18 Self-development & Business Books I Read in 2018

I have always been a keen reader who is eager to learn new things. That is why reading and nowadays also listening to books is one of my favorite ways to spend time. If I don’t read for a while, I start to miss it, and I am usually reading several books at the same time.

For me, 2018 was the year I started to work for myself, so many of my book choices were focused on the business and self-development side. Altogether, I read 18 books related to those topics (which is more than ever before), and many of them inspired me and gave me new insights.

All of them were good in their own way, so I’ve listed them all here along with a short description and link, in case you are wondering what to read next:


Charles Duhigg, Tapojen voima (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business). A thought-provoking book about how our minds work and how we can build new habits.

Tara Mohr, Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead. An empowering book targeted especially for women who want to have an impact in the world.

David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. A classic among books about personal and organizational productivity.

Satu Pihlaja: Aikaansaamisen taika (available only in Finnish). An easy-to-read guide to the art of getting things done with several practical exercises.

Brian Tracy, Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible. A classic about goal-setting and productivity.

Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. An emotional and thought-provoking book about building resilience and finding joy even after the most painful experiences.

Thomas Erikson, Idiootit ympärilläni (Surrounded by Idiots, not yet available in English). A provocative book about the different color (personality) types that we have and how to deal with them.

Shirzad Chamine, Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours. A fascinating book about how we can learn to manage our own saboteurs, control our mind by and reach our full potential.


Emily Thompson & Kathleen Shannon, Being Boss: Take Control of Your Work and Live Life on Your Own Terms. A practical book about starting your own creative business from the creators of the Being Boss podcast.

Chris Guillebeau, Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days. A practical and down-to-earth book about how to build a business without quitting your day job.

Pepe Nummi, Fasilitoivan johtamisen käsikirja (Handbook of Facilitative Leadership: Concrete Ways to Boost Performance). A practical and easy-to-read guide about facilitating communication and collaboration with both face-to-face and virtual techniques.

Michael Gerber, The E-Myth Revisited : Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. One of the top-selling classics about common myths in entrepreneurship and small businesses.

Mike Michalowicz, Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business From a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine. A practical and easy-to-read book about a financial system that can transform your business and life.


Gary Vaynerchuk, Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too. A practical, how-to guide from the social media guru of the day. Bonus: The audiobook is updated regularly with the newest insights.

Seth Godin, This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See. The newest book from the marketing expert really makes you think about who you want to serve and what change you wish to create with your business.


Adam Grant, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. A fascinating book about how to communicate your ground-breaking ideas and create the change you want to see.

Elisabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. An empowering book about the creativity we all have and how we can use it in our everyday life.

Michael Michalko, Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques. A handbook full of different kinds of exercises to unlock your creativity and come up with extraordinary ideas, either by yourself or in a group.

All in all, I can warmly recommend each of these books, and most of them are also available as audiobooks. However, there are still so many great books to be read that this list could be a lot longer.

That is why for this year I have created a Self-development reading challenge that you can download for free. The idea is to read or listen to 25 different books this year, according to the given criteria at each point. From experience, I can say it is a fun way to explore different kinds of books and boost your reading habit throughout the year. Naturally, I will participate in the reading challenge myself and keep you posted on my progress.

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