Entrepreneur and motivation speaker Jim Rohn once said, “formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
The importance of self-education cannot be understated. Reading what other successful business owners have done, what they drew inspiration from and how they overcame challenges on their way to success is a great way to give you perspective as you embark on your own journey.
As such, here is a list of the Best 20 Business Books of 2018. This list was created from best-selling lists for the year, books published in 2018 and a few timeless classics.
Dare to Lead, by Byrd Baggett
One of the top-selling business books in 2018, this insightful book helps leaders get back on track when they are feeling like they’re going off the rails. It’s a great synopsis of how to be a great leader.
Leadership, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
A New York Times Bestseller, this book is about how great leaders of America’s past led the country through turbulent times. Small business owners can learn a lot from these people from our past.
Atomic Habits, by James Clear
This instant New York Times Bestseller published in 2018 comes from James Clear, one of the country’s leading experts on habit formation, which is an essential skill all entrepreneurs must learn and endure to succeed in business. The book shows you how to change bad habits and embrace good ones.
Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou
One of the best books of 2018, this book covers the “secrets and lies in a Silicon Valley startup.” It’s a profile of the rise and fall of the company Theranos and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, who’s the topic of an HBO documentary “The Inventor.” There are plenty of lessons to be learned from this top book.
The Laws of Human Nature, by Robert Greene
Robert Greene was already a New York Times-bestselling author before this book, and he added another to his collection in 2018. This book details why humans do what they do, a fundamental insight for any small business owner who is looking to attract new customers.
This is Marketing, by Seth Godin
No matter what industry you are in, marketing is part of what makes you successful. This book shows how great marketers solve other people’s problems and not just the problems of the company itself. It’s a great read for entrepreneurs just starting out.
Grit, by Angela Duckworth
Grit is defined by Angela Duckworth as a blend of passion and persistence, and it’s what she says leads people to succeed, not the talent they have. Any small business owner will need to have this grit to succeed in their endeavor, so this book is a great read for entrepreneurs of any experience level.
Traction, by Gino Wickman
Gino Wickman’s book is a great read for small business owners who want to learn how to deal with the stresses of running a business – outside of the day-to-day operations of the business itself. It helps provide guidance on how to deal with the stress and frustration of running a business to avoid becoming burnt out.
Failing Forward, by John C. Maxwell
In the same vein as the book above, John C. Maxwell’s book focuses on your and not the business itself. This is a great read for small business owners who are feeling overwhelmed or are prone to fearing failure.
Company of One, by Paul Jarvis
This book is great for small business owners who may feel a little hesitant about scaling their business to large degrees, and wondering whether keeping things how they are is a bad thing. Paul Jarvis explains that it’s not a bad thing to stay small and that the key is to have a “richer and more fulfilling career.”
Contagious, by Jonah Berger
This audio book is an easy listen that dives into the subjects of what makes something go viral. It’s a great listen for small business owners that want to learn more about the power of word-of-mouth and how it can be more valuable than any advertising campaign.
Powerful, by Patty McCord
If you want to learn about building a great company culture, there is no better person to learn it from than Patty McCord, who helped create the company culture at Netflix as their chief talent officer. This book is great for any small business owner who wants to learn these essential aspects of a business.
Start with Why, by Simon Sinek
This is a great inspirational read for small business owners, as it talks about identifying why you got into business in the first place and using that to push your success forward. It’s a great book to start with on your journey.
Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight
What better way to learn about business success than by reading a book from one of the most successful business owners around? Knight shares some great insights that will inspire and educate any small business owner.
The Effective Executive, by Peter F. Drucker
Small business owners get pulled in a million directions. Peter Drucker helps give advice as to how to find the area in business where a leader should focus his or her time to maximize value. It’s a timeless classic that all small business owners should read.
Designing Your Life, by Bill Burnett
Leaders need to constantly change how they think as the world around them changes constantly. That’s why this book is so great. It provides great insight into how organizations are constantly creating value by re-shaping their thinking over time.
Zero to One, by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
This book is all about how to build a start-up company, making it a great read for any entrepreneur just entering the fray. Thiel is the founder of PayPal, so who better to learn from than him?
The Myth of a Nice Girl, by Fran Hauser
This is a great book for women small business owners who may be worried about the negative perception people have of them. It’s a book that gives great advice for any woman running or starting a business.
How Women Rise, by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith
This is another great book for women who are running or starting a small business. Learn from what worked for others in the past and how that’s not always the best indication of what will work in the future.
Lost and Founder, by Rand Fishkin
The former CEO of Moz, Rand Fishkin, is an expert on SEO and built a $45 million business, but it took him years to do so. He began as a mom-and-son startup and learned plenty of lessons throughout the way. Learn from him on how to take your business from small to big.
All small business owners can learn from these books and many others. If you run your own small business, keep in mind that our blog has tons of resources for you to draw upon. You can also subscribe to the Camino Financial Newsletter, which will allow you to join a community of over 30,000 entrepreneurs like you who are passionate about building a legacy in business. This free weekly email is full of tips and tools to help you manage your finances and grow your business!