5 Inspiring Books for Women in Business to Read

5 Inspiring Books for Women in Business to Read. By The Qurious Effect, a Squarespace website designer for service-based businesses

As a business owner, I find it important to read books that help keep me inspired, motivate me to keep going and focus on increasing my skills.

Working for yourself is so different than working for someone else. Part of my work history involves one really large company and one smaller but still large corporation. Both companies offered me opportunities to increase my skills and knowledge through courses and trainings made available to their employees. I always jumped at the chance to increase my skills and learn new things.

So when I made the shift to working for myself, I no longer had access to free training through an employer and it took me a while to realize that this was something I felt was missing from my professional life.

I’ve always been a voracious reader so it didn’t take me long – once I realized I needed to take control of my professional development – to realize there is a wealth of inspirational, motivational and business knowledge to be found in books.

Often, I’ll check out a book from the library and then end up purchasing my own copy so I can highlight or mark pages I’d like to refer back to. I’m torn on whether I prefer to purchase books as kindle versions or physical copies but am starting to believe that the physical book might be my preference.

By starting with the library, I get the chance to determine whether or not I want to invest in a copy for myself or if reading the book once was enough. Sounds like a smart business decision to me!

Towards the beginning of this year, a friend introduced me to one of the books on this list and it has had a dramatic impact on the number of books I’ve read so far this year.

In an effort not to overwhelm you with too many good options, I’ve decided to share my top 5 books from the year so far. I’ll most likely update or add on to the list towards the end of the year but with summer fast approaching, I wanted to share some of my favorites in case you spend your summers like I do – outside with your nose in a book.

So let’s get to it! Here are my favorite 5 books from the first half of 2017.



1. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

I briefly mentioned this book earlier – it’s the one that’s helped me read over 13 books so far this year. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this book so you may have heard of it or already read it. The book’s concept is all about taking an hour of your day and devoting it to you and your own personal development. I can almost hear you thinking that an hour a day feels totally impossible and his solution is to get up an hour earlier and structure that hour with a set of 6 activities that will propel you forward in your life or career. Before you toss off the idea completely, I urge you to give it a try. I’ve been doing a version of this for the past four months and am so grateful to have found it. I look forward to starting my days with the routine I’ve customized based on his method.


2. You Are a Badass and You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

I know I said 5 books and there are two listed here but I couldn’t help myself. They’re by the same author and You Are a Badass at Making Money just came out. Jen Sincero writes with such sharp wit and humor that she’s easy to identify with, relate to and see how what she’ talking about could indeed teach you “how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life”. If you’re familiar with the term ‘practical woo’, Jen is a great example of someone who is able to treat typically woo woo self-help into something that people who usually run quickly away from the genre can relate to and benefit from.

I’d recommend starting with You Are a Badass and if that resonates, then definitely give You Are a Badass at Making Money a go. The more people I talk to in business, the more I realize that we all have money hang ups that hold us back from making money. Since this topic has been so taboo in American culture, Jen’s style is disarmingly approachable. She makes reading about and figuring out what may be holding you back a whole lot of fun.


3. Worth It by Amanda Steinberg

Along a similar vein as Jen Sincero’s book but different, Worth It by Amanda Steinberg talks more about how to get your finances in order, specifically for women, and the various aspects of money that we find so challenging. It’s filled with practical advice she has used herself as well as stories from other women. As a single mom who has started two businesses and seen major highs and lows with money, she shares her perspective on what works and what doesn’t in the hopes of helping all the other women out there that also want to have their own business and live life on their own terms. Sounds familiar right?!


4. Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans is not a book you should sit down and read in one sitting. It requires time and effort to think about and work through. Of course, you could read it in one sitting but you probably won’t get too much benefit from it. The book is based on the hugely popular Stanford course the two teach on the same subject. I haven’t finished this book yet but am enjoying working my way through it. To be truthful, I’m definitely one of those people who has a tendency to skip the exercises and read the book all in one go but I am specifically not letting myself do that with this one. And since the content is typically taught as a quarter-long college course, I’m trying to keep that in perspective and go slow.


5. What to Do When It’s Your Turn by Seth Godin

If you haven’t heard of his most recent book, you’ve more than likely heard of Seth Godin as he’s considered a marketing guru by many. I’d heard of Seth previously but hadn’t read any of his many previous books. After watching a captivating interview with him on MarieTV, I was interested in the concept of What to Do When It’s Your Turn. It is a very thought provoking and worthwhile read for anyone starting a business or who already has one. Upon first glance, it appears very simple, appearing to be a collection of small snippets with some odd photos and art mixed in but between the covers deep questions and ideas are held about opportunity and taking your turn.  


BONUS: White Hot Truth by Danielle LaPorte

I’ve just started to read this one but have been a fan of Danielle’s work for a few years. It just came out a few weeks ago and I’ve been anxiously trying to finish another book so I could start on this one. I appreciate her perspective and know she’ll have some interesting thoughts to share on the topic of spirituality and self improvement. So even though I haven't finished this one yet, if you've made it all the way to the end of this post, you probably resonate with my other selections and based on everything else I've engaged with from Danielle, I feel confident in recommending this one to you.


I will only recommend books and/or products that I have read or believe to be worthwhile. 

The links above lead to Amazon where you can purchase a copy of the books. I paid for copies of each of these books and this post contains my honest opinion about them. I was not paid to write this post.

As the book images and text links lead to Amazon, if you purchase the item, I will receive a small commission on your purchase, at no cost to you.

The Qurious Effect is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


Have you read any of these books? Or have any others you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below. I’m always interested to hear what great books other people have enjoyed and would recommend.

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