Book 27 of 2016
The original nasty gal grew up hitchhiking and dumpster-diving, trying to pave her own path while worrying her parents. Fast-forward to 2016: the same nasty gal is a nasty-successful entrepreneur, worth $280 million dollars and soon to be the subject of a Netflix Original Series (2017). She is only 32.
I picked up #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso after many months of seeing it displayed at various bookstores. Personally, I had never shopped on Amoruso’s entrepreneurial-turned-revenue-generating-machine vintage clothes site, Nasty Gal, but I was intrigued by the book that the Washington Post called “Lean In for misfits.” Besides, I always love new, fresh takes on feminism in the workplace, and women kicking butt in their fields and in their personal lives. Thus, the one-time anti-capitalist-shoplifter-turned -fashion-phenom, has a story worth reading.
Who is the target demo for #GirlBoss? Millennial females (especially 29 and under), women who are looking to start getting serious about a career, and/or those who are simply clueless with how to begin job interviewing. I say this because Amoruso and I are the same age (still millennials, but on the older end); I’ve been working hard for a long time, and while I can’t call myself one of the richest self-made women in the world, I do think that I have had some success in my field and I feel confident that I have learned a lot along the way. There are pieces of advice in #GirlBoss that felt a bit ‘young’ and potentially even silly to me, including advice on how to pay your bills. I may feel the way I do because I have already learned many of the early career building skills Amoruso references while in my twenties. I learned from others, and myself, how to follow some of the rules Amoruso now stresses for those girls who are just starting out, or those who are just realizing their passion. And some of the advice she gives seems like common sense to me.
Other than feeling a bit ‘old’ for some of Amoruso’s advice, I got a lot out of her tale. I laughed at her candid advice and self-deprecating humour. But I also appreciated how confident she was, and how she understood where she came from. #Girlboss is part-memoir, part-girl power guide…but it doesn’t focus too much on any issues Amoruso had being a female lead in the business world. Instead, her story focuses on her own success story, and how she fought to stay true to herself, admit her weaknesses, and ultimately grow her company. Amoruso is witty, sassy, street-smart, and business-savvy. Plus, she just feels real…which is probably hard to come-across as when you are wealthier than Beyoncé.
Here are some of the key notes from #Girlboss that I wrote down as I read:
– Fortune favours action
– If you believe in yourself others will believe in you too <One of those phrases everyone knows, but needs to remind themselves of.>
– There are secret opportunities hidden behind every failure <I loved this one!>
– Customer service: just say you’re sorry. You are the face if the company and that kind of accountability is what gets you raises. <This is one of those pieces of advice that I thought was aimed at a ‘younger’ demo, especially with the story that went along with it. I did want to include it, however, because although it seems like a no-brainer, it’s easy it get defensive or forget yourself in certain situations, regardless of your age.>
– You will never regret trying to fulfill your dream
– An entertaining childhood: Amoruso writes about how she shoplifted all the time and the first thing she ever sold online was something she shoplifted
– Amoruso’s book recommendation: The Richest Man in Babylon
– The world can’t read you mind
– Separate your money from your mind
– The laws of attraction – put positive vibes into the universe.
– Stop thinking about things you don’t want to think about… kick them out if your head. Don’t think it’s luck. It’s self-made magic. <This is a piece of advice that we may all know, but it is nice to have reinforced.>
– Extroverts get energy from big groups of people and Introverts find it draining and recharge by being by themselves. Extroverts get love adrenaline and feed off of it, making them take bigger risks.
– Get excited for the mistakes you’re going to make. <I loved this piece of advice. It gives women, men, girls, and/or boys- anyone who has picked up #girlboss- hope. It’s a reminder that while of COURSE it is scary to follow your passions, mistakes are inevitable. And if we can look forward to our mistakes by viewing them as positive experiences we can learn from, than the better off we are.>
I want to dedicate today’s review to my friend Tara, a real #girlboss. Today is Tara’s last day working at a great job that she excels at, and she is leaving to pursue her passion of writing full-time. She has been doing both jobs for a while now; I am so proud of her for working hard to build her writing portfolio, and now taking the leap into a successful second career in her life. It’s hard to leave something you happen to do well for something you love, because many of us fear lack of structure and familiarity. Tara is one of the inspiring gals in this world who dared to follow her dream, and it has paid off. All the best,T-Mac!