#GIRLBOSS by NastyGal Founder — Sophia Amoruso

girlboss book sophia amoruso nasty gal

#GIRLBOSS — The Review

I’m hoping you read my PREreview of #GIRLBOSS . If not, you probably should to fully understand where I’m coming from.

Okay, let me just say that Sophia Amoruso is the shit. I absolutely love her writing style. It’s to the point, and from what I can tell, she writes like she talks. Just like me.

I get you Sophia, I get you.

She writes this book in an honest and encouraging way, detailing out exactly what she did and how she turned NastyGal into a million-dollar business, sort of accidentally. You kinda hate her for that (especially if you are someone attempting to do that — ahem moi), but you are equally like, that’s f***ing awesome, go Sophia! And you can’t really hate her for it cause she is so damn cool.

So, as I said in my PREreview, I don’t like that the word “girl” is in the title/hashtag of the book #GIRLBOSS. I think using a hashtag as a title is genius. I love the word “boss” but I hate that the word “girl” is a part of it. I get why it’s there but just read my PREreview and this post on Women Rule ok. Even after reading the book, I still don’t like the word “girl” being in the title, so no change there. But I did like that on page 12, Sophia literally says “question everything—even me.” Perfect. Sophia can handle constructive criticism for when she never reads this post (who knows, maybe she will). Did I mention I’m older than her? Yaaaaaaa.

At first she talks about how she doesn’t believe in role models, and while I like her explanation of it, I do think educating yourself by reading other people’s success stories is a good thing. I mean she wrote a book, about her success, so doesn’t that automatically make her a role model? Anyway, I loved what she said and totally agree with it:

“The energy you’ll expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. Just be your own idol.

To me, idolizing someone and seeing them as a role model is totally different. So basically I’m saying, role models are OK to have in my opinion, idols are different.

Another great quote:

“Abandon anything about your life and habits that might be holding you back. Learn to create your own opportunities. Know that there is no finish line; fortune favors action.”

Yes Sophia, Yes! The whole “luck” and “fortune” thing … yes some people are lucky in that they were born to a wealthy family that then affords them the opportunity to explore whatever they want, but beyond that — I think you create your own luck. Fortune favors action is exactly that. If you are setting yourself up for great things to happen because you are already working on great things, well then you have a much better chance of amazing opportunities coming your way.

I about peed myself when I read the phrase “getting shit done” at least twice in the book and I was like, Sophia — we are soul mates. (If you are new around here, I started a column a long time ago called #GSD — Get Shit Done, where I interview awesome people about how they get shit done). So obviously she’s a gal after my own heart.

“You don’t get taken seriously by asking someone to take you seriously. You’ve got to show up and own it.”

“When you believe in yourself, other people will believe in you too.”

One of the things I love and most respect about how Sophia started was that when she decided to get serious (at 22) she moved out of the hip San Francisco area, an hour away from her friends, to the suburbs for the space, and basically isolated herself to work on her business, because she wanted to. She was so passionate and wrapped up in it, she didn’t care.

“I completely dropped out of everything for two years. From the time I woke up until the time I went to sleep, eBay was my entire world.”

This my friends is the ticket to success. You love something so much, you are just obsessed with doing it. It reminds me a lot of almost everyone profiled in the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. Ya know, basically the most successful novelists, mathematicians, playwrights, painters, scientists, philosophers, artists. See where I’m going with this? The obsession, immersion, and usually isolation seems to be a major theme of creative success. (I’ll retreat to my art studio in the basement now…)

Another thing I love/respect that Sophia said, and it was just one little line, but a very important one:

“…you’ll rarely hear me advocate giving anything away for free…”

Can someone please tell me why the F women give so much away for free!!?!? So much of their time, knowledge, skills, talent. I mean it’s almost embarrassing how much some people (usually women) don’t value their time and talent. Yes a company should pay you for your knowledge, skills, talent, connections, etc. But they aren’t necessarily going to offer it up, so please, for the love, ask for compensation! I’m pretty sure the person you are asking for compensation from doesn’t get up and go to work every morning just for fun and not get paid, right!?!? Exactly, so why would they think you would spend your time and talent on doing something for free? Doesn’t make sense does it. Can you tell this topic drives me nuts? It’s particularly rampant in the blogger & creative world so it’s basically my life.

“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 just saying, “Hey, can I have that?”

Literally just today I was talking to some female business-owner friends of mine who are doing some work for free because it’s for a very very important family in DC (read like the most important family that lives in DC…). They aren’t getting paid, and I asked why? But they said they just thought everyone that worked with them didn’t get paid, but they had also never asked. Okay, so maybe one time I’d do something free for this particular family, but after that first time, HELL NO. I know that dad doesn’t go to work for free, so why should they expect anyone else to work for them for free??? Very bothersome to me. But the lesson here is ASK! And if they say they can’t (for whatever reason), be OK with walking away.

Another thing that drives me nuts that Sophia hits on is the idea of luck. Because honestly, I don’t really like the concept of luck without hard work behind it. I believe you create your own luck, besides your family & where you were born, and the education you get as a child. After that — everything is your choice. And if you want to come up with excuses, just read Breaking Night, and then think about those excuses again.

“What I hate about luck is that it implies being devoid of responsibility. It implies that you can do nothing and then step into success as easily as stepping into a pile of dog poop on the sidewalk. It implies that success is something given to a knighted and often undeserving few. Luck tells us that we don’t control our own fate, and that our path to success is something that we don’t control our own fate, and that our own fate, and that our path to success or failure is written by someone, or something, entirely outside ourselves. Luck lets us believe that whatever happens, whether good or bad, it’s not to our credit or our fault. That is why I don’t buy luck.”

“It’s just recognizing the fact that we control our thoughts and our thoughts control our lives.”

Now what do you think about luck? It’s like she took these thoughts out of my head, and put them in a book. This is also how I feel about religion but I won’t get into that.

And when you are getting down on yourself:

“You get 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, and send the universe your good intentions so that it can send them right back.”

Putting out good vibes for myself right now…

“You can’t convince someone else—whether it’s a potential employer, a loan officer at the car dealership, or someone you’ve been crushing on—that you’re amazing and terrific if you don’t actually think you are. This isn’t the false confidence that comes from getting a bunch of “likes” on your Instagram selfies, but a deep-down, unshakeable self-confidence that persists even when things aren’t going all that great.”

These next two quotes from the book are something I struggle with myself. As much as I’m a dreamer and an idealist, I’ve also got this realist side that is always there saying, oh come on, that will never happen, and I have to swat those thoughts away because hey, you never know.

“I realized that I’d put so much energy into thinking about what I didn’t want to happen that I’d caused the exact thing to happen.”

“Focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening.”

 

“No matter where you are in life, you’ll save a lot of time by not worrying too much about what other people think about you. The earlier in your life that you can learn that, the easier the rest of it will be.”

Personally I’ve let go of what people think of me a long time ago. I think this ability to let go and not really care as much about it came from my husband who is basically the king of that. I learned it from him and I feel so free.

“Clothing is ultimately your suit of armor in which we battle the world. When you choose your clothing right, it feels good. And there’s nothing shallow about feeling good.”

I love this statement about clothing because as much as I try to not be materialistic, I absolutely agree with this. Your clothing should fit right and make you feel good. Think of your favorite outfit, the one that makes you feel like you can do anything, lead any meeting, speak to a huge audience, gives you power. What if you felt that good in all of your clothes?

“Great entrepreneurs are like Indiana Jones: They take leaps before seeing the bridge because they know that if they don’t, someone else will get that holy grail. That holy grail is yours for the taking.”

A popular saying is leap and a net will appear. You’ve just got to trust those nets. And sometimes you are falling falling falling (getting close to the bottom) and you are sorta freaking out like WHERE’S MY NET!?! I say this from lots of experience. But what keeps me relatively calm is while I’m working hard and waiting for that net to appear, I’m also thinking — what is the worst that can happen? I lose everything and have to go live with my mom in her huge house? She’s got a pool, so it’s really not that bad if that’s the absolute worst situation I could be in, right?

 

Back to the book. Basically Sophia is a badass. She’s the epitome of what every entrepreneur wants to happen (besides getting acquired). She loved what she did and she worked hard and it blew up within a short amount of time. And then she tells everyone how she did it. Like a badass. She’s not the type of gal to gloss over the hard parts and keep her secrets close to her chest. She puts it all out there.

If you need a swift kick in the rear, or want to be inspired, I recommend reading #GIRLBOSS.

 

Did you read it? What where your thoughts?

Do you like the title #GIRLBOSS?