“A #GIRLBOSS is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it.” Sophia Amoruso
I knew that #girlboss was going to be a good book as soon as I read this a few pages into the book. Sophia got a book checking ID at a university in San Francisco purely motivated by the fact that she needed health insurance to get rid of her… hernia. And then she proceeded to describe in detail about said hernia. I wondered what her editor must have thought as she read the first draft of the book.
I bet she laughed hard. Just like I did and proceeded to have a #girlcrush on Sophia. If you have been living in a cave for the last couple of years and don’t know who she is, read this.
If you’re just like me and you’re just in awe of how much this sassy, awesome young woman has achieved so much with so little, this book is going to inspire, motivate and possibly make you want to buy some more clothes from Nastygal.com.
So yes, this book is beyond amazing and these are some of the lessons you’d learn from it:
Market Yourself Through Social Media
In the old days of Myspace , she would selectively and manually invite others to her Myspace account. She did this every day even though I’m sure she could have gone out and done fun things. In the end, she had sixty thousand emails (read: potential customers). How’s that for perseverance? I remember when I first started blogging, I would individually email friends, cousins, my cousins’ friends, their friends to please subscribe to my mailing list. I now have almost 100,000 email addresses.
Sophia wanted to work with a renowned photographer, Paul Trapani , who was a big-deal renowned fashion photographer when Sophie was relatively unknown. She didn’t have cash nor clout, but she contacted him anyway and offered her services as a trade. He accepted. As someone who is just starting out, you will also most likely not have loads of money to throw around but you do have skills. Figure out what they are and reach out. You never know what you’ll get in return.
Working For Yourself Demands Strict Discipline
If you’re a business person, you have to tell yourself to get up, and get to work. You have to learn how to say no to fun (but otherwise non-productive activities) and a lot of time, to do things that you just don’t like. If you’re a blogger, even the process of repetitive styling, shooting and editing beautiful outfit images can get tedious (especially when no one is commenting on your photos at first). But you have to keep doing it.
Experiment…In Small Doses
Sophie had no formal business training or experience, but she was never afraid to try. If she didn’t know whether something sold, she bought a very small quantity of it, lets say 6 dresses. If that sold, she then bought 12 . Likewise with whatever new thing you are experimenting with, start small. I was horribly afraid of public speaking and so I started talking to groups of 4 and 5. And then I spoke to groups of 10-20. Now I’m comfortable speaking to a room filled with hundreds of people. You’ll never grow if you don’t make mistakes, but let those mistakes be small.
Think Big and Act Professional.
Even in her earliest days as a solopreneur , she always referred to her little one-woman company as “We” and “Our” , and always made sure the outgoing presentations to both suppliers and clients were immaculate. Her boxes were neatly labeled and packed, and always looked like they came from a professional warehouse, even when she was doing it all by herself in her garage. Being professional makes both suppliers and customers have the confidence to deal with you.
And Finally, Invest In Your Biz
In the early days, Sophia had a terrible credit rating and couldn’t get a loan for any kind of a business. But she turned this into a positive thing. Every single dollar she earned from her business she saved up as capital/cash reserve. And this habit continued well when Nastygal had a million dollars in cash reserve. The result? A thriving business with low overhead and a healthy bank account.
So yes. The book will change your life. I’d read this to my daughter instead of a fairytale any day.
Photo credit: NYMag.com