’s article was just what you needed! Have an excellent start to the weekend!

    • Jeanna

      Hi Stephanie – So glad that this was encouraging. We could all definitely use those daily reminders to be gentle with ourselves; we are our own worst critics! Hope you are doing well!