I discovered this book quite late. In fact I had seen it many times on the Aristoc book shelves but I ignored it. Mostly because of the title and author's hair cut. I felt like this book was trying to sell me something but I was not sure quite what exactly. If I am honest the fringe and necklace frightened me, but the cover certainly got my attention so the marketers did a great job on that one. I had seen Nasty Gal ads on the side of my yahoo e-mail page back in the days when yahoo mail was still cool.Then I think last year the news story broke that the Nasty Gal company was bankrupt, and because the same story and the aftermath of it kept popping up on my social media newsfeed, I made my way back to the book store to buy it. This was largely due to the fact that the media stories made her appear human and I was curious to know more about her beginning.
|LA Times Story|
|New York Times Headline|
I think that's the problem with books that are marketed and written in this way, they appear one sided and they end with what seems like a happily ever after ending. Just like the fairy tail we assume that our heroine rides off into the joyful sunset never to experience failure or sadness again. Luckily for Sophia she gets points from me for mentioning the following quote in the beginning of the book.
"If there were rules to being a #GirlBoss-which there are not- one of them would be to question everything-including me. " ~ Sophia Amoruso
The quote above was a smart quote to put at the beginning, for me it saved her. She's telling us that despite her producing this appealing product of a book, just because everything looks pretty and well laid together, you should not take everything at face value. You should question. It's done so subtly that it may be easy for the reader to miss, and it's probably long forgotten by the time they get three quarters of the way through the book. Yet for me this is one of the best gems of the book. This is Sophia's experience. Take what you can but at the end of the day you have to live your life. According to reviews she had a ghost writer, which appears very evident based on the style of the writing. There are many cliches in the book. The advice is not new but that doesn't mean it isn't relevant for a young person...possibly high school graduate? I would have really appreciated this story at the ages of 19 or 20 years.
"And shitty jobs made the good ones more meaningful. Most people don't land their dream job right out of the gate, which means we all have to start somewhere. You'll appreciate your amazing career so much more when you look back at your not so amazing jobs in the past, and hopefully realize that you learned something from all of them." ~ Sophia Amoruso
Yap.. the above quote is age old wisdom. I wouldn't call them 's****' jobs though. We all have to start somewhere and these are really valuable experiences and basic skills that are acquired at that level. I learnt a lot from working as a sales assistant, those skills have stayed with me to date. Which is why I feel this book would be great for freshers too (those just starting out in University). All experience is a great lesson. It's up to us to demonstrate what we have learnt.
"If it sold we learned. if it didn't sell we learned. and we kept on learning."~ Sophia Amoruso
|Vanity Fair Story|
The way she has dealt with the backlash and her exit from Nasty Gal is a testament to who she is. Someone who gets back up and keeps going. In my opinion, that's one of the best character traits in this life to have. None of us are perfect, she should get mega props for building a brand from scratch. According LA Times Nasty Gal was bought by BooHoo.com, that still says something about her incredible ability to build a valuable brand.
"If you're frustrated because you're not getting what you want stop for a second; Have you actually flat out asked for it? If you haven't stop complaining. You can't expect the world to read your mind. You have to put it out there, and sometimes putting it out there is as simple as just saying 'Hey can I have that? " ~ Sophia Amoruso
Loved this bit of advice. I am learning how to effectively ask for what I want. A skill that will do many well. People skills are a very valuable currency these days.
What I love most about the book are the other bonus little gems from her friends. People who created brands and products dispensing a little of their life experience and wisdom. Fabulous! Loved it. If you click on their names below, it will lead you to where you can learn more about them. Was this just extra PR? Probably...still interesting and useful though.
"When I am not working, I'm still working. i'm always observing, I'm taking photos of patterns and colors I see on the streets, I'm jotting down ideas, I'm meeting people, connecting the dots, researching my craft, trying new products, giving my friends manicures, working on my website, updating my social media accounts, working on my own products, on collaborative projects, putting together inspiration boards or sketching new ideas. I'm working on craft and my business not because I feel obligated, but because I love it. I've always had to work hard because I had no other choice, but I always believed in myself."~ Madeline Poole
"I learned early on the motto 'know thyself' I think if you have a unique point of view and stay relevant and authentic, you will make an impression. You have to be excited and passionate about your ideas to make them work. Chances are it will take twenty of those good ideas before one sticks and has a chance to become real, but a good idea is only good if there is a well thought-out plan to make reality." ~ Norma Kamali
So would I recommend this book? Yes to high school graduates and first year university students. We need to read other types of stories. Not to copy but to learn from. For someone my age there is a lot missing, for example I would have loved to hear the real nitty-gritty of running a business and it would be great if she did another edition with how the company ended up getting sold. Painful to write, but a useful learning experience for many. Yes none of the messages in this book are new but it's still a good product of a book. Below are other reviews to help you decide. Just my thoughts.
More Book Reviews of the Same Book...
Two hundred odd pages later, I had learned two things. The first is that Amoruso (pictured) seems nice: fun, self-deprecating and self-aware. The second is that this book is as shallow as a teaspoon: God help today's school-leavers if they need advice like "treat your LinkedIn profile like an online resume" and "spellcheck exists for a reason". Oh, and this: "Don't have sex with everyone in the world you work in. It's a small world." ~ Helen Lewis, The Guardian Book Review