When you’re an entrepreneur, nothing can replace the actual work that goes into building a brand or business. However, preparation and motivation are important parts of the equation too. When it comes to the latter, there are many ways to get inspired. For a lot of us, the best books for entrepreneurs are a great start. Not only do they offer tactical, brand-building advice; success stories can also remind us that there’s light at the end of the tunnel when it feels like there isn’t any.
The old adage “knowledge is power” remains true, so pick up any of these top-rated reads if your nightstand needs company and you’re feeling stuck.
How to Build a Goddamn Empire by Ali Kriegsman
This book is a part business manual, part memoir, written by the co-founder and COO of Bulletin, a wholesale marketplace for female-founded lifestyle brands. From advice on choosing a founder to the little-known facts about funding to navigating imposter syndrome, Kriegsman leaves no stone unturned.
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Oshry, the woman behind the wildly popular @girlwithnojob Instagram handle, offers a juicy, behind-the-scenes look into how she went from social media influencer to head of a media company.
The Art of Impossible by Steven Kotler
Kotler, a renowned performance expert, digs into the stories of celebrated athletes, CEOs, artists, and more to shed light on how they attained what was once thought impossible in their respective careers.
Business Made Simple by Donald Miller
This 60-day guide includes daily entries and video for skill and productivity development as you build a business.
Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media by Brittany Hennessy
This former BlogHer speaker created the blueprint for all things influencer, including how to build an audience, land an agent, pitch your favorite brands, and so much more.
More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth
The former magazine editor and bonafide renaissance woman (she truly does it all) won an NAACP Award for a memoir about all that went into discovering her purpose.
Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Huffington’s best-seller is a much-needed reminder that hustle culture is dangerous and true rest is the key to a successful career.
Female Innovators at Work by Danielle Newnham
This book is a collection of candid interviews where successful female tech entrepreneurs share all they’ve learned from working in a male-dominated field.
Shark Tales by Barbara Cocoran
The no-nonsense TV host shares all of the wisdom she accumulated while building a billion-dollar business.
The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman
Finally, a tactical blueprint for bringing the ever-elusive confidence factor into your life and career.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
The Chief Operating Officer of Facebook uses hard data and personal experience to inspire women to achieve their goals with confidence and perseverance.
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
There’s plenty of game-changing advice to be found in this hilarious story collection that’s helped millions defeat self-sabotaging beliefs.
Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work by Deborah Tannen
This international best-seller will convict you with its commentary on the language barriers between men and women in the workplace (and how to correct them).
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
Decades of research went into this best-selling manifesto that explains how to adopt a mindset that leads to growth instead of stagnancy.
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
Brown connected with “change makers” and “culture shifters” for this book about how to lead with intention (and success) whether you’re in the corporate world or a scrappy new business owner.
Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
This critique of mainstream feminism is a brilliant overview of the current movement and how all of us can better live out its principles in a way that’s more inclusive.
If you’re an entrepreneur who has always been discouraged as an introvert, this book will remind you of your power.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Besides being downright hilarious, there’s a lot to learn from Fey’s career trajectory.
Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After by Miki Agrawal
Entrepreneur and angel investor shares how she jumped into entrepreneurship and how you can do the same on a shoestring budget.
Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani
The CEO of Girls Who Code will inspire you to stop playing it safe and go full-throttle after your dreams.
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
If you’ve been discouraged by being told “no,” Rhimes’ poignant memoir will inspire you to keep going.
What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey
This best-selling book contains some of the best wisdom shared in Winfrey’s monthly “What I Know For Sure” magazine column.
The Little Black Book of Success by Elaine Meryl Brown
From self-victimization to the “angry Black woman” stereotype, this book for Black business owners leaves no stone unturned.
Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong by Jessica Bacal
Women across a wide range of industries share the mistakes that ultimately helped improve their careers and mindsets.
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