By Iolee Anagnostopoulou

When it comes to business, following the advice of somebody who has actually walked the talk and reached success is essential. Entrepreneurship is no walk in the park, especially for ‘fempreneurs’ trying to make it big in a male-dominant space.

Businesswomen have it twice as hard trying to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams while balancing all other areas of their lives, sometimes including their roles as wives/partners and mothers.  One of the reasons I’m glad to be living in the 21st century is the number of successful female entrepreneurs, who have proved time after time that women can triumph in male-dominated industries.

Currently, 39% of all privately held firms in the US are women-owned, with more than 1,200 new businesses launched by women every day. We’re at the dawn of a new era of opportunities for women who want to be truly independent through taking control of their income, potential, and lives. Yay!

And although Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People are classics, today’s women need the experience and insight of a fellow-female entrepreneur, who has faced the challenges and obstacles they’re likely to encounter.

Here are four empowering books about reaching success in your entrepreneurial journey—written by women, for women.  

What I Know For Sure By Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is the queen of professional success and one of the most influential women of our time.

Apart from building a media empire and a powerful personal brand, Oprah has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is the only female African-American billionaire in the US. 

A supporter of the concept that you should live the life you want, Oprah shared her life lessons on personal and professional success in her O-Magazine for fourteen years, in the column “What I Know For Sure”.

The book of the same name comprises all those thoughtful gems organised by theme⁠—joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power. Moving, inspirational, and uplifting, this book is Oprah’s guide to seizing your full potential, while leading a fulfilled and impactful life. 

Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 Into A Billion Dollar Business By Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran’s book tells her true story of becoming an investor on ABC’s hit reality show ‘Shark Tank’. 

Shark Tales describes her success in turning a small real estate office in New York into a $6 billion USD business thanks to her unconventional problem-solving approach. 

However, it also tells of her failures in twenty-two jobs⁠—including teaching and waitressing—before borrowing $1,000 USD from her boyfriend to pursue her dreams. Today Barbara is the owner of an empire, and her story is the perfect example of a self-made millionaire. 

Shark Tales is honest, smart, relatable and packed with the lessons and wisdom she accumulated throughout her endeavours.

Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency of the 21st Century By Claudia Azula Altucher

Being an entrepreneur requires quick thinking, creative problem-solving and the ability to generate new ideas constantly. 

More of an activity book than a novel, Become An Idea Machine consists of 180 prompts, along with exercises to help you “flex your idea muscle“.

In answer to the question ‘how does one transform their life’, Altucher provides a simple solution: Come up with 10 new ideas every day. The quality is not important, as the focus is on making your mind stretch and sweat. 

Completing these tasks will hone your brain’s capacity to develop fresh solutions for overcoming any challenges in your entrepreneurial career.   

#GirlBoss By Sophia Amoruso

In this New York Times bestseller, Sophia Amoruso shares how she went from dumpster diving to founding NastyGal, one of the world’s fastest-growing retailers.

#GirlBoss is a hymn to the misfits, outsiders, insiders, college dropouts, and women from all sorts of backgrounds trying to make a name for themselves in a world full of stereotypes and naysayers. 

Amoruso provides practical advice and guidance for women to embrace their entrepreneurial style, use their strengths, trust their instincts, thicken their skin and forge their unique path to success, without shying away from their femininity

Witty, funny, and daring, #GirlBoss is less of a ‘how-to’ for starting/growing your business, and more of an inspirational story of a fempreneur, who proved that reaching success doesn’t depend on your academic credentials or popularity. If you’re more of a doer than a dreamer, it also comes in a workbook version with exercises, timelines, to-do lists and lots of space for scribbling.

Female entrepreneurship comes with many challenges but offers many opportunities to learn from the female leaders who paved the way before us. 

If you already are a fempreneur, I hope you find the lessons and advice in the listed books useful. And if you aren’t, I hope they inspire and motivate you to become one. Who knows, the next Oprah Winfrey could be you!