The Best Takeaways from #Girlboss and 6 Other Career Memoirs
Are you an entrepreneur, a corporate animal or merely confused by what to do next in the changing jobs marketplace? Thinking of a job change or feeling unfulfilled? Well, if so, then you’re probably too busy to read all seven of these boss-lady self-help books. To give you a hand, we've cherry-picked the best advice from each.
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
Backstory: A rebellious young woman turns her eBay business selling vintage clothes into a $100 million company.
Confession: She was so poor she ate out of dumpsters and shoplifted.
Takeaway: Since this book was written, Amoruso’s company, Nasty Gal, has gone bankrupt, but by all accounts she’s still rolling in the dough. In any case, this book is an intoxicating read that makes commonsense financial principles sound hip and exciting—for example, money looks better in the bank than on your feet (translation: don’t overspend) and play to your strengths (i.e., creativity can be more helpful than a business degree when it comes to launching a business).
You Are a Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero
Backstory: A 40-year-old intermittently employed freelance writer living in a garage starts an online business to help other writers and becomes a best-selling author and successful life coach.
Confession: Feigning being full, she would order only tap water while out to dinner with friends and was so anxious about money, she bit her fingernails down to nubs.
Takeaway: Meditate daily and search deep within yourself to determine that you want to be rich, then take a series of audacious, uncomfortable risks to make that happen.
Worth It by Amanda Steinberg
Backstory: A Type-A financial professional and mom who’s crippled with stress but then reevalutates her “money story” for a happier and more fulfilled life.
Confession: Was nearly $100,000 in debt by age 30.
Takeaway: Our society encourages even top earners to spend more than they make, leading to debt and anxiety. Put your savings account ahead of societal expectations and re-write whatever isn’t working from your childhood about money matters (money is scary, money is someone else’s problem, money is elusive, to name a few) and set your own, doable goals.
Girl Code by Cara Alwill Leyba
Backstory: A former digital ad exec at MTV quits her six-figure job to start a blog and life coaching business based on empowering women in business.
Confession: Her self-esteem was so low in her 20s that she stayed in a relationship with a man who said the only way he’d propose to her was if she lost 30 pounds.
Takeaway: Remember, ladies first—that is, develop and use a network of successful women to counsel and mentor you so that you can gain valuable insight into starting and running a business. Side benefit: You’ll increase self-esteem by helping these same women when they need assistance.
Audacious Endeavors by Somya R. Munjal
Backstory: As an argumentative youth, Munjal decided to get two part-time jobs while attending high school so that she could move out of her home. Today, she runs companies devoted to educating teens about how to run businesses and save money.
Confession: She quit three jobs and was fired by another for whistle-blowing by the time she was 30.
Takeaway: Success and happiness isn’t a matter of high earnings but instead about fulfilling the calling that in your heart of hearts feels right. Munjal recommends spending ten minutes a day meditating to find your personal mission. Once you determine it, move forward no matter what.
Weird in a World That’s Not by Jennifer Romolini
Backstory: After going on 23 interviews before landing her first job in publishing, a woman who feels like an outsider becomes a successful editor in print and digital publishing.
Confession: Tried to leave her husband in a huff at 4 a.m. only to have her car break down in the driveway as she was backing out. As she headed back in the house, she faced the hard truth that she was in her mid-20s, with no money, career path or marketable skills.
Takeaway: Want to find and excel in your dream job but feel like a fraud? Try a combination of stick-to-it-ive-ness, candor, side-hustling and willingness to temporarily forget about your own neuroses and focus on the task/job/career at hand. Romolini walks the reader through a career in which she learned to lean in to her workaholic tendencies and gravitate toward rewarding jobs.
Beyond the Label by Maureen Chiquet
Backstory: An introverted middle-class Midwestern girl climbs corporate ladders in fashion marketing to become the global CEO of Chanel.
Confession: She resisted her mother’s attempts to get her involved in social activities and was labeled aloof by her peers.
Takeaway: Embrace your unique (and seemingly non-useful) passions and let them guide you to end up where you want to be. For example, Chiquet’s love of all things French and creative led her to be an asset in the previously dry business atmosphere of Chanel.