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9 Must-Read Biographies to Inspire Every Entrepreneur

Learn from the best stories of great woes and even greater triumphs.

Beyond Hollywood-like rags-to-riches stories, memoirs and biographies are a chance to really delve into the life, times and thoughts of the most interesting people in the world. The human condition is always frothing with life lessons - whatever career path we might choose. We’ve curated a list of the best telltale books by thinkers, innovators and leaders detailing the challenges they’ve met that can be your starting guide to leading a glowed-up entrepreneur life. Or maybe just a fascinating read to kill the quaran-time.

1) Girl Decoded: A Scientist's Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology

by Rana El Kaliouby

In this eclectic memoir, Egyptian-American scientist Rana El Kaliouby tells her own personal story of aspiration and transformation as she pursues her passion to bring empathy to and humanise tech. 

2) Creative Confidence

by Tom & David Kelley

Founders of global design company IDEO David & Tom Kelley pen this compelling wake up call for companies that often brush creativity and innovation to the "creative types". The book demonstrates how within everyone there is a thriving creative aching to break free that can affect change in their respective fields by thinking well outside the box.

3) Years of Yes

by Shonda Rhimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this hilariously witty and profound calling for all to quell the noise around them, one of Hollywood's most powerful figures behind major hit shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, details how favouring the word 'yes' more often than she usually does was a turning point - and how it can be the case for us all.

 4) What I Know For Sure

by Oprah Winfery

You get a memoir, you get a memoir, everyone gets a memoir! The woman that needs no introduction, Oprah's success story is a ground-breaking tale of resilience, perseverance and just pure legend. In this book, the billionaire runs through all the major wisdom nuggets she's picked up along the way, and offers an insight and rare glimpse into how to maneuver your way through life to find joy and fulfillment in every aspect, be it personal or professional. 

5) Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE

by Phil Knight

Just do read it. This memoir reveals the shroud of Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight as he shares the never-before-told story of his company's earlier days as a plucky startup. One so plucky that it catapulted into becoming one of the world's biggest and most game-changing brands. 

6) Becoming

by Michelle Obama

Using such candid and deeply reflective storytelling, Michelle Obama takes readers on an exclusive journey of her own triumphs and trials that have helped her become the icon she is today. From balancing life as an executive and motherhood to her time spent at the White House, there's an unmistakably mesmerising well of lessons to draw inspiration from in this book. 

7) Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Writer's block, creative block, CEO block, the blocks are everywhere, so what's the secret sauce to be yanked out of it? Elizabeth Gilbert's books have always invited readers to give in to their inspiration and to empower their own selves into accomplishing what they truly desire. In this call to arms, she asks readers to embrace their curiosity, to welcome the unknown with open arms and how within that experience they can uncover "strange jewels". Big Magic, in essence, is an open joyous invitation to be and stayed passionate.   

8) Rat Girl: A Memoir

by Kristin Hersh

You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. But when those eggs feel like they're being broken right on top of your head it can get really, really tedious. Musician and artist Kristin Hersh founded punk rock band Throwing Muses and was thriving with major label deals. And in a whirlwind year she gets diagnosed with bipolar disorder and finds out she's pregnant. In this moving and personal account of her own story, she reflects on how that year has forever shaped her life and creative process.

9) Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World

by Zahra Hankir

Nineteen Arab female journalists recount their experiences of reporting from major conflicts and events. From sexual harassment on the streets of Cairo to the antiquated discrimination law in Yemen, these journalists didn't just face unique challenges in covering these stories, but in their institutions as well. The book's full of daring and heartfelt stories of all the women speaking honestly of how they tried to shatter glass-cielings and keep pushing through.




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