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12 Books for Ambitious Women Entrepreneurs

There’s nothing better than getting lost in a good book. In our world of constant connection to media and information, sitting back and immersing yourself in a book is a luxury that we can all find time for. Entrepreneurial books are becoming increasingly specific and more authors are acting as subject matter experts, rather than offering general information.

The authors on this list are redefining what it means to be an entrepreneur by sharing their personal stories, challenges, successes, and failures. It’s no secret that the startup community has a diversity issue, so expanding our reading lists beyond the traditional (no offense to the How to Win Friends and Influence People crowd) and look for books written in the last ten years that come from different voices.

That being said, if you haven’t checked out our “30 Books You Must Read Before and As An Entrepreneur,” you should! Think of these two lists as complimentary and build out your reading list from here.


Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind by Jocelyn K. Glei

Do you feel like you’re drowning in that ocean of commitments and calendar invites? Glei helps to provide you with a toolkit to tackle your 24/7 schedules and build a routine.




Ladies Who Launch by Victoria Colligan and Beth Schoenfeldt

Colligan and Schoenfeldt use Ladies Who Launch to advocate for a holistic approach to launching a new business. Rather than laying out a step by step process for would be entrepreneurs, they help guide the reader towards a sort of strategic day dreaming to envision outcomes in the early planning stages.


The Accidental Entrepreneur by Susan Urquhart-Brown

Subtitled as the “50 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Starting A Business”, Urquhart-Brown tells her own story of following her passions and ultimately becoming a successful business owner. Rather than the traditional bio, Urquhart-Brown uses her experiences to guide the book but doesn’t let the advice she offers be limited by her own personal experiences.


The Chic Entrepreneur by Elizabeth W. Gordon and Leanna Adams

In tune with their chic branding, this book will help you take your business from flats to high heels. As a euphemistic way to get to the root of the matter, Gordon and Adams are here to help you identify the value that you, as an entrepreneur, bring to the marketplace and to then capitalize on that value.


The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Confidence sets you apart. Yet, there are still dozens of conflicting opinions out there about how to become confident and how to then best portray it. Kay and Shipman seek to get to the root of the issue by interviewing successful women and using current research to find out how confidence actually works. This book will help you self-assess your own confidence and give you the tools to self-correct and assert yourself in business.



Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

You might recognize Gilbert’s name from her bestselling novel Eat Pray Love. In this 2016 book she candidly suggests that the pressure to provide, like paying your bills and supporting a family, can kill your creativity. Along with this book, check out her TEDTalk on the subject.



In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney

In this gorgeously designed book, Bonney profiles 100 influential and inspiring women. Each interview with one of these amazing women will leave you feeling inspired and ready to take on the world. I enjoyed that Bonney interviewed women from diverse backgrounds and industries, and tailored the profiles to the women themselves rather than using a cookie cutter format.



Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs by Kaira Sturdivant Rouda

For all of us struggling to define our brands, Rouda has created a step-by-step process to help you discover and name exactly what your vision is. Authenticity is key, and you by cultivating your voice and brand you can best portray your business. Rouda helps you to flesh out your entrepreneurial voice and harness its power.


12 Books for Ambitious Women Entrepreneurs

Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success by Jessica Tracy

Pride is a tricky emotion. We know about the dark hubristic side where pride leads to the downfall of great men, but we hear less about how pride can be a positive trait or condition. Tracy reveals that pride is essential to help us see ourselves as our best versions, and that without it we fall short of the success we could achieve.



Unfinished Business by Anne-Marie Slaughter

You might recognize Anne-Marie Slaughter from her piece, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”, one of The Atlantic’s most popular articles. When she became the first female director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department in 2009, she was forced to confront the “motherhood penalty,” and come to terms with her own assumptions about family, work, and success. Regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on, Slaughter proposes an interesting clarion call for cultural change.


The Guide to Strategic Networking: Dream. Plan. Create. Achieve. By Juliette C. Mayers

I will be the first to admit that while I don’t dislike networking, I think our ideas about networking need to be overhauled if the practice is going to be worth your time. This is where strategy comes in to play. Strategic networking requires an action plan, and Mayers is here to help you build one. If you want to cultivate and grow your network, The Guide to Strategic Networking needs to be on your to-read list.



Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth by Mika Brzezinski

Brzezinski takes an in-depth look at how women today are underpaid, overlooked, and pulls from her own experience as cohost of the MSNBC show Morning Joe. She asked the question, are other successful women undercutting themselves? She interviews powerful women, and men, to identify ways that we can all know our worth both in and out of the corporate world.

Cassidy Welter on Twitter
Cassidy Welter
Staff Writer: Cassidy Welter is a Chicago based researcher at a consulting firm specializing in nonprofits. When she's not working, she's reading anything she can get her hands on, debating politics, watching the Pittsburgh Penguins and eating her way across the city's food scene. See more from Cassidy on Twitter at @CassidyWelter.

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Staff Writer: Cassidy Welter is a Chicago based researcher at a consulting firm specializing in nonprofits. When she's not working, she's reading anything she can get her hands on, debating politics, watching the Pittsburgh Penguins and eating her way across the city's food scene. See more from Cassidy on Twitter at @CassidyWelter.

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