Imposter syndrome, self-doubt or lack of confidence, whatever you want to call it, chances are, if you are a woman entrepreneur, you know the feeling well. Which is why we applaud, with every fibre of our being Issa Rae’s totally unapologetic acceptance speech at the 2019 Women in Film Gala.

Issa RaeAt Melan, we champion women entrepreneurs, we have written articles on Self-promotion: It’s not boasting if it’s true and How to silence that negative voice in your head  in recognition of how hard it is to shake off years of conditioning that we are somehow not worthy of being successful in our chosen entrepreneurial ambitions.

Stepping on to the stage to accept her award for Emerging Entrepreneur at the annual Women in Film Gala, which advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the film industry, at first Issa’s hesitating manner reminded us of her character in her popular HBO comedy Insecure, but she soon stepped into her truth as the confident, unapologetic woman she is, much like her favourite hip hop artists, who she says don’t even understand the word humble!

“Entrepreneur means I did that shit by myself. To everybody who claims to have helped me get here: OK, and?” she laughed. “In conclusion, entrepreneur ‘til I die, I deserve this, bye.”

Warming to her unapologetic speech, she explains: “As women we tend to downplay ourselves. We tend to dim our light and we’re kind of conditioned socially to be humble. And I grew up in the age of hip hop…and none of my favourite artists are humble. So, in writing my speech, I decided to embrace this moment in honour of them.”

She continued to a laughing audience who were all lapping up her words, “I’m the first so you future hoes need to bow down unless you’re ready to catch my fade with your weak ass. I’m closing all doors behind me, so if you didn’t make it in, oops, your bad. Figure it out.”

She continued: “Entrepreneur means I did that shit by myself. To everybody who claims to have helped me get here: OK, and?” she laughed. “In conclusion, entrepreneur ‘til I die, I deserve this, bye.”

While we may laugh, there is an unshakeable truth to her words, okay, maybe not the bits about “closing all doors behind me”, but we can’t deny that many of us tip-toe around our successes and are not self-confident enough to square our shoulders and shout about our achievements. We need to be more Snoop. Remember his Hollywood Walk of Fame speech?

It’s certainly easier said than done, but ladies, it’s time to channel our inner Hip Hop artist and shine.

Watch the full speech below

 

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