Are you a business book junkie like me? Are you a woman who is running a kick-ass biz and looking for ways to level-up? I've got 10 recommendations for the best business books if you're a female entrepreneur. And I promise you, they're all worth your time.
Reading business books can help you work on areas in your business (or within yourself). I'm an avid business book reader and love learning new things from business leaders who've gone down the path I'm on already.
So here's my recommendation for 10 business books to read in 2020
#1 Business Book for Female Entrepreneurs:
Thinking Like a Boss by Kate Crocco
Kate was a guest on The Power in Purpose podcast (you can listen to her episode here). Her new book, Thinking Like a Boss, will have you rethinking how you approach business and the mindsets that are holding you back.
In her book, she explores 9 lies we tell ourselves that stunt our growth and stop us from sharing our gifts from the world.
If you've been stuck – not putting yourself out there, coming up with excuses as to why you can't, and letting perfection hold you back – I want you to order this book right now.
Owning a business is like looking into a mirror – it's going to reflect back to you ALL the things about yourself that get in the way. Kate (and me!) want you to get out in the world and share your gifts so that you can live in your purpose and create the impact that you want.
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
Sometimes the most significant thing that stands in the way between us and scaling our business is our Ego.
In fact, our Ego is to blame for a lot of the poor decisions we make.
Reading Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday was an eye-opening experience for me. I could see how my Ego-driven decisions were pushing me to make the wrong decisions. And I discovered that I was looking at things through the lens of my Ego, and not reality.
Mindset shifts in business are essential to scale. If you are seeking to level up in your business, you might have to level up inside yourself first.
Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt
What if I told you that you could do more, with less? Would you believe me? Michael Hyatt is a business leader and mentor – and he believes that when we free ourselves up, we can focus on what matters.
And Michael gets to the heart of what matters, and it's not our money, fame, or even success – it's our family, our friends, and our hobbies.
Free to Focus was a life-changing book that helped me put into practice daily shifts that not only scale my business but give me back my time. Michael believes that productivity isn't about getting the most done, it's about getting the right things done.
Here's what the book helps you do:
- Redefine your work so it works for you
- Filter your tasks and commitments
- Cut out the nonessentials
- Eliminate interruptions and distractions
- Set boundaries that protect your focus and drive results
- Leverage your time and energy for maximum productivity
- Build momentum for a lifetime of success
If your calendar is a mess, you lack daily structure, and you never have time for the things that matter most – pick up a copy of this book.
Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
If you haven't met Brene Brown yet, you're in for a real treat.
In her latest book, Dare to Lead, she encourages us to lean into vulnerability to transform the way we lead, love, parent, and live. This book combines content from her other books, as she takes you on a journey of what it means to be vulnerable.
The quote from Teddy Roosevelt that inspired this book sums up the journey perfectly:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.“—Theodore Roosevelt
Brene wants you to dare greatly by being vulnerable. I learned SO MUCH reading this book, and it has impacted not just how I lead, but how I listen and show up for others.
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
Hey, is your biz a cash eating machine? No, seriously, do you spend more on expenses than you do on paying yourself?
Mike Michalowicz writes the ultimate book on how to turn your business around with a novel idea: take your profit first.
When I started reading this book, it was like looking into a mirror. I was like listen, Mike – how do you KNOW me? He walks us through the common mistakes that most entrepreneurs make with money (some are so true they're hilarious) and how we can fix it.
If your business is a cash eating monster, give profit first a try. Mike promises you can turn it into, instead, a cash cow.
Finish by Jon Acuff
Listen, it wouldn't be a list of books you need to read if I didn't include Finish by Jon Acuff.
I've literally read this book no less than 5 times – and I have two copies (in case one gets lost?). This book profoundly impacted me and made me take a long hard look and why I don't finish things.
Then it gave me the tools to get things done.
Jon reasons that the obstacle that gets in our way from finishing our goals and projects isn't laziness – it's perfection. And ain't nobody got time to be perfect.
If you're a bit of a perfectionist – OR you're just not getting things done – please read this book. It will help you move past perfectionism and into what life looks like after perfect. And you know what? Life looks pretty good.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek
What kind of purpose-driven leader would I be if I didn't encourage you to read Start with Why by Simon Sinek?
What started as a powerful Ted Talk turned into a best-selling book that gets to the heart behind why we do what we do. And why? Because it matters.
People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.
START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the most significant influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it's the opposite of what everyone else does.
Simon introduces you to the powerful idea of The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
This book combines my obsession with true crime and by growing desire to be a better negotiator.
Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator, and he's here to break down his negotiation techniques that work at work and at home.
Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for, like buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.
Top of Mind by Jon Hall
What do many successful businesses and leaders have in common? They're the first names that come to mind when people think about their particular industries.
This book was so nice, I had to read it twice.
How do you achieve this level of trust that influences people to think of you in the right way at the right time?
By developing habits and strategies that focus on engaging your audience, creating meaningful relationships, and delivering value consistently, day in and day out.
Business is never “just” business. It's always about relationships. It's still about a human connection. When you're viewed as a valuable, trustworthy partner, the opportunities are endless. Position yourself for success by establishing and developing content-driven relationships that keep you and your brand Top of Mind.
This is Marketing by Seth Godin
Great marketers don't use consumers to solve their company's problem; they use marketing to solve other people's problems.
Their tactics rely on empathy, connection, and emotional labor instead of attention-stealing ads and spammy email funnels. No matter what your product or service, this book will help you reframe how it's presented to the world, to connect with people who want it meaningfully.
Seth teaches you:
- How to build trust and permission with your target market.
- The art of positioning–deciding not only who it's for, but who it's not for.
- Why the best way to achieve your goals is to help others become who they want to be.
- Why the old approaches to advertising and branding no longer work.
- The surprising role of tension in any decision to buy (or not).
- How marketing is at its core about the stories we tell ourselves about our social status.
You can do work that matters for people who care. This book shows you the way.
That's my list of the top 10 business books you should read in 2020! Each one is meant to help you reframe your mindset, build your skills, and step into the role of being the badass you are.