March 26, 2024

9 Must-Read Books for Women Entrepreneurs


  • Small Business Ideas

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Your days move fast, so maybe reading a business book may seem like an excessive time commitment. But some ideas need more space than 240 characters or a 30-second video. These titles provide enduring insights worth your time and attention.

1. Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur

By Cara Alwill Leyba

This 2017 book is fast becoming a classic. Women continue to embrace the author's message of getting ahead personally by taking the counterintuitive action of... supporting other women. Doing this, says Leyba will increase a woman's confidence, create powerful connections, and wash away jealousy. Millions of readers have been taking that message to heart.

2. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

By Sheryl Sandberg

This much-discussed title addresses contends that women remain a minority in leadership because they don't assert themselves and "lean in." Some argue that its premise places too much responsibility on the individual; others say it's up the individual to create change. No matter your take, Sandberg's thoughtful research and provocative ideas make for worthwhile reading. (It's also spawned Lean In Circles, a social network.)

3. The Confidence Code

By Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Why do women feel it's necessary to project the image of a strong, confident business leader—even if they don't feel that way? Part clinical exposé, part pep talk, the authors of this advice book present research-backed, recommended steps for closing the professional gender gap.

4. She Means Business

By Carrie Green

With the verve of #Girlboss yet more practical in tone, Green maps a path to success for aspiring entrepreneurial women. Readers have praised her warm, honest portrayal of her own business-building struggles, as well as her detailed checklists and perspectives on building a loyal and profitable "fanbase."

5. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert, the bestselling author of "Eat Pray Love," shares this manual for living a more creative and fulfilling life. She suggests how women get past their own fears and adopt attitudes, approaches, and habits that fuel creativity. It's valuable support, from an empathetic, insightful and inspiring source.

6. Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

By Lois P. Frankel

The author's goal: Help women advocate for themselves by helping them identify behaviors learned in girlhood. Readers appreciate Frankel's specific behavioral examples of women undercutting their own successes—130 behaviors in all. Read in conjunction with (or even before) Lean In.

7. How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back

By Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith

Frankel endorsed this book and no wonder: With a similar premise, the authors help readers spot the default behaviors getting in the way of their success. It also includes practical advice and inspiration for readers who want to realize their ambitions but can't understand why it's just not working out.

8. She Thinks Like a Boss: Leadership

By Jemma Roedel

Being a boss involves way more than simply managing people. This encouraging perspective will resonate with seasoned managers as well as women new to leadership roles. The author focuses on nine essential skills for new female leaders in business and the workplace, with an emphasis on influencing teams and combating imposter syndrome. Practical, easy-to-follow have won over many readers.

9. #KeepGoing: From 15 Year-Old Mom to Successful CEO & Entrepreneur

By Mari Tautimes

Nothing beats a personal tale of bootstrapped success. Tautimes delivers an inspirational story and "7 Simple Steps" plan for taking charge of your life and reaching for your own vision of life at the top. The emphasis on defining what you want for yourself rather than meeting others' standards of achievement makes this one a standout.

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