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Reading is the Foundation of Entrepreneurship

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.

If you want help organizing your morning routine or understanding what books will benefit your business most, get on my calendar!

5 Books Your Business Can’t Live Without

If you’re anything like me, you like to download into your mind as much information from successful business leaders as you can.  Knowing what they did, how they did it, and the lessons they learned along the way has helped me so much in the success of my business.

Over nearly a decade of Entrepreneurship, I have read a lot of books.  Some were helpful, and some changed my work forever.  I want to share the ones that totally changed the game for me with you.

5. Built to Sell by John Warrillow

Why would I start by recommending a book to you that describes selling a business?  I realize that many of you never want to sell your businesses, but you still need to learn to scale them.  Built to Sell is written as a fiction but conveys critical lessons in building a business that gives you freedom, and it’s the book I used to scale my business and reduce my hours to 10/week.  Consider it a quick read into the 4-hour work week.

4. Tribes by Seth Godin

Leading a business is more than just numbers and organization.  Whether you realize it or not, you are leading a tribe with your brand.  It is critical to understand that sooner than later.  Seth Godin explains how to lead a tribe with your business without becoming owned by them.

3. Killing It! by Sheryl O’Laughlin

Look.  We all get sucked into our businesses.  We love what we do, right?  But our families and friends deserve our time, too, and it’s important to learn that balance.  Sheryl, the former CEO of Cliff Bar, shares how she learned this the hard way, and imparts some excellent business sense as well.

2. Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port

Do you hate marketing?  Sales?  Networking?  You  need this book.  Michael Port has figured out how to turn these often unliked but necessary parts of business into simple tools that will bring in the cash.  His free companion workbook (downloadable after purchase of the book) makes his lessons even simpler to learn.

 1. The Success Principles by David Canfield

This book is ranked number one because it will effect absolutely every area of your life, including your business.  When I first came across this book I thought, “Really?  The Campbell’s Soup for the Soul guy?”  Still, I gave it a chance, and basically have my hair blown back every time I crack it open.  This book can move mountains.  If you choose only one book from this entire selection, make it this one.

I have been consuming books on business ever since I started my first venture in 2010, but it still took me years to fully understand and implement everything they were saying.  If you don’t want to wait that long, feel free to schedule an Upleveling Session with me to discuss the key take-aways that will affect your business, most.