We tell stories to share our journey and to inspire others. And one of the best ways to grow as a female entrepreneur is to learn from others by reading these stories. By doing so we can learn from other’s mistakes and achievements, and thoughtfully incorporate that knowledge into our own story (that should be told one day).
With countless resources and books out there, it’s hard to pinpoint the best reads. So, we put together a list of our top 10 favorite inspiring books for and by women entrepreneurs.
Secrets of Six Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life - Barbara Stanny
We love this book because it not only provides strategies but real-life testimonies from women making six to seven figures, as well. In this book, Stanny identifies the seven key strategies of female high earners: Profit, Audacity, Resilience, Encouragement, Self-Awareness, Non-Attachment, and Financial Know-How. It’s an honest book that sheds perspective on the pros and cons of a high earning with stories of amazing entrepreneurial women.
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person - Shonda Rhimes
The creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal shares how saying YES changed her life. It’s a mix of humor and conversational real talk written in an Oprah-esque fashion. This self-help book expresses messages of self-care, honest feelings, cultural powerhouses, and being your raw self. Sometimes saying ‘no’ isn’t always the best option.
Strong Woman: The Truth About Getting to the Top - Karren Brady
If you’re about defying odds, look no further. After being told that she had a brain aneurysm by doctors after routinely scans and had a 30 percent chance of not surviving, Brady went on to follow her dreams. She achieved her business success through good old-fashioned hard work and being a bit cheeky to win contracts. It’s all the realness and grit of being a modern-day entrepreneur.
What I Know For Sure - Oprah Winfrey
This legendary talk show host talks about the importance of spirit and love that every entrepreneur can incorporate into their lives. She dives into cultivating unparalleled connection with people around the world, dealing with reality, and becoming the best version of yourself. It’s entertaining, enlightening, and uplifting all at the same time - no surprise there.
The Multi-Hyphen Life: Work Less, Create More, and Design a Life That Works for You - Emma Gannon
Gannon is a phenomenal entrepreneur who is an author, award-winning podcaster, speaker, and well-known columnist -- so you know the insight is valuable. This book is all about investing in yourself and being your own backup plan. It focuses on how you can control how you choose to develop, diversify, and design your workday. For those frustrated with the idea of a traditional 9-5 job, this is the perfect inspirational read for you.
Jo Malone: My Story - Jo Malone
The fragrance maven who took the world by storm is telling the story of her rise from humble beginnings to beloved business success. Think rags-to-riches of entrepreneurship. This book details Malone’s difficulties and rewards encountered while creating a business from the ground up. It’s sure to excite aspiring entrepreneurs seeking inspiration.
Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina - Misty Copeland
As the country’s first African-American woman to become a female principal dancer for one of the top commercial ballet companies, The American Ballet Theater, Copeland’s accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinary. It’s all about focusing on who you are and not whatever situation you may be in. From being underestimated to feeling out of place, this story will take you on an emotionally fulfilling journey.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead - Brené Brown
Being vulnerable is a trait that many entrepreneurs accredit their success to, but it isn’t the easiest thing to embrace. Brown takes you on a journey of being a daring entrepreneur who faces fear and shame with grace. Now, you can make the same leap into greatness by doing the same. If that doesn’t reel you in, she’s also Oprah-approved when one of her TED Talks went viral.
The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It Into a Global Brand - Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor
From starting on the bedroom floor of an apartment in Hollywood to taking over fashion runways in Paris, this story is juicy. Perfect for those who sell a product or want to learn about how passion can drive your success. These two best friend entrepreneurs will take you from their story behind the scenes to being ‘the’ scene in a captivating fashion you won’t want to put the book down.
#GIRLBOSS - Sophia Amoruso
You know we couldn’t leave this one off our list. Another classic rags-to-riches story of the Nasty Gal founder who started from selling vintage clothes on eBay to cultivating one of the biggest women in business communities. If you’re a misfit in your industry, you’re going to fall in love with this read.