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On Sophia Amoruso’s first day as CEO of Girlboss, she led a rally



My first day as a CEO Amoruso (1)
Girlboss CEO and former
Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso.

Amoruso; Business Insider

  • Girlboss
    wasn’t the first company to call Sophia
    its CEO — she
    assumed the position four months after leaving her first
    company, Nasty Gal. 
  • As an entrepreneur,
    Amoruso says it’s her job to earn and re-earn the “CEO” title
    on a daily basis. 

  • On day one
    , she stepped into the role as the face of
    Girlboss in front of 500 people at a rally — “it got the
    business off to a very loud, running start,” she told Business

When you’re an entrepreneur,
“CEO” is a funny title.

That title may matter to some,
but the fact is, on day one you’re a CEO of zero people. And as
the company grows, it’s your job to earn and re-earn that title
on a daily basis.

It’s dangerous to be
grandfathered in as the most senior person at the company when,
in most cases, you haven’t had the experience to understand what
that job really entails.

My first day as CEO at


came in March of 2017, three years after


and four months after leaving my first
company, Nasty Gal, which I had founded 11 years prior. Stepping
into the role took place in front of 500 women at the very first
Girlboss Rally — a conference for thought leaders and business
owners — in Los Angeles.

I had been tirelessly planning
the event for months, but this marked my first official day.
Getting up on that stage was extremely scary, especially after
the very public setbacks I’d encountered over the previous two
years. For someone like me, being a CEO is often very
public-facing. That’s a job function that I’m mostly avoiding at
present, but on day one, being the face of Girlboss was important
for me and for the brand. It was exhilarating, terrifying, and it
got the business off to a very loud, running start.

Sophia Amoruso CEO Girlboss rally 2017
Founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso speaks onstage at the inaugural
Girlboss Rally in 2017.

Killilea/Getty Images for Girlboss

After the Girlboss Rally, I got
to work building the business. All the executive coaching in the
world can’t prepare you for the back-hand slap that
entrepreneurship truly is, but luckily, I have a much better
understanding of what a CEO should do today than I did in my 20s,
when I took on the role for the first time. 

So I immediately started talking
to investors, potential hires, and potential advisors. I reached
out to everyone I knew for advice — too much advice. I even
almost launched a subscription box called GirlBox! Woof.

I then took all of that good,
bad, relevant, and irrelevant advice from people who’d never done
what I’m doing and … threw most of it out. I kept some, mushed it
around in my hands like play-doh, and made it my own.

Then I set to hiring. My first
executive hire was Alison Wyatt, our President and CRO, who has
been my strategic partner since day one. She was the CRO at Goop,
and prior to that had had a long run at Refinery29. She’s
entrepreneurial, a hustler, and really, really good at
evangelizing Girlboss. Then came Neha Gandhi, our brilliant COO
and editor-in-chief, who pretty much runs the show with me here
in Los Angeles.

I’m now focused on long-term
strategy, being here in L.A. with the team — which has grown — as
much as possible, and steering the ship to execute on vision.
Building culture is incredibly important to me, and a big task.
The biggest difference between what I’m doing at Girlboss and
what I did at Nasty Gal is that I lead with intention, and have
done so since day one.

When you have intention — or
clarity or focus, whatever you want to call it — you can scale
beautifully. Without it, your team, and ultimately your brand, is
moving in different directions with fuzzy goals and no clear

Being a CEO is a huge job, and
beginnings set the stage for everything that comes next. Creating
a vision, executing goals with your team and celebrating wins —
and that’s the best job in the world, regardless of title.

Sophia Amoruso is the Founder
and CEO of Girlboss, a
digital-native brand and community redefining success for
millennial women. Her 2014 New York Times Bestseller “#


which chronicled her early life as well as her experience as the
founder of fashion empire Nasty Gal, was adapted into a scripted
TV series that premiered on Netflix in 2017. Sophia is also the
author of “Nasty

and the “Girlboss


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