When I was a little girl, my mom preached at me that I could do whatever I wanted. I’m sure that contributed hugely to my strong will and faith in myself, or maybe I’m just enough of a rebel to stick it to anyone who sees a life for me that I don’t see for myself.

As a blonde, people believed that I was stupid.
As a girl, people believed that I was weak.
As a lower middle class-ette, people believed that I wouldn’t amount to much.
As a southerner, people believed that their traditions were for me.

Not everyone, but enough that I said, “Fuck that, I’ll show you what I can do.” And I did it.

When I was 18, I owned a brick and mortar store.
When I was 21, I had my daughter and started my first handmade business.
When I was 23, I finished my degree and decided not to pursue that career. Instead, I started my own business as a web designer.
When I was 27, I earned my first six-figure year. (I likely never would have done that with my degree.)
Now that I’m 30, I’m the coolest 30-year old that I know. I have 2 booming businesses, a little family unit that’s strong, happy, and supportive, a network of new and life-long friends that do cool things, I work whatever hours I want doing work that I love, and I make my own damn rules. Every day.

I define my version of success and am free to pursue it as I please.

How? Because I believed that I could.

Apart from having someone early in my life telling me I can do whatever I want and a rebellious nature that pushed me to prove every naysayer wrong, I’ve proved it to myself, over and over again. And as a girl with a background in science, you show me proof and I’m in.

I can do hard things. I can build whatever life I want. I can do it. You can, too.

It doesn’t matter what others believe for you, it only matters what you believe for yourself.

In an effort to break down how I cultivate the boss feeling within myself, I’ve pulled out a few tenets that resonate with what I believe makes me boss:

I believe that I can do anything that I put my mind to.
I trust that when something goes wrong, I’ll figure it out.
I refuse to surround myself with people who bring me down.
I understand that the unsureness, the ebbs and flows, and occasional insecurity is just part of the process.
And I’ve learned to enjoy the process because the process is my life. I won’t reach my end goal until I’m on my deathbed. And at that point, I want to have no regrets. I want to have lived a life that I love.

No regrets. Happiness. Joy. Fulfillment. These are within my reach because I say they are, and I’ve built a life based on the belief that I can do it if I work for it.

#IamBeingBoss because I believe in myself.

Emily is the co-host of Being Boss Podcast, helping creative entrepreneurs learn how to run their own creative business with the tough love they need to hear to do the work. She also owns Almanac Supply Co., a maker and retail business focused on creating and curating items to help you live closely with nature, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.