11 Must-Read Books for Female Entrepreneurs

11 Must-Read Books for Female Entrepreneurs

An average CEO reads 5 books per month or around 60 books per year. That’s a shelf full of books. While this is not an extensive list of 60 books, it will definitely get you started. These are my top recommendations when it comes to female entrepreneurs.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

1. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Your entrepreneurial journey is going to be filled with new things you’ll learn and new habits you will need to develop in order to sustain an entrepreneur. Atomic Habits is your guide to developing new habits and improving by 37% annually. Unlike other books on habits, this one is filled with hands on tips to start implementing right away in order to construct new habits, deconstruct old ones and preserve the ones that align with your goals.

“The first mistake is never the one that ruins you. It is the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows. Missing once is an accident. Missing twice is the start of a new habit.” James Clear, Atomic Habits

Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker

2. Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker

One of my personal favorites and a book I’ve read just recently. If you want to take a fresh and unique look at the science of success, Eric will take you on a journey that shows you the real side of success, one we often miss the the clamor around us. Eric’s wise insights on success will open your eyes to a mirror that was tainted all along.

“We spend too much time trying to be “good” when good is often merely average. To be great we must be different. And that doesn’t come from trying to follow society’s vision of what is best, because society doesn’t always know what it needs. More often being the best means just being the best version of you.” -Eric Barker, Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

3. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

As an entrepreneur, you might feel creativity couples with fear hindering your progress. You want to work creatively but your fears hold you back. This is exactly where Elizabeth Gilbert will help you in her book Big Magic.

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS

4. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

Do you believe in becoming a millionaire before the age of 30 without going to a fancy college or taking some expensive marketing crash course? Sophia will inspire you to do just that by identifying and accepting your unique abilities, polishing your skills and living a worthwhile life.

“Abandon anything about your life and habits that might be holding you back. Learn to create your own opportunities. Know that there is no finish line; fortune favors action. Race balls-out toward the extraordinary life that you’ve always dreamed of, or still haven’t had time to dream up. And prepare to have a hell of a lot of fun along the way.” Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to take Action by Simon Sinek

5. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

As Simon Sinek’s famous ted talk says, ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’ This statement alone made me grab this book as soon as I could. I wanted to know more. This statement was compelling and so is the book. Simon Sinek simply puts in front of you the obvious. That all organizations operate on three levels: what, how and why. Many of us know what we do, most of us even know how we are to do it but a select few of us know why we are doing what we are doing. Simon Sinek’s Start with Why will help you find your WHY.

“If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.” Simon Sinek, Find Your Why

The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy

6. The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy

Do you know what saving $10 can get you in a decade? Yes, $36500. Multiply that by three decades and you get $109500. You see the compound effect working it’s magic as the number increases. Darren Hardy explains this magic in much more detail in his book The Compound Effect. It’s a must read right at the start of your entrepreneurial journey to set things in place from day one.

“Creating new habits will take time. Be patient with yourself. If you fall off the wagon, brush yourself off (not beat yourself up!), and get back on. No problem. We all stumble. Just go again and try another strategy; reinforce your commitment and consistency. When you press on, you will receive huge payoffs.” Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

7. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

Are you an unconventional entrepreneur? Tired of the corporate world? Desperate to delve deeper into who you’ve always meant to be? This book is for you. Learn how to maximize your efforts to be effective, validate your ideas, and charge a premium for your services.

“But you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.” Tim Ferris, The 4-Hour Workweek

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

8. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

The startup process doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Lean Startup is your guide to the science of creating and managing startups to get the product in your customer’s hand in no time. I love this approach for it brings the reality of your product to you sooner than other processes. As the product development cycle is short and the approach is agile you can work on the basis of feedback from the actual customers rather than on your perceived ideas about the product.

“We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want.” – Eric Ries, The Lean Startup

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

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

Entrepreneurship is not just about earning money, it’s about the lifestyle you want to live, the person you want to be and personally, the person you want to die as. Girl Code is not just for entrepreneurs but for any woman who wishes to improve in life.

“There are absolutely no limits on what you can achieve. Your possibilities are truly endless, and you have the power to create the life and business of your dreams. You must find the place inside of you where everything is possible.” Cara Alwill Leyba, Girl Code

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed and Happiness by Morgan Housel

10. The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed and Happiness by Morgan Housel

Finance is an important part of your journey as an entrepreneur. But at the same time, it’s important to learn about true wealth, happiness and the connection between them. One of my greatest concerns about people who work all day 7 days a week without any time to themselves is if you are always working for the lifestyle you want when do you get time to actually live it?

This book will not only teach you how you need to actually deal with your money but also give you logical explanations as to why you should save and invest smartly.

“To grasp why people bury themselves in debt you don’t need to study interest rates; you need to study the history of greed, insecurity, and optimism.” – Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin

11. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

The book was initially a personal reminder for Amy to not fall into the trap of her emotional shortcomings but when formulated as a book it became a great source of psychological reminder for many out there.

“When you learn to let go of the details you can’t control, the amount of time and energy you’ll be able to devote to the things you can control will give you the ability to accomplish incredible feats.” – Amy Morin, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Other mentions:

  1. The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman – Everything you need to know about starting a thriving business in a few hundred pages. It will save you a few hundred grand of money and a heck lot of time going to a college for studying business.
  2. Deep Work by Cal Newport – A secret to mastering your business is working in-depth on the tasks at hand. With a gazillion distractions around us focusing is an art we need to relearn.
  3. Limiteless by Jim Kwik – Your brain has more potential than you are currently utilizing. Limitless will help you polish your mental powers via tools like mindset, visualization and more.
  4. The First 20 Hours – How to learn anything fast – Josh Kaufman – A great resource to learn about the science of learning. It is said you need 10,000 hours of dedicated work to master a field. You don’t need to master a field before you start working on it. Kaufman teaches you how to build a solid foundation for any field in just 20 hours of dedicated work.
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