*”On Top” by Anna Nooshin is written in Dutch, but this review is written in English*
Anna Nooshin might not ring a bell, but NSMBL surely must. In 2011, Anna started NSMBL, what is now one of the most popular online magazines in The Netherlands. From the latest Kardashian developments and videos of cute pandas to new fashion trends and celebrity profiles: NSMBL keeps its readers up-to-date.
But who is the mastermind behind this successful business? It is Anna Nooshin, author of “On Top”, a handbook for online success.
In the final chapter of her book, Anna asks the reader a few questions and for this review, I decided to answer them:
Did you enjoy reading this book?
The answer is very simple: yes. Anna has a very clear writing style, which makes it very easy to read. “On Top” is an ideal book to just curl up with, while drinking a cup of tea and making mental notes for when you start your own business. The book is not really a handbook, though, because the focus lies on Anna’s personal story. It is about how she grew up in refugee centers in The Netherlands after her family fled from Iran and never quite fit in. As Anna grew up, she developed a certain hunger. A hunger for success, as she calls it. And this hunger, this ambition, got Anna to The Top – or at least the top of the Dutch blogging business.
Did you recognize yourself in this book?
Personally speaking, I could recognize myself in Anna and her stories. She is ambitious and knows that you have to work hard for what you want. While I was reading “On Top”, I could not help but think “God, I want this too”. I want to travel the world for my job, write about what I see and share what I love. I really enjoyed recognizing these dreams in Anna’s story and especially the message that she wants to deliver: anything is possible, just go for it.
Have I touched you as a reader, in any way?
I would not say “On Top” touched me per se, but it did entertain and inspire me. Inspired me to believe in my dreams and accept that failure is an essential part of the road to success.
Something that really stuck with me after reading “On Top”, was how Anna describes how she always intended for NSMBL to be successful and commercial. Anna writes that most bloggers are asked whether they had expected their blog to become successful and that most of them answers with “no”. Not Anna. She answers that NSMBL was invented to be a success and that this might be the reason it is.
The look of the book is modern and stylish, which gives it a very professional feel. Anna added many outfits photos, over a large time span, which gives you an interesting look into the development of her fashion photography. As you can see on the photo above, the left page of the book is filled with photos from her early days as a fashion blogger. On the right page, there are photos from her online magazine, NSMBL. This shows that, although her business is very successful now, Anna also had to start somewhere, just like the rest of us.
Apart from the considerable amount of outfit posts Anna has included in her book, “On Top” also features a lot of personal, never-before-published selfies and photographs. This gives the book a very personal touch, as if Anna is telling her story, while sitting right across from you and flipping through her photo albums.
Translation: “Congrats! You are you’re own boss! This way, you won’t be a bitch”
What I really liked about “On Top”, is the way Anna tells her story. She is very honest and open, for example when she writes about how she was bullied in middle school or her job failures in high school. In her book, Anna does not hold back and I really appreciate that. It makes her story more real, somehow.
Despite the book’s tagline, “On Top” is not really a handbook for online success, but more a handbook for inspiration. It is a gentle, beautifully illustrated, push towards starting your own business. For those of you who are interested in fashion, blogging and starting your own business, “On Top” is a must-read.
Did you read “On Top”? What did you think? Is the book a handbook for online success or not? Let me know in the comments!