Her story sounds all too familiar: she spent her youth as a total rebel, hating school, quitting jobs, broke, directionless, and angry at the world. Then she started selling vintage clothes on eBay. Eight years later, she is the founder, CEO, and creative director of Nasty Gal, a $100 million plus online fashion retailer.
While I’ve never shopped at Nastygal and don’t have a career in fashion, I completely relate to this book’s practical advice. Sophia’s writing style is blunt, contagious and she definitely keeps it real. As a #GIRLBOSS in training, I feel totally motivated.
Here are my 5 takeaways from the book.
1. A #GIRLBOSS Works Hard
No matter what you do, you have to put your heart and soul into it. No half-assing. Whether you’re vacuuming your living room floor, or teaching a yoga private, making soup for your neighbor, giving legal advice or managing a pharmaceutical company, you have to mean it and do it well with 100% of your effort. And effort doesn’t go unnoticed. You may feel as if it does sometimes when you don’t get immediate gratification, but people who matter will eventually notice. And you will be rewarded. The golden rule is: if you put effort into something, it will show results. Maybe not in the way you expected, and maybe you still don’t feel that you succeeded, but if you do the best you can, you won’t have any regrets.
2. A #GIRLBOSS Values Every Experience
For as much as we all love to hear about our cousin Laura who knew in kindergarten she wanted to be an eye doctor, and goes and does exactly that, we have to realize that not everyone has the same path. And although it seems easier for Laura the eye doctor to have it all figured out while we are to struggling talking to college advisors and taking the Myers-Briggs 5 times, it doesn’t mean that she’s not busting ass in med school and having to sacrifice years of her life to study rounded over her desk in the library so that she can one day fix our eyes. So maybe we didn’t have an epiphany in kindergarten and we still don’t know what we want to be in life, but the good news is there’s other people like us out there. In fact the majority of people are confused on what to do. The key lays in appreciating every single job and every single experience that comes across. IF anything, it will teach you what you DON”T like, and that’s start.
For example, that job you had in high school standing outside Whole Foods getting people to donate for Greenpeace? And you hated it because everyone took the long route to get in the store even at the cost of stumbling in the grocery carts just so they wouldn’t have to talk to you? You can probably thank that job because it motivated you to find a different job that you enjoyed more.
Did you know I had a lot random jobs? I picked lavender, worked in a cheese factory, worked in a costume shop, fed elderly in a nursing home and taught Italian to drooling pre-schoolers all before I even finished college undergrad in Legal Studies, which has nothing to do with yoga.
Earning my college degree was a struggle but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I didn’t like having to sit through classes, the all-nighters before finals, and being permanently broke. But at the same time I really thrived from being in an educated environment which forced me to think critically and learn to write properly. At the end of the day, I can look at that piece of paper that constitutes my BA and say :”I did it. And if I did that (and it was hard), I can do anything else I put my mind to.” Right now I’ve been teaching yoga and barre for two years and have successfully been leading yoga retreats in Costa Rica.
3. A #GIRLBOSS Has a Vision
Having a vision is so important. Don’t be afraid to vocalize what it is that you want in the future. It is by saying it out loud that you begin the build momentum and create energy around it. And if you don’t talk about it, or write it, or dream it, or think about it, how will you ever start? Although Sophia Amoroso speaks of this concept in depth and vividly, I have to give credit to Yogi Aaron of Blue Osa for first introducing me to this idea. 🙂 So have a vision, hold onto it, but don’t make it too narrow that you can’t take a detour and jump on the bandwagon of opportunity when the chances arise.
4. A #GIRLBOSS Owns Her Style
I live by this rule. Wear what you want and own it. Create your own style. Please don’t ever let the latest edition of Cosmopolitan dictate which color you should wear this summer. You can get anyway with anything so long as you do it with confidence. You could wear a Moschino dress, but if you feel uncomfortable in your own skin you’ll look awkward and everyone else will know it too. Or you can wear a Target tank top along with your mom’s vintage shorts and own it and look amazing. And everyone will stop you on the street to ask where you got your outfit.
5. A #GIRLBOSS Charges Ahead
If there’s one thing that social media can bring, along with tons of inspiration and worldwide connections, is discouragement and isolation. When you’re having a bad day and you look at Instagram, you will become even more depressed because so-and-so can do handstands better than you, and so-and-so has more followers than you, and so-and-so is is frolicking on a tropical beach and you’re not, and so-and-so has a good looking boyfriend and instead you’re sitting on your couch eating muffins like a lonely fatty and even the mailman won’t say hi to you. That’s when you shake it off, say “enough”, and wipe all that crap off your mind entirely.
A #GIRLBOSS charges ahead and doesn’t let anybody stop her. You are on your own mission, which will be different than any on else’s. And you should not wish to be someone else, because, well, then you wouldn’t be you. And you don’t really know what is going on in people’s lives behind one amazing photo on Instagram. They could be struggling with depression but you would never know it from their cheery blog posts.
Also, you have got to ignore your competition and the debby-downers. Don’t let them take energy that you should instead devote to carrying on your projects. Remember that people who criticize are either afraid of you, ignorant or down right envious.