True Stories That Will Make You Look at the World Differently
With a focus on diversity and inclusion, the team at Entrepreneur Press® recommends stories they read in February that all entrepreneurs need to hear.
Entrepreneur Press' Business and Pleasure series is dedicated to the books that will take your entrepreneurial endeavors to the next level and bonus entertainment guaranteed to help you escape the daily grind. We hope you find your next read here.
This month, our team wanted to read up on topics that aren't just strictly about business, but that also inform our work and lives as entrepreneurs in a multicultural and intersectional world. Plus, in honor of Black History Month, the team and I are giving some due credit to underrepresented groups that spoke to us, including some amazing black authors.
For Business, I suggest Thick and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
If you aren't following Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom on social media, you should be. As a noted professor of sociology, she speaks truth to power on issues of race, gender, capitalism, and how they all intersect, overlap, and inform how we move through the world. Thick's magical combination of personal narrative, humor, candor, and research creates the perfect storm of essays.
This book demands your attention to the lived experience of black women while inviting you to explore your own place in the systems we contribute to and often benefit from. As entrepreneurs who help craft the consumer landscape, that's an important discussion we should listen to, take part in, and not shy away from--and Thick should be required reading.
For Pleasure, check out On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Angie Thomas' follow-up to the groundbreaking The Hate U Give is busting sales records right out of the gate, and rightfully so. Hoping to blaze her own trail in rap (like her father before her), Bri's dream gets sidetracked when the realities of her mother's job loss kick in and set the stage for what she has to do--make it and make it big. Thomas captures the heart of what it means to be a young person with a big dream and reminds us (even those of us who are--ahem--north of 40) to listen to the beat of our hungry hearts.
For Business, Marketing Specialist Danielle Brown suggests Reset by Ellen Pao
Ellen Pao fought a long, tenuous battle with venture capital firm Kleiner-Perkins and lost in the courtroom but won in so many other ways. Reset tells the true, no-holds-barred story of her experience as a victim of sexual harassment (of varying degrees) from law school to tech startups to the VC world. Each chapter almost got harder and harder to listen to, and it blows my mind that she lost her case even with all the facts to her advantage.
But Ellen's advice, her moves after the case and her interim position at Reddit, and her resilience and integrity throughout it all really opened my eyes. This book is well worth the read, and forces readers to confront how they contribute to a dysfunctional system—in this case, a standard of sexism nearing "Mad Men" levels. Dare to think differently about discrimination of all kinds in the workplace and what you can do to offer underrepresented groups more opportunities to have their voices heard and valued.
For Pleasure, check out She's Gotta Have It on Netflix
This Netflix series is a reimagined, modern version of the original 19XX film produced by Spike Lee. Centering on a black female artist in Brooklyn who has open relationships with three different men, we follow along a journey of self-discovery, poetry, and social commentary—all of which comprise a narrative that aches to seen, heard, and felt in every way.
Watch on Netflix
For Business, Sales and Marketing Director Vanessa Campos suggests Dear America by Jose Antonio Vargas
Jose Antonio Vargas is one of the millions of Americans living in the U.S. without the right papers. They are DACA recipients, Dreamers, and people forced to live in the shadows in fear of being deported (or worse, held with no due process). They contribute to our economy, create new businesses, and share the same dreams and hopes like entrepreneurs. This is a must-read for everyone who's willing to listen to and understand the lengths people go through to earn their place in America.
For Pleasure, check out Russian Doll on Netflix
February was a rough month for me, so rather than another book, self-care came in the form of a new show. Russian Doll is a great show where the main character is caught in a loop reliving her birthday party and ultimately her death. Every time she dies, she learns something new about herself and those closest to her. Towards the last episodes, she finds someone else experiencing the same Groundhog Day effect and things get weird. This show is perfect for binge-watching with each episode clocking in at 30 minutes.
Watch on Netflix