Are you a woman in the startup world? Do you sometimes like hearing about what other women entrepreneurs are reading? There are a lot of books that claim to have the best advice for starting up, being an entrepreneur, creating the perfect business model, etc. The choices can seem really overwhelming if you're extremely busy (which I assume you are) and want to get the most value for your limited time.
One way to narrow your list is to ask successful women entrepreneurs for recommendations. Don't know any off the top of your head? Well you're in luck, because I've asked several and have compiled a list of the best books they've read that have helped mold the way they run their businesses.
1. How Google Works
“A fab book with loads of tips on how to keep staff intrigued and motivated, keep business model invigorated, tips for being lean and how to scale. Great for a small company with big ideas.” – Emma Smith is the CEO and cofounder of Memberoo.
2. Screw Business as Usual
“The best book I've ever read on leadership, business and entrepreneurship is Screw Business as Usual by Richard Branson. It completely changed my life and how I view my business and clients and also, more importantly how I have come to create and embrace every opportunity to make an impact outside of my typical CEO comfort-zone.” – Amber Kelleher-Andrews, CEO and cofounder of Kelleher International.
3. The Start-Up of You
“The best book I read in starting my company was Reid Hoffman's The Start-Up of You. It outlines how to combine one's tangible and intangible assets and passion with market realities. The book also addresses when and how to pivot”. – Katherine Janik, Principal at Garnet 3 Consulting
“I have a bunch of favorites but I would have to say Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers – I love it because it takes what most people think is why people are successful and turns it on its head. He take time, place, talent and dedication to a very specific task as the key factors for success.” – Jill Bigelow, Founder of PELV-ICE LLC.
5. The 4-Hour Work Week
“The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss changed everything for me. As a female entrepreuner who founded a Communications Firm with a niche in representing American based brands in the UK market (I am based in LA now), and vice versa – this book has been a bible as such, teaching me how to not be an entrepreneur stuck in my own business, but one that enjoys freedom and enriching experiences – a meaningful personal life; while running a successful and profitable PR Firm.” – Kate Morgan, Principal and Founder of Morgan Publicity.
“The best book I've read about entrepreneurship is Sophia Amoruso's #GIRLBOSS. The book follows Sophia's journey as Founder/CEO of the incredibly successful company Nasty Gal, from the moment she launched her eBay store to the day she realized her company was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The book is inspirational, and Sophia gives great tips on how she led her brand to incredible growth before she turned 30.” – Alexandra Pierson, founder of springpop.
7. Zombie Loyalists
“My recent favorite is Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans by Peter Shankman. For me, this book put to words what we always try to practice in customer service. It completely justified my wanting to go the extra mile for my customers. It clearly showed different ways in which top of the line customer service is the best practice for retaining top of the line customers. I refer to it all the time.” – Roberta Perry, Founder of ScrubzBody.
8. Zero to One: Notes on Startups or How To Build the Future
“My favorite business book is Zero to One by Peter Thiel. I based much of my business off the book's idea that successful businesses of the future will empower people, not replace them.” – Haleigh Almquist, CEO & Founder of Hush Hush Little Baby Newborn Care
9. Steal Like an Artist
“Best book I've ever read for my work as an entrepreneur is Steal Like an Artist byAustin Kleon. It's not a traditional business book but it's about being creative and taking risks. I first read it while I was in the corporate world working for Disney. It was the kick in the butt I needed to start my first business and it's been foundational to my current work as the owner of a branding agency.” – Annie Franceschi, Owner & Creative Director of Greatest Story Creative.
10. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
“The most influential and important read out of these in relation to leadership and entrepreneurship was The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg which showed the examples of how habits can make or break the culture and success of your company, your own life, and the effectiveness of your marketing. The big take away was how our habits are the things that will either help us soar or crash, and if we are mindless about them, they can do great harm.” – Sarah Cogan, Founder and Creator of Set Ready Garment Bags.
11. How to be a Woman
“This one is the curveball, because technically, it's a memoir and manifesto. But, I read this book just as I was about to make the leap into starting my business and it truly helped me own some of the qualities that weren't working well for me in my 9 to 5 and start to see how they could be the very qualities that saved me as I went out on this entrepreneurship journey on my own.” – Elizabeth Giorgi Founder & CEO Mighteor.
12. How to Win Friends And Influence People
“I always come back to Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends And Influence People for all things related to my business. It is a classic and the advice holds up over time.” – Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO Mavens & Moguls.