Interview: Emilie Aries
Can you start by telling the readers a little about yourself?
I'm Emilie Aries, the boss behind Bossed Up, a training company and career community for ambitious women who want to thrive while we strive. I started Bossed Up almost six years ago after burning out big time in the world of campaigns and elections. I loved my job and was rising quickly in the ranks, but didn't know how to set myself up for sustainable success. Now, I get to share my journey to crafting a happy, healthy, and sustainable career path with other women who want to do the same!
Can you tell me a little about where the idea for your company, Bossed Up, came from?
Well the term "bossed up," comes from hip hop, an art form quite familiar with the concept of owning your own come-up story in the face of systemic injustice.
I think being a woman or person of color in today's working world is quite similar: we know that there are forces bigger than us working to keep us oppressed, but we refuse to be victimized. We believe in playing the cards we've been dealt, while we change the game. We believe in striving towards our own goals, while lifting as we climb.
Is there one thing in particular that you find most rewarding about the work that you are doing?
I love watching the women in our community accelerate their glow-up! After attending our signature training program, Bossed Up Bootcamp, I keep in touch with our alums to see how things transform in their lives and careers in the months and years that follow. These revolutions don't happen overnight, but rather lead to huge sea changes in their lives as they take the reins in their career, own their power in their personal relationships, and step as the boss of their own lives. It's a beautiful thing to witness and I try to spotlight their stories on the Bossed Up blog as often as I can! I also share boss moves our community members are making at the end of each of my Tuesday podcastepisodes. It's such an uplifting way to end the show each week and it allows our ladies' courage to become contagious. As I always say, you never know who you're inspiring when you share your own come-up story.
What is something you have learned in doing your job?
I've learned that none of us get to where we're going faster by going it alone. I've benefited from incredible colleagues, brilliant advisory board members, and all kinds of partners, collaborators, and fellow Bossed Up Trainer Teammembers who share our mission to help women craft happy, healthy, and sustainable career paths. Not only are we better together, but it's a helluva a lot more fun to work side-by-side with other badass activists and industry leaders who share our vision for a world where women and men can achieve our full potential at work without sacrificing our personal wellbeing along the way.
I think I've heard that you are also writing a book. Can you tell us anything about that?
Yes! I'm publishing my first book, Bossed Up: A Grown Woman's Guide to Getting Your Sh*t Together with Public Affairs Books this May. I'm so excited to take everything I've learned throughout this journey and compile it into an actionable guide for women who want to become the boss of their lives and careers. It's full of actionable research, personal anecdotes, and inspiring spotlights on over a dozen women from our community who've bossed up in their own unique way. I can't wait to get it into more women's hands - and in fact, you can pre-order your copy NOWto make sure you don't miss it!
Why do you think it is important to tell our stories?
Because patriarchy! And of course by that I mean, powerful women who dare to lead their lives on their own terms is still a relatively new concept, historically speaking. We have to tell our stories to change the broader public narrative that's been traditionally told by people who've been in power and running things for much, much longer: those who happen to be mostly pale and male.
We are never really done growing up. What would you like to do in the future?
So much! I'd like to continue to hone my drumming hobby, hike and ski epic mountains, maybe start another small business or two, perhaps run for public office, start a family, become a more practiced amateur baker. We'll see! One pursuit at a time is how I roll.
Do you have any advice for girls who are growing up today?
Yea: be weird. Follow you curiosity, even if it makes you stand out. Blending in is overrated, although it might not seem that way now. You're special. Don't let the world smooth your rough edges - they make you who you are.
What is the best piece of advice (business or life) that you've received?
Try it. See what works and what doesn't. Just start now so you can get to figuring it out. No one gets it 100% right the first time.
A few favorites:
I'm constantly trying to devour books (they're the best way to learn from others!). A recent fave is Francesca Ramsey's Well…That Escalated Quickly!
The Cranberries. My first musical love. RIP Dolores O'Riordan.
“A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
What is your life motto?
Have confidence in your ability to figure it out.