#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso Doesn't Give The Advice We Need

Welcome back bookworms! Thanks for joining me in reading November’s CC Book Club pick #GIRLBOSS by Nasty Gal Founder and CEO, Sophia Amoruso. #GIRLBOSS is Amoruso’s self-help/memoir/business advice book that’s meant to empower “outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success.”
I honestly found this one repetitive and lacking any true advice. Things like staying true to yourself and working hard were themes that ran throughout the book, but other than that there wasn’t much in the way of concrete advice on how to go from ebay seller to multimillionaire CEO like Amoruso. She doesn’t address anything more than surface stuff and I was really hoping she’d lay out more of her business strategy because she clearly has a brilliant mind for it.
Amoruso has a super interesting past, but I felt like she cherry-picked it and then moved right from dumpster-diving hitchhiker to CEO. She, of course, talks about starting on ebay and her dedication to her business, but beyond tips on how to style and take photos or fairly common-sense retail advice (if something doesn’t sell, don’t force it down your customers throats), there’s not much there.
The book skips around a lot and felt very incoherent – she told several stories and made references to certain aspects of her younger years (e.g., Subway sandwich artist) more than once, in different sections, which is a pet peeve of mine in memoirs. Tell the story and message/lesson once and tell it well enough that no repetition is needed. If you feel the need to repeat anecdotes, maybe you don’t have enough life experience to be writing a memoir/self-help book.
A lot of the book was dedicated to making people who feel like outcasts understand that their uniqueness is special and they should be harnessing those traits and turning them into a career. For this reason, I could see it be a good, motivational read for a girl in high school who doesn’t fit in with the “popular” crowd and is counting down the days until graduation. At one point she actually says, “Its not about being included. It about creating your own space and including yourself and then finding other people that are like okay.” Like I said, great inspiration for a high schooler who is feeling lonely, but not so helpful for women looking for business or branding advice. Her advice also borders on the American Dream fallacy: if you just work hard enough, you can have anything you want. That may have worked for Amoruso, but most of us understand that there is a lot more that goes into success beyond simply hard work. She just really generalizes her experience and paints the picture that anyone can do what she’s done, and while that’s a really appealing, friendly message, it’s just not the truth.
Despite not enjoying the book overall, Amoruso did have a couple gems of advice. “When you hold yourself to the same standard in your work that you do as a friend, girlfriend, student, or otherwise, it pays off.” Another favorite is “I’m telling you that you don’t have to choose between smart and sexy. You can have both. You are both.” I think that particular quote resonated with me because it’s something I already subscribe to; there’s nothing wrong with defending your Masters Thesis or PhD Dissertation with you hair and makeup done and a killer outfit on. I agree with Amoruso that appearances are importance and you don’t need to sacrifice the time and effort that you enjoy putting into your look for success.
What did you think of #GIRLBOSS? Did the advice hit home or miss the mark for you?
And the very last CC Book Club read of 2014 will be…HIGH: The Party Girl’s Guide to Peace by Tara Bliss. Tara is a yogi and life coach and has written this amazing book on how to detox from a “party girl” lifestyle and get addicted to your inner peace. I think it’s something that will appeal to a lot of college gals looking to make a New Year’s resolution to get themselves on a healthier path. If that’s you, then please pick up a copy and join us! I can’t wait to hear/read everyone’s thoughts at the end of December.
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