Betsy Loves, Writing

Be a girl and the boss with Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso is inspiring. Why? Because, by her own admission, she was a bit of a bum – she dropped out of school, lived on the streets, got fired from most of her jobs, shoplifted and generally acted like she didn’t give a f*** – but now she’s the founder and CEO of a multi-million pound fashion company, Nasty Gal.

In her book – #GIRLBOSS – there’s no crap; there’s no ‘everyone is a unique delicate flower’; she says it like it is – life can be tough but if you work hard you can be successful. It’s not a Jordan Belfort guide to being a Wall Street wanker, it’s a ‘say it like it is’ guide to being awesome.

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So what is a #GIRLBOSS? (And if you’re getting annoyed by the hash tag, calm yourselves – you’ll not find any gimmicky rubbish inside.) Sophia describes a #GIRLBOSS as “someone who’s in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it…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 you don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re going to take over the world, and change it in the process. You’re a badass.”

In that case, I’d like to be a #GIRLBOSS please. And now we’ve established that, what other treats does Sophia have in store? Well, it’s not all amusing anecdotes about her former life as a smelly freeloader, there are some proper solid pieces of advice that I’d imagine some men might find useful too, such as saving a minimum of 10% of your salary each month. Sophia suggests treating your savings account like just another bill that has to be paid each month – set up a direct debit, wang that cash in there and forget about it. And the funds that you accumulate? They’re for emergencies only, not holidays or shoes. To sum it up – money looks better in the bank than on your feet.

Now, for some of you, that might sound like the most obvious piece of advice in the world, but to plenty of others (myself included) it’s a timely reminder to sort my financial life out!

Other gems include:

“Life is short. Don’t be lazy.”

“You combine hard work, creativity, and self-determination, and things start to happen.”

“Figure out what you love doing and don’t suck at, and then try to figure out how to make a living doing that. Don’t be scared. We’re all going to die, it’s just a question of when and where so be brave! You’ll never regret trying to fulfill your dream.”

I love this woman. Seriously. She’s a ball-buster with a sense of humour inviting other women to step up to the plate, take control and live awesome lives – not that they deserve but that they’ve earned.

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Betsy Loves, Culture, Writing

Tina Fey’s bossy pants

I’d like to think of this as a little series – inspirational reads and women – but we shall see how that goes. As it stands, I have a small pile of books written by women that I’ve found truly inspirational, and I’d love to share them with you guys.

First up, Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Now, this isn’t a new book by any stretch, but while you might have seen its bright yellow cover in bookshops, you might not have picked it up. You should. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen 30 Rock; if you aren’t familiar with any of Tina Fey’s work; or heck, you don’t even really know who she is; she is worth the read, regardless. I mean, this is an incredibly clever woman who is witty, self-deprecating and has words of wisdom that can be applied to every woman and girl’s life.

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This book is her first (but I hope not her last!) and includes such joyful chapter headings as ‘Remembrances of Being Very Very Skinny’, ‘Remembrances of Being a Little Bit Fat’, ‘Peeing In Jars With Boys’ and ‘The Mother’s Prayer For Its Daughter’. It’s not merely an autobiography, it’s a collection of stories and anecdotes that will make you giggle and smile and feel happy, as well as make you think.

Why else do I like Tina Fey? She wrote Mean Girls; she’s besties with Amy Poehler (more on her another time); she acts; she tells jokes; she often appears on the ‘worst dressed’ lists and she doesn’t give a damn; she’s not afraid to look like a tit; she was part of the best tv show in years (30 Rock. It’s ace. Watch it); she had the best song in the new Muppets movie; and you know, you just know, that not only is she part of the ‘sisterhood’ but that she would be the BOMB to hang out with.

Here’s one of my favourite snippets from the book:

“I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”

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If you enjoyed this, go on and buy your own copy. I’m pretty certain you won’t regret it.

Next time: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso.

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