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20 Ways To Be A #GirlBoss In Your 20s!

Written by Jana Rosenberg. Published: April 29 2024


Your 20s are "the selfish years". It’s the time of life when it’s imperative to put a majority of your time and energy into yourself. Why? Because you’re young, you’re learning, and you're mentally maturing more than ever before. It’s the period where you’re finding yourself and figuring out what you are truly made of, while probably having way too much fun in the process. 


While a lot of early-20-year-old women spend most of their time focused on their love and social lives, a lot of them women don’t. Why? Because they are more than likely the definition of a “girlboss”.


A girlboss -- a term coined by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso in her best-selling book, #GIRLBOSS -- is a woman that’s extremely independent, wise beyond her years, hard working, and, most of all, motivated. She is determined to absolutely kill it in all aspects of life… yes, even the social part, but maybe not so much the love part just yet. But let’s be honest, if you’re a true girlboss in the most prime time of your life, the last thing you’re concerned about is finding love and settling down. That can wait!


So there are a couple reasons you could be reading this: (1) Because you’re already a girlboss and you love reading articles like this and getting validation that you're on the right track; and (2) because you’re not a girlboss, BUT you want to be. Good news! Below is a list of 20 ways to be the girlboss you’ve always wanted to be.After all, I believe that everyone has an inner girlboss in them somewhere – maybe she just needs a little motivation to come out!


1. YOU.

Literally – YOU are number one. To be a girlboss, you have to put yourself first. You have to stay more focused on yourself than you have ever been before – no serious or negative distractions. Always do what’s best for you, even if it’s something simple like staying in on a Saturday night just so you can be productive on a Sunday. “Woah!!! Productive…. on a Sunday?!?” …yes. Welcome to the boss life, girl.


2. Wake Up, Make-Up, Go.

Get out of bed early Monday through Friday and at least before 10am on weekends. It’s scientifically proven that people who wake up early after getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night do better all around – in school, at work, in the gym, etc. Another perk to being an early riser is there is no rush out the door. If you get up early enough, you have to time to put yourself together and look the part… whatever that part may be. Also, being an early riser means that there is time for the most important (and best) meal of the day – breakfast! And coffee, of course. Mornings are a prime time to take care of yourself and prepare for the grind. Which brings me to number 3…


3. The Grind.

Everyone has their own grind or way of doing things, but personally I believe in doing all things with 100% effort and in the most efficient way possible. In other words, get sh!t done! But do it well. Wake up early, prepare for the day, get yourself together, and literally grindddd. For a girlboss, it’s imperative to use every hour of the day effectively. Sure, some days are slower than others, but for the most part, girlbosses are usually killing it 24/7. Everyone knows THAT girl… yeah, be her. 


4. Stop Staying Out All Night Long.

In your 20s, everyone knows you party, and party a lot. I mean, you’re young, hot, and full of energy, so why not? It’s totally okay to go out with friends whenever you can, but it’s really not okay to stay out all night after doing so. Stumbling into your apartment at 5am is just so… quite frankly, it’s unattractive. Everyone has those nights, and every once a while, it happens (#memories!). But if you want to be a girlboss, then you should NOT make a habit of staying out all hours of the night. (Refer back to #2 – wake up! …early… and sometimes on Sundays).


5. Stop Drinking So Much.

Again, if you're 20-something, we know you party and drink alcohol – probably (hopefully) more often than those in their dirty-thirties. But DO NOT get carried away. Time flies, especially when you’re having fun, and if you get carried away partying and drinking your life away, one day you’re going to roll over all hung-over in bed at age 29 and think to yourself, “Oops, guess it’s time to get my life together now.” Sounds great, right? No… so not the girlboss way. Obviously.


6. Take Initiative!

Don’t be scared to step up and take the reigns. It shows confidence, a good work ethic, and maturity. Don’t take on more responsibility than you can handle, but volunteer, and do it often. Girlbosses can handle just about anything, and once you start taking initiative on things that others may choose to pass up, your girlboss-ness will show for sure.


7. Be Fearless.

Go at everything you do with full confidence and positive energy. You know that quote, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough”? Yeah, well, in girlboss language, that quote couldn’t be more on-point. Dream big and be fearless when doing so. Who cares if you fail at some things along the way? That’s what life is all about. Girlbosses don’t let their faults and mistakes keep them down; instead they use them as motivation to kill it the next time around.


8. Be Confident.

As you’ve read, I’ve already said the phrase “be confident” a handful of times, but I really feel like I can’t say it enough. Confidence is key to anything you want to do and succeed at in life. As great as your 20s are, these years can also be some of the scariest, most intimidating years of your life, but if you have enough confidence and the right mindset – no sweat! If nothing else, your confidence will carry you through.


9. Stop Putting Yourself Down and Start Pulling Yourself Up.

Being a 20-something can be so difficult because, while you’re an adult, you’re still extremely young and veerryy easily influenced. It’s so easy to look around at the world and be like, “Ugh, I wish I looked like that,” or “Wow, she’s perfect, why am I not like that?” Okay, well, here is the deal, ladies – while you’re too busy asking yourself those questions and feeling bad for yourself, a true girlboss is way too busy for wasting time by thinking like that. Instead, everyday she’s doing something to make herself better in all ways! Refer to #1 – YOU! Do you, always, and don’t let anyone else, what they look like, etc., get in the way.


10. Time Management.

This is SO important. Having a daily, organized schedule to follow is the key to success. It helps you manage your time, stay on top of responsibilities, and find time for fun. Not only that, but it keeps you in shape. You should have a designated time for the gym and leave spaces in the day to eat. This way, you can't use the “I don’t have time to workout" excuse, and of course, you’re not just sitting around eating all day – which you shouldn’t be anyways. This leads me to number 10…


11. WORK OUT! And Eat Healthy.

I don’t think I have ever heard anyone say that they regretted going to the gym. Exercise is so good for the mind, body, and soul. No, this doesn’t mean you have to be a cross-fit, yoga, cycle-crazy kind of gal, but it does mean that you should be exercising at least 5 times a week for at least an 45 minutes or an hour. Eat meals that are healthy and give you the proper fuel your body needs, with the occasional splurge from time to time. You’ll feel better, look better, and act better. Like one of the most infamous girlbosses to EVERRR hit your television screens, Elle Woods, once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. And happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t!” Point made.


12. Self-Respect.

Mmmkay, this is a big one. Say it with me: S E L F  - R E S P E C T. It’s simple: if you highly respect yourself, then others will highly respect you. Dress appropriately for everything you do, never sell yourself short, and stand your ground.


13. Dress To Impress.

Every girl feels most confident when they’re wearing an outfit they love and feel comfortable in. Most 20-somethings are what I like to call “balling on a budget”, but that is no excuse to give up on your appearance. Fake it ‘til you make it. Even if it’s just to your 10am Psychology class, don’t dress like a total slob. Be the girl that people look at and think, “Dang, that chick always has it together.” Fun fact: those are the people that probably don’t and/or won’t like you, but since you’re such a girlboss, you probably don’t care.


14. Always Be One Step Ahead Of The Game.

Always be prepared! Don’t let anything catch you off-guard if you can help it. Nothing is more attractive than being able to catch a ball that you may or may not have seen coming, am I right? Know your stuff and get familiar with the stuff you don’t! Show those around you that you can handle just about anything at any given time.


15. Find Out Who Matters and Who Doesn’t.

As we’re growing up, we find that some people who were previously in our lives don’t necessarily need to be there for the future. Surround yourself with people who motivate and encourage you to be your best self! Yes, a girlboss has got it handled on their own (most of the time), but having supportive friends and family around makes it all that much easier.


16. Finish What You Start.

Don’t start something that you don’t think you’re going to finish. When you put your mind to something, make it happen. It’s as simple as that. However, it’s so easy to get lazy and move on to something else when the going gets tough. The thing is, nobody likes (or respects) a quitter. So finish what you start and finish it well.


17. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.

I feel like this is such a 20-something-year-old thing to do, but it’s not the girlboss thing to do. I mean, I find myself still doing this more often than I’d like to admit, but I know how important it is to stay focused on the bigger picture and not so much on the little bumps along the road. Whatever it is, brush it off and move on. Girlbosses have bigger fish to fry than crying over spilt milk.


18. Set Goals.

This doesn’t need much explaining, but every girlboss has goals for themselves – short-term and long-term. Whether it’s landing that internship next summer you’ve been dying to get or running 5 miles at a 7-minute pace, set goals! Without them, it’s hard to go anywhere, and girlbosses are ALWAYS on the move…


19. Use Your Ears More Than Your Mouth.

Unless you’re the CEO of a million dollar company and then some in your 20s, spend more of your time listening than speaking. You’ll find that listening to others' two cents, advice, directions, and/or whatever else it may be, is MUCH more beneficial than putting in your own… always, but especially in your 20s. It’s the perfect time period to soak up all of the information you have access to and listen to those around you. You don’t always have to agree or follow their words, but just listen. I guarantee it will get your ears much further in life than your mouth… I know it’s done the trick for me so far!


20. Fake It ‘Til You Make It.

This pretty much sums everything up, and if you consider yourself a girlboss, then you already get what this means. Faking it ‘til you make it, like I stated previously in #12, is simple. No, it doesn’t mean literally be fake, but it means that, even when you don’t exactly have it all together just yet, act like you do. Everyone knows that, when you're 20-something, you’re usually in the process of actually getting it together and making your way, but if you come off like a total mess while doing so, no one is going to take you seriously. So repeat after me: Fake it. ‘Til you make it.


Thanks for reading, future girlbosses of the world! Now get off the internet and start putting yourself to good use. For who? FOR YOU!