#GirlBoss is much more than a self-help business book
NastyGal is not your mother’s taste (in fashion) and neither is Sophia Amoruso’s cheeky, self-help business memoir, #GirlBoss. I absolutely savored every piece of advice Amoruso dishes. I appreciate her self-awareness, ability to blaze her own path (on her own terms and with her unique style), streets smarts, sassy humor, and practical advice for those who want to be their own #GirlBoss. The illustrations drew me in as much as her inspirational bite-size quotes. She writes with a truthful vulnerability and shares her fair share of lessons learned.
For those who aren’t familiar with Amoruso, she went from a hitchhiking, dumpster-diving, community college dropout to creating a mega fashion brand, Nasty Gal, that has sold over $300 million in vintage and new clothing and accessories. Her humble beginnings started with an eBay store and she was a one-woman enterprise–mastering the skills of thrift store shopping, bargaining, photographing, copywriting, marketing, and shipping logistics. Talk about wearing multiple hats! She was her own start-up company. Her business may have seemed to grow overnight like a rags to riches story, but she worked her tail off because she finally found her passion and a clear purpose of who she wanted to become and what she wanted to accomplish in life. I finished this book in a day and furiously took notes.
Here’s what I learned from the #GirlBoss herself
What’s a #GirlBoss
“A #GIRLBOSS is someone who’s in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. As a #GIRLBOSS, you take control and accept responsibility. you’re a fighter–you know when to throw punches and when to roll with them. Sometimes you break the rules, sometimes you follow them, but always on your own terms. You know where you’re going, but can’t do it without having some fun along the way. You value honesty over perfection. You ask questions. You take your life seriously, but you don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re going to take over the world, and change it in the process. You’re a badass.”
On creating your own ideal life
“Learn to create your own opportunities. Know that there is no finish line; fortune favors action. Race balls-out towards the extraordinary life that you’ve always dreamed of, or still haven’t had the time to dream up.”
“You create the world, blink by blink. It is entirely yours to discover and yours to create.”
“… Recognizing the fact that we control our thoughts and our thoughts control our lives… You get back what you put out, so you might as well think positively, focus on visualizing what you want instead of getting distracted by what you don’t want.”
“Every time I got up in the morning instead of saying ‘screw it’ and sleeping in, every time I spent a few extra minutes on a product description to make it perfect, I was choosing my fate and sowing seeds of my future. It’s really hard to chart the path that led here, but it happened, and I did it.”
“Take care of the little things–even the little things that you hate–and treat them as promises to your own future. Soon you’ll see that fortune favors the bold who get shit done.”
On changing your mindset & believing in yourself // the red string theory
“I entered adulthood believing that capitalism was a scam, but I’ve instead found that it’s a kind of alchemy. You combine hard work, creativity, and self-determination, and things start to happen. And once you start to understand that alchemy, or even just recognize it, you can begin to see the world in a different way.
However, I think I always saw the world in a different way. My mom says that when I was five, I got a red string and ran across the playground with it trailing after me. All of the other kids asked what it was, and I told them that it was a kite. Soon everyone had red strings, and we all ran together, our kites high in the sky.
If I, and this book, have anything to prove, it’s that when you believe in yourself, other people will believe in your, too.”
On finding your passion
“If you’re bored and hating it, it’s a big sign that you’re more likely just in the wrong place… So hell, make it something you enjoy, because bored in not a #GIRLBOSS’s natural state. At all.”
On hidden opportunities
“What all of these jobs taught me is that you have to be willing to tolerate some shit you don’t like–at least for a while. This is what my parents’ generation would call ‘character building.’ but I prefer to call it ‘#GIRLBOSS training.’ I didn’t expect to love any of these jobs, but I learned a lot because I worked hard and grew to love things about them… I approached them with a sense of tourism and experimentation… If the plan changes, that can be even better. There are secret opportunities hidden inside every failure.”
On being financially wise
“There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.” — Calvin Coolidge
“If you learn to control your finances, you won’t find yourself stuck in jobs, places, or relationships that you hate just because you can’t afford to go elsewhere.”
“Sell things for more than you pay for them, and save more than you spend.”
“If you’re tempted to buy something, just imagine that those new shoes were actually made of crisp $20 bills. Doe those $20 bills look good getting dirty on the sidewalk? No, they do not. That’s because money looks better in the bank than on your feet.”
On shining as an introvert
“Even though introverts might keep quiet during meetings they have several tendencies that actually come in handy in the world of business: They make fewer risky financial decisions, are more persistent when faced with a problem that isn’t easily solvable, and can also be very creative. A lot of the world’s great artists, thinkers, and even businesspeople are and were introverts (Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and J.K. Rowling, to name a few), so in no way does being an introvert doom you into a life in the shadows.”
On being and staying creative
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” — Leo Burnett
“Anything you do can be creative… I was always looking for ways to make my job creative, no matter what that job was… None of the jobs at Nasty Gal are shitty to me, and I know because at some point I’ve done almost all of them. Whether it was styling, directing models, steaming clothing, or shipping an order–they were all creative. And when something got really boring, I turned it into a game to see how quickly, efficiently, and accurately I could get the job done.”
On owning your own style
“Clothing is ultimately the suit of armor in which we battle the world.”
“Own your own style like you own your used car. This means wearing what you like and what makes you feel good. And that means getting dressed for yourself.”
“Confidence is more attractive than anything you could put on your body.”
“Having good style takes thought, creativity, confidence, self-awareness, even sometimes a little bit of work.”
On when things get difficult
“You can’t have it all, and nothing comes easy. You will make sacrifices and compromises, get let down and let other people down, fail and start over, break some hearts, take some names, and learn to pick up and continue when your own heart gets broken. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible, and out of the bajillions of things in this universe that you can’t control, what you can control is how hard you try, and if or when to pack it in.”
“Your challenge as a #GIRLBOSS is to dive headfirst into things without being too attached to the results. When your goal is to gain experiences, perspective, and knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility. Failure is your invention. I believe that there is a silver lining in everything, and once you being to see it, you’ll need sunglasses to combat the glare. It is she who listens to the rest of the world who fails, and it is she who has enough confidence to define success and failure for herself who succeeds.”
On being the best version of yourself
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde
“… I looked about as far away from Most Likely to Succeed as you could possible get. Anyone looking for a sure bet, in business or in life, would never have put their money on me. But that didn’t dissuade me from betting on myself. In the end I beat the odds. Now, whenever I’m face with improbably situations, I remind myself that if I really want something badly enough, I have it within myself to make it happen.”
“Compete with yourself, not with others. Judge yourself on what is your personal best and you’ll accomplish more than you could ever have imagined. Life stops for no one, so keep moving. Stay awake and stay alive… The more you experiment, take risks, and make mistakes, the better you’ll know yourself, the better you’ll know the world, and the more focused you’ll be.”
There are so many quotes that I love and want to read everyday to inspire me to be my best. Pick up this book to be encouraged and stay motivated.
Life’s a journey–we all have to start somewhere to get to where we want to be.