Over the past week, Kate Hudson shared the Business Chicks stage with Emma Isaacs and discussed everything from being a single mum of two boys to how she grew her $250 million business. She went on to inspire women to own their successes, support one another and to keep on pushing for equality.
1. Own your success
There was a moment during our Sydney event when Emma asked Kate if she was proud of her Fabletics success. Kate paused, took a breath and mentioned how her friend Reese (yes, Reese Witherspoon) recently spoke about the same issue on a recent episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays.
“Women don’t ever really celebrate their success… Why don’t we do that?” Kate asked before adding, “but, fuck yeah [I’m proud of it]!”
Lesson: make like Kate and Reese and celebrate the wins, brag about your accomplishments, and talk about yourself like LeBron James talks about being the best basketball player in the world.
2. It’s ok to hate work
You’d assume that a successful actor who pursued a further business opportunity and wrote two bestselling books would absolutely love work. Not so, Kate, like all of us has a love/hate relationship with it.
“I love work, and then I hate work, but I always have to be doing projects.”
“When you’re a mum and acting, it’s hard. The hours and days are long, and you don’t get to see your kids. You have to figure out a way to create something that will keep you going, not only as someone who wants to work but also as a mom. That’s why I got into and started Fabletics.”
“I’m a single mum supporting two kids, so it’s important to me to keep working.”
Lesson: even if you have a successful career and a multi-million dollar company, life isn’t all sunshine and roses. You’re going to have days where you want to quit, lose motivation, or stay-at-home if you’re a mum – it’s normal.
3. Failure is fine
Kate revealed that growing up she never felt pressure from her famous parents to go into show business or be a great actor. She was encouraged to do the best she could, rather than being the best at everything, and it’s a lesson that’s stayed with her when it comes to failure, both in business and in life.
“When the [family] unit is that strong, failure is fine. I never felt like I had to do everything right.”
“My mom (Goldie Hawn) always says, ‘The only thing you can really fail at is raising your children.’”
Lesson: put your failures into perspective. Maybe that meeting didn’t go as planned or your business idea didn’t succeed, but are you going to be still mortified about that meeting in a year’s time? Is it as bad as not being there for your children? Probably not.
4. Balance is bullshit
When Emma asked Kate if she misses her kids when she travels for work, her response, “not yet!” made the whole room erupt into laughter.
“I work a lot, but I’m constantly present in their lives,” Kate explained. “I’m present to the point where my mum says you need to go on a break. But I only leave for work, so that’s like a vacation for me.”
Talk inevitably turned to how Kate fits so much into her life, and she revealed how she got mad after reading Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article on ‘Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.’
“I appreciated her story, but it’s not every woman’s story. Everyone has a different circumstance in their family, and you have to deal with that, but I don’t necessarily think that women can’t accomplish the things that they want to accomplish. And I think you find that balance for yourself. You have to set yourself up for what you feel capable of doing. Balance is an individual thing; it’s not some collective female experience.”
“At the end of the day, how do we balance anything? I never feel completely balanced, and I’m still happy.”
Lesson: see point 4.
5. Now’s the time to support other women
As one of the key women involved in the Time’s Up movement, Kate had some strong things to say about women in the workforce and society.
She said of the pivotal time we’re at in history right now that women are stronger than ever before and it’s time that men “raised their consciousness and met us on a different level.”
“Now more than ever it’s about the community of women supporting other women.”
In pushing for more female representation on boards, she encouraged everyone to ask men in power about how many (or how few) women are on their boards to keep the momentum going.
Lesson: Don’t compete with other women, be their biggest champions. Davina, we’re looking at you.
6. The juggle is still real, even when you’re famous
“I think every woman in every walk of life, especially when you have kids and complicated relationships and you’re working, has those moments when you think you’re failing at everything and trying to keep everything afloat.”
Kate thinks real success and personal growth lies in life’s hard moments. When shit is inevitably hitting the fan, instead of pointing fingers or blaming others, Kate pauses and reflects on the situation. “You have to go, how did I get myself here and how do I make this better for everyone?”
Lesson: No one, not even the A-list celebrity with the amazing Instagram highlight reel has everything together.
7. The bright side is that we’re all going to die
Yes, it sounds morbid, but the theory that Kate subscribes to is that we’re all going to die, so why spend your time and energy holding onto anger or situations you can’t relive?
“There’s that cliché of live every day like it’s you’re last. Well I go more realistic that that. I’m like, ‘well, we’re all going to die.’ And we don’t know when that’s going to happen, but we are all going to die.”
“And as you get older, the more you realise how fast life goes.”
Kate admitted she’d made lots of mistakes in her business and career, but she doesn’t regret a single one. “I have the optimistic gene. Life is so fleeting and short; I just want to have a great time doing it.”
“I just want to do the thing that makes me feel like I’m living life to the fullest, not necessarily the happiest.”
Lesson: life isn’t always going to go plan, don’t keep reliving your regrets and use your mistakes as learning curves. Rather than chasing down happiness, look for opportunities that will help you live a big life rather than an easy one.