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In the Interim: Thoughts from a 20-Something Adult (?)

Hey friends,

I know I’m a little late to the party, but I recently read #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you. From my previous post you might have gathered that I often feel overwhelmed in the face of making major life decisions that involve money or the Way Far Future. A quick poll of my inner circle of friends reveals that I’m not the only one struggling with these concerns; from my newly married couple-friends who are apartment/house-hunting , to my other friends who are considering a return to school to boost their careers, there are a multitude of decisions that I and my friends need to make now that will ultimately impact the quality of our lives later on.

So with this paralyzing thought on my mind, I did the one thing that I usually do when I am in need of assistance, and I turned to Google. With a few keystrokes and some non-specific search terms (“best books for women in their 20s”), I found a colorful list of potential reads. Full disclosure: when I say colorful, I literally mean these covers were pleasing to my eyes and what’s more, that’s how I choose what to read… But this worked out in my favor, because the cover of #GIRLBOSS features the OG herself, Sophia Amoruso, decked out in a deliciously tailored black dress with the fiercest power pose that I have seen in a long time.

The book is written conversationally, with Amoruso using strong language and the occasional photo from her personal collection to let her readers get a deep understanding of who she is, how she came to be a #GIRLBOSS, and how to become one in your own right. The book is part autobiography and part self-help guide that chronicles Sophia’s journey from creative school-age misfit, to dumpster-diving Freegan, and finally, to the fashion retail mogul behind Nasty Gal.

While the author and I have few things in common, I found her perspective and honesty to be very refreshing. #GIRLBOSS is not about how to get-rich quick, nor as the title/cover might suggest, how to intimidate those around you to do your bidding, but rather it provides useful tips on how to take charge of one’s thoughts and abilities to achieve success. Sophia credits the success of her company and brand to a few key characteristics, such as: 1) an obsessive drive to deliver superior goods and services to her customers 2) staying true to her creative roots and using that to inspire the company’s development and 3) putting in due diligence even when it is not required.

These qualities resonate with me in how I could conduct myself in my work and personal affairs. Even though I don’t plan to open my own business, I can still see the value in taking responsibility to see a project through to its end, and immersing myself in all the details of my job so that I can act with authority and confidence in whatever additional roles might be asked of me.

I enjoyed Amoruso’s very real advice on how to conduct oneself during the job finding process i.e. “The Necessary Evil: Cover Letters” and “The Interview: Don’t Blow it,” but I found her thoughts on personal finance to be even more useful. Sophia explains that she never intended to become rich with her initial plans to auction vintage clothing on Ebay, but as her business evolved, she realized that making consistent money represented freedom for her. Her situation was a little more extreme in the sense that before Nasty Gal, she made ends meet by shoplifting and scavenging. But these experiences shaped her to become more financially savvy, and thus, we get such sage wisdom as “Pay up, and pay on time,” with regards to credit card debt and other bills, along with “Cash is king,” also known as, “Do not spend more money than you have.”

These are simple messages, but when stated by another person (who arguably is killing it when she basically came from nothing), they strike a chord that makes me feel reassured that my wardrobe and possessions do not have to reflect how much I earn. That being said, Amoruso does point out that spending money on extravagances is okay as long as it’s occasional, well-deserved, and not impulsive.

I could go on and on about #GIRLBOSS, but then I might talk you out of reading it for yourselves. So go read it already! Aside from Sophia Amoruso’s personal narrative, you can find other examples of #GIRLBOSSES in the book, and learn about what spurred them to action. Overall, I recommend this book for the author’s no-nonsense, almost sisterly brand of advice-giving, and now I feel that I have a better understanding of the smallish things I can do to achieve financial security for Future Me.