Book Review: #GIRLBOSS

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia AmorusoAre you a #GIRLBOSS? Sophia Amoruso sure is and her  New York Times bestseller shares just how she grew her business from its MySpace beginnings to a $250- million fashion retailer success story.

I had never heard of Sophia Amoruso or her business Nasty Gal other than seeing her book on the “must-read” lists. We had a secret Santa gift exchange at the office and I received the book as a gift.

I love learning about successful business women, not so much about their net worth, but the journey to success they experienced. So I was excited to read the book and I’m glad I didn’t read the reviews prior to starting it. They’re a mixed bag of praise and criticism.

For me, the book is more of an autobiography than a resource filled with career tips. She tells the story of her beginnings in suburbia, being a misfit in high school and balking at a capitalist society. She stole things, got hired then fired, and tried to live without having a job. Her passion for vintage, eye for photography and drive to sell via MySpace and eBay culminated into her successful business called Nasty Gal.

#GIRLBOSS offers no secrets for success nor a get rich quick formula. Although her story is not elitist like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, the two have commonalities that all stories of success do. And don’t get me wrong, I loved Lean In and learned a lot from that book and community. These are two successful women with two clearly different paths to success. Here are some of the key thoughts I took away from #GIRLBOSS:

  • You’re in charge of your own life.
  • Learn to create your own opportunities.
  • Believe in yourself and others will, too.
  • Focus on the positive things in your life and positive things and people will come your way.
  • Dream big. Start small and keep chipping away at your goals.
  • Failure is your invention to learn, grow and evolve.
  • Control your finances because it’s one of the most important things you can do.
  • Surround yourself with smart, engaged, honest, confident people who are on a similar quest as you. Leave the losers behind.
  • Follow your gut and trust your instincts.

What she says without saying it is your mindset will help you succeed or ensure your failure. Think about how you’re thinking.

You’ll also read about hiring, firing, job searching and gain some solid tips about what to do and not when you’re looking for a job or growing a business. Again, it’s not a book filled with actionable “how to” steps though.

It’s an easy read and I enjoyed the craziness of her life story. She’s got grit, works hard and created something to be proud of. People critiqued the book as being a self-indulgent, narcissist story that lacked gratitude. My take is that it was a look back at her journey of chaos, growth and undeniable success.

Amoruso stepped down from her position as CEO about a year ago and not too long after the book was published. She was the #GIRLBOSS of her company and then shifted into a position as creative director which was more in line with her passions.

Is #GIRLBOSS a book I’d recommend? Yes. It’s an entertaining autobiography that includes some good life lessons and a few tips. The type of person who’d enjoy this book is probably the same type of person who will become the #GIRLBOSS in the end. Nothing will stop her, not even her critics.


This book review includes the thoughts and opinions of the blog owner. No compensation was exchanged for this review.

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