There's no shortage of self-help business books out there. There is however, a shortage of business books marketed toward women that don't try to sell you a way to lose weight, gain confidence and be almost as good as the guys. I've returned many an Audible book that instead of cutting to the chase, sends me on an Eat-Love-Pray-quest to get to where I want to be in my career. Here's three of my favorite audiobooks, none of which suggest you need to be skinnier or prettier to be more successful.
TRIBES // SETH GODIN
"How many of you have ever felt personally victimized by Regina George?" That line from the movie, Mean Girls, is tragically classic because it's so damn relatable. Many women grow up with a posse of girlfriends who'd do anything for them, when I say grow up and anything, I mean pick them first for their soccer team at recess. Once you hit middle school, 10-year friendships can sour over a two-second crush. From an incredibly young age, girls learn, to get what they want they'll likely have to sever a few ties. I think this is probably where that whole cold-hearted ***** thing is cultivated. Ice queens get the guy and the job while nice girls always seem to get what's left over. This is why I think any woman who wants to be a #GIRLBOSS should read Seth Godin's, Tribes. In the book, he highlights the need for entrepreneurs to ditch the lone wolf persona. Success he says, comes with finding the right people to surround yourself with, not walk all over.
It's no secret, female and male bosses are looked at in two different lights. Women in leadership roles are thought to be hardened and unapproachable while men who lead are often thought of as personable and respectable. I think Godin's, Tribes, opens the door to a conversation about how anyone can be a better leader without sacrificing the relationships that prove to be so vital in our successes.
START // JON ACUFF
The cover of "Start" probably looks a little too self-help-y for most people to not feel self-conscious about buying it in the store. But after listening to it, I found myself thinking: Yeah! I am going to "Punch fear in the face, escape average and do work that matters". The book has a 4.3 rating on Audible, and most of the haters leaving 1-star reviews complained about the same thing: Acuff's delivery. Some called it "over the top", one person even said he sounds like a "punk kid" -- I didn't get that but I'm also completely against audiobooks with monotone narrators. Overall, Acuff stresses that the world our parents/grandparents grew up in where people worked for the same company for 30-40 years doesn't exist anymore. Or maybe it does exist for some people, but it doesn't have to be the path you take. Acuff suggests anyone who's ready for a change takes note of what their "diamonds" are and then spend more time on those things. By diamonds, he means the things we'd do if we knew we'd die tomorrow.
To find out what really matters to you, Acuff says, "Do a quick interview of you calendar, in the last 24 hours what did you spend your time doing?". If what you want to be doing in your professional or personal life doesn't match-up with what you're actually doing it's time...to start.
#GIRLBOSS // SOPHIA AMORUSO
Not only does Sophia Amoruso's book have a stupid-good title, #GIRLBOSS delivers on all other accounts as well. Do me one favor though, don't listen to the audio sample on Audible - just buy it. The narrator [which is not Amoruso] has one of those voices that you have to get used to, but once you do it's like your best friend is reading to you. I had heard of Amoruso's company, Nasty Gal, before listening to her book but had no idea she had such an interesting rags to riches story. Over the years, Amoruso says she was a lot of things: a thief, a college-dropout, a hitchhiker, but even though all those things have a negative connotation associated with them, Amoruso was never what she considers the worst thing to be: lazy.
In #GIRLBOSS, Amoruso gives readers the kind of of tough-love advice you'd expect from an all-knowing older sister. She's the whisper in your ear reminding you, for most of us, there's no easy way to the top. You've got to claw your way there with a smile on your face and be happy [or at least pretend to be happy] to do a few things that are "beneath you".
I think most of Amoruso's business/career advice could benefit women and men. I mentioned here how I thought the title should have just been the less catchy but all-encompassing #BOSS. The problem is #GIRLBOSS is 14 chapters of girl power and unfortunately [I think mostly due to the narrator] the Audible version just would not be most guys' cup of tea. Still, it's a powerful read about someone who has put in an insane amount of hours to build up a dream and that story never gets old.
What's your favorite business-focused book? Have you read Tribes, Start or #GIRLBOSS?