Friday, 14 October 2016

Be a #Girlboss

Last month I read Sophia Amoruso's bestselling book #Girlboss. Sophia founded NastyGal clothing at 22 years old as an eBay store selling second-hand vintage pieces. Ten years later and she has just stepped down from the role of CEO of what has become a multi-million dollar leading fashion company.

To have grown not only a business, but an empire, in just ten years is an impressive feat in itself. But on top of that, Sophia's story is one of rags to riches in the traditional sense too. A high school drop-out, Sophia carved a path for herself through self-belief, determination and sheer grit.

Who else could possible make a better role model during Believe in Yourself month?
"And once you find success, don't stop."
What stood out for me, was how Sophia never gave up. She was told, as we all are, that she would get nowhere without an education and finishing school. But she found a way to succeed beyond the traditional routes. And while doing so, she never strayed from who she truly is.

Authenticity and success.
One of the immediate things that stands out when reading the book, is how self-assured Sophia is. Not only is she determined to succeed, but she is confident in her individuality. Sophia built on her quirky sense of style and her badass attitude, and marketed them as much as the actual clothing NastyGal sold. Never does it seem like she is trying to be cool. She just effortlessly is cool - it's authentic. She was selling a way of life, her own way of life - one that empowered women to feel confident and wear their self-belief on their sleeves.

"An advantage of being naive is being able to believe in oneself when no one else will. I was dumb enough and stubborn enough to pour everything I had into a business called Nasty Gal and to tune out people who tried to tell me I was doing it wrong."
In many ways, perhaps Sophia is right - self-belief is a mix of naivety and stubbornness. It's the doggedness never to give up.  To never consider failure as possible. To sometimes not see giving up as an option. But it's also tossing away your anxiety. I know that if I were to pursue my own business my anxious brain would be lighting up to alert me of all the possible occasions where I would mess up, lose money, fail. I wouldn't be able to tune out my own worries, yet alone other people's advice like Sophia did. She has so much self-belief that it makes her seem almost superhuman to me; as it's a level I doubt I could ever reach.

#Girlboss has left me in awe of Sophia's confidence. Don't get me wrong; she's not cocky nor does she come across as basking in her success.
If anything, she is using her platform to tell young girls and women that anything is possible if you follow your passions and create something you love and believe in.
I want to have that own belief in myself, but it seems to come naturally to Sophia whereas self-belief does not come naturally to me. I keep fearing the worst possible outcomes rather than being lead by own belief.

But maybe I need to adopt Sophia's attitude for a while. Try it on and act like I have self-belief. Wear it like an item of clothing from NastyGal.
Perhaps that's the way to start believing in yourself?

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