Posted: Tue 8th Aug 2023
There's nothing like reading to expand your horizons and see the world from a new perspective. I bet you've heard this at least a hundred times by now, but it's completely true.
Reading is essential to enhance your creative thinking and get to know the mechanisms of the world we live in. Making it a habit can greatly enrich your life and act as a guide on your journey to self-development. Not to mention the great role it has in facilitating humanity's progress.
If you're an entrepreneur or you're thinking of starting your own business, you must by all means read. This allows you to avoid some of the trial-and-error stages of building a business.
It encourages you to brainstorm new ideas and create a strategy that is going to level up your business.
During my first 10 years as a digital entrepreneur, I only read a few books and had almost no mentoring. And I had little success. The next six years were quite the opposite. I enjoyed having a growing business and that is mainly due to me starting (again) to read heavily and listen to books to get mentorship and meditate.
A better strategy
When asked about the key to business success, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett claimed reading at least 500 pages a day is essential. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will.
The famous businessman said that 80% of his working day is spent reading and thinking. It's not enough just to read and accumulate knowledge, you also have to use your critical thinking when looking for solutions or making decisions.
You may think that finding the necessary time to read in your already overwhelmingly busy day is a task in itself. But it's actually not.
Think of it this way: If you invest in yourself, you actually invest in your business too. You can start by carving an hour out of your day and allocate it to reading and learning something new.
A better world
Bill Gates is passionate about reading because it allows him to learn more about the world and improve his efforts on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. However, he also adds fiction to his reading list as he appreciates how it can get you out of your head and allow you to see the world through another person's eyes.
Bill has a blog where people can learn more about his book recommendations and read book reviews. His love for reading and learning goes even further as he made it a habit to take a "think week" twice a year.
Basically, he goes to a cabin in the woods by himself and reads papers written by Microsoft's employees, which present new innovations and prospective investments. No interruptions, no daily stress, no other tasks to do but to learn and focus on innovation (every entrepreneur's favourite pastime).
Having a space where you can go to focus entirely on strategy is essential for boosting productivity, growing your business and, in Bill's case, changing the whole world for the better.
A better future
We all know about Elon Musk's science fiction-like plan for SpaceX and about the success of Tesla. How are such great ambitions born in the first place? That's where books come to surprise one's mind with untapped opportunities for innovation.
Elon even went so far as to admit in an interview that he was raised by books. He said that as a child he used to read science-fiction novels for more than 10 hours a day.
As a businessman, he was inspired by Douglas Adams's philosophy in the popular science-fiction novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Above everything else, this book ponders on the meaning of human life and the importance of asking the right questions.
Coming up with well-informed questions requires us to better understand the universe. To learn more is to read more; your success is just a few books away! There isn't a better time to become a serious reader and start your reading journey than now.
You'll be surprised just how much of a difference reading can make in your life. It provides new insights, perspectives and ideas. It keeps alive and nurtures your sense of curiosity about the world. And, it helps you get unstuck from your current situation and gain the confidence to take the next steps.
There are going to be moments in your life as an entrepreneur when not even the books you read and your own experience will prevent you from making mistakes. But you'll be more likely to make the right decisions once you develop a daily reading habit.
Business book recommendations
Just before you go, here are a few book recommendations, which helped my business, WPRiders, grow:
Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice by Clayton M. Christensen
The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill (the most comprehensive and profound book) about success
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (for simplicity)
12: Elements of great management by Jim Harter (for company culture and employee engagement.
Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg (learning how to communicate effectively. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella set this as mandatory reading for senior leadership)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey (for learning to be productive in your thinking)
Now's your turn. Which books have completely changed your perspective and helped you as an entrepreneur? Let us know your picks on @e_nation.