There's a unique common element I've noticed among the women entrepreneurs and executives I've met and know: They're all big readers. It's not just in business, but a rich and diverse range of topics, from politics to cooking to style and fashion to photography. They devour good biographies and great fiction, newspapers, blogs and digital media. You name it.
Today's successful women love the written word (even if it's sometimes a guilty tabloid read on the plane).
Cupcakes Take the Cake founder and writer Rachel Kramer Bussel is currently working on Richard Branson's Business Stripped Bare. Themomentrepreneur.com"s Traci Bisson cites The Box Car Children as one of her all time favorites. Organic Entertainment's Kerri Zane loves the New York Times. I never travel without The Economist, a book of some sort and either Lucky or InStyle. Lately, I've been reading Adventures of the Screen Trade, a gift from writer/director Hans Beilmer (StarTrek, Twilight Zone) after laughing about my experiences as a new creator/TV producer in TV business at a recent lunch.
"My fave business book is The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott," shared fashion blogger and entrepreneur Shannon Bryne.
Friend and big time mentor Guy Kawasaki's Art of the Start is a popular pick among both men and women entrepreneurs. I'm also constantly recommending his latest book, Reality Check. It's based on the advice he's published on his blog over the years - my secret source for anything and everything I have to conquer as an entrepreneur.
"I love any book that can be read on a cross country flight," laughed one female founder. For my older sister Lisa that was recently The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovalli. "It's about how our priorities get mixed up at times," she said. Chiquelife.com"s Robyn Volker reads everything with a "business eye" to get ideas, contacts, and plans.
Here are a few other Power Girl suggestions:
Note to Self: Andrea Buchanan's collection of stories of struggle and triumph from an incredible group of highly successful women like Sheryl Crow and Camryn Manheim is both fun and relatable (especially for women entrepreneurs). Her recent reading of the book at Me & Ro in Los Angeles was jam packed with amazingly accomplished, cool women. It's my new favorite thing to gift.
TheBigpicture.com: It"s of the most recommended blogs I've heard lately. It provides well written, digestible financial and market analysis and can be a great resource for business executives and entrepreneurs. It uses a lot of charts and graphics to keep things interesting. BudgetFashionista.com founder Kathryn Finney and Miss Meghan Media's Meghan Cleary are also fans.
On Becoming Fearless: This is the book you hear business women talk about over lunches. It's one of the many written by blogger/speaker/mogul/ultimate Power Girl Arianna Huffington and a common favorite. Arianna's one of the most admired women in business among the women entrepreneurs and executives I've met. Becoming Fearless is great throughout.