Ten things I learned from #GIRLBOSS

Devastatingly, I’m entering my fifth month post-graduation. I’ve gotten a graduate level certificate, framed my Magna Cum Laude certificate, written more than 100 cover letters, done a dozen interviews, freelanced, interned and cried (a lot). Yet, here I am in the room I grew up in sitting on more than a few disappointments and sporting a semi-crushed spirit. Enter “#GIRLBOSS” by Sophia Amoruso.

Amoruso does a lot of things in this book: She makes me wanna move to Northern Cali; She makes me wanna online shop REAL BAD; She even makes me want to spend hours shifting through old clothes of varying sizes (this is a pastime called vintage shopping). But, most importantly, she made me want to be a #GIRLBOSS.

Real quick:

1.Someone who’s in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. she takes control and accepts responsibility. She’s a badass.
2. An aspiring follower of Sophia Amoruso, CEO/founder and creative director of Nasty Gal.

The book itself is a fast, encouraging and fun read. Amoruso is honest and kind, and I felt like she was speaking right to me.  The one sort of negative thing I will say is that after a while it felt pretty repetitive and it got hard to pick back up. Like, it’s not exactly a riveting page turner. BUT! It is good nonetheless.

If you can’t read the book, you better have a good reason not to, but I think my post pretty well sums it all up. Plus, it adds the joys of GIFs. You’re welcome:

  1. Sophia Amoruso came from…err…very humble beginnings. Homegirl shoplifted growing up. She bounced from job to job unsatisfied and underwhelmed and she lifted things from stores without a second thought. Now, she expresses great remorse and speaks of these dark times candidly. In her defense, she was extremely clever about it. She tells a story of how she would steal a $100 pastel paint, but buy another one. Then she would pocket her receipt and go right back to the same person who checked her out and say she already lost her receipt. The clerk would believe her story and accept her apologies and give her the cash back. She’d then go to the other art store and use the receipt to get an additional $100 for returning the pastel she pocketed. I mean, unethical but smart as hell.
  2. Nasty Gal started on Ebay and Amoruso mastered that platform. She ventured to vintage stores, bought steals, hired models (by paying them in burgers), styled and shot them, posted the pics on Ebay, added precise and brilliant details, put them on auction, mailed the packages (complete with custom Nasty Gal label stuck perfectly on the box), and boom. Not that any of that is understated. Apparently, all of these tasks were her entire life starting out.
  3. MySpace was Amoruso’s free marketing before free marketing was a thing. She would find her buyers on MySpace, friend them and see what they liked. The buyers would add her back and be reminded to check out her Ebay store.
  4. She made as many enemies as she did friends. The fellow vintage Ebay-ers disliked Amoruso and her badassness. They accused her of bidding on her on stuff to drive up prices and seem more successful than she actually was. This got her account suspended. Luckily, it was around the same time as her new website launch. So, she was just like, “Peace out y’all.”
  5. She created Nasty Gal debt free. Amoruso borrowed not a dime—not even from herself. She kept her finances separate and did most of the work herself. Obviously, that didn’t last long. Her success grew the store seemingly overnight. Nasty Gal is only seven years old.
  6. Fashion starts within. You got to own what you’re wearing. I know, easier said than done. But, Amoruso went from grunge to goth to Abercrombie to a few other things to a huge style icon running an insanely successful fashion brand. She isn’t ashamed of her dirty grunge phase or even her preppy Abercrombie days. She owns what she wears and figures out her own style regardless of what others think. She encourages her #GIRLBOSSes to do the same, but know when and what is appropriate. Work should have a dress code, at least personally. She claims to be able to broker an investment deal in her PJs, but that doesn’t mean that’s what she does.
  7. How to get and keep a job. If I had a dollar anytime someone tried to give me unsolicited advice about how to get a job, I definitely wouldn’t need one anymore. That being said, a pang of annoyance struck me when someone, who is completely self-made and literally never got hired for her current position nor could get fired, offered to tell me about how to get and keep a job. However, Amoruso selflessly admits that right away. Instead of the normal “this is how I got my job” pep talk, she writes about what she looks for in hiring people for Nasty Gal. Some of her advice was the same old same old, (cover letters are just as much about the company as they are about you, be descriptive in your resume, cater your info to the job, network, spellcheck, etc.) but some was new to me (a HUGE shocker for me), like giving unwanted criticism in an interview or cover letter. Not that I would do this, but it does seem like a way to show your worth to a company. Nope, Amoruso says, it’s just rude.
  8. Fiscal responsibility. #GIRLBOSSes must save at least 10% of their paycheck, no excuses. Call it a “Rainy Day Fund,” call it a “DO NOT SPEND ME FUND” or whatever you like. But it’ll save your ass when you lose your job or, better yet, can afford a killer vacation and still leave a lot in the bank. She advises to treat this 10% like another bill you have to pay each month. And, if your itching to spend on a shoe shopping spree, imaging wearing those bucks on your feet. Look good? No. “That’s because money looks better in the bank than on your feet.” Also, credit cards SUCK and can RUIN YOUR LIFE. Be extra careful before you get one. (Victoria’s Secret Angel Cards are not rewards cards; they are credit cards that will need to be paid each month. Just ask past Sophia.)
  9. Keeping up the creativity. If you’re creative, you can find creativity in everything you did. Amoruso made sandwiches at Subway as a job once. She mastered baking the loaves of bread and was the queen of perfecting the cookies. Plus, running a business needs a little creativity. So, never stifle it.
  10. Who all the other #GIRLBOSSes are. Each chapter ended with a “Portrait of a #GIRLBOSS” that was a personal narrative of another self-made, modern woman. Each one left me Googling these girls, but here are my faves: Editor in Chief of Refinery 29 Christene Barberich (she said she thinks she made most of her big decisions going against what was recommended to her and advises #GIRLBOSSes to not care to much what others think), Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur Norma Kamali (she credits her career to getting a scholarship to FIT and her persistence and constant dreaming) and IMBOYCRAZY.com Blogger Alexi Wasser (she’s a real-life Carrie Bradshaw, writing about her personal dating/relationship experience). All three of these ladies are at different points in their careers, yet all three so self-motivated and successful in their own terms.

So, what are you waiting for? 


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