The Trendy Sparrow: Boss Babe Book Club Discussion: Girl Code

Monday, September 28, 2015

Boss Babe Book Club Discussion: Girl Code

Hey all you boss babes! It's discussion day! I hope you enjoyed reading Girl Code along with us this month. I have to say it has been one of my favorite Boss Babe Book Club reads. If you are just joining us or didn't have a chance to read this month, please go grab a copy of Girl Code and swing back to this post anytime to include your thoughts on the book!

Let's get started!

"There is NO TIME for bullshit when you're building an empire!" If you couldn't tell, Cara completely gets me. Girl Code was full of not only practical business information, but also included so much motivational language on how to grow your business, support your fellow ladies, and do it all while being incredibly happy and loving your job. Basically how to live by the "Girl Code". And who wouldn't want that?! The book also has many inspiring quotes from other fabulous women, and also includes interviews with a handful of outstanding female entrepreneurs. The interviews are fantastic as they provide a different perspective beyond just Cara's words, and allow you to read about real life girl bosses who are juggling life and kicking butt!

Things I learned from the book:

1) "They don't serve champagne at pity parties" - They just don't. And lord do I love champagne. Cara points out that instead of getting down on yourself and feeling sad, you should be pushing yourself to work harder, be more positive, and surround yourself with other amazing boss ladies!

2) "There is no time for bullshit when you're building an empire" - You don't have time for all the cattiness, politics, and drama when you are building your don't get sucked into it! 

3) "Her success is not your failure" - This is a BIG one for me. We have got to STOP comparing ourselves to others because only we do what we do. We are unique in our own journey. And if someone else is having success...that's amazing! It doesn't mean that you are failing. We have our own journey, handle things at difference paces, and define success in our own way. Be happy for others, and don't get down on yourself just because they are having success! Let it motivate you to be a positive way!

4) Approach negative behavior with positivity - I've already put this into practice and it's amazing. Cara talked about how someone she knew started mimicking her brand...which really upset Cara (I mean...your brand is often your own personality! It's like someone trying to replicate the essence of you!) Rather than attack this girl, she started wishing her luck and supporting her! And you know what? The girl changed her brand back to the old version! I've started approaching violators of my intellectual property with more kindness rather than simply getting upset that they stole my work. When I've done this...the response I get is always kind and it's always a quick removal of my work. 

5) Surround yourself with a network of fellow boss babes - And that's kind of what we are doing here at the Boss Babe Book Club? It's important to support your fellow lady bosses and to help each other grow. When you are around other creative, positive, and driven want to be that way more and more yourself. You support each other. You help keep each other driven and pushing.

Meet Cara! 

Cara is the face behind the blog The Champagne Diet.
She has authored 3 other books (I do plan on reading more):

And she is an incredibly kick ass and supportive lady! I had the opportunity to meet Cara on 2 different occasions this month to celebrate the launch of her book. She reached our to me via Instagram about the Boss Babe Book Club and wanted to know more (talk about supporting fellow girlbosses!) At one of her events, she did a Q&A session to a room full of eager boss babes, and was incredibly helpful, supportive, and just downright kind. If you ever have the chance to go to an event that she is speaking at, I highly recommend it.

Don't forget to tag pictures of you participating in the boss babe book club on Instagram using the hashtag #bossbabebookclub and #readlikeaboss! 

Check out my online store, The Trendy Sparrow, for chic art prints, coffee mugs, and apparel.

Thanks for reading, dolls! Come back for more!


  1. At first, I was worried that "Girl Code" would end up as a book on how to be a better neighbor to my fellow #bossbabe and not offer much substantial advice to me, personally. -- Fortunately, I was wrong.

    I will be honest here, some of Cara's phrasing--especially about female cattiness and politics--kind of threw me out of the book and made me ask, "exactly how many 'Mean Girls' got in Cara's way to leave such an impact?" I wondered if I was just naive or lucky enough to not find myself surrounded by mean-spirited women. But as I processed her words, I realized that I could do more to affirmatively support the women around me, and that I too could ask for more support from them. From complimenting a woman on the street to finally taking up the offer from my friend to help write a business plan, I found that there were many nuanced ways I was not utilizing this amazing network of women I had around me.

    Another thing I really appreciated about "Girl Code" was Cara's insights through interviewing other women. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about these successful entrepreneurs and their journeys. Some of their experiences really spoke to me (especially about "coming out" as an entrepreneur--nailed it!). Overall, I think if more young women read the words of their more successful and established counter-parts, they too would be inspired to venture into the realm of business and self-fulfillment. Also, like you said Lindzi, "her success is not your failure" was a positive spin on feeling jealous over other women. In fact, Cara appropriately points out the difference between healthy professional envy, and jealousy. Using these initial feelings of enviousness allows us to see other successful women as our inspiration, and more importantly, to celebrate their success!

    Disclaimer time: I actually read this book twice. Here is why--the first time through, I casually skimmed over Cara's consistent mention of fear and powerful women. I was hesitant to fully engage with the text because I did not think fear was a blocking force in my own journey. Re-reading the book, however, gave me a bigger appreciation for a broader "fear" that I do believe infiltrates the minds of even the most put-together women. The stigma around having fear is that it seems like an overwhelming, paralyzing emotion. However, Cara points out time and time again, fear is subtle, and it is such an easy block (like writer's block) to fix--once you have identified it.

    Cara (and some of her amazing interviewees) often discuss overcoming obstacles by asking "why am I afraid? did something trigger this? what steps can I take to get over this fear?". Breaking down a roadblock into its component parts is not only helpful, but empowering.

    One of the biggest takeaways from the book, for me, was the chapter on "Accepting All Invitations" This was a huge motivational message for me, as I tend to think best late at night, alone, and usually doing a million-and-one things on my computer/cell phone/notebooks/etc. Accepting more invitations in my life as a mantra is a great way to open myself up to opportunities, events, and new people. So far, talking to others and receiving feedback and encouragement has given me another boost to continue pursuing my entrepreneurial dreams. I now have a little toolbox (compliments of little exercises Cara leaves at the end of each chapter) full of motivational mantras, focused lists, personal insights, and words of wisdom. By the end of reading "Girl Code" I was so jazzed to go out there and do my own thing, I almost forgot my champagne on the counter, and would gladly pass along the book to any other #bossbabe who needs a boost.

    Can't wait for next month's book!

    1. Kathryn,

      I'm so thrilled that you read the book and took away such positive messages from Cara's words! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and impressions of the book. You made some incredibly excellent points!

      You're VERY LUCKY that you haven't had to deal with "Mean Girls". It's not fun at all. For me, I wasn't so thrown off by her mention and language of negative ladies...but then again, I've had my fair share (mostly in the form of intellectual property theft/backlash after I send cease and desist letters). I want to encourage you to keep running with the positive lady crowd you are surrounding yourself with! That's something I wish I had more of!

      I'm so thrilled that you brought up her discussion of fear! Like you...I started to skim this section thinking..."I'm not afraid. I've always 'gone for it' when it comes to my business"...but as you mentioned, fear is subtle. So much so that sometimes we don't even realize that fear is the barrier keeping us from moving forward. I've also started to look at this concept a little more in depth when it comes to my business and my blog; realizing I did have fear, but just didn't know it.

      Accepting all invitations! So wonderful! I completely understand how you feel when it comes to this. I, too, am at my most effective late at night by myself. I'm trying to go to more events (especially blogging and business related events) to open myself up to new opportunities! You never know when you are going to meet someone who could influence your work in a big way! (or even a small way - like just being there for you!)

      I'm so happy that you're jazzed because I'm jazzed! Keep up with amazing work! I know you are going to have so much success building your own empire!

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