Something I look forward to every summer is getting into the books on my “must read” list.
Whether I just want to stay inside on a hot muggy day to soak up the AC or I’m headed to the beach, I enjoy the moments I get to work ON my business (and myself) in the most relaxing way possible.
In fact, I even keep a pile of books on my bedside table at all times.
“You can only grow your business as big as you grow yourself.” That’s one of my favorite quotes that reminds me to keep educating myself and reading more books about business, personal growth, mindset and more. As business owners, what excuse can we possibly have to NOT read business and personal growth books?
If you read my blog then you know I believe anyone can build a multi-million dollar business from scratch. I did it, and I am no genius, and so did all the women I featured in my book, Million Dollar Women. Many of them came from modest backgrounds and had little family support. But we were all super curious, loved learning, and never stopped trying to find out what other CEOs knew that we didn’t so we could apply it to our businesses. If you are already an avid reader of fiction, blogs or even cereal boxes then you can read business books. Throw a few into the mix this summer and reap the rewards all year! If you are already a business book reader, check out some of my faves in this blog.
Below are eight books that I recommend to women entrepreneurs who are looking to improve their company’s branding, increase sales, get inspired to bust their limiting beliefs, and more.
They are listed in no particular order. I hope you enjoy them!
1. Badass Your Brand: The Impatient Entrepreneur’s Guide to Turning Expertise into Profit by Pia Silva
Pia Silva is a branding and business expert, especially when it comes to standing out in today’s crowded digital market. You’re not going to be memorable if your website and copy looks and sounds the same as all of your competitors! Badass Your Brand is an easy read and a workbook, allowing you to seamlessly take action on what you learn after reading every chapter. You’ll also feel inspired to make your business more enjoyable to run and you’ll feel empowered to go against the grain.
Badass Your Brand is packed with case studies of businesses in different industries, demonstrating how Pia’s concepts and principles can be applied to any type of company. Pia is a Million Dollar Woman teacher who taught a popular branding workshop at our first Million Dollar Woman Summit in March. If you enjoy this, check out her Forbes column and her online course.
2. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brené Brown
This is one of Brené Brown’s books that I hold near and dear to my heart. In Daring Greatly, Brown, who is an esteemed sociologist, asks us to reframe the way we think about vulnerability and its connection to happiness. Brené teaches how vulnerability is the catalyst for courage, compassion, and connection and how to avoid the #1 self-sabotage we perform as women: falling in the “I’m not enough” trap and as a result, not taking action on our big dreams.
How does this tie to entrepreneurship and scaling a business? This book is for anyone who understands the importance of working on your mindset before tackling anything else. As Brené says, before we can succeed we must believe we’re worth it.
3. The Art of Asking: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
The Art of Asking is another book on this list that isn’t a traditional business read. It belongs on this list because musician and performer Amanda Palmer, through her own life experience, will show you that you can’t get to where you want to go alone.
This entertaining read is an expansion of Palmer’s popular TED talk she gave in 2013 of the same name. If you want to learn how to build a community around your business as well as build real relationships with your customers (also known as your fans), then this book is for you.
4. Million Dollar Women: The Essential Guide for Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Big By Julia Pimsleur
My award-winning book can be summed up like this: “If she can do it, I can do it.” Read Million Dollar Women to find out how women just like you got to $1M in revenues and beyond through courage, seeking the right help and determination. We are not any smarter or more talented. We focused on getting three things right: the right mindset, skillset and network. Right now, only three percent of all women entrepreneurs are getting to $1M in revenues and I wrote Million Dollar Women to help change that.
Million Dollar Women features seven women who left corporate America for the life of an entrepreneur as well as my experience starting and growing my own company, Little Pim, into a multi-million dollar business. The book shows you the difference between a creative person with a business idea and a CEO running a business with a creative idea at its center. After reading Million Dollar Women, you’ll know the concepts, lexicon and steps for taking your business even bigger.
If you haven’t read Million Dollar Women, sign up here and get a free download of Chapter 7: Delegate Your Way to the Top full of tips for how to outsource and free up more time.
5. Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
Do you want to work smart, not hard when it comes to your business finances? Profit First by Mike Michalowicz has you covered. This book provides a clear, easy to digest system based on four key principles to better manage your money. After giving this a read, you’ll be well equipped to restructure your finances and put profit first.
A common mistake that entrepreneurs make is not putting money where it should go. There are so many bad decisions that small business owners can make with their money, as you probably have learned at this point. This book can help you avoid making more of those mistakes.
6. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Delivering Happiness by Zappos founder Tony Hsieh has it all. Not only does Zappos have one of the most inspiring turnaround stories (at one point he and his entire staff were living in his apartment because they were so low on cash), but you’ll also learn why your company culture is one of your most important business secret weapons.
This book is autobiographical, humorous, and actionable. You’ll be able to reframe the way you think about your company’s core values as well as your customers’ experiences, and how that can help you create more value and drive revenues immediately.
7. DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online by Russell Brunson
Your digital marketing strategy can make or break your business. I recently read DotCom Secrets by Russell Brusnon, a well-known internet marketer, and found his insights about traffic you own (like your email list) versus traffic you don’t (like your social media following) very insightful. Do you have an email list or are you ready to start one? You’ll learn exactly what tools you need to rapidly and consistently build your list and more.
Whether you’re struggling with getting more traffic or converting page views into customers and everything in between, Russell’s book can help you identify the missing pieces to your internet marketing puzzle. This book is packed with marketing funnels and sales scripts necessary to crack the code to attracting customers and keeping them.
8. The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Hendricks Gay
Do you feel like there are some limiting beliefs you could work on demolishing this summer? The Big Leap by Hendricks Gay is the answer.
Hendricks focuses on the four main barriers that hold us back from what we want in life: believing we are fundamentally flawed, false belief that our success means that we’re being disloyal to people from the past, false belief that we’re a burden to the world and false belief that we have to dim our own light to avoid outshining someone else. This book will teach you how to live in the “Zone Of Genius,” meaning the skill set that is uniquely yours. If you’re not sure what that skill set is, this book will help you identify it.
Eight books might seem like a lot, but even if you picked just one off this list, you’re one step closer to becoming a better CEO. Small improvements lead to big changes!
Happy reading and stay brave,
PS: Looking for even more book recommendations? Here’s my entire suggested reading list for personal growth.