Top Five Must Read Books For Female Entrepreneurs

My Top Five Must Read Books For Female Entrepreneurs | Tyranny of Pink

Perhaps one of the hardest things for me as a female entrepreneur is believing that I’m capable. When you work from home, alone for most days of the week, it’s easy for that imposter syndrome monster to come creeping up.

The term impostor syndrome, coined in 1978, is described as a feeling of “phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement.” Basically, when you feel inadequate despite evident success. (source)

I get these thoughts where I question why I’m even bothering, what’s the point, why would anyone see value in what I do and pay me for my work.

And then I think back to the books that I have read by really inspiring authors, most of them women who have had the same struggles and the same thoughts and asked themselves the same questions and yet in spite of it, they went on to achieve great success. And every time I read one of their books, I am reminded why I am doing what I love even though it’s scary and even though a million times a day I question my choices.

Books are truly incredible in how much power they hold. Words, simple words, on their own usually don’t have too much value but string them together in sentences, collect those sentences in books and suddenly, they have the power to change the world.

One of my favourite things to do is browse for hours in a bookshop looking for treasures that inspire me. These are my top five books for female entrepreneurs, women who often doubt themselves, mothers who think they have no value, people like you or like me. People who are so capable, so strong, so valuable but sometimes, just need a little reminder. Becoming a female entrepreneur is so difficult in the modern world.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else. – Sara Blakely, founder, Spanx” username=”tyrannyofpink”]

My current top five must read books for female entrepreneurs

[bctt tweet=”Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood. –John Green” username=”tyrannyofpink”]

Thrive – Arianna Huffington

“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.”
? Arianna Huffington, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

Ariana Huffington looks at daily well-being and argues that perhaps it’s time to redefine what success means to us. I couldn’t help but sit down with my own thoughts while reading this book. Success has never for me been about money, no judgement if that’s what it is to you but instead, it has been a term I use to evaluate how happy I am in my life. If I feel at peace, then I reckon I’m pretty successful. I liked that this book reaffirmed that for me.

Thrive was the book the reaffirmed my value by making me look deeper into the way I described my own life. The balance that existed within and the sense of mindfulness I had about the things I valued on a daily basis.

I actually read this book and then thought, yeah I don’t want to work on weekends or after hours and so I stopped responding to emails and checking my social media during my “off” hours. It literally inspired me to enforce a better sense of balance between my work life and my family life and I think that has made a huge difference for my mom guilt.

Why this is relevant as an entrepreneur

This book is for you as an entrepreneur if you’re constantly measuring your success by the expectations to succeed and make a lot of money right off the bat. It’s for you if you think that working long hours and every day of the week means you’re going to be more successful. It’s a great book for instilling a sense of balance in your life.

Thrive is relevant for anyone who needs to reevaluate what success means to them!

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

“What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant?”
? Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote this book for people like me. People who are creative but are also afraid. She offers insights into the nature of inspiration and encourages us to find new ways to address the challenges that we are faced with and approach life with mindfulness and passion.

Big Magic sets out to encourage its readers to live creatively and embrace their passions by living a life that is driven by curiosity rather than fear. This book actively encourages you to embrace your creativity “Shake yourself free of all your cumbersome ideas about what you require in order to become ‘creatively legitimate’… You do not need a permission slip from the principal’s office to live a creative life. Or if you do worry that you need a permission slip—THERE, I just gave it to you… Now go make something.” There’s no denying the power of receiving that permission that we sometimes so desperately seek. Waiting on someone to tell us it’s okay, it’s the right choice and often, it’s the only choice.

Why this is relevant as an entrepreneur

It can be so scary pursuing your passion and abandoning rationality that tells us to play it safe, stick to what we know and do what we have always done. This book is for you if you need a bit of a push and you could do with someone who encourages you and inspires you to embrace your creative genius that’s just waiting to leap out of you.

My Top Five Must Read Books For Female Entrepreneurs | Tyranny of Pink

Playing Big – Tara Mohr

[bctt tweet=”When women play big, we make things happen. – Tara Mohr ” username=”tyrannyofpink”]

I can safely say that Playing Big is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It had me nodding along in agreement and saying yes in all the right places. Tara Mohr tells you all about why you should stop hiding in the corner and start standing up and being seen. This book is literally about “finding your voice, your vision and making things happen.” She tells you all the reasons why the fear that has been holding you back is ready to take a back seat on this drive through your life. The best part about this book is that it applies to everyone regardless of what your role in life is. As an entrepreneur it’s gold!

Why this is relevant as an entrepreneur

This book helps you to feel more confident, abandon your fear of criticism, communicate in a more powerful way and basically just play bigger in your own life. If you’re only going to buy one book this year, make it this one!

Lean In:Women, work and the will to lead – Sheryl Sandberg

[bctt tweet=”We stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us, women who had to fight for the rights that we now take for granted – Sheryl Sandberg” username=”tyrannyofpink”]

In short, this is a book about empowering women to achieve their full potential.

I had heard a lot of negative criticism of this book before I sat down to read it myself. In fact, people were so harsh about the book that it actually inspired me to read it and you know what, I loved it.

I went into this book thinking oh yeah sure what does this woman in her fancy life know about real life and “leaning in” and how much further does she want us to lean. I was wrong.

I expected, a woman telling women to work harder and dedicate more time to their careers. Instead what I got was a woman saying she understands how hard being a mother is. A woman saying that things are a lot harder for women but that we need to stand up for ourselves and make our voices heard. She gets it. She gets the struggle of being a woman, she gets the pull of home versus work life and she’s a feminist who isn’t afraid to say we need to ASK for more help from our partners.

Why this is relevant as an entrepreneur

Lean in encourages women to stand up for themselves. It encourages women not to just take the first offer given to them but to negotiate and to pitch ideas even when they don’t feel confident.

As an entrepreneur, this advice is gold. Know that although there may not be a seat at the table for you, it’s okay to bring your own chair.

It’s okay to not know how to do everything but still pitch up and say “I’ll do it” and then figure it out. This book really is empowering.

One Small Step Can Change Your Life – The Kaizen Way – Robert Maurer, Ph. D

[bctt tweet=”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu ” username=”tyrannyofpink”]

What I loved about this inspiring book is that it teaches you in a very practical way to make small changes instead of looking at life as a big picture. Kaizen has two definitions:

  • using very small steps to improve a habit, a process or product
  • using very small moments to inspire new products and inventions

The book is basically a map on how to make the small changes

Why this is relevant as an entrepreneur

Kaizen techniques have been used by Japanese corporations for a long time in order to make sure that they reach their goals and maintain excellence. This approach takes the myth of change as a massive step that needs to be taken to smaller baby steps that are actually achievable. It breaks down massive tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks. The idea is that the smaller the task, the less likely your brain is to react with fear to it. This is definitely a useful skill for an entrepreneur.

My top five must read books for female entrepreneurs | Tyranny of Pink

Bargain Books is having a huge warehouse sale in Cape Town that you don’t want to miss!!

The event takes place in on the 27th April 2018 from 9am – 5pm!

Event location: 10 Mymoena Cres, Primrose Park, Cape Town, 7764

There is Free and fully secure parking and entry to the sale is free incase you were wondering about that!

Visit the event page for more information!

*This post has been written in exchange for a book voucher from Bargain Books – because BOOOOOOKS but all views and opinions are as always, completely my own!!

[bctt tweet=”Top Five Must Read Books For Female Entrepreneurs ” username=”tyrannyofpink”]



  • Caitlin
    13th April 2018

    Thank you for the permission slip!

    Such an insightful post, and your words themselves were so encouraging.


  • Taryn
    12th April 2018

    I have three books on your list that I am going to get. I am always looking for inspirational books to help me out and give me that extra yes you can! Thank you so much for the recommendations. ?

    • TyrannyofPink
      13th April 2018

      Ohhh which three are you going to get? I LOVE how books can inspire and empower us to do more in our own lives! Glad you enjoyed the post! xx

      • Taryn
        16th April 2018

        The ones I hope to get asap are:
        – Lean In
        – Playing Big
        – Big Magic

        • TyrannyofPink
          16th April 2018

          Playing Big would be the one I’d suggest going for first – though they are all equally great reads!

  • Sharlaine Davids
    12th April 2018

    Hi, Just registered my own Inc, so I’m definitely reading some of these.

    • TyrannyofPink
      Sharlaine Davids
      12th April 2018

      Oh that’s so exciting! Congratulations!
      I’m sure you will find some inspiration and encouragement in these books!

  • Kerry
    12th April 2018

    I am not an entrepreneur but I love reading books that empower me so I am definitely going to have a go at some of these, especially Thrive.

    • TyrannyofPink
      12th April 2018

      I think that personal development is so important and that’s probably what I love most about these books. They give you practical tools that can be used in every day life and not just as an entrepreneur!

  • Celeste Jonkers
    11th April 2018

    Ooohhh I can’t wait for the sale!!! Not sure where I’ll store my books though. Kind of running out of space…

    Thank you for the recommendations. I will be adding this to my collection soon.

    • TyrannyofPink
      Celeste Jonkers
      12th April 2018

      When we got the quote to move our house contents to New Zealand the guy said “are you taking ALL these books with” and when I said yes he kinda rolled his eyes at me. BOOKS ARE LIFE MAN! Seriously, I don’t think I will ever own enough books!

Leave a Reply

Previous Post
Insurance: What can you expect from your broker?
Read More
Next Post
Meet Maz: What it’s really like being a Fashion Designer
Read More