By Women, For Women: The 50 Best Books For Entrepreneurs


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Maureen Berkner Boyt10
May 18, 2024 at 4:3AM UTC
There are a lot of great books out there for entrepreneurs — so many, in fact, that it can be a little daunting. But fear not! People all across the world have given these books the green light — from small business men and women to young entrepreneurs just entering into the field to even seasoned, successful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a big undertaking; it’s not just about having a business idea and pursuing it. It’s about having a mindset of innovation and having the habits of a successful entrepreneur to ensure your ideas succeed. Here are 50 books that will help. 

On building a great company:

How to build a great company, according to people who've done it.

1. Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace by Kris Boesch

This book offers a deep dive into creating a happy work culture that drives great financial results.

2. Why Simple Wins: Escape the Complexity Trap & Get to Work That Matters by Lisa Bodell

This book breaks down how to cut through unproductive work to tackle core tasks that drive results.

3. Willful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan

This book explores the phenomenon of willful blindness and how individuals and groups can better predict (and understand) mistakes.

4. Get Over Your Damn Self: The No-BS Blueprint to Building a Life-Changing Business by Romi Neustadt

Consider this book your personal guide to shutting out negative thoughts and confidently pursuing a business.

On sales & marketing:

On how to sell and market your product (or yourself!). 

5. Resonate by Nancy Duarte

This book is a transformational guide to giving presentations and speeches that truly resonate with their audiences.

6. SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath

Konrath's book is the complete guide to speeding up sales and winning with today’s frazzled customer.

7. No More Cold Calling by Joanne Black

This book will help you update you referral selling methodology — and seriously cut down on your cold calls.

8. Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock & Sara Laschever

Featuring commentary from hundreds of women, this book discusses why women don't negotiate — and how to become a better negotiator to get what you deserve from a sale.

On communicating like a boss:

If you're going to be the boss, you've got to talk like one. Here's how.

9. Code Switching by Dr. Audrey Nelson

"Code Switching” explains what to say and how to say it when speaking to the opposite sex for maximum effectiveness

10. Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

This workbook teaches you how to overcome the barriers to meaningful communication and expand your relationships at work and home.

11. Impact: What Every Woman Needs to Know to Go From Invisible to Invincible by Nancy D Solomon

This ‘total person’ development guide is designed to help you focus on your talents to turn your potential into performance.

12. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

This book instructs women on how to find greater confidence in the business world, combining research in genetics, gender, behavior and cognition.

13. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain 

This book reaffirms the importance of introverts and their skills, in the business world and beyond. 

14. Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

This book describes a four-step program that shows how to use negotiation skills in every realm of life. 

On getting your head in the game:

How to boost your confidence — and your motivation — to get your business to the top. 

15. "Presence" by Amy Cuddy

"Presence" instructs how to access your personal power to stop worrying about the impression we make on others and adjust the impression we've been making on ourselves. 

16. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

This entertaining self-help book is made up of 27 bitesized chapters of advice on how to live an awesome life.

17. What if it DOES Work Out by Susie Moore

Written by life coach Susie Moore, this book offers expert advice on turning something you love into a lucrative gig.

18. The First Person You Must Lead Is You by Rebecca Halstead

This book illustrated the leadership journey and principles of Becky Halstead, retired Brigadier General of the United States Army.

19. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

In "Grit," celebrated researcher and professor Angela Duckworth argues that the driver of success is a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance, and discusses how to cultivate this tenacity.

20. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

"Big Magic" is a comprehensive guide to unlocking inspiration and creativity by living beyond fear. 

21. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life by Twyla Tharp

In "Creative Habit," artist Twyla Tharp argues creativity is a habit that requires preparation and effort, then instructs how to make it a daily occurance. 

22. Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency of the 21st Century by Claudia Azula Altucher

"Idea Machine" argues that coming up with ideas everyday is the way to transform your life, and offers prompts for your next big idea.

23. Girl Code: Unlocking Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur by Cara Alwill Leyba

“Girl Code” is a roadmap for female entrepreneurs who are on their journey to reconnect with their “why” and unlock the power of personal connections — especially with other women — in business.

24. I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #BeThatGirl by Alexis Jones

This book is aimed at helping you reconnect with your purpose and your life’s aim by killing your anxieties and focusing on your possibilities.

On finding your balance:

How to manage a business and maintain your personal life.

25. Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu

Tiffany Dufu’s “Drop the Ball” offers counterintuitive advice: that doing less means doing better. This book will teach you to reevaluate expectations and ask for help in the pursuit of a better, more successful life.

26. The Orange Line: A Woman’s Guide to Integrating Career, Family & Life by Jodi Detjen & Michelle Waters

In interviews with 118 women, “The Orange Line” finds women are holding themselves back with outdated rules on how to act — and offers advice on restructuring your life to pursue your vocation without the guilt.

27. I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam

This book offers an inside look into the day-to- day lives of over 1,000 successful women — and how they set themselves up for success.

28. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder by Arianna Huffington

After falling from exhaustion and breaking her cheekbone, Arianna Huffington realized the world needed a wake-up call from its productivity-driven culture. In “Thrive,” the media mogul argues that well-being and our compassion are just as important metrics for success as money and power, and offers advice for prioritizing them.

29. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown

In “Daring Greatly,” Researcher Brene Brown argues that vulnerability is the most accurate measure of courage, and discusses its important impact on leadership and other aspects of living.

On leadership success:

How to be a leader that inspires people and business success. 

30. Why Leaders Fail & the 7 Prescriptions for Success by Mary C. Kelly

This read offers everything leaders need to know to be constantly improving and developing their leadership skills.

31. The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom by Carrie Wilkerson

From award-winning author and business consultant Carrie Wilkerson, this is a go-to guide to starting your business, with information on everything from pitching your why to finding your customers to avoiding distractions.

32. How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life by Joanna Barsh, Geoffrey Lewis, Susie Cranston

Based on five years of research, this book offers new insights into the “right stuff” of leadership. Its new model of Center Leadership combines meaning, framing, connecting, engaging and energizing to improve organizational success.

33. Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success by Jessica Tracy

In “Take Pride,” Jessica Tracy explains the success of Steve Jobs and Paul Gaugin through an often discredited emotion: pride. She explains good and bad pride, and how to employ the emotion to inspire feats of genius.

34. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg's famous book suggests women make professional moves with gusto, and explains how to do so. 

35. Leading from the Front: No Excuse Leadership Tactics for Women by Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch

This book presents 10 key practices for powerful leadership from two leaders in the U.S. Marine Corp. 

On how she did it:

How women entrepreneurs made their dreams come true. 

36. Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran

In this book, Barbara Corcoran tells the inspiring story of how she turned $1,000 into a billion dollar business. 

37. Pioneers of the Possible: Celebrating Visionary Women of the World by Angella Nazarian

This book provides an inside look at the success of female visionaries, including the likes of Frida Kahlo.

38. In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney

Over 100 women explain how they overcame adversity and embraced their creativity to become successful entrepreneurs.

39. Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling

In Mindy Kaling’s collection of essays, she discusses her ongoing journey to pursue her passions against the odds and find contentment in her adult life.

40. Own It by Sallie Krawcheck

In “Own It,” Sallie Krawcheck pulls from her experience as both a Wall Street powerhouse and entrepreneur to encourage women to seize the increased power they are being given in business.

41. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

At 22, Sophia Ambruso was a dropout selling vintage clothes on eBay. Now, she’s the founder of an online retail business and founder and CEO of Girlboss. Her book tells the story of her unique path to success, and provides insights into when to follow your gut and break the rules.

42. What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig

In this book, transitions expert Tina Seelig shares insights into how to tackle major life changes — from leaving school to founding a business.

43. What I Told My Daughter — Lessons from Leaders on Raising the Next Generation of Empowered Women by Nina Tassler

A collection of inspiring reflections from accomplished women across disciplines, this book full of actionable advice from the likes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Madeleine Albright.

44. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham's essay collection expertly conveys the sexism in the entertainment industry and includes important notes on being a woman who's still figuring it out. 

45. Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl 

This thrilling memoir by famous food writer Ruth Reichl shows the power of finding your passion and living to experience it.

46. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer 

Famous musician and kickstarted Amanda Palmer shares her top tips for asking — for help, for support and, if you need it, for cash. 

47. Bossypants by Tina Fey

The story of Tina Fey's life is equal parts inspiring and hilarious, and reinforces the importance of chasing your dreams, no matter how silly. 

48. Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice, and Build Your Dream Life by Lisa Sugar

This book zeroes in on ways to be happy at work through life hacks, mindsets and a whole lot of self-love. 

49. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes 

Shonda Rhimes' shares the importance of saying "yes" in her latest memoir slash self-help book. 

50. Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got out of Getting It Wrong by Jessica Bacal

In this book, influential women recap what they got out of their major career mistakes — and they're sure to encourage you to take a risk, every once in a while. 
Happy reading, and let me know what books you’d add to your reading list!
Mo is the Founder of The Moxie Exchange, a training and peer mentoring organization for companies who want to recruit, develop, promote and retain women and create inclusive workplaces. She’s an advisor to CEOs of the nation’s fastest growing companies and is the founder 5 successful businesses. She also been known to sing loudly, dance badly and curse like a sailor.

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