Today we celebrate women around the world - entrepreneurs, scientists, politicians, entertainers, etc. We celebrate our nurturers, our inspiration, and even ourselves.
It’s hard to narrow down a list of inspirational women, especially ones who have inspired me to work in the music industry and pursue my dreams. But I’m going to give it a go because these women not only inspired me to be where I am right now, but they push for change in both the music industry and the entrepreneurship space.
Music Industry Warriors
You're probably still in shock if you read the USC Annenberg Diversity Study I referenced in my first post on Monday. Good. We all should be in shock. But now we need to get over that shock and press for progress to change those numbers and to change our influence in music. Women have already started.
In the wake of the 2018 Grammy Awards, where Alessia Cara was the only female solo artist to take home an award on the broadcast, and the now infamous comments made by Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, female industry executives and artists stood up and fired back. Several female senior music industry executives emphasized in a strongly written letter to Portnow and the Recording Academy, which you can read here, that women have always been stepping up. These women recognized the problem and that there is a significant lack of opportunity. These women, in addition to the female artists that also stepped up and shared their reactions, deserve to be recognized today and every day for their contributions to the industry and for the courage to stand up and take action.
"Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’ – women have been stepping since the beginning of time. Stepping up, and also stepping aside. Women OWNED music this year. They’ve been KILLING IT. And every year before this. When we celebrate and honor the talent and accomplishments of women, and how much women STEP UP every year, against all odds, we show the next generation of women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal, and what it looks like to be fair.”
Kesha's story of struggle, courage, and standing up for herself and other women started long before the #metoo and #TIMESUP movements late last fall. She fought long and hard to void her contract with Dr. Luke and his business subsidiaries due to the abusive nature the business relationship took. In short, she claimed that Dr. Luke had sexually and emotionally abused her, and she wanted to be free of the contracts to move on with her life and create new music. The battle is on going, with accusations from both sides and no end in sight.
Despite all of this, Kesha battled on, releasing a new album in 2017, Rainbow, and delivering a tear-jerking performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Her strength, courage, and determination are to be admired and recognized, and we should all take note and be inspired by her.
My csun classmates
Of all the women in the music industry, I would be remiss if I didn't speak about the women I shared 2 years of my life with in a classroom, in group projects, stressing over exams, papers, and case studies. The women in my cohort at the California State University, Northridge all deserve recognition and praise. Some learned the industry and business for the first time. Some learned English as a second language, the culture in California and the United States, and the industry and business for the first time. Some started their own businesses, were promoted at work, and some obtained new industry employment. These women dug their heels in and never let go of their dream to work in the music industry. They're the future of the music industry, and they're why I'm here today.
Fierce Female Entrepreneurs
Sometimes in the music industry, we get so focused on our own industry that we may not look to outside sources for inspiration. There is wealth of blogs, Facebook communities, podcasts, and books on business, entrepreneurship, motivation, and living a creative life out there that are managed and written by fierce, business savvy, and inspirational women that can inspire, motivate, and teach us regardless of our niche industry.
There are two women in particular who I've come to admire in the last several months as I dove deep into the world of motivational books and entrepreneurship podcasts. The content that both these women produce was the catalyst for this website and this blog, and I will be forever indebted to them for motivating me to take the plunge.
Jen's career started in the music industry, so I guess you could say she should be included in the previous section for music industry warriors. It wasn't her music career that drew me to her, however, but her work as an author, motivator, and coach. Her book, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life sat on my to-read list for almost a year before I finally picked up a copy at Target. I devoured it within a weekend, and moved on to her newest release, You Are a Badass at Making Money, days later.
I was changed. A flaw I've come to recognize in myself is my insane capability of staying in my head, allowing thoughts, feelings, and anxieties to fester, of doubting myself and my talents instead of sharing them with the world. That's what does - she brings out completely out of your head and out of yourself with humor, straight-forward advice, and a whole lot of common sense. She inspired me to get off my butt and start creating a life that I want to live.
"Nobody who ever accomplished anything big of new or worth raising a celebratory first in the air did it from their comfort zone"
-Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass
Amanda is the woman behind the mic of the She Did It Her Way Podcast and the creator and organizer of the She Did It Her Way Summit in Chicago, IL. I found Amanda's podcast in the search for podcast episodes featuring Jen Sincero, and her enthusiasm for female entrepreneurship had me hooked. Guests on the She Did It Her Way Podcast hail from all industries, from service based companies to product based companies, freelancers, and sole proprietors.
As I dove head first into the podcast archives, I was inspired and motivated to create something of my own. These women have a passion for what they are do and are living the life they want to live, a life that they built on their own. But despite their successes, they are just like the rest of us. They share their hardships, their short falls that taught them lessons and led to changes, and ultimately their successes.
The She Did It Her Way podcast is a great resource if you're interested in becoming an entrepreneur or working a side hustle into a full time business, regardless of the industry you work in. Give it a listen and be inspired.
Who inspires you? Who are you celebrating on International Women's Day?