Entrepreneurship comes with many challenges and just as many opportunities to learn from those who came before you. There are now countless books, podcasts and online courses and challenges to push you outside your comfort zone.
Thankfully, women who have excelled in business, tech and entrepreneurship are eager to share their lessons and advice in talks, podcasts, books and through mentoring. These inspiring and insights-packed books are written for women and by women, making them some of the most relatable and empowering books for female entrepreneurs.
"Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead," by Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg changed the conversation around women in the workplace with this book and the 2010 TEDtalk on the same topic. The book will open your eyes to how women experience elements of working life differently from men and how to adapt or shift your awareness to compensate. (And if give recently graduated from school, be sure to check out the version just for you, "Lean In for Graduates" with advice tailored specifically for those just leaving academia.)
"The Confidence Code: The Science And Art of Self-Assumance. What Women Should Know," by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
It comes as no surprise that confidence is a major key to success in an industry filled with pitching, presenting, interviewing, selling and soliciting funding . This is the focus of "The Confidence Code," which comes to us from the authors of "Womenomics." Through interviews with successful women and a survey of existing science, this book presents a number of insights to help you assess your own confidence, notice mistakes and make subtle changes to assert yourself more effectively.
"Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Beig, Wisdom and Wonder," by Arianna Huffington
The Huffington Post founder has long been a critic of the "always busy" mentality that reigns supreme in the working world, and a supporter of preserving your mental health and closely guarding your quality sleep. (Her latest book, "The Sleep Revolution," hones in on that topic). This book provides a broader look at the way we evaluate our success in a world so focused on fame and fortune, and provides useful advice for keeping things in perspective and in balance when you're climbing your way to the top.
"Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear," by Elizabeth Gilbert
After the immense success of "Eat, Pray, Love," Gilbert tackles creativity, inspiration and the elusive muse in her latest book. The book offers a frank discussion of some of the less glamorous realities of living a creative life-- the struggle to produce quality work, fears of inadequacy. She covered this topic in a TEDTalk as well, and her vulnerable approach weaves in her own experience, creating a narrative that is as relatable as it is inspiring.
"Shark Tales: How I Turned $1000 into a Billion Dollar Business," Barbara Corcoran
Barbara Corcoran was a business force to be reckoned with long before she joined the cast of judges who hear hundreds of Shark Tank pitches from entrepreneurs, both men and women. She knows the mistakes that women can make in their journey to business success, because she traveled that road herself. In her 2011 book, she walks you through her entrepreneurial journey, sharing lessons on life and business along the way.
"Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency of the 21st Century," Claudia Azula Altucher
Entrepreneurship is more of a marathon than a sprint, and it requires the ability to think quickly, creatively solve problems and produce a constant flow of ideas. This book fro Claudia Altucher is more of a workbook than a novel, providing months of daily prompts to "flex your idea muscle." By completing these exercises and pushing yourself to think differently, you'll expand your ability to come up with novel solutions to any challenge that entrepreneurship sends your way.
"Radical Self Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dreams," by Gala Darling
Let's face it -- entrepreneurship isn't for a faint of heart. Financial challenges, late nights, constant pitching and a close tie between your venture and your sense of self can wear on your confidence and your opinion of yourself. This book is packed with the Radical Self Love that Gala is all about, and will help turn you into your own number one fan. It functions like a hug and a pep talk from your best friend, reminding you how amazing you are and giving you actionable steps to revive the passion, confidence and--as Gala puts it--"love and sequins" inside your heart.
"#GIRLBOSS," by Sophia Amoruso
The founder of NastyGal shares the story of the company's growth, using her personal experience to share a few of the lessons she learned along the way. This book is less of a tactical "how to" for women who are starting or growing their own business, but serves as an inspiring story of a fellow female entrepreneur who made it big without shying away from her own femininity.
"Girl Code: Unlocking Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur," by Cara Alwill Leyba
We know that female entrepreneurs and leaders are powerful and can drive incredible success for the businesses they lead, and Cara Alwill Leyba argues that we're more powerful together when we connect with and support one another. This book is intended to motivate and inspire--Leyba is a life coach, after all--and the stories throughout aim to show the amazing things that can happen when female entrepreneurs combine their powers to make things happen.
Have any other books written by women, for women, helped light your fire along the entrepreneurial path? Share your recommendations in the comments.