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25 Books Shaking Up Business The Feminist Way

Every woman in business needs to read these books

It’s surprising how many business practices are left over from an outdated, male-oriented worldview. 

These books are changing that. With a new decade, there is no better time than now to change the way women are treated in business. If you want to be part of that, these books are a great start.

#1 The 60 Minute Startup by Ramesh Dontha

The book completely demystifies what it takes to start a business as a new entrepreneur by identifying the 15 critical tasks necessary start a sustainable business and reach your first paying customer in thirty days or less. The book is based on ‘Agile Methodology’ which is the same intuitive approach to early stage growth that built Uber, Instagram, and Airbnb. The book will resonate well with female entrepreneurs and the audiobook narrated by the author’s daughter will connect especially well with mompreneurs and young female entrepreneurs alike.

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#2 Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield-Thomas

Denise Duffield-Thomas wrote this book because she was frustrated by the business books she read: Almost all of them are geared towards the traditional white male who has a wife to take care of his home and children and can afford to hustle 100 hours a week to build a business (typically an off-line, brick and mortar business, or a venture-capital funded start-up). This does not reflect the diversity of modern-day entrepreneurship, and it sets standards that are impossible to meet for the vast majority of us 21st century entrepreneurs.

The good news is: we don’t need to meet these standards to build a wildly successful business. Chillpreneur gives us the mindset and framework we need to take full advantage of the unprecedented possibilities we have, thanks to the internet and service-based economy. Denise Duffield-Thomas built a multi-million dollar online business based on these principles, and so can you.

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#3 Once Upon a Bottom Line by Sheryl Green

90% of purchasing decisions are made unconsciously. This means that brands that evoke emotions from consumers will be chosen time and time again over those that don’t. Luckily, evoking emotion in your business is as easy as learning to tell a good story. Once Upon a Bottom Line is the perfect guide for any woman in business that wants to learn how to communicate better with existing and potential customers, and with her own team.

Readers will learn why you need to connect to their heart in order to connect to their wallet, how aligning your business with a non-profit may be the best business (and karma) decision you ever make, the 3(ish) stories that you must have in your arsenal, and how to structure your stories for maximum emotional impact. If you want to increase your bottom line, learn how to harness the power of story.

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#4 I LOVE MYSELF by Christine Scott-Hudson MA MFT



We often have limiting beliefs that get in the way of our success. Affirmations are compensatory and specific to creating more empowered beliefs. It doesn’t matter how many books on success, business, or wealth you read if underneath it all, you don’t believe you deserve it.

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#5 Soulpreneurs by Yvette Luciano

This book is my go-to for when I need inspiration for my public speaking business. It not only gives you tips for building your own business, but supports spiritual growth too! It’s perfect for women who have a business they built themselves, or aspire to one day.

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#6 You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Every business owner goes through periods of self-doubt, and this book is sure to combat feelings of insecurity and fears. This author is your biggest fan, that you never knew you needed, but now can’t live without.

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#7 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Stephen Covey’s book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ is a must-have for any woman in business. Covey gives a clear illustration of how our habits shape our lives. He stresses the importance of interdependence; which is the realization that we need both leaders and a team effort.

These habits encourage people to be proactive; in order to get things done; focus on final results; have an abundance mentality and focus on a win-win for everyone involved. Covey also stresses the importance of making meaningful collaborations that build mutual trust. Overall, this book is a definite asset for women in business because it really makes you think outside of traditional business norms.

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#8 Sell More. Faster. by Kim Orlesky

There are very few books about sales and growing your business that are written by women. Kim breaks down the entire sales process to sell more consulting services for a premium price. Her stories are entertaining and create a vision for the reader to know exactly how to apply the information into their own business

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#9 Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Sm

This is a classic, must-read book about recruitment. Recruitment is one of the crucial processes you will encounter in executive roles. Improper hiring of personnel is the biggest problem of any company and, therefore, WHO will always be the biggest challenge of your company, not WHAT.

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#10 The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick

The Mom Test teaches entrepreneurs how to ask the right questions to people to get answers with as much valuable information as possible to help them validate a business idea.

Conversation with customers is one of the essential prerequisites for a successful startup. We know that in this situation, we have to do our best because it is challenging to make critical conversations properly. This book gives you examples of how communication with essential clients can go the wrong way, and how you can successfully get it and secure yourself with reliable resources.

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#11 Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

This book is probably one of the most famous among women today. Once you start reading it, you will find yourself finally naming sources of stress and pain in your life that I have skirted around for years (ex: patriarchy.) It’s quite resourceful on strategies to help you cope and backed by science.

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#12 The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Another classic! The book is grounded in anecdotes from Ben Horowitz’s career. He analyzes challenges with no easy solutions through his trials, including situations like firing a loyal friend.

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#13 The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project is a critical read for women in business (especially entrepreneurs). For anyone who’s ambitious, it can sometimes become difficult to tap into joy while you grow your business or advance your career. Rubin’s book allows you to reconnect with what happiness means to you and learn how to live a more fulfilled life that isn’t purely dedicated to the hustle. This book has brought me balance as a business owner.

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#14 Business Ownership: The Joy. The Pain. The Truth. by Hannah Paramore Breen

Hannah Paramore Breen started Paramore Digital in 2002 because digital was what she knew. The relationships she’d built over a lifetime and career made her business possible. The lessons she learned from both her career and family made it a success.
But in 2016, everything changed—and now it was time to exit the business she’d built from the pixels up.

Business Ownership: The Joy. The Pain. The Truth. is the story of Hannah’s exit, and the lessons she learned as she handed her business over to new owners.

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#15 The Year of No Nonsense by Meredith Atwood

The Year of No Nonsense is the upcoming book by Meredith Atwood. This revolutionary book is for the woman who is already amazing, but is ready to take herself to the next level on her terms, to rid herself of the Nonsense that is holding her back from her best health, (pursuit of) happiness, and success–finding her true spirit and self. There is nothing more spiritual or amazing than a women who knows herself. Book is available upon request from publisher.

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#16 Think On Your Feet by Jen Oleniczak Brown

Impromptu communication can be difficult and stressful – why not work on it when you can? This book not only helps you navigate other people, but also your own personal style in work and career-related situations and conversations.

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#17 Developing Management Proficiency by Deb Cohen

Developing Management Proficiency: A Self-Directed Learning Approach is a pragmatic, easy-to-follow roadmap for managers to help develop the behaviors and skills necessary for success. Strong behavioral competencies are essential for any manager – especially women. Emphasizing a self-directed learning approach, this book is designed to transform passive learners into active learners by helping to develop behavioral skills. The book is particularly helpful for women because it is packed full of learning activities that allow women to learn from daily activities without having to disrupt their workday or travel extensively. The activities include role play, observation, networking, journaling, and questioning, all powerful drivers of learning and development.

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#18 Target Funding by Kedma Ough

TARGET FUNDING is a compilation of strategies and more than 300 resources for finding money to seed or grow a business. From the national to the regional and local levels, the book details federal and state funding programs down to offers from unique industry clusters, from grants specifically for women businesses to those aimed at specific ethnicities and much more.

TARGET FUNDING is aimed at novice business owners to those who are unsure of where to turn for funding or are overwhelmed with the process, and even entrepreneurs in distress and facing bankruptcy. From bankruptcy to small business superhero, the author has coached more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and wrote the book so others would not experience the same struggle.

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#19 Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

This book essentially identifies all the reasons people in business (and in life) try to shame women in business or make them feel less somehow. Then it explains how you don’t need to feel any guilt or shame for going after your own goals. Women are naturally apologetic and tend to let people step over then, especially in the business world. This book helped me come in to my own, own my independence, and strive for more without feeling the need to apologise for going after what I want.

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#20 The Confidence Code by Katty Kay

This book guides a budding entrepreneur to gain confidence and act as leaders, without falling into traps of perfectionism, or self-doubt. It combines clinical and conversational, experience-based research to argue in favor of women entrepreneurs adopting a kind of self-confident behavior that is typically seen in men. I highly recommend this book!

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#21 You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

It brings positivity and humor to sharpening your money mindset to bring confidence to girls

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#22 Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

Dare to Lead takes a new perspective on leadership in the workplace, focusing on remaining accountable and embracing vulnerability at work to cultivate an environment where leaders (and workers) can be courageous. Brené Brown discusses how to build trust as a leader, and build resilience in a way that embraces internal and organizational growth.

An easy, enjoyable read for any woman in business looking to improve leadership style and encouraging to learn how to bring more of your authentic self to work with great results.

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#23 The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhou

This book offers a fresh personal perspective of how to lead when you are new to managing staff or perhaps leading a new team or looking to refresh your managerial style— this book is here to help you! The book offers tips and documented examples to reference . The book will serve as your go to management reference source.

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#24 GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

In this book, Sophia Amoruso explains how she makes his passion into a business by reselling vintage clothing. Women are not weak they can do more than a man. I like this book a lot and want to share with the young girls who are thinking to start the business in future.

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#25 Fearless Leadership by Carey Lohrenz



Best book I’ve read so far that’s aided in my professional and career development has been Fearless Leadership by Carey D. Lohrenz, who was the U.S. Navy’s first f-14 Tomcat fighter pilot. She speaks on 3 main topics- courage, tenacity, and integrity and how these principles can guide how you choose to develop both professionally and personally while establishing yourself as a true leader, regardless of whether you think you’re born a leader or not.

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Contributors to this article
Rio Rocket from RioRocket

Angel Pretot from Frenchfluency

Sheryl Green from Sheryl Green Speaks

Christine Scott-Hudson from Create Your Life Studio

Michelle Gregory from Compassion Wellness

K.T. Redwine from Kate By Faith

Kim Orlesky from KimOrlesky

Nevena Sofranic from Omnes Group

Liana Pavane from TTYL

Dan DeFigio from Hannah Paramore Breen

Jessica Gore from Moon 40 Marketing

Jen Oleniczak Brown from The Engaging Educator

Deb Cohen from DevelopingManagementProficiency

Kedma Ough from Target Funding

Bridey Kearns from Studio 8 Dance

Jovan Milenkovic from Kommando Tech

Suja Johnkutty from BetterRelaxation

Megan Meade from Software Path

Angelique J. Hamilton from HR Chique Group

Noman Asghar from Fan Jackets

Natalie Jaeger from Zoe Financial

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