Based on popular vote (or my assumption from overhearing dozens of attendees), Sophia Amoruso officially takes the cake for most genuinely personable, humble, and real keynote speaker at Inbound 2015. Seen as a cool older sister to aspiring female entrepreneurs around the world, NastyGal’s Founder and CEO exudes a refreshing balance of confidence and humility. Taking time to thoughtfully answer audience questions – and never missing an opportunity to laugh at herself – the self-made #GIRLBOSS struck the audience in Boston as a high-powered business mentor who you’d more likely find at a local dive than a swanky waitlisted venue. Check out some of her best quotes from today and bask in the glow of her realness.

Sophia Amoruso #GIRLBOSS | Coule Company

Sophia Amoruso on the wealth of free resources modern entrepreneurs can access:

“It’s amazing what you can do with the tools almost everybody has.”

On the long journey to success:

“I didn’t just wake up and end up where I am. You have to walk before you run. You have to put the hours in.”

On keeping a schedule:

“I want to do more but my calendar will yell at me.”

On self-care:

“How many of you work from home? Your hygiene can go down really fast.”

On starting out with zero credit line, and growing her NastyGal to over $100 million without debt:

“I didn’t go to school and study business. What I knew is you’re supposed to use money to make more money.”

On blissful ignorance:

“Being naive has its advantages. If I knew what I was getting into, I wouldn’t have done it.”

On learning through experience:

“The learning curve wasn’t a curve for me – it was a straight line.”

Sophia Amoruso #GIRLBOSS | Coule Company

On being a leader to many:

“It takes a lifetime of chops to be a great leader. I’m still learning.”

On whether NastyGal’s branding is based on her tastes:

“The brand sits outside of any one person.”

On content strategy and social media:

“I want there to be value for the person on the other end.”

On her inspiration for writing her best-selling book:

“There’s no reason other girls can’t do what I did. I wanted #GIRLBOSS to be the gateway drug for girls not pilfering the business section.”

On being a wallflower:

“The internet is for introverts; it gives us time to process new relationships. You can be an introvert and be loud on the internet.”

On putting yourself out there:

“You don’t get what you don’t ask for.”

On perseverance:

“Be constructively annoying. If you’re really really persistent, great things will happen.”

Sophia Amoruso #GIRLBOSS | Coule Company

On how she likes to spend her business day:

“I don’t want to be in meetings all day. I want to create things.”

On her biggest weakness:

“If there’s something I don’t want to do, I can’t put a smile on my face. And that’s a big part of adulthood.”

On motivation:

“When I do things because I want to do them, and not because I have to, I can accomplish a lot.”

On not wanting to be anyone’s idol:

“I don’t think you should follow me. Follow me on Instagram or Twitter. Not as a role model. The energy you’ll expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. Just be your own idol.”

On resisting the temptation to keep the vintage pieces she purchased to sell (referencing Biggie’s Ten Crack Commandments):

“Don’t get high on your own supply.”

Sophia Amoruso #GIRLBOSS | Coule Company

Other takeaways from Sophia Amoruso’s keynote speech:

  • Before she created her company, Sophia Amoruso was so broke she often went dumpster-diving.
  • Sophia started NastyGal on eBay with only a camera, internet access, and a passion for vintage clothing.
  • NastyGal’s success was derived from personalizing every interaction from day one. She spent a lot of time friending customers on Myspace to profile her audience and promote her eBay store.
  • All of her experience was from on-the-job learning, not formal training or education.
  • She learned consistent self-care was important even when working at home, especially with the temptation of being able to wear her “sad bunny” bathrobe all day every day.
  • As an introvert working from home, Sophia Amoruso used the power of the internet to become visible and pursue working with her heroes and business mentors.
  • Some of her proudest moments include promoting employees and watching employees leave her company to do something better, knowing that she was part of their upward trajectory.
  • She focuses on great content and doesn’t believe in social experts, because social media changes rapidly. To ensure consistent branding, she opts to choose people already engrained in the company’s ethos and operations, then grow them into social roles.
  • When hiring, Sophia Amoruso focuses on getting to know “the human within” the person she’s interviewing.
  • One of her poodles is named after Donna Summer.
  • She wrote #GIRLBOSS to engage more women in creating a vision that makes them excited to get up in the morning.
  • Customer feedback was so important to NastyGal’s growth that it prompted the online retail store to create a brick-and-mortar space.
  • She hosts a #GIRLBOSS radio station on iTunes.
  • Twice a year, the #GIRLBOSS Foundation grants $15,000 to female business owners pursuing creative endeavors. Inspired entrepreneurs can apply for a grant here.



Learn more from Sophia Amoruso by reading one of her best-selling books:

  • Nasty Galaxy

Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite quote was and why it stood out to you!

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