If You Have to Cry, Go Outside

Title: If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You
Author: Kelly Cutrone with Meredith Bryan
Genre: Non-fiction
Publication Date: 2010
Purchase Price: $22.99 (hardback)

I wish I could remember how I came across Kelly Cutrone and her book If You Have to Cry, Go Outside. I think I viewed it originally as a book similar to The Devil Wears Prada, but from the opposite viewpoint.

Cutrone is in the fashion business, which has a reputation for being full of psychos, flakes, and other generally unpleasant people.

Whatever I was expecting from this book, I definitely received much more.

More than I expected

Cutrone starts off her book with the story of her decision to move to New York. After a short vacation there with her sister in the mid 1980s, Cutrone realizes that New York is where she NEEDS to be. It’s an electrically alive city, very different from her hometown of Syracuse.

But visiting the Big Apple and making a living there are two totally separate things. After quitting her crappy job and losing her apartment, Cutrone spends several months couch surfing with friends before discovering that she has to have some way to make a living.

If You Have to Cry is a book about Cutrone’s life and spiritual discoveries, and contains a surprising amount of information on how the reader can develop a network of mentors and create their personal brand:

“Personal branding is about figuring out who you are and what turns you on and then monetizing on it.”

Quick thoughts

The perfect mix between self-help and snark, If You Have to Cry was the perfect read for me.

I’d probably never want a career in the fashion or PR industries, but I found Cutrone’s thoughts and advice helpful nonetheless.

I admire a woman who has a penthouse in New York, runs her own company, and raises her daughter on her own. I also appreciate Cutrone’s take no prisoners, zero bullshit tolerance policies when it comes to friends, husbands, clients, and employees.

Whether you’re interested in spirituality, learning about the fashion industry, or wanting to get some good advice about work and life, If You Have to Cry could be the perfect match for you. Check it out!

Kick-ass Quotes:

“Start by identifying people in your community you look up to and then, graciously and with their blessing, use their hard work and experience to your advantage. Pick their brains.” (p. 24)

“A voice telling you that you suck, that you’re not important, that you’re heading toward impending doom of some kind or another, is probably not the voice of your soul, or the Divine, or the Goddess.” (p. 90)

“Women have been taught that, in order to get ahead, we have to be secretive and plotting and manipulative, because a straightforward route to the top hasn’t always existed for us, and in many industries it still doesn’t. But I don’t believe in playing into these stereotypes. We don’t have to stab each other in the back, we don’t have to take things personally and break down when we’re criticized, and we don’t have to advance at each other’s expense.” (p. 158)

Have you ever been surprised by a book that turned out to be more than meets the eye?

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