While reading an article in the June Vogue magazine, I was struck by a quote from Net-A-Porter founder and millionaire Natalie Massenet in the interview:
“Choose the right husband and nanny, and then don’t worry about a social life. Everything but family and work has to go.”
This was alarming to me. And that surprised me a little.
Me, a self-proclaimed feminist who wants a successful career. Those words struck me because I realized I want success, but I want a life beyond work and a family (in the event that I have a husband and child at some point in the distant future.) I like standing on my own two feet, and being able to pay all my bills on time, without depending on someone else’s income.
I don’t usually read Vogue. The only reason I saw the June issue was that I’d arrived 45 minutes early to a pedicure, a luxury I enjoy once every few months. And since June in Seattle was in the 60s and mostly rainy, I have hope that in July, I’ll wear sandals more often.
I was reading about Massenet’s company, and how she recently made $76 million dollars by selling Net-A-Porter to Richemont, the company that also owns Cartier. Before reading this, I had never heard of Net-a-Porter. I’m not the demographic (I don’t buy $1,200 shoes.) But if I did, and I wanted them within 24 hours, NAP is the place to go.
I admire Massenet’s entrepreneurship. Ten years ago she had the idea for this business of selling high-end fashion online to women who were too busy to shop. So-called experts kept saying the business would fail. It didn’t. The Vogue interview revealed that Massenet cuts her own hair, does her own makeup, and has a husband and two kids.
I want a successful career. I want to be self-sufficient and to buy an expensive bottle of wine on occasion, or get a pedicure if I want one, and go on vacation once or twice a year. But I’m not willing to sacrifice my social life, at least at 25, for the almighty career. Maybe I’ll feel differently at 35 or 45. Then again, I don’t think I’ll ever be a millionaire. Regardless, I want a work-life balance that involves 40 or 50-hour work weeks. And haircuts by a professional.