11 books Aussie Lady Startups reckon you should read if you want to be your own boss.

Anyone who’s started their own business will tell you, being your own boss is hard.

Rewarding, brilliant, inspiring and empowering… but bloody hard.

When you’re in the hole of trying to get things off the ground, surrounded by random bits of paper, sticky notes and cold cups of tea, you’ve got to find sources of motivation to give you the kick up the bum to keep going.

Side note – here’s Kerri-Anne Kennerly’s number one piece of career advice, post continues after video.

Video by MMC

For a lot of people, that means reading business books.

Not boring ‘businessy’ books filled with marketing jargon and X-step plans fort becoming a millionaire. We’re talking about the business books that have the power to reignite the fire you had for your business when you first started it, but has a tendency to burn out on you every so often (or very often).

So who better to ask for business book recommendations than Aussie Lady Startups who’ve been there and gone on to build iconic brands and successful businesses?

To celebrate the launch of Mamamia’s kick arse women in business podcast Lady Startups Season 2, we asked our brilliant guests from Season 1 to share the books they think everyone who wants to be their own boss should read.

1. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso.

Image: Booktopia.

"The first business book I read that really made me feel part of something was #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso - it was like ‘oh my God I’m not alone!’. I loved how she bootstrapped so hard in the early days and I related to all the challenges she faced," Lizzy Abegg, co-founder of Spell & The Gypsy.

You can listen to Lizzy Abegg's Lady Startup interview below, post continues after audio.

2. Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish.

Image: Scaling Up.

"This is THE business bible, a must read for practical growth strategies," Peta Shuman, founder and director of Goodness Me Box.

3. Motivated Money by Peter Thornhill.

Image: Motivated by Money.

"I recommend Motivated Money by Peter Thornhill. It's one of the best books on long-term investing, is easy to read and cuts through all the intimidating jargon," Canna Campbell, founder of SugarmamaTV and SASS Financial.

You can listen to Canna Campbell's Lady Startup interview below, post continues after audio.

4. The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good by Ryan Honeyman.

Image: Book Depository.

"Over the years as we’ve matured as a business, the most recent book that changed my view of best practice was The B Corp Handbook by Ryan Honeyman. It’s given me something to aspire to and a new set of businesses to look up to," Lizzy Abegg, co-founder of Spell & The Gypsy.

5. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

Image: Booktopia.

"I really enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, he’s an engaging writer and his examples of what starts a social epidemic have stayed with me, pulling together commonalities from such disparate topics as Hush Puppies, smoking and cleaning up New York’s subways. Tipping points are always easiest to identify after they’ve already happened though, I just wish we knew the secret of how to create them!" Sophie Gilliat, co-founder of The Dinner Ladies.

You can listen to Sophie Gilliat's Lady Startup interview below, post continues after audio.

6. Ordinary People, Extraordinary Wealth by Ric Edelman.

Image: Book Depository.

"This book is about everyday people who have created comfortable but impressive wealth, it's really inspiring," Canna Campbell, founder of SugarmamaTV and SASS Financial.

7. Work Smarter, Live Better: Practical Ways to Change Your Work Habits and Transform Your Life by Cyril Peupion.

Image: Booktopia.

"This book was amazing at teaching me practical ways to work more effectively. It does what is says on the cover! I really feel like by working smarter, I can live better," Carolyn Creswell, founder of Carman’s Kitchen.

You can listen to Carolyn Creswell's Lady Startup interview below, post continues after audio.

8. Seth Godin’s... marketing blog.

"The inspiration I turn to every day isn’t a book, it’s Seth Godin’s daily marketing blog  He brings everything back to simple premises – integrity, service, product – and sometimes, seems uncannily omniscient. Are you stalking me, Seth?” Sophie Gilliat, co-founder of The Dinner Ladies.


9. The 50th Law by Robert Greene and 50 Cent.

Image: Booktopia.

"My favourite quote is from this book is: 'You are one of a kind. Your character traits are a kind of chemical mix that will never be repeated in history. There are ideas unique to you, a specific rhythm and perspective that are your strengths, not your weaknesses. You must not be afraid of your uniqueness and you must care less and less what people think of you... The world can't help but respond to such authenticity,'" Peta Shuman, founder and director of Goodness Me Box.

You can listen to Peta Shuman's Lady Startup interview below, post continues after audio.

10. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight.

Image: Book Depository.

"This is an inspiring lesson in grit and the power of passion and perseverance," Peta Shuman, founder and director of Goodness Me Box.

11. Good to Great by Jim Collins.

Image: Dymocks.

"I read this every couple of years in January to set me back on my path. This book taught me that the most important thing to do in your business is get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus. If you do that and you're leading them in an authentic way, that creates a very positive momentum," Jo Horgan, founder of MECCA.

You can listen to Jo Horgan's Lady Startup interview below.

Is your favourite business book on this list? Do you have a great career or business book recommendation?

You can catch up on every episode from Lady Startup Season 1 below.