5 books every (girl) boss should read

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anyone that knows me knows i love a good book! i try to read for 30 minutes every day, although sometimes that looks like 5 minutes before work, 2 minutes here, another 7 there, and then a mad-dash to catch up at the end of the week. i’ve always loved business books because they tend to be straight to the point (any successful entrepreneur knows time is money!) with concepts illustrated through real-life examples. i’m sure most of you have read #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso - a best-seller, cult classic, and total trailblazer - but you don’t have to be a girl to be a boss, so i wanted to create this gender-inclusive guide to some of my favorite “boss” books.


  1. Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam

    this is a quick, easy read that will transform the way you view time. Vanderwall is busy, and knows you are too, so she proposes six straightforward tips that are simple yet effective to incorporate into your life to help take control of the way you spend your time.. something we always seem to want more of. 

    one major takeaway: we remember memories more than we do routine, so make them a priority. tuesday afternoons shouldn’t be sworn off just because you’re tired from work; make the effort and you’ll remember that art gallery opening for years to come. the time spent scrolling through instagram or watching netflix after you clock out? not so much.

  2. The Laws of the Ring by Urijah Faber

    this may seem like an off-the-wall pick, but remember, there’s a reason why athletes are so superior at reaching their goals. Urijah Faber is no different, and in this book, he describes the “laws” that have led to his success, both inside and out of the cage. you may find yourself surprised at the different areas in which he has demonstrated his entrepreneurship. consider it an exclusive look into exactly how a leader seizes every possible opportunity - and then shares the wealth with his community.

    one major takeaway: the significance of personal branding has risen stratospherically over the past few years, but consequentially, one principle that seems to be overlooked is personal credit - who you are, how you conduct yourself, and what you can be counted on for. let it guide your decisions in life, and you’ll reap the benefits.

  3. Being Boss: Take Control of Your Work and Live Life on Your Own Terms by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon

    think of this book as your handbook to discovering your why and letting it guide you down the rabbit hole of entrepreneurship. this was a random find at Barnes & Noble and i’m so glad i picked it up. in addition to this book, they have a podcast which features can’t-miss discussions about the highs and lows of being your own boss. PS: whatever path you may be pursuing… do the work.

    one major takeaway: add white space to your life. for one of the authors, this is a day with zero obligations or commitments. don’t have a full day to spare? block off 3-4 hours during the week and use it any way you want - catch up on sleep, personal hobbies, or just some old school family time. no matter how “busy” you are, giving yourself this kind of freedom feels like playing hooky from school all over again - a major refresher that prevents burnout.

  4. Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur by Cara Alwill Leyba

    i’m sure most of you are familiar with Cara Alwill Leyba and already know why she is such a magnetizing force in the world of entrepreneurship. her niche is working with women, so her writing is definitely feminine, but don’t let that deter you. she’s always willing to share the secrets of her success, and reading Girl Code is like having a casual talk with a friend who wants bring out the best in you. she give you the tools you need to be successful - on your own terms. bonus points? this book was self-published and went on to be a major seller (and later earned her a publishing deal!). she doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk each and every day.

    one major takeaway: “there is an answer for every question and a solution for every problem and i decided i was going to figure it all put just by taking action every single day.” that attitude is contagious and a sure-fire way to accomplish your dreams. need i say more?

  5. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant

i know what you’re thinking.. why read a book on how giving can help you? shouldn’t giving be unconditional? isn’t that what makes it sincere? that’s exactly Grant’s point - and he takes this argument further, breaking down the difference between three major groups - the givers, quid pro quo’s, and takers - to explain exactly why givers come out on top.

one major takeaway: how often do we do the “eye for an eye” proposition - i’ll help you with this if you help me with that - formula when it comes to doing favors for others? it seems fair, no? spoiler alert: it’s not helping you.. it’s doing you a complete disservice, even more so than to the people who just take, take, take! you’ll have to read the book to learn exactly why and how that is.


and.. that’s all she wrote :) i hope you find this list helpful! what books do you recommend?

ps: in true over-achieving fashion, here are a few bonus picks:

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

ideal for anyone in a marketing role or looking to learn about why certain things grow to be so popular. this was a required reading in my entrepreneurship class, so thank you to my professor for introducing me to it.

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

another required reading and definitely a classic. the title suggests something sinister, but the content is all about engaging with others in a way that is mutually beneficial - “we all win” scenarios.

Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Guide for Getting Your Financial Life Together… Finally by Nicole Lapin

don’t let the title throw you. this book lays out all the financial principles you need to make sound decisions, both professionally and personally - a total necessity for anyone who considers themselves to be financially independent. you can’t just ask your dad for advice forever ;)

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