When did reading start being considered a chore? It’s not uncommon to hear Millennials say, “I read all day at work / school so I don’t want to read when I get home.” Since when has that been an adequate excuse to the infinite availability of learning from the page?
Our parents, our elders, didn’t have this attitude. They may have read for work, but would then come home and read some more. Granted, in that day they had access to different formats and areas of study, but reading wasn’t wholeheartedly thrust aside as ‘not an option’ simply because it was done often. It was understood that reading was a vital method of learning.
As entrepreneurs, it is our job to think globally in order to lead our industries and employees. One of the biggest pitfalls of running a business is how easy it is to stay focused on the minutiae of day to day tasks. While it is important to ensure that these tasks are occurring without any issue or hang up, so many business owners get stuck at the 100 foot level because it feels safe and results are immediate. Yet, in doing so, they are slowly losing their ability to see into the future, to dream big, and steer the business toward disruptive goals.
Reading not only facilitates a moment of pause for the entrepreneur’s mind, it also expands it. If it is necessary for a business to continually grow in order to stay competitive, so too must the entrepreneur continue to grow as the leader, visionary, and creator.
Reading is one of the best ways to learn. The greatest thinkers and business builders read constantly. Bill Gates reads 50 books a year. Warren Buffett reads 500 pages a day. President Obama, too, is a known voracious reader.
All of this boils down to one thing — books continue to be the best way to share in depth information and provides easy access to new ideas. As you read, you will better understand other markets, alternative methods, and expand your ability to think outside the box.
Thankfully, books have become even more accessible in recent decades, with audiobooks a massive growth area in the industry. Even those who cannot read (or who have vision disabilities) can listen to books and access information. Not only will reading give your business an edge by giving you access to new ideas, trends, and methods of thought, it also will make you happier. For us entrepreneurs, stress reduction and happiness is critical to the success of our businesses.
Don’t have time to read? I call BS. With audiobooks and e-readers more accessible than ever before, making time to read (or space to carry books) is simply a matter of determination. Build it into your morning routine, add it to your commute, or do it while in the shower. The benefits to both your business and life are too great to miss.