Sophia Amoruso is the CEO of Nasty Gal, a multi-million dollar company that started as a small store, auctioning vintage clothes on eBay. She recently wrote a book, #GIRLBOSS which has been raved about. I found the book to be quite interesting, though sometimes I could absolutely not relate. One thing I can say is that she’s very privileged, and she was protected from falling into several terrible situations, even with all the terrible decisions she made in search of herself as a younger girl.
Things like her constant shoplifting while younger, and the fact that she hitchhiked, relying on several people to get her and her buddy to a single destination, make me seriously realize that everyone is different. What some people can do and get away with (she eventually got caught shoplifting, but wasn’t prosecuted, as she owned up), others may not even have that chance. I even found myself questioning if she would have been able to get away with that much if she was a woman of colour.
Oh well, she’s not one. She’s come very far, and learnt from her mistakes. Here are some things I picked up while reading #GIRLBOSS:
- Live Within Your Means: This also means that you shouldn’t increase your spending as soon as your income increases. In the book, she says: “#GIRLBOSS, when your time spent making money is significantly greater than your time spent spending money, you will be amazed as how much you can save without even really thinking about it.”
- “You can’t act like you’ve arrived when you’re only just receiving the invitation.”
- “If you’re tempted to buy something, just imagine that those new shoes were actually made out of crisp $20 bills. Do 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.”
- You Don’t Get What You Don’t Ask For: This doesn’t mean you should start feeling untitled without just reason. It is also important to note that you won’t always get what you ask for. “If you’re frustrated because you’re not getting what you want, stop for a second: Have you actually flat-out asked for it? if you haven’t, stop complaining. You can’t expect the world to read your mind. You have to put it out there, and sometimes putting it out there is as simple as saying “Hey, can I have that?”
- Watch Your Thoughts: This is basically about trying to keep negative thoughts at bay, and not allowing them to control you. Focus on the positive, your growth. Dedicate more time to moving forward, instead of letting negative thoughts hang around. She says “I don’t want to spend time thinking about things that I don’t want to have a place in my life. You have to kick people out of your head as forcefully as you’d kick someone out of your house if you didn’t want them to be there. Naturally, every boyfriend comes with an ex-girlfriend, every business comes with competitors, but it is entirely up to you to decide how much time you spend thinking about them…Focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening.”
- Don’t be Afraid of Failure: #GIRLBOSS teaches one to not be afraid to fail, but simply learn from failures and figure out a way around them. Amoruso advices: “Your challenge as a #GIRLBOSS is to dive headfirst into things without being too attached to the results. When your goal is to gain experience, perspective, ad knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility. Failure is your invention…it is she who has enough confidence to define success and failure for herself who succeeds.”
- The Internet is Your Friend: The Internet holds so much valuable information that can help with a variety of things. I believe this especially, and I love the internet! Information is so easily accessible, and you can use it to your advantage or detriment.
- “I didn’t know anybody to turn to for business advice, and because of this, people ask me all the time how I figured it out. Well, I figured it out by doing what I think is one of the best strategies for learning anything anywhere: I Googled it. There is a whole wide world of free education for anyone who wishes to take advantage of it…. I turned to YouTube to watch experts speak at conferences I wouldn’t have been invited to even if I had been able to afford to attend.”
All in all, I’d say it was an interesting read. I enjoyed the story, and she truly has worked hard. Here are some other nice quotes:
- Whether we choose to believe this or not, there is a solution to everything. It’s all a matter of perspective and how willing we are to be flexible when it comes to our point of view. – Jenne Lombardo (Refinery29)
- Get excited about the mistakes you’ll make. – Leandra Medine (Man Repeller)
- “You can have a ton of money and buy yourself all the designer goods you can stuff into the trunk of your Mercedes-Benz, but no amount of money can buy you style.”
- 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 the universe that you can’t control, what you can control is how hard you try, and if or when to pack it in.
- And once you’ve found success, don’t stop. It’s not about being insatiable; it’s about not resting on your laurels.
Have you read #GIRLBOSS? What did you think of it?