Now is probably the right time to point out that I’m not a female entrepreneur. However, I have read countless books on entrepreneurship and smart business leadership. That has led me to sample and read many very good books, including these three titles clearly aimed toward women who are pursuing the entrepreneurship path. That focus didn’t stop me from wanting to read them.
There are entire libraries filled with books that cover entrepreneurship for everyone. These were written by smart, successful women sharing their personal experiences of entrepreneurship both in a broad sense and specifically as women for the benefit of their fellow women entrepreneurs. The advice is great and the leadership amazing. Everyone who reads them will benefit.
1. Ladies Who Launch, by Victoria Colligan, Beth Schoenfeld with Amy Swift. Three women entrepreneurs share what it means to be a woman on the entrepreneurial path. This is an inspiring book about the indomitable female spirit combined with how to get started launching your idea into a business.
The content is broken down into easy-to-approach, well explained steps that are practical to implement. The book came about through Victoria and Beth’s co-founding of the Ladies Who Launch website, which they expanded into an incubator program providing mentorship, structure and expertise to women interested in starting a business but unsure how to get started.
Since launching the website and publishing the book, these ladies have continued living the lifestyle they so adeptly explain. Victoria is actively running Ladies Who Launch and has authored her most recent book, Dream It, Launch It, Live It. Beth has launched and co-founded several start-ups. Her most recent is Launch Time, which helps start-ups and investors in ecommerce launches. Finally, Los Angeles Incubator leader, Amy Swift (now Amy Swift-Crosby) has started her own entrepreneurial business network program, Smarty.
2. Shark Tales: How I turned $1000 into a Billion Dollar Business by Barbara Corcoran. You may know Barbara from her appearances on Shark Tank, but she has a lot more to share than just her practical business and investing advice for entrepreneurs facing the judges on TV.
Barbara is truly a “rags to riches” success story, going from diner waitress to real estate tycoon, all on a $1,000 loan from her boyfriend. Her story of hard work is an inspiring, honest and straight-forward telling of her own experiences as a woman in business for herself. There’s practical advice and plenty about how you, too, can blaze your own path to success.
3. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. Who better than the CEO of Facebook to get into the mindset, data and choices that go into a woman’s career path?
While this book isn’t just for entrepreneurs, per se, it is all about what it takes to lead and why the business world needs more female leaders. Even though she’s a billionaire and Harvard educated, mega-powerful CEO (which stirred up plenty of controversial commentary on the premise of her book), there’s an authenticity to her writing. She distils data and backs it up with stories from her own life.
There’s plenty of difficult decisions woman face in a unique way as entrepreneurs and leaders: career and children, family and business. Sheryl openly discusses them all. It’s a great read and may have you implementing her advice for your own entrepreneurial path and leadership journey.