I recently finished #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso. She is the founder of Nasty Gal, a vintage clothing company based in LA. The cover and title of this book always intrigued me. I mean who doesn’t like light pink and a woman doing the power pose? One of my friends recently gave me a copy of the book. After reading it, I came to terms with the fact that I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. The author contradicts herself too much to be taken seriously. But her conversation style was easy to digest and her advice wasn’t forced down your throat. There were some tips and lessons that I appreciated.
Lesson 1: Your Thoughts Are Powerful – Whatever you focus your mind on will be the thing that shows up in your life. For example, if you keep thinking, “no one is giving me a chance,” then no one will give you a chance. She explained this by going into a story on how, when she was dating a guy, she kept bringing up and focusing on his ex.Then one day, she found herself in the same bar as the two of them. See? The world has a weird way of materializing what you are thinking about. So when you are building a business, you have to focus on that and the positive.
Lesson 2: Your Employees Are Not Your Friends & Your Boss Is Not Your Friend – I have worked in the nonprofit sector and I am now building Epifania. The managerial line has been crossed. It’s hard not see people as fellow human beings. You want to be approachable and fun, but people have to know that you are their boss. You need that respect when it comes to stern emails, firings and misunderstandings.
Lesson 3: Own Your Personal Style – Yes! I think Sophia and I have this in common. We changed our personal style so much, but we always stuck with what made us feel good and look good. She even wore Abercrombie and Fitch clothes. Oh dear lord, I remember those days. But, your style shouldn’t be your one look. You shouldn’t have a “cowboy” look and for the rest of your life have to dress “western.” I mean unless you are an actual cowboy. Your style is a representation of who you are now, not who you were last year or next year.
Lesson 4: Everyone Makes Mistakes – Sophia went through a lot of tough times as a kid. Most of them, she admits, she did to herself. She is a very “needs to learn for herself” kind of person. This reminded me that everyone makes mistakes. You will wake up in uncomfortable areas. You will get fired. You will hate your job. You will be poor. These are just stepping stones to being awesome.
Lesson 5: Ask For Help – Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. You need to know when to ask for help. When she started her business, she reached out to photographers, models and other assistants. The management needs to create a working environment where employees feel comfortable asking one another for help.
As I put this book back on the bookshelf, I am reminded that we have lived and we all have our own stories. Share them.