So I just wrapped up one of the bossiest books ever, #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of the multimillion dollar online clothing retailer, Nasty Gal, which she started by selling a stolen book on an eBay page she created back in 2006. Real boss move right? She had no start up money, no job, no degree, just a computer and a simple idea; which after just a few years, she managed to build an extremely profitable online business raking in over $100,000 in revenue per day. Did I mention that she has 1 million dollars in the bank? BOOM!
Now in all honesty, I was not familiar with Nasty Gal prior to purchasing a copy of #GIRLBOSS (probably because I tend to do my shopping face-to-face in stores like Ross and Burlington Coat Factory every 6 months). I came across Amoruso's book on my Instagram page and believe it or not, it was the hash tag title that enticed me to buy it during a lunch break at work; and I am really glad that I did! It's definitely not your typical autobiography and Amoruso doesn't quite fit the pre-entrepreneur profile that is common with this level of success; (which probably just means that I need to read more autobiographies) and I think that's why I can appreciate this book so much.
Amoruso is like that cool, big sister that you try to emulate but can't because she won't let you make the same stupid mistakes that she did. In #GIRLBOSS she walks us through her quirky, thrift store obsessed childhood and life as an immature, dead broke young adult who couldn't hold down a steady job. She shares details about the events leading up to how she started Nasty Gal, which are pretty interesting to say the least. Let's just say it involved checking IDs at San Francisco's Academy of Art University, a hernia, and a Starting an eBay Business for Dummies book. And for all you wondering minds, the name was inspired by American Funk singer, Betty Davis' Nasty Gal lyrics.
What I loved most about #GIRLBOSS is how down-to-earth and honest Amoruso is with her readers about what it's like to be a young adult who's totally clueless about what exactly you want to do with your life. Aside from sharing her laundry list of mistakes and shortcomings; she offers pretty sound career, financial, and business advice too. She even goes as as far as providing readers with a list of things NOT to do if they get fired from a job like not "...flipping the bird to the executive team on your way out". As an HR professional, I can tell you that this is really good advice. Throwing a verbal or non-verbal temper tantrum after getting fired (which I hope none of you ever have to go through) does not get you a pass just because you no longer work for the company. You never know if or when your next job might contact your old job to verify dates of employment and the "reason" for your termination.
Quite frankly, I think that all aspiring entrepreneurs: male or female could benefit from some of the lessons and wisdom that Amoruso shares in her autobiography. Other than being a real boss who happens to be a woman; Amoruso has made it her business to learn how to effectively run her business; hence, going from a one-man show to an 350-person strong workforce. That's admirable! Being an entrepreneur myself, I can totally relate to Amoruso during her very early stages of building Nasty Gal. The Jane-of-all-trades role that she played at that time is one that I currently occupy as the sole proprietor of Mustard Seed Career Professionals, an agency that I founded last year which provides career services to job seekers, students, and working professionals. I'm a one-man team and I am all too familiar with the late nights working on a client's order after leaving my 9-5, sending PayPal invoices, and keeping track of orders on an excel spreadsheet. Although owning a business is very rewarding, it can also be very exhausting and discouraging, especially if you're not growing as fast as you'd like. In spite of this, I've learned that if you have a true passion for what you're doing then YOU hold the key ingredient for your success. For example, MSCP has helped me realized how much I love writing, particularly freelance creative writing (hint: this blog), so who knows where this may take me...somewhere that leads to me getting a good foot massage I hope.
With that said, I'll end this post with a #GIRLBOSS message from Sophia Amoruso...
Should you Open or Close this book? Open it! You may not be able to relate to her on a personal level but we can all learn from her on the career, financial, and business level.You create the world, blink by blink. It is entirely yours to discover and yours to create.
Would I read another book by this author? Yes, even though I can't see her writing another one anytime soon.
What will I read next? My Education by Susan Choi
To all aspiring girl and guy bosses reading this, what did you think of the book? Did you find Amoruso's advice helpful? For those of you that haven't read #GIRLBOSS, are you considering purchasing the book? If so, how do you think it can help you?
Write your comments below. I'd love to hear from you!