"What would you tell your 30-year-old self?" "It doesn't get easier." -Sophia Amoruso
There is a massive glut of business books / self-improvement books out there today. I've read several and I have to say, they're all pretty much the same.
A more interesting one that caught my attention in the recent years was Sophia Amoruso's "Girlboss."
Now, I don't go around hashtagging "Girlboss" and I don't refer to myself in such a manner. I even tried watching the show on Netflix but couldn't get into it. But the book and Sophia herself has stayed in my mind because I think she has a very interesting story.
Sophia was a community college dropout, she shoplifted in her youth, she dumpster-dived for food, she worked at blue collar jobs. No one, including Sophia, could have predicted that she would create Nastygal and the whole "Girlboss" phenomenon.
There has, of course, been a dichotomy between the story we hear and what actually happened (Sophia raised a ton of venture capital to grow Nastygal but it went bankrupt, Sophia is trying to position herself as a feminist powerhouse even though Nastygal didn't have a reputation for treating its female employees in the best manner, etc), but in a weird way, that's life. Human beings behave in ways that don't fit with the ideal narrative that others have constructed.
Despite all that has happened to Sophia and Nastygal, you really have to give her credit for creating a successful, multi-million dollar business (in the early years) and for having the naivete (some mistake it for fearlessness) to go through with something big.
I believe that is why Sophia has resonated with so many people. She didn't have the standard, conventional upbringing. She doesn't have any fancy school degrees. But she had grit. She had enough business and marketing savvy to grow Nastygal into a successful brand. And that is something that very few people have.
Sophia did a very interesting interview with Tim Ferriss on his podcast. One of the questions he asked her was, "What would you tell your 30 year old self?" And Sophia's response was, "It doesn't get easier." Taking on millions in venture funding doesn't suddenly mean business success. Seeing explosive revenue growth in the earlier years doesn't automatically mean that this rocket ship trend will continue. Getting married doesn't mean that you're suddenly "done" on the relationship front. (Nastygal went bankrupt the same time that Sophia's one year marriage ended. If that doesn't make you want to hide under the bedcovers and cry for about a week straight, I don't know what will).
I love her answer because it is so true. (It's probably not the most popular answer but it's the most honest answer). If you are constantly challenging yourself to grow, if you're trying new things that scare you, it doesn't get easier. You will start to feel more secure in your own skin over time but things don't get easier. New complications crop up all the time. Things are never "done" - there is always the next thing to worry about.
I'm not advocating this as the right way to live life (because it sounds stressful), but it's perhaps a way to ensure that when you're on your deathbed, you'll look back and realize that you lived a full and meaningful life.
What is this?
An anthropological look at how people think about money. Created and edited by Star Li.