The best business books I read in 2018

December 18, 2018

It’s no secret that I love a good book. From my quarterly reading list recaps to Instagram story sneak peeks of everything I’m diving into, I’ve been known to spend many weekends with my nose in a good book.

It’s a habit I developed from a young age and it’s such a restful and peaceful way to spend my weekend curled up on the couch with a good book in hand and a snuggly pup by my side. Reading is, and always has been, a great way to educate myself, expand my worldview and learn more about those around me in a really easy and accessible way.

The best business books I read in 2018 | b is for bonnie design #branddesigner #brandstrategy #reads

The best business books I read in 2018

And trust me, it’s not just novels and thrillers that capture my attention. As an entrepreneur, I’m passionate about constantly learning and challenging myself to grow. I’ve found one of my favorite ways to do that on my own terms is to dive into a practical business book.

So today, I want to share the best business books I read in 2018, some of my favorite takeaways and why I think you should put them on your reading list for the year ahead.


The first business book that made the cut this year is Expert Secrets.

Now, this is a must read if you are launching a new product or service and you are doing any type of selling to people.

This amazing book walks you through formulas for how you can craft anything from sales pages to sales webinars. And it teaches you how you can actually guide your potential client or customer through a journey and process that helps eliminate their fears, establish your expertise and guide them to the offering that is going to be the best fit for them.

Expert Secrets is the book I read as I was crafting my signature course, the Brand Strategy School, and it proved to be a pivotal piece of education as I was building out my sales funnels, services page and webinars for that offering.

It’s a quick read and very action-based instead of high-level theory. The author really does clearly walk you through steps you can take to replicate his success within your business.

And honestly, I appreciated that this expert did such a great job of making an industry that I’m not familiar with seem really relatable. A lot of his examples were based in the tech industry or other business models that were so far out of the creative industry that they challenged me in a positive way to see if those lessons could be applicable to my own creative business.

So with all that to say, I highly recommend this read. Especially if you are looking to get outside your comfort zone to learn some actionable ways to implement a series of sales funnels and marketing techniques that really do work and don’t feel salesy along the way.


The second book that made the cut is Building a StoryBrand.

If you are a fan of Donald Miller, then you’ve probably heard about this book this year and may even tune into his podcast—and for good reason. Because this book is packed with incredible content about how to craft a brand story that positions you as the ideal guide who can help your ideal client—the hero of that story—on their journey to success.

If you have ever struggled with things like: writing your story, not knowing where to start or you feel like it’s something you want to learn more about, but don’t have the time or resources to hire a professional copywriter. Then I highly recommend diving into this book.

Building a StoryBrand takes a lot of those big picture concepts and breaks them down into bite-sized nuggets you can then implement within you business.

At the end of every section there are a ton of online resources, freebies you can download, and worksheets you can work through. So if you read this book, you’re not just going to get a headful of good ideas, but you will also walk away with pages and pages of notes you can then implement into your messaging.


And finally, the third book I highly recommend is called Traction.

If you are in a season of growth where you know you want to take your business to the next level and a huge part of that involves growing a team, then this is a book you absolutely should have on your shelf.

I dove into this book because I heard raving reviews from a lot of my biz besties. As 2018 was the year I took big steps to really intentionally grow my own team, I wanted to figure out ways I could lead them with clarity and a purposeful vision.

Traction is overflowing with great ways to grow your team and helps you transition into a business model that is sustainable and will endure. It walks you through the steps you need to take through this journey to help get you where you want to go.

This is also a very action-based, easy to read book. So it’s not all big picture ideas that leave you wondering okay, great now what.

There are worksheets built into the book and easily accessible links where you can go and download those worksheets so you can then implement all that great content within your business too.


You might be noticing a theme here, friend!

Ironically enough, all three of these books are very action-based and that’s probably no coincidence. As an entrepreneur, I want to know that what I’m reading can be implemented in a practical way within my business. And I’m sure you are the same too!

So, if you haven’t read any of these books or maybe one of these is on your wishlist, I highly recommend grabbing a copy and giving it a read.

From crafting irresistible offers to clarifying my brand story to growing my business and building my team with intention. All three of these books have left me with powerful takeaways that I know I’ll be reaping the benefits of for years to come.

Sweet friend! I want to hear from you! Comment below with one of your favorite business books you’ve read in 2018 and your biggest takeaway …

The top three business books I read in 2018:

Expert Secrets

Building a StoryBrand


My top three business books to add to your 2019 reading list. |  b is for bonnie design #branddesigner #brandstrategy #reads
  1. Betsy

    December 18th, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks Bonnie, I just ordered the Donald Miller book 🎉

  2. Bonnie Bakhtiari

    December 18th, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    That’s awesome, Betsy! I hope you enjoy it!

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I'm Bonnie -- a designer, brand designer + strategist, writer, wife, and pet parent to the most rambunctious golden retriever this side of the Mason-Dixon! I'm passionate about building authentic brands, encouraging small business owners to chase their dreams, and spreading joy through design. It's a delight to have you here, lovely! Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair and stay a while, won't you?

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