One of the things I love about being a female business owner is witnessing women lift up other women in business. I see it all the time.
Indeed, I'm grateful for the women who have enthusiastically referred me to new clients, offered smart advice when I needed it most, networked with me to learn about me and my business and tell me about themselves, partnered with me on projects and agreed to do work for my public relations and communications agency.
If you have generous women in your professional life, you probably want to express some gratitude this holiday season -- or all year long, for that matter. Among my favorite gifts to give (or receive) are books. And below is a list of inspiring books, many of which I have given or plan to give to the women whose support I can't imaging doing business (or life) without.
1. In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, by Grace Bonney
Last year, I discovered this book, and after I mentioned it, a former client, a health care professional, bought it for the waiting room of her new practice. I love that. Indeed, this book is meant to be displayed for all to see and enjoy. The essays are powerful, and the photography is beautiful. I recently purchased two copies of this book for women who inspire me. The hardest part will be not keeping one for myself. I just might have to buy a third copy ... for me.
2. 200 Women: Who Will Change the Way You See the World, by various writers
This coffee table book is the result of 126 hours of interviews, 16,000 photographs and just five questions: "What really matters to you? What brings you happiness? What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? What would you change if you could? Which single word do you most identify with?" Among those featured: Jane Goodall, conservation and animal welfare activist, Dolores Huerta, community organizer and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association, and Alice Waters, chef and food rights advocate.
I'm intrigued. I also think this book would make an excellent gift for women who have more going on than just work or who aspire to more.
3. That's What She Said: Wise Words From Influential Women, by Kimothy Joy
This book features quotes, essays and beautiful illustrations of women throughout history to present day. It's a diverse group of women, including Maya Angelou, Marie Curie and Frida Kahlo, plus women we might not have learned of but will be glad we finally did. I bought this book for my seventh-grade daughter Lucy, who will appreciate that one of her heroes -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg -- is featured. Actually, this would be a super teacher gift, too.
4. Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice, by Michelle Obama
The former first lady's memoir Becoming was one of the best books I read this year. I was far from its only fan. After it was published last November, it took just 15 days for it to outsell every other book in 2018. Now this journal with prompts will make a great gift for women I know who also liked Becoming and like to reflect through their own writing.
5. Being Boss: Take Control of Your Work and Live Life on Your Own Terms, by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson
This is the first book by the hosts of the "Being Boss" podcast for entrepreneurs in creative fields. I read it at the pool a couple summers ago, and it completely energized me with its eye catching layout and short, digestible and actionable advice. In fact, I am going to reread it ahead of or at the start of 2020.
I highly recommend this book for the female entrepreneurs in your life who are at the start of their entrepreneurial adventure or who might like a quick jolt of renewed inspiration.
Bonus idea: Gift giving and saying thanks are always in season. I plan to refer to this list throughout 2020 so when I feel particularly lifted up, I'll know just how to say thanks.