The Trendy Sparrow: Boss Babe Book Club May Discussion: By Invitation Only

Friday, May 29, 2015

Boss Babe Book Club May Discussion: By Invitation Only

Well, everyone, it's that time! Today we are discussing May's Boss Babe Book Club selections. Now...originally we were supposed to discuss BOTH The Glitter Plan & By Invitation Only... but I only ever saw people reading By Invitation Only so I decided to only post that. If you read The Glitter Plan let me know, and we can chat about it!

As a quick reminder, I just want to basically lay out how this works...
I am going write up my thoughts on the book here in the blog portion of the post. I want you all to then write out your thoughts in the comments section! Please feel free to comment on the book, things I mentioned in my own discussion (agreements/disagreements/general comments), as well as the comments of your fellow book club members. I want this to be an open discussion (with people commenting on other comments, etc), and most of all I want it to be a boss babe bonding experience! Use this book club to not only build yourself up, but to build your peers up! Let's use this to openly hear what others have to say, learn something, grow, and become total boss babes! :)

Please remember to keep it civil. No meanies. 
You can disagree, of course, but please do it with respect and kindness.

 Onwards to the discussion...
Photo by: IstriaDesign

I loved "By Invitation Only". This is actually my second time reading it. I read it on my own before starting the book club, and wanted to reread it as a quick refresher. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. It found the idea of By Invitation Only particularly interesting because it sells the story of the success of one company through the eyes of two completely different women who decided to go into this adventure together. I found their contrasting styles of work, leadership, and writing to be helpful in understanding the overall whole of Gilt. 

Part of why I was so personally drawn to this book is that Gilt is an online company. As someone who sells primarily online, I identified with a lot of their struggles. Primarily the need to have excellently photographed and merchandised products. They explained the need to create products so compelling that people are willing to buy something that they've only seen through a computer screen - something that is especially hard to convince people to do when it comes to clothes. The women discussed the need to have people around who understand computers and online platforms...that it's more than having an idea, it's about execution. 

I also really appreciated the style of the book. I like how the chapters were set up so that they 1) told the story, 2) made sure both perspectives were covered, and then 3) added a checklist/gave specific advice in the end. I like that that advice they gave was not only well structured and practical, but that it was open ended enough to apply to fields beyond online fashion sales. 
Overall, I really enjoyed the book! :) 

Things I learned from the book:

1) It's okay to work with your best friend.
2) If you do...make sure they compliment your style and that you can make it work.
3) Listen to your gut...sometimes it's better than those around you who you pay to think up ideas for you. I'm looking at you Gilt for men...
4) Know when to ask for help and take it. This is big for me. I'm the kind of person who wants to do everything myself, but I love that Alexis and Alex knew when to let others fill the gaps they couldn't handle themselves.
5) Always think about what's missing in the market. Gilt was so successful because it filled a need. Always think about what is missing from your niche, and how you can fill that need.
6) Take risks, but make them calculated risks. 

So...those are my thoughts on the book! Now let's hear your's!
 Comment them below and let's have a chat! :) 

Don't forget to snag June's book, Leave Your Mark! We will be discussing Leave Your Mark on June 30th. Also, don't forget to tag pictures of you participating in the boss babe book club on Instagram using the hashtag #bossbabebookclub and #readlikeaboss! 
We will be giving away a FREE book (July's Selection) to a randomly selected member from the pool of photos of June's book using the above hashtags.

Also.... how are these book selections going? Do you like them? Do you have any suggestions?

Check out my Etsy Store, The Trendy Sparrow, for wedding paper goods and chic art prints & mugs.

Thanks for reading, dolls! Come back for more!


  1. I have to admit I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book at first. I initially found Alex and Alexis a little bit hard to relate to. I found first part of the book had a lot of name dropping and references to an upper class lifestyle that seemed out of reach and maybe out of touch with a lot of readers. I will say though that even though it's apparent that Alex and Alexis were afforded a lot of opportunities because of their social standing, it's undeniable that these girls worked their butts off to get to where they are and were able to create such a unique, successful business. I loved the checklist summaries. I feel like one of the takeaways for me from this book was not only about business, but about how to work with people in general. Alex and Alexis talk a lot about the qualities they admire in each other and how their different approaches and ways of thinking complement each other rather than serving as competition for each other. Great pick, Lindzi!

  2. I agree with Amanda, it was a bit hard to relate to Alex and Alexis, but this definitely was an inspirational read and I did enjoy the book as a whole.

    There are two things that made me think in this book. I am such a control freak that I would find it extremely hard to run a business side by side with a friend lol... and I also rarely ask for help for the same reason. So, these girls definitely gave me something to think about.

    Thank you for another great pick, Lindzi!

  3. The last thing you want to do is read just because everyone else around you is reading. A good reader is a person who reads for their own pleasures and therefore even the choice of a book should be guided by your personal preference. Never read to impress anyone because then you will only be wasting your time.zoo story for kids

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