So this is the second book I’ve read this summer with a Lena Dunham quote emblazoned on the front. On #GIRLBOSS, Lena proclaims that this is more than a book, it is a movement. It is also a hashtag as a title, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Not that Sophia Amoruso cares. She’s basically spent her whole life not listening to other people but listening to her gut, and through a bunch of hard work and good circumstance has turned that into multi-million dollar business Nasty Gal, of which she is CEO and creative director. This is part-memoir, part advice: on how to be a #GIRLBOSS yourself, or have the confidence to find your inner #GIRLBOSS and own it. There is no apology, no excuses; this is what she has done and will tell you about it.
“While you’re reading this, I have three pieces of advice that I want you to remember: Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t ever let the Man get to you. Okay? Cool. Then let’s do this.
#GIRLBOSS for life.”
In a way, this book is a call to arms for yourself. There is a lot I don’t get with Amoruso, but who can argue with her fundamental tenant of self-belief is mandatory for anyone else to believe in you? That what you get out is what you put in? It’s basic stuff, but really affirming. The tone and style of this book is energising and entertaining. While as a person I cannot relate to Amoruso – too much ADD going on, even if she is a fellow introvert – I totally respect what she has done and the ways of thinking that got her there.
And, apart from the really insightful investor hunting tips which can be applied to most parts of your life (good people, uniqueness, etc.), I felt where the good stuff lies is in her section on magical thinking. As in, you think good, you get good. Not in a woo-woo The Secret-type way but in a way where you make your own reality. The world is going to feel different depending on if you’re looking it through a negative or positive perspective. If you’re in a shitty situation, solutions to get out are going to become more apparent if you look at it in in a less defeatist way.
“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…Soon you’ll see that fortune favours the bold who get shit done.”
It’s not new stuff, but it’s real and it’s encouraging. It’s hard not to respect Amoruso: everything she writes has come from experience. The mistakes, the success, and the massive journey in between. And importantly, she practices what she preaches: she has seen her own mistakes, chosen not to take failures personally, redefined them as lessons, and shared them here. It’s her damn book and you don’t have to like it, but I think you have to respect where she’s coming from.
While I am hesitant to fully embrace a philosophy that seems to find meaning in success or constant stimulation, and actually it’s not just about hard work because then everyone would be CEOs, there is a lot to take away from this book. Essentially Amoruso is a bad-ass woman who did really well, and wants to share some of that with other bad-ass women. Nothin’ wrong with that.