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“Failure is your invention.” ~ Sophia Amoruso (#GIRLBOSS)
Author: Sophia Amoruso
Summary: At seventeen, Sophia Amoruso decided to forgo continuing education to pursue a life of hitchhiking, dumpster diving, and petty thievery. Now, at twenty-nine, she is the Founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Nasty Gal, a $100+ million e-tailer that draws A-list publicity and rabid fans for its leading-edge fashion and provocative online persona. Her story is extraordinary—and only part of the appeal of #GIRLBOSS.
This aspirational book doesn’t patronize young women the way many business experts do. Amoruso shows readers how to channel their passion and hard work, while keeping their insecurities from getting in the way. She offers straight talk about making your voice heard and doing meaningful work.
She’s proof that you can be a huge success without giving up your spirit of adventure or distinctive style. As she writes, “I have three pieces of advice I want you to remember: Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t let The Man get to you. OK? Cool. Then let’s do this.”
My Opinion: I’ve must have done something right at one point because lately I’ve really been lucking out with my non-fiction. Usually I’m deeply unsatisfied with my non-fiction, but #GIRLBOSS promised a lot and delivered more. I really think for any woman interested in business this should be mandatory reading. There were just one or two things that bugged me though so I gave it 4.5 stars.
I’ll start with what bugged me first. Amoruso gives it to you like it is, which is great and very needed. Many a times I read a book (especially a business book) that does more coddling than helping. There’s no coddling here which is fantastic, but sometimes it felt like Amoruso was a bit too blunt. There’s a fine line between giving it to you like it is and being outright mean and once or twice for me Amoruso crossed it. That is my only complaint though.
Otherwise I think this book is fantastic. Amoruso does an excellent job combining her life experiences with how she made it in the business world. She gives tips that she used and uses to not only help women become #GIRLBOSSes like herself, but also to just live better lives. A great example is her tip about putting 10% of all earnings into savings and use it as an emergency fund. Most people don’t put nearly that much in if they do that at all. That’s just one of the tips and the great thing about it is that her tips are quite practical and easy to implement.
I think the beauty of this book is that because Amoruso holds nothing back, you realize that being a boss (or in this case #GIRLBOSS) isn’t just about being a CEO or manager, it’s about taking control of your life and keeping your cool in the uncontrollable situations. She shares her bizarre life and business experiences and owns up to her mistakes-but also to her successes. There’s a lot of details I could go into, but for me the most powerful part of the book was when she was growing Nasty Gal from her home, and her home was just being overtaken by everything. While she was nailing her business, she was also so in over her head. Yet she never gave up and took that as a sign to enlist some help. And there’s some pretty great stories with that too (not everyone sticks around). Just like Amoruso takes responsibility when she hires someone, she makes you take responsibility from the get go by always referring to the reader not as “reader,” but as “#GIRLBOSS.” By the end of the book, that phrase kind of gets ingrained in your head. Frankly, it makes me really want to live up to it.
It gets even cooler from here because when you talk about the book, the title of the book isn’t Girl Boss, it’s #GIRLBOSS. So when you use that hashtag, you’re making yourself a part of a community of women who have also read the book and are taking control of their lives and businesses. I noticed this when I posted a picture of the book on Instagram. Which is insanely cool to me because throughout the book Amoruso talks about how important it is for women to support each other and not to start fights. And just through the title of the book she helped build a community of women who are willing to work together.
If that’s not a boss move I don’t know what is.
TL;DR: This book should be mandatory reading for women who want to go into business. Not only does Amoruso show the behind the scenes of building Nasty Gal from the ground up, she adds in personal details that shows that no matter how rich and cool you are, you’re still human. And humans are bound to make mistakes. But as she shows us, every mistake comes with a lesson and taking control of those learning experiences is what makes a woman not only a better business leader, but a better person in general.