REVIEW: How to be a Bawse

Book: How to Be a Bawse

Author: Lilly Singh

Published: 28th March 2017

Let me start by saying that if you haven’t heard of Lilly Singh, I highly recommend a Google search.


How to Be a Bawse is the first book written by Lilly Singh, a powerful woman who runs two YouTube channels, is a comedian, businesswoman, sometimes-rapper and all-out badass. And this book is just as badass as she is.

 The tagline for this book is, “A Guide to Surviving Conquering Life”, which already sets you out for the tone of this thing – one of domination and determination. It has four parts: Master Your Mind, Hustle Harder, Make Heads Turn, and Be A Unicorn. Within these are a total of fifty chapters (this girl did not hold back) full of advice on how to be as productive as you can, as confident as you can, and enjoy yourself as much as you can.

Lilly uses her own experiences to relay the lessons she’s learned in the rollercoaster that has been her career, sharing how everything from simply smiling at people to really making an effort to understand your own motives can all contribute to getting the best out of and for yourself. She does this comedically, genially, and from time to time, necessarily bluntly. The passion she has for what she does is almost tangible with each page turn.

I found myself loving how creatively Lilly’s structured this book, with titles like “Play Nintendo”, “Shake What Your Mama Gave Ya”, and “No Piggybacks”. Each section is colour-coded, there are plenty of pictures, and the top of each chapter has a little stairs logo to remind you of something she says early on:

This book is not a survival guide filled with hopeful thoughts, lucky charms, or fluffy quotes. There will be no secret schemes to a rewarding life found in these pages. That’s because success, happiness, and everything else that feels great in life have no escalators. There are only stairs. This book will be your personal trainer, guiding you up those stairs. Start stretching.

I’ve watched Lilly’s videos for a good while now, and when reading this book, it was easy to imagine her actually saying the words. She’s written exactly as she speaks: to the point, passionately, and determinedly. This book isn’t about boasting that she’s been on The Tonight Show, or telling you that her way is the right way; it’s about motivating you to do things that other people won’t. It’s about letting you know that your way doesn’t have to be the conventional way. It’s about sharing her successes in order to help you reach yours.

I also found myself agreeing with a lot of the things she says. For example, Chapter 3 is called ‘Be Secretive’. She isn’t encouraging you to be dishonest, but rather to not let everyone in on all of your strengths, talents and aims. Share what you must, but keep some of it to yourself, and demonstrate it at strategic times. Be Captain Jack Sparrow.

Image result for captain jack gif opportune moment

Sometimes, Lilly states things and you sit there and marvel at how absolutely obvious it sounds, yet it’s something nobody ever does – and therefore, all the more reason you should. The book has the same sort of effect as her daily vlogs: it seems to just radiate energy and feed you the motivation to elevate yourself. It doesn’t make you feel disparaged at her success and your failures, it makes you feel like success could be yours too.

How to Be a Bawse is not a manual or a blueprint, it isn’t a shortcut from the bottom of the mountain to the top, but it is a helping hand for those moments of doubt or struggle, reminding you that nothing amazing was ever easy.

Katy x

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