Sophia Amoruso Sketchnote from Tools of Titans

Sophia has humble beginnings. She was a thrift shopper back in the early 2000s and flipped them online on eBay.

She grabbed a copy of eBay for Dummies and got to work. The two most defining factors that led to the success were the name of the item and the image. So copywriting and knowing how to take a good photo.

Comically, she started commenting on the feedback of her purchasers that she was starting nastygal.com, which eBay frowned upon. You don’t want people in your community sending traffic away from your marketplace. So she was banned.

This leads us to the first point from Sophia Amoruso: accountability.

I’m paraphrasing here, but she mentioned that she enjoys making commitments to things that seem unrealistic. She flips this into something to the tune of “well, now I better go ahead and do it.” It’s a useful self-accountability device that I think is understated.

I’ve done this with a project called Surfing Scratcher. Making commitments to fan comments. It feels uncomfortable and somewhat shameful to not follow-through. It’s a vote of failure. In essence, all you are doing is making it more painful for yourself to not follow-through because you don’t want the shame that’s attached to it. It’s one approach and not the only approach.

What’s The Precursor To A Successful Day?

Let’s link the S of Sophia to the S of success.

She mentions that what usually happens at the beginning of a day is some form of exercise. This rings true for me too. When I have worked and got my body moving, I seem to have greater motion throughout the day.

Also, when I place my phone at the other end of the house and don’t touch it all morning, I am way more focussed. I get through what I say I’ll get through.

Your Heroes Started From The Same Spot

Sophia cautions on placing role models and heroes on a pedestal. She claims that you can just about do anything that they can do.

Sure it can seem overwhelming to view the gap between where you currently are and where they are, but the problem is in the comparison.

I’ve heard many motivational speakers suggest to compare yourself to the person you were yesterday and be better than that person. This echoes the 1% incremental improvements that are in alignment with the identity you wish to embody.

If you have a role model, you can use their image to base your action on the identity you wish to embody. In other words, cherry pick what you like and start taking those small steps in that direction.

Why Compliments Are Unhelpful

On the podcast, Sophia makes mention to what she would put on a billboard. “Nothing and have them placed everywhere” was her response until Tim pressed upon a premade note.

The pre-recorded point was telling girls to not smile.

Some context: when she was younger, people were always suggesting that she smile more. This irked Sophia and I can relate. This type of feedback inflates an ego and builds an identity on foundations that rely on external stimulus. In other words, for me to be me, I need other people to validate this.

Now as we go through life, we interact with others and external feedback is part of that process. You have a business? A sale is feedback and that’s external feedback that you’re providing value.

The issue is when we attach to that external projection. Because things change. Our smile can change. It can become deformed. When it does, you will crash emotionally and need to pick up the pieces. Now this could be a wonderful introspective experience for you and a potential growth point. But you don’t always need to hit bottom to grow.

Build your identity on the habits and values that matter to you. Continue to show up for that, and you’ll be pleased with that feedback when it comes your way.

The Little Baby Step Of Action

This is the second or third time the Richest Man In Babylon has been recommended so I’m going to pull the trigger on the eBook version.

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