The Best Business Books 2018 for Makers + Product Designers

I recently asked the Lucky Break community to chime in with their favorite business books.

  • Beloved books that are brimming with actionable advice.
  • Writing from authentic voices that skip the hype to deliver meaty advice.
  • The best business books that have truly helped propel them forward.

Several hundred of you answered my rallying cry (thank you!) and I wanted to share the best small business books that makers and product designers have found most helpful.

 

BestBusinessBooks

 

My sole aim here is to help you identify solid books that are a good investment of your time and energy, so there are no affiliate links in this list. Each book title  links to Powell’s, the largest independent bookstore in America. Yes, you’ll likely find them cheaper on Amazon… but you’d make me even happier if you hit up your local bookstore. *wink*

 

Author of cult classics The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur offers a simple, counter-intuitive cash management solution that will help small businesses break out of the doom spiral and achieve instant profitability.

 

It’s not how good you are. It’s how well you tell your story.

Big corporations might have huge marketing and advertising budgets but you’ve got a story. Your brand story isn’t just what you tell people. It’s what they believe about you based on the signals your brand sends. The Fortune Cookie Principle is a brand building framework and communication strategy consisting of 20 keys that enable you to begin telling your brand’s story from the inside out. It’s the foundation upon which you can differentiate your brand and make emotional connections with the kind of clients and customers you want to serve.

The most successful brands in the world don’t behave like commodities and neither should you. A great brand story will make you stand out, increase brand awareness, create customer loyalty and power profits. Isn’t it time to gave your customers a story to tell? The Fortune Cookie Principle will show you how.

 


Book2    Book1     Book3
 

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The Lucky Break Book Club – My September + October selection

October20152

Lucky Break Book Club

 

Can you believe it? We’re wrapping up our first full year of the Lucky Break Book Club, with our last call of the year scheduled for October. I’m thrilled that you’ve been reading along, joining the call + diving into building your empire with me as we work through each selection. We’re firing up this last round of the #LuckyBreakBookClub for 2015 with Start With Why, by Simon Sinek. If you’re interested in learning what sets the best leaders apart from the good ones, and how to apply that to your own business, than I hope you’ll join me again.

 

MY BOOK CLUB IS FUN + FREE

Here’s how to play…

STEP 1: Every 8 weeks, we read another business book. Grab a copy of the current selection and join us.

STEP 2: Dive in! Mark your favorite passages and record your “aha!” moments.

STEP 3: Join me for a roundtable-style business book club call. Our next call is Thursday, October 29th at 8:30pm EST and call-in details are distributed via the Lucky Break Takeout newsletter. Not a part of my community of savvy entrepreneurs? Beam yourself over to the Lucky Break homepage, scroll down to the fancy gold box at the bottom of the page and get yourself plugged in!

STEP 4: Repeat. You’re invited to learn more about each of the 2015 #LuckyBreakBookClub selections.

 

START WITH WHY, BY SIMON SINEK

Excerpted from Amazon.com…

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?

In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way-and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.

Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.

 

Tonight’s the night! We’re meeting for the Lucky Break Book Club

BookCLub_03

BookCLub_03

 

Tonight’s the night!  We’re firing up the next round of the #LuckyBreakBookClub with one of my favorite business books: Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath. If you’re interested in learning how to best communicate your ideas and products to make them stick with your clients, then you don’t want to miss this discussion.

 

MY BOOK CLUB IS FUN + FREE

Join me for a roundtable-style business book club call. Our next call is TONIGHT, Tuesday, August 25th at 8:30pm EST and call-in details are distributed via the Lucky Break Takeout newsletter. Not a part of my community of savvy entrepreneurs? Beam yourself over to the Lucky Break homepage, scroll down to the fancy gold box at the bottom of the page and get yourself plugged in!

 

MADE TO STICK: WHY SOME IDEAS SURVIVE AND OTHERS DIE, BY CHIP AND DAN HEATH

Excerpted from Amazon.com…

Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas–business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others–struggle to make their ideas “stick.”

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the “human scale principle,” using the “Velcro Theory of Memory,” and creating “curiosity gaps.”

In this indispensable guide, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds–from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony–draw their power from the same six traits.

Made to Stick is a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas. It’s a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures)–the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of “the Mother Teresa Effect”; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice. Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas–and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.

 

Mark Your Calendars! #LuckyBreakBookClub Returns in August!

BookCLub_03

BookCLub_03

 

Have you missed me? We’re firing up the next round of the #LuckyBreakBookClub with one of my favorite business books: Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath. If you’re interested in learning how to best communicate your ideas and products to make them stick with your clients, then you don’t want to miss this discussion.

 

MY BOOK CLUB IS FUN + FREE

Here’s how to play…

STEP 1: Every 8 weeks, we read another business book. Grab a copy of the current selection and join us.

STEP 2: Dive in! Mark your favorite passages and record your “aha!” moments.

STEP 3: Join me for a roundtable-style business book club call. Our next call is Tuesday, August 25th at 8:30pm EST and call-in details are distributed via the Lucky Break Takeout newsletter. Not a part of my community of savvy entrepreneurs? Beam yourself over to the Lucky Break homepage, scroll down to the fancy gold box at the bottom of the page and get yourself plugged in!

STEP 4: Repeat. You’re invited to learn more about each of the 2015 #LuckyBreakBookClub selections.

 

MADE TO STICK: WHY SOME IDEAS SURVIVE AND OTHERS DIE, BY CHIP AND DAN HEATH

Excerpted from Amazon.com…

Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas–business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others–struggle to make their ideas “stick.”

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the “human scale principle,” using the “Velcro Theory of Memory,” and creating “curiosity gaps.”

In this indispensable guide, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds–from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony–draw their power from the same six traits.

Made to Stick is a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas. It’s a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures)–the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of “the Mother Teresa Effect”; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice. Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas–and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.

 

Ready, set, read! Join us for the next round of the #LuckyBreakBookClub

Lucky Break Book Club

Lucky Break Book Club

 

After a great call in April, in the months of May + June we’re firing up the next round of the #LuckyBreakBookClub with one of my favorite business books: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck (have I mentioned I have a slight business crush on Mr. Vaynerchuk?). If you’re interested in creating social media marketing strategies that really deliver a one two punch, then this business book is a must read!

 

MY BOOK CLUB IS FUN + FREE

Here’s how to play…

STEP 1: Every 8 weeks, we read another business book. Grab a copy of the current selection and join us.

STEP 2: Dive in! Mark your favorite passages and record your “aha!” moments.

STEP 3: Join me for a roundtable-style business book club call. Our next call is Tuesday, April 28th at 8:30pm EST and call-in details are distributed via the Lucky Break Takeout newsletter. Not a part of my community of savvy entrepreneurs? Beam yourself over to the Lucky Break homepage, scroll down to the fancy gold box at the bottom of the page and get yourself plugged in!

STEP 4: Repeat. You’re invited to learn more about each of the 2015 #LuckyBreakBookClub selections.

 

JAB, JAB, JAB, RIGHT HOOK BY GARY VAYNERCHUK

Excerpted from Amazon.com…

New York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. A mash-up of the best elements of Crush It! and The Thank You Economy with a fresh spin, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works. 

When managers and marketers outline their social media strategies, they plan for the “right hook”—their next sale or campaign that’s going to knock out the competition. Even companies committed to jabbing—patiently engaging with customers to build the relationships crucial to successful social media campaigns—want to land the punch that will take down their opponent or their customer’s resistance in one blow. Right hooks convert traffic to sales and easily show results. Except when they don’t.

Thanks to massive change and proliferation in social media platforms, the winning combination of jabs and right hooks is different now. Vaynerchuk shows that while communication is still key, context matters more than ever. It’s not just about developing high-quality content, but developing high-quality content perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices—content tailor-made for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.