I had heard such great comments about Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS that I was thrilled when good friend and fellow blogger Chadi (Brunettes Have More Fun) loaned me her book. #GIRLBOSS is not only the success story of NASTY GAL, a thriving fashion e-commerce site, it’s also the tale of a girl that never quite fitted in and the unusual path that Sophia took to get to where she is today.
Chadi and I are both very driven ladies and as online entrepreneurs we love to learn everything about other successful women. That said, even if you have a 9 to 5 job and are just looking for an inspiring read there are incredible little nuggets of wisdom in this book. Here are the most valuable lessons I have taken from #GIRLBOSS.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
This might seem like a given but it took me a long time to learn to ask for what I wanted, especially when it was help on a personal or professional matter. I was always afraid of bothering people but also, I think it was my ego saying “Come on, you should be able to figure this out on your own.” Don’t let your ego get in the way of moving ahead and accomplishing wonderful things.
If you have people around you that can help and guide you why not tap into their wisdom to make life a little easier for yourself? Of course, you should always do your homework and make a real effort before reaching out to others but when you really do feel stuck, look around you and there is likely an answer or resource in your immediate circle of family, friends or colleagues.
We control our thoughts, our thoughts control our life.
For people who are convinced that life is shit, life will be shit. What goes on in your head creates the world around you. The vision you have of your life and what you think is possible will affect which decisions you make and actions you take. If you believe that you are not smart and don’t have what it takes to succeed then you probably won’t even risk trying whatever it is that you are dreaming of.
The trick is to start to be an observer of what goes on in your mind. What is the nature of your internal dialogue? We can be very hard on ourselves sometimes and it’s so important to be kind and treat ourselves just as we would treat a best friend.
Take care of the little things.
“(…) every small choice I made along the way was something that contributed to where I am now. Every time I got up in the morning instead of saying screw it and sleeping in, every time I spent a few extra minutes on a product description to make it perfect, I was choosing my fate and sowing the seeds of my future.”
To me, this confirms that being a perfectionist is not a bad thing and that you should stick to your guns when people don’t understand your vision or your attention to detail. Some people in my life have tried telling me to let go and stop trying to make things perfect but that is partly what has made me successful and I see it as a strength. I am not saying that as a person you should try to be perfect (hello, pressure and disappointment).
In fact, I wrote a post on the art of embracing our imperfections and how liberating it can be. What I am referring to is going that extra mile to produce outstanding results and create a personal/professional life you once only dreamed was possible.
Taking the time to think about what you really want and doing something about it embeds these wishes into your subconscious, and then your subconscious makes it happen.
Do you ever ask yourself why you get up in the morning? Why you go to work? Where you want to be in two or even ten years? If not, then you might be “wandering around” aimlessly and not understanding why your life feels devoid of purpose. That’s because it is!
I am a strong believer in setting intentions and goals and going back to these on a regular basis. Your intention doesn’t have to be super specific like “I want to be Director at a Company X by age 35”. It could be that you want to feel a certain way (at peace, free, inspired) and along your journey, you will discover what you need to do in your life to bring those feelings into it.
One of the best things about life- a reason not to go blindly after one goal and one goal only- is that sometimes it will take you to something that is way cooler than anything you would have consciously set out to do in the first place.
Many of the successful women I read about say they had a feeling that they were meant to accomplish great things in their life but that they never dreamed they would end up where they currently are. It’s great to set goals for yourself but if you don’t reach them look to see what else is out there. Stay open and keep the next piece of advice in mind…
You have to leave room for the universe to have its way and play around a bit.
“Don’t get so focused on one particular opportunity that you’re blind to other ones that come up.” Yes, set goals for yourself but don’t be too rigid. See what life brings your way. Also, don’t be afraid to change your mind about certain goals. Sometimes at a certain point in our life, one thing will feel right but then later on, it doesn’t fit anymore. That’s totally okay. Give yourself permission to let your goals and intentions evolve just as you do over time.
Don’t spend time thinking about things that you don’t want to have a place in your life.
Funny how we sometimes obsess over situations or people that really don’t serve us. Maybe a friend said something that was a bit rude and for the last 3 days you’ve been thinking “Who does she think she is talking to me that way?”. That my friend, is your ego speaking and your ego can lead you down dark paths of negativity, resentment and all sorts of ickiness.
Because we attract what we most think of, focusing on that negative XYZ (ex: lack of money) will just bring in more of it so make sure you focus on what you do want (love, health, freedom) rather than what you don’t want (worry, injury, stress).
Dive headfirst into things without being too attached to the results.
I think this is my favourite lesson out of the whole book. Probably because I have been a perfectionist my whole life and this trait used to stop me from trying things because I was afraid of not being good from the get go. Of course you aren’t going to be amazing at something you try for the first time! But that darn ego of mine would convince me that I should be.
Now I give myself permission to try new experiences and perhaps not be great at them right away and then I decide if it’s something I want to pursue or move on. The key element to remember is that you are allowed to make mistakes. As Masting Kipp from The Daily Love says, “Mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow.“
It is she who listens to the rest of the world who fails, and it is she who has enough confidence to define success and failure for herself who succeeds.
When we are young, we count on those around us (society, our parents) to guide us and tell us what direction we should take with our life but as we grow and start really understanding who we are, we are then confronted to certain realizations that might contradict the “life guidelines” that were passed on to us.
If you were told that certain things should make you happy but they don’t, trust your instinct and find what does make you happy. Also be careful about listening to people’s advice, especially those who have not accomplished what you aspire to. Certain loved ones might have different values than you and although they have your happiness at heart, they might be guiding you based on their own personal fears and insecurities.
We’re only here for a short amount of time. GIRLBOSSes make it count.
What more can I add to this? We have one life to live (unless you believe in reincarnation) and it’s a gift we need to be grateful for and fully embrace. To me, it’s a crime to go through a day without seeing the beauty around us and within us. If you can’t find ways to do that, maybe it’s time to become a #GIRLBOSS in your own life and take care of some important business.
There are countless more amazing lessons in #GIRLBOSS and I do hope you take the time to read the entire book as it’s well worth it. It’s full of life tools that every woman should have and the main underlying message is all about embracing who you really are and figuring out what you can do with all that talent that is right there inside of you waiting to be discovered.
To read more reviews or to purchase #GIRLBOSS, click the book cover: