14 Business Books to Read in 2018

14 Business Books to Read in 2018

I woke up feeling really motivated this morning and Jake’s gone to work so we’re not skiing today, so I thought I’d spend a bit of time chilling and doing some online reading so I’m fresh for work next week. I’m absolutely loving the freelance PR & social media projects I have on at the moment, but I have a tendency to turn into a bit of a workaholic and neglect some of the other stuff I do, including this!

I came across an article this morning featuring a list of 76 business books to read this year, which was actually really interesting and had some great titles in, some of which I’d heard of before. I’m always looking for new books to read relating to lifestyle and business, that aren’t too technical, wordy or a complete ballache to read. So, I thought I’d write a bit of a shorter list, because 76 is a lot of f***ing books to read, even for the most committed bookworm. I’ve broken it down to 14 that I think look good. Also, in the other list I found, only 6 out of 76 books were written by women, which I thought was a bit of a let down, so there are a lot more women authors in this list.

To be clear, I haven’t actually read all of the books below yet, so if they’re crap I can only apologise. However, I’ve gone by which books have the best online reviews and have been recommended to me in the past, so hopefully they won’t disappoint. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any more books to add to this list, as soon as I’m back in the UK I’m going to be adding to my own bookshelf so any suggestions would be great.

1 . How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie 

This book was originally published in 1936, and over 30 million copies have been sold worldwide. In 2011, it was number 19 on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential books. Here are 12 things this book will apparently do for you:

  1. Get you out of a mental rut, give you new thoughts, new visions, new ambitions.
  2. Enable you to make friends quickly and easily.
  3. Increase your popularity.
  4. Help you to win people to your way of thinking.
  5. Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done.
  6. Enable you to win new clients, new customers.
  7. Increase your earning power.
  8. Make you a better salesman, a better executive.
  9. Help you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
  10. Make you a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
  11. Make the principles of psychology easy for you to apply in your daily contacts.
  12. Help you to arouse enthusiasm among your associates.

I’ve skim read parts of this book in the past and it always seems to crop up, but out of interest I’m going to read this book this year properly as I’ve only ever heard amazing things. 70 years in print mind!! Madness.

2 . How To Be An Overnight Success by Maria Hatzistefanis

Of all the books on the list, this is my favourite book cover! Obviously “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” but sack the rule – this book looks amazing anyway! I like ones like this where they’ve been written by someone who uses their own life and career journey as an example. Rodial is a fantastic makeup brand (I have one of their eyeshadow palettes and it’s amazing), but I didn’t realise until now that the founder had written a book, so I’m definitely keen to buy this.

“You are not born an entrepreneur. It’s a skill that you learn along the way.”

“When the skincare company Rodial launched its cult ‘snake’ serum, the press quickly called the business an ‘overnight success’. However, Rodial’s founder Maria Hatzistefanis had been toiling for 18 years, building the company from scratch in her bedroom. Now, the beauty boss sets out to demonstrate in this very accessible book that its success stemmed from sheer hard work, tireless efforts and a lot of patience.

Fashion-loving Maria set out with a dream to build a beauty business and – despite not excelling at school, and being fired from her first job – she has achieved it. She did it by dreaming big, working hard, surrounding herself with the best, taking risks, creating buzz and building her own personal brand, which is now a favourite with high-profile models and media personalities including Poppy Delevingne, Daisy Lowe and Kylie Jenner.

Crucially, she believes anyone can do this and her book, brimming with good sense, great advice, tips and secrets – all presented in an easy, friendly style – shows how.”

3 . Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers is the book that brought a wider awareness to the research about spending 10,000 hours mastering something. This research basically said that to become an expert in anything, you must spend 10,000 hours deliberately practicing it to become extremely good at it. I’ve read before that this is a very influential business book, and lots of people recommend it so I think I might give it a go. In the book, Gladwell focuses on finding groups of successful people and uncovering exactly how they achieved their level of professional or personal success.

“What’s most beautiful about Outliers though, is that the book seeks to answer a simple question, “What makes high-achievers different?” Gladwell believes that we pay too little attention to successful people’s culture, family, generation and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. He argues that success is closely connected to opportunity and the amount of time people spend practicing their craft. He presents a compelling case that the reason more people aren’t experts is that since it takes so many hours to master something, most people simply don’t have the patience to devote that kind of time to perfecting a skill.”

4 . The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson

One of my favourite book titles on this list. This is one of those books that you just have to read to truly get it, but it’s written in a really clever way that serves as a good reminder to stop caring what others think quite so much, and really stop caring about anything that doesn’t actually matter in the grander scheme of things. On Mark’s website there’s a good blog post explaining the idea behind the book which I thought was really good, link here.

“In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference.”

5 . The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Description from Amazon: “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.”

I haven’t read this book myself, but it sounds really interesting so I’m going to give it a go.

6 . Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

“The book starts with a comparison of the two main ways to influence human behaviour: manipulation and inspiration. Sinek argues that inspiration is the more powerful and sustainable of the two.” There’s also a TED Talk called Start with Why, which is the third most watched TED Talk ever, so worth checking out! I did read however that he mentions Apple so many times that it makes you want to gouge your eyes out, but still sounds like a good book.

“A deep, abiding understanding of what you want to inspire, and how you

want to lead is the basis of this inspirational book” (Forbes)

7. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal

This book got some good feedback, that’s for sure…

‘#GIRLBOSS is more than a book . . . #GIRLBOSS is a movement’ Lena Dunham

‘A millennial alternative to Lean InNew York Magazine

‘A compellingly motivational read’ The Telegraph

‘The book you need in your life’ Marie Claire

“In the space of ten years, Sophia Amoruso went from high-school dropout to founder and Executive Chairman of Nasty Gal, one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world. Sophia’s never been a typical executive, or a typical anything, and she wrote #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success.”

“Filled with brazen wake-up calls, cunning and frank observations, and behind-the-scenes stories from Nasty Gal’s meteoric rise, #GIRLBOSS covers a lot of ground. It proves that success doesn’t come from where you went to college or how popular you were in school. Success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break.”

“Inspiring, motivating and empowering, #GIRLBOSS will give you the kick up the ass you need to reach your potential.”

8 . Little Black Book: The Sunday Times Bestseller by Otegha Uwagba

“Little Black Book: A Toolkit For Working Women is the modern career guide every creative woman needs, whether you’re just starting out or already have years of experience. Packed with fresh ideas and no-nonsense practical advice, this travel-sized career handbook is guaranteed to become your go-to resource when it comes to building the career you want.

Writer Otegha Uwagba (one of Forbes European 30 Under 30) takes you through everything you need to build a successful self-made career: from how to negotiate a payrise to building a killer personal brand, via a crash course in networking like a pro, and tips for overcoming creative block. Plus Little Black Bookis full of indispensable advice on how to thrive as a freelancer, and an entire chapter dedicated to helping you master the tricky art of public speaking.

With contributions from trailblazing creative women including acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Refinery29 co-founder Piera Gelardi, The Gentlewoman‘s Editor in Chief Penny Martin, and many more, Little Black Book is a curation of essential wisdom and hard-won career insights. Whether you’re a thinker, a maker, an artist or an entrepreneur, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for your working life here.”

9 . Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

“Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.

You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.”

I find anything to do with psychology so interesting, so I feel like this would be a good read, and it has hundreds of 4/5* reviews on Amazon so I might give it a go.

10 . What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World by Tina Seelig

I’m intrigued to read this book, because obviously I’m only 22 and I’m fascinated about what Tina will have included. I know many people my age can fall into the trap of thinking they know everything (including me) when in actual fact there is still so much about life to learn. (Poses the question: why wasn’t I taught about doing my tax return at school?? Now as a self-employed person it makes me want to scream sometimes when I’m logging my expenses.)

“These pages are filled with fascinating examples, from the classroom to the boardroom, of individuals defying expectations, challenging assumptions, and achieving amazing success. Seelig throws out the old rules and provides a new model for reaching our highest potential. We discover how to have a healthy disregard for the impossible, how to recover from failure, and how most problems are remarkable opportunities in disguise.

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 is a much-needed book for everyone looking to make their mark on the world.”

11 . The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson

84% of its’ readers rated it 5 out of 5 on Amazon, and my mum recommended this book to me so it’s definitely going to be bought once I’m home from France.

This is what Google Books said about it:

“The Slight Edge is a way of thinking, a way of processing information that enables you to make the daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire. Learn why some people make dream after dream come true, while others just continue dreaming and spend their lives building dreams for someone else. It is not just another self-help motivation tool of methods you must learn in order to travel the path to success. It shows you how to create powerful results from the simple daily activities of your life, by using tools that are already within you.

In this 8th anniversary edition you will read not only the life-changing concepts of the original book, but also learn what author Jeff Olson discovered as he continued along the slight edge path: the Secret to Happiness and the Ripple Effect. This edition of “The Slight Edge” is not just the story, but also how the story continues to create life-altering dynamics — how a way of thinking, a way of processing information, can impact daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire. This book is the key that will make all the other how-to books and self-help information that you read, watch and hear actually work.”

12 . You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

“If you’ve ever taken stock of your life and realized that you aren’t living the life that you want, then this is the book for you. Although career-focused, this book can be applied to any aspect of your life, including work, marriage, and volunteering. Much of what she says isn’t new, but her frank manner packs a punch and will leave you doubled over, only to stand up straighter and ready to take on the world.

It’s technically a self-help book, offering advice for how to see your life through fresh eyes, find your passion, and live the life you want, but it’s so much more than that. She also explains why we get stuck in the ruts we do, grants us a spectacular insight into our relationship with (and fear of) money, and basically kicks all excuses to the curb. If you’re not left inspired to make changes in your life, then you didn’t pay attention to the book and should read it again.”

13 . In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney

I love the concept of this book because it features so many inspiring women in business, and I love reading about other people’s stories and how they achieved their goals. This is the kind of coffee-table book I’d want to leave out for people to flick through.

“Across the globe, women are embracing their entrepreneurial spirits and starting creative businesses. In the Company of Women profiles over 100 of these influential and creative women from all ages, races, backgrounds, and industries. Chock full of practical, inspirational advice for those looking to forge their own paths, these interviews detail the keys to success (for example, going with your gut; maintaining meaningful and lasting relationships), highlight the important of everyday rituals (meditating; creating a daily to-do list), and dispense advice for the next generation of women entrepreneurs and makers (stay true to what you believe in; have patience). The book is rounded out with hundreds of lush, original photographs of the women in their work space.”

14 . How to Style Your Brand: Everything You Need To Know to Build Your Own Brand Identity by Fiona Humberstone

Another coffee-table friendly book, this looks like one I’d want to read again and again.

“The right brand identity has the power to attract, engage and compel people to do business with you. But for many entrepreneurs, creating an effective brand can be a challenge. Whether you’re a start-up on a lemonade budget, or a seasoned entrepreneur planning on working with a professional, an understanding of the process is essential.

In this comprehensive workbook, branding expert Fiona Humberstone will walk you through the process of styling your brand. From finding your focus, creating an inspirational vision and unlocking the power of colour psychology; Fiona will help you understand the design details that will make your business irresistible. How to Style Your Brand will ensure you get your branding right, first time. In How to Style Your Brand, Fiona shares with you the secrets behind using colour to create an emotive connection; how to use pattern and illustrations to add character and personality and how to carefully select typefaces that add a distinctive and intentional edge to your designs. We’ll examine how to pull all of these elements together to create a remarkable and cohesive design that you can be proud of. I’ll encourage you to think big about your business so that you develop the focus and vision to brief a designer with confidence, or feel able to create your own identity. Once you understand the principles behind styling a brand, there is no reason why you can t create something extraordinary for your business.”

There are thousands of amazing books that I didn’t have time to add, but if there are any you’d recommend please leave them in the comments below. Aiming to go on a bit of a mission once I’m home, because I like having the physical copies rather than just getting them on my phone or on audio. Thanks for reading!

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1 Comment

  1. charda suuraj
    April 11, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    Nice and informative blog.

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