- Exposure to more Business ideas than you’ll know what to do with.
- Cutting edge strategies on unique topics from smarter people that have already done it!
- Authority and Social Leadership – you read it? You lead the conversation!
- Personal growth in this order: data-information-knowledge-wisdom-enlightenment
- World Class Knowledge for pennies on the dollar.
- Reach out and meet the author real-time and extend the value and network.
- Cheap research from already researched topics
- You’ll become a better writer and speaker!
Here’s what you DON’T need to do:
- Take a speed reading course (…even though they are awesome and useful!)
- Stay up till the wee hours of the night slobbering over the pages or your Kindle
- Get up at monastic hours for a reading schedule
- Sacrifice productivity or daylight to read
- Spend a fortune at your local bookstore
- Ignore your family
- Medicate yourself
Here’s the only catch to be able to read faster for profits:
You have to Re-Learn how to read a book!
Reader Misconceptions – This applies to over 90% of so-called avid readers.
A quick *Note – I’m referring here to mostly self help, informative and business books. Not fiction or other leisure type reading.
Misconception #1 – The author must be really good if he wrote a book.
You know what you get really good at when you read a lot?
Spotting BS a mile away… I haven’t bought a book that blows in over 4 years… How?
Nowadays you can read a good chunk of it including the table of contents on Amazon. Plus if the author has a blog you can also go there and get a feeling for what this guy is about to pump in your head.
You can also check out their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles for conversations regarding their book. Also endorsements from people you already know, like and trust.
Misconception #2 – You must be a super-fast reader to read that many books.
Nope, you just need to know what you are after and a plan on how to get it really fast. Organizing your reading material by topic and dates is key here.
Misconception #3 – You can only read with your eyes.
Negative. Heard of audio books? Let me ask you… How many hours a week do you spend in your car? That’s right, most people listen to the radio, or chat on the phone, or pick their nose while driving.
My point is that you could be listening to an audio book or a podcast while you drive, workout, run, you get the idea.
I recently finished 100 episodes of a 1hr marketing related podcast. It was FREE by the way.
The information I learned by episode 20 had already made me money! I learned while driving. In others words, I got paid to drive!
…and I hate driving unless I’m hitting the open road with the family. I’m convinced that if I ever do a country wide road trip I’ll end up with the equivalent of a Doctorate degree based on reading volume alone.
Misconception #4 – Reading is for people that have time.
Right… and making money is for people that don’t?
I don’t think I should spend too much time on this one.
Misconception #5 – I multitask and that’s how I read.
Multitasking is as most people define it or understand it, a misnomer, an oxymoron of cataclysmic proportion. There isn’t such a thing as multitasking, which is nothing more than lower percentage or quality completion levels of activity.
The most insanely productive people I know are not multitaskers and they would never consider themselves one.
What most people mislabel multitasking as, is really triaging. A task World War II doctors were already doing in the battlefield by visually assigning a priority scale to the wounded depending on whether they had a bullet in the leg vs. the neck.
A strategy you can also apply to your reading portfolio by the way. I’ve been triaging my reading for years with awesome results.
Misconception #6 – I never finish the books I start!… that’s why I don’t even bother.
Yes I know, and you shouldn’t either.
Who says you have to finish a book that sucks. If you’ve learned all you are going to, or don’t feel like the author can teach you anything else, dump it.
If you get one or two good ideas from a book, that’s great! If you get more than that… Awesome!
Now put them to work!
Let me share with you briefly how I approach my reading,
The best authors write their chapters somewhat interrelated, but not interdependent.
The best books are the ones that I read as reference guides, where each chapter is a gem on its own.
That’s why I spend some time studying the table of contents, researching the author, reading Amazon reviews, etc.
Remember the focus and ultimate goal of reading any book is to walk away with 1-2 relevant and applicable ideas,
names, dates, anecdotes, quotes are a bonus, but not the main focus,
…and to use it as a Reference Source.
Here’s my process:
I read clusters of books by topic. Say for example I’m reading 3 marketing books from unrelated authors.
I never ever read the basics, or what I consider myself to be proficient in, unless I’m learning what their method to teach is, -but for self consumption I go straight to areas where I’m going to learn something insightful or at least skinned in a different way.
Everything else I scan. If something catches my eye, I grab it.
This allows me to cut the time that would normally take me to read that book by about 60%
So say I find the chapters or pages related to “email marketing”, I then hit everything there is on those books on that topic but from different authors. This gives me a wide perspective and different views on the subject. I’m already very familiar with the topic, now I’m looking for unique insights (gold nuggets) from these guys!
The average book I read form vetted authors I know has 3-8 good insights or ideas that I can apply.
A lot depends on the book also, for example I’m reading about 4 books on Copywriting this month, one of them a re-read because it’s a classic. The other 3 are from well known proven authors and master copywriters.
From these guys you can expect a lot more than just 3-8 ideas, so the challenge for me is the same as when I go to a buffet, don’t eat with my eyes.
I ask myself how I can take one or two, preferably only one of these ideas and implement it right away…always, always be implementing.
Always be testing, trying new things and learning what works for you and what doesn’t.
I also listen to 4-5 podcasts at any time, and about 2 audio books a month.
The downside of listening: it’s considerably slower than reading.
The upside: It’s attention independent.
You can be running, working out, driving, walking and be listening to any selective content you want, the catch is that you are constrained by the duration of that content.
Right now I consume about 10-12 books a month on average without it really making a dent on the rest of my personal or business schedule.
By the way, I also schedule reading sessions as part of my work, kind of mandatory.
I block time for it. Like when I’m doing marketing research for a client I’m working with, I block chunks of time.
I should mention that a major factor that allowed me to go from 4-5 books a month to double that at half my prior cost was… you guessed it… Kindle!
I buy 90% of my reading material digitally via Kindle/Amazon bookstore. When you think about the space-time efficiencies in carrying that much information and knowledge in your pocket, is mind blowing …isn’t?
Just the other day, not too long ago, we invented paper, then the printing press!
Here’s the other thing that wows me.
Think of all the effort, knowledge and time that goes into writing a book, of everything that person had to go through to make that production a reality… And then you and I pick it up for less than fifteen to twenty bucks… IF… because the average price for a kindle book these days is $9.99.
I better leave it off here. This is a topic I love to write, talk and obviously read about.
There might be an E-book in the process here. Something along the lines of “Reading for Profits”…something like that.
I don’t know, we’ll see… if I decide to write it that might drop me down to about 8 books a month.
What do you think… Fair trade?
[Bonus] - Read PX: The PX Project, a single 3-hour cognitive experiment, produced an average increase in reading speed of 386%.