It turns out the advice our parents and teachers gave us was spot on. Reading is good for you. I remember the days of reading short fiction books. Those were the days when reading could easily become a hobby.
That was in 2nd grade. Now the world is getting busier and busier. And teenagers don’t have as much time to pick up new hobbies as the typical 2nd grader.
I built a successful blog, wrote several books myself, and grew my business on social media. But I slacked off on my reading. Sure, I read a blog post every now and then, but skimping on reading showed in my results.
Once I stopped acquiring additional knowledge related to my niche, I didn’t make big improvements. I either produced the same results or saw a slight decline. Blog traffic went down. My Twitter growth stayed the same.
Then everything started to grow, and I attribute that in large part to reading 10+ books every month.
But I didn’t just read any books. I read books with the specific aim of growing my personal brand. And I can tell you right now that reading 10+ books about your brand every month can completely transform your business (as in get you the results you’ve been dreaming of).
Here are some tips you can start utilizing today so you too will get through 10 books every month.
#1: Listen To Audiobooks
I don’t actually read all of the books that I consume. Sometimes, I will listen to an audiobook. There are certain activities that are nearly impossible to engage in while reading, but are very doable if listening to an audiobook.
For instance, I listen to an audiobook while I ride a workout bike for 30 minutes each day. To get the most information out of those 30 minutes, I have the built-in narrator read the book 2-3 times faster than the original pace.
That means during a 30 minute bike ride, I hear 1-1.5 hours of audiobook content. That totals up to 30-45 hours of audiobooks every month. Most of the audiobooks I read are within the five hour range. Just by riding on the bike for 30 minutes while listening to an audiobook each day, I read 6-9 books and get physically stronger at the same time.
I tried listening to an audiobook in the middle of a run, but that didn’t work well for me. I can more easily listen to an audiobook on a workout bike.
What activities do you do every day that can also become moments of knowledge acquisition? The more you can think of, the more audiobooks you can listen to from start to finish. Just find 30 minutes in your day, every day. You’ll thank yourself later.
#2: Read Quickly
I listen to anywhere from 6-9 audiobooks each month. That means I read my way through the 10+ book milestone. I blaze my way through the finish line. The key information for almost any book can be condensed into 20 pages. Authors don’t do that because a 20 page book wouldn’t sell.
As you read more books about your niche, you’ll come across similar insights. I don’t need to hear another story about someone who regrets not building an email list earlier. I’ve heard that story before. And the only difference between this story and the other ones I’ve heard is that each person tells the story from a unique perspective (but always arrives at a similar conclusion).
The overall message is the same. Many books tell you that making excuses is bad and suggest ways to combat excuse making. I skip right to the suggestions. I don’t need to be told that avoiding excuses is a good thing. I already know that. And if I’ve already heard the suggestions in an earlier book, I skip those too.
Some books intentionally or unintentionally borrow ideas from each other. Why re-read the same thing more than once when you can acquire more knowledge instead?
#3: Publicly Announce Your Goal
I have been very public about my goal to consume 10 books every month. In fact, I also state which books I read each month in my performance reports. When I first got started with my performance reports, I struggled with reading five books in a given month.
Now I effortlessly get through 10+ books. Every. Single. Month.
As I came out with more performance reports, my reading increased. I made myself accountable to my entire audience—email list, social media audience, blog visitors… just about everyone.
If I don’t perform, I feel like I’ve let my audience down. I automatically obligate myself to read at least 10 books in a given month.
What’s Your Excuse?
I’m a student-athlete in college. I wake up at 5:30am to get ready for 7:30am practice. I get my homework done and also squeeze in time to hang out with friends. But I still have a personal brand that demands my attention.
Oh, did I mention that I read a bunch of books every month, too?
I’m not saying that I have the hardest schedule in the world, but I don’t have a crazy amount of time to play with, either. My obligations take up most of my time.
If you don’t have at least 30 minutes each day to read a book or listen to an audiobook, then you have a basket of lame excuses. Anyone can find 30 extra minutes each day by reducing the time spent on less productive activities.
Would it kill you to turn off the TV a little earlier? Would it hurt to avoid surfing YouTube? While it may be difficult in the beginning, once you make the adjustment over 66 days, it will stick.
If you feel you can’t commit to 30 minutes of reading or listening each day, you can AT LEAST commit to 15 minutes of reading or listening each day.
In the end, I don’t care about excuses. I only care about whether or not the work gets done.
Gradual evolution leads to massive evolution. The easiest way to go from zero pages to 100 pages per day within three months is to read an additional page each day. Start with a baseline of 11 pages, which is very doable.
On Day #2, read 12 pages. On Day #3, read 13 pages. Soon enough, you’ll begin to approach 100 pages. And if you count audiobooks, you can easily get through over 100 pages each day.
When I’m actually reading a book, I can usually get through 30-50 pages in a given day.
All of this knowledge compounded together will turn you into an expert in your niche and help you achieve your dreams.
As with anything in life, if you do something every day, and make continuous progress, you’ll be shocked by what you’ve achieved in a year from now.
Reading books and listening to audiobooks allows you to acquire more knowledge about your niche. As you acquire more knowledge, your mind will expand.
The remaining challenge is to implement what you’ve learned, but you will already have the information you need. What happens then? Do you continue reading?
No matter how established you become, reading is still important. Reading fires up your brain cells, gives you new knowledge, and reminds you of things that you may have forgotten.
I mentioned earlier that I sometimes skip sections of a book if I have an idea of what’s coming. I may skip those sections, but I also remember what I’d learned previously.
Reading is a way of acquiring new knowledge while tapping into prior knowledge.
How many books do you read each month? Do you have any book recommendations for me? Sound off in the comments section below.