The 11 best books for doing business the feminine wayNov 24, 2021
I felt despair this week when I read Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon's response to some of his junior analysts' complaints that the hours they'd been working at the bank were "inhumane". If you didn’t see it, to paraphrase horrendously, his response was, "Sorry about that; I feel your pain, but suck it up and get back to your desks... we've got money to make here".
Not much has changed. I worked in the City for years, with a decent stint in Investment Banking where I experienced the long hours culture and out of control machismo first hand. As a young Mum with three kids aged 3, 2, and a newborn, I struggled with the chest-beating and competition to see who could stay latest and start the earliest and so when my boss suggested I start at 5.00 am, take a break to collect my kids from nursery at 12.00 then get back on the phones at 1.00 pm when New York opened I quit.
I felt like I was letting down the sisterhood, I'd set out to smash glass ceilings, but I felt like the big boys had beaten me because I was a Mum trying to play their game. But thankfully, that didn't last long. I picked myself up, wiped the baby rice off my t-shirt and got on with the job of starting my own business, one that would allow me to be financially independent while working the hours I wanted and embracing the fact that I am a woman and a mother.
That was nearly 20 years ago, and as I say, I'm disappointed to hear that such outdated, harmful attitudes are still being spouted by the (mostly) boys at the top.
But we have so many more choices open to us today, and starting your own business where you can flourish as women are now there for the taking.
Who wants to truss themselves up in a ridiculous suit and commit themselves only god knows how many hours a week to prop up a crumbling world order? No, I didn't think so.
So, if you're looking for ideas about how to embrace being a woman in your business, have a read through these book recommendations. They're all about ditching the hustle and the bro marketing and embracing your feminine creativity to achieve financial freedom and purpose.
Book recommendations for doing business the feminine way
Don't worry; I'm not going to recommend a good lipstick and a push-up bra; these are incredible, boundary-breaking books you really must read if you want to find practical ways to embrace femininity - as an energetic concept - in your business.
Pussy A Reclamation by Regena Thomashauer. This is an absolutely amazing book. I've read it and underlined so many different passages the whole thing is now highlighted! It's an inspirational read, and if you're not burning your bra by the end of then, there's no hope! It's all about reawakening the parts of ourselves as we've been taught to repress and to reconnect with our creative, powerful feminine so we can start living our lives to the full.
Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny. Overcoming the self-sabotaging beliefs we have about money and our worth that hold us back from running successful businesses that give us the financial freedom we deserve. A really good read, at times uncomfortable - as despite all our education and talk of freedom - you see yourself reflected worryingly accurately on the page - but there are lots of ideas for turning crappy old inherited thinking around.
Becoming Magic by Genevieve Davis. All about embracing our incredible power as women to create our very best life. Her books help awaken the creative, feminine parts we've shut down, and in doing so, she shows how to harness our magic, our femininity. Love it!
You're A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero. Appalling title, but a great book! Funny, honest and inspiring in equal doses. Full of energy, great stories and tonnes of inspiration for creating a life you want to live, outside the norms of patriarchal society.
Feminine Genius: The Provocative Path to Waking Up and Turning On the Wisdom of Being a Woman by Liyana Silver. I love, love, love this book. We've been told forever that to be successful; we need to hide our femininity, stuff it away and ignore the fact we're women if we want to get ahead in life. This book turns all that crap on its head and shows us to stop being at war with ourselves and embracing our femininity to live a successful and financially independent life.
The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. A refreshing approach to business building whether you're a coach or not. An excellent discussion of why you should ditch the cold emailing and the hustle and work to attract new clients through referrals and also a powerful look at how we can stop people-pleasing and replace that with providing outstanding service.
The Inside Out Revolution by Michael Neill. Not one about femininity per se but such an interesting read. If you read this in conjunction with some of these other books, it will knock your socks off. Creating a thriving life and business is an inside job, 100%, and Michael Neill does a very good job explaining exactly how.
Rising Strong and Braving The Wilderness by Brene Brown. I couldn't list books I've been inspired by without mentioning the fabulous Brene Brown. These are a pair of great books. It is full of inspiration for stepping out into the world as women, so we can thrive and live our very best lives without listening to the fears that have held us back for so long—another pair of much-underlined books.
Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. Ah, yes. I have to mention this one. I love it. An absolute classic that helped me so much when I was taking those first wobbly steps in the world outside corporate. Simple, accessible, powerful and transformative. If you're new to all this and pussy reclamation all seems a bit much; I'd start here!
The Middle Finger Project: Trash Your Imposter Syndrome and Live the Unf*ckwithable Life You Deserve by Ash Ambirge. Not sure what more I can say! This book does what it says of the tin and will have you fired up and smashing the patriarchy before you know it. Love it!!
The Moon Book by Sarah Faith Gottesdiener. Not read this one yet, but I've seen it recommended by a few women I think are great. One for the goddess types among us!
Here's the blurb…
" This evergreen book is an informative and comprehensive guide to lunar living, incorporating radical, self-empowering, and magical tools and resources for the beginner and experienced lunar-follower alike. Depending on where we are in our lives, depending on what we are feeling or what is happening around us, the moon allows us a space to invite ritual into our daily lives."
She’ll be coming round the mountain.
So there you go, my all-time favourite reads as far as embracing the feminine goes. They've helped me create a hustle free, feminine-friendly work environment where I can thrive as a woman and achieve financial freedom without compromising who I am.
I still work long hours, but that’s when I choose to, and never at the expense of my health or my family. I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone or anyone to beat. I believe there is a kinder, gentler way to do business.
Whether you go over the mountain and come back down with all your tales of struggle and bravado, or whether you come round the side of the mountain and tell us your tales of who you met and what you saw, you both got to the other side.
No one is better than the other, although I think I'll come round the mountain. It sounds like a lot more fun!
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