Monday seems like the most appropriate day of the week to talk about this book - not least because I'm going to start with the undeniable fact that this book was work. Reading this did not come easily to me, in fact I put it down and abandoned the whole idea by about the fifth chapter. But inspired by some of your comments on my post about 'Book Guilt', I trudged on and now feel like I can give some actual, useful feedback about this book, for those few who might still be on the fence about it.

I'm prefacing this in the way you preface book reviews - this is a kind of self help, motivational, career-focused book that I think is aimed at young women who seek to be either entrepreneurial, or small/large business owners. You have to be crafty, or at least somewhat creatively-inclined to really pick up what Ms. Amoruso is putting down. And you have to be willing to accept that the tone in this book sometimes convolutes good intentions. My good friend Jaye wrote an interesting piece earlier in the year called 'Why I Don't Think I'm a #Girlboss', and I think her views are very valid, understandable and, to be completely honest, were my own views at first.

I think Sophia describes herself in her own words as a 'pill'. In fact, I think a lot of the word count of this book is spent describing herself. But not in the self-deprecating, hypo-analytical way of Lena Dunham, or the razor sharp, dry way of Tina Fey. Coming off the back of reading so many female memoirs of sorts, I can understand my initial displeasure with #Girlboss. It felt like a lot of Sophia patting herself on the back and she's quite unapologetic about it. And why should she be apologetic? If I learned anything from this book, it's that starting a multi-million dollar clothing empire from your bedroom and laptop is pretty freaking impressive. But I didn't... 'share in the joy', let's say? Not at first.

My problem with #Girlboss was simple - I didn't like the author. To me, the voice didn't feel human, it felt like a sort of manic, schpiel-y cheerleader who wrote in hashtags. To get around it, I did the one thing I knew how to do well. I YouTubed dat shit.

After watching countless in-person interviews with Sophia and seeing the human behind the brand and book, I felt so much more ready to pick up the book again and give it another try. I'd gotten to meet the woman behind the story, which I'm not sure Sophia does so well in her book. She's great at a lot of 'kick up the butt' motivational moments, great at inspiring a get-up-and-go attitude, and I also really love that she punctuated her chapters with real life stories of other successful women in business and female entrepreneurs. Those were really aspirational to me, and I loved hearing a lot of different stories/routes to ultimate 'success'. This was another take away for me - there are plenty of journeys, and no cookie-cutter path to what you're meant to do... What's important is to foster the desire to stay hungry for finding whatever 'it' is.

Overall, I think this book might have been a little more relevant to all the awesome maker-founder brands and business owners out there, although I completely accept that it won't work for everyone. I was a little disheartened that this was more like listening to a motivational speaker and narrative in tone rather than providing actionable steps and tips for helping you achieve your goals - these are kinds of books that really work for me. But, it's a cute little read and if you can get past the sometimes jarring tone, it does contain some insights and useful knowledge through experience-sharing. 

3 comments

  1. Thanks for the review and congratulations for making it through. It took way more effort than any book featuring a hashtag in the title deserves! Not for me.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Bella - it was a slog! I think with any career-orientated or self help book it's about finding the fit for yourself. It's not necessarily a 'bad' book but as Amy Poehler would say - 'works for her, not for me'! T xx

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  2. Thanks for the review! I kinda want to read it (only because I love nastygal) but I really dislike motivational/self-help kind of books, and I know that if I buy it, it will end among my unloved books...
    xx

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