Best Business Books of 2018

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Best Business Books

If you own an SMB (small- to medium-sized business), you're likely looking for every advantage you can get to become and remain successful. The strategies provided by the best business books of the year can help you get the edge you need to stake your claim in today's hectic and increasingly dynamic marketplace.

Note: while not all these books were published in 2018, they all remain essential and timeless so we're including them in this post.

What Are the Best Business Books of 2018:

Title Goodreads Rating Synopsis
"Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike" by Phil Knight 4.44 Stars from 60,703 Ratings Knight shares the ups and downs of the phenomenal growth of Nike, starting with the original $50 investment he used to import shoes that he sold from his car.
"Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Guide to the Startup World" by Rand Fishkin 4.44 Stars from 408 Ratings Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, describes in sometimes painful detail both his successes and failures in creating an eventually profitable startup.
"Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine" by Mike Michalowicz 4.38 Stars from 1,607 Ratings Your accounting system could operate contrary to your business's ability to sustain profit - Michalowicz provides a way to escape the check-to-check cycle.
"The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups" by Daniel Coyle 4.37 Stars from 3,180 Ratings Coyle discusses the strategies that help disparate groups, from Navy SEALs to Kindergartners, build a cohesive internal structure and succeed.
"The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers" by Ben Horowitz 4.22 Stars from 31,040 Ratings Successful entrepreneur and popular business blogger Ben Horowitz explores the gritty reality and messy truth of running a successful business.
"Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" by Cal Newport 4.19 Stars from 32,174 Ratings As we find our attention being increasingly stretched thin, Cal Newport provides a number of ways to regain focus and get back to work.
"Extreme Revenue Growth: Startup Secrets to Growing Your Sales from $1 Million to $25 Million in Any Industry" by Victor Cheng 4.13 Stars from 15 Ratings In this revolutionary book Cheng breaks down the strategies used by bleeding-edge tech companies and provides the way to apply them to any business.
"Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman 4.12 Stars from 196,191 Ratings In this in-depth investigation into how we think, Daniel Kahneman helps the reader understand when to trust intuition and when to slow down and think things over.
"The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries 4.06 Stars from 140,995 Ratings Eric Ries identifies the differences between successful and failed startups and provides a roadmap to success based on concepts used in lean manufacturing.
"The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life" by Mark Manson 4.02 Stars from 200,209 Ratings The road to happiness is not often the road to success, argues popular blogger Mark Manson in this irreverent guide to living and working better by not always thinking positively.
"The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles" by Steven Pressfield 4.02 Stars from 51,091 Ratings Steven Pressfield offers this straightfoward guide to help you overcome your inner resistance and freely express yourself creatively.
"The CEO Next Door: The 4 Behaviors That Transform Ordinary People into World Class Leaders" by Elena Botelho and Kim Powell with Tahl Raz 4.01 Stars from 313 Ratings The trail to becoming a successful CEO is often not as straight and clear-cut as you'd think, as Botelho and Powell contend in this illuminating study of the real factors that help leaders reach the top.
"Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition" by Jay Abraham 3.96 Stars from 6,455 Ratings Corporate guru Jay Abraham shows you how to recognize, take advantage of, and wildly profit from the unseen opportunities you're presented every day
"Rework" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson 3.93 Stars from 116,548 Ratings Throw out all the old ideas about how to start a successful business; Fried and Hansson show you what you really need to help your business thrive in today's marketplace.
"The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich" by Timothy Ferriss 3.86 Stars from 110,886 Ratings Tim Ferriss shares the time-saving and life-expanding secrets he's learned from spending 5 years intensely studying the world's "new rich".

Best Business Books FAQs:

What are the best business books for starting a business?

Well, what type of business are you starting? You'll often find that a number of the best business books to read contain general information that can apply to a number of different businesses, but you'll likely also come across titles that speak directly to your type of business. It's best to research and find the most highly-ranked books, then read reviews to discover which books best suit your needs.

Why do I need to read the best business books?

It's always good to know what the best minds have to say, and the best books to read for business can provide you with the strategies to succeed both on a business and personal level. Knowing what's worked and what hasn't for successful business leaders can give you insight into how you can better run your company, manage your team, and grow both personally and professionally.

Best Business Books to Read
What Are the Best Business Books to Read?
  • "Lost and Founder" by Rand Fishkin.
  • "Deep Work" by Cal Newport.
  • "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman.
  • "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" by Mark Manson.
  • "The CEO Next Door" by Elena Botelho and Kim Powell.
  • "Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight.
  • "The 4-Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss.
  • "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield.

What if I don't have time to read the best business strategy books?

Well, ask yourself this: what if reading the best business strategy books allows you to better use your time? What if you could work less and accomplish more? There's a reason the best business books to read are recommended by hundreds or even thousands of people - they can help you stop wasting time and effort on fruitless strategies while providing new strategies that lead you to greater success.

What are the best business books of all time?

That topic is likely up for debate, as business and life have changed radically over the years. The best business book of 1950 is probably not among the best business books of 2018, and it could well be that the best business book of all time has yet to be written. That said, once you expand your business library you'll find that some core concepts are evergreen and timeless.

Best Selling Business Books
What are some of the best selling business books?
  • "The Culture Code" by Daniel Coyle.
  • "Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight.
  • "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries.
  • "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman.
  • "Profit First" by Mike Michalowicz.
  • "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" by Ben Horowitz.
  • "Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got" by Jay Abraham.
  • "Extreme Revenue Growth" by Victor Cheng.

What are the best books for starting a small business?

Once you start digging into the best business books, you'll find that you can learn applicable strategies from both books written by or about Fortune 500 CEOs and those detailing the travails of scrappy startups. That said, there are a number of books that directly concern starting a small business. Do the research, and you'll discover many books that can help you successfully establish and run a small business.

What are the best business leadership books?

It only makes sense that the best business leadership books are written by or about the most successful business leaders. Look into companies you admire and see if there are any books that tell their story. That said, don't limit yourself - the best business books provide an opportunity to expand your horizons, and the titles that speak to you could surprise you.