241 (24 hour read)
15 Second Synopsis:
You don’t have to have the perfect pedigree to become successful. But what you do need is a hard work ethic, a thick skin, and a good head on your shoulders.
I conjured that bitch.
Shelf Life:Borrow — Ask a friend or check out your local library for this one. It'll probably just collect dust on your bookshelf if you buy it.
GirlBoss is an autobiography, so it’s really about Sophia’s life prior to and during Nasty Gal. Not a how-to on being a female CEO or starting your own fashion biz. Even still, I was hoping for a bit more “there” there as far as an autobiography goes. There was no “OMG” or “wow that’s stunningly raw and open to admit” moments that make you feel like your best friend just confided in you her inner most scandals the night before her wedding. (I dunno, maybe there’s another book in her future.)
This book is best for young women in their 20s still learning the ropes about starting/keeping/leaving/applying for jobs or starting their own business. However, for the 30-something-and-up crowd…let’s just say it’s an easy read. (I read it in 24 hours.) Nothing too deep here. (Hence the 2 1/2 stars.) You’re not gonna get the Seth Godin mind altering prose in this book but you will find a good story about hustle and hard work.
But the book is not without some good points (if you are willing to read the gravitas between the lines). Here are some I pulled out:
- Everyone starts out small.
- You never know where something will take you. Don’t rule anything out.
- Your past doesn’t define where you can take yourself in the future.
- Work. Hard. Enjoy what you do or you’ll probably hate it. And suck at it.
- Stop worrying about others. Don’t give them so much mental space. (See Best line)
- You CAN BE YOUR CUSTOMER!! I personally hate when marketers always say [insert whiny voice here] “You are not your customer.” Not exactly, no. But you can build a business around stuff YOU also like (Sophia did just that). Remember to LISTEN to your customers, but keep your own gut instincts sharp.
- Use all your talents to your advantage.
- Don’t act like a CEO, be one. Ask the obvious questions if it means making better decisions.
Since I’m borrowing this book, I didn’t double-triple underline anything (you’re welcome BFF). But, if I could it would probably be this line from Reid Hoffman cofounder of LinkedIn that was quoted in the book. (Should that be called a quote once removed or something? Hmm.)
“All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.” Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn (pg 186)
Notice he didn’t say “is encoded in business DNA.” No he said “human.” We are humans first, then entrepreneurs. So remember to keep that crazy humanity in your business and as Sophia says:
“Own your style like you own your used car.”