Updated on August 5, 2015
‘#Girlboss’ by Sophia Amoruso
Within 10 years, Sophia Amoruso went from dumpster-diving and petty thievery to being the owner of a multi-million dollar business.
How did she do it? By stepping up and harnessing her inner #Girlboss.
Amoruso is the brains behind Nasty Gal, an online vintage clothing store worth millions. But it wasn’t always that way. Nasty Gal started out as Amoruso’s eBay shop, which she set up one day when she was bored at her job. Over the years she has built her brand by offering one-of-a-kind pieces, as well as styling the clothes for her eBay thumbnails so her customers could see how they might wear them as outfits. Eventually she outgrew her house, her warehouse and her even bigger warehouse, and she also gained employees and a loyal customer base. In short, she went from selling thrift shop finds in her bedroom to leading meetings in the boardroom.
The work ethic behind Nasty Gal is incredible. Amoruso writes about the importance of being positive, using common sense (something often missing in business) and working really bloody hard. She dislikes people attributing her success to luck, choosing instead to focus on the hard grind she put into Nasty Gal and the fact that, rather than deciding on what her business would be and blindly striving for it, she chose to follow her customers and let her business grow organically.
There’s plenty of inspiring stuff here for anyone who is interested in starting their own business, or for people who want to get ahead in their chosen careers. Amoruso is delightfully open about her somewhat shady past and she recognises that she was incredibly lucky to get away with crimes like shoplifting, which could have really damaged her future. Her writing style is fast-paced and sharp: it probably won’t take you any time to read this book because, from the first page, Amoruso grabs you by the hand and drags you through her story.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the peppering of #Girlboss throughout the book: it just seemed a little too ‘let’s get social media talking about this’ contrived. (But hey, I’m using it an online review, so I guess it works.) Amoruso also doesn’t linger for long over the issue of feminism, telling us instead that she is not setting out to write a feminist book, however much it might be seen as one. Absolutely fair enough: every book about a woman being awesome doesn’t need to loudly declare itself feminist literature. Amoruso says, “I believe the best way to honor the past and future of women’s rights is by getting shit done.”
And that’s what #Girlboss essentially boils down to. Find a thing you’re good at and that you enjoy, and do it. Work hard at it. Get it done. Finish one task and move onto the next. Adapt, listen, grow. Own it.
“Each time you make a good decision or do something nice or take care of yourself; each time you show up to work and work hard and do your best at everything you can do, you’re planting seeds for a life that you can only hope will grow beyond your wildest dreams.”
Want to read this? You can buy the book here.