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#GIRLBOSS Paperback – September 29, 2015
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"Rather than present a get-rich-quick manual or a list of business tips, Amoruso
teaches the innovative and entrepreneurial among us to play to our
strengths, learn from our mistakes, and know when to break a few of the
traditional rules." —Vanity Fair
"A witty and cleverly told account . . . It’s this kind of honest advice, plus the
humorous ups and downs of her rise in online retail, that make the book
so appealing." —Los Angeles Times
"#GIRLBOSS is more than a book . . . #GIRLBOSS is a movement." —Lena Dunham
About the Author
Sophia Amoruso is the Founder of Nasty Gal and the Founder and CEO of Girlboss. A creative visionary, modern-day entrepreneur, and fashion doyenne, Sophia has become one of the most prominent figures in retail and a cultural icon for a generation of women seeking ownership of their careers and futures. Her other books are The Girlboss Workbook and Nasty Galaxy.
Top customer reviews
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+ This book is incredibly compelling. I finished the entire thing on one 4-hour flight on 3 hours of sleep. She (or her ghostwriter) is a great storyteller.
+ It truly is inspiring to read about a type of success not born of traditional privilege or ambition - I hope this book gets a lot of other young women out there to kick-start their dreams.
+ I really appreciate that she didn't focus on gender at all - this wasn't a "girl power!" book so much as it was an "entrepreneur power!" book written by a girl.
The less good:
+ I had never heard of Nasty Gal before I picked this up. Never mind that I'm a fashion-oriented mid-20s female - I'll assume this is on me. Sophia seems to think her company is God's gift to Earth - I found her completely presumptuous both in her evaluation of her own brand equity, and hyperbolic in her descriptions of Nasty Gal as a "huge, explosive success" (I live and work in Silicon Valley, where nonprofits get $20M in funding annually easy and companies grow from 1 to 350 employees in two years - let's have a sense of scale here.)
+ There was a consistent thread of put-downs and humblebrags in here, which happen to be two stylistic choices I absolutely deplore. Sophia claims to have done poorly in school because of the rigid system and been fired from jobs because she didn't care enough to try (essentially excusing herself from blame). She disses investors/VC culture, MySpace (the original foundation for her business), "boring" people with 9-to-5s, eBay, and several poor unnamed employees of hers. I get it - she loves herself. I just pray to God that no young woman reading this ever thinks it's ok to be this self-righteous.
+ She never once thanks anyone. She had some nice words about some coworkers, but she never acknowledges the support her family gave her even as she was essentially a parenting failure, never thanks her customers for driving awareness of her brand, never admits that some of her colleagues are at least part of the reason behind her company's success.
+ She plays the victim so much but never acknowledges any real failures (and now, hiring someone you thought was right for the role and then having to fire them isn't a failure - it's a rhetorical device used to assert your authority in this book.) She whines about "catty" retailers and petty competitors and never once steps down from her high horse to admit to the very real failures that affect every new business (like screwing up orders, dissatisfied customers, mis-spending capital, etc.)
In sum, I hope I never get stuck in an elevator with Sophia, but I'm glad my flight went by quickly.
I wish I had known her company was being sued for wrongful termination of several ill and pregnant employees. Amongst other complaints and her own recent failures. I've read half of this book and for the first time in my life from purchasing a book I want to return it. She says in the beginning that it is not meant to inspire. What??? So I then assumed it was to merely entertain. But after reading how she scammed and stole and she basically brags about it. I'm having a hard time relating or let alone enjoying a book about a woman who grew up upper middle class, is now one of the wealthiest women in the world, and basically has never had much of a moral compass. This is what I've taken away from the first 5 chapters. Pass.
Unfortunately, it did not come with a paid return label and the shipping would cost almost as much as the book. Lesson learned.
I started reading it once before thinking it would be a self help book teaching me how to run my business and giving me pointers. Boy was I wrong.
At the time, it wasn't the book I was looking for so I put it back on my shelf and moved on.
Then a few weeks ago I found the show Girl Boss on Netflix and ended up binge watching it for 2 days straight. I was curious when I noticed it say it was "loosely" based on the book. So I pulled it back off my shelf and started reading it again.
First, when they said "loosely," they meant it.
Having said that I have to tell you, I ended up binge reading the book in the same manner as the show. I looked forward to nothing more in the morning then waking up, pouring my morning coffee, and diving into #GIRLBOSS while the house was still quiet.
Sophia tells the story of how she built her business from an eBay store she opened while she was bored, then grew it into the mega business it is today. The fact that she did it all using street smarts, her own intuition, and little to no educational background in business is amazing.
Her vibrant, take no crap attitude comes through this book in full force. Add a little humor and it made for a very fun read. It is easy to see how she got where she is so fast.
Although this is not a book on how you can start your own business, she gives some pretty solid advice on things to do, and not to do in the business world, through her own experiences. The excerpts from other business women were also a nice touch.
I will definitely be incorporating some of what I learned here into running my own business. It was the right kick in the butt I needed to keep me going. If that's what your looking for and you love a person with some attitude in her personality, this might be the book for you.