Sophia Amoruso’s #Girlboss book is a New York Times bestseller and has its own Netflix series
The hashtag #Girlboss used to annoy me as it seemed a little childish, but now I’ve read the book, I get it.
Founder of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso is a force. She’s a breath of fresh air. Her book is written in the first person and she lays all her cards on the table.
She didn’t start out to be a millionaire
A bit of a flunk at school because she had no friends, didn’t fit in and hated the whole school experience, Sophia was inventive and found ways to distract herself and do other things apart from go to college or university. She worked really crappy jobs for money and found her passion in vintage clothes.
Basically, she went on to use her passion and set up an eBay shop, selling vintage clothes which she mended, shot and spent time optimising her posts. She used friends to model the clothes and was thrifty when she went dumpster diving!
Her story is one we’d all like to fall in love with – find your passion, follow your passion and organically others will love it and buy it, then boom, you’re a CEO and millionaire.
It’s not all plain sailing
However, what I love about the book, apart from Sophia’s honesty about being caught shop-lifting, or her break up or even making the tuna sandwiches, she talks about business and the hard work involved. She knows how anyone who wants to progress and get ahead in business, needs to put in the hours, learn, adapt and move on. She’s had a tough time with recruiting the right staff, restructuring the business as it grew, but the one thing I love, she’s not scared to ask for advice and help. That’s so important.
She’s also not scared of being told ‘no’. I admire and hope that I can demonstrate, that ‘no’ doesn’t actually mean no. It means no to what you just asked. It doesn’t mean no if you come from a different angle. Don’t let ‘no’ put you off going for what you want!
An interesting point she makes about millenials and something I’ve experienced in recent years. Quote from Joel Stein in Time magazine, from the book: “Millenials got so many participation trophies growing up that a recent study showed that 40% believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance.”
Argh! As Sophia follows up Joel’s quote, she talks about getting your hands dirty, rolling up your sleeves and proving your value to the business. People who go above and beyond their job description, and those who make themselves indispensable. In public relations, people come from university and think they should automatically be an account manager just because they have a degree. They know nothing about practice and how to apply the theory so why on earth would they manage anything before they even have experience of doing the most basic tasks. Take your time and learn from the bottom.
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself
George Bernard Shaw
A deeper understanding
Like Sophia, do every job you can, even if it’s a side-step for a short while, to get the experience of knowing every job in that company. That way, when you move up, you can fully understand what is expected of everyone and if you ask someone to do a job, you know exactly what’s involved.
When I was a restaurant manager, I didn’t ask any of my staff to do anything I hadn’t already done, which included cleaning a blocked toilet! When I worked in a hotel, one minute I was serving tables, the next shift I was in the kitchen preparing deserts and the next day I was in house-keeping, changing beds and cleaning rooms. You can’t manage teams if you don’t know what’s involved in the job.
Impress people by being you and saying how it is
When Sophia was looking for investment, which actually came to her rather than her look for it, she was so surprised at how impressed investors were with her story, the growth of the business and the fact she hadn’t borrowed a penny (or a dime!) to scale.
If you’re honest and you wear your heart on your sleeve, people appreciate it and they start to understand more about you and they will respect you for it.
Anyway, the book has so much amazing content and so many relevant points that I won’t spoil it all for you. I just recommend you read it!
If you’ve read it already, what did you think? Leave me a comment below. If you’re going to buy the book, you’ll be addicted for a day or two until it’s finished. Leave me a comment and let me know your favourite part!
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