7 Business Books #so608 Show Guests Say You Must Read

Stylish young woman holding book pile in her hands

Since the early days of the show, it’s been a Spirit 0f 608 tradition for the guest entrepreneurs who come on the show to recommend tools, apps, books or other resources that are helping them kick ass their in daily life and weather the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

Given the collective smarts our guests bring to the table, it’s no surprise that more than a few have cited books and authors that have fundamentally changed their entrepreneurial journeys for the better.

Need some new books for your business reading list? We recently partnered up with Motivation Grid to gather book recommendations from FEST founders in 7 Books Female Entrepreneurs Recommend to Up Your Business Game.

You can click on the story for more on each book. In the meantime, read on for what Spirit of 608 guests had to say about the impact their recommendations had on their thinking. Find links to their companies and the books by clicking through to the individual episodes’ show notes below.

Candace Widdoes, Episode 62
Plug ‘N Play Tech Center, Chief Operating Officer
The books she recommends: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz; Venture Deals by Brad Feld

Candace Widdoes shares that Ben Horowitz’s “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” gave her the right advice at the right time and helped her pull through difficult times in her career. “In the 2008 to 2010 time period, when I was selling a product that I didn’t really know if I could execute on or not, what makes me feel better still today is I tell myself, I will rebuild. And that was a big thing in my thinking, Ben Horowtiz’s book, where even if everything just gets burned to the ground, I will rebuild.”

“Venture Deals” by Brad Feld is another book she stands by. If ever you’ve been intimidated by that first meeting with a potential investor and daunted by technical terminologies, Candace says “Venture Deals” will walk you through it. “[It’s] a really good nuts and bolts book about how to structure a term sheet and what to expect when negotiating terms with an investor.”

Katherine Power, Episode 10
WhoWhatWear, Co-Founder:
The books she recommends: Venture Deals by Brad Feld & Scaling Up Excellence by Robert Sutton

WhoWhatWear’s CEO Katherine Power also agrees that Brad Feld’s “Venture Deals” is spot-on for the newbie entrepreneur. “Scaling Up Excellence,” from bestselling author Robert Sutton is another one of her personal favorites. “[It’s] a great book if you’re building a business and expanding the business, increasing the team size,” she says, also sharing that she’s enjoyed the book so much that she’s read it more than once.

Lily Xu, Episode 38
Dotfully (Acquired), Co-Founder
The books she recommends: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck & You’re A Badass by Jen Sincero

Dotfully founder says Lily Xu loves reading self-help books and has a couple of recommendations for entrepreneurs. For one, she’s a big fan of “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. Through her research in the psychology field, Dweck talks about how one’s mindset shapes success and one’s approach in life. Lily Xu says that the book “…inspired me to think differently and to open up my mindset of the different possibilities that are out there.”

Lily Xu also highly recommends “You’re a Badass” by bestselling author and success coach Jen Sincero. A fun and witty read about getting over self-deprecation and gaining the confidence to push forward in your goals, “You’re a Badass” is full of no-nonsense advice and fun and easy exercises for sheer awesomeness. Lily Xu says it’s one of those books that “[reminds] us that we’re doing great and helps just kind of put things back in perspective that, yeah, you’re a badass.”

Olya Ishchukova, Episode 42
Models in Tech, Founder
The books she recommends: Dead on Arrival by Roger Royse

Model and entrepreneur Olya Ishchukova likes to read several books at the same time to get inspiration from a multitude of sources, so she often has a recommended reading list open. Her suggested read for business owners comes from veteran lawyer Roger Royse. In “Dead on Arrival,” Royse writes about the common things that entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses go through and what mistakes to watch out for, particularly on the legal side. You could say that Olya’s recommendation comes from first-hand experience, as Roger Royse also happens to be her personal lawyer.

Monai Willet, Episode 59
Founder: Ugly Fly Republic
The books she recommends: The Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffrey Gitomer

In her episode, another entrepreneurial bookworm, Monai Willet, talked about how a line from a book pushed her and her company to new heights. Monai says that she was taken with a line from business trainer Jeffrey Gitomer’s “The Little Black Book of Connections.” Says Monai, “‘Anybody you wanna meet is only six phone calls away,’ – and that’s been my mantra with anybody I’ve ever wanted to contact.” It seems to have worked with her and Ugly Fly Republic, as she was able to get some major publicity for her clothing line by using her connections to be able to meet hip-hop artist Young Thug after a concert to give him a pair of Ugly Fly Republic’s customized jeans. He ended up wearing them in his next concert, bringing in a landslide of inquiries for Ugly Fly Republic. We’re pretty sure Monai isn’t the only business owner thanking “The Little Black Book of Connections” for her company’s success.

You can find more tools, apps and books recommended by Spirit of 608 guests on the show notes pages for every epiosode. 



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