With so many women starting businesses and forging their own entrepreneurial paths, it’s no surprise that there is an abundance of literature focusing on women’s professional journeys. Books like “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg and #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso have become wildly popular in recent years, but there are plenty of other books written by and about women entrepreneurs that are worthy of attention. We asked entrepreneurs what books they would recommend. Here are some of their responses.
Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 Into a Billion-Dollar Business
Autumn Grant, the founder and owner of The Kind Poppy, a natural bath and body company based in Franklin, Tennessee, suggested “Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 Into a Billion-Dollar Business,” by Barbara Corcoran and Bruce Littlefield. An incredibly successful businesswoman, Corcoran is the founder of real estate company, the Corcoran Group and is an investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” In this book, she charts her personal journey to self-made success. “I get my hands on anything Barbara Corcoran writes,” Grant said. “She has a great story and helps ‘the little guys.'”
Women Who Launch: Women Who Shattered Glass Ceilings
Karen Hoskin is the founder and CEO of Montanya Distillers in Colorado and a co-founder of social entrepreneurship company, Zoetica. She recommended the book “Women Who Launch: Women Who Shattered Glass Ceilings” by Marlene Wagman-Geller. This book explores the lives of female visionaries throughout history, including Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low and famed cosmetics entrepreneur Estee Lauder. “‘Women Who Launch’ really helped me to understand that women who get over hurdles of the workplace have certain characteristics,” Hoskin said, “I was able to recognize those characteristics in myself, cultivate the ones I thought might be weak, and figure out better strategies for personal success.”
It’s About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated Into Your Greatest Advantage
Tiasia O’Brien is the founder of New York-based Seam Social Labs, “a mission-driven company working to empower disinvested communities.” She recommended “It’s About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated Into Your Greatest Advantage” by Arlan Hamilton and Rachel L. Nelson. In this book, Hamilton tells her extraordinary personal journey from homelessness to becoming the founder of Backstage Capital. This book is a must-read “because it puts a black woman’s experience at the forefront in the startup/VC world,” O’Brien said.
Entrepreneur and fashion designer Priscilla Von Sorella is the founder and CEO of Von Sorella, a luxury fashion label based in Houston. She suggested the New York Times bestseller “Rich Bitch” by news anchor and businesswoman Nicole Lapin. “Though this book revolves around personal finance management, it has incalculable amounts of life and business advice that has helped me personally,” Von Sorella said. “The author writes in a relatable way that especially drew me in.”
The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It
Data scientist and entrepreneur Briana Brownell is the founder and CEO of Toronto-based software company, Pure Strategy Inc. Her recommendation,“The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It” by Tilar J. Mazzeo, tells the story of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the nineteenth-century businesswoman who presided over the famed Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne label. “Clicquot’s business savvy and smart risk-taking were truly inspiring and the adventure of her life as told in the book was fascinating, especially considering she lived in the 17- and 1800s,” Brownell said.
Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me This Sh*t Before: Wit and Wisdom From Women in Business
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Liz Elting is the founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, an organization that advocates for social, political, and economic equality. She is also the founder of TransPerfect, a translation and localization company based in New York. Elting recommended “Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me This Sh*t Before: Wit and Wisdom From Women in Business” by Marcella Allison and Laura Gale. This book contains over 60 letters written by female entrepreneurs and innovators. Contributors dispense advice and describe their own professional stories and the challenges they have conquered. “It’s full of immediate and practical information from which any woman entering business can learn,” Elting said. “It’s basically indispensable.”
The Work of Art: A No-Nonsense Field Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs
Bridgette Young is the Founder and CEO of The Modern Muse Company, a bespoke marketing agency based in Los Angeles. Her book recommendation is “The Work of Art: A No-Nonsense Field Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs” by Heidi Luerra. In addition to providing a guide for creative entrepreneurs, Luerra also chronicles her professional journey, as well as the journeys of 15 other entrepreneurs. “[Luerra] doesn’t just talk about her success,” Young said. “She openly talks about what didn’t work and why, so that the reader understands what to watch out for, as well as the value of mistakes as learning experiences.”
Looking to see what books women entrepreneurs recommend? Check out our article here.
What female entrepreneur needs a book written about her? Drop your suggestions in the comments!
Thank you, Nicole, for sharing all these book recommendations for female entrepreneurs! I have read “Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 Into a Billion-Dollar Business” and completely agree with Grant’s opinion; Corcoran is an inspiring woman from a background that many of us can relate to. The other recommendations I’m not as familiar with but all look like great resources for women empowering women, and definitely worth checking out! Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for reading, Shelby!
good books to read in the new year. I am also sharing eat balanced diet