Since the first release of #GIRLBOSS in 2014, Sophia Amoruso turned thirty-one, got married, dealt with layoffs for the first time in Nasty Gal history, and stepped down as CEO of her company. Today she is looking into other avenues to expand the Nasty Gal brand.
Favorite Quote: “Don’t ever grow up. Don’t ever become a bore. Don’t ever let the Man get to you. Okay? Cool.”
Question: The synopsis for #GIRLBOSS promises the reader a story of business wunderkind Sophia Amoruso who became successful despite dropping out of school and foraging for food in dumpsters. Did learning that Amoruso was no longer CEO of the Nasty Gal despite what the book advertised affect the way you read the #GIRLBOSS?
Chapter 1 – So You Want to Be a #GIRLBOSS?
Congratulations on deciding to be a #GIRLBOSS! Now roll up your sleeves and get ready to work. You don’t need to model every decision after Amoruso’s path to success, in fact, she doesn’t want you to. What she does want is for you to remember “the straight and narrow is not the only path to success.” Get creative, play to your strengths, in short – You do YOU.
Favorite Quote: “You’re going to take over the world, and change it in the process. You’re a badass.”
Question: “Oh God. I guess we have to talk about this.” – Is #GIRLBOSS a “feminist manifesto?”
Chapter 2 – How I Became a #GIRLBOSS
Amoruso needed a “real job” with health care because she had a hernia. She found a job checking college IDs at the Academy of Art University in San Fransico. Thrilling *sarcasm*. Bored she spent her days flipping through eBay and MySpace perusing vintage clothing sites. It took all of two seconds for Sophia to decided, “Hell, I can do that!” And thus the glamorous beginnings of Nasty Gal.
Favorite Quote: “One thing you should know about me is when I hear no, I rarely listen.”
Question: Have you ever sold anything online? What was your experience?
Chapter 3 – Shitty Jobs Saved My Life
Shitty jobs, as far as the eye can see! Child model, Subway sandwich artist, orthopedic shoe salesman, dry cleaner, waitress, landscaper, and “campus safety host” are some of the fancy jobs Sophia held before her success with Nasty Gal. School wasn’t much better, Amoruso ultimately decided to home school and later dropped out of college. But that’s okay, you know why? It gave her the strength to realize the most important lesson of becoming a #GIRLBOSS – “true success lies in knowing your weaknesses and playing to your strengths.”
Favorite Quote: “In short, when you suck at something and don’t want it anyway, cut your losses and move on.”
Question: Do you have a college degree? Looking back, did you need it to become successful in your career? If you do not have a degree, do you plan to pursue one?
Chapter 4 – Shoplifting (and Hitchhiking) Saved My Life
Who wants a dumpster bagel? Don’t worry, you don’t have to become a transient freegan to become successful. Amoroso lived it so you don’t have to. So, what did we learn from our favorite hitchhiking thief? Find a way to be a rebel while still playing by (some of) the rules. Compromise and you won’t have to find your next meal in a dumpster.
Favorite Quote: “In the words of another famous West Coast philosopher, Ice Cube, I needed to check myself before I wrecked myself. Unfortunately, it took a while before this happened.”
Question: Did you find Sophia’s path to the top shocking? Have you ever stolen anything?
Chapter 5 – Money Looks Better in the Bank Than on Your Feet
Put the credit card down and pay for those new shoes with cash. On second thought, do you really need those fancy new kicks? You’re not going to fulfill your dreams of diving into a pile of money like Scrooge McDuck if you spend all your cash on shoes. “Spend money because it’s an investment in your own well-being, not because you’re bored and have nothing else to do.”
Favorite Quote: “Don’t live like a CEO when you’re still a sandwich artist.”
Question: What are ways you could cut back and save more? What are ways you already save?
Chapter 6 – Hocus-pocus: The Power of Magical Thinking
The chapter that will forever be known as – The One With The Private Magician’s Club – which is apparently a real thing. When you’re not spending your time hanging out at the Magic Castle, start visualizing your success. But don’t just sit there and think about it, visualize your success and then go after it. The universe will have your back, but it’s not going to do all the work alone.
Favorite Quote: “Focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening.”
Question: Do you believe in chaos magic? Have you ever made a sigil?
Chapter 7 – I Am the Antifashion
Being uncool is cool. Celebrate your introvert status. What someone sees as a weakness can be what makes you stand out. “The last thing the world needs is another boring person or another boring brand, so embrace all the things that make you different.”
Favorite Quote: “Alter your clothes all you want, but don’t you dare alter your inner freak – she’s got your back as much as I do.”
Question: Can you think of a brand that grew from counterculture?
Chapter 8 – On Hiring, Staying Employed, and Firing
Listen up ’cause this is an important chapter. Learn how to write a cover letter, resume, nail an interview (wear a bra), network like a champ, and get that promotion (or cope with getting canned). Once you have that promotion, learn how to fire someone. Sorry, it’s not as fun as it looks on TV.
Favorite Quote: “Please do not wear sunglasses in your profile photo or self-identify as ‘visionary.’”
Question: Do you have any job interview horror stories?
Chapter 9 – Taking Care of (Your) Business
How to succeed in business. 1. “Just do a good job.” 2. “Keep your promises.” 3. “Give your customers something to share.” Get in touch with your entrepreneurial spirit even if you don’t want to be an entrepreneur. That means having the balls to disagree with the boss (but also know when to back down). Solve problems, don’t wait for someone else to do it. Take risks and when you fail, get back up and take another. Whether you’re starting your own business or trying to make a name while working for someone else, pay attention to these tips and you’ll soon be an unstoppable #GIRLBOSS.
This chapter also gives us insight into Sophia’s meet up with Nasty Gal investor, Danny Rimer. *Spoiler* It went well.
Favorite Quote: “When you begin with the finish line in mind, you miss all the fun stuff along the way.”
Question: What do you think of Nasty Gal’s philosophy? Would you add anything to it?
Nasty Gal Philosophy
Nasty Gal Obsessed: We keep the customer at the center of everything we do. Without customers, we have nothing.
Own It: Take the ball and run with it. We make smart decisions, put the business first, and do more with less.
People Are Important: Reach out, make friends, build trust.
No Assholes: We leave our egos at the door. We are respectful, collaborative, curious, and open-minded.
Learn On: What we’re building has never been built before – the future is ours to write. We get excited about growth, take intelligent risks, and learn from our mistakes.
Have Fun and Keep it Weird
Chapter 10 – Creativity in Everything
Part 1 – In this chapter, we learn what to spend your settlement money on when you get hit by a car while dumpster diving for bagels – a trip to Spain and Portugal. Just as important, be your creative bad ass self wherever you go. Don’t kill your creativity to further your business. You’ll need both to be successful as well as happy. If you aren’t happy, you aren’t going to want to do your job.
Question: If you were hit by a car how would you spend your settlement money?
Part 2 – Nasty Gal started as part of an anti-trend (vintage is cool but keep it on the dl, m’kay?) and grew into new fashion that looks part vintage part mod. But Nasty Gal isn’t just clothing, it’s the way you feel when you wear something that feels like you. The voice inside that’s pleading with you not to wear the dress that shows off your T&A and instead pick the one that showcases your “W&H” – that’s waist and hips for you noobs.
Favorite Quote: “Clothing is ultimately the suit of armor in which we battle the world. When you choose your clothing right, it feels good. And there’s nothing shallow about feeling good.”
Question: Has your clothing style changed as you have grown? What are some style mistakes you have made in your past? Do you have an item of clothing that makes you feel like a bad ass #GIRLBOSS when you put it on?
Chapter 11 – The Chances
Never stop that creative hustle because there is no magic key to success. Being a #GIRLBOSS means “knowing your weaknesses and playing to your strengths,” believing in yourself (“when you believe in yourself, other people will believe in you, too”), and most importantly – work your ass off!
Favorite Quote: “Someone has to succeed, so it might as well be you.”
Questions: What advice from Sophia Amoruso will you take with you? Was there any advice you disagreed with?
In 2015 Sophia Amoruso stepped down from her role as CEO of Nasty Gal, in 2016 Nasty Gal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Netflix canceled the #GIRLBOSS web series after one season – do these setbacks affect your opinion of the book?
Did you watch the Netflix series? Do you think it was true to the book?