Female Founders Fall Reading List


The startup grind never gets a summer break but now that school is finally back in session, we asked some of the WIN Lab alumnae to share the books that fuel their entrepreneurial spirits. 

1. The Resilience Factor, Karen Reivich
Recommended by Kari Heistad, Founder, Diversity Dashboard

Description: Resilience is a crucial ingredient–perhaps the crucial ingredient–to a happy, healthy life. More than anything else, it's what determines how high we rise above what threatens to wear us down, from battling an illness, to bolstering a marriage, to carrying on after a national crisis. Everyone needs resilience, and now two expert psychologists share seven proven techniques for enhancing our capacity to weather even the cruelest setbacks. Get the book here.

2. You Are a Badass at Making Money, Jen Sincero
Recommended by Holly Fox, Founder, Edu-Cred

Description: You Are a Badass at Making Money will launch you past the fears and stumbling blocks that have kept financial success beyond your reach. Drawing on her own transformation—over just a few years—from a woman living in a converted garage with tumbleweeds blowing through her bank account to a woman who travels the world in style, Jen Sincero channels the inimitable sass and practicality that made You Are a Badass an indomitable bestseller. She combines hilarious personal essays with bite-size, aha concepts that unlock earning potential and get real results. Get the book here.

3. The E-Myth, Michael Gerber
Recommended by Shannon O'Brien, Founder of Whole U.

Description: Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business—from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed—and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. Get the book here.

4. The Effective Executive, Peter Druker
Recommended by Angie Sanchez, Founder of Artyfactos

Description: The measure of the executive, Peter F. Drucker reminds us, is the ability to "get the right things done." This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them into results. Get the book here.

5. Small Giants, Bo Burlingham
Recommended by Danielle Babineau, Co-Founder of Redemption Rock Brewery

Description: It's an axiom of business that great companies grow their revenues and profits year after year. Yet quietly, under the radar, a small number of companies have rejected the pressure of endless growth to focus on more satisfying business goals. Goals like being great at what they do . . . creating a great place to work . . . providing great customer service . . . making great contributions to their communities . . . and finding great ways to lead their lives. Get the book here.

6. The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau
Recommended by Cecile Thieulin, Founder, Simone Simon

Description: The $100 Startup is a guide for people who want to leave their nine-to-five jobs to start their own business. Drawing from case studies of 50 entrepreneurs who have started microbusinesses with $100 or less, Guillebeau gives advice and tools on how to successfully define and sell a product, as well as how to grow your business from there. Get the book here.

7. Traction, Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mare
Recommended by Cathy Copeland, Co-Founder, FriendlyU

Description: Smart entrepreneurs know that the key to success isn’t the originality of your offering, the brilliance of your team, or how much money you raise. It’s how consistently you can grow and acquire new customers (or, for a free service, users). That’s called traction, and it makes everything else easier—fund-raising, hiring, press, partnerships, acquisitions. Talk is cheap, but traction is hard evidence that you’re on the right path. Get the book here.

8. Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Recommended by Ally Milligan, Founder, Loveleaf Co.

Description: With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who's ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs who want to get out, and artists who don't want to starve anymore will all find valuable inspiration and guidance in these pages. Get the book here.

9. The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
Recommended by Ashley Lucas, Director of Marketing, WIN Lab

Description: This groundbreaking New York Times bestseller has helped hundreds of thousands of people at work and at home balance stress and recovery and sustain high performance despite crushing workloads and 24/7 demands on their time. “Combines the gritty toughmindedness of the best coaches with the gentle-but-insistent inspiration of the most effective spiritual advisers” (Fast Company). Get the book here

10. Entrepreneurship, Andrew Zacharakis                                                                                                                                           Recommended by Lizzie Bell, Founder, Off The Beaten Path Food Tours

Description: This classic MBA textbook by a Babson professor is perfect for new founders who don't have a classic business background yet want to write a well thought out business plan and pitch deck. The book includes a full business plan template so that aspiring founders can plug in their data and determine which essentials they still need to work through. Get the book here.