Chances are you’ve heard of many wealthy or famous female entrepreneurs, but not their stories or the lessons they learned on their way to success. In our patriarchal society, women are discouraged from stepping into that entrepreneurship world, making it much harder for us to get our foot in the door. However, that’s never stopped us from trying to reach our goals. Starting your own business can be daunting as a woman, but it doesn’t have to be when you have all the right tools and support for success. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most inspiring books by women entrepreneurs to get you there.
1. Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 Into a Billion Dollar Business by Barbara Corcoran
Well-known for her show Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran shares her journey to success and the best advice for new entrepreneurs in her book, Shark Tales. After failing at several jobs, Corcoran borrowed $1,000 from a boyfriend, quit her waitress job, and started a small real estate office in New York City. After her boyfriend dumped her for his secretary, he told Barbara, “You’ll never succeed without me.” Utilizing her mother’s advice and distinct lessons, Corcoran gradually turned her small business into a company worth $6 billion. The American businesswoman, investor, and speaker is the founder of Corcoran Group, which became one of the most powerful brokers in the world. Barbara Corcoran’s heart-warming story and down-to-earth voice will inspire entrepreneurs to start their own businesses, despite the opinions of others.
2. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington
As co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, Arianna Huffington is widely celebrated for her work. In entrepreneurship, your goals are some of the most important part of the journey, but what happens when you achieve them? Huffington explores her life as a post-success, where she found she was still missing something. In Thrive, she explains how the relentless pursuit of money and power can be. It can leave us with burnout, mental health issues, and lacking quality in our personal relationships. We each have our own ways to define success. Throughout her book, Ariana Huffington openly shares her personal struggles with balancing time for herself, managing a demanding career, and raising two daughters. This book teaches us how to refine success to value our time and the quality of our relationships.
3. Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women by Otegha Uwagba
Writer, speaker, and consultant Otegha Uwagba founded the incredible Women Who, a platform to connect and support creative women worldwide. Inspired by her work in some of London’s top ad agencies and Vice Media, Uwagba decided to build a community for women creatives. In her book, Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women, she shares practical advice for building a successful self-made career. The guidebook comes with tools to help women negotiate a raise, build their personal brand and network, and tips for overcoming creative blocks. Otegha Uwagba provides readers and inspired entrepreneurs with essential career insights for any point in their journey.
4. I Am My Brand: How To Build Your Brand Without Apology by Kubi Springer
Award-winning international brand consultant and speaker Kubi Springer provides readers with essential advice acquired from her 25 years of experience in brand marketing. Springer has worked with various brands like Nike, L’Oreal, MTV, Rolls Royce, etc. Her book, I Am My Brand, shares the tools and approaches used by different women of all cultures and backgrounds to build their personal brands. All in all, Springer offers new female entrepreneurs practical advice and skills through personal storytelling. Effectively, I Am My Brand supports powerful women building their own brand in an often male-dominated business. Success takes time, but supportive women makes the journey more enjoyable.
5. Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership, and Success on Our Own Terms by Maureen Chiquet
A literature major turned global chief executive, former CEO of Chanel Maureen Chiquet shares her story of moving beyond expectations and discovering new career paths in Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership, and Success on Our Own Terms. Chiquet explores the societal idea of what is considered a fulfilling life in a world that makes you choose one, mother or top executive. As women in business, we are often told that we are limited or cannot do both. But why not? Chiquet explores this in her book as she diminishes the dated and sexist ideas around women in business. Our society is undoubtedly drenched with labels and stereotypes. So, what does it mean to go beyond the labels? We stop limiting ourselves out of fear and start living on our own terms. Through thought-provoking questions, Chiquet teaches us what it means to create a successful business and life by own own inspired terms and decisions.
6. The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You: Command an Audience and Sell Your Way to Success by Lydia Fenet
American auctioneer, author, and Senior Vice president of Christie’s, Lydia Fenet is a force to be reckoned with. Her wit and powerful ability to raise a million dollars in minutes make her one of the most influential women in business. In her book,The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You, Fenet provides readers with a guide that will help you embrace your most powerful self. She teaches how to demand attention and channel our power in a room full of people. Through her book, Lydia Fenet provides readers with practical skills to authentically sell, network and negotiate. She also reminds us to always tell the truth. We learn from some of the most successful women in business to inspire us to take our seats at the table.
7. Girls Who Run the World: 31 CEOs Who Mean Business by Diana Kapp
A business journalist and author Diana Kapp has written about education and entrepreneurism for most major media outlets. Her first book, Girls Who Run the World: 31 CEOs Who Mean Business, is sentimentally part biography and part business guide to empower young women entrepreneurs. Through extensive interviews, Kapp gives readers an insightful look inside the lives of several successful businesswomen. Some entrepreneurs include Leslie Blodgett from Bare Escentuals/Bare Minerals, Katia Beauchamp from Birchbox, Emily Weiss from Glossier, and Lisa Sugar from Pop Sugar. This book is a helpful tool for young girls to learn how to turn their dreams into a reality.
Changing the Business World
Women are changing the game in the business world by creating new ideas, challenging traditional industries, and developing new products at a record-breaking fast pace. Although there’s a long fight in our journey for equality as in equal pay, we are making progress. Women inspire women, and we couldn’t be more proud of these women listed. We hope one of these incredible books helps you on your journey to success as an entrepreneur.
Looking for more inspiring stories by women entrepreneurs? Keep reading here.