66 Best Business Books For Women: Female Entrepreneurs & CEOs
Welcome to my roundup of the best business books for women and female entrepreneurs everywhere.
I’ve started two businesses over the past five years. A freelance writing business, and She Rose Revolution—this place right here. And as all solopreneurs and business owners will tell you, this is not an easy journey.
We walk this path because we feel called to. There’s no other possibility. Working for someone else has been tried and tested, and quickly realised that it’s not an option.
It is fucking hard? Yes.
But is it worth it? Absolutely.
This is a choice I’ve made, to take the road less travelled, and I’d choose it again in a heartbeat.
So whether you’ve already started your business, or you’re thinking of starting one, this post is packed full of books to help you on this journey.
You’ll learn from people who have been in your shoes, overcome countless obstacles, and know what it takes to turn your biggest dreams into a reality.
Originally, I was only going to include female authors on this list. But there are some business books written by men that have spoken to and inspired me. And I believe they can help you too. So I felt called to include them. She Rose Revolution is focused on empowering women, and I believe that men can (and should) be a part of this.
But for the most part, this is a celebration of powerful women.
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Here are the 66 best business books of all time for women.
1. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
I bought #Girlboss the day it was published six years ago, and devoured it one night. I was already familiar with Sophia’s story, since I’d been working with a fashion start-up around that time, but I was ready for more than the short stories and interviews that could be found online. And that’s exactly what I got.
Sophia dropped out of high school, started looking for hidden gems of clothing and accessories in thrift stores. She would take gorgeous photographs of what she found styled on friends she asked to model, and then re-sell them on eBay. This is how her global empire Nasty Gal began—just one woman in a tiny apartment. And #Girlboss tells all.
This is one of the best books for young business women and female entrepreneurs just starting their journey. It’s inspiring, motivating, mixed with just the right amount of hustle and swagger.
2. Earth is Hiring by Peta Kelly
I first came across Peta Kelly being interviewed on a podcast, and the fire in her heart spoke to me. I was intrigued to hear more about what she had to say, particularly around money, so I watched an old series of videos she had shared on social media.
What Peta went on to say (money is an energy, if you don’t love money it won’t love you) was nothing I had ever heard before, and it transformed my entire relationship with money, for the better.
So as soon as Peta published a book, I knew it was going to be one of the best business (and life) books for women, and that I had to read it. It didn’t disappoint. She is one of these rare souls who shows up authentically and unapologetically, and this shines through on every page.
Earth Is Hiring is split into four main sections: Living, leading, earning & giving. What I love most about this book is the soulfulness meets practical, real-life advice. And it’s not just about starting a business or making money. It’s about your whole life, including play, family and adventure, because everything is connected. Balancing work and play is one of my biggest struggles as a female entrepreneur, and this was a much needed reminder to restore harmony.
3. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic is a brilliant book for all aspiring writers and creatives, but I feel like it deserves a place on this list of best business books for women. While it doesn’t cover business in a typical sense, what it does cover is the entire creative process from start to finish—something which is vital when creating any new product or service in your business; whether you’re a solopreneur or you run a global empire.
Elizabeth is a brilliant writer. You’ll recognise this as soon as you read one of her books, because you won’t be able to put it down. She draws you in, and keeps you turning the page. Big Magic is the perfect mix of practical advice, humour, and, well, magic.
If you’ve ever felt creatively blocked, stuck in fear or procrastination, or you’re not sure where to seek inspiration for your next project, this is the book to read.
4. Girl Code by Cara Alwill Leyba
Girl Code was one of the first business books for women I ever read. I knew I wanted to pave my own path and do my own thing. I just didn’t know what that looked or felt like… yet. But this book was the perfect story from a woman who had already been in my shoes, faced all the obstacles and fuck-ups, and turned her soul purpose into a thriving business.
What I love most about this book is it fells like Cara is speaking to you like a friend. She really makes you believe that if she can do it, you can too. And that’s the truth. Girl Code covers many of the challenges we face as female entrepreneurs, including being stuck in a false mentality of scarcity, competing with other women, and not trusting our intuition to guide us on our journey.
Girl Code is definitely one of the best books for young business woman, who are looking for an inspiring role model to look up to and learn from.
5. She Means Business by Carrie Green
Carrie Green is the founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association; a platform that supports and empowers women wanting to start and build a thriving business. My first introduction to Carrie was at a Hay House event in London, where she gave a short talk on the importance of self-belief, vision, and mindset when creating or manifesting anything. Her energy and passion really shone through in her words, and led me to buy She Means Business.
This book is packed with inspiration, as well as real, practical advice on connecting with your audience, getting clear on your business vision, creating a memorable brand, staying focused, and conditioning your mind for success. It’s a must read for any woman who wants to start a business, or grow their existing one.
I think what makes this one of the best business books for women is it speaks to the importance of getting in the right mindset first, and working on yourself. Because without this crucial step, you can’t create what you want in the material world. It all begins on the inside.
6. Disrupt-Her by Miki Agrawal
As a massive One Tree Hill fan (not sorry!), my first introduction to Miki Agrawal was through her friend—actress, Sophia Bush. As soon as I heard her talk and saw what she was upto, I developed a massive girl crush.
Miki is a badass. She co-founded THINX (a company that sells period underwear), Hello Tushy & Wild. Yep, she’s a serial entrepreneur, and not knowing how to do something has never stopped this woman.
I read her first book—Do Cool Shit—many years ago, and have been inspired by her fierce energy and rebel spirit ever since.
Disrupt-Her is a manifesto for the modern woman of how to live the most authentic and powerful life possible; while navigating the box society tries to place us in. You’ll also find plenty of other badass women featured in this book, along with many personal shares from Miki herself.
This is up there as one of the best business books for women because of Miki’s integrity. She’s unapologetically herself, and this helps you realise it’s okay to be yourself too. In fact, it’s fucking beautiful. This is who you were born to be. Let your soul run wild and free. Make art. Make mistakes. Learn. Grow. Play. Create. Have fun. Inspire. Lead. And live.
7. The Big Life by Ann Shoket
Ann Shoket began her career in fashion, and is perhaps best known for her time as Editor-In-Chief at Seventeen magazine; where she opened up conversations on traditionally “taboo” topics that effect young women.
Ann first came to my attention when she created the Badass Babes community. It’s a sisterhood of young, ambitious women who come together to support one another, have meaningful conversations, and help each other rise. It’s a beautiful mission, and strong female friendships are something women can never have too many of.
The Big Life is one of the best business books for women in their late teens, twenties and thirties, who want to have it all. A job they love, a supportive partner, a network of fabulous friends, respect, love, adventure, and everything in between.
Is it messy at times, and a total rollercoaster ride? Hell yes.
Should that stop you, or leave you thinking something you desire isn’t meant for you? Never!
You deserve The Big Life. And this book will guide you through the how and why.
8. Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
Dare To Lead challenges the current ideals and traits we pair with leaders, and shows us a powerful way to stay true to ourselves, hold ourselves accountable, step up and lead. Because at its core, being a leader is not about power or status.
It’s about being able to inspire and motivate and connect a group of people with a shared belief or message. It’s about recognising each person’s unique gifts and potential, and harnessing that. And it’s about honesty; having the courage to say “I fucked up,” or “I don’t know what the answer is.”
A leader like this has true courage, and can inspire and reach the hearts of millions. But it requires vulnerability, openness, and empathy.
So, the question is, how do we create leaders like this? How can you become a leader like this?
The answers can be found in Dare To Lead.
9. Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
Next up on our list of best business books for women is Marie Forleo; best known for her energetic personality on her online show, Marie TV.
Everything is Figureoutable is a much needed reminder that whatever dreams and goals you have for you life, no matter how big or small, are possible. The fact that you can even think of them means you can make them happen. But you have to believe this, and believe in yourself first.
This book walks us through some of the common challenges that we face in life and business, and how to overcome them; including how to deal with critics, how to pick yourself up after failing, and how to move past a lack of time and money.
Read this book, and you’ll see that everything life throws your way is figureoutable. This belief will change you, it will change everything.
10. Quiet by Susan Cain
The reason Quiet is one of the best business books for women is because it celebrates introverts in a world that doesn’t.
I’m an introvert. I’m quiet and I used to be incredibly shy. The same thing appeared on my end of year reports at school, over and over again: “Shani’s a great student, but she needs to raise her hand more… she needs to speak up more…. she needs to engage more with her classmates.”
Today, I run my own business in a soulful, authentic way that aligns with my unique gifts. I lead and mentor women through my coaching programs and retreats. Being an introvert has never held me back, apart from when I was made to believe it was something I needed to “fix.”
There’s this ingrained belief in our society that louder and more is better. The loudest person is often the one who gets listened to, while the quieter ones are shoved aside and labelled weak or useless.
What most people don’t realise is both introverts and extroverts have unique gifts and strengths. Research has shown that being an introvert can actually mean you’re a better speaker to groups of people (because you pick up on the subtle energy of the room), and a stronger leader.
Being an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t start or lead a business. Some of the greatest leaders and creatives we know are introverts. And Quiet takes a closer look at this, including the many ways society continually misunderstands and undervalues introverts.
So if you’re an introvert, after reading this book you’ll understand yourself better. You’ll know what your strengths are and be encouraged to embrace them.
11. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
This is the perfect next pick on our list, because Shonda Rhimes is a self-confessed introvert.
She is best known for creating hit TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Anyone looking in from the outside would say she was living life to the fullest.
But not her sister. One day she said to her, “you never say yes to anything.”
I know that feeling well. Staying home and curling up with a book or someone you love is more appealing to us introverts than going to a party where you don’t know anyone, or saying yes to speaking at an event when you’re terrified of public speaking.
As I’m sure you’ve guessed, Year of Yes is Shonda’s story of a year when she decided to stop saying no, and start saying yes—to everything; and how this dramatically transformed her life.
The reason why I think this is one of the best business books for women is that fear and lack of confidence and self-belief are common things that hold us back, and keep us from living and playing big. But when we step out of our own way, magic happens—in our work, our relationships, our friendships and beyond.
12. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
The 4-Hour Work Week was one of the books I heard about a long time before I decided to read it. I can’t say why, other than there are always hundreds of books on my to-read list. But this book undoubtedly deserves its place on this list of the best business books for women.
I’ve always looked at the 9-5 way of working and living, and felt deflated and confined by it. Have you ever felt the same?
Surely there’s a better way. Surely I don’t have to spend my time stuck in an office, doing meaningless work for pennies, and wait until I retire to finally start living?
This book confirms all of the above and more. It’s a deep dive into how Tim went from working 80 hours a week to just 4; super-charging his income in the process, while travelling the world.
It’s important to note that Tim is one of these rare people who are so focused and ninja-like in the way they operate and do everything. Of course, not everyone has the same gifts or way of thinking or goals. But even if you take elements from this book and implement them, it will help you create a life that is more aligned with your dreams.
The message here is work less, earn more, and live an awesome life—because you can.
13. Power Up by Magdalena Yesil
Magdalena Yesil came to the U.S. in the 1970s with no more than two suitcases and $43. Today, she’s a founding board member of Salesforce (a multibillion dollar company). Her journey, as she shares in Power Up, and has been filled with highs and lows.
Being a woman in Silicon Valley isn’t easy today, so I can only imagine what it was like back then. But what I love about this book is Magdalena shares her experiences as a woman, along with insight from a dozen more female entrepreneurs. She also offers us real tips and advice on how to handle yourself and overcome these challenges. This includes managing sexual dynamics, getting credit for your work, managing risk, and recruiting a team of allies.
This is up there with the best busines books women should read, particularly if you’re working in a male-dominated environment or a start-up.
We’re so fortunate to have pioneers like Magdalena who have already paved a way forward for us, and raised the bar countless times over. Thank you Magdalena, for the strides you’ve made and for sharing everything you’ve learned along the way!
14. The Confidence Code by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay
If you’ve ever struggled with self-confidence, The Confidence Code is a must read.
This book explores why women suffer from low confidence more than men, how to channel inner confidence (yes, it can be learned), and live a bigger life.
Confidence isn’t just a must-have in the workplace or running your own business; it’s imperative wherever we show up—in our day to day lives, our family and friendships, and romantic relationships. A lack of confidence can lead to people-pleasing, poor choices, and stunt our growth and success.
We all want to be more confident. We know that we need it, and that it will most likely improve our lives dramatically. But we struggle with the how. And that’s exactly what this book teaches.
15. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
I first heard of Gary V back in 2012, and loved the firey, passionate, f-bombing nature you’d get at all of his speaking events. But for some reason, I didn’t check out his first book Crush It until five years later.
In a nutshell, it’s a book on turning whatever it is that interests you and lights a fire in your belly into a busines. Because we’re living in a time where this is possible. There are people all over the world cashing in on what they love, and our parents weren’t fortunate enough to have this opportunity. But we are. So if you’re not happy in your job, don’t complain, do something about it.
I think Gary’s best medium is video. You get the full force of him when you’re watching him in action, and a book can never quite capture that. So while I would recommend checking out this book, I would also recommend you check out some of his motivational YouTube videos (if you haven’t already).
16. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
The numbers of women in positions of power continue to rise each decade. But we’ve still got a long way to go when it comes to seeing gender equality. In Lean In, Sheryl shares her own experiences working in some of the world’s leading organisations (including, Google and Facebook); along with the many obstacles and limiting self beliefs that continue to hold women back.
In Lean In, Sheryl encourages women to ask themselves how they can put themselves forward at work, versus holding themselves back. She also explores the dos and don’ts of negotiating (you absolutely should negotiate), asking for a raise, looking at the growth potential of prospective companies when looking for a job, and being considered with how you spend your time; because contrary to what we’re taught to believe, it’s not possible (or healthy) to do it all.
You deserve a seat at the table as much as any man does—remember that, whether you’re working in a company, as a freelancer, or as part of a start-up venture.
17. The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon
If you’re still working in a job you hate, and you want to know how to get started on a side hustle, making money doing something you love, The Multi-Hyphen Method was written for you.
Better still, you don’t have to quit your job to do it. Emma shares how she built her blog and podcast while working a regular part-time job. And I think this is great advice. Although, I have to admit that I did the complete opposite.
I had a rough idea of how I was going to make money and support myself on my own, but I wasn’t there yet and I still took the plunge. Mostly because it felt like I was walking into prison each day I went through the office doors; and I was so angry all the time that I was on the verge of getting myself fired anyway.
But I would recommend sticking it out in your job and building your side hustle alongside it until you know you can financially support yourself. Building a businesses is hard enough without the added pressure of burning through your cash flow.
The Multi-Hyphen Method is a brilliant burst of inspiration that will guide you to what success looks and feels like to you, help you create new streams of income, and live a more fulfilling life. This is one of the best business books for women who are new to freelancing or side hustles, and want to take the first steps toward a new career.
18. A Nose for Success by Jo Malone
Jo Malone is a British businesswoman who created the mega fragrance brand Jo Malone. She sold it to Estee Lauder in 2006, and since then created her new brand, Jo Loves.
A Nose for Success is Jo’s inspirational story. It begins with her leaving school without any qualifications, going on to build an international household brand, and become of one the most successful female entrepreneurs. Her journey is filled with many highs and lows, including being diagnosed with breast cancer at 37, and told she had just nine months to live.
If you’re looking for a heart-warming story that inspires and motivates, this is it. There’s so much we can learn from listening to women who have already achieved similar things we aspire to achieve. This is why I felt compelled to create a list of the best business books for women—there are golden nuggets of wisdom to be found in every book on this list. A Nose for Success is no exception.
19. Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington needs no introduction. She’s the cofounder and editor in chief of Huffington Post, and more recently the mindful platform Thrive.
In what can only be described as one of the most refreshing business books for women, Arianna challenges us to redefine success in a world that encourages us to prioritise work and financial gain above all else. Because when we live a life out of balance, we have to pay a price. And it usually comes at the cost of our health, our relationships, and our peace of mind.
Arianna shares her own struggles with managing her time, and juggling a global empire with raising two daughters. Like most women, we’re taught that we should be able to do it all. Have the amazing career, a dream man, the perfect family, look beautiful, stay in shape, eat right, and still make time to socialise with our friends. But pretty quickly, we realise this is bullshit, because it leaves us constantly feeling guilty for something and like we don’t measure up.
Thrive explores the benefits of practices including meditation, mindfulness, unplugging and giving. The things we often don’t make time for, because we can’t immediately see the positive effects.
Overwhelm is something I continually battle with running my own business. You’re trying to take on so many different roles at once—especially if you’re at the start of your journey—and there’s so much external (and internal) pressure to be “successful.” If this resonates with you, read this book!
20. Do it Like a Woman by Caroline Criado-Perez
The words, “like a woman,” and “like a girl,” continue to be thrown around as insults.
You fight like a girl, you play sport like a girl, you sound like a woman.
Do It Like A Woman turns this phrase on its head, highlighting some of the bravest, female change-makers of our world today. How they’ve spoken out despite people trying to silence them. The risks they’ve taken (imprisonment, and even death) to stand up for what’s right. And navigating a society that tends to (unconsciously and consciously) cater to and favour men.
You’ll hear about a female fighter pilot in Afghanistan, the Iranian journalist who dared to uncover her hair, and many more empowering stories of rebel women challenging the way things are and the way they’ve always been.
Society tries to teach you that being born a woman is your weakness, and something you have to battle against if you want to “make it,” and be revered and respected in this life. This is bullshit. Being a woman is your strength, and it’s time every girl and woman realised it.
21. More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth
Elaine Welteroth is most well known for being the youngest person ever to be appointed Editor-In-Chief of Teen Vogue in 2017. Did I mention she’s also flying the flag for WOC as an African American woman?
It’s so important to me that this list of best business books for women showcases a wide variety of women, and speaks to all women.
Too often I come across lists of books with the same names cropping up over and over again. Not only is this a snooze-fest, but it also keeps you from reading some powerful AF books written by badass women like Elaine. FYI: this is one of the most empowering books for black female entrepreneurs.
In her book More Than Enough, Elaine shares the main lessons she has learned throughout her career on race, identity and success. Her young age, combined with often being the only black woman in the room, forced her to develop resilience, inner confidence, and to remember that no matter what happens, you are enough.
This book explores the importance of finding your purpose and your passion on your own terms, regardless of what anyone else says or thinks about it. A must read for all women who feel like they are here to do something big and bold; particularly women of colour.
We need more empowering women like Elaine inspiring us and showing us that we have every right to what we desire, just as much as anybody else does. Who you are, what you look like, and where you come from doesn’t matter. You’ve got this.
22. Imperfect Courage by Jessica Honegger
Jessica is the founder of jewellery brand Noonday Collection—a fair-trade business that partners with artisan jewellery makers in vulnerable communities across the globe; providing them with a source of income and a sense of purpose. This venture grew into something bigger than Jessica anticipated; a business she initially started to fund the adoption of her Rwandan son, Jack.
What makes Imperfect Courage one of the best business books for women is it’s a soulful business book. On her journey building her brand, Jessica felt the pressure of being successful, since it directly affected other people’s lives, too; perhaps in a greater way. This book is the story of how Jessica found that courage within, embraced her discomfort, and paved her way forward through risk and adversity. By doing so, she created a life filled with meaning and impact; one that has a ripple effect on thousands of others.
Within these pages, she shows us how to offer ourselves (and others) more compassion, free ourselves from shame, be vulnerable, and bring our imperfect courage to the world. Because the world needs you, now more than ever.
23. Been There, Run That by Kay Koplovitz
I love books about fierce, female entrepreneurs, and this is one of them!
Kay Koplovitz is the founder of USA Network and chairman of Springboard Enterprises—an accelerator for an expert network of women entrepreneurs. In its first year, Springboard raised nearly $200 million. Fifteen years later, companies in the Springboard portfolio have collectively raised over $6.5 billion.
Been There, Run That is a collection of entries from dozens of Springboard alumnae on everything to do with starting your own business. This includes how to begin, raising capital, creating company culture and crowdfunding, plus many more tips and tools for entrepreneurs.
This is up there with the best business books for women looking to start a new venture. Anyone who already has a business or is an early-stage founder, as well as serial entrepreneurs. This book is packed with advice, lessons and wisdom from female entrepreneurs who have truly been there and run that.
This is what I want for entrepreneurs, especially for women: to believe in themselves, to dream bigger, reach higher, and to achieve success beyond their wildest expectations.
24. Thinking Like a Boss by Kate Crocco
If you have a desire somewhere within you to start your own business, but you’re plagued with fear and doubt and unsure if you have what it takes, this book was penned for you.
In Thinking Like a Boss, Kate shares the 12 most common limiting beliefs that are holding women back from their true potential. These include feeling unqualified, thinking you should have it all together already, lack of time, and thinking that’s already been done before.
The book is filled with inspirational stories from Kate’s time as a business coach & therapist, along with actionable steps to take right now to get out of your own way.
It’s time to let go of the lies that have been holding you back for too long. If you dream of a successful, fulfilling life, doing work that sets your soul on fire, this book will help you take a big step towards everything you desire.
25. Strong Woman by Karren Brady
I first came across Karren Brady on the British TV show The Apprentice, where she has been Alan Sugar’s aide for a number of years. But Karren’s career began many years before this in both the journalism and business world. In this book she shares her story of working her way up the corporate ladder, and going on to be one of the most successful young business people in the UK.
In Strong Woman, Karren shares how she balances work with her personal life as a wife and mother; and how she has navigated working in male-dominated industries like journalism, sports and business. Plus, she offers real, practical business advice—things you only learn from going through the fire and coming out the other side. It’s one of the most inspiring business books for women.
What I love most about this book is Karren’s honesty. She openly says she has made many mistakes and hasn’t gotten everything right along the way. This is what it means to be human. Unfortunately, there’s this ingrained pressure on women to be “perfect” at all times. And of course, we never quite measure up; because it’s a game we cannot win.
Karren is without doubt a highly motivated and hard working woman, and her success was no accident. But this book shows you that success is not reserved for the lucky or special ones. Everything you desire can be yours, as long as you’re willing to commit to it every day.
26. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
My first introduction to Simon Sinek was when I accidentally stumbled on his TED Talk: Start with why; which has gone on to become one of the most-watched TED Talks of all time. If you haven’t watched it yet, do that before you check out this book.
Start With Why is based on the belief that when it comes to business, what you do doesn’t matter quite as much as why you do it. This is what sets apart a successful leader and business, and one that doesn’t quite make it.
Simon draws on examples including Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King, who all started with why before what. He suggests that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
So why are you doing it?
Many of us don’t stop and think about this. Making profit is fundamental, otherwise you don’t have a business. But if making money is your only motivation, your product or service will lack heart and depth, and this will be clear to your potential customers. Your why is what will draw people to you over your competitors.
27. Women Who Launch by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Women Who Launch is a book filled with real-life stories of women who have created and launched some of the most well known brands, organisations and movements our world has ever seen.
Marlene highlights numerous women, some more well known than others; including Anita Roddick—founder of The Body Shop, Sara Blakely—the innovator of Spanx, Anna Jarvis—who insisted on a day to celebrate mamas everywhere which we now know as Mother’s Day, Juliette Gordon Low—who created the Girl Scouts of America, and many more.
This is a collection and celebration of strong, fierce, empowered women; all of whom have shaped our world for the better. Did they face resistance and opposition? Hell yes. Did they keep marching forward anyway? Absolutely. And when you do, nothing is impossible, no dream or vision is too big.
Women Who Launch is an inspiring, uplifting read, and a beautiful reminder of the power of persistence.
28. Grit by Angela Duckworth
Grit is one of the best business books for women because it focuses on what you think and feel when everything crumbles and you fall flat on your face; reminding you that your thoughts and actions in this moment are the key to success in all areas of life.
And let’s be honest, this happens to us all. Failure and obstacles are inevitable when you’re operating out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to do something you’ve never done before. The problem is, we’ve been taught to see it as a bad thing; something that only happens to losers. This is BS. Failure is required if you want to be the best at anything, or do something that has never been done before.
The great news is, Angela shows us this resilience can be learned and mastered by anyone; and it’s a must-have skill that leads to outstanding achievement.
Grit is both inspiring and packed with practical tips to help you foster a more positive mindset, a more devoted work ethic, and the strength to pick yourself back up and keep going when life gets tough—which you can count on!
29. Survival Skills for Freelancers by Sarah Townsend
Five years ago, I quit my 9-5 job as a fashion designer to become a freelance writer. To say I didn’t have a clue what I was doing would be an understatement. How would I?
I stumbled my way through and managed to create a lucrative freelance writing business, while coaching, hosting retreats, and writing books on the side. But some guidance would have made my life a lot easier!
That’s why I had to include Survival Skills for Freelancers on this list of best business books for women.
Many people begin in a service based business—as a freelance writer, designer, personal trainer etc.—often while building a bigger business on the side. It’s a great way to still enjoy the freedom of being your own boss, design your own schedule, choose the people you work with, and make a lot more money than as an employee.
But if you’re new to freelancing, there’s a tonne you don’t know.
How much should you charge? How do you cope with the isolation that comes with working from home on your own? What about setting boundaries between your work and personal life? And what about when your tax return is due?
Sarah’s book covers all the above and so much more.
What I love about it is it’s not solely focused on the work aspect of freelancing. Sarah understands that all areas of life are equally important: family, friendship, health, play etc. Survival Skills for Freelancers will show you how to thrive as a freelancer, without sacrificing your sanity and peace of mind.
30. In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney
Grace Bonney is the founder of Design*Sponge—an inspiring website for creatives & designers attracting almost 2 million readers per day, which sadly closed its doors at the end of 2020. But watch this space, because whatever Grace turns her attention to next will definitely be worth waiting for.
Her book, In the Company of Women, takes a look at more than 100 women from around the world who have started successful creative businesses. Writers, musicians, cartoonists, chefs, poets and many more. Each profile is packed with advice, lessons, inspiration, and key details for succeeding in business and life.
What I love most about this book is the diversity of the women included. This makes it super-inspiring to all women, regardless of age, background or ethnicity. We need more empowering female role models like this, and to champion the women who are out there living their dreams, doing bold and beautiful things.
Aside from the wonderful information on these pages, there are also some gorgeous glossy photos of these women in their workspaces.
31. Work Like a Woman by Mary Portas
I first came across Mary Portas through her TV show Queen of Shops, where she would visit independent boutiques and shops who were struggling to bring customers in, and transform them into beautiful spaces that you couldn’t help but wonder into.
Mary always came across as honest, direct and strong, but also kind and supportive, which is what I admire about her. It never felt like she was playing a character, or playing up to a stereotype. She has harnessed the perfect balance of masculine and feminine energy, and always knows which to draw on and when. This is not easy to do in a world that tells women to act like men if they want to succeed in the workplace, while simultaneously demanding we act like “ladies” the rest of the time.
Work Like a Woman is a manifesto for ending the tired alpha work culture we’ve allowed to play out for too long; and an invite to work, collaborate and lead in a whole new way that supports both women and men. It’s packed with tips and practical advice from Mary’s vast business experience, which spans over many decades; along with some shocking facts and figures that are sure to enrage you.
By all means, get angry, then do something about it. This book focuses on the doing. It will show you how to be your best self at work, regardless of what level you’re at, or if you run your own business.
Thank you Mary, you Queen.
32. How to Own the Room by Viv Groskop
How to Own the Room is a book about public speaking. But even if this isn’t something you regularly do, that doesn’t mean you should overlook this book.
I am not a public speaker. In fact, it’s something I really don’t enjoy doing, and don’t actively do very often. My skills are in writing, listening, and working with small groups of women, or preferably 1:1.
That being said, there will often be times when you find yourself on some form of a stage and needing to “own the room.” Whether it’s giving a presentation at work, on a job interview, dealing with a difficult boss, explaining your business idea to an investor, or sending an email pitching a new client.
This book is split into nine chapters, each of which relates to a different woman. From J.K. Rowling to Michelle Obama to Oprah Winfrey. Viv explores what makes us really listen to these women, and how we can have the same impact in our own lives.
How to Own the Room is a rare book, because it does what most books on public speaking do not. It speaks directly to women, and the moments in which we are made to feel small because of our gender. It tells you what to do when you open your mouth and no words come out. And it explains how to overcome performance anxiety, which too many of us suffer from.
You see, you don’t need to change who you naturally are to own the room.
33. Playing Big by Tara Mohr
If you feel like you’re living a small, less-than life, Playing Big was written for you.
Tara Mohr is the founder of the Playing Big leadership program for women and an expert on women’s leadership. Through her work, she noticed an unsettling pattern with women.
Women would be full of talent, brilliant idea and aspirations, but they were unable to recognise their own power. They wanted to live a bigger, bolder life, but they didn’t know how or where to start. Tara then created a step-by-step guide on how to do just that, and that’s exactly what Playing Big is.
Do you feel unseen at work? Taken for granted as a mother? Unfulfilled, undesired, or unappreciated as a partner? Like you have a calling or a big idea, but you’re afraid you don’t have what it takes to birth it into the world?
The heart of this book is about figuring out what you came here to do, how you can live your fullest, grandest adventure, and how to make it a reality. This is your call to play BIG, because when women play big, magic happens.
34. How to Be an Overnight Success by Maria Hatzistefanis
I love that Maria titled this book How to Be an Overnight Success. Because anyone who has ever achieved anything great knows that there is no such thing.
When a business or a person finally reaches the level where they’re being talked about in the media, it seems as though they’ve sky-rocketed out of nowhere. But the reality is there’s a 10 to 20 year back story of hard work, determination and fuck-ups that don’t get shared.
Why? Because that’s not glamourous!
But it is real.
Maria founded the skincare company Rodial back in 1999, and later Nip + Fab, both of which have become international brands; and her products are also popular with high profile women including Poppy Delevigne and Daisy Lowe.
But as Maria rightly points out, she didn’t start out as a “success.” Building a business requires so much hard work, persistence, resilience, overcoming challenges, picking yourself up after failing, and making sacrifices that most people aren’t prepared to make.
In How to Be an Overnight Success, Maria shares both her highs and lows, her struggles and her successes, and what it really takes to build a thriving business.
Hint: it includes working weekends, a skinny social life (if one at all), and believing in yourself no matter what.
35. Heart and Hustle by Patricia Bright
Patricia Bright has one of the UK’s fastest growing YouTube channels. She creates fashion and beauty content that is closely followed by almost 3 million subscribers. Patricia began working in financial consulting before making the switch to do what she really loved. And she hasn’t had to look back since.
In Heart and Hustle, Patricia shares the valuable lessons she has learned along the way, from childhood to present; and will transform the way you think about work, life and success. This is a call to women to use both your head and heart to create a brand that aligns with your unique gifts and definition of what it means to succeed.
The book is split into three main sections: Your brand, your business, and your beliefs. I would recommend this to any woman who is new to business and side hustles, and is thinking about taking the leap. It’s an inspiring call to face your fears, take back control of your life, and build an empire (if that’s what you want).
36. Dear Female Founder by Lu Li
Lu Li is the founder of Blooming Founders—a platform dedicated to supporting female founders. In her book Dear Female Founder, she shares a collection of 66 letters each penned by a different female founder. These are some of the most awe-inspiring female entrepreneurs of all time. Each founder is at a different point in her journey, facing different challenges and obstacles, and has something unique to share and offer the reader.
The way this book is compiled makes it an easy read, no matter who you are or how chaotic your life may be. You can read just one letter each day. In fact, it may be a juicier read this way. Give yourself time and space to devour each one, and really digest the key takeaways.
Dear Female Founder is an authentic book that will encourage and uplift you. It’s filled with wisdom that is valuable, regardless of where you are on your own path today. I wish I could have discovered this book a few years ago when I was just starting out!
37. Let It Go by Dame Stephanie Shirley CH
When I discover women like Stephanie and hear their incredible life story, I find myself filled with rage that we are not taught about women like her at school. It’s the same white men who dominate our history classes, and we miss out on the chance to learn about amazing humans who are actually doing great things.
Let It Go is a deep dive into Stephanie’s life. How she arrived in England alone as a refugee during World War Two, and went on to found a software company called Freelance Programmers; during a time when the word software barely existed. Her company employed women to work on numerous complex projects, allowing them to work from home and manage their own workload. Eventually, she transferred the ownership of the business to her staff, and created 70 millionaires.
Isn’t that the most inspiring story you’ve heard in a long time?
This is not just a book about business, it’s a book about being human first and foremost, and how this extends to our work. Stephanie devoted her life to achieving greatness, not just for herself, but for the wider world. This is what makes her story one of the best business books for women of all time, without a doubt.
38. The Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba
The Little Black Book is a pocket-sized career guide for every woman, whether your career has just begun, you’re an employee or the owner of a humming business.
Inside these pages you’ll find tips and advice on everything including how to carve out your own career, the art of negotiating and asking for a raise, building a powerful personal brand, networking like a pro, finding inspiration when you feel creatively blocked, and so much more.
Otegha shares her own knowledge as a writer, speaker and founder, and compiles contributions from female powerhouses like feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Refinery29 co-founder Piera Gelardi.
Keep this book close to hand for when you need a little pep talk or a boost of inspiration.
39. Mistakes I Made at Work by Jessica Bacal
We spend a lot of time striving to be perfect as human beings, and avoid making mistakes. This often stems from being scolded by our teachers or parents when we were younger and made a poor decision. And that made us believe we were bad or stupid or wrong, anytime we messed up again in the future.
But when we make a mistake, we are able to learn, do better, and grow. This makes us stronger, more thoughtful, more purposeful, and more assertive; in all areas of our lives. So mistakes are actually an opportunity for growth, a blessing in disguise from the Universe, inviting us to step up.
In Mistakes I Made at Work, Jessica interviews 25 high profile women who have all enjoyed great levels of success. She asks them about their toughest moments, the mistakes they’ve made, what they learned from them, and the impact this had on their journey to where they are today. We hear from Cheryl Strayed, Anna Holmes, Ruth Ozeki, and many more across a variety of fields.
Mistakes I Made at Work is a must-read for perfectionists, and any woman who is at the beginning of their career or business, and looking to make waves.
40. In My Shoes by Tamara Mellon
In My Shoes is the story of Tamara Mellon—founder of Jimmy Choo. She borrowed £150,000 from her father to start her company, and turned into into a multi-million dollar, global empire. Today, she is one of the UK’s most successful self-made business women of all time.
This book covers the highs, the lows, and everything in between. It’s the perfect combination of memoir and business book. If you’re wondering who Tamara really is, what her life looked like growing up, and what it takes to build an empire, she shares all in this book.
41. Purpose by Jessica Huie
You may know of Jessica Huie as a PR Queen, who has founded two businesses, and worked with some of the biggest names in business and Hollywood. But Jessica faced some great challenges growing up; becoming a mum in her teens, being expelled from school, and living in a hostel.
In Purpose, Jessica shares how she want from an unfulfilling, unhappy life, to the limitless, empowered one she lives today. This book is filled with tools to help you get unstuck, create real change, and transform your life, no matter who you are or where you find yourself.
What I love most about this book is how Jessica encourages us to listen to ourselves, our intuition, and our soul’s calling. This is how we are guided by the universe, and this is how we find our way to living our true purpose.
If you feel stuck, lost, or a little broken, this is a must read book to help you get out of your rut, and take that first next step towards a fulfilling life.
42. Boss Up! by Lindsay Teague Moreno
In two years, Lindsay built a seven-figure business, while raising her kids full-time at home. In her book Boss Up, she helps women build their confidence, own their ambition, and build a thriving business. She doesn’t pretend it’s easy, but she does show you that anything is possible if you want it, you know the steps to take, and you commit to walking that path.
Lindsay shares the many lessons learned on her own journey, solid business principles, and powerful philosophies for success including:
- Be yourself
- Think long term
- Understand your why (hello Simon Sinek!)
This is one of those brilliant business books for women just starting our in the world of business, plus anyone further on their journey wanting to know how to scale.
43. Radical Candor by Kim Scott
Radical Candor bridges the gap between managers who are overly direct and aggressive, and the ones who avoid confrontation and are constantly empathetic. It’s a guide on how to have open, honest, fierce conversations in the workplace, without being an asshole.
This is how we create stronger relationships built on trust, friendlier work environments, and more successful, motivated teams of people.
Kim notes that giving praise and constructive criticism are equally important. She draws on her personal experience as a manager in top silicon valley companies, sharing wins as well as mistakes from her own career.
If you’re a manager or business owner, this book is a must-read. It will help you build better relationships with your employees, and understand why the conversations we have at work matter.
Newsflash: you don’t have to behave like Gordon Ramsey in his kitchen to build a loyal team of people who respect you, get the work done, and enjoy success. You can be a kind human, you can be authentic, and you can be a great leader.
44. Entrepreneurial You by Dorie Clark
Next up on our list of best business books for women is Entrepreneurial You. We’re in an era where it’s sexy to be a founder of a company, and most people are working on a side hustle. But what if you desperately want to take that leap, but you don’t know how to start making money doing something you love?
That’s where this book steps in. As a successful entrepreneur herself, Dorie shares insights and advice on building your brand, honing in on your expertise and monetizing it, and creating an impact online.
She also interviewed 50 other entrepreneurs, and asked them for the skills and mindset they believe are necessary to build a successful business, which she then collated and shared in this book. You’ll hear from authors, bloggers, coaches and more, who have all built six and seven figure incomes.
Entrepreneurial You explores how to widen your income streams today, no matter who you are, through traditional and online methods. There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur, and this book will show you it’s possible for you too—if you want it.
45. How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith
How Women Rise is a book that identifies 12 common habits that hold women back from success at work. This includes hesitating to put forward your ideas, being unable to take credit for your achievements, and struggling to get the support you need from your manager or colleagues.
You’ll quickly notice if these obstacles are present within you; and the advice and tools given in each chapter will show you where these habits stem from, and how to get out of your own way and overcome them.
This is how women rise, in their careers and beyond.
46. Alpha Girls by Julian Guthrie
When someone mentions Silicon Valley, you can’t help but think of the sexist, alpha-male driven culture it’s renowned for. Many women have spoken out about this, and shared their stories of navigating an industry dominated by men.
You may not have heard of them (because they’ve been written out of history) but there are some incredible women who have been instrumental in building some of the biggest companies in our world.
Alpha Girls is a celebration of all these women, but four in particular.
Magdalena Yesil—went on to build Salesforce, and we featured her earlier in this post (author of Power Up).
Mary Jane Elmore—one of the first women in the US to make partner at a venture capital firm.
Theresia Gouw—who helped build Facebook, Trulia, Imperva and ForeScout.
Sonja Hoel—who invested in McAfee and Hotmail, and founded an all-women’s investment group and a national non-profit for girls.
All four women are incredibly inspiring, working their way to the top of an industry that cast them as outsiders.
This is one of the best business books for women, particularly anyone working in the tech space, or a similar industry that is dominated by men.
47. Get Over Your Damn Self by Romi Neustadt
Before I read this book, I would see it popping up over and over again on Amazon every time I was browsing for books. Eventually, I took it as a sign from the Universe that I had to read it, and I’m glad I did.
What I love most is Romi’s honesty on how different her life looked before her business grew. Her and her husband lived a life of scrimping and saving, eating a diet mostly of rice and beans, and couldn’t afford to keep the heat on in their whole house.
A chance to start a direct sales business came along, and Romi threw herself into it. She worked every day, including weekends and summers, without taking vacations. This isn’t the glamorous story that most people want to hear, but it’s the truth. This is what it takes to build something big, and create a life of freedom that you don’t need to take a vacation from.
Get Over Your Damn Self is one of the best business books for women interested in network marketing (or working in this field already). Romi’s no BS approach will help you master your mindset, set goals, and build the fabulous life you dream of living.
48. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
I had to include this book on our best business books for women list because it covers so many important values for living and leading a creative life. And if you’re an entrepreneur, you are creating every day.
Steal Like An Artist is a book inspired by a talk Austin gave to college students back in 2011, which quickly went viral. It was based on a list of all the things he wish someone had told him when he was their age. It included things like do good work, be nice, write the book you want to read, and steal like an artist.
This book is the illustrated, expanded version of his original manifesto. A brilliant guide for all creatives: writers, artists, entrepreneurs, designers, and photographers—anyone who is making something from nothing.
One of the most important messages is that there aren’t really any new ideas. What will make your art different ans stand out is you. This book is a call to make art now, today. Don’t wait. And don’t be too serious about it either. Because creativity is about playing, exploring, and experimenting.
49. Secrets of Six-Figure Women by Barbara Stanny
Secrets of Six-Figure Women is a celebration and exploration of high-earning women. In this book, Barbara shares the seven key strategies that these women share, which are:
- A Profit Motive
- Financial Know-How
The best part? They are all learnable.
This book is based on a tonne of research, plus hundreds of interviews with women earning six to seven-figure incomes. These are real women who have at some point struggled to believe they’re capable of earning $100,000 per year or more. But Barbara demonstrates that there’s no reason why any woman cannot achieve this kind of financial success.
Secrets of Six-Figure Women will empower your relationship with money, by confronting your limiting beliefs, and modelling supportive actions. If you’re not happy with the amount of money you make today, in a job or your business, read this book asap.
50. Step into Your Moxie by Alexia Vernon
Step Into Your Moxie is a beautiful book devoted to helping women (and men) find their voice, and use it. Whether it’s in your role as a leader, at work, in your community, at home, or in your friendships.
This is a playful guide designed to empower women, showing them how to communicate in an authentic and effective way. Alexia has written the book you’ll want to read anytime you want to have an honest or daring conversation, but you’re not sure how or where to begin. That might be on a stage in front of a big crowd, in a presentation at work, or even one to one in one of your personal relationships.
Step Into Your Moxie will boost your confidence, help you feel comfortable in your true self, and show you how to create a bigger impact in the world—as far-reaching as you desire.
Some would consider this a self-help book, but I’ve included it in our list of best business books for women; because clear communication is something that is vital when running a business—even a company of one.
51. Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker
I first read this book in 2017, and it totally transformed the way I think and feel about money.
Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind is a book everyone who isn’t as financially successful as they want to be must read. Because if you desire true wealth but you don’t have it yet, there’s an explanation for this. And this book will help you figure out what that is, and show you how to change it.
The book begins by exploring what a money blueprint is, and the idea that we each have one. This is what we think about money, how we feel about it, and the way we spend or hoard it. Usually this is formed from what we saw and heard about money as children.
The great news is, regardless of what your current blueprint is, you can change it.
The second part of the book covers 17 different wealth files (beliefs) that all rich people have programmed in their brain, why they’re important, and how to cultivate them today.
Some people have criticized this book on the basis that it’s too “salesey,” but if you read the book, you’ll realize this is just another limiting wealth file you have around other people promoting themselves and their products/services.
If you want to make lots of money—or even more than you currently do—read this book!
52. Work Wife by Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur
Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur first met in college, and many years later founded a fashion and design website called Of a Kind. In their book Work Wife, they celebrate the power of strong, female friendships, and how this can fuel a successful business.
If you’re thinking of partnering up with other women to create a joint venture, this is one of the best business books to read. Work Wife covers vital topics that will inevitably arise including managing money, navigating disagreements, dividing responsibility, defining roles, and weaving in motherhood.
Erica and Claire show that not only is it possible to work with your best friend, it can be the secret to success. This book shares advice and stories from other infamous duos, and is a celebration of sisterhood in the workplace.
53. Take the Leap by Sara Bliss
Do you find yourself feeling stuck in a job or career, thinking you made the wrong choice all those years ago at college?
Don’t worry, so many of us have been there—me included. Is anyone really in a position to decide what they want to do with the rest of their life at 17?
Perhaps a lucky few of us are. But most of us, I would say, are not.
So we wind up in careers that aren’t fulfilling us or bringing the joy we seek, but we think it’s too late to switch lanes.
But it’s never too late. And if this is where you’re at right now, Take The Leap will help you on your journey.
This book profiles 63 people from all walks of life who made big career changes; transitioning from something that felt mundane, to something that aligned with their passions.
Usually the only thing that holds us back is our own fear. Fear of failing, looking stupid, making the wrong choice. This book will give you the confidence to trust yourself, and finally take that leap. Because what awaits you when you do will be extraordinary.
54. Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran
You may know of Barbara Corcoran through the TV show, Shark Tank. But before building a billion dollar business, she started out as a waitress in a diner.
In Shark Tales, Barbara shares how she built her business starting with just $1000, which she borrowed from her then-boyfriend. It’s packed with inspiration and helpful advice for female entrepreneurs, peppered with humour, wit and real-talk.
What makes this one of the best business books for women for me is Barbara’s advice to enjoy the process. Too often, we get blind-sighted by the end goal, by the prize at the finish line. But this isn’t where the real gold is. It’s in the mistakes you make, the obstacles you overcome, and the way you change and grow along the way.
55. Company of One by Paul Jarvis
I just finished reading Company of One a few weeks ago, and it’s a brilliant business book for anyone who is currently a one-woman band (me!).
Company of One examines the myth that you have to make your company bigger in order to make it better, and shows that staying small can actually be more beneficial to you and your business.
Paul shows you can maximise your happiness, sustainability and profitability without necessarily scaling up. Many entrepreneurs believe growth is the key to more success, but this isn’t always the case. Paul himself is a solopreneur, and runs a highly profitable business he loves, while also taking plenty of vacation time throughout the year. He also shares many examples of other successful solopreneurs doing the same.
This book is devoted to starting a business that works for you and the kind of lifestyle you dream of living; without the need for a swanky office or a team of employees. If you’re interested in building a lifestyle business rather than a global empire, and work-life balance is important to you, then this is the book to read.
56. How To Style Your Brand by Fiona Humberstone
If branding isn’t your forte, How To Style Your Brand will help you fill in the gaps. This is not only one of the best business books for women but is also a design bible.
Fiona has years of experience developing hundreds of brand identities for small businesses worldwide. In this book, she shares her process and helps you style your own brand.
Inside you’ll find details on creating an emotive connection with colour, tips on using pattern and illustrations, selecting distinctive typefaces, and pulling all these elements together to creative an irresistible brand image.
How To Style Your Brand is a valuable book for women who are just starting their business, and know very little about design and branding. This book will give you the tools and confidence to create your own brand identity, or to clearly brief a designer.
57. Self Made by Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole
If you’re interested in starting your own business, but you’re not sure where to start, Self Made will point you in the right direction. This book will take you from an initial concept and show you how to turn it into a commercially viable service or product.
Self Made offers tips and advice from Bianca and Byron who are both serial entrepreneurs, along with interviews from many other well-known entrepreneurs and industry experts.
It takes a look at all the moving parts of starting and running a successful business, including: writing a business plan, financial forecasting, budgets, registering your business, social media, making things happen; from start-up stage to exiting your business.
Self Made shows you how to start and grow your business without letting fear get in your way, while avoiding common mistakes of entrepreneurs who have walked this path before you.
58. The Next Generation of Women Leaders by Selena Rezvani
This book highlights an empowering collection of 30 female executives across various industries and job roles. These women include Jamie McCourt (president of the Los Angeles Dodgers), Denise Incandela (president of Saks Direct at Saks Fifth Avenue), and Naomi Earp (chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). In each interview, women share the lessons they’ve learned along their journey and climbing to a leadership role.
The Next Generation of Women Leaders is packed with valuable tools and wisdom that shows the next generation of women how to navigate the workplace, and take responsibility for their own professional growth. It’s a brilliant book for women who have just left school or recently graduated, as well as women looking to take the next steps in their career or business.
Thank you Selena for highlighting these inspirational trailblazers, and writing one of the best business books for women!
59. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
In 1962, Phil Knight started a business importing high quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. In his first year, he grossed $8000, and today, Nike’s sales have reached $30 billion.
Shoe Dog is Phil’s story, beginning with the moment he decided to start a business. He shares all the usual challenges, setbacks, and fears that plague entrepreneurs on the journey to create a wildly successful company.
If you’re looking to be motivated or inspired, this is one of the best business books for women to read. It’s filled with lessons on overcoming adversity, creating something from nothing, and leaving your footprints on this earth in a way that only you can.
One of the highlights for me was learning how quickly the swoosh logo was conceived and run with. It goes to show that sometimes fast, intuitive decisions are the best ones!
60. How Remarkable Women Lead by Joanna Barsh, Susie Cranston and Geoffrey Lewis
How Remarkable Women Lead is a book that characterises remarkable women at work as embodying “centred leadership,” within five dimensions.
The book explores each of these areas, and how aspiring leaders can attract (and sustain) support through them.
This book will take you on a journey to authentic leadership. Interviews and personal stories from some incredible women will show you the magic that happens when you put these five elements to work.
If you desire to lead, or have been entrusted with leadership responsibilities—in your business or any field of work—this book will guide you straight to the heart of what it means to be a true leader, and give you practical steps to get there. It’s undoubtedly one of the best books for female CEOs.
61. Why Simple Wins by Lisa Bodell
Do you find your time being depleted each day on menial, admin-based tasks that don’t really drive your business forward?
I mean things like writing and sending emails, answering phone calls, attending useless meetings, and completing reports.
Imagine if you completely eradicated, or greatly minimised these tasks. Think about how much extra time you’d have to devote to what you’re truly great at. Chances are, you didn’t start a business so you could spend all day writing, sending and replying to emails. Right?
Why Simple Wins earns its place as one of the best business books for women because it will show you how to eliminate unnecessary tasks, simplify all areas of your business, and communicate with clarity.
You’ll begin to notice where your time gets sapped, and which activities are creating the most value. And when you do, you can start simplifying tasks so that you get to focus more time and attention on the things that really matter.
62. Invent it, Sell it, Bank it! by Lori Greiner
Lori Greiner is another Shark from ABS’s Shark Tank series. In Invent it, Sell it, Bank it, she shares how to turn your idea into a reality, kick-start your business, and turn it into a roaring success.
She covers fundamental topics including market research, product design, funding, manufacturing, protecting your ideas, and how to pitch and sell.
Lori herself has created over 400 products. So if anyone is qualified to walk you through this process, it’s her.
63. Business As Unusual by Anita Roddick
This book was written and published long before entrepreneurship and book writing was considered glamourous. But it’s still arguably one of the best business books for women out there.
Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop in 1976. It sold for £884 million after Anita sadly passed away in 2017. It was a beauty brand like no other, with profit and principles working in harmony. Products were never tested on animals, and nobody was exploited in the process of making them. She didn’t want to create products to make women look a certain way—but to help them be the best versions of themselves.
Business As Unusual shares Anita’s journey in building a revolutionary beauty business, while standing up for what she believed in. It’s honest, passionate and inspiring. If you desire to create a business built on transparency, change, and social justice, this is a must-read.
I think all business practices would improve immeasurably if they were guided by ‘feminine’ principles.
—Dame Anita Roddick.
64. The Barefoot Executive by Carrie Wilkerson
The Barefoot Executive is another brilliant book for women who are thinking of starting a business, but need some help. Carrie helps you figure out what type of business will suit your unique talents, how to find your “why,” stay focused along the way, and find support to help fast-track your success.
As Carrie candidly says, if you want to study business, go do a business degree. If you want to do business, read this book and then do it.
The Barefoot Executive is a perfect blend of encouraging and butt-kicking. You’ll be inspired to get moving and take action, no matter what obstacles are currently in your way.
If you crave more flexibility and financial freedom, creating a business is the right way to go. Whatever you desire is achievable, you just have to believe that and go for it.
65. The Glitter Plan by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor
Pamela and Gela are the founders of multimillion-dollar fashion empire, Juicy Couture. In this part-memoir and part-business book, they share how they built one of the most iconic fashion labels of the century.
It all began when they struggled to find the perfect T-shirt. They set up in their one-bedroom apartment, with just $200, and a promise that whatever they made they had to both be obsessed by it. This venture grew into Juicy Couture, which they eventually sold to Liz Claiborne for $50 million.
In this book, Pamela and Gela chart how they built their empire by creating a bold business plan that had never been seen before. Enter, The Glitter Plan. They share how they executed ideas, promoted their products, found the right team players, and learned a tonne of lessons while climbing their mountain.
The Glitter Plan is funny, inspiring, and honest. Without a doubt one of the best business books out there for women. A must-read for all aspiring female entrepreneurs.
66. I Am My Brand by Kubi Springer
I Am My Brand will show you how to build your own successful personal brand. It’s written by Kubi Springer—one of the most influential female brand builders in the UK.
This book explores the strategies used by various women (including Kubi) to build their personal brands, the challenges they faced, and how they overcame these. Through Kubi’s eight pillars of personal branding, you will learn how to succeed and stand out in a noisy, male-dominated business world.
First, you’ll explore what your personal brand is. Next, how to make it successful and authentic. Plus, the branding elements you must focus on to build an emotional connection with your audience. This is a practical and empowering guide for female entrepreneurs, freelancers and executives.
That’s my list of the best business books for women!
I hope you enjoyed this list, and you’ve found at least one book that speaks to your soul, wherever you are on your entrepreneurial journey.
I’d also like to share with you a post I wrote on some of the big things I wish I knew before starting my business. Hopefully it helps you feel less alone/crazy along the way!
Are there any other top books for female entrepreneurs you love? Think they should be added to our list? Let us know in the comments below!