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Why Successful Business Leaders Read Regularly

Pile of BooksI’ve always been an avid book reader. I have a large library of Biographies, Self-Development books and Business tomes and am always on the look out for book recommendations from others.

Truth be told, like most people I’ve spoken to, (especially fellow business owners) I buy more books than I actually read – especially when it comes to business books.

Just like subscribing to a gym membership but never actually going to the gym, buying a business book somehow makes you feel like you’re declaring your good intentions to learn about a subject, even though you may take ages to read said book.

That pile of books you haven’t read

The problem with having a ton of books sitting on a bookshelf at home is that my reading mood seems to change frequently and the book I actually want to read never seems to be the one I’m carrying with me. I can be sat in the barbers waiting for my hair (what little there still is of it) to be cut and I’ll be in the mood to read some Tech History. I can be travelling by aeroplane and suddenly be in the mood for some Self-Development reading. Or I could be in a park on a sunny day and fancy reading some fiction. Chances are the book I actually have with me is something I feel I *should* be reading (such as a business tome) but am probably not in the mood to read.

Amazon KindleA few months ago that all started to change for me – and it’s all thanks to the Amazon Kindle.

Benefits of an e-Reader

Having an e-Reader like the Kindle means I can pretty much carry all the books I now buy with me wherever I go. I now find myself reading a lot more, because the book I’m in the mood to read is nearly always with me at the time I want to read it.

But why is reading important for business success?

Tom Peters believes in out-reading the competition. He suggest that ‘A’ player executives out-read ‘B’ and ‘C’ players – reading on average 24 books per year.

I think regularly reading helps to improve the way you think as a business owner. Quite often I’ll be reading a chapter of a book and within the first few paragraphs, my mind will pop up with a thought or suggestion – often a solution to a problem or challenge I’ve been wrestling with.

For me, this happens most regularly when reading business books and biographies – as I’m often reading the writing of someone I admire or respect. Books are a great way of learning from successful people or thought leaders I appreciate.

Reading inspires me with ideas. It fills me with enthusiasm and energy. Quite often, taking 15 minutes to read the chapter of a book will give me the energy to crack on and get more done in that day than I otherwise would – especially if I’ve found myself in a mid-afternoon slump, moving papers around aimlessly or browsing Facebook. Reading helps re-focus my mind on what I want and need to be doing to be successful.

Don’t have time to read?

The most common reason I hear for that pile of books gathering dust is that business owners “don’t have time”. I understand that – there is a hundred things to do every day, and the work available will *always* expand to fill the time you have available. Having an e-Book reader like the Kindle will help, but you still need to make the time to read.

Need help finding the time to enjoy the benefits of reading? Try this cheap (or free!) experiment.

  1. If you own an Amazon Kindle. Great, you’re all set.
  2. If you don’t own a Kindle – they’re currently selling for £89. Treat yourself for Christmas!
  3. Alternatively, go and download the Amazon Kindle Reader Application for your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or Android Device. It’s free.
  4. Next, go and grab hold of Seth Godin’s book “Poke The Box” or Steven Pressfield’s “Do The Work” – or preferably, both – in Amazon Kindle e-book format. Both books are just a few quid in cost.

Either of these books will be downloaded within seconds, and you’ll have read them, electronic cover to cover, within an hour (and probably less!).

The Domino Project

The Domino Project LogoBoth of these books are part of Seth Godin’s The Domino Project, a new way of looking at publishing. In reality, both books are actually less your traditional book and more like manifestos, but I’m pretty sure both books will have the same effect on you that they did on me – they’ll inspire, energise and motivate you to get on and be successful at whatever you do.

If that works for you (or if you’re too tight to pay for the two books I mentioned) then go grab the next book in The Domino Project, The Flinch by Julien Smith. You can find it (for a short time only) free at Amazon. I’ve not even read this book yet but am guessing it’ll be just as thought provoking, motivating and inspiring as Poke The Box and Do The Work.

There’s no excuse for testing this theory. The books are cheap (or free), the method convenient, and the investment of time required for the experiment low.

Give it a try and let me know what the results are. Smile

The Books I Love And Recommend

A feature I lost when moving Tubblog from Windows Live Spaces to WordPress.com late in 2010 was my regularly updated list of “Recommended Reading” kept on the blog site.

A long time blog reader (thanks John!) recently asked me where this list had gone – apparently he’d found it quite useful.

Tubblog - Recommended ReadingSo in an attempt to once again share with you the books I both love and recommend, you can now…

I’ve found GoodReads.com – recommended to me by my Australian buddy Robert Crane – a great way to keep up to date on what my like minded friends and peers are reading. It has some good links to share your reading with friends on Facebook too.

I find reading relaxes me, often helps me find focus, and more often than not helps me to generate new ideas. These are all undisputedly good things, so I’ve already made a lot more time to read books in 2011 than I have before!

Read a good book lately? Do share!

*1 Disclaimer – For every book you buy via my “Recommended Reading” store I receive a  small referral payment from Amazon through their Associates programme . So please, keep me in gadget funds and click away! Smile

Biff! Zap! Pow! – A documentary about Comic Books

BBC Radio 2 broadcast an excellent documentary show this week on the History of Superheroes. It was hosted by no less than Alice Cooper and was a really good listen.
As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, I’m a massive comic book fan and so really enjoyed this show.
You can hear the show again The show is no longer available by using Radio 2′s “Listen Again” facility (which is just superb for catching up on shows. Does any web-site offer any more content than www.bbc.co.uk?)
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