When you’re building a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the constant stream of new tactics and hyped up things in your newsfeed. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who’s legit and who’s just full of hot air.
Which is why I’m a superfan of business books. To actually get a book deal, the idea needs to be proven and the writer needs to be a real, credible expert with an established platform. And if it’s like the self-published books on this list, they’re scrappy books that are built on a proven process.
A business book is the most affordable training you’ll ever have – think of it as your Amazon MBA. So before you invest in another course or sign up for another freebie, check out these 13 must-read books for female entrepreneurs and freelancers:
Natalie’s just-released book tops the list. This is a business planning book unlike no other. It merges soul with selling and finance while encouraging you to play. My favorite part of this book is that it’s designed to be written in and provides you with practical exercises to dream and scheme your way to big things.
This is a classic from the creators of Basecamp. The book focuses on creating a simple approach to your business. It features short chapters and is an easy read that you’ll find yourself coming back to again and again.
Don’t let the name of this book fool you. It’s actually kinda awesome! If you want to learn how to create products and services that customers want, this book is for you. Instead of putting your idea out on the market and hoping someone buys it, this book walks you through the process of research, testing and validating your idea so you know when you have a winner, and when you should walk away.
Running a business all boils down to one critical skill, persuasion. This book shares the core tenets of persuasion and the science to back it up, which will help you write and communicate better on a day-to-day basis. Consider yourself warned, once you learn the psychology of persuasion you may never look at marketing the same again.
Released back in 1999, this book based on Gallup research is still incredibly relevant. (And fun fact, it was one of the first business books I ever read!) It looks at how the world’s best managers throw the rulebook out the window and manage to everyone’s strengths. Even if you have only one person on your team, this is guaranteed to change how you manage and think about skills development for yourself.
If you’re looking for a writing bible, this is it. It’s my most favorite book on writing for the web. It’s packed full of tips designed to help make you a better writer, covering everything from easy grammar to 17 types of marketing content to writing credible copy. Plus, it’s an easy read that you can pick up and put down, and then use as a reference for your writing.
How do you fascinate? This book by Sally Hogshead examines the science of fascination and how you can become more of yourself. Learning about fascination has been a game changer for me and my business (and I use it with clients) and this book is the perfect place to start. (You can learn more about the Fascination Advantage System here.)
Mindy Kaling’s latest book isn’t a business book per se, but as a female business owner it has a strong message to share. If you struggle with feeling like a fraud or that you’re not good enough, this book asks the valid question of why you’re not the one who should be a huge success. Plus, it’s a blast to read.
This book is a mashup of the practical, psychological and spiritual aspects of wealth and really looks at women’s relationship to power. It’s full of a-ha moments and exercises to help you gain control over your money while getting your head in check about what may be holding you back.
Want to do more in less time? Or achieve big things instead of dreaming about them? The 12 Week Year brings the secrets of peak performance used by Olympic athletes to get improved results by working in 12 week chunks. I personally follow this book’s time management approach and it’s skyrocketed my productivity.
Until I read this book I would have told you my relationship with money was fine. But newsflash – this book helped me realize I had some serious mindset issues and I needed to start to work through them. This book is a fun and illuminating read that I come back to time and time again.
Author Danielle LaPorte is better known for The Desire Map, but the Firestarter Sessions is chalk-full of goodness for the business owner. It helps you look at your passion and purpose, while delivering some serious truth about success and commonly held views about balance and skill.
If you’re struggling to find clients or book your calendar and run a service-based business, pick up this book immediately. Author Michael Port walks you through an entire system to, as the title implies, book yourself solid. It covers networking, follow-up, referrals and more that are relevant to every service-based business.
There you have it, my top 13, and I’m sure there’s more I could share, but I’ll save that for another post. What’s your favorite business book? Share in the comments below.