8 Books Every Business Owner Should Read in 2018

  •    Meredith Wood is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera, an online marketplace for small business loans.

There it is, at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list for the fourth year in a row: “Read more.”

If half the struggle is figuring out what to read, you’re in luck: We’ve rounded up eight essential titles for entrepreneurs—books you may have missed from 2017, as well as a few brand-new releases from 2018.

Whether you’re browsing for a little inspiration, hard-hitting non-fiction, or a serious strategy guide, this list has got you covered.

1. Rising Strong by Brené Brown

You might know Brené Brown from her viral TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” or from her other New York Times best sellers. In Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brown sets out to uncover what exceptionally resilient people from all walks of life have in common. The link, she finds, lies in their willingness to embrace the unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Brown’s findings offer invaluable wisdom for entrepreneurs grappling with rejection, failure, and uncertainty.

2. Radical Candor by Kim Scott

What makes a great boss? That’s the question Kim Scott sets out to answer in Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity. Drawing on her background as an executive at Google and Apple, Scott unearths how good people can become terrible bosses—or fantastic and life-changing ones, with the right balance of empathy, sincerity, and directness. This book is a must-read for anyone striving to be a better leader in 2018.

3. Finish by Jon Acuff

You, like so many of your fellow entrepreneurs, are likely a self-starter. You wouldn’t be running your own business if you didn’t have a unique knack for turning your big ideas into realities. But even the most focused, self-motivated entrepreneurs leave projects unfinished. Jon Acuff explores why in his latest bestselling book, Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done. Ditch perfectionism and procrastination with Acuff’s strategies for finishing what you start. Make 2018 the year you get it done.

4. Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt

For years, Michael Hyatt has coached tens of thousands of students through his “Best Year Ever” system for setting and achieving goals. He’s now sharing that system with the world in his brand-new book, Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals. Learn Hyatt’s approach to pulling dreams off the backburner, “quit-proofing” your goals, and handling roadblocks in both your personal and professional lives.

5. Pivot by Jenny Blake

“Pivoting” expert Jenny Blake draws from her experiences in Silicon Valley in this must-read book on navigating life’s big decision-making moments. Rolling with unexpected change is more vital than ever, particularly for entrepreneurs, as older industries evaporate, jobs transform, and small businesses struggle to survive past the five-year mark. Blake’s advice will help prepare you for the next fork in the road.

6. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss’s latest release is stuffed with advice from over 130 of the most successful, inspiring individuals on the planet. This gathering of thinkers, entrepreneurs, writers, entertainers, and more offers their advice on a wealth of topics, including saying “no,” their favorite failures, and their most worthwhile investments. Hear from Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Neil Gaiman, and dozens of other “mentors” in this can’t-miss compendium of world-class advice.

7. Janesville by Amy Goldstein

Brace yourself: Amy Goldstein’s Janesville: An American Story isn’t a feel-good guide to doing business in the digital age. Rather, it’s a sobering look at the economic hardships facing the most vulnerable members of America’s middle and working classes. Goldstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, shows us the people of Janesville, Wisconsin after the closing of a General Motors assembly plant transformed lives, careers, and local politics. If you’re hungry for in-depth reporting on the struggles facing today’s workers (and the people who lead them), Janesville is a must-read.

8. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek’s latest bestseller presents business leaders with a challenge: to embrace the vital role they play in cultivating a healthy company culture and look seriously at the well-being of their employees. It’s a way of viewing leadership Sinek observed while spending time with members of the Marine Corps, where officers always eat last. In Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't, Sinek explores how a “Circle of Safety” fosters a successful work environment and helps teams feel more like family. If you run a team of any size, add this one to your reading list for the coming year.

Make this the year you keep that resolution. Start your year off right with one (or all eight) of these titles—you’ll emerge from 2018 a wiser, more well-read entrepreneur.