Hope Dworaczyk Smith reads "How to Raise Successful People" by Esther Wojcicki.

Hope’s 5 Must Read Recommendations

We all can struggle with being the one in charge — whether it’s running our lives, our careers, or our homes. But your inner voice might not always feel like a boss. In fact, you might have periods of self-doubt, exhaustion, or just plain confusion. So where should you go to find inspiration? Here are some amazing books that Hope Smith thinks make for great fuel for that inner boss.

1. How to Raise Successful People

Mother or MUTHA™, aunt or auntie, girl boss or boss man — at some point in our lives, we’re all going to be there to help someone younger than us grow up to be a better human. In How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results, author and educator Esther Wojcicki breaks down her inspirational method for making people live better lives. A Silicon Valley dynamo, Wojcicki was a high school teacher whose TRICK methodology (Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness) even inspired Steve Jobs. She encourages parents to get away from the intrusive helicopter approach, and instead relax and give kids the benefit of the doubt. Lessons from Wojcicki are easily translated to the workplace, as bosses find new ways to inspire employees without micromanaging. Get more done and treat people with respect? Sounds pretty great to us.

2. The Code Breaker

The inspiring story in The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson has affected everyone in the world this past year. The book profiles Jennifer Doudna, Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology at UC Berkeley, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and 2020 Nobel Laureate in the field of Chemistry. If you haven’t heard of Doudna, you might not be alone, but know that she’s definitely touched your life. Her research and development of the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) technology changed how we look at DNA and RNA and their use in identifying and curing diseases. It was the recent global health crisis that spurred labs like Doudna’s in California to pivot CRISPR technology to find new ways to rapidly test samples for the virus and to also work towards developing therapeutics to fight it, including the vaccines available around the globe. Doudna is inspirational also through her glass ceiling breaking, as her Nobel Prize was shared with her CRISPR research colleague, Emmanuelle Charpentier, and the two became the first women to share a Nobel Prize in the sciences together. The co-award for the two female scientists demonstrated, as Doudna said, that “women rock.” This, of course, would be a surprise to Duodna’s high school counselor, who told her that girls didn’t become scientists. Take that, haters.

3. Grit

What do you envision when you think of grit? Do you think about rocks in your shoes, or dirt in your hair? Or do you think about that tiny bit of sand that gets into an oyster shell and makes a beautiful pearl? In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, author Angela Duckworth looks at the completely genderless qualities of “grit” in our society, and how you can tap into your inner grit to succeed. Linking passion to our human need to succeed and persevere, Duckworth examines how success is linked not with inherent talent, but with that ability to dust oneself off and try again. Duckworth is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and her research into “grit” in her lab has formed the basis for this book. Instantly approachable, the topic of fortitude is one we all can learn from, and one Duckworth herself has learned a great deal about, from her interviews with CEOs, teachers, editors, and even NHL coaches. Learn what gatekeepers like bosses and leaders are looking for, and how to grind that grit into a pearl for your crown.

4. You Are a Badass®

The first of the series, which now drills down into various personal and professional topics, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life was the first place that readers met author Jen Sincero. The bold and brash cover probably earned early readers some new friends on vacation, and we hope it helps you out, too. In her book, Sincero, not only offers up pep talks and stories of badass-itude, but also provides some easy tips for breaking those old mindsets holding you back. Check out this self-help read as an audiobook if you like, and hear the author read her own words, as well as a new author interview with Sincero. Her feisty and down-to-earth personality comes through in the book, and you’ll swear she’s by your side as you change those doubting thoughts to true awesomeness.

5. Just Work

With Just Work: How to Root Out Bias, Prejudice, and Bullying to Build a Kick-Ass Culture of Inclusivity, Kim Scott gets to the point quickly. Scott’s previous book, Radical Candor, focused on being a better boss. In Just Work, she also focuses on changes that can be made at the top, but with the aim to open all our eyes to calling out bias and prejudice in the workplace. Not only did Scott find that stereotypes are clearly evident in business dynamics, they’re also working behind the scenes in nefarious ways. Scott mentions that she witnessed coworkers who had every reason “to be pissed off” shrink and stay nice through it all because they didn’t feel they could speak up against the injustices. Underrepresented people in the workplace pointed out that while Scott’s ideas would revolutionize a toxic environment, they didn’t have the ability to put them into practice, for fear of being labeled with the “angry black woman” stereotype. Scott realized that a second book was needed to address the biases that are driving promotions, hirings, and basic group dynamics in the workplace and beyond. Get woke at work with this great read!

Hope Smith: Entrepreneur, Mother, and Author

If you want to read more about what inspires Hope Smith, then you should definitely pick up her first book, Your Body is Magic, which will debut in 2022. Keep an eye on her website and her social media, including Hope’s Instagram and Facebook page for the latest book news, including how to buy your own copy.