During my many travels (bored at airport), I came across this book #GIRLBOSS which I remembered a good friend (independent motivated young woman) of mine had recommended .Trusting her judgement, I made a purchase. Do not judge the book by its cover, men can apply this too.
I like to think of myself as a fairly independent woman. And I very much admire people who are in influential, entrepreneurial positions and career driven, especially when they are women. So imagine my excitement in finding a book offering an insight into the mind of not just any entrepreneur, but a successful female entrepreneur (with a net worth of $280 million),who had worked hard literally from scratch till this very day.
The book provides huge insight into the successes and failures of Nasty Gal clothing CEO, founder and entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso. It is extremely motivating to read and most of all, so “real”. Real, relating to every piece of advice, the down to earth tone and even to the downright cringe-worthy stories shared by someone so successful. Portraying a CEO in a way you probably never imagined.
In the spirit of sharing and uplifting other women AND men, (especially helping out those who dislike reading), these are key lessons that stood out to me while reading the book:
Note to self:
1. People need to be led, regardless of age, position and status. Even people who may have years of experience over you. Never underestimate yourself. Experience is key, but your ideas are unique to you! especially when starting up Your Own business.
#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia experienced this when she found herself hiring individuals who were older and had decades more experience than she did. But, Nasty Gal was HER vision, therefore she had so much to share and teach those individuals. If you have ever found yourself feeling intimidated or even clueless compared to those around you, just remember that.
2. Idolise no one. Learn from other people, but do not idolise them. This hinders your own creativity, uniqueness and views (which could be much better than theirs).
#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia mentioned that she did not idolise a single person, she never had an idol. And look how she turned out.
3. “Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t ever let the Man get to you“. The man, refers to anyone, don’t let anyone drag you down. Ignore the haters. Cliché as it may be,do not lose your focus. Never let anyone tear you down to uplift themselves.
#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia stayed true to herself every step of the way, nothing influenced her perception of how she wanted things to turn out. She did not conform or give in. Especially when being bullied and falsely accused of misconduct on eBay by other sellers.
4. Be prepared. For success beyond your own expectation. AND failures. BUT remember “there are secret opportunities hidden in every failure“.
#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia started her business on eBay. Sophia got kicked off of eBay. (She openly states that she got kicked off because she posted up hyperlinks which were not allowed on eBay).Sophia now manages her own website.
5. Every day is a learning opportunity to grow. And when growing you can’t grow alone, keep the right people close to you. Team work makes the dream work, you never know who could support making your dream a reality!
#GirlBoss Snippet: In building her brand, Sophia was supported by her network. Friends who were photographers, friends who would model for her, etc.
6. You may not be where you want to be, but you will end up where you’re meant to be (original phrase by Douglas Adams).
#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia was in numerous menial roles prior to Nasty Gal’s birth, but they were all stepping-stones, providing her with an opportunity to research into or learn something that would help build her own brand. Although this was all unknown to her at the time.
7. Spend wisely, sell things for more than you spend for them and save more than you spend. Sometimes having the option is better than owning the option (Because you can afford it doesn’t mean you must buy it. Money looks so much better saved!
#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia, although oh so capable, of avoiding a Porsche, actually purchased a second-hand car as her first. Main point to me in the book was when she said the satisfaction that comes from buying that FIRST car, never matches up to the satisfaction or pleasure that comes with buying a second or replacement (if you sold the first) car. I mean yeah a Porsche is brilliant, but I completely GET that meeting a NEED is so much more pleasurable than satisfying a WANT. Save and spend wisely.
FYI, She eventually did get the Porsche.
8. Save 10% of your income AND If you want something, ask for it. If it’s a pay rise, first ask yourself if you deserve it. Separate your money from your emotion.
#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia essentially said be true to yourself and speak up if you want something, but also remember to be able to prove that you have worked hard and deserve it. Advice straight from the mouth of a CEO.
Still working on the saving 10% idea, I think it’s a good target to set yourself though. Did i mention that Sophia started GirlBoss with no debt, loan, nothing? Great start to owning a business.
9. “Sometimes it pays to spend a little more than you bargained for on real quality“.
#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia mentioned that as an employer, same applies as above. If your employee is deserving, award them that promotion. Do not always wait for the ask. After all, it is an investment in yourself (and your service or product etc).
10. You aren’t lucky, you made magic!
#GirlBoss Snippet: You get back what you put out in life and in work. Focus on the positive things in your life ONLY. This doesn’t only relate to a job and your efforts. If you are a negative person you put your life in a negative perspective. If you focus on the positive, positive things start happening. (If you don’t read the book, at least read chapter 6. I simply cannot summarise it. By far the best chapter).
11. Be unapologetically You.
#GirlBoss Snippet: When reading through the book, you see that Sophia stayed true to herself, her beliefs, her Vision. She took on all advice, but applied only where relevant to HER dream.
12. “Dive head-first into things without being too attached to the results. When your goal is to gain experience, perspective and knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility”
#GirlBoss Snippet: That quote from the book is brilliant! and something I myself need to remember. We always stay so focused on what the outcome could be that we restrain ourselves from challenges with worry. Rather than thinking What If I FAIL, think, What IF I learn a new skill, what IF I can apply this in another aspect of my life, What IF I meet great people…the list is endless.
13. You belong anywhere you want to be. Never feel as though you don’t belong.
#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia shared this self-doubt in relation to when she met her first investor. Especially in work environments with your business sponsor, your senior colleague, the CEO… Don’t be anyone but you. You are in that very situation because you are YOU. Unapologetically.
14. As a CEO or senior in a company. Every action you make is suggestive. Do not get drunk on your own success.
#GirlBoss Snippet:Sophia mentions that when you are in a position of leadership you have to consider your actions. If you get in a lift (elevator) and speak only to one individual. This suggests that the individual is more important than anyone else in the lift. Innocent as it may seem. You are motivating and leading by example in your every move.
15. Ask questions till you don’t have to ask questions anymore. Knowledge is power.
#GirlBoss Snippet: I love Sophia’s reference to a meeting she had where she had asked multiple questions. Her point was, she doesn’t care how stupid she may seem by asking multiple times or silly questions, her concern is to understand.
I seriously, seriously, struggled to stop at 15. There are some really useful pointers, not to forget chapters with advice on CVs (resume) and cover letters. I couldn’t possibly start writing up on all without stealing Sophia’s shine. However, for those who would rather watch a show than read, I hear Netflix are starting a series based on Nasty Gal.
I am very much about self-development in any way shape or form, especially when its entertaining, so here’s hoping this uplifted you, or at least got you thinking!