As a full-time female entrepreneur, I’ve started a collection of the best life inspiring girl boss books I can find. From other women’s inspiring journeys, we can derive motivation or even a kick in the ass. Every freelancer has that inner girl boss that is waiting to be inspired and motivated and these books can help you along this path.
Since I am not the typical girl boss type, this collection of empowering books is sometimes a bit off the beaten path. Because I come from 40 years of a Corporate background, I came a bit late to the entrepreneur lifestyle. But I also bring the perspective as a women working in both worlds. As a female entrepreneur in an often male-dominated industry, I’ve found some of these girlboss books a big help in boosting my business.
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Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen years ago and it was life-changing. We don’t think about happiness enough in life or in business. This volume of hers is focused on overcoming the habits that hold us back – procrastination, overwork, lack of self-care. These are just a few of the topics she covers in this girl boss book:
• Why do I find it tough to create a habit for something I love to do?
• Sometimes I can change a habit overnight, and sometimes I can’t change a habit, no matter how hard I try. Why?
• How quickly can I change a habit?
• What can I do to make sure I stick to a new habit?
• How can I help someone else change a habit?
• Why can I keep habits that benefit others, but can’t make habits that are just for me?
We ALL struggle with these issues, but especially entrepreneurs because we don’t have a boss to monitor our behavior and MAKE us behave. I sometimes refer to myself as a “rebel without a clue” so anything that will help me overcome these behavior issues is a welcome resource!
No Matter What by Lisa Nichols
You may be familiar with Lisa Nichols from The Secret movie (we’ll get back to that in a minute), but she is a force of nature. As a female minority and someone who came from almost nothing, she has grown to be one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in the US. Once you make up your mind to become successful “no matter what” then you’ve set your feet on an inevitable path to success.
Dr. Stephen Covey referred to her as gutsy and authentic and that’s exactly the impression I got from some of her YouTube videos. They inspired me to go out and buy this book because I felt like she had some important lessons to share. I found a lot of important insights into this girlboss book.
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
I know this one is more than a decade old, but I couldn’t leave it out of a list of girl boss books. It’s not specific to women entrepreneurs, but I credit this with being a major force in my life. I have it in book form, movie, and audio book and I review it or similar books at least a couple of times per year.
To be successful in a freelance business, you definitely need to believe that you have no limits. This was the first book that convinced me that my life could have more possibilities than my boring and stressful 9-5 job. You might want to check out my post on how my business and blogs helped me to retire 7 years early. This is that missing piece of the puzzle to show you the full possibilities of life as a girlboss.
The Girl Code by Cara Alwill Leyba
I think this is a very important book for every freelancer. In fact, we were just talking about this topic in my private Virtual Assistant group this week. Intense competition may be a way of life for male entrepreneurs, but women tend to do better in a more collaborative environment.
I make a big point of Following my competitors on social media and cheering them on. I pick up lots of good ideas from them and you never know if down the road, I might want to hire them for a project, or they may want to hire me. That’s how The Girl Code works. Community over competition is a great way to look at your business. There are endless amounts of clients, jobs, and money to go around and if you’ve got great skills and are prepared to SHOW UP, the clients will too.
You can still be your fierce, edgy and badass self without tearing down other women in the process – that is the invaluable lesson in this book.
Don’t Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller
Even though this one isn’t even released yet, you can (and should!) preorder it. I felt like this one so closely followed my transition from a frustrated and burnt-out career woman to very happy and mostly carefree freelancer. There are so many opportunities now that just weren’t available even 5 years ago. I think everyone should start a little side hustle, just for a bit of extra mad money and a creative outlet.
The thing I like best about being my own girl boss is that my income is dictated by my contributions. In the Corporate world my paycheck was a static thing even if I could (and did) work myself silly.
In this book, you’ll learn essential steps like how to build your side hustle, how to find your tribe, how to reach for what you truly deserve, and how to ultimately turn your passion into profit and build a life you love. Dang! Who wouldn’t want that?
The Secret Lives of Introverts by Jenn Granneman
I felt like this one needed to be included in this list of girl boss books just because introverts are the new black. After all these years of silence, introverts are finally starting to be heard and I think it brings a nice balance to the world of female entrepreneurs. Yes, the ones who have been getting most of the attention are the loud and proud extroverts, but a great many introverts are knocking it out of the park too!
I’m definitely high on the extrovert spectrum, but even I have my moments of shyness, uncertainty and awkwardness. And since we all work with introverted folks from time to time, it’s very helpful to read a book like this to find out how to treat them respectfully and get their best ideas out there.
Your Big Life by Ann Shoket
I stumbled across this one on Amazon and it really caught my eye. I’m definitely about the big, big life and I hope you are too. We all need that boost of confidence to push us to show up every day with that extra bit of ambition and confidence. But there’s no roadmap for how to do that. They don’t teach it in school and you aren’t likely to find it at an office job. It’s only when you brave the waters of running your own business that you realize each business is as unique as a fingerprint and you can make it whatever you want.
In this book, you’ll learn to tackle all of the issues on heavy rotation in your mind such as:
• How to craft a career that’s also a passion.
• How to get respect from a boss who thinks you’re a lazy, entitled, and self-obsessed millennial
• Why you need a “squad” of people who support you as you build your Big Life
• How a side hustle will make you smarter, hotter, and more in control of your destiny.
• Why work/life balance is a sham and your need to embrace the mess. (AMEN SISTER!)
• How to find a partner whose eyes light up when you talk about your ambition.
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
OK, I’ll admit, this one felt like one of the cliche girl boss books for this list, but honestly, how can I NOT include such a kickass book somewhere on this list?? I read parts of this every couple of months when I need an attitude recharge. And honestly, ALL of us need an attitude recharge at one point or another.
I think that’s the downfall of women everywhere. We are SO HARD on ourselves and each other. So we all need that little reminder that we are ENOUGH and we are perfectly fine exactly AS WE ARE. Those are the days when you need a book like this one.