Business Book Club: Boss Bitch

Nicole Lapin is a badass. The youngest ever anchor at CNN and CNBC and constant finance contributor on other prime time television networks with the what’s what on finance, Lapin is an expert on personal finance. But with the success of her first book, Rich Bitch, a personal finance guide made especially for women, Lapin was ready to take on an even bigger goal: helping women become the boss bitch of their careers.

With absolute hilarity and at times frightening honesty, Lapin drills down a path to success – however you define it – in 12 simple steps. By embracing your inner Boss Bitch, your most confident, kick-ass self, you too can achieve your dreams, regardless of how impossible they may seem.

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What I Liked

By far my favorite part of Boss Bitch was Lapin’s style of writing. She isn’t here to preach to you, to tell you that she is right and there are no other alternatives. She’s here to tell it to you straight, giving you the truth no matter how much it may hurt.

She prides herself on being a “financial expert you don’t need a dictionary to understand,” although a dictionary is included in the end. And this rings true, as Lapin dedicates pages to financial literacy in conversational speak, at times even outright cursing.

Take for instance her definition of a Boss Bitch: “A Boss Bitch is the she-ro of her own story. She is the heroine who doesn’t need saving because she has her own shit handled.” When’s the last time someone described their target audience in those terms?

Another reason why Lapin’s Boss Bitch makes an impact is the way she shares her experiences without writing a memoir of her life. Similarly to Kate White’s I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This or Aliza Licht’s Leave Your Mark, the focus is on the advice or tips. But to make it something the reader can connect to, a healthy dose of personal storytelling is included, showing that Lapin can walk the talk.

Lapin does this well with her ‘Confession of a Boss Bitch’ call outs. Here she shares a personal story relating to the topic at hand. For instance, when talking about networking and how not to look like an idiot, Lapin wrote about the time she met Sara Blakely, CEO of Spandex. She was so excited being able to talk to someone she admired so much, she completely lost the plot of the conversation and ended up embarrassing herself. By sharing this, something that makes Lapin look a bit ridiculous, it conveys an additional layer of honesty in Lapin’s writing, making the writing that much better.

The other great part of Boss Bitch is that Lapin’s advice is good. And more importantly, it’s good in regards to a lot of topics. Boss Bitch covers what seems like everything from being the boss of yourself to starting your own business and becoming your own boss.

One of my favorite sections was about the art of the side hustle. As Lapin explains, “a side hustle (noun) is something you do on the side of your “day job.” Side-hustling (verb) is the act of getting your ass out there to make extra cash and see what else might be in store for your career.” Lapin recommends that before you quit your job and start your own business you try it first as a side hustle, where you’ll find out quickly how committed you actually are. And for those not sure what they could even do as a side hustle, Lapin has resources on her website for help.

The dictionary at the end of Boss Bitch is also fantastic. Almost every word that wouldn’t intuitively be known is included, covering topics such as accounting, finance, tax information, and general slang terms. Want to know what Schedule C is? A unicorn? Depreciation? The difference between an eagle and a duck, or a bull and a bear? This dictionary has got you covered. Equally cool is that on Lapin’s personal website if you so much as hover your cursor over these words a definition instantly pops up.

What I Disliked

While I would have to say I enjoyed Boss Bitch, as always there were some things I didn’t love. First and foremost would have to be Lapin’s ‘Be the Boss of You’ section, which to me felt like a drawn out introduction. The section was very short – only two tips, which combined were only 22 pages, fewer than most other individual tips.

I can definitely appreciate an introduction, and I loved the short bio on Lapin that Tip One provided. However, it felt almost like Lapin thought was necessary, the idea of ‘being the boss of you,’ rather than something she wanted to elaborate on. Other tips are well thought out, give tons of advice, and make an impact. The beginning tips? Not as much, and made Boss Bitch something that took warming up to.

Something else that lessened my love for Boss Bitch was how a large chunk of the book didn’t really apply to me. While on one hand, it’s great how the book has something for everyone, at the same time this resulted in entire chapters not best suited for me.

Take the entrepreneurship section. I don’t want to be an entrepreneur at this point in my life, so these sections didn’t apply to me. Unfortunately, they totaled about 150 pages, a significant chunk of the book. While it is true that Lapin inspired me and made me want to look into entrepreneurship as a potential future option, or at the very least a side hustle, for people who know this isn’t for them, the book loses some of its value. While there is an appeal in catering to a wider audience, sometimes committing to a niche makes the overall content that much better.

Finally, I felt as though the book ended abruptly. Each chapter ends with a ‘bottom line’ section, which shows ‘conventional wisdom’ versus ‘the real deal,’ effectively summarizing the chapter. And while I love how Lapin includes this for each chapter, there is nothing beyond this after the last chapter. It goes straight in the dictionary.

Because there wasn’t anything truly distinguishing the last chapter from other chapters, turning the page and finding that the book was over was jarring. There was even a moment when I was wondering if I had missed something because surely it couldn’t have just ended. With even two to five more pages, Lapin could have wrapped up her book in a much more satisfying way.

The Verdict

I enjoyed Boss Bitch and would definitely recommend it, especially for those interested in entrepreneurship or needing some real talk about getting their careers and finances together.

For More on Nicole Lapin and Boss Bitch

Website: http://nicolelapin.com/

Twitter: @NicoleLapin

Blog: http://nicolelapin.com/essential-conversations/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Boss-Bitch-Simple-12-Step-Charge/dp/0451495861

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