Books written by women entrepreneurs are key to helping other women side-step the belief that there's only one way to be a successful entrepreneur.
A version of this article first appeared in The Coach Space.
There are so many reasons why women entrepreneurs can benefit from writing a book.
Typically, there are greater barriers for women than men in entrepreneurial businesses to advance or even be seen in their industry.
So, of course, writing a book can boost a female business founder’s profile and position them more visibly in a hyper-competitive freelance environment.
This can have the side-effect of snagging them other opportunities such as paid writing and speaking gigs.
But building on their bread and butter is not the only reason that writing a book is something women in business should consider.
Here are five other reasons women entrepreneurs should write a book:
Provides a Platform for Leadership
Books are a platform upon which to convey creative ideas and your own value as a leader.
This is something you might have difficulty doing in other work-related spaces. Especially if your industry is one that is traditionally dominated by men.
Often it’s a struggle to be taken seriously and to have your voice and ideas heard. But when you write a book, the floor is all yours.
Develops the Narrative Around Women Entrepreneurship
It can be a battle for first-time female writers to be taken seriously by readers let alone publishers. But the more women write, the more women write.
Representation on our bookshelves and across writing genres, including business and career books, matters.
Male writers are still published, reviewed and paid more than female writers.
Their voices are heard more. Their concerns gain greater credibility.
Seeing more women writing beyond traditional themes in areas such as business and entrepreneurship develops the narrative around women’s contribution to entrepreneurship.
And it might just encourage other women innovators to add their own voice.
Teaches You to Value Female Knowledge
As a woman you have particular perspectives and experiences. However, you may have learned to downplay or even hide them when discussing business practices with your mainly male peers.
But within the pages of a book it can be this specific outlook that resonates with your target reader. Especially if they’re other women.
In her book Fed Up, journalist Gemma Hartley sparked a national conversation about the emotional labour women have to manage on the home front.
Women across the western world could easily recognise themselves in Hartley’s description of the exhausted mom-partner-business professional organising birthday parties and family trips alongside presentations and work meetings.
Such perspectives may seem irrelevant because you’re coping with them daily.
But they offer huge value to other women trying to build businesses against previously ignored odds.
Pushes You to Promote Your Expertise – And Build Your Confidence
Women can have difficulty with promoting themselves and their work.
No matter how passionate and proud they feel about their business, they’re conditioned not to brag.
But research by Women of Influence and Thomas Reuters shows that this deep discomfort of self-promotion can often stop them from advancing in businesses and careers.
Penning a book helps you to own your accomplishments.
As you write about your chosen topic you can’t avoid expressing your talents and expertise.
You may not be confident in promoting yourself vocally in a room full of peers, but a book can be a stepping stone towards developing that confidence.
After all, it does a lot of the talking for you.
Makes the Unacceptable Acceptable
The dominant entrepreneurial culture is oriented towards men.
Negative behaviours towards female entrepreneurs can be seen in everything from work-life imbalances to start-up funding decisions.
Preferred leadership styles and workplace traits such as assertiveness, aggressiveness and risk-taking that are traditionally viewed as masculine, can force women into working in a way that feels inauthentic and uncomfortable.
So when women entrepreneurs start writing about their own businesses and ideas, they’re often presenting new business models that support female-specific needs.
This can strengthen their appeal to more women-focused communities.
It can also, like Nathalie Molina Niño notes in Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs, shift the idea that what were once unacceptable ways of working are now, finally, acceptable.