Lessons From a #GirlBoss
Sophia Amoruso is the femme phenom behind Nasty Gal, a massive online retailer that truly has a rags-to-riches story. #GIRLBOSS is her story, an account of her dumpster-diving days and selling stolen goods online. Sophia's no BS-attitude is refreshing, especially coming from a woman CEO who doesn't sugarcoat the truths about hard work and the sacrifices required to achieve success.
Although this book is a great cheerleader, it doesn't necessarily give you a step-by-step toolkit to follow in her footsteps. The advice in the book isn't ground-breaking, but I can always appreciate a woman who worked for what she wanted.
Overnight successes don't happen overnight
I've always hated the term "overnight success." The Western world has this weird fascination with athletes, movie stars and entertainers who have underdog stories. A college dropout who creates a million dollar business from the ground up. A small-town girl wins a gold medal at the Olympics and becomes an overnight success. What people don't see on TV is the blood, sweat and tears put into practising for years before that one moment.
"What I hate about luck is that it implies being devoid of responsibility. You combine hard work, creativity, and self-determination and things start to happen."
Bad jobs are actually filled with really important life lessons
Most people don't land their dream jobs right out of the gate, which means everyone has to start somewhere. I think this is becoming harder and harder for my generation because everyone wants to be fulfilled at their jobs — it's no longer okay to just have a job. Sophia explains that "shitty jobs saved my life."
I've been at frustrating jobs before and it's always important to be reminding yourself of the bigger picture. Many people get bogged down by the day-to-day bureaucracy and never get their head fully above water. You can't lose sight of what you really want.
"If you're bored and hating it, it's a big sign that you're most likely just in the wrong place. There are some folks who just straight up hate work, no matter what kind of work it is. What all these jobs taught me is that you have to be willing to tolerate some shit you don't like, at least for a while."
Being an entrepreneur is hard
It takes a special kind of personality to be an entrepreneur, not everyone is cut out for it. It took Sophia 8 years to gain any kind of momentum with Nasty Gal. That's a long time to not reap any rewards from your hard work. One thing I respect about her story is that she moved away from family and friends to work on her business, basically in isolation. It's pretty amazing when you want something so much you get wrapped up in it completely.
"If you're working, you're working hard, and if you're not doing that, what are you doing? I also think you age a lot quicker if you can't keep yourself busy and under the right, healthy dose of stress."
Learn to control your finances
This is a value that I hold very strongly. Having money gives you power. Power to quit your job, leave relationships or move across the country. When you don't have control over your finances, you'll end up in miserable situations because you can't afford to do anything about it.
"When your time spent making money is significantly greater than the time spent spending money, you will be amazed at how much you can save without really thinking about it. Being in a good spot financially can open up so many doors. Being in a bad spot can slam them in your face. "