When I first read “Girlboss,” I was in desperate need of inspiration, both in my career and life. Sophia Amoruso, author of the best-selling book and founder of the fashion brand Nasty Gal, spoke to me (and millions of readers around the world) through “Girlboss,” just by being up front and honest about who she is, where she came from and how she gets stuff done.
While Netflix’s interpretation was disappointing, I wanted to remind everyone that there are a lot of valuable lessons in the book itself and it’s totally worth reading (and rereading). It also makes a great gift for a girlboss in training. Here are a few quotes to live by:
1. “You don’t get what you don’t ask for.”
The worst thing someone can say is “No,” so what’s the harm in being direct? Whether you’re on the fence about asking for a raise, making the first move with a guy you like or asking your hubby to step up more when it comes to the kids, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. By not being vocal about your needs, hopes and dreams, they remain hidden and unfulfilled.
2. “Good old-fashioned manners can get you very far.”
Geez, is being polite really that hard? In our smartphone-centric world, good manners seem to have fallen out of fashion. When you’re at a meal with friends or even a business contact, just put the phone away. Say “please” and “thank you.” Look people in the eye and listen more than you speak. Brighten someone’s day with your presence — don’t make it darker. It makes more of an impact than you’d think. (Although, for the record, we saw the exact opposite of being polite in the Netflix show!)
3. “No one will ever be able to love you if you don’t love yourself.”
When you don’t love yourself, how do you expect someone else to love you? It’s all about energy. When you love and accept yourself for who you are, you’re more confident, stable, strong and won’t take any funny business from someone who treats you badly. You’re complete as a person on your own — with or without a romantic partner.
4. “When you approach everything as if it’s a big, fun experiment, then it’s not that big of a deal if things don’t work out.”
Sometimes we take life too seriously — both at work and at home. Why do we do this? It’s probably because we’re being motivated by fear, which is a killer of creativity and progress. Let go of the fear of failing and live a little. Outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens. You might fall a few times on the way up the mountain, but the view will be fantastic when you get there.
5. “A very important tidbit about customer service: Just apologize to people.”
Accept responsibility. Your customer is upset for a reason. Acknowledge their issue and come up with a solution. In this moment, you have the power to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
6. “Money looks better in the bank than on your feet.”
Make the most of what you have. At the end of the day, the things that bring us the most joy don’t have a price tag — family, friends and our health, to name a few. If your happiness is tied to material things, you’ll never be satisfied and you’ll always be broke. Put the money in the bank and get on steady ground financially. It’s hard to be happy when you’re constantly worried about money.
7. “Anything you do can be creative.”
No matter what you do for a living, monotony gets to all of us, whether you’re an accountant or the host of a TV show. Instead of getting bored, find the fun in what you do or get creative in how you can be better. Sure, you may hate your desk job, but while you’re there, why not make a positive impact in whatever way you can? Great ideas take you places.
8. “If you’re dreaming big, #GIRLBOSS, don’t be discouraged if you have to start small.”
Take things one day at a time. Dreaming big is fantastic, but you need to be realistic in how you get there. One of my first bosses would say to me, “Use the tools you have.” Don’t put the focus on what’s not available to you — utilize what’s there and get to the next step.
9. “Focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening.”
Who wants to do business with someone who’s miserable all the time? Not me! When you’re positive and grateful for what you have, that shows the universe that you’re ready to tackle more. When you focus on the negative, you invite more of it to come knocking at your door.
10. “The energy you’ll expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. Just be your own idol.”
In the age of Instagram, it’s so hard not to get caught up in what other people have or what other people are doing. Focus on building yourself and making your dreams a reality. Don’t get caught up in the noise; it’s a useless distraction and a surefire way to lose motivation.
11. “The #GIRLBOSS who is willing to do a job that is below her — and above — is the one who stands out.”
What could this possibly mean? A great leader is someone who isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty for the good of the team. If they see one of their employees is overburdened, they take on some of the weight, even if the task is “below” them. On the flip side, (as Amoruso explains in the book), if your boss is out, step up to the plate and make their work look like “child’s play.” Get it done.
Have you read “Girlboss”? Tell us some of your favorite quotes below.