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8 Book Recommendations from Female Entrepreneurs

Too busy to step away from the screen and take some time for yourself? Everyone, including hard-working women, deserves a break from time to time. And what you do with those breaks can have a positive effect on your overall well-being and the future of your business. Reading, whether your genre of choice is self-help, memoir, or fiction, is a great way to make the most of your downtime. 

There are thousands of books promoting personal lifestyle and business tips, and it can be intimidatingly hard to find the right ones. Instead of sorting through all those books, we asked some female entrepreneurs for female-authored books that positively affected their personal and business life. Here is what they had to recommend!

  1.  Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert 

Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorportation, recommended “Big Magic”, a self-help book from the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”. “Big Magic” encourages readers to find their inner creativity, and let go of the fear holding us back. Sweeney wrote, “‘Big Magic’ is a wonderful book to read during this unprecedented time, especially for people uncertain of their next career move. I think this book will act as a big encouragement to anyone looking to make their life one that allows creative living to flourish.”

  1. Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond” by Pauline Brown 

Looking to grab your target audience with eye-catching products and designs? Then, “Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond” by the former chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Pauline Brown, is the book for you. “Aesthetic Intelligence” describes in detail how to create a successful ‘aesthetic’ to market your product, services, and overall business, to make them stand out. Whitney Poma, the founder and CEO of the new postnatal supplement company Momful says, “I implemented her advice into my business and believe that by doing so, I have been able to communicate a beautiful visual brand to my consumer — something very important to my target customer. This has led to a successful first year of business despite the treacherous economic climate.”

  1. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In The Sun and Be Your Own Person” by Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes is the creator of award-winning shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, but did you know she’s also a New York Times bestselling author? “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” is Shonda’s personal story of how saying ‘Yes’ changed her life, and how it can change yours too. Whether you read it for personal or business reasons, Rhimes’ memoir is sure to challenge and empower you as it did Natolie Warren, mindset coach and owner of InPowerment Inc. “This book gave me permission to say ‘yes’ to things in my life and business that I would have normally said ‘no’ to. In the year that I read this book, I pushed past my comfort zone to have monthly speaking engagements and made 100 new connections with other women,” said Warren. 

  1. A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success” by Maye Musk 

Study Free founder and CEO Dasha Kroshkina recommended “A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success” because it’s a “vivid example of a book that proves it doesn’t matter where you came from or what difficulties you face.  All that matters is where you’re going and how much you’re going to achieve.” In her memoir, author and former model Maye Musk shares her wisdom on overcoming hardships. Musk’s stories can give you a new perspective on living confidently.  

  1. Untamed” by Glennon Doyle 

Nominated by multiple female-entrepreneurs, “Untamed” is the second memoir by Glennon Doyle. Doyle shares how she fought her need for outside validation and found her true voice. In sharing her journey, she provides empowering information for both the personal and business sides of your life. The chief operating officer at Because Market, Heidi Robinson, says, “This book really grabs the reader’s attention with simple, effective ways for women to empower themselves and others. It speaks volumes regarding looking within and trusting our own instincts, rather than relying on the judgment and expectations of others. In short, it offers actionable tips to empower everyone around us, while also discovering our true selves.”

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

In “Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur”, Alwill Leyba shares the ‘code’ women should follow to empower both themselves and other women, enabling women to thrive in the male-dominated business world. “Girl Code is such a wonderful tool for any empowered female to read and refer back to over and over again,” says Rachel Jones, PR at Hope Health Supply. “And not only will it offer tips on self-empowerment, it provides a way to empower everyone around you. It’s contagious!”

  1. Becoming” by Michelle Obama 

Behind Michelle Obama’s former first-lady image, is another strong, powerful woman with an inspiring story. Detailing her triumphs and accomplishments, Obama leads readers through what made her the woman she is today. Tori Ford, founder and CEO of Medical Herstory, said, “This book inspired me as a young woman and leader to believe in myself and build an organization from the ground up.” If you are looking for a story to support your values, validate your journey, and motivate you to serve others, then this book is for you.

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

Filled with humorous and inspiring stories, Sheryl Sandberg’s book describes how women can reach success in both their personal and business lives. Jessica Randhawa, owner and head chef at the Forked Spoon, nominated Sanberg’s best-seller for its timeless tips. “It helped me realize taking advice from senior and junior people can be more effective than having one single go-to person for counsel,” said Randhawa. “After reading this book a few years ago, I still keep a diverse group of people around me who act as sounding boards.”

Reading the astounding stories of women who faced challenges and overcame them might be the tonic you need to return to work with a renewed sense of enthusiasm. What books by female entrepreneurs would you suggest?

About the author

Caroline Creed

Caroline Creed is a senior at Boston University's College of Communications currently interning at Carlton PR & Marketing. As an advertising major, Caroline is working to develop creative and account management skills to use in the field of communications. When not exploring new facets of communication, you can find her watching the Real Housewives, cooking new recipes, or trying new restaurants in Boston.

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