Three Pieces of Advice Girlboss Founder Sophia Amoruso Wants You to Know

At 33 years old, multimillionaire entrepreneur and Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso has endured a number of career transformations.

In her latest role as Girlboss founder and CEO, Amoruso tells CNBC Make It that she wants to inspire women to redefine what success means for themselves by sharing their stories and encouraging them to learn from each other’s experiences.

“[Millennials are] growing up and I want Girlboss to be better than anyone else at speaking about things like hardship, success and spirituality in a way that has a lot of heart, for a generation who doesn’t really have that. It’s a new era,” Amoruso says.

Over the past few years, Amoruso has been under scrutiny for several business ventures under her name, including Nasty Gal, the company which she founded and brought her to fame and the Netflix original show “Girlboss” which she helped produce.

Since publishing her best-selling memoir “#Girlboss” nearly three years ago, Amoruso says she has been able to reflect and wants to pass on the wisdom and hard-learned lessons she has picked up since.

Through her recently published book, “The Girlboss Workbook: An Interactive Journal for Winning at Life,” Amoruso says she wants to help provide some structure on how women should approach getting jobs, starting businesses and building brands while still being funny and irreverent.

She also includes a “Girlboss Oath” for readers to stand by, part of which says:

I will live deliberately. I will work with intention, play with intention and love with intention. I will take nothing at face value, ask questions and write my own rules. I will wake up every day to fight the most important battle of my life: my life. I will be curious and trust that, in time, my questions will answer themselves. I will play my strengths, sniff out my shortcomings and stomp out my ego at every opportunity.

The 176-page workbook is made up of fill-in-the-blank pages including a roadmap for plotting your dream career, tips for writing cover letters and thank you emails, budgeting tools and money advice, self-care and relationship tips and a guide to political activism, among other activities.

Here are three pieces of career advice Amoruso wants everyone who uses the “Girlboss Workbook” to apply in their lives:

Bring your best self to work

“Everyone has a different personality in the workplace,” Amoruso says. “By bringing your best self and not letting the small things sway you, that will allow you to keep rolling ahead in work and in life.”

She adds that by unapologetically being yourself, speaking up at the table, asking questions and not being afraid to not know something, “it shows other people that you’re willing to learn.”

Amoruso also notes that if you find yourself caught up in divisive workplace politics, you need to let those things roll off of you, focus on doing your best work and be confident in who you are.

“Don’t overinflate your worth, but also don’t settle for less than you’re worth,” she says. “Know that it takes hard work to get to where you are.”

Do things that terrify you

“If what you’re doing doesn’t terrify you, we have problems,” Amoruso writes in the book. In this case, she is referring to sense of fear that often comes with the challenges of pursuing your dreams.

“I’ve taken some really big risks in my life and I’ve seen great loss, but I have also seen great, great reward,” she says. “Without saying yes to the things that we’re terrified of and continuing to step into what life asks of us or create those big opportunities for ourselves, I think we’re asleep at the wheel,” Amoruso says.

Amoruso is referring to the rise and fall of Nasty Gal, the million-dollar vintage designer clothing company she launched as a one-woman eBay operation at 22 years old in 2006, which quickly gained a cult following.

But following financial struggles, legal issues and layoffs, Amoruso’s iteration of Nasty Gal fell apart. In 2015, she stepped down as its CEO, the company then filed for bankruptcy in late 2016 and was acquired this year by fast-fashion company Boohoo for $20 million, a mere fraction of Nasty Gal’s valuation just two years prior.

Taking risks for personal growth is not to be mistaken with leading a dramatic life without stability, Amoruso points out. But if you feel complacent in your life or career, she says, it’s time to consider a personal transformation.

To start, Amoruso recommends that you look at what you spend your time doing and work up the bravery to ask yourself difficult questions.

“Outside of school and work environments, you also have to say yes to things that may seem terrifying,” Amoruso says. “In the same way that we work out our bodies, this is almost like cross-training for your soul.”

Build your network offline and ‘IRL’

Amoruso says she wants women of all ages to use the interactive “Girlboss Workbook” and hopes to connect them “IRL,” or in real life, “to celebrate what they have in common, what’s different, learn from one another and to have these important conversations wherever they are.”

“Walking up to a stranger at a networking event can be terrifying, but I think continuing to move into the places that make us uncomfortable is what expands us and our capabilities,” Amoruso says.

To start creating these less intimidating and judgment-free zones for women to connect, Amoruso now hosts the twice-a-year Girlboss Rally, a conference for “like-minded women to get together and really talk about their experiences.”

Amoruso’s next Girlboss Rally for this year, to be held for the first time in New York City on November 11, will bring together notable executives and entrepreneurs including Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck and Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe as well as young professionals and students alike.

There, Amoruso hopes they “play with this idea [of prospering] that hasn’t seemed very malleable in the past.”

“The construct of what success looks like was built by and for white guys in suits,” she says, “and it’s an exciting time for us to rethink what success looks like for ourselves.”

This article first appeared on CNBC on November 6, 2017.
Zameena Mejia
1:11 PM ET Mon, 6 Nov 2017


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