Most of the time, I get packages delivered to my office. Such was the case when I had my first order from Nasty Gal delivered a few years ago. Little did I know that "NASTY GAL" would be splashed across the packaging in an incriminating font.
Obvs, I made a point to stress to everyone who saw me shamefully carry the box back to my desk that it was clothes, just totally normal clothes, I swear... Still. Because of that, I didn't really order from Nasty Gal much in the years that followed. I wasn't super impressed by the quality vs the price and it wasn't totally my style anyway.
But recently, Nasty Gal and it's CEO, Sophia Amoruso, started popping up everywhere. Everyone on social media was reading Amoruso's book, #GIRLBOSS, and then my friends started reading it too. By the time my friend Raina chose it for our company's book club selection, I was intrigued enough to give it a shot.
I have to admit, initially I tore through it. I loved reading Amoruso's story, how she went from high school dropout to eating out of dumpsters to somewhat accidentally running a multi-million dollar fashion business.
I identified with her a lot in the beginning too: from the job promiscuity in my teens and early 20s (I think I had 15 jobs before I turned 22... including a similar stint at Borders, that I loved as much as Amoruso) to street smarts that gave me an edge compared to most of my suburban peers. She was scrappy, I was too. Like her, I took immense pride when I bought my first used car. We're about two years apart in age and we both wish that our generation would surpass their rumored entitlement and develop a better work ethic.
That's where the similarities end.
Amoruso is an introvert. She's extraordinarily disciplined when it comes to money. She's disciplined period: she put in the time and effort and diligence that took her business from an eBay shop to one of the largest online clothing retailers for young women in just 7 years. She's really good at answering emails and not so good at being empathetic. I detected a hint of reverse snobbery in her anecdotes, the kind that looks down on people who are overeducated. She's a risk taker.
Meanwhile, I'm almost as extroverted as they come. I learned and spent the past several years accepting the fact that I'm not disciplined at all. I have a very hard time taking risks, especially those involving money. I'm really, really terrible at answering emails (as anyone who emails me will attest) and maybe too good at being empathetic, to a fault. And as someone who toes the line of being both street smart and overeducated, I know there are merits to both.
So did I have much to learn from Amoruso? Not really. We're very different people and while I could see her story as capable of being prescriptive for some people, I know myself enough to know that her path to being a #GIRLBOSS is not going to be anything like my own.
But I did like her book and would heartily recommend it to other people and here's why: this is a legit Millennial female entrepreneur. She's sharing things that Millennials, especially girls, need to hear. Amoruso is smart, sassy and savvy. Not to mention: inspiring.
Almost inspiring enough to make me start ordering clothes that look like they're arriving from a porn site again. But not quite.
2014 '50 Books' Progress: 8/50