From preparing the kind of business you want to run to fine-tuning your image and conflict management style, the inspiring stories and advice offered in the following books will help women entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level (even if it’s just the first). Whether you’re just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey or you’ve been in the game for a while, one thing is for sure… It’s important to never stop learning! If you’re looking for some new books to read that will inspire you and help you boost your biz, these are the ones you need to check out!
Women are a force to be reckoned with; unfortunately, the world does not always make it easy for us to show off our talents. The gender gap that exists in industries such as, engineering, business and even fashion has been something that women throughout history have been attempting to close for years. Thankfully, we are making some noticeable progress.
If you are an avid reader, you may have noticed that it can be a little tough finding books geared toward women in the business. Thanks to the increasing number of superstar female entrepreneurs, the selection of books “by women, for women” have steadily expanded.
Here are some must reads if you are a woman looking for some financial, social or spiritual guidance.
Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Dr. Lois Frankel
If you are already working in your field but are unhappy with where you are and are uncertain about your future, this is the book for you. It’s a great how-to book for breaking barriers, overcoming self-sabotaging behavior, and getting the corner office you deserve. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook because Frankel’s no-nonsense approach is refreshing and a joy to listen to. The chapters are short, so it’s easy to listen to during your commute or on your breaks.
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
This is not necessarily a career book, but it does inspire and encourage the reader to stop being a person who is frightened of risks and to venture out to live a badass life. Though it applies to everyone and anyone, it’s heavily focused on the start-your-own-business aspects of life changing behaviors, making it a great read for budding entrepreneurs. Like Frankel, Sincero’s blunt take on why people fear success (and money) is both funny and spot-on, so if you need a kick in the rear, start with this one.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
It has been a few years since this book has come out and it has been (rightfully so, in many instances) picked apart by people all around the world. Yes, the book offers a pretty optimistic perspective of a world in which those who want help will get help, but there is something to be said about the concept of leaning in. Because this book is such an international sensation that inspired a movement, it’s a book every woman should read if only to know what the heck everyone is talking about.
Why is it that women lack confidence? Is it genetics? Culture? Is it self-imposed? These are the questions Katty Kay and Claire Shipman seek to answer and the results were pretty staggering. It turns out, confidence can be attributed to a number of different factors and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The reason every woman needs to read is this book is because, it turns out, confidence is oftentimes valued over competence, which makes it a great book for understanding where confidence comes from, why some people have it, and how to get it.
The Fire Starter Sessions
Odds are, you’ve heard of Danielle LaPorte before. But if you’ve never read one of her books, now is the time! The Fire Starter Sessions isn’t filled with top business advice, but it is full of motivational messages that will leave you feeling ready to conquer the world. Staying motivated is only half the battle when it comes to building your business. And the great thing about this book is that Danielle includes exercises after each chapter to help you apply her teachings to your own life.
Daring & Disruptive: Unleashing the Entrepreneur
Having worked in various industries over the years, Lisa Messenger has a lot of personal stories and business advice to share in Daring & Disruptive. Lisa opens up about the highs and lows she’s experienced in her entrepreneurial ventures, providing inspiration for ladies at all stages of their business.
Get Rich, Lucky Bitch: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First Class Life
Denise is a pretty spunky Aussie who started her own business, Lucky Bitch. Her book is different than anything else you’ll find on this list, but there’s a good reason for that! If you find yourself busting your butt and working long hours without seeing any reward when it comes to your bank account, check out Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. Denise’s goal with this book is to help you determine what your money blocks are and how to kick them to the curb.
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post Media Group, Arianna talks about her struggles in business in her book, Thrive. She questions the world’s definition of success and discusses why it needs to change. Arianna also writes about her difficulties when it comes to managing her time and juggling her career with her family life.
Okay, okay… You may be tired of hearing about this book because it comes highly recommended for fabulous entrepreneurs like yourself, but there’s a good reason for that! If you haven’t already read it, this is your sign to buy it now. While this book is primarily about Sophia’s life, she shares some important lessons that she has learned on her journey to becoming a tremendously successful businesswoman. Sophia is a reminder that we all have struggles in our lives, but it’s always possible to overcome them and completely turn things around.
Make It Happen
Lara’s book is similar to The Fire Starter Sessions in that it’s filled with inspirational tidbits and it’ll put you to work! Lara doesn’t want you to just read her book and forget all about it, never putting her tips to use in your own life. Make It Happen also includes questions at the end of every chapter to really get you thinking. It’s also part biography as you’ll get the inside scoop into Lara’s life and the difficulties she faced when trying to create her path in life. Such an inspiration, this book will leave you feeling ready to take a leap in your life, whether it’s to start a business, a new project, or something else entirely!
Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career
Written by Aliza Licht, well-known fashion PR executive and former Twitter marvel, DKNY PR GIRL, this novel holds your hand through all the hard times you’ll face as a woman in the contemporary working world and gives you the much needed guidance to tackle your own goals. The stories in this book are real experiences that Aliza faced years ago and, although the circumstances for the economy and working world have changed over the years, the advice is still central to the struggle of the female entrepreneur. Best for Women Who: Are just starting their careers and want to understand how to create and manage their own personal brand.
Think and Grow Rich for Women: Using Your Power to Create Success and Significance
Money, money, money. We all know it rules the world, but do you know how to manage it best? Sharon inspires women to think rich with strategies catered to the supermom and female entrepreneur while simultaneously destroying the notion that men are meant to be more successful than women.
Best for Women Who: Appreciate and absorb inspirational quotes from women who have changed history and created their own success.
Making the Case: How to Be Your Own Best Advocate
Making a good case is not limited to the court room. Former prosecutor Kimberly Guilfoyle, teaches us how to organize our thoughts, plan out our responses, and get our points across in a way that shows mastery over any situation.
Best for Women Who: Circulate in male-dominated fields and want to build their case and win any argument with a lot of finesse and a little sass.
Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary
“No pain, no gain” is a central theme in this novel by advertising legend Linda Kaplan Thaler and Truth Initiative CEO, Robin Koval. This book shows us that how far you get in this world is directly related to how hard you are willing to work for it. They take you through all the journeys of rejection, pain, and false hopes and shine the light on the silver lining that is your ultimate success.
Best for Women Who: Are looking for that one reason not to give up.
The Boss of You: Everything a Woman Needs to Start, Run and Maintain Her Own Business
Who should read it: First-time women entrepreneurs who like the idea of starting small and working with people they know.
Why this book stands out: Few business books have the courage to go for the humble angle that this one does. Before creating their startup, Raised Eyebrow Web Studio, authors Mears and Bacon noticed that every business book “seemed to assume that every businessperson was pushing for big growth, plenty of staff and massive profits.” The authors, however, took a different approach. “We knew that we wanted to start out small (just the two of us), work with people we loved and grow at a sustainable rate over time while still being paid what we were worth.”
Because it doesn’t give the mainstream “grow big and fast” message on business, the book offers unconventional advice on running a business where every aspect of it is close to your heart.
Birthing the Elephant: The Woman’s Go-For-It! Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business
Who should read it: Women preparing themselves for the psychological and emotional strains of starting a business.
Why this book stands out: Instead of focusing on the typical startup challenges, this book homes in on preparing your psyche to overcome the startup challenges. The exclamation point-heavy success coach voice used throughout the book can get corny, but the inspiring stories from role models like Bobbi Brown, Liz Lange and Lisa Druxman (our own Mompreneur columnist) make up for it.
Authors Abarbanel and Freeman say surviving the emotional roller coaster of a startup means finding a new rhythm in your lifestyle. To help establish that rhythm–and give you the faith that you can even find it–the book breaks down the process and offers case studies taken from the stories of experienced entrepreneurs.
The Art of War for Women: Sun Tzu’s Ancient Strategies and Wisdom for Winning at Work
Who should read it: Women ready to declare war on their greatest problems–not through brutality, but through determining the most efficient way of gaining victory with the least amount of conflict.
Why this book stands out: Chu takes lessons from one of the world’s most time-honored books on strategy, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, and applies it to the lives of multitasking women. The book is premised on the Eastern idea that war doesn’t revolve around fighting. According to Chu, who is also one of the world’s best authorities on the classic work, women are inclined to this idea as natural negotiators and problem-solvers that prefer win-win situations over the winner-take-all mentality.
This book is especially refreshing because it doesn’t rely on mainstream strategies. Chu emphasizes that every good strategy begins with a deep understanding of the people and the world surrounding a particular situation–including our own weaknesses, strengths, fears and goals. An intelligent way of addressing conflict is therefore not rooted in some bullet-pointed list of rules, but in the ability to integrate a deeper understanding of ourselves and our environment into the strategies we employ. While considering all of our strategic tools–psychology, clothing, desk d?? 1/2 cor, timing–even the most complex problems are transformed into exciting intellectual exercises.
Career and Corporate Cool : How to Look, Dress, and Act the Part–at Every Stage in Your Career
Who should read it: Those who know how important image is, but don’t really know how to maintain it appropriately through the different roles and stages of life.
Why this book stands out: Weingarten humorously acknowledges how confounding it is to maintain an appearance that benefits us through all of life’s personal and professional transitions. Developing a style people admire becomes even more complex when you realize it requires so much more than a great business suit; the right attitude through speech, writing, perfume, makeup, diet and response to personal emergencies factors into your style.
Weingarten makes the development of this style more exciting as she explains that “there is no one definitive Career and Corporate Cool ideology, but many practical tips and steps from people in all walks of life who have figured out how to make their jobs more than just a way to pay the bills, but rather a passion, a facet of themselves.”
The Girl’s Guide to Building a Million-Dollar Business
Who should read it: Women ready to confront their fears of taking their business ambitions to the next level.
Why this book stands out: Today twice as many men run million-dollar businesses as women–and Solovic, CEO of Small Business Television, gives a thorough explanation as to how women can even out the playing field.
Though the number of women-owned businesses is booming today, Solovic argues that many of these women don’t have million-dollar businesses because they don’t imagine taking their businesses to the next level. While juggling everything in their personal and professional lives, many women fail to grow their businesses because they don’t know if everything will get out of hand. But after consulting women in business for more than 30 years and co-founding a business of her own, she assures readers that establishing a million-dollar business can be done without sabotaging everything in their personal and professional lives.