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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.

$9

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.

$7

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.

$9

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."

$7

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.

$9

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

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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