One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read more books.
I set a goal of 12 novels, then quickly realized that, while it would be wonderful to spend my time whisked off in a fantasy world, maybe I could knock out two goals at once by reading books that will better me and my business.
With that in mind, I grabbed a copy of #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. I’d been eyeing the book for some time, wondering what I’d learn within it’s pages, but I wasn’t sure it was going to be a good read for me. I could practically hear my previous self – Why read a book catering to women entrepreneurs? Why not just read a regular entrepreneur book? Why does it have to be for girls? Fortunately, my current self isn’t quite so thick headed; I’m so glad I read it, it was just what I needed to start off my chaotic New Year.
I was recently told that I don’t always “play nice” with others when it comes to work. That, having never really had a practical job, I lacked some of the graces and etiquette that are traditionally considered needed to run a business. Reading through the book, it became apparent that Sophia is someone I can relate to. Far from always happy, has trouble with authority, mildly anarchistic, doesn’t necessarily like dealing with other people, building her business by her own rules. She sounds a lot like me. She didn’t always “play nice” with others – she worked hard, for herself, did things her own way, and succeeded beyond her wildest dreams.
In fact, she encourages us to not play by the rules:
“If there were rules to being a #GIRLBOSS – which there are not – one of them would be to question everything…” – Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS
We aren’t necessarily people persons. (That was a weird sentence to write.) We don’t have to play nice. Our personalities aren’t really a detriment to ourselves or our businesses.
It’s all about the attitude.
One of the things that stood out to me is how, decidedly positive she was, even caught up in a whirlwind of growth and change. She worked hard because she was passionate about what she was doing. And she created that passion herself.
She chose to work hard. She chose to believe in herself, but not take herself too seriously. She chose to get up every day, don an old shitty bathrobe, and hustle. She chose her business and her dreams over her right now. And she chose to be polite and cordial about it.
“I was never one for accepting convention at face value, but through (plenty of) trial and error I have made working hard, being polite, and being honest a choice.” – Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS
Reading through the book, I realized that this is where I fall short. I have skills, and I am always learning and improving on them. I don’t have the best personality; I’m anti-social, awkward, pretty bitchy, kind of generally unpleasant. But I let my personality overshine my attitude. I don’t always make the right choices when it comes to my work – I let my selfishness get in the way, I put myself and what I want first. I’m fully capable of working hard, and being polite, but I only do it when I need to.
In short, my attitude could use some work. If I want to see the greatest pay off, I need to choose to succeed. I need to choose to be positive, to be productive, to work hard – even when I don’t necessarily want to. Instead of treating work like work – like it’s tedious and frustrating – I need to treat it like an investment in myself. The harder I work, and the happier I am about it, the more I’ll succeed.
I know that this revelation is nothing new. People say this all the time. But I’m not naturally optimistic, and more than cynical. It didn’t really stick until I saw someone who was so much like me, personality wise, work on their attitude, and their choices, and find success in it.
So I’ve started making positive choices. Even if I hate it. I went to the gym with my sister even though I’m a lump; I ended up loving it and will probably get myself a membership when payday comes ‘round. I’ve made it a point to address all of the to do’s I write down in my bullet journal, even if it’s just a “moved to tomorrow”, so I stay on track.
And it’s paying off. Even when I’m stressed out – like this weekend when I fought all day to keep Seeds ’n Such up despite the server being overloaded with orders – if I look at it as a choice to work hard, something I’m doing right, I don’t end up in an unmotivated slump. Baby steps.
I don’t know if I can work on my personality. But if I work on my attitude, maybe I’ll get to a point where I’m successful, too.
Have you read any good books lately? What did you learn?