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Review of Carly Riordan’s Book Business Minded

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Fans of Carly Riordan, the popular preppy lifestyle blogger living in New Jersey, can get all the details of Carly Riordan’s book Business Minded right here!

I’m so grateful to Carly, DK Random House, and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced review copy of Business Minded.

In short, Business Minded draws from Carly’s years as a successful businesswoman and business school graduate who also learned to also focus on well-being over the years to provide insight on how to start a business and be mindful about it at the same time.

I have been a fan of Carly’s for more years than I can count. I recall seeing her posts on Pinterest way back when she was The College Prepster (about ten years ago!) but I only followed her daily life more closely in recent years via both Instagram and her blog.

Not only has she helped me fully embrace the preppy person I have always been at heart (and FINALLY ditch the trends), but she has also inspired me with her business ingenue. As someone who has lived more years than her, I have been extra impressed that she created a super successful business all by herself beginning in her early 20’s.

Reading Business Minded made me realize even more why I tend to connect with her content. For example, we both have moms who own small businesses that choose not to market, and we both describe ourselves as data nerds.

Let’s dive into a full review of Carly Riordan’s book Business Minded!

Review of Review of Carly Riordan’s Book Business Minded

Business Minded is a guide to setting up your mind, body, and business for success. It’s set up as two parts: (1) Business and (2) Minded, and both sections are filled with worksheets and interviews with an array of successful female entrepreneurs from the following businesses:

  • ChappyWrap
  • chloedigital
  • Sarah Flint
  • Sarah O. Jewelry
  • Lycette Designs
  • Margaux
  • Oui Create
  • Grace Rose Farm
  • Dudley Stephens
  • Diane Hill
  • Sarah Fitz
  • BFB Hair and dae Hair
  • Addison Bay
  • The Tiny Tassel

Some of these businesses I was familiar with, like ChappyWrap (my favorite blanket!) and some were new to me. I found myself looking them up while reading along. But, what I really appreciated about these interviews is that each business owner talked about a different aspect of business ownership and/or mindfulness — it was not just an overview of each business. This really helped flesh out what all of Carly’s advice really looks like in practice.

Below I will talk about highlights from both sections of Business Minded: Business and Minded!


First, I reiterate that Carly graduated from business school, so she has the education to back up her advice, along with years of practice. This was helpful to me as a small business owner of this blog because I didn’t have this type of education. I have basically relied on what I have learned through my husband’s business education and personal background of owning a business for ten years. Even with his help, sometimes the real “business-y” things overwhelm me.

If you are like me, Business Minded sets forth all the basics of starting a business, starting all the way from defining the concept to all of the scary terminology and things you may be unsure about, like incorporating, hiring, and paying taxes.

I think this section in particular would be perfect for those who have an idea (small or large) but don’t know where to start, and those like me, who already have a business, but are not as far along in our journey as Carly and some of the other woman-owned businesses she interviews in Business Minded.

For example, as a Bookstagrammer and blogger, I get a lot of questions from other Bookstagrammers like, “Do you have an LLC and a bank account set up?” This book answers those types of questions. Likewise, she helps people like this decide whether a hobby should become a business. Thus, it’s a great book for a New Year’s resolution to start one!

I took some notes on her tips about exactly how to write a business plan and define the culture of the business and the brand identity. This is something I have done in some generic form, but not in a totally complete way in which I can hand it to another person. She believes it’s crucial, and I agree with her. It’s really something I need to sit down and focus on in my own business.

Even though my business is currently just me + feedback from my husband, I think it will really help me streamline where I am going and make important decisions in the future.


The “Minded” section of Business Minded focuses on planning, nourishing your body, fostering your soul, relating with others, engaging yourself, and holding it together! And how other successful businesswomen do it too.

I LOVE that Carly sees mindfulness as so important that it is an equal half of her book. And I honestly wish that more people would see it that way. I feel a lot of burnout myself, and I have been hearing the same from others recently. I think so many people would be happier, and so many businesses would flourish MORE if they took this approach.

Carly learned the hard way from not respecting the limits of her body, and I am very guilty of having done the same to very, very bad health consequences I still regret years later. This section of Business Minded reminded me of the mindfulness areas I’m currently excelling in, and those where I need to improve.

For example, Carly swears by meditation, and I know I have to try it. I also liked her idea of very simple journaling like answering specific questions about your life, especially when it comes to your business! It takes the “Dear Diary” element out of traditional journaling for me and feels really purposeful.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I really, genuinely enjoyed Business Minded, both as a fan of Carly and a small business owner myself. I gained both perspective and practical tips to apply to my own life and business.

I think Carly Riordan’s book Business Minded is best for her blog fans, small business owners, and aspiring business owners, and I wish her and her readers the best of success!

More Business Advice from Carly Riordan

Before I conclude my review of Carly Riordan’s book Business Minded, I want to give readers easy access to even more of her business and blogging advice. I trust Carly and her business ingenue and professionalism, so when I started my own blog in 2019, these were some of the resources I looked to. Over the past 2+ years, I have found them to be exactly on point.

I hope my review of Carly Riordan’s book Business Minded helped you improve your business and your mind.

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