Monday, 15 August 2016

#GIRLBOSS - Sophia Amoruso

#GIRLBOSS was a book I’d wanted to read for a while; back when it was published last year it was everywhere, and even now it still seems to be a staple blogger photo prop.

I’ll admit, I didn’t know much about the book before reading it. I was a complete sucker for the hype with this one, and was mostly intrigued to see what the fuss was about.

In short (well, and in its entirety really) #GIRLBOSS is Sophia Amoruso’s story about how she built her company, Nasty Gal, from its humble beginnings as a few vintage items being sold on eBay, to being named the ‘Fastest Growing Retailer’ in 2012 by INC Magazine. It’s a book about business and entrepreneurship, a book about motivation and work ethics, and it’s also a book about life and being brave enough to be who you want to be.

What #GIRLBOSS is not, which I found to be a little misleading, is a book about being a woman in the workplace. And it’s certainly not a feminist book (although Amoruso herself does disclose this very early on in the book). She does, however, claim the book to be specifically about women. And for women. While her experience is certainly quite a female-specific one, being a woman establishing a female clothes brand, and while the book is filled with case studies of other female entrepreneurs, I wouldn’t say that any of her advice is that female specific. Even if it is littered with the phrase #GIRLBOSS.

Besides this female perspective, there’s not really any other evidence to suggest that #GIRLBOSS discusses the issues and obstacles or even positives of being a woman in the work place. It’s more just encouragement to own your personal style, work harder than you think is even possible and push yourself to be your own boss.

Although Amoruso’s book is filled with motivational phrases and quotes, she has a completely no bullshit attitude and approach to life (and her writing style), and she’s all about encouraging you to go out and get what you want, rather than waiting for good opportunities to come along. There’s no such thing as luck in Amoruso’s world.

Another really positive thing about #GIRLBOSS is Amoruso’s recognition that everyone’s approach to life and work is different, and that while one experience might be beneficial to one person, it may not work for another. You do well in education and academics? That’s great, you do you. You hate being told what to do and are better suited to working life? That’s great also, you do you.

#GIRLBOSS is full of advice, and though the majority is really positive, intelligent and motivating advice, there are moments in the book when it’s a little contradictory, particularly to do with how to treat your money, and what kind of attitude and outlook to have on life.

Sophia Amoruso’s story is a really interesting and inspiring read, and it’s worth picking up the book for that alone, even if you don’t quite buy into the whole #GIRLBOSS movement. It definitely leaves you with some things to consider, and a few motivating passages and quotes that could give you the push you need to start thinking about your career differently.


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