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35 Inspiring Business Books Women Need To Read

Business still contains one of the more outdated views on women. Although words like businessmen are surely fading away, the issue of maternity, equal pay and prejudices follow the business world around.

These books provide you, as a woman in business, with valuable advice and motivation to overcome those hurdles. We recognize the disparity of equality, and we also recognize the fact that culture change only comes about if those who want to change it do something about it.

So let’s do something. Let’s read a book and start from there. Education is power.

This contribution was made by Caroline James from BestSelf Co.

Indistractable by Nir Eyal

I think basically the future is going to depend on us becoming focused on paying attention to the right things because we’re constantly hit with so many things all the time. So ‘Indistractable’ is a great book. It’s from the same writer who wrote ‘Hooked,’ about habit-forming products and this is kind of the, okay, now that we know how to do that, let’s figure out how to defend ourselves against it so that our attention and time isn’t stolen.

This contribution was made by Candice Stokes from Venture PR

FUTURE WOMEN by Chrissa McFarlane

We believe it is really important that we emphasize and encourage minority female women in the Health Tech space. There is tremendous opportunity to be gained in the new digital economy. With an emphasis on diversity and inclusion at the center of this new economy, the time has come for minority women to be part of the building process!By the end of FUTURE WOMEN… you’ll be inspired to find your passion for contributions in this new digital landscape. Future Women released last month is now a #1 seller on Amazon.

This contribution was made by Rio from Rio Rocket

The 60 Minute Startup by Ramesh Dontha

The book completely demystifies what it takes to start a business as a new entrepreneur by identifying the 15 critical tasks necessary start a sustainable business and reach your first paying customer in thirty days or less. The book is based on ‘Agile Methodology’ which is the same intuitive approach to early stage growth that built Uber, Instagram, and Airbnb. The book will resonate well with female entrepreneurs and the audiobook narrated by the author’s daughter will connect especially well with mompreneurs and young female entrepreneurs alike.

This contribution was made by Katie L. Thomas from Diamond J Accounting, LLC

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazi

This book was one of the first business books I read, and it’s fantastic. Everyone’s heard the adage it’s not what you know, but who you know but rarely is that followed-up on with ways to make those connections. Never Eat Alone breaks it down. Not only is it easy to read and engaging, but the advice is actionable and applicable to any industry, any job, and any level.

This contribution was made by Katie L. Thomas from Diamond J Accounting, LLC

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Daring greatly isn’t specifically a business book, but it is life changing. Reading Brene Brown’s insight into life and how best to deal with the ups and downs was comforting, but to hear her stories of how she continues to have to learn and re-learn the lessons about how important vulnerability and showing up can help anyone feel better. If an expert like her doesn’t have it all figured out, it helps me give myself permission to not have it all down yet.

This contribution was made by Nancy Morris from MeQ Campus

Procrastinate Now by Nancy Morris

Most people feel inferior, unproductive or just downright lazy if they procrastinate, especially business women who feel like they need to (or ‘should’) get it all done in business. This self-defeating belief is all wrong because the way we look at procrastination is all wrong. The science actually shows that procrastination is a sign of intelligence, not of incompetence. Much like a fever is the symptom of an underlying infection, procrastination is your sixth sense telling you that something about the task or activity is causing an underlying concern, fear or worry. Understanding your procrastination rather than trying to stop it means you will make more effective decisions, feel more confident in your daily business activities and create the systems that minimize or completely eliminate those concerns, fears and worries. Procrastinate Now teaches you exactly how to use procrastination to get things done!

This contribution was made by Ashley Fernandez from Ashley Marie Coaching

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

This book calls out those to lead bravely and foster courageous work cultures. The book discusses daring leadership and says “Daring leaders admit what they don’t know, and practice kindness and empathy.” When leaders can embody this behavior it will trickle down the chain and can have an incredible effect if shifting the workplace culture.

This contribution was made by Ashley Fernandez from Ashley Marie Coaching

Give and Take by Adam Grant

This book is essential to understanding how our success is impacted by our interactions with others. Every interaction you have with someone, you choose what sort of person you will be. Grant discusses 3 main types of people and how this plays out in the career landscape. ‘Takers’ looking out for yourself and letting others fend for themselves ‘Givers’ -do what’s best for others ‘Matchers’- who shift according to the situation and how others treat you.

This contribution was made by Karlie Robinson from Oakland County Michigan Government

Side Hustle By Chris Guillebeau

I love this book because it would be the bootstrapping book I would write if I had time to write books. While it’s geared towards building an extra income type business, the reality is that almost any business can start small with what you have on hand – yes, even the ones that will grow into enterprises. Just start with your best idea first.

This contribution was made by James Canzanella from Isolated Marketing Nights

The Latte Factor by David Bach

My girlfriend read this book and she couldn’t recommend it enough, as she loved it! The Latte Factor tells many stories that can help you achieve financial success by utilizing simple strategies… which are perfect business owners.

This contribution was made by Melanie Hartmann from Creo Home Buyers

Girl, Stop Apologizing! by Rachel Hollis

Not exactly a business book, but I highly recommend it to any woman who wishes to start a business or currently owns one. Mindset is such a critical part of experiencing success, regardless of the size of our goals. In this book, Hollis really speaks to the self-limiting beliefs many women place on themselves and we can overcome them to be our best selves.

This contribution was made by Debra Jason from The Write Direction

Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget by Debra Jason

Are you seeking greater exposure for your business? Want to achieve top-of-mind awareness in the marketplace? Frustrated because you think you have to spend a lot of money to get noticed? If you’re a woman in business and answered “yes” to one or all of these questions then this book was written for you. It’s frightening to dip into your budget and keep on spending when business is slow, isn’t it? However, to stay ahead of your competition, marketing should be an ongoing priority for your company. The good news is you don’t need a Super Bowl budget to attract new customers. You can market yourself — and your business – in more ways than one without breaking the bank. This book outlines how. Use it as your marketing guide, one step at a time.

This contribution was made by Alex Davis from Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Becoming Super Woman by Nicole Lapin

Along with Nicole Lapin’s other self-development books, Rich Bitch and Boss Bitch, Becoming Super Woman touches upon the holy grail for women in the workforce: work-life balance while having it all. Nicole’s writing is witty, funny, and spot-on relatable, covering topics like burnout, and why self-care and family shouldn’t keep you from success, but be the reason why you succeed.

This contribution was made by Alex Davis from Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Know Your Value by Mika Brzezinski

This book is a candid story of Mika’s journey managing her career in a male-driven industry. It’s more than just about money; it’s about respect and the support needed to meet your personal and professional goals. Unlike Lean In, which comes from a place of privilege, Know Your Value is a book that any woman can relate to.

This contribution was made by E. Lynn Price from Lynn Price Consulting

Negotiate It! by E. Lynn Price

Women are often intimidated to negotiate because they don’t know where to start. Negotiate It! will teach women how to apply the “Formula of the Three R’s” – a quick and effective way to see positive results in negotiations, at all levels. Women will learn when you should negotiate, how to overcome negotiation fears, and how to avoid common pitfalls. They’ll develop the confidence to defend their positions, respond to push back, and negotiate both strategically and efficiently. They will learn to confidently adopt the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Get” philosophy so they are always encouraged to “Make the Ask!”

This contribution was made by K.T. Redwine from Kate By Faith

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Stephen Covey’s book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ is a must-have for any woman in business. Covey gives a clear illustration of how our habits shape our lives. He stresses the importance of interdependence; which is the realization that we need both leaders and a team effort. These habits encourage people to be proactive; in order to get things done; focus on final results; have an abundance mentality and focus on a win-win for everyone involved. Covey also stresses the importance of making meaningful collaborations that build mutual trust. Overall, this book is a definite asset for women in business because it really makes you think outside of traditional business norms.

This contribution was made by Allison Hott from TrustPulse

How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen

While many women and men struggle to advance their careers, women face specific challenges in regards to climbing the ladder. How Women Rise teaches women how to identify the 12 habits that are holding them back in their careers and how to fix them. It’s a great read if you’re looking to take the next step in your career.

This contribution was made by Leah Williams from Tiny Pinata

Empathy at Scale by Dana Publicover

Empowering middle managers and future leaders to step up and own organizational change, even at lower levels. Leveraging empathy as a competitive advantage and embracing problem solving methods that can make career-defining projects successful with very limited resources. Plus, it’s a friendly and fun tone.

This contribution was made by Shannon McNulty from We Love Maple Ridge

An Economist Walks into a Brothel by Allison Schrager

For me, the title grabbed my attention. But this book was powerful because it focused on something that always causes apprehension for me, and that is taking risks. I found the humorous, intelligent approach to explaining risk-taking refreshing and life-changing. Learning to ask “How can I take smarter risks?” instead of, “Should I take risks?” changed the way I think about how I live, and how I do business.

This contribution was made by Meg Marrs from Safer Senior Care

She Means Business by Carrie Green

I’d recommend She Means Business by Carrie Green for any newbie female entrepreneur. In the book, Carrie is very encouraging and discusses a lot of the pitfalls many female entrepreneurs face (from imposter syndrome, fear of failure, neglecting self-care etc) and notes the importance of developing a strong network of mentors and trusted female advisors. This book serves as great inspiration for anyone getting their business off of the ground!

This contribution was made by Karina Kazimierska from Carol Leggett Public Relations

Orgasmic Leadership by Rachel Braun Scherl

Orgasmic Leadership tells the story of what drives, inspires and sustains entrepreneurs in the rapidly growing global women’s sexual health and wellness space. Rachel Braun Scherl’s best-selling book reflects a wellspring of deep personal experience in pharmaceuticals, consumer products, women’s health as well as in depth interviews with leaders in the sexual wellness field. Rachel takes on women’s long-neglected needs and satisfaction with a strategic business focus, humor, insight, passion, and in the process, exposes an incredibly complex tangle of outdated barriers and challenges that stand in the way of the successful commercialization of women’s health products and services.

This contribution was made by Senka Stanisevski from N/A

WHO KIDNAPPED VENUS? by SENKA MOLLOY

How can women followers become women leaders? Every woman can sense that there is some power, there is something strong, there is something big waiting for her, but most women can’t detect this source, they don’t know how to use it, they don’t see the path between here and there. Even when she finds the courage to become the leader of her own life, failure after failure brings her back to the start with even more doubt or guilt or whatever she thinks suits her sacrificial persona. In this isolation, a woman never taps into the state of victory. But there is a way out of the prison. It is not just that a woman is meant to lead her own life, she is meant to lead society into the victory of a better tomorrow. A woman can be at the bottom, in debt, alone, hurt and forgotten. If today she decides to move forward and give herself one more chance, then here, she will find a map. Out of the shadow, out of her invisible status in society. Choosing the Slow Path, the Path of emotional and financial independence, she becomes a Venus, goddess of life. The map of a woman’s personal hell is divided into five rooms and in each room, a woman should enter and embrace the challenge of destroying every chain and every root keeping her there so she can move on. Here is a woman’s map to the top.

This contribution was made by Andreas Wilderer from Globularity Coaching

Lean On by Andreas Wilderer

Lean On – The Five Pillars of Support for Women in Leadership is discussion the question on whom can Women Lean On while they are Leaning In to their work. In his Amazon bestselling book in Women & Business, Andreas recognizes that gender roles today are shifting rapidly and that we need to adapt for the sake of our families. Inside, you’ll discover how you can run your family like a business and how to empower your spouse on their career path―all told through Andreas’s unique experiences living with a female executive.

This contribution was made by Catherine Moolenschot from Catherine Moolenschot

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

There are many business books that tell you what to do and how to do it; how to do effective marketing or motivate yourself or find what you love or stop apologising. These are all great and useful. But sometimes, you want to read a business book that grips you. That you can’t put down. That makes you laugh and feel awe and suspense and teaches you on the way. A book about someone who built an empire, and the rocky, incredible journey it took to get there.

This contribution was made by Stacy Caprio from Deals Scoop

You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

You Are A Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero is a great book for women looking to uplevel their business money mindset. This book teaches the reader ways to think about money, your business and your life so that you attract more into it. The book is also written by a women in a way many women will understand and feel connected to, something many male-authored money and business books are currently lacking.

This contribution was made by Shila Morris from Kayandshi

Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo shares personal stories and embarrassing moments, major fails and huge successes and does it all with a humorous spin, a motivational tone and a uniquely practical and positive position that will leave you wanting more! From a smash success Oprah interview to buzzed twitter feuds, Marie uses her own tapestry of experiences to illustrate her teachings and relates to readers with honesty and openness. As business women, entrepreneurs, and just plain people, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic to recommend this read!

This contribution was made by Cassie Righter from Cassie Righter Consulting

Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani

In the book Brave, Not Perfect Reshma Saujani describes how women are raised to be perfect while men are raised to take risks and be brave. This has led to a culture where men are taking more risks and thus finding greater success in many areas, including business, while women are holding back trying to be perfect. Saujani lifts the veil that we women have seen the world through and allows the reader to clearly see that being brave will get you a lot further in business, and life, than striving for the illusion of perfection.

This contribution was made by Angela Ash from Flow SEO

Girl Code by Cara Alwill Leyba

Being a female entrepreneur comes with its own unique set of challenges. A little more work and innovation often must go into receiving recognition, and the home-work balance often becomes more important. That’s why Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur is such a wonderful tool for any empowered female to read and refer back to over and over again.

This contribution was made by Alexandra Zamolo from Beekeeper

How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen

This book perfectly ecompasses the situations that women have to overcome to reach that all-important glass ceiling. Yet, the positivity in this book is out the roof! Rather than focus on the problems, it provides clear-cut answers and strategies to rise to the success that you’ve always desired.

This contribution was made by Hope Ashley from UpFlip

#makechichappen by Melanie Mitro

This book provides all of the information that a busy business woman needs to succeed – especially in the realm of social media. Learn how to gain exposure, craft creative responses and save time while doing it. Plus, you can learn all about a variety of absolutely free online sources to help you get started!

This contribution was made by Lisa Nickerson from Nickerson

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team By Patrick Lencioni

As a woman in business, this book taught me a great deal both about leading a team, and being part of one. It discusses the need for team members to hold one another accountable and establish clear channels of communication to achieve both individual and common goals. To do so, a team must avoid five common dysfunctions: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. I’d highly recommend this book for men and women in business, but especially women, as it encourages women to accept their seat at the table in all leadership discussions.

This contribution was made by Shiyang Gong from AILaw.Inc

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

I recommend this book because of my personal attachment to the lessons given in the content. It is worth reading because it gives women plenty of insight into how we sometimes perceive ourselves and our roles on the job. The first step we can take as we Lean In is to be helpful to women who speak out. This book starts amazingly by telling people how to be more visible in their careers and how to achieve their goals. In some pages, the book gets very personal, but you’ll find similarities in how a minority woman worked hard to overcome general obstacles.

This contribution was made by Zalika Sapp-Weaver from xozalika

Beyond Brand by Joy Donnell

There’s never been more pressure to have a powerful public image. Entrepreneurs, celebrities and ambitious job seekers alike have to be searchable in order to be verifiable and if you have a following, you often have leverage. Our phones and other tech let’s us easily play with the media, but we don’t necessarily understand how the system of media works. This book helps you ask questions about the cultural legacy you want your words and actions to leave behind. It dives into understanding how stories are monetized, distributed and marketing within the media system, how narratives shift, and how storytellers build community. It’s more than a branding book, it’s a legacy book.

This contribution was made by Alessandra Kessler from Healthy Body Healthy Mind

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay

The book is really a great reminder for women that they are confident and courageous enough. A well researched and filled with authors experience; it’s a great source to boost in crises, stop overthinking, and keep on paving paths when you feel defeated. The author helps scientific research to overcome that myth that confidence is only infused genetically — the book encourages women how to perform awesomely and hitting the stereo concept about male dominating. The authors visited many leading psychologists to research either confidence comes from genes, or we have chances to acquire it. They also narrate the discussions and conclusions they generated from real experiences by meeting people. The book is a rich source for women’s encouragement that we often lost in the crisis and got dominated by a male counterpart.

This contribution was made by Victor Bailey from VictorBailey

Business Boutique by Christy Wright

A must-read book for all women who are confused regarding starting business life. Do you have a vague idea in mind but struggle to give it a practical structure? This masterpiece is for you. You will take a deep dive with the author in devising a customizable business plan, simplifying complex business tasks like pricing, taxes, budgeting as well as marketing. You will learn to target the right audience and sell products or services confidently. At the end of this book, you would have a roadmap for the business.

Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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