Thursday, April 23, 2015

From Badass to #Girlboss

I’ve just finished Sophia Amoroso’s book #Girlboss and unexpectedly I really enjoyed it.

I don’t really know what I was expecting. I hadn’t heard of her clothing website Nastygirl ( before, how successful it has become or even the story behind it.  I thought it might be a story of a Generation Y prattling on about how she made it big and how it was really straight forward.

But I was mistaken!

Amoroso is truly an individual who made it big under her own steam and using her own talent. She had obstacles and difficulties but she overcame them.          

She is the first to admit that was a Badass when she was younger. She dropped out of school, got fired from several jobs, resorted from getting food from rubbish bins and going through a shoplifting phase. But because of her talent and hard work she made it.

This book is not what you expect: It is not a self-help book nor is it is a how-to-make-it-in-ebusiness manual. It isn’t a feminist manifesto, girl power book or chic lit. It is not a book about an over entitled gen Y/millennial who wanted to work in the fashion industry because it’s ‘cool factor’ regardless of whether they had any talent.    
Somehow, this book is relatable.

This book freely describes the mistakes that Amoroso makes and she encourages people to learn from them. She reminds people that the ‘normal’ (school, university, work, family) isn’t the only road to success.   

She started up Nasty Girl from her home which included doing everything herself. To begin with she used ebay to sell the vintage garments she picked up from second hand shops and she was responsible for choosing and dressing models (which she paid by buying them hand burgers after the shoot) as well as writing the description of items and then shipping them off once they had been sold.

Amoroso goes into her early ‘business plan’ (although she wouldn’t call it that)and it was her focus on the details and the customers that made her business so successful. She also added value to her business by showing how to pair items and which accessories would look good with a particular outfit. She also used MySpace (they were the days) to attract customers.  There was an element of doing things unconventionally and I guess that allowed her to be more responsive to the desires of her customers.   

Now she is a CEO of a multimillion dollar internet company that has a world-wide market that was created without any debt which is a story in itself but you’ll have to read the book.
But also, it is her drive to make things happen that is what made her so successful. “Call it stubborn, it’s the only way I can make something mine – to invite into my world rather than have it fall into my lap”.

If you want to be inspired and read about someone who doesn’t fit the mould who still goes one to be wildly successful try #girlboss!    
What I’ve learnt from this book

These are some of the things that I learnt from Sophia Amoroso:
  • Don’t grow up. Don’t be a bore. Don’t ever let the man get to you;
  • Life is short. Don’t be lazy;
  • A #girlboss is someone who’s in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. As a #girlboss, you take control and accept responsibility. You’re a fighter – you know when to throw punches and when to roll with them. Sometimes you break the rules, sometimes you follow them but always on your own terms;
  • The energy you’ll expand focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. Just be your own idol;       
  • Abandon everything about your life and habits that might hold you back;
  • Learn to create your own opportunities;
  • Fortune favours action;
  • The best way to honour the past and future of women’s rights is by getting shit done.

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