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Jul 20 2016
by Hannah Belle Hurt

7 Lessons All Young Entrepreneurs Can Learn From #GIRLBOSS

By Hannah Belle Hurt - Jul 20 2016

“Fortune favors the bold who gets shit done.” -Sophia Amoruso

#GIRLBOSS is a comical, inspiring and energizing book written by Sophia Amoruso, founder and executive chairman of NastyGal, on her rise to worth, fame and success. To fill you in if you have not already read this book, Amoruso was a dumpster-diving, community college dropout, punk-rocker with a love for all things vintage and a hate for anything that involved typical capitalistic ideas. This led her to start her own eBay business specializing in vintage clothing. Within a short time span, she grew to become a multimillion dollar business owner with a 50,000 square foot office in the heart of Los Angeles, with over 300 employees and 550,000 customers in more than 60 countries. Amoruso has been named “Fashion’s New Phenom” by Forbes, listed at number 30 on Fortune‘s list of 40 Under 40 in 2014, and is a New York Times bestseller.

Disclaimer: #GIRLBOSS is not a feminist rant of why women should take over the “man’s” world of business; however, it is a feminist book in the sense that it encourages females to take charge of their lives. Either way, all things #GIRLBOSS can be applied to anything #DUDEBOSS. But what is a #GIRLBOSS (or #DUDEBOSS) exactly? Amoruso explains it as this:

“A #GIRLBOSS is someone who's in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. As a #GIRLBOSS, you take control and accept responsibility. You’re a fighter — you know when to throw punches and when to roll with them. Sometimes you break the rules, sometimes you follow them, but always on your own terms. You know where you’re going, but can’t do it without having some fun along the way. You value honesty over perfection. You ask questions. You take life seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re going to take over the world, and change it in the process. You’re a badass.”

Flickr Creative Commons

Despite the occasional poop jokes (not even lying), this part-memoir part-business book contains quite a mass of insightful, and experienced, wisdom from a girl who started with nothing, had very little help and now has everything she never even could have wished for. Nevermore, here are seven lessons all young entrepreneurs can learn from #GIRLBOSS.

1. The Do’s and Don’t’s of Getting Hired

Be the one that separates #GIRL(DUDE)BOSSES from the girls (dudes). Either be excited and interesting, or able to fake it till you make it. Learn how to make the necessary evils stand out, such as: cover letters, resumes, interviews and networking.

Cover letters: DO make sure you know what you can do for the business and not what it can do for you, DO allow the cover letter to connect the dots, DO proof read and use spell check and DO NOT give constructive criticism.

The resume: DO make it creative, DO be didactic on your experiences and DO brag a bit.

The interview: DO understand the company and what they do, DO seem to actually care, DO ask a few questions, DO write a thank you card, DO dress and act appropriately, DO be prepared to answer some real and personal questions, but DO NOT get too real and DO think outside the box.

Networking: DO keep your social medias clean and pay attention to detail, DO have a LinkedIn that looks like an online resume and DO NOT look like you do not care with your appearance or profile picture.

2. Staying Hired

Yay, you got the job! Now you have to learn to keep it. Amoruso believes that if you applied and went through the process of getting the job, then you obviously seem to care about doing what is required for the job. She claims her biggest pet peeve is when people say, “That’s not my job.” You're all there to aid the company and work for the company, and in the end, it is all work no matter the job nor your position. You need to know your boundaries and the art of staying humble. Stay focused on what really matters — such as the philosophies that your company may provide for you. You are one in a mass of employees, do not expect to be praised and given a promotion within a week of hard work. And if all that hard work suddenly failed, be the one to apologize.

3. Managing Your Money

When work and school was not Amoruso’s top priority, her parents financially cut her off. Now, her business can make more than $150,000 before Amoruso has to take a lunch break. You would think it would be common knowledge, but never spend more money that you have. Even Amoruso fell to this when she spent thirty dollars at Victoria’s Secret and wrecked her credit. For years she struggled with bad credit and had to earn all her money for she never once took out a business loan and had very little overhead. Amoruso likes to save at least ten percent and admits that sometimes it is actually worth it to spend a little extra to get something that is just right. Think of this as an investment on your own well-being, not because you just have to have the new “it” thing. Also, just because you have money or are earning quite a large sum, does not mean that you can now spend more. Although it’s awkward, don’t be afraid to ask about money and separate your emotions from your money. If it seems right that you should have a raise, have an appropriate talk with your boss, but Amoruso highly advises no sad sob stories.

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4. Taking the Blows of Getting Fired

As CEO and executive chairman of one of the world’s fastest growing companies, even Amoruso admits that she hates firing employees and getting fired was always a major sting for her; however, she believes it is just how you take it and learn from it. If you never kept up with lesson #3, it may just plain suck if you were living pay check to pay check. But on the other hand, this could be an opportunity to start your own businesses, like she did. Maybe you hated the job and now you have a push to search for that dream job. Perhaps you can take some time and travel the world with the vacation time you never had. But, Amoruso claims that you should never threaten to sue, never try to get your coworkers to take your side, never complain publicly, never call anyone any names — you will regret or any personal attacks — never get your parents involved and never use your former employer as a future reference without their permission.     

5. Understanding and Finding Valuable Investors

Although she started clueless and terrified, Amoruso claims, "What I really learned from the entire experience is that people want to invest in businesses that don't need money and that your ability to execute has to be just as strong if not stronger, than your idea.” Investors are going to look for people with a great head (or heads) on their shoulders, have outside validation, are ahead of the times with technology, the market, and fashion (if applicable), are different from all the other companies and show evidence of demand.

6. Starting Your Own Business

Amoruso shares experiences that not even, "Starting an eBay Business for Dummies," could cover. Amoruso claims that you can’t “start” a business, you merely start your own project — such as an eBay store — and put 110 percent into every centimeter of your work. You full-out sprint into your work, but not with the expectation of money and success at the finish line — for there are always hurdles. You are not to be one obsessed with results, Amoruso claims, “When your goal is to gain experience, perspective and knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility.” She defines her concepts of success and the pursuit of opportunities, all the while aiming to keep her own individuality and interest. 

7. Know That Creativity Is In Everything

I may not have my dream job at the moment, but man, I can use white out like nobody's business. Even if I am just whitening out a name on a tab, drawing a white streak from one end of the paper to the other, it is like arts and crafts in my little business world. Amoruso admits that she likes when people create their own templates and she likes to see them express ideas. All the images featured in the article are from the book, a business book, and you want to say that is not creative? Even if you're not going into the fashion or arts world, you need to have a creative team to run your media or website, or perhaps your campaign, maybe you need a commercial or maybe you want your work environment to be sleekly designed, etc.; the possibilities are endless. 

Flickr Creative Commons

Amoruso is soon to release her second book, Nasty Galaxy, a book on all things Sophia. She also created the #GIRLBOSS foundation, which awards grants to women in the world of fashion, arts, music and design. Soon, #GIRLBOSS is to be an original Netflix comedy series based on the autobiography. As Amoruso puts so finely: “Someone has to succeed, so it might as well be you,” (SAY IT AGAIN FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK). So now, ladies (and dudes), be bold and go "get shit done."

Lead Image Credit: Victoria Eales via Flickr Creative Commons

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Hannah Belle Hurt - Butler University

Hannah is an Environmental Studies major at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. She is a lover of caffeine, Food Documentaries, and foliage. She is from Nashville, Tennessee and began writing for FreshU in May of 2016. Follow her on Instagram @hannahbelle97 and twitter @hanabelle97.

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