When it comes to women ruling the world, OG #bossbabe Tina Brown has a lot to teach the rest of us. The British-born journalist took the reins at Vanity Fair in the ’80s—when she was only in her twenties, BTW—and turned the then-struggling magazine into a must-read. But that was just the beginning of her career as a pillar of female empowerment. After her time at Vanity Fair Brown became the first woman to edit The New Yorker before eventually founding The Daily Beast.
Last night, newly appointed Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Radhika Jones interviewed Brown, whose recently released book, The Vanity Fair Diaries, chronicles her seminal years elevating the magazine to its titanic status (and finding her own in the process), at a packed event held at the SoHo location of the women’s coworking space and social club The Wing.
So, what made Brown so successful and her résumé so impressive? She’s bold and wasn’t afraid to break barriers in the industry—and that’s something everyone can learn from.
Here are 3 pieces of bold life advice from Tina Brown.
1. Don’t let anyone get in your way
People will always get in the way of your dreams—whether it’s your work supervisor or governmental leaders—but don’t be afraid to put the fire inside of you on full blast in order to get what you want in life.
“Women have begun to feel angrier and angrier about being stalled and marginalized and missing the big job and somehow getting aced out of what they feel they should have,” Brown said. “When Hillary lost, tragically, really, that was the first time a lot of women [realized] they had been unaware in their obsessions with microaggressions that a big, fat, orange-headed macroaggression was barreling toward them. They hadn’t realized what could happen to their rights and to everything they cared about. It lit this firework—and it hasn’t dissipated. Women are now galvanized.”
2. If things aren’t working out, do your own thing
The number of powerful lady bosses is growing by the day, she said (and she’s right!). And if you’re not happy in your current work situation, think about ditching the typical nine-to-five for something better.
“One of the things I think is very exciting in this moment is the rise of women entrepreneurs who are saying, ‘You know what? I don’t see what there is for me in this current structure—I want to just do my own structure.'” —Tina Brown
“One of the things I think is very exciting in this moment is the rise of women entrepreneurs who are saying, ‘You know what? I don’t see what there is for me in this current structure—I want to just do my own structure.’ And I think that’s what you’re going to see more and more happening with women,” Brown said.
3. Take the time to recharge
“I’m afraid streaming video has changed my life. Netflix, Amazon, whatever it is—Danish noir—anything. I’ve seen it all. There’s no show you can mention in this room that I haven’t seen,” Brown said. “I’ve become a hermit, and I’m a very happy hermit.”
And while there’s never been a better-sanctioned reason to fire up your Netflix queue, you can still keep your eye on the #bossbabe prize with viewing material that’s especially girl-power aligned. Brown would most-certainly approve.