From ‘Rich Bitch’ to ‘Boss Bitch’: Nicole Lapin Talks How to Be the Boss of Your Life

Best-selling author Nicole Lapin is back with another book. In her first, “Rich Bitch,” she showed women how to take control of their finances. Now, Lapin is helping women take control of their careers and lives with “Boss Bitch.”

In her new book, Lapin offers loads of actionable advice, sample dialogues for real-life situations, and insights from her successes and failures. In short, she’s like a personal career coach, but she coaches you in a way that makes you feel like you’re getting advice from a friend — a smart, savvy friend who can boil down complicated topics into easy-to-understand language.

GOBankingRates chatted with Lapin before the March 21 launch of “Boss Bitch” to get some of her key tips from the book. She shared how you can be the boss of you career, the boss of your own business — and the boss of your life.

Own the Boss Bitch Mentality

A boss bitch means “being bold, obsessed, self-aware and strong,” said Lapin. “It’s about finding comfort in your own skin.” And you don’t actually have to be the boss to have a boss mentality. It’s a state of mind that you can adopt regardless of where you are in your career or your life.

Lapin said she took a chance when she used the word bitch in the title of her first book. In “Rich Bitch” and “Boss Bitch,” though, it’s not meant to be derogatory — it’s a term of comradery for young women. Although it’s true that a female who is strong, confident and in charge might be referred to as a “bitch,” Lapin wants women to get past the negative stereotypes about female bosses.

“I’ve been called a bitch in a derogatory sense in my career,” said Lapin. “What they were meaning when they called me a bitch was that I was aggressive, outspoken. If that means I’m a bitch, I’m going to own it.” And she says other women should, too.

Figure Out Your Life Road Map

If you want to be a boss, you can’t just think like one. You have to take steps to become one. For that, you need a plan.

“It’s super important to figure out the road map for your life and how to get there,” said Lapin.

Lapin recommends having one-, three-, five-, seven- and 10-year goals. But your goals shouldn’t be limited to your career. “You need to plan where you’re going in all aspects of life,” she said.

Have goals for family, finance and fun, she said. Make sure those goals are compatible, and have a plan for achieving them. But be willing to adapt and make changes to your goals and plans along the way, said Lapin.

Define Your Personal Brand

To be a boss, you need to figure out who you are and what you stand for, said Lapin. In other words, you need to develop your brand.

As Lapin writes in “Boss Bitch,” having a brand puts you in a position of power. And as she told GOBankingRates, “your brand is portable anywhere you go.” Most importantly, she writes that your brand has to be honest and authentic to you. Don’t try to be someone you’re not or all things to all people.

Lapin goes into detail on how to brand yourself in “Boss Bitch.” She even includes exercises from her personal brand consultant to help readers figure out their own personal brand.

Find Out: How to Invest in Your Career and Brand This Year

Stop Apologizing

Women who want to get ahead need to stop making the mistake of saying sorry for things that don’t deserve an apology, said Lapin. “There’s an over-apologizing epidemic,” she said.

Studies have shown that men will apologize, but they will not apologize for something they didn’t do wrong, said Lapin. Women, on the other hand, are much more likely to utter the words, “I’m sorry.” In fact, Lapin said she once counted how many times she said sorry in a day and discovered she apologized more than 50 times.

It’s OK to say sorry when you do something wrong. But you shouldn’t apologize for small things, such as taking a while to respond to an email or not returning a call right away. “It puts you in a position of weakness,” said Lapin.

Learn to Say ‘Thank You’

While women should stop saying sorry all of the time, they should say “thank you” more often, said Lapin. Too often, when women receive a compliment or praise about their work, they don’t accept it. Instead, they downplay it or flat out deny it.

If you want to appear confident like a boss, accept the compliments that are thrown your way. Say “thank you,” and accept the praise.

Up Next: 10 Biggest Career Mistakes Women Make

Ask for What You’re Worth

Women need to apply their boss mentality to get paid what they’re worth. In other words, they need to get comfortable negotiating their salary if they want to help close the gender pay gap. “Shame on us for not asking for higher pay,” said Lapin.

The key to asking for a raise and getting one is being prepared, she said. Don’t just pop into your superior’s office to casually mention the idea. Schedule an actual meeting with your boss, preferably after a good performance review. Have documentation showing how your accomplishments have helped the company. And think about what you want in terms of overall compensation — not just a bump in salary but perhaps better benefits such as the ability to work from home one day a week or more paid vacation time.

Also, look for other job opportunities that pay more so you can go into negotiations with leverage. “Even if you don’t want to jump ship, saying it can get the fire going in your current captain’s belly,” said Lapin.

Lapin plans to continue offering more of her down-to-earth advice in books to come, she said. And, yes, you can count on seeing “bitch” in the title.

Nicole Lapin is a New York Times best-selling author and two-time winner of GOBankingRates’ Best Money Expert competition. Lapin’s latest book, “Boss Bitch,” is available now.

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