Sophia Amoruso is the CEO and Creative Director of the online vintage shop Nasty Gal. Sophia built her million dollar biz from selling vintage items in eBay. She has since inspired millions of female entrepreneurs with her book, GIRLBOSS.
Start Now and Keep At It.
“Abandon anything about your life and habits that might be holding you back. Learn to create your own opportunities. Know that there is no finish line; fortune favors action. Race balls-out toward the extraordinary life that you’ve always dreamed of, or still haven’t had time to dream up. And prepare to have a hell of a lot of fun along the way.”
“If you believe that what you’re doing will have positive results, it will–even if it’s not immediately obvious.”
“If you’re dreaming big #GIRLBOSS, don’t be discouraged if you have to start small. It worked for me.”
“#GIRLBOSSes make it count. Look up and look around, and if you’re not finding something inspiring, then you’re probably not looking hard enough.”
“When you begin with the finish line in mind, you miss all the fun stuff along the way. The better approach is to tweak and grow, tweak and grow. I call it the incremental potential.”
♥ Begin drafting a business plan, a dream board or an ikigai.
♥ Start taking up a course to strengthen your foundation. There are a lot of free courses over at Udemy. And if you’re extra diligent, you can pick up a few gems from Pinterest, Youtube or (duh) Google.
♥ Search for a good mentor who knows his way around your niche and seek counsel.
♥ Think of what you can do now with the resources you have. Don’t wait for a miracle to happen.
♥ Draft a personal schedule or timeline for better productivity.
Believe In Your Own Magic.
“And I’m telling you again, don’t idolize me. I don’t know shit. And neither do your parents. But if I can pull any of this off, so can you. Take that and run with it.”
“I don’t want you to look up, #GIRLBOSS, because all that looking up can keep you down. The energy you’ll expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. Just be your own idol.”
“Luck lets us believe that whatever happens, whether good or bad, it’s not to our credit or fault. That is why I don’t buy luck. But I do buy magic.”
“But there’s also the everyday kind of magic that we make for ourselves. And that’s not really magic at all. It’s just recognizing the fact that we control our thoughts and our thoughts control our lives.”
“While I truly believe that you must have intentions to fulfill your dreams, I also think you have to leave room for the universe to have its way and play around a bit.”
“Focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening. But before you start to think you just got lucky, remember that it’s magic, and you made it yourself.”
♥ Have a daily gratitude journal and detail your daily small wins. This will not only create positive vibes as you take on your passion, it will also keep you going and toughen you through the difficult times.
♥ Be grateful for both the good times and the bad times. Keep on learning.
♥ Try to give yourself a pat on the back or a treat each time you accomplish something you never thought you would.
♥ Sometimes you need a little distraction to remind you that you’re human and you need rest. Take a nap. Go out for a massage. Get your hair done and go out with your friends. Have a bunch of creative hobbies–reading books, drawing, or knitting scarves to fuel you back when you’re on a block. You don’t have to stop, you just need to take a sabbatical.
♥ Search for new friends with the same interests who love motivating and inspiring each other. There are a lot of Facebook groups for every niche that you can join and participate in. You can also join events or seminars where you can introduce yourself to and be delighted with like-minded individuals.
Get Real. Know Yourself. Own your Style.
“But school wasn’t my jam, and the whole philosophy behind this book is that true success lies in knowing your weaknesses and playing to your strengths. In short, when you suck at something and don’t want it anyway, cut your losses and move on.”
“First, be really honest with yourself and make sure that you deserve the raise you’re asking for. You do not automatically deserve a raise just because you’ve been somewhere for a certain amount of time. But if you can articulate the reasons why you deserve a pay increase, then schedule time to meet with your boss and let her know in advance what you want to talk about.”
“You can’t convince someone else–whether it’s a potential employer, a loan officer at the car dealership, or someone you’ve been crushing on–that you’re amazing and terrific if you don’t actually think you are. This isn’t the false confidence that comes from getting a bunch of “likes” on your Instagram selfies, but a deep-down, unshakeable self-confidence that persists even when things aren’t going all that great.”
“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.”
“Being mean won’t make you cool, being rich won’t make you cool, and having the right clothes, while it may help, won’t make you cool. It’s cool to be kind. It’s cool to be weird. It’s cool to be honest and to be secure with yourself.”
“Owning your style, however, is much more about your attitude that it is about what’s on your back.”
“If you’re not confident, no dress, no matter how smoking-hot it is, will solve that problem for you.”
♥ Meditate. Take some time every single day to pause and mind your breathing. Shake off your thoughts, worries and regrets about who you used to be, what you have done with your life thus far, and what you haven’t yet. Focus on what makes you happy and what inspires you.”
♥ Learn the rules of fashion and wear the right clothes for your body type. Do not force yourself to wear something that you think looks cool but makes you feel uncomfortable. If you’re a plus size, wearing something skimpy will not make you feel good. There’s a plethora of clothes and styles for your type that not only will help you be confident and stylish in your own size but also evoke a sense of self-love that no clothes can ever satisfy.
♥ Build a little self-confidence by constantly challenging yourself. If you’re a shy person, put yourself in a spot where you have to speak up or make friends. Then do it. And congratulate yourself.
♥ Stop comparing yourself with other people. Start competing with yourself. Keep improving.
♥ Learn to take things as they are. Everyone is given a chance but opportunities are always reserved for different people at different times. It’s not always that they are better and you’re not. Sometimes it’s simply their turn to get what they want, and your turn will come too. Don’t be so hard on yourself and stop blaming other people.
♥ Learn to choose your battles. Not everything you do will bear fruit and not everything you put your heart into will love you back. Know when to move on and when to try again. However, whether you win or lose at something, you know there’s always something to gain, and it’s always either an experience or a backbone.
♥ Take inspiration but don’t copy paste. When you realize you can take something and add your own flare to it, that’s branding. Own it.
♥ Be proud of yourself.
Love Working. Stay Creative.
“See, here’s the thing about being a #GIRLBOSS–it’s not easy. It takes a lot of hard work to get there, and then once you arrive, it takes even more hard work to stay there.”
“Each time you make a good decision or do something nice or take care of yourself; each time you show up to work and work hard and do your best at everything you do, you’re planting seeds for a life that you can only hope will grow beyond your wildest dreams. Take care of the little things–even the little things you hate–and treat them as promises to your future. Soon you’ll see that fortune favors the bold who get shit done.”
“Anything you do can be creative. If, when you make a smoothie, you try to make the best smoothie the world has ever tasted, it’s a creative act. If you throw a frozen banana and some yogurt in a blender and hit puree, not only is it uncreative and boring, but I also feel really bad for you.”
“I’ve always been willing to throw myself at the wall and see if I stuck when it came to general life experiences, and my approach to my personal style hasn’t been any different. I was always willing to try something new. As soon as I was over it, I moved on.”
“You can have a ton of money and buy yourself all the designer goods you can stuff into the trunk of your Mercedes Benz, but no amount of money can buy you style. Having good style takes thought, creativity, confidence, self-awareness, even sometimes a little bit of work.”
“Own your style like you own your used car. This means wearing what you like and what makes you feel good. And it means getting dressed for yourself–not your boyfriend, not your friends, not your parents.”
♥ Do not cultivate the slacker attitude. Even if the I-woke-up-like-this look is so on trend right now, the truth is, even those took some effort other than just putting on whatever and hoping the world respects your style choices. Believe me, I’ve seen a bunch of beauty gurus put on a lot of stuff on their faces just to make it look like they didn’t put anything in the first place. You have no right to slack off if you want to stand out and get ahead in life.
♥ Always be on top of your game. Mediocrity is comfortable but it won’t get you anywhere. If you’re going to do something, no matter how mundane it is, make it the best ‘something’ you can do. Be a friggin’ Spongebob.
♥ Take a sabbatical every once in a while. Sometimes the things we love most can wear us out. So before we lose all our mojo over the stress of working through our passions, it’s necessary to take a break and replenish your zest for what you’re doing.
♥ Just because you’re in a boring 9-5 job doesn’t mean you can’t spice things up and work like it’s your life’s passion. Hard work and creativity almost usually equals good karma and good vibes.
♥ It’s okay to quit if you do not feel even the slightest bit of self-actualization with what you’re doing. If you have no idea what your passion is, it’s okay to play around a bit, and move on if you don’t see yourself doing what you’re doing after 5 years.
♥ Keep learning and practicing. The best artists didn’t just slap some paint on some canvass, called it abstract art and sold it for a million dollars. They had years of intensive practice on their craft, discovered their style, then capitalized on the talent they acquired through practice.
Be Your Best Customer Service
“A very important tidbit about customer service: just apologize to people. Even if it’s not your fault, they’ve been disappointed by the company you work for and it’s your job to empathize with them. Though you may be paid minimum wage, to the customers you are the face of the entire company. It’s this kind of accountability that gets people raises, promotions and eventually careers.”
“Customer service was my number one priority. A lot of people run their businesses like their customers are dummies. This is a mistake. If you’re just out to take their money, they know it. But if you genuinely care about what you’re doing, they will respond.”
“I knew my customers and knew what they liked, because I was my customer. And rather than dictating what I thought my customers should buy and wear, I listened instead.”
“Rule number one. That’s simple. Just do a good job.
Rule number two: Keep your promises.
Rule number three: Give your customers something to share.”
♥ Take a customer service seminar. This is where you’re going to learn the psychology of dealing with customers from different personalities and walks of life.
♥ Always apologize and empathize. You know the feeling of frustration over delayed deliveries and/or receiving the wrong package. What will almost always calm your nerves is a customer service representative who will make you feel like such a VIP by apologizing profusely and reassuring you that he’s on top of it. Try being on this rep’s shoes.
♥ Just because you worked hard to build your brand doesn’t mean you have the right to be high and mighty about it. This is why listening to customer feedbacks is necessary. It’s not about keeping the money flowing, it’s about keeping your clients happy.
♥ Be active on social media! If you’re not social savvy, hire a social media manager who can reach out directly to customers. Build a thriving community.
♥ Keep your business interesting and take note of trend changes. Your clientele will eventually evolve as the years go by. Be prepared to pattern your services according to the demand.
Manage Your Finances Well, GirlBoss
“If you learn to control your finances, you won’t find yourself stuck in jobs, places or relationships that you hate just because you can’t afford to go elsewhere. Learning how to manage your money is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Being in a good spot financially can open up so many doors. Being in a bad spot can slam them in your face. And being broke gets old, so start making smart decisions now to avoid paying for stupid ones later.”
“When you take care of the little things, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that the big things often happen much more easily.”
“Bills, sadly, are not an ignore-it-and-it-goes-away problem. Big companies are like the mob–they never forget, they never give up, and they always get their money. Pay up, and pay on time.”
“Spend money because it’s an investment in your own well-being, not because you’re bored and have nothing else to do.”
♥ Learn how to do basic accounting. Since Oprah still does her accounting herself, you have no excuse not to learn how to do it yourself. Having an accountant is easy but also risky because trust is one difficult thing to maintain when it comes to money matters.
♥ Pay your bills regularly and on time!
♥ Do not spend your ROIs for petty things like clothes, cars and other things you can do without. It’s not advisable to start giving yourself a salary before you grow your business to 200% your original investment. And when you do achieve your goal, it’s wiser to spend it on new ventures and investments that will also yield new income for you and your company.
♥ Always keep yourself updated in money and business trends by joining seminars or conventions.
♥ Be open about your performance with your employees but remember to keep the numbers to yourself and to your investors.
Don’t Be Afraid of Failure. Enjoy the hustle.
“Your challenge as a #GIRLBOSS is to dive head-first into things without being too attached to the results. When your goal is to gain experience, perspective, and knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility. Failure is your invention.”
“It is she who listens to the rest of the world who fails, and it is she who has enough confidence to define success and failure for herself who succeeds.”
“A #GIRLBOSS knows that she may not nail it on the first try, and that’s okay. Remember to be open and keep your head up when something doesn’t work out.”
“You can’t have it all, and nothing comes easy. You will make sacrifices and compromises, get let down and let other people down, fail and start over, break some hearts, take some names, and learn to pick up and continue when your own heart gets broken. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible, and out of the bajillions of things in this universe you can’t control, what you can control is how hard you try, and if or when to pack it in.”
“So when life hits you with something unexpected, you have to be prepared to hit right back–and leave your own smear in the process.”
♥ Tenacity is key. If you heart is not in it, it’s okay to quit but when you’re truly all about it, quitting is your last option. Know if the battle is still worth fighting, when you need to take a break or formulate new tools or change your game strategy, and when to charge back.
♥ Be open to possibilities. Everything can be figured out and stressing over anything will block your mind off great ideas.
♥ Do not hesitate to ask for help. Reach out to your investors or business mentors for advice when you need to. Reach out to your loyal clients but don’t beg them for donations or anything like that. Do it in a creative way like discounts or giveaways to increase engagement.
♥ Learn to listen to feedbacks and maintain your brand without compromising your client’s satisfaction.
♥ Every setback is an opportunity for growth. Continue learning and experimenting.