Turning a page: 5 successful women on the #1 book

This time of year, there are dozens and dozens of reading lists being published. The best romantic novels, fiction finds, and self-help books get aggregated into lists so you can optimize your free time. And I live for these lists but while I trust these authors and their recommendations, it’s nice to take a page out of an expert’s book.

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The experts I’m talking about are successful women who have grown their own businesses and represent aspirational careers and skillsets we all admire. So before you head out on your next vacation or need some reading material for your long haul flight, be sure to take some of these recommendations with you.

Sophia Roe, Chef & Sustenance Maker

Book: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

“This is a hard one, as I am constantly reading, and working on ways to better my approach to business, and evolving personally as well. But consistently The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is the one I always find myself grabbing again, and again. It’s the perfect book for anyone who is struggling with inspiration, motivation, and/or all I wanna do is be a writer, but I’m not writing—why?

“He really gets to the bottom of what it’s like to break down barriers, resistances, and mental blocks that we create in our minds that keep us from following our dreams. It’s also a super quick, and easy read. I’ve easily gifted this book to over 10 of my friends who are struggling with creative blocks. It does such a great job of kickstarting your spirit.”

Jane Ko, founder of A Taste of Koko, Austin Food & Travel Blog

Book: Go Ask Ali: Half-Baked Advice (and Free Lemonade) by Ali Wentworth

“I was walking by one of those book shops in the airport and Go Ask Ali caught my eye and I read it on my flight back. I’ve been blogging for nine years and full-time for five years. Working with several brands every month, 10-15 on some months, is very stressful and I’m constantly asking myself what am I doing? Go Ask Ali was a hilarious read that reminded me to not take myself too seriously and most things will work out at the end.”

Joanne Encarnacion, Founder of GoFitJo

Book: Pussy: A Reclamation by Regena Thomashauer

“The book that I’m currently reading at the moment that is changing or evolving my business is Pussy: A Reclamation by Regena Thomashauer. This book was recommended by a friend when I mentioned that I wanted to get into relationship and sexuality coaching to help women show up as better partners to themselves and for their partners. Originally I had no idea that the author of this book and I had walked similar stories of pain and struggle in our upbringing. As I dove deeper into this book it gave me a better understanding of womanhood and the pieces of a woman’s life that I can help guide and uncover as a women’s life coach.”

Karlee Andrews, Founder of Madame Andrews

Book:  #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso

“When I read #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, it changed me. She is unapologetically herself and I admire that so much. Confidence is always something that I’ve struggled with so when I read her book, I lived through her in a sense. And by doing that, it helped me have confidence that I can accomplish my goals, even if not how I imagined. Confidence, and believing in myself, are the main things that I took away from the book. My goals have changed about a million times through my career, but if I strive to be confident in myself and in what I do, I find that I’m more at peace (even when I’m stressed).”

Taylor Walker, CPT, BARRE, Holistic Health Coach
Book: The Subtle Art of  Not Giving a F•CK by Mark Manson 

“This may sound funny, but The Subtle Art of  Not Giving a F•CK was a game-changer for me. We live in the age of comparison and FOMO and I felt like I was shifting my brand to fit in with my peers—I started to feel inauthentic and a bit scattered. When brands would pass on a collaboration, I would begin to feel inadequate and harbor unnecessary anxiety.

“After reading the SANGF I was able to re-focus and find my confidence again. What I had thought were missed opportunities turned into an honor that I was even being considered. After reading it, I embraced the unknown with a newfound freshness and ability to forge forward, cultivate new relationships and develop a solid new vision for my brand.”

This article first appeared on Create and Cultivate.