Leadership

Girlboss founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso wants you to learn this crucial lesson from her new book

Sophia Amoruso at the inaugural Girlboss Rally in March 2017.
Chris Swoszowski | Courtesy of Girlboss
Sophia Amoruso at the inaugural Girlboss Rally in March 2017.

Over three years after publishing her best-selling memoir "#Girlboss," multimillionaire entrepreneur and Girlboss Media CEO Sophia Amoruso today released her third book titled, "The Girlboss Workbook: An Interactive Journal for Winning at Life."

Following a few years of "some very public stumbles" combined with "hard-won wins," Amoruso tells CNBC Make It her new book is based completely on personal experience and is the self-help resource she wishes she had growing up.

Inside the 176-page workbook, you'll find roadmaps for plotting your dream career, tips for writing cover letters and thank you emails, budgeting tools and money advice, self-care and relationship tips and a guide to political activism, among other fill-in-the-blank activity pages.

One of the biggest lessons Amoruso says she wants readers to take away from the new book: "No one is going to do the hard work in your life for you," she says, having learned from experience, "but look in the mirror and be honest about your friendships and relationships and don't settle for any less than you are worth."

In case you don't know what the difference between a "Girl Boss" and a regular boss is, Amoruso defined it back in 2014 for Elle as such: "A Girl Boss is someone who has big dreams and is willing to work hard for them," adding that "keeping personal responsibility for your future, being comfortable taking risks and understanding that failure is the byproduct of your own invention."

Through the "Girlboss Workbook," which doubles as an adult coloring book of sorts, Amoruso says she wants to help provide some structure on how women should approach getting jobs, starting businesses and building brands while still being funny and irreverent.

"Girlboss Workbook" features a satirically defaced version of her first book's millennial-pink cover, a nod to what Amoruso hopes readers will do with it: "Whatever you do, take this book, and your path, into your own hands. No need to handle it with care and no need to live a typical, cookie-cutter life," she writes on the back cover.

Amoruso is most famous for starting vintage designer clothing company Nasty Gal, which she grew from a one-woman eBay operation as a 22-year-old in 2006 to a company with a cult following, which earned over $300 million in revenue in 2015 alone, according to Forbes estimates.

But the Nasty Gal empire fell following financial struggles as well as legal issues and layoffs. In 2015, Amoruso stepped down as its CEO, the company then filed for bankruptcy in late 2016 and was acquired this year by fast-fashion company Boohoo for $20 million, a mere fraction of Nasty Gal's valuation just two years prior.

Amoruso also came into the spotlight in April this year, when the Netflix original series "Girlboss" — inspired by her memoir and executive produced by her — received widespread criticism and got canceled after one season. At the time, she said she was proud of the work Netflix did, but she was looking forward to controlling her narrative from then on out.

"The last decade of my life has been inheriting choices that I made without knowing what I was building or how to build a culture. There were just so many things, I was 22 years old and I ended up with this runaway train that was Nasty Gal," Amoruso says.

Amoruso no longer has ties to Nasty Gal, Forbes reports, and even teases her misfortune in a section called "How to keep from going bankrupt!" in her new book. But she has moved on to transforming her "#girlboss" slogan into launching her own company Girlboss Media this August. She says it's the first business she actually started with intention.

"So much of the culture at Nasty Gal after all was unintentional because it really just started as a girl in a room with some clothes," she says. She adds that "when you scale something started without intention and then scales as big as Nasty Gal did, it gets really hairy."

Amoruso describes her new business Girlboss Media as a content community, consisting of social media, Girlboss.com, the Girlboss Radio podcast, the Girlboss Foundation, conference-like Girlboss Rallies and now the workbook, all of which are "centered on redefining success" for women "through shared stories and learning from one another's experiences."

Girlboss Founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso and Instagram Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Systrom speak onstage at the inaugural Girlboss Rally on March 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Vivien Killilea | Getty Images
Girlboss Founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso and Instagram Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Systrom speak onstage at the inaugural Girlboss Rally on March 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

"The construct of what success looks like was built by and for white guys in suits and it's an exciting time for us to rethink what success looks like for ourselves," she adds.

Amoruso says starting Girlboss Media was the first time in her life where she felt her opportunity in business and her purpose have been aligned, "and it's a really exciting thing, waking up every day to do that."

"It's exhilarating to start a company on purpose, from day one," she adds.

While she encourages "Girlboss Workbook" users to plot out a five-year plan and reminds them "the best things take time," Amoruso says her five-year plan for Girlboss Media involves becoming the next Oprah Winfrey for millennials and future generations.

"Really the top of the pyramid for us is being like Oprah," Amoruso says.

"We're just stepping into a time where we're becoming parents, our lives are getting so much more complex than the conversation five years ago about millennials being entitled," she says. "We're growing up and I want Girlboss to be better than anyone else at speaking about things like hardship, success and spirituality in a way that has a lot of heart, for a generation who doesn't really have that. It's a new era."

In August, Amoruso raised $1.2 million in seed funding for her new company thanks mainly to Facebook alumni fund Slow Ventures and other investors. As the "Girlboss Workbook" hits the shelves today, Amoruso says she is also considering the topics of her next book.

"I've told my story a million times and I'll write a book about this chapter, this last year of my life: bankruptcy, divorce, a Netflix series, a new company, new love, like oh my god," Amoruso says, "That's going to take a little time to process."

"But in the meantime, the biggest thing we can do is inspire women to take action in their own lives and in their own communities — personally, politically, professionally and spiritually and [the "Girlboss Workbook"] is just a push in that direction," she says. "Plus it's fun, beautiful and something that I think the girl who loved reading 'Girlboss' will love and be able to author her own journey with."

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook.

Don't miss:
You should live in these 10 US cities if you want to be happier
7 steps you can take to be happier with your career