'I Encourage Women To Have 'F.U.' Money': What Tyra Taught Me About Financial Freedom

Supermodel and entrepreneur Tyra Banks sits down with glamour to teach us how to take control of our career and our finances.


The minute you decide to take control over your own life and happiness, you will be amazed at the results. 

While there are some things in life that we cannot control--like bad weather, gas prices, or getting older--there are two things that you can control --  your happiness and your hustle.

In a recent interview with Glamour magazine, Tyra Banks dished out several career tips and made me realize how important it is to be the boss in all aspects of life. As a woman of many titles, the media mogul is not a rookie when it comes down to being fearless and a true #girlboss.

Through her many jobs and business ventures, Tyra has always figured out a way to stay in control. She sets a great example for young women and is proof that when you know how to control your money, happiness, and learn how to hustle hard for the life you want, life becomes a little bit easier.

Check out a few career and life lessons that I learned from Tyra Banks, the queen of fierceness.

1. Know when to restrategize and reshape your personal brand

In the interview, Tyra discussed how becoming successful wasn't easy. In the beginning of her career, she had so many doors slammed in her face, but she used each "no" as a learning experience, and learned how to find other ways to reach her goals. Even after she became successful, Tyra noted that some people were still giving her a hard time. Later in her modeling career, she began to hear things like, "You're getting too thick," which for most models would have forced them to get on Kanye's workout plan and drink nothing but skinny detox teas. Tyra, on the other hand, took that criticism and found a way to use it to her advantage. She figured a way to restrategize her career around that criticism and found modeling gigs that weren't afraid of a woman with curves, like Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated.

Just like Tyra, we have to know when we should look into reshaping our personal brand when certain circumstances occur. When this happens, you should continue to stay true to your values, but should also figure out ways that you can improve your personal brand so that you are more marketable. For example, if I am an HR manager that is famous for successfully recruiting through job search engines, I have to learn how to restrategize and refine my recruiting techniques as the demand of the world changes.

2. Never Stop Studying Your Craft

When Tyra decided to choose the catwalk over college, her mom made sure that Tyra was driven and had a "can't stop, won't stop" attitude. In the interview with Glamour Tyra said,

"I [found] a fashion library in downtown L.A. I went and read magazines, watched tapes, and learned the top photographers. I was like, wow, there are big pearls at Chanel, and at Yves Saint Laurent they have hair slicked back in a chignon and red lips. So I went to Paris and put beads on my neck to walk for Karl Lagerfeld, and put on some red lipstick in the alley for Yves Saint Laurent's people. And I booked 25 fashion shows."

Tyra's success shows that she has always believed in the value of preparation. From the beginning, she worked extremely hard so that she was always prepared for anything that came her way. Even once opportunities began to knock on her door, Tyra had a bold and a fearless attitude. She took the opportunities by the horn, and gave each one all that she had, which in turn helped her reach the level of success that she has now.

[Tweet "Be prepared and be bold. "]

As professionals, it is important for us to stay on top of our game by sharpening our skills and learning as much as we can so that we are always prepared. Just like Tyra, once we receive the opportunity, we need to be bold and believe in ourselves. Too often, we wish so hard for certain careers, but then we fall into a level of uncertainty and a lack of confidence.

I remember when I received my first management job, I was extremely surprised because I was offered it even though I hadn't even applied for it. I originally applied for a lower level job, but apparently I was amazing in my interview so they offered something greater to me. When I got the call for the management job, I was so surprised and confused--like really, who in their right mind was trusting little ole' me to lead a team when I had zero experience and was still trying to figure out who in the hell I was as a person? The attitude that I had affected me in the first few months of my job, and it taught me that by playing small and not believing in myself, I was hurting myself the most. Just like Tyra, it is important to remain fierce and to believe in yourself at all times.

3. It's Okay To Be Vulnerable

Tyra mentioned that her Harvard Business School professor taught them that it is okay to be vulnerable. "Show emotions. If you feel like frigging crying, cry."

For Tyra, that piece of advice stuck. To her, it was more than being vulnerable, it was about being real to yourself so that you are not being someone that you are not. Sometimes when we hear the word "vulnerable" we associate that with being weak, but it is the exact opposite.

Vulnerability implies having the courage to be yourself. The best employees and managers know how to be vulnerable and they understand that vulnerability is what brings out our authenticity and helps us connect with others.

4. Never Be Afraid To Take A Break

When asked what she would tell her 25-year-old self, Tyra replied, "Take some time for yourself. You're still gonna be successful if you go on that vacation. I felt I had to sacrifice, that I needed to constantly go."

You should never work yourself crazy to the point where you are just going through the motions of life, but aren't truly living. Just like Tyra said, "you will still be successful if you go on that vacation." The world will not end if you take a little time out for you, to do things that you like to do. Now I'm not saying that you should have a "treat yo'self" day everyday, but occasionally you should definitely have some "me" time.

[Tweet "Never work yourself crazy to the point where you are just going through the motions of life."]

5. There Is Power In Financial Freedom And Having Your Own

Tyra tapped into the importance of being in control of your financial freedom by discussing what she learned from her mom's experiences.

"My mom stayed with my dad for too long because of financial reasons. If she'd just had a little side hustle, a little of her own money, she would have left. So I encourage women to have what I call 'F.U.' money."

Tyra feels that we all need our own money to do things independently and to not feel constrained. Having this money gives us financial freedom and it keeps us in control of our lives. If you don't know how to take better control over your money, you will find yourself stuck in places or situations because you cannot afford to do anything else or go anywhere else. Taking control of your money means putting more than $20 in your savings account when you think about it. Taking control of your money means saving at least 10% of your income and also finding ways to invest and grow your money. With your savings account, treat it like it's another bill and pay this "bill" every time you get paid. If you are horrible at paying your bills, set up automatic payments and have the money for your "bill" deducted out of your paycheck, and sent to your savings account on a consistent basis.

Learning how to manage your money is one of the most important things that you will ever learn how to do.

[Tweet "When you have financial freedom and money saved, you won't feel confined to people, jobs, or situations."]

Tyra is definitely someone that you can look up to when trying to figure out how to be a boss and take control over your life.

Let us know below how you plan on taking control over your happiness, career, and finances!

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