Finding time to read a business brief, much less a new book, can be a challenge for any entrepreneur. Knowing that, we've done some of the work for you--sorting through the latest offerings to give you the lowdown on high-quality reads that can teach, inspire and make you rethink your direction. Here are some of our top picks:
Getting the Money
If you're looking to grow your business, Clearing the Hurdles: Women Building High-Growth Businesses (Prentice Hall, $24.95) by Candida Brush, Nancy M. Carter, et al., is a must-read. It describes creative financing options and explains the VC process in detail, dispelling myths while presenting the research on why it's still a huge challenge for women business owners to land the money they need.
Managing the Money
Structuring your business's financials properly and maintaining clear and accurate records is key for any company. Jan Zobel's Minding Her Own Business: The Self-Employed Woman's Guide to Taxes & Recordkeeping (Sphinx Publishing, $14.95) is a lifesaver for anyone who doesn't cite accounting as one of her strong points. Zobel's no-nonsense style gets right to business in a language that even non-CPAs can understand.
Former CEO and author Margaret Heffernan examines recurring issues for women in business, power, money and life in The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, $24.95). Can you have it all? Do women really work differently than men? And can you find success with all the conflicting messages out there about women in business? This book discusses possible answers, using both Heffernan's professional experiences and the stories of dozens of women at various stages of their careers and companies as examples.
Many recent books have a strong focus on finding yourself, finding balance, and finding meaning in life and work. Here are a few to check out:
- From Burned Out to Fired Up: A Woman's Guide to Rekindling the Passion and Meaning in Work and Life (Health Communications, $13.95) by psycho-therapist Leslie Godwin reveals what she calls the four myths that lead to burnout and then suggests exercises to help you rethink your direction. While some of the advice is geared toward working women, the wisdom is still relevant for entrepreneurs.
- Christine Kloser's Inspiration to Realization: Real Women Reveal Proven Strategies for Personal, Business, Financial and Spiritual Fulfillment (Love Your Life, $19.95) is a good companion book to Godwin's. The book's content is divided into three areas: Business/Financial, Personal and Spiritual. The advice and strategies contained within the pages come from more than 41 female entrepreneurs and experts.
- The theme of burnout is evident in Mary Lou Quinlan's Time Off for Good Behavior: How Hardworking Women Can Take a Break and Change Their Lives (Broadway, $23.95), which tells her personal story of being a workaholic and learning to let go. She also weaves in the stories of more than 37 women who took that much-needed break.
Woman of the Year
Do you know an entrepreneur who deserves to be recognized for her accomplishments? (Maybe it's you?) OPEN: The Small Business Network From American Express & Entrepreneur magazine's Woman of the Year Contest will honor one outstanding woman entrepreneur as Woman of the Year. For more details and to enter, visit www.entrepreneur.com/womanoftheyear . The deadline for entry is August 31, 2005.