Business Books for Women

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All entrepreneurs have vision, passion, flexibility, and resilience. But, men and women experience entrepreneurship differently.  Research shows that men tend to start businesses at a younger age and because of overconfidence. While women have higher levels of humility and tend to delay starting a business. 

Whether you are starting up your business or just got a promotion these business books for women will help you get a good start. In today’s business world women entrepreneurs are accomplishing incredible things. They are running successful businesses, they have higher levels of education and they are also breaking the glass ceilings across all industries.

Our selection of the best business books for women will help you gain valuable insights as well as gain inspiration as you embark on your journey into the world of business. The books for business women on this list will strengthen your motivation. These books are ideal for any woman entrepreneur whether they are starting out or have already established themselves.

10 Business Books for Women

1. Smart Women Finish Rich

by David Bach

With this book, Bach has shown women of all ages and backgrounds can take control of their financial future and finish rich. Whether they are working with a few dollars a week or a significant inheritance, Bach’s nine-step program gives readers the tools for spending wisely, establishing security, and aligning money with your values. 

The best business books help tackle complicated topics such as tax strategies, wills, insurance, retirement plans, and investments in a highly accessible manner. This book offers a comprehensive look at financial issues particularly relevant to many women, but it is also applicable to all.

With more than a million copies sold, Smart Women Finish Rich is a classic book to read to build your financial confidence before your entrepreneurial venture.  While some of the stories may seem outdated to you, the principles and steps toward understanding and therefore driving your financial future are timeless.

2. Presence

by Amy Cuddy

Amy Cuddy’s book helps explain why our physical experiences trigger our emotional states and offers specific instructions on how and when to use them. This book is good for those hoping to start a business that won’t just make them money but will also make the world a better place as well. Through this book, she explains the science underlying the many body-mind effects, and teaches us how to use simple techniques to liberate ourselves from fear in high-pressure moments, perform at our best, and connect with and empower others to do the same.

Did you know that the strongest predictor of whether an entrepreneur receives funding after a pitch is their physical presence; confidence, comfort level and passionate enthusiasm.  But the stresses of everyday life practically block these attributes.  Cuddy defines “Presence” as “confidence without arrogance” and the secret to achieving this magical (and influential) state is through body language. Discover the small physical tweaks you can make to your body to instantly shift from paltry to powerful with Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges


by Sophia Amoruso

This book is the story of Nasty Gal’s founder Sophia Amoruso. Amoruso started selling vintage clothing online at the age of 22, which turned into a huge success and launched her business ‘Nasty Gal’, one of the fastest-growing companies of this millennium. In 2016, she was named one of the richest self-made women in the world by Forbes.

Through #GIRLBOSS Amoruso proves that being successful isn’t about your pedigree. Rather she argues it is about trusting your instincts and following your gut. This includes knowing which rules to follow and which ones to break, when to button up, and when to let your freak flag fly.

One of the most common obstacles women entrepreneurs face is thinking that you need outside certifications, degrees, and licenses to reach your goals.  Amoruso is proof that this isn’t the case and #GIRLBOSS shows you can take your own path and make it. While struggling and feeling directionless, she spotted an opportunity and proved that you can succeed despite your circumstances.  

4. Get Over Your Damn Self

by Romi Neustadt

Through this book, Neustadt offers some direct and candid coaching on network marketing. She draws on her experience from giving tens of thousands coaching sessions to help people acquire the skills to build confidence and on how to teach your team to do the same. In addition, she offers insights on how to work on your mindset so you stop over complicating it all and stop letting the negative voices in your head win.

The former corporate lawyer and PR executive traded her career as an exec for more time and financial freedom through network marketing. Through it, she built a 7-figure business in less than three years that has allowed her to design the life she really wanted.

One of the most popular ways that women get started in business is through a network marketing business like Mary Kay or Avon. There are dozens of network marketing opportunities, but few independent experts who can help you excel in that business, Get Over Your Damn Self: The No-BS Blueprint to Building a Life-Changing Busines is one of the most popular (and well-rated) books about how to succeed at network marketing. While this book is focused on network marketing, the step-by-step chapters are heavy on solid selling skills and will work for any business. 

5. Imperfect Courage

by Jessica Honegger

Through Imperfect Courage, Honegger takes you by the hand and invites you to trade your comfort zone for a life of impact and meaning. She invites you to draw a circle of compassion around yourself and leads you through some soul-searching aimed at setting yourself free from shame. She then follows this up by challenging us all to come together, dare to be vulnerable with one another, and commit to building a culture of collaboration. Finally, Jessica challenges us to broaden our circle of compassion to embrace the entire globe and to bring our beautifully imperfect courage to a world that needs us.

Jessica’s advice is that we all want to get to a place where we don’t have to worry about money so we can live comfortably. But to get there, we all need to get out of our comfort zones. If we want to continue to grow, we need to keep pushing ourselves beyond where we are comfortable.

If you enjoy reading entrepreneur journey stories, it doesn’t get better than this. Honegger takes you through her story of passion, calling, risk and partnership. While your circumstances are most certainly different, you’re bound to share the same fears, doubts and emotions. In Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared Honegger gives her real-life stories through to the success of her purpose with Noonday and its effect globally. You can too! No need for courage if you’re not willing to live risky. 

6. She Means Business

by Carrie Green

By relating her personal experience, Green offers valuable guidance and powerful exercises to help today’s talented generation of female entrepreneurs.

Through the book, Green helps you understand how to get clear on your business vision. While also moving past your fears and doubts that get in the way. She offers great advice on how to understand your audience and how to connect with them. Furthermore, she offers insights on how to create your brand and build a tribe of fans, subscribers and customers. Besides these, she also offers some sage advice on self-development. This includes how to manage time, maintain focus, and keep going in the right direction.

Down to earth, easy to understand, easy to relate to, and all-around sound advice and inspiration. Green infuses her story throughout the book, which makes it very relatable. The chapters are short and to the point and have practical action steps for you to take. on She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur you’ll find practical nuts and bolts on how to start, build and grow your business as well as several chapters on mindset and self-care. The book also includes a blueprint on how to actually go through the steps, change your mindset, and even include downloadable resources.

7. The Confidence Code

by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Following the success of Lean In and Why Women Should Rule the World, the authors of the bestselling Womenomics provide yet another informative and practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence—and learning how to achieve it—for women of all ages and at all stages of their career. Claire Shipman and Katty Kay combine research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition to explain why girls can rule the world—all they need is confidence. The duo offers an empowering, entertaining guide for girls to become bold, brave, and fearless.

The book is a product of interviews with visits to the world’s leading psychologists who explain how we can all chose to become more confident simply by taking action and courting risk, and how those actions change our physical wiring. They also interviewed women leaders from the world of politics, sports, the military, and the arts to learn how they have tapped into this elemental resource. Ultimately establishing how a lack of confidence can impact leadership, success, and fulfillment. This book should be on your list of leadership books for women.

Why do women not negotiate as well as men? Why are (some) women not taken as seriously as men in the workplace? The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know explains the relationship between confidence, resilience, risk, and reward. After research that includes hundreds of interviews, the authors offer an insightful look at how internalizing cultural stereotypes can hold women back from competing. Female entrepreneurs will learn that it’s not enough to know they are doing when it comes to performance situations.

8. David and Goliath

by Malcolm Gladwell

Through the book, Gladwell explains how the strong are often surprisingly weak if looked from the right angle. Conversely, people who seem weak can turn out to be surprisingly strong. He comes with the theory that all advantages may seem to have disadvantages, but there’s more than meets the eye.He says that by understanding and nurturing your competitive advantage you too can be a David. The book includes lessons and anecdotes that elaborate on this simple gem. He takes case in points from the literally everyday life stories of strength against unimaginable adversaries.  Gladwell does a great job capturing plenty of true stories of people with disadvantages, or in disadvantageous situations. As such he inspires and encourages us all to overcome difficulties or adversity. He cautions us about taking on too much adversity as the result may be the opposite of what is intended.

For female entrepreneurs who are feeling like a small fish in an ever-growing pond, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants will help you transform your thinking about how to deal with obstacles and disadvantages. Using his unique style, Gladwell draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.

9. Shark Tales

by Barbara Corcoran

The book chronicles Corcoran’s trials and tribulations that include failing at twenty-two jobs. It also tells us the epiphany she had when she borrowed $1,000 from a boyfriend, quit her job as a diner waitress, and made a plunge into the real estate business. The book offers a lot of unconventional wisdom Corcoran got from her homemaker mom, which helped her to gradually build a $6 billion dollar business. Corcoran tells of her business journey in an honest and relatable way showcasing that a business degree isn’t necessary to be successful.

The book is both a business book as well as a story about Corcoran’s life. It is written more as to act as an inspirational tool and is not limited to real estate alone. The ideas and strategies included in it can be applied to any type of business.

If you can’t get enough of Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank, you’ll love reading Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business. True rags to riches story told in Corcoran’s authentic voice will inspire you to see opportunities around you and overcome the inevitable obstacles that will get in your way.  This is a book that will inspire and motivate any woman starting and running a business.

10. Dare to Lead

by Brené Brown

Being a woman entrepreneur isn’t all about strength and inspirational realizations. It also involves plenty of mistakes and steps backward. The book argues leadership is not only about titles, status and power. Instead, leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential.

Brown explains that daring leadership is made up of four skill sets that are 100 percent teachable, observable, and measurable. These include rumbling with vulnerability; living into our values; braving trust; and learning to Rise. She says the journey will not be easy, but it will be worth it. The book also includes some other great gems such as the dangers of perfectionism and what you can learn about leadership from skydiving. No list of women’s leadership books is complete without this one.

The author has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.  Unlike so many research-based business books, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts does not recommend “engineering” innovation, but rather relying on “rumbling with vulnerability,” “living into one’s values,” and having the courage to make decisions even where the outcome may be uncomfortable and possibly a failure. If you’re a female entrepreneur who is looking for a blueprint on how to use your heart, vulnerability and values as the core of your leadership style, this book is for you.

More Resources for Women Entrepreneurs

The success of any entrepreneur, man or woman, depends on the resources available to them. And if these resources are nurtured through a network by mentoring and encouraging each other there will be more business success stories. Beyond the list of best business books for female entrepreneurs, Small Business Trends has additional resources for women.

Women Entrepreneurs

The Women Entrepreneurs page on SBT is filled with articles about women business owners just starting out or in leadership positions sharing their experiences. From Silicon Valley to local small business owners many women are profiled in these pages so you will likely find someone you can relate to.

Tips You Can Use

one of the benefits of having a resource you can rely on is you get valuable tips you might not even be looking fo. However, they come in handy when you least expect it. Whether it is forming partnerships, travel safety tips or just motivational quotes to keep you inspired, you can always find tips you can use on SBT.

In Conclusion

The business books for women on this list are just one source of information. The goal as a businesswoman is to always keep learning from all entrepreneurs. There are many great books out there and they don’t necessarily have to be the best business books for women only. No matter who writes them if you can relate to what the author has to say and they provide some great advice you can use, that is all that matters.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."