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The 19 Books Every Boss Chick Should Read

These are the true keys to the kingdom.

Good Reads

How would you answer the question, "What makes successful people so successful?"

Talent, wealth, skill, access all seem like the keys to the kingdom. And while these things do factor in, they pale in comparison to one main characteristic of successful entrepreneurs: Teachability.

The highest achieving entrepreneurs are only as consistently successful as they are because they are willing to keep learning. They jump at the opportunity to be students over and over again because they know their growth is dependent upon knowledge and its application.

That takes vision, humility, and quite a lot of study.

In my conversations and research of what resources today's entrepreneurs swear by, I found that the following 19 books are some of the most highly regarded materials when it comes to financial literacy, business/brand development, personal development, and spiritual guidance.

Not only do these books offer inspiring words, they provide resources, methods of practical application, and ways to measure your growth. So, at whatever point you find yourself on your entrepreneurial journey - from daydreaming about your big idea to planning your next venture - this list was made with you in mind! Happy reading!

Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill 

The wisdom of over 40 millionaires distilled into one book.

Read when:You need a glimpse into the proven life choices that will get you where you want to be.

$25

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not! By Robert T. Kiyosaki 

xoRecommendation by:

LaKisha Greenwade, Brand Strategist - Founder, @LuckiFit & @GlamTechUSA

"I have recommended this book to my nieces, nephews, mentees, colleagues, and even those with multiple degrees because it trains the mind to refute cultural norms of progression, cast down comfort, and accept responsibility for individual financial well being. I love that it also encourages entrepreneurship, multiple streams, of income, and the process to building a business that can transform a legacy."

Read when: You want to upgrade your mindset about your money and pass down crucial information.

$10

The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, & Rhonda Joy McLean 

Three executives created a "mentor in your pocket" to guide you into savvy leadership.

Read when:You're on the fast track to BOSS status and need Mother/Sister advice to stay sane, aligned, and effective.

$19

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work & What To Do About It by Michael E. Gerber 

xoRecommendation by:

Victoria Jackson, Creative Consultant, Content Creator, Founder of Reinvented Marketing, @thecapitalV

"It highlights one of the most important truths about entrepreneurship: If it doesn't run without you, you have a glorified job, not a business. It's a must read for anyone attempting to move from the employee mindset to the entrepreneurial mindset by building a sustainable, scalable business model."

Read when:You're interested in studying the life cycle of new businesses.

$13

Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath 

Is your idea "sticky" enough to capture your audience? Grab this NYT bestseller to find out.

Read when: You want to evaluate a new idea or you want to refine your business/brand/ministry's message.

$12

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change 

Don't like change? Get over it and find the opportunities within it with this bestseller.

Read when: You're ready to embrace change and master making it work to your advantage.

$27

Successful Women Think Differently by Valorie Burton 

xoRecommendation by:

Becca Bakre, Life Coach & Project Strategist of Becca Bakre Enterprises, LLC @beccabak

"I was serving as Director at a multi-million dollar non-profit, and although I was thriving and successful in the eyes of many, I felt very dissatisfied with my life and career path. This book gave me the courage to see my leaving the company not as moving backward but as a necessary step forward.

I am now the owner of a successful coaching business that gives me the freedom to use my talents and passion to lead other women into their God-given purpose."

Read when: You've decided to assess your habits, get rid of those that don't serve you and establish new, healthier ones.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown 

Cut the noise. Cut the clutter. Cut the crap. Chase less. Get more.

Read when:You want to simplify, clarify, and breathe easier.

$15

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert 

Need a sweet little kick in the pants to face your fear and live a big life? Here you go.

Read when: You're teetering, on the brink of going for it and need an "over-the-edge" pep talk.

$12

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 

A cult classic tale following a little shepherd boy and his journey to wisdom, self-confidence, and realized dreams for the absolute WIN.

Read when: You're sick of traditional self-help books and want to follow along on a brave little boy's journey to dreams fulfilled.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield 

Pressfield pulls no punches. Let's bust up the blockages and DO this work.

Read when: You want to understand why you get stuck creatively and how to get unstuck.

$10

Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How To Say No To Take Control Of Your LIfe by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend 

Every great businesswoman has got to learn the weight of her yes and the power in her no. Start here.

Read when:You're ready to make the time to dig deep, be brutally honest, and take responsibility for your decisions.

$12

You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero 

Practical advice, sage wisdom, hilarious stories, powdered with a cuss word here and there. Jen Sincero serves you straight talk, no chaser.

Read when:You're feeling down on yourself and you're on the verge of giving up.

Don’t Dumb Down Your Greatness by Anthony Frasier 

xoRecommendation by:

Whitney L. Barkley, M.S. Speakerazzi, CEO @whitneylbarkley

"[This book] is a testament that you can come from anything to create realities beyond your biggest imagination for your life and career. [It's] impactful because while you may be wildly skilled and talented, there is a level of personal development that is necessary in the areas of goal setting, Impostor syndrome, and discipline to heighten your potential and create the best set-up for current and future success."

$15

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz 

xoRecommendation by:

Anaston Jeni, Self-care Coach @anastonjeni

"Regardless of what phase of life you're in, you can identify with [this book's] principles. It's great for anyone on a journey of self-discovery and self-mastery. Applying The Four Agreements will change your perspective on life & open you up to a new level of freedom."

Believe Bigger: Discover the Path to Your Life Purpose by Marshawn E. Daniels 

Regret, hurt, and disappointment can stifle our journeys forward. Marshawn E. Daniels teaches how to use the past to find your purpose and believe the absolute best.

Read when: You're not quite sure what to do or where to go but you feel called to elevate.

$20

7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra 

Success encompasses principles beyond just having a business plan.

Read when:You want to implement practical steps toward a life well-lived.

The 40-Day Soul Fast by Dr. Cindy Trimm 

Authenticity will take you far.

Read when:Life doesn't feel quite as honest as you'd like and you're ready to do the internal work to be your truest self.

$11

The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions In The Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa TerKeurst

Learn to stop doing too much for the wrong people with this read.

Read when:You're sick and tired of being sick and tired and want to learn healthier ways of planning and living out your best life.

$10

Featured image by Shutterstock

Originally published on February 25, 2019

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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