10 business books you MUST read in 2018

With our #BeYourOwnBoss2018 campaign in full swing, we've compiled a roundup of entrepreneur-recommended business books that could inspire you

-While many of us entered 2018 with big New Year’s resolutions, the truth is, that after the initial excitement and enthusiasms wears off, there’s a good chance you’ll return to the old, monotonous ways you wanted to leave behind in 2017.

Already one month into the year, it might seem like your undying commitment to starting a business has actually gone the way of the dodo, before it even had the chance to take off.

Luckily for you, Startups’ #BeYourOwnBoss2018 campaign is constantly here to breathe new life, and added resilience, into your business dream.

Still not totally convinced of your idea? Struggling to motivate yourself? Or just in need of some light business-related relief? Then maybe some inspiration from a good book is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Speaking to our community of top UK entrepreneurs, we bring you the 10 business books you MUST read in 2018…


1. S.U.M.O (Shut Up, Move On): The Straight-Talking Guide to Succeeding in Life by Paul McGee (May 2015)

Blurb: Packed with humour, practical tips and personal anecdotes – S.U.M.O contains six principles that aim to help readers respond to adverse situations with a positive attitude and enjoy life more.

Recommended by: Scott Warrington and Paul Andrews of School Lettings Solutions

“It offers some great, practical advice about how to be proactive in dealing with difficult situations, how to be more self-aware and how to improve working relationships with others.

“We highly recommend the book, so much so that we’ve previously invited the author – McGee – into our organisation as part of our team-building and personal development initiatives.”


2. Legacy by James Kerr (November 2013)

Blurb: James Kerr analyses the New Zealand All-Blacks, one the world’s most famous sporting teams, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business.

Recommended by: Tom Cowgill and Ian Lancaster, Rewards4

Lancaster said: “I have a real admiration for the All Blacks and the culture they have created.”


3. Dear Female Founder: 66 Letters of Advice from Women Entrepreneurs Who Have Made $1 Billion in Revenue edited by Lu Li (October 2016)

Blurb: A collection of letters of advice from 66 extraordinary female entrepreneurs and investors that is aimed to give women more confidence to pursue their own business ideas.

Recommended by: Lu Li of Blooms London

4. Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It by Evan Davis (May 2017)


Blurb: In the age of misinformation and ‘fake news’, BBC presenter Evan Davis steps inside the panoply of deception employed in all walks of life and assesses how it has come to this.

Recommended by: Steve Folwell of LOVESPACE


5. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger (March 2013)

Blurb: The New York Times bestseller that explains why certain products and ideas become popular.

Recommended by: Doug Monro of Adzuna


6. Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Morgan Brown and Sean Ellis (April 2017)

Blurb: Drawing on well-known examples such as Airbnb, this book explores the process of creating and executing custom-made growth hacking strategies.

Recommended by: Oded Ran of TouchNote


7. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz (March 2014)

Blurb: One of Silicon Valley’s most experienced entrepreneurs offers essential advice on building and running a start-up.

Recommended by: Glenn Elliott of Reward Gateway and Christian Mouysset of Hummus Bros

Elliot said:

“For tech CEO’s it has to be The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz – it’s like the manual. I don’t know why they don’t give it to us all on day one, maybe it only makes sense when you read it after making all the mistakes though!”


8. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the creator of Nike by Phil Knight (April 2016)

Blurb: Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s biggest brands.

Recommended by: James Gold of Skinnydip 

Gold said: “A fantastic read for any entrepreneur.”


9. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life by Arianna Huffington (January 2015)

Blurb: The co-founder of the Huffington Post, and one of the most influential women in the world, makes a passionate call to arms, looking to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.

Recommended by: Vivien Wong of Little Moons


10. Choose Yourself by James Altucher (May 2013)

Blurb: With one eye on the wreckage of the global economic crash, and one on emerging markets and new technologies, Choose Yourself  looks to empower the individual to succeed in a very uncertain world. 

Recommended by: Quentin Le Pape and Guillaume Le Pape, MOBKOI

The Le Pape brothers said: “It’s our business bible.”