business advice

Business Advice For Taking Over the World

Last month, I got to spend a few glorious days in Encinitas, CA. If you’ve ever been, you know that it’s incredibly sunny and laid-back and boasts one of the highest concentration of coffee shops, tattoo parlors, and juice bars in the world (that’s not confirmed, but it’s pretty close to the truth). I was so busy having fun that I barely even picked up the book I brought along until I was dragged to the airport to fly home. To be honest, business – and business advice – was the furthest thing on my mind.

Luckily, #GIRLBOSS was an engrossing read and kept me completely occupied from takeoff to landing (though I did keep telling my poor husband that we have to move to Encinitas. I think he started ignoring me by the time we were over the Great Plains). Written by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, I was hooked from page one (this quote appears on page 11 if you’re counting):

A #GIRLBOSS is someone who’s in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. As a #GIRLBOSS, 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 your 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.

I’m reading this and thinking, “AMEN, sister! Amen.” If you don’t know me, the above pretty much sums up who I am. But the real takeaway from this book is much bigger: Follow Sophia’s hard-won business advice, and you will live a pretty badass life – whether or not you’re a girl.

Here’s how to take over the world, #GIRLBOSS-style:

Learn how to manage your money

I am the first one to admit that I am not the best with finance. I hate accounting, I hate bookkeeping, I hate budgeting. BUT, because I really like having money, I know what’s in the bank, and I know what I’m spending my money on. If you do only follow one piece of business advice in this article blog post, choose this. Put together a budget and live beneath your means.

Visualize what you want

If you know what you want in life, put it out there so the universe can help you get it. I don’t care how woo-woo that sounds – it works. Sophia calls it the power of magical thinking, but it’s more about intentional thinking than magic. Visualize what your life will look like, and those thoughts can become reality. I swear.

Embrace the idea that there’s no such thing as failure

We’ve all failed at stuff. We tried something, it didn’t work, we moved on. However, Sophia posits that every failure has a silver lining, and I agree. “When your goal is to gain experience, perspective or knowledge,” Sophia writes, “failure is no longer a possibility.” Always use failure to learn and grow – and always pat yourself on the back for taking a risk.

Sharpen your writing skills

Sophia and I aren’t the only one who thinks you must be able to clearly communicate your ideas if you want to succeed in the workplace. She points out that Jason Fried wrote in his book, Rework, “[O]ne of the smartest investments a business can make is in hiring great writers.”

How do you become a better writer? By writing. And asking for feedback from someone who is a good writer (or maybe even a kick-ass writer).

Grow your business incrementally

This is the approach I’m taking with my own business, so it was heartening to hear that Sophia advises this as well. If you try to grow too fast, you will either run out of cash or spontaneously combust. Or both at the same time.

Focus on what matters

Provide outstanding customer service, keep your promises, and give your customers something to share (so they become brand ambassadors for you). Those are Sophia’s three rules, and they’re good ones to follow. They help you stay focused on what matters – your customers.

There’s a lot more where this came from, but these were my favorite bits of business advice. Go out and get yourself a copy of #GIRLBOSS – and prepare to take over the world. You can thank me later.

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