Copper Boom: Business Lessons from Lorelai Gilmore

Oy, with the poodles already.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I idolize Lorelai Gilmore.

She talks fast.

She runs on caffeine.

She makes people laugh.

And she alwaysssss has a few dozen pop culture references at the ready.

That stuff alone is enough to make her an inspiration to me.

But there’s more to her than that, obviously. And that stuff only makes her more of a #girlboss.

So let me tell you a little story.

When I relaunched this blog last year, I knew I wanted sitcoms and pop culture to be part of the “brand values.” Yes, sitcoms are part of my brand.

Not just because it takes active effort not to reference them in my writing anyway. Not just because it’s fun. And not just because it kind of fulfills my secret dream of being a pop culture commentator that’s featured on VH1 specials like I Love the 80s Part 300.

I knew that my readers could learn as much from lady bosses like Leslie Knope and Kimmy Schmidt as they could from ones like Mariah Coz and Sarah Morgan.

So anyway, when I was planning ideas for this new, not-yet-released blog for awesome biz women, I came up with the idea for these pop culture business lessons for girlbosses. And I made a list of the fictional women that inspire me in my business.

The two things were totally separate, yet I realized that those women needed to be topics of posts for the pop culture biz lessons column. So I got to work! Except…

Ladies, Lorelai Gilmore was literally #1 on that list.

Rory, Emily, Paris, and Lane are all on the list as well.

So why didn’t I write blog posts about them?

Because a few weeks after I scribbled down some notes about what Lorelai Gilmore taught me about entrepreneurship…a big. F*cking. Thing. Happened.

The stars aligned.

The heavens parted.

Netflix proved once again that they are what’s good and real in this universe.

Because they announced they were taking us back to Stars Hollow. In November 2016. With four 90-minute episodes. THAT’S PRACTICALLY MOVIE LENGTH.

Netflix basically told us they were giving us four Gilmore Girls movies.

*cue freakout*

Obviously, then was not the time to talk about Lorelai. She deserved more fanfare than that.

So the time is now, my friends!

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life hits Netflix next week. I’ve already planned out adjusting my sleep schedule so I can binge watch the whole thing starting immediately at 3:01am EST.

I’m sure there will be posts to come about all that the show has taught me overall, but today, let’s shine the light on the queen of fast talking and sarcasm, my queen…queen Lorelai.

3 Things Female Solopreneurs Can Learn from Lorelai Gilmore

1. She’s not afraid of going out on her own

Independence is a core part of who Lorelai Gilmore is.

They joke about her fighting her mom’s decisions even as a baby. She drove herself to the hospital while in labor to go give birth to Rory…at 17 years old. She left home for good at 18, with a baby no less, to go start a life for herself. She’s consistently shown choosing herself over a man, a friend, or whoever else…when it’s the right choice for her.

Lorelai knows how to be on her own. (If anything, it’s the being with others she wasn’t so great at, amirite?) But then again, she also knows when not to be.

She’s far from a lone wolf, but the girl knows when she needs to face a struggle on her own instead of with her support system.

How to be like Lorelai: know when to take leaps for your business, and when to step outside of your comfort zone. But also know when the risk may not be worth it.

2. She also knows when to lean on someone

As independent as Lorelai is, she still knew – way back in 2000 – that her daughter’s education wasn’t something to be stubborn and solo about.

So she went to her parents to pay for Chilton. And the Friday night dinners began, and history was made.

In general, Lorelai had a huuuuuuge support system.

Rory, Luke (regardless of what their relationship status was at the time), Sookie and Michel and everyone else at the inn, the whole damn town of Stars Hollow loved her and would help her with anything. Even Emily and Richard, by the end of the series, were there for her to lean on.

So despite being starkly independent, she still let other people help. Whether that was letting her parents chip in for Chilton, accepting a loan from Luke to open her own inn, or letting people from town chip in here and there whenever she needs it.

She knew the most important thing about being independent, one that I still struggle with more than almost anything else running my business: when to put your independence aside.

How to be like Lorelai: know when to ask for help, and make sure you have a support system in place – like One Woman Shop or the Freelance to Freedom Project communities – when that time comes.

3. She’s hella scrappy and determined

Finally, Lorelai is also kind of like Hamilton: young, scrappy, and hungry. She’s the definition of “work ethic.” Of GSD.

She worked her way up in the hospitality industry from a teenaged runaway housekeeper who lived in the supply shed, to manager and then owner.

And she knows how to get shit done – if not on her own, then how to get it done some other way.

Like that time she had to bring stuff to a Chilton bake sale and “outsourced” the baking to Sookie.

Or when she stood Luke up for their “painting the diner” date and bribed one of his suppliers to let her in so she could paint it herself.

She will go to clever, drastic, sometimes shady measures to get the job done. While the shadiness is a little ‘meh,’ the rest is admirable.

How to be like Lorelai: be creative in getting from point A to point B in your business. When the easy, direct route to something doesn’t work (and when does it?)

Talk fast and slay your solo biz

Sure, Lorelai has a lot of qualities you may not want to emulate. For example, coffee’s cool and all, but she’s straight up addicted. Maybe you want to more delicately straddle that line between “quirkily obsessed” and “unhealthily addicted.”

Or maybe you want to be less forgetful. That’s another characteristic she could do without.

And let’s not even talk about the lack of self-awareness it must have taken to not realize she liked Luke for so long…

Anyway.

Live like Lorelai, y’all.

Copper Boom! Lady Boss Business Lessons from Lorelai Gilmore