If you’re like me, reading is your bread and butter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Netflix-addict just like the rest of the world, but there’s something about getting lost in a book for several hours that just feels better than binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning (and I’m speaking from experience here - 12 seasons later).
If you’re looking for some motivation, Goodreads is an awesome site for tracking your “currently reading” and “want to reads”. Right now, I’m participating in their 2016 Reading Challenge where I’ve committed to reading 50 books this year (I’m 2 behind schedule, oops!). If sitting down with a paperback or kindle isn’t your thing, there’s no shame in audiobooks. Amazon has an amazing service called Audible that I use to listen to books in my car or while on a walk. I especially enjoy audiobooks for business or self-driven reads, because it’s easier to digest in large pieces.
Even the bossiest of boss babes can use a little motivation now and again. And no, I’m not speaking from a feminist soapbox, though if that’s your jam, more power to you. These books are a collection of memoirs and stories from some of the baddest babes around, and also some men. That’s right! This isn’t just books-by-girls-for-girls, it’s a collection of stories that will shape and impact every facet of your girl boss being. Because, if you aren’t a well-rounded boss babe, you aren’t living to your fullest potential yet, right?
So let’s go ahead and get the obvious out of the way. This book by full-fledged lady boss, Sheryl Sandberg has been making the rounds since it was published in 2014. In case you’ve been living in a dark cave, Sandberg was the VP of Global Online Sales for Google before getting personally drafted by Mark Zuckerberg to become the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. This was a game changer for me. This book tackles the myth that women can't "have it all" and have to choose between being a wife or a mother. In today's modern society, women are doing more than ever to maintain their successful careers and a happy home life. Sandberg's point-which affects all of us--is that women who have what it takes to succeed at the highest professional level face many obstacles, both internal and external.
Favorite Quote: “It’s time to cheer on girls and women who want to sit at the table”
Simon Sinek is one of my boss babe idols. If you’ve never read any of his books before, start immediately. The main message of Leaders Eat Last is simple - the buck stops at the boss’ desk. Whether you’re running a small business or a soloprenuer, it starts and ends with how you handle your business and your brand. By becoming a “long-term leader”, we learn how to base our decisions on what’s best for our organization rather than what’s best for our individual needs.
Favorite Quote: “The responsibility of leadership is not to come up with all the ideas, but to create an environment in which great ideas can thrive”
Can you cry while reading a Girl Boss book? Absolutely. Malala’s soft, yet powerful voice has quietly changed the world. She won a Nobel Peace Prize for standing up to the Taliban, which shot her at point-blank range in the head, for her right to go to school. This book will give you chills and inspire you to face daily challenges with strength and to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.
Favorite Quote: “‘Let us pick up our books and our pens,’ I said. ‘They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.'”
The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane
Ok, hear me out on this one. When you hear “charisma”, you might automatically think that sleazy guy in a bar who is just a little too smooth for his own good, right? Well, in Girl Boss world, charisma has a totally different meaning. In her book, Olivia Fox Cabane doesn’t teach you how to be a master manipulator, but rather how charismatic behaviors can be learned and techniques drawn upon in the business world. Instead of being chauvinistic and teaching you how to strong arm people, it shows you how to use charisma to communicate more effectively and build stronger relationships with those around you. And yes, this book was totally written by a lady boss.
Favorite Quote: “Being charismatic does not depend on how much time you have, but on how fully present you are in each interaction”.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of shiny object syndrome! Yep, totally raised my hand too. You guys, after I read this book, I went on a cleaning binge and it hasn’t stopped. While I’m sure that’s a common reaction to this book, it’s about so much more than just donating bags of clothes and finally throwing away those busted up Converse you’ve been holding on to. By implementing Kondo’s “does it bring you joy” philosophy, you not only have a tidy home, but your entire mindset starts to shift to a calmer, more motivated place in all facets of your life. You’ll be inspired to organize your day-to-day with purpose and properly simplify you life - and let’s face it, we all need that.
Favorite Quote: “The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.”
So there you have it, boss lady! It’s not your typical stack of “How To” business guides, but I hope you’ll read each one of these books for the different influences they can bring. Just remember, a well-read girl boss is a happy girl boss.