I was there for the excitement of Nasty Gal’s CEO Sophia Amoruso releasing her first book, #GIRLBOSS, but I didn’t get to read the book until this past February.
Because her trajectory has been idolized the most by the millennial bracket, aside from reviews by the New York Times and Huffington Post that rendered her the Cinderella label, commentators of the Internet and social media era were unabashedly disappointed that Amoruso did not provide a literal step-by-steps guide on how to create your own business into a successful one. Upon hearing such criticism, I found it a little unfair and whiny, but all I could gather from #GIRLBOSS were the face value perceptions, until I read it myself.
As a young woman that’s migrated to the overestimated culture that is New York City, I definitely wanted to read her book. I myself had bought a sweater jacket from nastygal.com and I was curious to know how she gained the courage to create her own store.
As dissatisfied critics had warned, #GIRLBOSS is not a how-to Create Your Own Empire for Dummies guide.
But when I read the last lines of her first book, I accepted its purpose as an encouragement tool for the Nasty Gal fanbase and other women, with or without an academic background. All roads and experiences can lead to a profitable and influential platform or business that begin with you and that was the arching message of the book. This may transpire as “easy for her to say” because Amoruso is now a former CEO that’s stepped down from her company as a self-made millionaire. But I ask, if one is picking up her book as an easy way to get their projects off the ground, they’re still stuck in the wrong mindset. You should want to feel motivated, not coddled by any advice you shall receive and that includes advice from #GIRLBOSS.
The annoyance charged at it–now that I’ve completed Amoruso’s memoir/semi-quasi self-help book–is that, while I enjoyed it and felt more prompt to be the one-woman show necessary to my survival, comes from the fact that Amoruso intentionally led a vagabond lifestyle. She did regularly struggle with having money in her pocket and was not fully assured on where to go with her career prospects, yet it was also too convenient that she was able to monkey bar from job to job, and from the kind of jobs that didn’t require a college degree, and move back home with her parents if all else failed. She’s not of the silver spoon offspring, but her juvenile delinquency was not of circumstance but insistence.
However, Amoruso shares her bouts with a lack of motivation, shoplifting incidents, and disillusionment with the 9-5 work schedule, because most of us bred to trust that the straight and narrow journey is the only way to be successful, or to do what everyone else is doing. I will say that Amoruso has always translated as a business woman with a tangible personality because she learned all the mechanics and technicalities of business from the bottom up and her own curiosity and bravery. There are passages in the book in which she remembers getting very little sleep, even when self-employed, while transporting Nasty Gal from eBay to an online store; how she personally chose and fixed all the vintage pieces she could find herself, arranged photo shoots in which she was sometimes the model or photographer because she couldn’t afford to pay anybody with money but with hamburgers; configure the online presentation for her products from descriptions, to thumbnail photos, later HTML and Photoshop. When an item was purchased, she then learned how she steam, press, and packages items herself, and the tedious pattern was all in the name that the necessary procedures were getting done and enveloped in Nasty Gal fashion. She is overtly self-thought which showcases tremendous vision and will despite some common shortcomings, and I found her believe in her own brand and approach without a doubt impressive. I also admired the people she found along the way who were just as serious in dreaming big and working big, which she was very fortunate to obtain. As the Instagram world has shown us: everybody wants to be P. Diddy but nobody wants to work like Sean. I for one don’t want to be one of those people and #GIRLBOSS was a humbling reminder. And Maya Angelou once said, “Nothing will work unless you do.”
When I reached the end of #GIRLBOSS, I came across two specific parts that I knew I had to save for this review. I took snapshots of the quotes on my phone. Please read in full!
I loved this. It’s so simple and the kind of lesson that I believe we all sometimes take criminally for granted. We ostensibly keep trying not because we believe in ourselves all the time, but because we have to. Like when we lose or are let go from a job, the search becomes less about choices and more about urgency, which is an understandable pain in the utter ass. But I loved that Amoruso included this maxim of being your own competition and not being afraid of looking “like a fool.” I for one am not the most popular girl in town, but I believe that I have a voice and a voice that will resonate with others that feel misunderstood, underappreciated, undervalued, or childishly sticker’ed as “weird.” #GIRLBOSS reminded me to not to wait for others to confirm our ideas and instincts. Follow them and complete them to their full capacity. The language is overall relatable too. Don’t pick up #GIRLBOSS expecting it to be a textbook. Amoruso talks to you as if you’re on GChat making it for a quick read and to the point.
So, no…Sophia Amoruso doesn’t hand you the 25 steps on how to be just like her. But don’t sell her book short. She’s like a far away mentor that exposes the reality that following your dreams kind of sucks because it asks for so much of your work and time and dedication and you may not see the results as quickly as you wish. But when your time has come, you’ll know it was because you did what you had to do to get the where you always knew you could thrive in.