Sophia Amoruso has undeniably come a long way since she was a sandwich artist in Dickies and skate shoes—the founder of mega-retailer Nasty Gal has easily established herself as one of the moremost powers in the e-commerce world, has written a book, and continues to grow her brand at exponential rates. (And her own personal brand as well—according to Forbes, she is currently worth $250 million.)
So when we had the chance to sit down and chat with the 30-year-old about how she's managed to build such a wildly successful career, we were hanging off her every word. (After all, she did write an entire book on the subject.) What she has to share is beyond worth heeding—it's worth bookmarking and saving for future reference.
Don't just take our word for it—Keep scrolling for some of Sophia Amoruso's most hard-earned advice!
"I never expected the eBay store I started eight years ago would become what Nasty Gal is today, and I feel so incredibly proud of what the team has done," she says. "Although on the outside it looks like I’m successful, it never ends. I’m still earning the awareness Nasty Gal has, I’m still earning the story we’ve built everyday by showing up at work and trying to do my best. We’re just starting, and this is just the beginning! In no way do I think I’ve like made it—I think it doesn’t get easier, it just changes."
"When I have gotten comfortable, I look back on those moments and I know now that I was really diluted then," she says. "It’s not that I can’t take a break here and there, but you should always be learning new stuff, which is fun."
"I think people actually really appreciate positive constructive feedback as much as they do praise. I’m such an independent person that I don’t require that very much, so it’s taken me a while to learn that," she says.
"I wish I had more experience leading people when I started Nasty Gal," Amoruso reveals. "I wish I had more now, honestly. That’s the hardest part, being clear [to your team] on your what success looks like, it’s a whole part of your job. I think along the way, there are people I would have given more timely feedback to—because they’re owed that. I’ve just learned a lot about leading people, and I keep learning." "Every few months, my job is completely different—it’s about sensing what it is that the company needs, then hiring people who can do it and lead them there," she continues. "It’s hard—there’s a lot of communication. I’m still learning a lot about leadership."
"I feel like if I knew more [when I was 17], then I wouldn’t have learned the way I did what I know now," Amoruso says when asked what advice she would give her 17-year-old self. "So that question is always like a Catch-22. You take one piece out of history, and everything falls apart. The truth is—nothing. You have to live the questions—it's this Rainer Maria Rilke quote. You have to live out your struggle—all the things you don’t know, you just live those questions and you eventually find answers. And sometimes you don’t even realize you have found them until you look back."
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