Have you ever wanted to start your own business? Do you wish to turn your hobby into a lucrative career option, raking in the dough by doing something that you love? While some people may say yes to these questions, a lot of people won’t have the motivation to actually go through with it. For the people that do, they are likely to hit quite a few snags on their journey, and statistically, most of the businesses probably won’t make it past the one-and-a-half year mark. If you are one of the few that gets to realise their dream, and actually make a profit from their endeavour, then props to you- you can count yourself as one in a very small percentage of successful small business owners. And if you can keep the business running successfully, with rapid growth over the next eight years, you are well on your way to becoming as successful as Sophia Amoruso, the author of #GIRLBOSS, and successful founder, CEO and creative director of online store Nasty Gal.
It’s not every day that a small online business can become a multi-million dollar empire, but over an eight-year period, Sophia Amoruso was able to make that happen. With a strong work ethic and nothing to lose, Sophia turned her profitable eBay shop into a thriving globally-successful online store that deals in vintage clothing and new fashion- the ever-changing, never-conforming fashion hotspot Nasty Gal. This book- part business, part memoir, part motivational- provides handy hints and information about all aspects of life- be it working in the fickle fashion industry, or the sacrifices and passion needed to maintain a strong brand.
Amoruso is the first to tell you that her story is unique- she is not your typical CEO. Although she grew up as an only child in a stable family unit, she moved around the country a lot, and attended ten different schools in her twelve years of education. With no interest in schooling life, Amoruso was often disruptive in class, brimming with teenage angst and ‘misunderstood’. She never went to college, instead preferring to work nondescript part-time jobs, and dumpster-diving for bagels. She looked with disdain upon conformity and (ironically) capitalism- preferring to trawl through charity bins and op shops for clothing- and turned to petty theft to make ends meet.
It wasn’t until she was in severe financial trouble that she decided to sell her first item on eBay, thus fuelling her lifelong passion for selling vintage items to like-minded people. Scouring clothing racks and deceased estates for merchandise to sell, Amoruso soon grew a strong presence on eBay, making hundreds of dollars in profit. But she quickly outgrew the platform from which she started her business, and, growing tired of the negative and often spiteful comments of her competition, decided to start her own online store. With a solid customer base, an accrued knowledge of online selling, a strong focus, and the help of many friends, Amoruso was able to quickly grow her business into a highly successful and profitable enterprise. While she had her ups and downs, through hard work and determination, Amoruso was able to make it happen.
This book details Nasty Gal’s meteoric rise to success, and includes a lot of useful information for any would-be business owner. Not only does it cover some of Amoruso’s (slightly embarrassing but usually entertaining) personal experiences on the journey to success, but there is also handy advice for anyone considering job applications, entrepreneurialism, positive thinking, financial matters and networking. There are also personal profiles from other successful women (or #GIRLBOSSes) scattered throughout the book, who have followed their dreams and turned their passions into successful careers.
If you’re looking for a business/motivation book that isn’t dry but still imparts some wisdom, this may be the one for you. Even if you’ve never heard of Nasty Gal, or have no real interest in fashion, there are still some important lessons to be learned through reading this book.