I don’t read a lot of “career woman” books because most of them don’t apply to me. I haven’t read Lean In, so I can’t really comment on it (here I go anyway, I guess), but I don’t identify too much with its message. Which isn’t to say that books like Lean In aren’t useful for some people…it’s just that, personally, I don’t want to be a CEO. I don’t want to be a “leader” in the traditional sense of the word. I do a lot of reading and research regarding business careers for my day job, and most of the time I’m left thinking, “Wow, the people who go after these careers have completely different goals, personalities, and lifestyles than me.” I’m not saying I don’t care about money (I do!), but I think writers and businesspeople often just have different thought processes.
Even though #GIRLBOSS sounds like a typical career book but with a hashtag in the title, I decided to check it out after I read this profile of author Sophia Amoruso. As the founder of Nasty Gal clothing, her rise to millionaire CEO was totally untraditional. And she just sounded a lot more relatable than Sheryl Sandberg. My favorite lines from that profile: “The cover of Lean In shows Sandberg relaxed and radiant in a white sweater, chin resting on palm. #GIRLBOSS has Amoruso in a tight black dress and spiky necklace, fists balled against her hips. One of her eyebrows is arched, villainess style. She looks like a person with intimidating sexual preferences.”
So what’s my verdict after reading the book? I liked it! It is definitely funnier and more interesting than most career books I’ve read (although, like I said, I don’t read a ton of them). I’m totally impressed by Amoruso’s work ethic. Her success happened for a lot of reasons, but her very hard work was definitely the biggest one. She doesn’t seem to have much of an ego and is willing to do just about anything, which is an attitude I really respect. Also, I’m always interested in reading about someone’s hard work.
This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s just more fun to read about someone who started a vintage clothing company than it is to read about a “typical” CEO. I’m pretty sure Sheryl Sandberg never had a job at Subway or ate out of a dumpster. It’s not like Sophia Amoruso had connections or money–she doesn’t even have a business degree! There are different ways to reach success, and I like that #GIRLBOSS showed this one.
Will #GIRLBOSS change your life? I don’t know, maybe not, unless you’re currently eating bagels out of a dumpster and trying to find a better path. But it is really encouraging. Reading about Sophia Amoruso’s hard work, and her drive to keep going even when she wasn’t exactly sure what she was working towards, is super-inspiring. The book definitely seems to be geared towards younger women–perhaps those who are just starting their careers–but a great work ethic is important at any age.
What about you guys? Have you read #GIRLBOSS? What are your fave “career” books?