This book talks about Sophia’s life, growing up as an outsider to how she started her eBay store, selling vintage clothes online called Nasty Gal Vintage to how she scaled that to a multi-dollar business. It is today as Nasty Gal. So first off, the thing that stood out the most about this book is Sophia Amoruso’s attitude. Indeed, this girl is strong, confident, and successful and she knows it. Sophia is super smart and she really focuses on the work and the book is just generally very motivating to all the girl bosses out there, for anyone who has an entrepreneurial mindset or who wants to do something cool with their lives. This book is very inspirational such as Will by Will Smith and Baby Step Millionaires by David Ramsey. Today, we will tell you the lessons and summary of GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. So, let’s go.
Published by: Penguin Random House LLC
Publication Date: 2015 (originally published in 2014)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Business, Feminism
Format: Trade Paperback
Lesson #1 - Attention to Detail
Undoubtedly, from the very beginning, Sophia Amoruso had always paid a lot of attention to detail. From her photography to her copy on her eBay listing to just how perfectly straight the shipping label is pasted onto the package. Certainly, Sophia Amoruso really cared about the details and that is just so important to building a solid brand and any solid business because every little part should be intentional.
Even today, Sophia talked about how she chooses the photos to go on her website, so after her photo shoot, she’ll shrink all her photos down to like a tiny tiny size on the screen, stand back, blur her eyes, and whatever images pop from that session. She’ll pick those for her website because she really understands the importance of thumbnails, and the composition of the photos. Even if it’s like a tiny tiny thumbnail, it makes a big difference in your business
Lesson #2 - Be Ahead of the Game
One thing we really admire about Sophia Amoruso is her mentality of being ahead of the game and going that extra mile. So she’s always working hard and working smart. She talks about her early days of selling vintage on eBay, she would really hit every thrift store and look at every single item that they had. She would know their schedules and so when there were new arrivals coming to the thrift store, she would just like to wait for them to put them on the racks and once they put them up, she would pounce. And also she scoured Craigslist for estate sales, which are sales when old people die.
She would wake up at 6 AM and would wait in line with people who were like 20 years older than her and once the estate sale started, everyone would be going for the antiques, but she would head straight for the closet to find vintage clothes. This is how she scored Chanel jackets for $8 and was able to sell them on eBay for $1500, which is huge. So we really admire her ability to be smart and go that extra mile. Indeed, she did more than what she was supposed to do, more than what her competitors were doing and that’s how she became successful.
Lesson #3 - Be Super Resourceful
So throughout the book, Sophia really makes a point that she grew up as an outsider, she wasn’t good at school, and you would never think that she would be as successful as she is today. But the reason she became this successful is because she Googled everything. So obviously, in an entrepreneur’s path, in the beginning, you don’t know that much and you know you don’t know that much so a lot of times people let that lack of knowledge stop them from going the next step, when they have an obstacle and they don’t know how to solve it, they just leave it at that.
However, what Sophia Amoruso did was, when she ever came to an obstacle or she just didn’t know the answer to something, she would just Google it and research it like crazy. We have the internet today, which has really all the knowledge that you need at your fingertips, but you need to know how to use it wisely.
Lesson #4 - Dress the Part
We’ve heard this before, but hearing this from Sophia Amoruso really inspired us to get up and dress up for my life because how you look on the outside can affect how you feel on the inside. So, if you look confident and put together on the outside, it will make you feel more confident on the inside.
We are going to share the following quote from the book.
“While I have the freedom to wear whatever I want to work, I dress the part. In fact, everyone at Nasty Gal does. When I’m confident in what I am wearing, it makes me feel more confident throughout the day. Granted, I could probably negotiate a deal in my pajamas, but I’m a lot more dangerous in a pair of leather pants and boots that could hurt a fool.”
Lesson #5 - Stay Hungry | Stay Foolish
What we also love about Sophia Amoruso is just how humble and real she is. Even though she’s had huge success in her career, she does not let it get to her head and she just focuses on the work and continues growing her company. In her book, she talks about how she is congratulated on a daily basis and how in one year, she was named all of these business awards. She was Inc’s 30 under 30, CNN’s 40 under 40, she was on Forbes magazine, the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine, basically getting a lot of press and being awarded and congratulated for what she’s done, but she ends that whole section with this line.
“Remember GIRLBOSS, it’s not cool to get drunk on your own success. And at the end of the book she also touches upon it with this line”. She says “…once you’ve found success, don’t stop. It’s not about being insatiable. It’s about not resting on your laurels.”
No matter how successful she gets, she just wants to keep doing better. She just wants to focus on her work, focus on what she can create, and focus on the value she gives out through Nasty Gal rather than letting all the lights and cameras get to her head.