Sophia Amoruso is something of sales powerhouse. An entrepreneur, and best-selling author of the book #Girlboss, her Los Angeles-based e-commerce retailer, Nasty Gal, has achieved over 10,000 percent growth since its founding in 2006. (It was also runner up for Inc.'s Company of the Year award in 2014.)
At last count, Nasty Gal was seeing upwards of $100 million in revenue -- though sales are reportedly beginning to slow.
In January, Amoruso announced that she would hand over the reins of chief executive to Sheree Waterson, Nasty Gal's former chief product officer. Now, she spends most of her time pursuing many other creative side projects.
With all of that experience under her belt, Amoruso advises other women in business that it's important to keep your broader goals in sight, and to count the blessings as they come. "[Don't] become addicted to your own trajectory," she said on Thursday during the first episode of her new podcast, #Girlboss radio. Each week, Amoruso interviews a prominent woman in business or culture, picking her brain on everything from leadership to life lessons and love.
Her first guest was the Hollywood actress Charlize Theron, who is also a UN messenger, and the founder of a production company called Denver & Delilah.
Theron has ascended to fame and fortune gracefully. Growing up in South Africa, the actress moved to Europe at 16 to pursue modeling (though she says that her first passion was always ballet). After a brief stint in New York City, Theron then moved to Los Angeles to develop a more serious path for her career. Since then, she's starred in critically acclaimed movies, like Monster, which won her an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2004.
On the first episode of the podcast, Theron opened up about some not-too-obvious stumbling blocks on her path to success -- including being told she would never be able to dance again.
"I had to really take a deep look into what it was about that that I loved so much, and I came to realize that it was escapism," Theron admits. She knew little about acting, but guessed that it would be her second best bet.
Here are 4 lessons for women entrepreneurs from the inaugural #Girlboss episode:
1. Embrace naivety
"I had no idea how people became actors," said Theron. "I literally thought that Tom Hanks was just some guy who worked at a coffee shop, and every once in a while he got to make a movie."
Still, the actress trumpets that being naive is often a professional advantage, in that it allows you to take important risks that you wouldn't otherwise. "If I really knew what Hollywood was about, and how hard it was to become an actor, I would have never come out," she added.
Amoruso concurred. "If somebody had told me what building Nasty Gal would be like, I would have been like, I'm going to keep working at the photo lab," she laughed.
The takeaway? Sometimes ignorance is just the push you need to build something new. Don't be afraid to go with your gut.
"Life is like a rabbit hole," Amoruso added. "Yes, sometimes things happen serendipitously, but it's because you're digging."
2. Don't sweat the small stuff
Setbacks are not the end of the world, or of your company.
"When we're young, we're just filled with piss and vinegar," Theron said. "Now being wiser and older, I look back and I think of all the times in my early twenties where I was sweating the small stuff."
She warns that cutting people off is a dangerous thing-- especially for women starting out in their careers. You never know which connections might end up helping you later down the line, she says.
Her sage advice? "Just chill. Don't let people affect you in that way."
3. Keep it all in perspective
Ultimately, Amoruso and Theron agreed you should always keep everything (your failures, and your successes) in perspective. In other words, a business means very little if you're building it for the wrong reasons.
"It's a good thing to stop and look at the rest of the world," said Theron. "Exploring and traveling, and seeing how other people live and eat -- seeing how other people don't eat."
If you're on the path to building a #Girlboss-themed empire, take a moment to reflect on how that affects others, and why you're in business in the first place.