Book Review: How to be a Bawse – Lilly Singh

I have been familiar with Lilly Singh (aka iisuperwomanii) since her early YouTube days: pre-millions of YouTube subscribers, pe-world tour and pre-book deal. Although, I’ve never claimed to be one of Lilly’s superfans or “unicorns,” her journey has always been interesting to me. How did this quirky girl from a suburb outside of Toronto manage to create an international empire and brand from YouTube?

In 2016, Forbes magazine reported she earned over US$10 million, good enough for third place on their top YouTuber earners’ list for the year. She has won Teen Choice and People’s Choice Awards and her success has landed her high-profile guests for her videos, including Michelle Obama, The Rock, Bill Gates and Will Smith

How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life is essentially a guide to owning and conquering what you want in life.

Bawse (noun): a person who exudes confidence, hustles relentlessly, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because he or she has fought through it all and made it out the other side

In How to be a Bawse, Lilly navigates how to be a “bawse” in your career, private life  and personal development. The book is very much of a “if you can dream, you can do it” and doesn’t allow for much leeway for things out of your control.

Like most self-help books, there is a level of expert advice for the obvious such as taking ownership of your mistakes, setting goals and rewarding yourself. However, what is especially refreshing is the many anecdotes that Lilly shares that adds a level of authenticity and credibility to her story.

Lilly’s success is 1000% connected to her hustle, drive and her embracing hard work.

Some of my favourite “bawse” quotes:

When you need to get your hustle on, be driven by goals, not emotions. Click To Tweet

In other words: Ask yourself, “Does this emotion help me get the task done?” If not, then put it away.


To be a Bawse, you need to get down on one knee, propose to your decisions and commit to them for a… Click To Tweet

In other words: Your decisions deserve 100%. Not 90%, 80%, or 70%. When you go into a decision with only 70%, it shows in your results. Commit!


Talking about something doesn't make it true. And action is only meaningful if it's consistent. Click To Tweet

In other words: A Bawse knows that if you want to be taken seriously, you need to show people who you are, and then keep showing them.


One of the biggest dangers of being easily validated is that validation is a major threat to one's… Click To Tweet

In other words: Nice comments on Instagram, compliments in real life and celebratory dinners can all be great. They mean that people care about you and your success. But do not let these gestures cloud your sense of reality and affect why you do what you do – or worse, let them convince you that you don’t need to do anything else.

Final Thoughts

One thing that I really appreciate about this book is that although it is a feel-good, motivational and inspiring read, there is very little fluff. There are no shortcuts, cute quotes or wishful thoughts. Lilly gives it to you straight. Success isn’t for the weak, passive or uncertain.

You do not have to be a YouTuber or content creator to appreciate and  use the advice given. It is quite universal and an easy read. I would recommend this book as a must-read for the hustler or Bawse in all of us.









5 thoughts

  1. LOL these quotes are so dramatic its like they’re straight out of gossip girl. Love to see Youtubers succeed! Wishing you success on your blog and youtube!

  2. I’ve watched a couple of her videos but I didn’t realise she was THIS successful! My list of summer reads is already sooo long but I like your interpretation of some of the bawse quotes. Will definitely be adding this to my list! Great review

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