#GIRLBOSS (Discussion)

#GIRLBOSSI picked up #GIRLBOSS before our trip to Costa Rica earlier this spring. I always take a new book with me on beachy vacations, but I don't usually finish them. This book was very different. Not only did I finish it, but I became so obsessed with it that Emma downloaded it on her Kindle and finished it too. We tried to keep our business conversations to a minimum, since we were on vacation, after all, but as soon as we started traveling home we were in an all-out business planning frenzy.

If you've read #GIRLBOSS you may have had a similar reaction. The most common comment I have been hearing about it is that people finished it in one day. 

This is an easy read. It's very story heavy, funny, and full of personality. What I loved most about reading #GIRLBOSS was that in a chapter or two I felt like I was friends with Sophia. I related with so much of what she had to tell, and what I didn't relate with was fascinating in a weird way. 

For anyone who hasn't read the book (by the way, you should probably read it and bookmark this discussion for later), Sophia Amoruso is the founder and CEO of NastyGal.com. In eight years she built it from a vintage store on eBay to a 100 million dollar company with 350 employees. This is what sold me on the book in the first place. I was like, "Huh? … How??" Her story is insane

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this month's book. You can use these discussion points (by number) or just leave your thoughts in the comments on this post. I'll be checking back all day to read your thoughts! 

#GIRLBOSS 1. What was something you related with? 

I didn't pick up the book assuming to have a lot in common with Sophia. I mean, she named her company "Nasty Gal" and I named mine "A Beautiful Mess." Ha! I guess I assumed she would be a scary cool girl. With that said, I related with her on so much throughout the book. I actually started to feel like we were friends by the end. 

I loved that she was so open about quitting college and building her company with hard work first and a business plan second. My story is so similar to that. I have always shied away from talking much about quitting college because I am paranoid that teenagers will use me as an example and make the wrong choices for them. So I loved how she really went there. She really let you see how she took the long walk to get where she is. So much self-education. Lessons learned the hard way. Good choices made based on experience. I loved that she told her stories about getting fired from teenage jobs in the same candid, funny tone as her stories about taking on investors and hiring and firing employees. There was a level of formality that was just absent in her writing style, and I loved that.

I loved that her success story didn't have one single tipping point. I related with that. I thought it was cool that the business lessons Sophia learned while running an eBay store by herself seemed equally important as those she learned later on from her millionaire mentors and investors. She started off smart and hard-working, and she ended up smart and hard-working. There is no magic formula for success in Sophia's story, and I believe the same is true for most successful people. There's no secret back door to success. There's no one opportunity that builds a strong company. If you look closely, there are usually lots of little stories and tons of hard work spanning years and years. 

I guess the last thing that I really loved and related with was how hands-on Sophia was in her company. In the beginning it was just her, so she did everything from photography, to shipping, to marketing and taxes. I loved that now in her 100 million dollar company she holds the role of creative director. It's super rare to see a CEO who is also a creative director. I liked how focused she was. 100%. 

2. What was something you felt challenged by? 

Throughout the book I was so impressed and challenged by Sophia's level of focus. From the beginning, she was laser focused on building her brand. Even though the story started out without a business plan, it didn't matter because she was constantly evaluating how to improve her small business. I have often struggled with staying focused on one thing and throughout my career have tried and failed at many side projects. I liked that she stayed focused on her retail business throughout the entire story. This is something I felt very challenged by. 

Sophia's connection with her customers was inspiring to me as well. As our audience has grown to millions of readers, I have often struggled with feeling connected and being able to hear the larger voice of what our readers like, don't like, and want above the much smaller, but very loud voices of negative people who aren't really fans at all. There was a time where I didn't read any blog comments because I was scared to read something painful. I didn't realize how much I was missing, though. Sophia's story inspired me to push harder to really know our readers and to listen and learn. Since reading this book earlier this spring I've felt more in touch, more open to feedback, and more aware of our readers' (your) responses. I was very challenged and inspired by how in-touch she is with her customers. 

3. What was something you learned and put into action? 

Most of what I got out of #GIRLBOSS was more along the lines of listening to a pump-up-jam. I got excited, and that was more than enough. Sometimes it just feels good to get excited, you know.

There were a few actions that Emma and I took away from the book. On our way home from Costa Rica we spent a layover or two writing a mission statement for our company. It was for internal use and super simple. It has since helped us stay focused on what we believe is the mission behind everything we do. We shared it in a team meeting. It was fun and hilarious to us that we had never done this simple task before. 

Dream bigger. Our biggest personal takeaway was that A Beautiful Mess has so much more potential. We started making plans and goals immediately. It's funny how sometimes seeing someone else doing it better is the best way to get inspired to up your game. We loved learning about Nasty Gal's success and felt challenged to work harder and smarter on ABM in the coming year. 

#GIRLBOSS  It's your turn now! What were your favorite stories? (The sad bunny kinda takes it for me.) Favorite quotes? Something you realized about yourself or your business while reading #GIRLBOSS? xo. Elsie

  • Girl Boss is one of my favorite books as blogger, I read a lots of personal development books and I love how they helped me grow my mindset and see the world differently. I highly recommend

    Thanks for sharing your review

    Lamia from lamandtheglam.com

  • I love finding book suggestions that are not only recommended as entertaining but highly motivating/inspirational. I can’t wait to read this! Thank you for sharing!

    Yuliya xx

  • The Fear of Failure! What can you do about that….. It draigs me down from time to time

  • Robin how awesome! you were the last comment before my reply so I took the liberty to read your letter. Such an inspiring story. Keep working hard and your time to shine will come. Good vibes to you!

  • This book was awesome!!! I was so inspired in so many ways. I related to her passionate attitude and her struggle with school. I have been trying to tackle the college things for waaaaaayyyyy too long. But it is definitely not for me. And I had kept trying because it is the “right” thing to do. But I have learned from her and people like Elsie on this blog that college is not necessarily for everyone. So this year I finally decided to sharpen my creative skills and give blogging a shot. The worst thing that can happen is that I don’t like it and then I will have to move on to the next thing (but so far I have enjoyed the process, especially since I am really taking my time to discover what I love to write about and my most passionate interests).

    This book is so incredible in so many ways. It is inspiring, real, authentic and I totally loved her tone. It did not feel like a book at all. It felt more like a conversation with her. I found myself saying “exactly”, “you get me” so so many times.

    I have just started reading along with you guys since last month and I am totally loving this one book a month challenge.

  • I also loved this book. So much so, I wrote a love #GIRLBOSS love letter. You can read it here https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0237/2263/files/girlboss.pdf?1153
    The main thing I took away from this? I have the confidence to succeed and I should not apologize for that!

  • So excited to read this book! I skimmed it at a bookstore but I think it’s time I buy it! Also, where are the clear glasses in the cover picture from? I love them 🙂

  • Thank you so much for sharing your thought on the book Elsie. I wasn’t really sure whether I should get it, seeing it all over the internet. But since I struggle a lot with my own business I know this will be a good fit for me as well.
    Thank you!

  • I think I am going to buy I heard so much positive about this book.


  • I’m on vacation in US and was planning to download the book for my trip back home in aeroplane (8 hours to Italy). And now I can’t wait!!!


  • After reading it all the comments I know which book is on my top list: #girlboss it is! 🙂 tnx for suggestion. Xoxo

  • Elsie, I’d have to agree with your sentiment. When I started blogging, I didn’t realize how long it took to make one post. I’m a crafty girl like you, I’m also big into other things like the paranormal, photography, books, cars, makeup, decorating, animal care, and learning how to cook. Putting all the things I’m into in blog form was the hardest challenge ever!

    It is not as easy as it looks! I’m a worrier, so trying to up may game, and get my artwork out to the masses has been my biggest hurdle – the fear of failure.


  • I can’t quite see what is fully written under Chapter 6’s title about Magic but it says “Do what thou wilt….” . If it does indeed say “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” then that’s mind boggling. That is a commandment of the Satanic bible and the Satanic church’s founder, pedophile Aleister Crowley, said that “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”……Disheartened.

  • I read the book in 2 days as well. I work full time and have a side Etsy Business,etsy.com/shop/SugarSkullIndustries, that I blog about and keep up a Facebook page to generate interest. The parts of Sophia’s story that resonated so deeply with me was the concept that boring, or bad jobs can be crucial to your business acumen, as long as you learn from them.

    Also I love that Sophia still reads and is curious about learning more. Even as a CEO. Always being curious can help you stay ahead of the curve.

  • i loved #girlboss. plain and simple. i read it a while ago and when i saw you were picking this for your book club, i read it again!

    1. i actually found it pretty hard to relate to sophia. we don’t have a lot in common. i started to think that maybe in order to make it big like she did you have to come from a troubled past. maybe coming from nothing and struggling like she did makes for a better CEO. a better story, for sure. no one wants to hear about a girl growing up in suburbia, and then struggling when she gets to the real world. we’ve all heard that story. we want the cinderella story. which, is what #girlboss is. in sophia’s own twisty cool fun kick-ass way.

    2. as a mama of a girl (and a boy) i started to think about what if my daughter was a girlboss. will she grow up to run a multi-million dollar company she started in her garage? probably not. but that would be amazing. just as amazing though, would be if she started her own coffee shop or became president of the united states. i’ve written a lot on my thoughts on raising a #girlboss. getting ready to publish it on my blog next week!

    3. i was super inspired by her story and her hustle. after reading it the first time, i went out and got supplies to get ready to launch my services page. i’ve been planning and wanting to start it for a while now, and this book definitely gave me a kick in the butt i needed (ps if anyone needs help creating an awesome editorial calendar for their blog … i’m your girl 😉

    basically, i want to be sophia. she’s a bad-ass and an awesome business lady and i wish i could be like her one day 😉 is it weird to say i want to be her when i grow up? cause i totally do!

  • I read this book this past month, accidentally participating in the book club! I had heard so much about it and was curious about the hype. I’m glad that I wasn’t disappointed and in fact, it was even better than I thought. I loved that Sophia talked about where she started and the process of how she got to the top. I found it really inspiring and motivating. I don’t like how-to books or guides that don’t give that background. I like to know that other people have struggled to build their businesses — it makes me feel like I’m not so alone. I wrote a full review on my blog here. http://www.the-loudmouth.com/2014/07/loves-recent-reads-july.html

    One last thing (not really about the book, moreso the comments): I think the thought that people in our generation don’t want to work hard is a misconception. I know plenty of people who are very hard workers, but the problem is that they are putting that time into the wrong things. I left my corporate job a few months ago where I was working 12-hour days, and I worked alongside people who had huge creative dreams but were just scared to start. I realized I could be putting those 12 hours a day into my own business, but a lot of people are afraid to take that leap. Also, since many of these creative industries are so new, it’s hard for people to figure out a step-by-step plan as to how to get to where they want to be. I think it’s up to people are are successful (like Sophia and yourselves at ABM) to teach others how to to achieve their goals. Saying stuff like “work hard” isn’t helpful if someone doesn’t know what to do!

    Stepping off my soapbox now. 🙂

  • I’m kinda with you Patricia. Sometimes I felt parts of her story were just plain mean as opposed to being a #girlboss. Like when she says, she’s gonna push over a girl whose wearing shoes that’s she’s not comfortable in. A bit much! I enjoyed a lot of it but sometimes she was a bit #meangirl than #girlboss

  • I read a review of this in The Guardian, and if that incredibly stupid title hadn’t already put me off it, that review sure would have (it’s actually pretty hilarious). Reading the comments here justifies my decision. It’s just not a book for me (but if it inspires some of you, then I’m happy for you!).

  • If you pick up #GIRLBOSS hoping for a magic pill to business success you will be disappointed. But I didn’t want that. I think what I really wanted when I picked up this book was for someone to say “yes to you are working hard now and it seems like no one is listening but keep going, stick to your instincts, be good to your customers and one day that hard work will pay off.” I wanted that and I got it.

    You are so right that early on you feel like you are friends with Sophia. It made some of her tough talking easier to hear and more motivational!

    One of the most highlighted books on my Kindle there is a lot I am taking away and applying to my blogs.

  • I just finished reading this book also, it’s only less than 300-pages, I think, (I have the Kindle version)so it’s easy to finish it one day only.

    1. What I relate with Sophia Amoruso is that we both quit college. But I think a lot of people do that in so many reasons now but what we have something in common is that we both have the same reason, “it’s not for me”. I couldn’t stand doing the same thing everyday, though my high school wasn’t miserable (perks of being a member of the cheering squad) but I only tolerated my days there. I’m was so sick of doing things over and over again. But like her, I wanted to do something with my life.

    2. I read the struggles she had when starting and growing Nasty Gal, and I felt the challenge will be dealing with people when I grow my business without a college degree and working with people older than me and/or probably knows more about the business than me. It makes me think, will they take me seriously. Because of that I am considering going back to school, maybe not taking a degree because I don’t still comfortable with it, but enrolling to special programs that will help me with my business. Harvard and other universities have programs like that, and they accept people in those programs regardless of their educational backgrounds.

    3. I wrote a blog post about “18 Things I Learned From #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso” here’s the link: http://stylevanity.com/2014/07/girlboss-by-sophia-amoruso.html but I guess the first thing that I put into action is “to have fun and keep it weird”. Growing your business is hard, but let’s not forget to have fun, we chose it because we like it. And I think “keep it weird” is Amoruso’s way of saying “be yourself”.

  • I haven’t read Girl Boss (yet!) but after seeing the book’s lovely illustrations, I’m wondering: do you recommend it in print or e-book format?

    Thanks, and have a lovely weekend!

  • i’ve heard great things about this book too. i never really knew what it was about though, so now I’m super motivated to go out and pick it up. I’m such an ambitious person, and i feel like you can learn so much from a book like this. book marking this page… i will be back!


  • This book is one of the best books I have read in a while. It’s so amazing and inspiring that it inspired me so much! It just makes you want to get up and go! 🙂


  • One of the things I realized about myself was I could be working harder and even more, like you said this book is a pump up jam! I’m a teacher but I also write on the side so it inspired me to get cracking harder on both of those jobs. I can always come up with more ideas to engage both my students and my readers. Sophia is an inspiration! I also loved how no-nonsense she is and how straight forward. From the start of the book I felt like I had known her for years and we were friends.

  • After reading this book I felt like her voice expressed so much about how I have felt about my life’s passions and how I need to just bite the bullet and take my life in my own hands. Oddly enough I’m still scared to make that first leap. It includes going back to school for me, which is so expensive and would most definitely put me back into debt. I also took a lot away from her perspective on college. She hit the nail on the head. My boyfriend has struggled with the fact that college didn’t work out for him the way he’d expected. This is someone who was accepted to many distinguished art schools. For some creatives, it just is not the best fit. And this book really helped me to see his point of view, that I had a hard time seeing in the first place. For that I’m so thankful I read this book.

  • I wanted to read this book already but now you made me want to even more!
    Trying to get it asap!

  • Here’s my discussion about #GIRLBOSS on my blog! I really enjoyed this book–great pick Elsie!


  • Definitely a really fun read! I had a blast but took a lot of great things away from reading this book. For starters, after I finished, I immediately sold it on amazon in true Sophia entrepreneurial fashion (although part of me felt like she might have just returned it..ha!). It definitely had me feeling empowered, thinking about ways I could start my own business right now today (a dream of mine for sure). I loved her conversational tone and her hilarious anecdotes. Even though I can’t relate to her upbringing much, I totally felt like I was there from the way she described it. Plus, the way that she described all of her experiences (good and bad) with tangible confidence, was a major inspiration!

    However, I do have to agree with some of the comments from the other side for two reasons. Firstly, as a 21 year old graphic design student in college, I have worked my ASS off to make work I am proud of as well as compete in the professional world. Design is my passion and my dream. I am lucky beyond words to both know this, and have the means to pursue this education. While it’s brave to say school is overrated, it is also incredibly brave to invest four (or more!) years, as well as thousands of dollars, in yourself and your craft. What a huge risk! I was disappointed by her failure to realized that sometimes, investing in education (especially with how expensive it is), is incredibly brave and takes dedication beyond words. Imagine you grew up in poverty and were the first in your family to go to college? Which feels like the braver choice now-going to school or dropping on? The second problem I had, was that she discussed her wild, crazy, and broke days being an adventurer. (Full disclosure: I loved reading about that stuff!) I think it is worth mentioning that clearly, she was responsible to no one but herself. This is a HUGE luxury! Imagine having a sick parent, a young child, or any of the other responsibilities beyond our control. So many people do not have the luxury of years to mess around with until they discover who they are, throw every moment into it, and see where it goes.

    Fewf! Anyway! I would say she did a fabulous job! It was a super fun and empowering read, but it still made me think very seriously about my path, and who I want to be.


  • I decided to give the book a read since everyone in the blogging world was talking about. So I read it (I wish I could say in a day, but it was in about a week thanks to procrastination). Anyway, I love the way Sophia writes. Very raw, very on point and witty with the perfect punch of inspiring quotes. She knows how to describe events and she is really honest with everything she said.
    There were a few things however that I wasn’t very fond of. For one thing, for lack of a better word, she used a few unethical methods n her staircase to success. This could send off the wrong message to readers that if they’re earning money unethically now, it’s okay because later on they will become successful. And another thing, the section where she gives advice on being hired, employed, fired etc – it drove far from the main reason of the book and became more of a guide on how to be employed at Nasty Gal.

    But nonetheless, it was a great read. I picked up a few inspiring tips here and there.

    Lubna | ELLE VOX

  • I loved this book so much. If found it empowering and relatable on so many different levels. So glad you guys chose this book for book club!



  • I expected the book to be mostly about Sophia’s rise to the top and how she encourages young girls to get out there and be a… well… #GIRLBOSS. And ultimately, it was all that, but it also totally exceeded my expectations.

    Most of all, I appreciated Sophia’s honesty in this book. I like that she gets frank about money and the financial mistakes she’s made. Many of the financial gurus or entrepreneurs out there say that they were once in debt or worked as a waitress for tips. They don’t usually say that a Victoria Secret credit card ruined their credit.

    Her story of building Nasty Gal to $28 million in revenue without borrowing any money blows my mind. And I like that she didn’t brush off her story as “luck” either. I loved hearing about the dumpster diving, hitchhiking, and obsession that it took to get her where she is today.

  • I had heard so much hype about this book but never gave it much though. Im not kidding when I say I got halfway through this post on my lunch break before I put down my phone, went next door to the book store, and bought it. I really look forward to reading this book and then the discussion after! I think youve got a new book club member!

  • I listened to this in an audio book format. It was really interesting and super enjoyable. I don’t have too much in common with the personality or life of Sophia but I do have the obsession like her. While reading, it was super awesome to have someone’s business timeline laid out like that. From the very humble beginnings. We know them so well! While listening in, I remember reaching some of the markers in her career but kind of in an alternate universe, mine. It’s super encouraging knowing that crazy obsessive girls like HER and ME and YOU GUYS are the ones who win the things they want. Sometimes I feel like I am the crazy person for working so hard all of the time on stuff that isn’t conventional.. Sophia related to me in this. She buried her head in her projects and didn’t look up. This is my day to day. You have to be on fire for this kind of work. There was no other thing for her to do but work hard to get what she wanted. There are no shortcuts just dirty hands and dirty hair! haha. I took away some good points about money spending and yes, the customer service part really hit home. I need to be more interactive with the girls who are excited about what I am doing because they are how we thrive! and who knows, maybe they will be doing what I am doing one day.. following dreams and making their own way in this wild world. Following girls like you two and other companies that made it for themselves has always been super helpful and encouraging but reading an actual story was really enlightening. I shared it with every girl I knew who wants to be more than they are. I hope you guys do something like this sometime soon! 🙂

    Glad it was a bit of magic for us!

  • It was a two day read for me. I would’ve never heard about it had I not seen it on ABM and I LOOVVVEED it. I had just started a new job as I read it and really took to heart the way she challenged everyone, her surroundings, and didn’t except no as an answer, as well as the way that she kind of went where her opportunities took her rather than follow a path through from the start.
    Thanks again for the recommendation!

  • I enjoyed reading your review. I heard such good things about this book and can’t wait to read it.

  • I remember first reading about her in an Elle magazine years ago on a plane and thought “What a lucky biatch! I sell clothes on eBay–I’m not a millionaire!” But then I read #GIRLBOSS and how she basically became a recluse living and breathing eBay and turning her home into a giant closet and shipping center and realized that while she did get a little lucky, which is true of all successful business entrepreneurs–not just her, she had to work her ass off to take any sprinkle of luck that may have come her way and run with it. Reading the book made me genuinely proud of her, like she deserves her success. That’s a great feeling to have!

  • I didn’t read the book–I listened to it! It wasn’t read by Sophia, but the voice was phenomenal and filled will all the sass of the words. I thoroughly enjoyed #GIRLBOSS, but don’t have much to comment on aside from that if you’re not good at picking up books to read them (like me), this is an awesome audiobook.

  • I work for her! Sophia is the sweetest and most hard working woman I know. Being an employee here can be “cult like” where your outside friends don’t quite understand the whole picture of what makes it so fun- but it’s a great place and Sophia is a wonderful person!

  • first off…I loved the book. Second it made me feel that at 50 years old I could actually still accomplish some of goals and dreams. That it is never too late to be a #girlboss. Third…I really really want both of daughters to read this book. One has graduated from college and is 24 years old and the other in college and 21. I think they could really learn from her experiences. One thing that really stood out to me was when she talked about working for a company and doing everything you can to be successful and a hard worker for that company. I may not get this quote exact but she said something along the lines of…”Never say it’s not my job” the really hit home for me. This book inspired me to get off my butt and make things happen…its never too late.


  • I read the book in about 2 hours. It was a good read. I enjoyed her writing style.

  • I’ve been wanting to read this too, and now after reading your post I am going to get it today! I have been a fan of Nasty Gal for a couple years now and it’s been so cool watching the company grow. I can’t wait to read this and get inspired to be a #GIRLBOSS too!

  • Ha, I saw this post on instagram this morning, was able to check it out electronically from the library, and am already almost done despite reading it on the kindle app on my smart phone. It really is like a pump up song!

    I really loved her message and story. Even though I work in an office in healthcare (not exactly the most creative field), it’s amazing how just working hard and being driven pays off at work and especially in my personal life. The more regulated stuff is at work, the more important it is to me to just be totally free outside of work. Plus, creativity comes in handy in even the most boring of jobs, and it makes people notice you!

  • I’m not quite finished it yet but am really enjoying it. For me the biggest thing I relate to is her can do, in fact will do, attitude! After 12 long years of working in a job that made me miserable I got sick of people telling me I had no choice but to stay and listening to them moan and whine, and I quit! I went back to school, re-educated myself and am now working in a career that I love and ultimately hope to become my own #girlboss can do, will do! I also wanted to say that I really like your honesty in this post too. I really despise this weird culture where people think it’s appropriate to say nasty comments on blog posts and photos, it truly baffles me why they think that’s ok. I get upset by it so I can only imagine how you must feel. But I hope you also know how hugely inspirational you and Emma and all the ABM team are to me and your millions of readers…gush alert! Moving swiftly on…great book choice. I’m off to go and read some more x

  • Elsie! I don’t even know where to start! But I LOVED this book! I felt like I could relate to a lot of what she was saying. I’m 19, and I’m also a college drop out. It just didn’t work for me. And I’d just been working a bunch of temporary warehouse jobs that SUCKED. They would either end or I would quit so fast it wasn’t even worth it. And I hated it. I have friends who are my age and have been at the same job for 4 years. I realized that ya I might not be able to get this dream job like working at ABM ( ?)
    Or have some super profitable antique business but right now I can at least get in a job I like. And that will give me a little more experience. And I did! I started a job last week at this really amazing family run sub shop in our town. And ya maybe it’s not my dream job, but it’s great for now! Sophia really inspired me to don’t just sit still and mope and wait. Cause nothings gonna happen like that! Which sounds like duh! But sometimes it hard to just get stuck in a rut.
    Also the entire book was hysterical! I loved every minute of reading it! It only took me 1 night; it was so good I just couldn’t put it down!

  • I had to ration my reading of this book on a recent camping trip we took, so I wouldn’t read the entire thing in a day:)

    The two things that stuck out the most to me in the book were her intense focus on her business. She just put her head down and got to work, despite all negative outside influence. She seemed to intuitively know what was and wasn’t working and continually bettering her craft. Her work ethic, acuity and dedication were very inspiring.

    The second thing that stood out was how she dedicated herself to creativity no matter what job she took. She made Subway subs a work of art! I don’t own my own business (YET!) but this is something I can always work on right now, not just on the job but in all aspects of my life. I can either spend time watching movies with my kid or spend time making our own movies!

    I really enjoyed her narrative voice. Her voice wasn’t “bossy” like I was expecting. She took more of the attitude of taking emerging women under her wing and nurturing and encouraging them versus telling them what to do, if that makes sense.

  • I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. I don’t know if I’m reading too much lately, but this book seemed like so many books out lately. Written by the same type of ghost writers celebrities use: Bethenny Frankel, Gillian Michaels, Robertson Family, etc.
    Life stories strung together with motivational quotes. Perhaps it’s just me. The best part of the book was her message how she worked hard and didn’t expect it to fall in her lap. She has accomplished much.
    Glad to read it has inspired others from abm’s comments.

  • I am reading all the comments and kicking myself for not reading it with you guys. I must pick this book up this weekend!!

  • This book is amazing and I love stories like this. I feel like as a millennial, a lot of people in the older generations put us down about not wanting to work hard enough (or at all) and criticize us for wanting to follow our passions and not taking the direct or often ‘safe’ route they did. This book is a great reminder to just get out there and make it happen doing what you love.

  • I agree. I really enjoyed it while I was reading it and agreed with “hard work” etc. but I feel like its pretty silly advice to just tell people to drop out of school and things will be JUST AWESOME and I know she doesn’t explicitly say that…but I dunno it rubbed me the wrong way after about a week of mulling over it for awhile.

  • This book inspired me to quit my job, I kid you not! I’ve been working a desk job for four years and am ready for a change. Ironically my next step is taking a course this Fall (which is obviously not the path she took) but as much as I immediately idolized Sophia while reading this, the book doesn’t give you the feeling of wanting to BE her or follow her path exactly, it’s more empowerment to take action and do what you’ve been dreaming of doing. That’s why I loved it.

    Many people have drawn a comparison between this book and Lean In, which I’ve also read (might even be interesting for you to do that as a book review so you can compare the two). I found inspiration from each of these books in different ways. Where Sheryl Sandberg is all about making a plan and mapping out your career, I found Sophia is more about working hard, taking things as they come and not trying to plan too far because you always need to be willing to change, adapt and grow as you go. For that reason, Sheryl’s book left me with a feeling of guilt that I haven’t done enough at my age, while Sophia’s left me with hope.

    I also totally thought about ABM while reading this, thinking how well you’ve done already to follow your path and build a brand in a way that is honest and true to who you are. I love that!

    Great read – thanks for sharing! 🙂 xo

  • I feel like the only person in the world who didn’t like the book. The story of it is entertaining but I couldn’t relate to her. I’m a 20 year old college student and I didn’t feel like I related. Even though I’m amazed at her story, I feel the book was a bit self-serving. I don’t hate it–the memoir part of it was fun–but I don’t really like it either.

    The one scene I totally did hate was the whole Porsche scene. I didn’t understand the point of it. Sure, it’s not like buying a first car but, you’re buying a Porsche! I would feel very proud of my accomplishments and the fact that I can afford something like that.

    I did a full review on my blog here:

    Although I keep thinking about the book, trying to like it as much as everyone else, I haven’t really changed my mind.

  • 1. I like the points you made here. I don’t like talking about how college went for me, because for me, the life I’m living NOW and the path I chose are so much more important. But I don’t want people to look at me negatively because I didn’t choose their path. Also, I love that you mention that there wasn’t a tipping point for her. My friend recently asked me when my blog really started to pick up, and I couldn’t tell her, because I just keep working as hard as I did on day 1, and now I notice that I get more attention for it. There wasn’t one day that I woke up and realized I had readers.
    2. I think she made me realize that it’s ok and totally necessary to morph and change with the times and with your followers. I have always been hesitant about publishing a recipe or a post that contains “something different”, yet if its what I’m feeling I need to do, I know I should do it. I am always reluctant but thankful that I posted something that could change the direction of my blog.
    3. I think she just made me feel empowered. I felt like because she took the first leap, I didn’t need to be scared to leap next. I felt like all of those little ideas in my head needed to be pulled out NOW and put into action. This book really lit a fire under me. I loved it.

  • Hi Melissa,
    In my opinion, yes, it would be appropriate for teens. Check with you parents, though, parents know best!

  • Hi Ashley!
    I love hearing that you feel empowered. :))

    Thank you so much for your kind words about our decor book. I cannot wait!

  • It’s ok that you didn’t like it! Thanks for joining in with your thoughts. 🙂

  • Totally! Most of the book isn’t necessarily about being a boss, but rather working really hard and becoming really good at something. I agree.

  • Hi Megan,
    I agree. I don’t think it’s that people aren’t willing to work hard. At least, not always. I think that a lot of times things just look WAY easier than they really are. Blogging is the way and retail for sure. You see someone else doing it and think, “I could do that better.” What isn’t seen in the beginning are the countless long hours to get from point a to point b. I love that Sophia really told that part of her story.

    Thanks for joining in with your thoughts! I’m glad you enjoyed the book!


  • I definitely related with Sophia feeling like nothing had been quite the perfect fit for her, but she just started working on things she loved in her free time.
    I have been doing something similar…I have a full-time job, but have been working on more creative pursuits in my time off. Making time for the things I like…consulting and creativity…has been motivating.
    In fact, I just launched my portfolio website, and it was a good reminder that even though I may not get to do this full time…yet…I’m making progress.

  • I just picked this book up last weekend and am really, really enjoying it! I felt like it was a perfect balance of smart, sassy, and nitty-gritty without being boring. Definitely inspiring for young women, especially entrepreneurs.


  • I was one of those people that read this book in a day. Sophie’s writing style really captured my attention just because I’m one of those people that loves listening to good stories. I similarly felt like this was one huge pump-up-jam to inspire me to keep working hard and not to give up.
    Thanks for suggesting this great and quick read!


    1. I related with Sohpie learning her lessons the hard way. Her saying “In the words of another famous West Coast philosopher, Ice Cube, I needed to check myself before I wrecked myself” reminded me of a hard time in my life where I had to choose to help get myself out of a depression. Becoming self-aware was only part of the process, and in the case with Sophie, she had to actually get caught in the act of stealing before she would make the life choice to stop stealing. I liked that she described all of the different methods she used to steal merchandise. It showed dedication to her craft, albeit morally wrong haha.

    2. I liked how quickly she was able to learn and bounce back from her mistakes. When she was taking pictures for ebay, I clearly remember her describing that it didn’t matter what the product was, if the profile wasn’t flattering, the product wouldn’t sell. I liked that she put in tons of effort to style the models during her photo shoots and would actually take time to re-shoot if the product didn’t sell.

    This is something I can apply to my side projects involving knitting and crocheting. I know that photography is a weakness of mine and don’t have the funds to buy the necessary equipment, but I feel like if I put more effort into styling my photos, more attention might be drawn to my photos!

    3. Pretty much the whole chapter of Magical Thinking talked about something that I have been consciously trying to put into action for a while. Sophie talked about how she became obsessed with her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend as well as one of her business competitors stealing her website design so much to the point that she felt she was making both people “successful.” She realized she was investing all this energy into things that didn’t make her feel good and positive. She ended the chapter saying “focus on the positive things in your life and you’ll be shocked at how many more positive things start happening.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement, especially since I have practiced this idea and have actually experienced a string of positive events in the last 6 months. This reminds me of another book that I’m reading that uses this idea as its foundation called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza. I don’t know how you feel about self-help books, but this one has some science incorporated into its message, and coming from a science background I feel like the book isn’t bullshit. 🙂 Plus it’s the only self-help book that has actually kept my attention!

  • Hi Elsie,
    I have heard great reviews about this book. I am 16 years old and wondering is it a good teen book? 🙂

  • I have been meaning to read this book for awhile. I keep putting it off but I’m going to buy it today. I love that there seems to be a larger community of self-employed women out there that is so collaborative and supportive! How wonderful! I hope to join your ranks soon!


  • I also wasn’t a huge fan of this book. I thought her biography parts were really interesting and I think it’s amazing what she’s done with that company. But it was also really “look at me! look at all the awesome things I’ve done!” and self-serving, which seems to kind of go against her message.

  • I read this in 2 or 3 days, also, and loved it. I loved her voice and her honesty.
    1) Something I related to was just her passion and drive. I am very internally driven, too, and I could understand the intense pressure/competition with self that drove her non-stop work.
    2) Something I felt challenged by was her grit as far as working tirelessly with so many fails. I don’t think my grit is up to that standard, and everywhere I turn, I feel like I’m hearing this message to turn failure around and keep marching, better, faster, harder.
    3) This question is a bit harder. I felt the same way you did, and was SUPER inspired by her. I think I wanted to shout out to her “kick some ass and take names, girl!!” and I think coming alongside others and encouraging them in what their doing, is maybe what I should take away from my reaction. I want to try to celebrate my other girlfriends in whatever endeavor they’re doing. Sophia rocked it, and I’m super proud of her…is that weird??! 🙂
    Sarah M

  • I really need this book! I’ve read so much about it, that I just want to hold it in my hands as well…

    Lisa – AT LEAST BLOG

  • I really enjoyed this book. I agree with the above commenter about our generation wanting to get rich quick without putting in the work. Kevin Hart chants in the beginning of one of his specials with his team “Everybody wants to be famous but nobody wants to put the work in”. We’re quick to see someone’s successes but don’t bother to think of how much work was put into getting there.

    I’m glad this book is popular because I think it’s instilling in us to work hard and then we will succeed. There are times when I feel like I should be doing better in my career but I remember to keep working hard and the good things will come.

  • This book was beyond perfect for me right now. I wasn’t happy with my current job and my boyfriend and I were recently in the process of packing up and moving to a completely new town…with no jobs! We are literally finishing up packing as I type this. I realized that I couldn’t just wait around and have happiness and success find me, I needed to get it myself. This book has really empowered me to trust in myself and my own instincts, despite what others are saying.
    I’m beyond excited about what’s next for us and am planning on re-reading the book once we finish settling in our new space.

    Thanks so much for choosing this book this month. It couldn’t have come at a better moment for me personally.

    I’m also looking forward to reading your new book as I am sure I will be using it a TON for decorating our new home!

  • I really enjoyed and appreciated the advice that she had for preparing to interview for a job or cover letters as well has the advice on upward movement in the work place. When I picked up the book I was afraid that it was going to focus primarily “being in charge” but what I got out of it helped put the importance of an entry level position in a larger company and how to maintain/achieve goals from that position into perspective.

  • I read it in 2 days. I loved it!

    What I loved most about is that you can relate to her story (the success part and the not-so-succesful one) even when you take it to your life itself, not your business. I don’t have a business, I’ve never really considered having one but I could relate to her story anyway. It’s the way she writes, yes, but it’s what she’s learned on her journey, the getting out of bed and DOING SOMETHING. Nobody else will help you, you have to do things youself, work hard and then see it all come to life.

    I loved that. So I already told ALL of my friends to read it, especially the ones who are unemployed because they do have skills to create something from scratch and I hope this book can make them realize IT CAN BE DONE.

    So yeah. 🙂

  • I thought this was an AMAZING book. One thing I liked is that as millenials, I think our generation has this “get rich quick, but I don’t want to work” ethic. I know a lot of kids that have big dreams but have no motivation or desire to see them through. She really points out that the biggest part of her success was that she listened to her customer and worked her ass off. This challenged me–that owning a business is hard work and you have to be willing to put in the grit before you see any sort of profit. I think we often expect that once we get it out there in the public, success will naturally come to us.

    3. I definitely learned that I need to be more committed to my business. Even though I have a full time job, this means that I must wake up at 6am and do stuff and use my lunches as productive times for my business.

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