Updated on April 18th, 2023
In recent years, female small business owners have reached phenomenal levels of success in all areas of their lives. In fact, they are more likely to have higher levels of education and have a satisfying home life than their male counterparts in business. They have also shown that they are able and willing to break glass ceilings in many industries traditionally dominated by men.
However, pushing the envelope is hard and taxing on an emotional level; it can be very lonely for a woman in business. Therefore, it is important that modern businesswomen find ways to focus on their personal mental and emotional health. One way to do this is to read business books catering to female professionals.
Perhaps a businesswoman has faced challenges in her work or is worried about the future. Whatever her situation, she may benefit from reading the books included on this list, which can provide advice and insight into the struggles of female entrepreneurs.
How can I be the best business woman?
Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur, by Cara Alwill Leyba
This book fits in alongside other “girl power” books like #Girlboss. Written by life coach Cara Alwill Leyba, it discusses the importance of women supporting and empowering one another in the business world. To quote the author: “Wisdom is meant to be shared, so let’s start sharing what we’ve learned to make each other better.”
Leyba addresses the unfortunate fact that our society often makes women view one another as competitors, rather than colleagues. Her message is that female business owners should network and collaborate so that all may enjoy success.
Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, by Lois P. Frankel, PhD
Every businesswoman looking to build her career should pick up this book, where Frankel discusses the problem of women not advocating for themselves. She explains that this happens because women confuse negotiation with confrontation, and that they therefore shy away from making tough deals.
Frankel provides a list of more than 130 “nice girl” mistakes, showing how women are raised differently than men. She also offers tips for women who would like to be bolder in their work. If a businesswoman struggles with confidence or expressing herself, she should take a look at this book.
Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg
This book may offer sympathy and comfort to businesswomen who have endured challenges in their personal or professional lives.
Sandberg’s first book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” caused controversy among readers for sharing radical ideas about women balancing their careers and motherhood.
However, in her new book, Sandberg shares her intimate feelings about the death of her husband as a way of inspiring others to process and overcome personal struggles.
To quote Sandberg: “Life is never perfect. We all live some form of Option B.”
The Confidence Code, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
While many businesswomen may already be confident figures based on the nature of their jobs, they may still suffer from destructive habits such as perfectionism and risk aversion.
This book explores the origin of self-doubt and explains how it may be holding a woman back in her career.
Offering both clinical analysis and empowering motivation, this book provides both fact-based research and anecdotes. These serve to show women who they may close the gender gap by displaying the self-assurance that society most often associates with men.
Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman
Despite the book having been published over two decades ago, the term “emotional intelligence” is still in common usage. Managing relationships between individuals is still the core of business success, just as it was in 1995. Goleman provides a guide for understanding emotions, as well as how to maximize an entrepreneur’s productivity.
If a business owner wants to learn about personal growth, she would be advised to take a look at Emotional Intelligence. The book can help a female entrepreneur with personal and business development.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Many studies have shown that women in business suffer from fear of failure more than their male counterparts. This fear often presents as self-sabotage, which may include giving up without a fight or not applying for promotions. If a female entrepreneur does not know how to fight this destructive feeling, then her business prospects may suffer as a result.
Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, has previously talked about her effort to push through fear in life. This book is her guide to living a fulfilling and creative life, no matter the profession.
The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene
This book refers to ideas from some of the world’s greatest philosophers. Because of this, it is a great book about business for ambitious entrepreneurs of either gender who are looking to build an empire.
Drop the Ball, by Tiffany Dufu
Separating this business guidebook from the others, Dufu does not suggest that women can have it all. Rather, the Chief Leadership Officer of Levo advises women to drop the ball sometimes. Her memoir documents her personal journey running a company and managing a home life. She explains that women do not have to do everything perfectly in order to have a satisfying life, and to attempt this will lead to burnout.
This is a great book for female entrepreneurs who struggle with maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
#GIRLBOSS, by Sophia Amoruso
This book details the author’s unique path to be the head of a self-made fashion empire. There is even a Netflix show based on her bestselling book, in case the reader would like to try a different medium!
This inspirational story follows Amoruso as she goes from smalltime thief to fashion influencer.
Good to Great, by Jim Collins
This book is a bestselling manual that may appeal to anyone in any industry. It presents research that studies the differences between average companies and those that have achieved greatness. Because of its unique insight into the making of successful ventures, it is a great book for women in business.
At one time, the Business section in the bookstore only had books catered to male entrepreneurs. Today, things are different, and there are plenty of great reads for women in business.