The Best Advice From Cosmo’s Fun Fearless Life Weekend



Nov. 12 2014, Published 2:00 a.m. ET

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Over the weekend, Cosmopolitan hosted it’s first ever Fun Fearless Life Weekend in NYC at Lincoln Center. The two-day event was filled to the rim with empowering speakers, inspirational stories, and fun moments. Speakers included the likes of Spanx founder Sara Blakely, founder of NastyGal Sophia Amoruso, DKNY PR Girl Aliza Licht, Gabrielle Bernstein, Beverly Bond, and Gabrielle Union just to name a few!

We were there for all of it, and while some of what we already know was simply reinforced, we also came away with new insights and new perspectives on how to accomplish our goals and live out all of our ambitions!

Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmo perhaps put it best, “for most of us, our twenties are full of contradictions,” explained the hilarious, witty and ever-inspiring host. “In our twenties, we are still becoming.”

Throughout the weekend, there were varying stories shared of how each woman made it, how each woman reached their goal and the obstacles they overcame. The commonality? No road was straight, all had bumps in the road and unexpected twists and turns. But as Blakely pointed out during her incredible opening speech, it’s all about having the right attitude and relentless drive.

Here are the highlights straight from our notebook of the best advice, quotable and notable moments from Cosmo’s Fun Fearless Life weekend in NYC.

Why Your Twenties Matter – Dr. Meg Jay

Dr. Meg Jay, author of The Defining Decade spoke about the importance of weak ties. She shared some key insights about how “the people in our lives who are distant that lead us to new things.”  The person you maybe met once at a thing, and email occasionally. The person you maybe never met that you exchange articles and commentary with on Twitter.

The reason? Well, those closest to you tend to know just about as much as you do. They know the same people and do the same things. While weak ties come from different walks of life. They bring different perspectives and contacts.

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"“Your best friends can't open new doors for you, because you're all in the same room." –Dr. Meg Jay #FunFearlessLife
"New things come from outside of our inner circle." -Dr. Meg Jay
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So, how do you cultivate those weak ties, and why would they offer you a life-changing opportunity? Dr. Jay went on to explain a phenomenon called “The Ben Franklin Effect.” Essentially, when we do a favor for somebody we decide we like that person more. Why? Simple. It’s good to be good. There is a helpers high associated with being generous. When you give someone an opportunity to help you you’re giving them the chance to feel generous (as long as the help is not a burden).

When you ask for a favor, you should not be burdensome. One way to avoid that is to be sure you do your work before asking for a favor. Often, young women are afraid to own their own ambitions and be out front with something specific they need and want.

“Young women are afraid to own their own ambitions and be out front with something specific they need and want.” Dr. Meg Jay #FunFearlessLife
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Then, we learned to Power Pose from Amy Cuddy. She has a TedTalk about it that’s pretty famous (with over 21 million views). At Cosmo, we essentially got the summarized version of that talk, but it was no less amazing.

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We learned that when you make yourself bigger you make yourself feel more powerful. So, make yourself big before high stakes events.

"when you make yourself bigger you make yourself feel more powerful. " -Amy Cuddy #FunFearlessLife
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The most interesting and surprising thing is she revealed that it actually increases your testosterone levels by 17 percent and lowers your cortisol by 25 percent! This was measured in an experiment where participants held a power pose for two minute just before going into a high stakes event. You’re more likely to close that deal, get that job, deliver that pitch when you power pose before you go into the room!

Amy Cuddy Power Poses
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We also met the amazing 18-year-old Bella Weems, the founder of Origami Owl in the “Create your Future” opening chat. She started the company when she was just 14 to raise money to get herself a car and now the company is worth a quarter of a billion dollars!

“The word no is the reason I am here,” Weems explained when telling the story of how she launched her company because she asked her parents to buy her a car and they told her no. She had to earn it herself.

"The word 'no' is something you have to take with a positive attitude." - Bella Weems founder of @OrigamiOwl #FunFearlessLife
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Create Your Future

This panel was power packed with moderator Elizabeth Holmes joined by NastyGal founder Sophia Amoruso, Fox Correspondent Christina Tosi, and Her Campus founder Windsor Hanger.

"There’s Google and you can google it all." –Sophia Amoruso on figuring things out along the way #FunFearlessLife
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And a Cosmo event wouldn’t be Cosmo without a panel dissecting the mind of men. They dubbed it “Manthropology” and of all the panelists Matthew Hussey was indeed the star dropping the most knowledge. From the reason why guys are afraid to define the relationship, to using the right language to get a guy to do what you want.

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Following that we were back on track with a panel featuring powerful women titled “Make Your Mark”  featuring Aliza Licht, Anne Marie Nelson-Bogle, Shay Mitchell, and Alicia Quarles.

"If change doesn't hurt a little, it's not change," says @dkny @AlizaLicht #FunFearlessLife
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Break goals down into bite size chunks with rewards along the way. Anne Marie Nelson-Bogle
Don't compare the reality of your every day to the best moment of someone's best day. Shay Mitchell
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 Days when you're exhausted, remember that this is someone's dream job. And a good team helps too! #FunFearlessLife @alicialquarles

On goals:

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Not it will happen in the future, it's happening now. It will happen. If I can do it any of you can do it. You have to believe it. Shay Mitchell

Day Two:

Day Two opened with some exciting high energy cheerleaders and another inspiring speech from Joanna Coles.

Joanna Coles on finding your purpose:

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“If your turn detective on yourself you will find what you’re looking for.”

Then we got to experience what felt like an intimate chat between Coles and Kelly Osbourne about loving your body.

Osbourne shared how she was literally “pissing her life away” with drugs and alcohol. But her big turning point was participating in the show, “Dancing with the Stars.” She explained that it helped her as she saw her body change and watched herself in the mirror. It was also the most vulnerable thing for her to go on live TV and dance in front of an audience with no prior dance training. She literally felt like if she could do that, she could do anything.

Osbourne was then joined by Jillian Michaels who shared tidbits including:

“We are unhappy when we are living the lives we think we should instead of the life we want.” -Jillian Michaels

She suggested putting forth an action plan for your life.

“Establish a why. A detailed why. If you have a why to live for you can tolerate any how.”

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“Establish a why. A detailed why. If you have a why to live for you can tolerate any how.” Jillian Michaels

“Get informed. Misinformed action is extremely destructive in our lives. When you get informed it empowers.”

""No matter how hard you try, you're never going to wake up and be someone else" -@KellyOsbourne #FunFearlessLife

Jason Silva lead a high-energy talk about passion, creativity and the need for humans to find meaning in their lives:

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“Experiencing awe causes increased creativity, passion and well-being. Blowing your own mind is therapeutic.” —Jason Silva

During the “Invest in You” session, LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel shared her incredibly simple 20:30:50 rule of how to budget your paycheck.

20 percent- goes to the future 30 percent – goes to the fun stuff 50 percent – goes to essentials

Here’s a few more tidbits from Alexa:

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“Money matters and if you tackle it early you can have the life you want in your 30s, 40s, 50s.” -Alexa von Tobel #FunFearlessLife
“Live beneath your means as much as you can in your twenties.”  -Alexa von Tobel #FunFearlessLife
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While she admits that defining what your means are is something we are never really taught how to do. Her advice, if you get a bonus, you should put 90 percent of it to the future and 10 percent of it to what you want.

Asking for a raise: “It’s like going to the gynecologist every year you have to do it.”

With your boss, ask what does my career path look like? I would like to talk about my career path and talk about me taking on more responsibility.Here’s what I’ve done and here’s what I’m working on here’s what I would like to take on to make your life better.

Next, we got a one-on-one session with Joanna Coles. She shared her best advice including three tips on living a fun and fearless life:

Next, we got a one-on-one session with Joanna Coles. She shared her best advice including three tips on living a fun and fearless life:  Have a lot of friends Have a vibrant fun job that you’re good at (you’ll have bad days but love it overall) Have sex
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The best thing you can tell an employer while in a job interview is “I can do this job for you.” That sentence alone is what employers want to hear and will reassure them that you’re the right candidate.


Gabrielle Union also spoke candidly and openly about her experience of having her private photos stolen and published on the internet for the world to see.  She calls the hackers criminals and explained, “What you do with your own body is your choice. Period.”

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By: Rhonesha Byng

Rhonesha Byng is the founder and CEO of Her Agenda— a digital media platform bridging the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women. The site provides access to content and community that gives millennial women access to information and inspiration to help them get started or to move to the next level of their career. Rhonesha is an Emmy award-winning journalist and entrepreneur whose philosophy in life is established by her acronym of N.E.S.H.A. No one Ever Slows Her Agenda. This motto served as the inspiration for Her Agenda. Rhonesha was named to the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and ESSENCE magazine named her among 50 Founders To Watch. Rhonesha is also the co-founder of the newly formed nonprofit org The Black Owned Media Equity and Sustainability Institute (BOMESI).

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