Women in Charge: The Rising Power of the Female Entrepreneur

Female entrepreneur holding a laptop

If you’re a female entrepreneur, you rock.

As reported in CNBC, fhe age of the female entrepreneur has reached an all-time high, both in the United States and around the world. Female entrepreneurs contributed trillions into the US economy, creating millions of job and opportunities in the process. Female-owned businesses in the US passed 11 million, growing at rate infinitely faster than the average. When women lead a business, their business performance often outpaces their male colleagues by a wide margin.

Fun fact: Every month at least 200 women say “yes” to entrepreneurship

Despite all of these gains, women still face many obstacles in the world entrepreneurship including bias, discrimination, lack of funding, and balancing their home and professional lives.

This unique world experienced by women in business isn’t focused  in the traditional business book.

Because the unique world of female entrepreneurs needs to be told more often, DIY Marketers is taking some time to celebrate, appreciate, and share the stories and life lessons of female entrepreneurs. This collection of books is designed to introduce you to some new books that you can read yourself or pass along to the female entrepreneur in your life.

Disrupters: Success Strategies from Women Who Break the Mold (Review coming)

Disrupters book cover“Disrupters: Success Strategies From Women Who Break the Mold” is an uncompromising book when it comes to gender equality in the workplace. Dr. Patti Fletcher, pulls absolutely no punches when she questions why women are still being paid less than men or underrepresented in leadership.

Yet, as Dr. Fletcher points out, you can’t stopped a female entrepreneur on a mission.

Her book shares the story of women who navigated around the obstacles faced by female business owners to create powerful and thriving businesses. She share stories of women who shifted careers to follow their entrepreneurial passion, created their own network of supporters and funders to grow their business, and developed million-dollar businesses without sacrificing their family and business goals.

The women in “Disrupters” achieved their business and personal success unapologetically. They did it their way, which is the key message Dr. Fletcher wants to give to aspiring businesswomen: You can succeed on your own terms. You don’t need to run a business “like a man” in order to be a success. You can (and should be) yourself. That is enough to change the world and build the business of your dreams.

Ideal for: Women who are facing obstacles building their business and need inspiration


Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur

Girl code to female entrepreneur book coverRecognized by many readers and reviewers alike, “Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur” s a book that challenges the stereotypes of women succeeding in business. Written by a former corporate advertiser turned life coach and speaker, Cara Alwill Leyba, the book shares a new “code” for women doing business that builds confidence and connection.

In this book bursting with bold and inspirational confidence, Leyba confronts the belief that women have to succeed alone, that they have to step over other women to succeed. Leyba also confronts the idea that women need a certain “personality” or act a certain way to be a success. Like “Disrupters“, author Cara Leyba reminds aspiring female entrepreneurs that you don’t need to fit a certain mold to succeed in business: You are enough.

The special insight from “Girl Code” focuses on women being open to others. Instead of holding onto contacts, lessons learned, and fears, the book argues that women should share. Businesses women don’t need to hold up a facade of perfection in order to succeed: You don’t need to have everything figured out. You don’t need to have an answer for everything or be a superhero. You can be yourself.

Being OK with yourself is the “code”. By boldly being and sharing yourself, Leyba shares, women can be happy, healthy, and successful entrepreneurs within a community of like-minded entrepreneurs achieving their dreams.

Ideal for:Women who are looking for more support and inspiration to be themselves while their chasing business dreams


Girl Boss Book cover#GirlBoss is the story of unlikely story. As author, GirlBoss Media, and Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso is the story about a woman shouldn’t be where she is.

Yet, Sophie Amoruso is where she is.

It all started with a decision. Sophie was a dropout (and former dumpster diver) who was fast losing hope and working at a low-paying job at the time when she decided to be more.

She turned to eBay….and built a fashion empire. Using her unique sense of attitude and fashion along with lessons learned from selling on eBay, she created one of the fast-growing companies in 2012.

This book was even an inspiration for a Netflix web series.

#GirlBoss focuses on the lessons that Sophia learned while building her empire. Unlike other business self-help books for entrepreneurs, Sophia doesn’t rely on simple inspirational messages. Instead, she shares her failures and mistakes. She shares lessons learned from her past as a teen shoplifter, as a Subway sandwich artist, and as a rebel who challenged authority.

Her point: No matter where you come from, no matter what you are doing now, there is always a place for you at the table of success if you make the choice and put in the work.

Ideal for: Aspiring female entrepreneurs who feel that their “background” or “credentials” aren’t good enough to pursue their dream

My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive

My Underground American DreamJulissa Arce is another businesswoman with an unlikely origin story as an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Arce’s parents, entrepreneurs themselves, moved to America for better opportunities for their children.

That opportunity paid off. Julissa Arce was an intelligent and popular student who glided through high school with one eye over her shoulder for deportation officials. When she prepared for college, she encountered her biggest hurdle, getting a scholarship without proper proof of her American citizenship.

Luckily, legislation passed that allowed her to attend college. With that opportunity, Arce found her calling in Wall Street and excelled. (She describes the situation as “rare Hispanic woman in a sea of suits and ties” on her website.)

After blazing a trail as a six-figure, C-suite executive with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, she felt a stronger push to help others in her community who faced similar obstacles. As a result, she founded the Ascend Educational Fund, which creates scholarship and education

“My Underground American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive”  is the behind-look scenes look at how Julissa Arce managed to accomplish everything she did. It’s a tale about finding dreams and turning into opportunities for yourself and the world around you.

Ideal for: Women who have a big dream but feel trapped by labels or other situations

How Exceptional Black Women Lead: Unlocking the Secrets to Creating Phenomenal Success in Career and in Life

BlackWomen LeadAs we all know, female leadership at the C-suite level is very, very low. (Try 5% in Fortune 500 companies, according to CNN).

There is even smaller number of Black female CEOs. At last count, there were none.

These statistics, however, don’t impact the rising power of the female entrepreneur, in particular Black women.

In short, despite the obstacles and visibility at the highest levels, women are creating their own opportunities as business leaders.

“How Exceptional Black Women Lead: Unlocking the Secrets to Creating Phenomenal Success in Career and in Life” was written for those female entrepreneurs, women of color who need guidance and inspiration for life as a business leader.

Written by founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute, Avis Jones-DeWeever, “How Exceptional Black Women Lead”shares insights and advice from 70 Black businesswomen in various fields. The book provides a look at the current situation of Black women in the world of business and offers guidance on how readers can navigate obstacles, create their own path, and build their own networks of support. Also included are tips for maintaining a healthy work-life in life at the leader’s desk and at home.

Ideal for: Female entrepreneurs, especially women of color, who need inspiration and insight on their journey as leaders 

Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business

Shark Tales book coverYou’ve probably seen Barbara Corcoran on the entrepreneurial TV show “Shark Tank“, but you don’t know her story.

“Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business” is that story. It chronicles the business journey of Barbara Corcoran, a waitress who previously had bad luck with 22 jobs to a million-dollar real estate mogul and business investor/entrepreneurial mentor on Shark Tank.

Born to a family with 10 children, Barbara began her career with a $1,000 career and an entrepreneurial desire. The dream eventually paid off and she became a real estate success.

Along the way, however, Barbara’s unconventional background and history (didn’t go to business school or have connections), helped her achieve better than anyone could have expected. She found that she didn’t need to follow the path of every other business person to achieve what she wanted.

Everything she needed was already there-her father’s entrepreneurial dreams, her mother’s homespun common sense, her gut, and her own lessons learned through the rough and tumble world off entrepreneurship were all that she needed.

Barbara Corcoran took all of this “experience” and never looked back. Her book is an inspiration to those women who create their own paths to business and excel because of it.

Ideal For: Female entrepreneurs who need inspiration and entrepreneurial advice to help them leverage their past experience for a bigger business opportunity

The Key Message for Female Entrepreneurs: Leverage Your Experience to Carve Your Own Path

While each of the women in these books has a uniquely different journey toward success, they all embody the same message: Leverage your current story to drive your future success. All of the entrepreneurs on this page succeeded because they refused to be defined by a certain “mold”. People tend to assume that because some business people who had the right connections, went to a certain school, acted a certain way, or looked a certain way, that the way to success involved playing copycat.

As these women prove, entrepreneurs don’t have to “play copycat”. Women who aspire to be successful entrepreneurs don’t need to be like anyone else. They need to be themselves. By boldly being themselves, they carve out a unique “mold” for themselves for themselves and their brand.

That’s an advantage in this crowded, globally-connected world. Brands (and the people that create them) that are unique and bold are able to attract the resources and people they need to accomplish big things. They also carve out a path for future generations of aspiring female entrepreneurs to carve their own path. The end result: You create a world where more and more women leverage their power to change the world through business.

If you are an aspiring female entrepreneur who needs a little inspiration, check out the books mentioned above. Then work on adding your own story.