Girl Code is a motivational kick in the pants for any woman out there who is currently or is planning on running a business. The book concisely outlines most of the usual points that come up when discussing successful people in general. In other words, it’s all been said before. However, one of her points in the book is that just because other girls are already doing it doesn’t mean you can’t too. So even though this content has been touched upon so many times that it has become droll, Cara brings her own personality to the topic.
There is a term I use with my clients that I call limitless luxe. When you are in a space of limitless luxe, we understand that our desires should be boundless, and they can happen for us–no matter how big we perceive those desires to be. We have to undo our programmed thinking that we cannot have what we want in life, or that we should feel guilty, shameful, or selfish for wanting everything. Or that because someone else has it, there is none left for us. There is absolutely no shame in having desires, and the sooner you own them, the sooner they will flow to you.
I’m not really one to write negative book reviews, because I know how much work goes into the production of a book, but I found this book pretty difficult to get through. It had many golden passages, for example:
Many of my clients come to me with what they think is a “business issue”, but in reality it’s a “life issue” that we need to work on before we can even touch their business. If you think your unresolved issues with your ex or your struggles with your body image aren’t affecting your success, then you are wrong. Life and business are undeniably intertwined. When our lives are a mess, our businesses mirror that. And on the flipside, when we’re facing our life issues head-on and working to be the best version of ourselves, our businesses thrive.
But in between these spot-on motivational truths was a lot of empty words. Fluff. Space fillers. It felt like reading a blog post, but much much longer, and my thought throughout was, “was it necessary to turn this into a book length dissertation?” Perhaps it was just because I didn’t really click with her demographic. After all, I’m not necessarily a woman looking to go into independent business. But even if I was, I would say this book didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.
Yes, Cara speaks a lot about her successes and how far she has come in growing her own business, but she doesn’t really talk about the downsides of it all. People like rooting for an underdog, a person who has built something up from nothing and beat all the odds. Girl Code just seems like a book about a blogger turned life coach who had no problems reaching her success. She had the money, resources, and network to make the switch to a professional businesswoman without a hitch.
In fact, at certain points during the book, she discusses “problems” she encountered during her progress, but all of them seem a little fabricated. They seem a little fake. She tells a story about how she is driven in the wrong direction by a lyft driver when she was meant to be live on tv, but calmly handles the situation by not getting angry and instead reassuring the man that it’s fine and she won’t be late. Earlier in the same story, she says she leaves about twenty to thirty minutes earlier to allow for traffic. At the end of her anecdote, she arrives at the studio an hour later, but still manages to make it just in time to go on air. The whole thing just seemed a little contrived, and not realistic. Because if I were in her position, I would totally be overcome by panic. I would be sweating. I would be making all the phone calls and snipping at the man who made the mistake. I’m sorry, but that’s what most of us would do. That’s realistic. Who would calmly sit there and say “this is fine”. Negative emotions are ok to feel, and I felt like this anecdotal example paints her to have acted in a saintly way when really she was probably just as flustered and panicked as anyone else would have been.
It also seemed a lot to me like she was bragging about all she had accomplished, or…maybe not bragging, but…defending? It felt like she was trying to prove something. “Look at all the books I wrote. Look at all the stuff I’m doing. Look, haters, look at my success. Witness me!” Did she really go into business because she had a passion for it? Or did she do it just for the money or because it seemed like the easiest path? Sure, I can sit up on a podium and tell woman that all they need to be successful is to believe and think positively. I’m not saying all life coaches are just nonsense. I’m saying that her stuff just seemed a little superficial.
I feel like that is just ragging on her, but it honestly didn’t sit well with me as a reader. She talks about needing to be ruthless as a businesswoman, but then talks only about she is always calm, unquestioning, and confident in her work. Is that realistic? No, everyone has bad days. It’s ok to be panicked sometimes, or disappointed when something doesn’t work out the way you want. Girl Code just seemed to be filled with the positives and not many negatives. That, along with the focus on high end luxury fashion just didn’t jive with me and my lifestyle. If you are the kind of woman who lives for fashion designers, anything stereotypically female like sparkles, the color pink, and champagne, then this book is for you. I’m not so much into that superficial stuff. I’m much more into the spiritual self growth, so naturally this book just wasn’t a good fit for me.
The interviews incorporated into this book also seemed very surface level. The answers were generic and lacked depth. I appreciate the idea she was trying to go for, but it seemed lacking in actual content. It’s like the women interviewed said what they thought they should say, not what they actually felt.
I actually skipped the last two chapters of this book, and I can assure you, I probably didn’t miss much.
However, moving on from that, I did like the layout of the book. It was very interactive, which I LOVED. She encourages the reader to highlight, write in, and dog-ear the book, to make it into a sort of compendium for success. There are end of chapter reviews too. I did not write in my book, or highlight it, because I don’t really do that to my books, but I did like that the option was there, and I did fill all the spaces out in my head and think about the reflective questions.
Should you read it?
Eh, you could probably pass on this book and your life would be just fine. Honestly, I’m a little miffed I actually paid full price for it. I mentioned it sounded like a blog post. I can forgive that sort of shallowness from a blog post, because it’s free content that I can read and process and move on from without much effort, but a book that a person pays money for should have a little more depth of content to it than this. I wanted action plans, real advice, step by step processes, or red flags to watch out for when going into business.