As someone who doesn’t really read non-fiction, January is the perfect time to knock over some reading challenges. To tackle non-fiction, I chose #GIRLBOSS by Sophie Amoruso as the book seems to be loved by many, but does it live up to the hype? Of course it does. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be here giving you 5 reasons why you should read it.
1. Doesn’t Read Like Non-Fiction
“I believe that there is a silver lining in everything, and once you begin to see it, you’ll need sunglasses to combat the glare.”
Sometimes non-fiction can be a little boring. The story may be interesting, such as how to be successful, but it’s the way it is written that causes people to lose interest. #GIRLBOSS is different and it seems like you’re listening to a cool older sister or female role model giving you advice. Amoruso comes across as funny, honest, and not afraid to admit that she’s wrong sometimes.
“It was around this time that a psychiatrist diagnosed me with both depression and ADD. Though there was no doubt I was depressed, I refused to take the pills that he prescribed, instead throwing them away. I knew then that my utter misery and universal disinterest were not due to a chemical imbalance. This wasn’t something that could just be medicated out of me—I just hated where I was.”
Amoruso doesn’t hide her past. It’s not sugar-coated as her feelings and struggles come across as raw and advice isn’t the typical “hard work will get you there”. Well yes, hard work is key, but it’s not everything. She struggled in her early days and was unemployed before landing a shitty job. When she started her eBay store, she paid attention to even the tiniest of details and dedicated her time. Her success is hard-earned by doing something she loves the most in a different and unique way. Like anyone, they are not always right, but the way she owned her mistakes and shares her struggles are really inspiring to read.
3. A Good Read for All
“No matter where you are in life, you’ll save a lot of time by not worrying too much about what other people think about you. The earlier in your life that you can learn that, the easier the rest of it will be. You is who you is, so get used to it.”
While #GIRLBOSS looks and sounds like a feminist manifesto (which it sometimes feels like when reading it), at the end of the day, this book is about her journey to success. She provides insight as to what you need to succeed: hard work, follow your passions, and stand up for yourself.
4. Unconventional Ways to Succeed
“What all of these jobs taught me is that you have to be willing to tolerate some shit you don’t like—at least for a while. This is what my parents’ generation would call “character building,” but I prefer to call it “#GIRLBOSS training.” I didn’t expect to love any of these jobs, but I learned a lot because I worked hard and grew to love things about them.”
The book doesn’t advise you to leave school, but it does tell you it is important to follow your passions. Amoruso was a troubled child at school, which resulted in her being home-schooled. She had trouble keeping jobs and frequently wanted something more. But when she opened Nasty Gal, she found what she had been looking for. Amoruso could do things her own way and at her own pace allowing herself to give it her all, and just look where it has taken her.
This really resonates with many readers as some find they don’t fit within societal expectations, such as not going to college and not doing this or that. It doesn’t mean you’re going to fail. While university may sometimes increase your skills and employment opportunities, it may not be the right fit for you and that’s why it’s important to follow your heart.
5. Jam-Packed with Career Advice
“Even with no manager watching to give me a gold star, it was important to do my best. Who cares if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it? The tree still falls. If you believe that what you’re doing will have positive results, it will—even if it’s not immediately obvious. When you hold yourself to the same standard in your work that you do as a friend, girlfriend, student, or otherwise, it pays off.”
Amoruso has had plenty of experience from various jobs before finally becoming the big CEO at Nasty Gal, so she has quite a bit of wisdom to share. She mostly discusses what the employer looks for in an employee, but also gives advice on writing cover letters and the interview process.
Overall, despite the book becoming a little slow in the middle, it was an enjoyable read. It’s funny, honest and gives great advice to readers like me who are moving on up in the world.