Stop in Barnes & Noble and, as you can see from my picture above, there’s one woman author on the Best In Business shelf. Scan the second row to the left and there it is, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Maybe we haven’t come a long way, baby. It was disappointing to see that a major book store was only featuring one book written by a woman author in this section. Surely Barbara Corcoran, Arianna Huffington and Tory Johnson deserve a spot on the Best In Business shelf, to name a few. A Million Dollar Party Girl might be trampling NYC in her pink pencil skirt and black heels on the cover of my book, but we have a long way to go when it comes to equality on the book shelves. Where are the ladies hiding out? Google “success books” and men dominate the list. Next try “motivational quotes”…same thing. While I have no issues with learning how the men get it done and respect anyone who’s made it to the top, I believe women will gain more confidence and overcome our fears when we have more examples of successful women to learn from.
Last month one of my readers, Mompreneur Beth Hern, reached out to ask me for a few reading suggestions for women entrepreneurs. Beth’s request was an opportunity for me to tip the scales in the women’s favor and help you discover some book titles written by women, suggested by women entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed on my radio show. We included a few male authors too.
10 book suggestions for women entrepreneurs recommended by real women in biz, balancing life, work and kids. Somehow, we still have time to read. [Click on a book to add it to your shelf.]
Women are Changing the Corporate Landscape, Jean Otte & Rosina Racioppi
“My biggest takeaway was twofold, perception is reality – so you must exude executive presence if you want to play in the big leagues; and, seek a mentor to help you learn the rules. One example they give in the book that stayed with me was that if you give women and men a board game with no rules, the men will ask what the rules are and the women will try to figure it out without help. Very telling and very true.” ~ Nicole DeFeo, International Executive Director at Delta Phi Epsilon
Expect To Win, Carla Harris
“Harris discusses strategies for finding mentors and advisors. Even though this book is more about working inside a corporate environment, I found it helped me identify and understand the roles that my colleagues played in growing my business.” ~ Janet Garraty, CEO/Founder of GoJane News
The Purple Cow, Seth Godin
“Sometimes a book sticks with you and makes an impact not because it is truly anything profound, but rather because it highlights the obvious. It reminds us of what is important in building a brand and a business. The Purple Cow was such a book for me. It focused on how to stand out ‘in a herd of other cows’; it got back to a business basic succinctly: differentiation with a purpose.” ~ Cheryl Pliskin, CEO/Founder of Jest Notes & Baskets
Gutsy: How Women Leaders Make Change, Sylvia LaFair
“My favorite thing about Sylvia Lafair’s Gutsy is it’s not all talk — the book contains real exercises to help readers develop awareness in order to make change happen.” ~ Natalie Smoley, Director of Marketing & Communications, NBOME
I Wear The Black Hat, Chuck Klosterman
“It’s not exactly a ‘pure’ business book, but Chuck Klosterman’s I Wear the Black Hat is a rousing collection of essays regarding ‘public perceptions of villainy’ and ethics. A fun, eclectic book to read…” ~ Lori Shapiro, CEO/Founder of By All Writes
Secrets of Six Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life, Barbara Stanny
“This book really shifted my mindset. It gave me the courage to ask for my first big raise and put me on track to earn a six figure income. I recommend it for every woman who wants to up her game.” ~ Montina Portis, Founder of Spark Wisdom
The No Asshole Rule, Bob Sutton
“Bob Sutton, a professor at Stanford Business School, makes a well-reasoned argument that assholes are generally bad for the people that work with them and for them, and for the organizations that harbor them. But he is also emphatic that even if assholes are successful, life is too short and too precious to tolerate them.” ~ Debbie Moore, Partner at Cubist Media Group
Read Their Mind: How To Hear What the Marketplace Wants and Build a Huge Business, Sandi Krakowski
“Never assume what a client wants but rather ‘listen’ to what the marketplace is saying. Sandi is big on teaching entrepreneurs how to establish relationships with customers and serve them with all of your heart. I love how she talks about being authentic and transparent by allowing your customers to get to know you on a personal level.” ~ Kate Redwine, CEO/Founder of Positive Thing
Push, Chalene Johnson
“It’s about goal setting, fitness, relationships, etc. It’s different than most books because of the way she ‘reverse-engineers’ the goals to create life-changing habits.” ~ Regina Viscount, Entrepreneur at Ruby Ribbon
Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
“It reenergized me and my desire to take action. I agree with ‘leaning in’, however I would like a call to action to say let’s all stand shoulder to shoulder and work together to keep us motivated, inspired and strong. After reading her book, it reminded me of the awesome responsibility we all have to lead, mentor and inspire everyone – especially women. Mentorship is my passion and it’s something I take very seriously, she did a great job of reminding her readers about the role of being a mentor.” ~ Lisa Bien, author of Life Happens: Bounce Back
Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and bestselling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.