A question often asked by people committed to fast-tracking themselves towards success is:
"How many books should I read in a year?"
I’m one of those people, an entrepreneur and business owner dedicated to changing my life and improving my business.
Years ago I met a guy, a military pilot like me, who was always reading. Every time I saw him he had a book in his hands, and at the end of the year he put out a report of the 50-60 books he read that year.
At the time I was reading about 6 to 8 books a year and I decided if I read more books, maybe I would be a more effective business owner. I set out on a mission to read 50 books a year. The first year I read 38, and the second year, 40. I would ask everyone for recommendations and I would get everything under the sun! Fiction, non-fiction, personal development, you name it. I had a list I would narrow down that was quite varied, but mostly personal development books.
After those first two years I realized that I would read a book, retain a tiny bit of it, and move on to the next one. It was a checklist. The goal became about reading a book a week rather than what I was actually getting out of it. I wasn’t effectively implementing what I was reading.
I came to the conclusion that reading 50 books a year was a flawed concept.
You can’t retain all the information in 50 books unless you read them over and over. Forget about implementing the knowledge inside all 50. Your content is going to be all over the place with 50 books. It ceases to become about mastery in a specific area because you’ll read anything to get it on your list and check it off.
The thing is, we are all in different places and therefore we all need to be reading different books at different points in our process. Through my own trial and error I refined a step by step process that works for me.
Step One: "What do I need right now?’"
What is that one thing that you need to focus on right now? What area of your life or business will benefit from added knowledge and tangible change?
Is it marketing, sales, money management, leadership?
This is a great tool for incisive personal and professional assessment.
When you have identified what you want to work on, you come to the conversation with a specific direction. It is then easy to get recommendations specifically designed to give you great information on exactly what will be most helpful to you at this point in your journey.
Step 2: Actually read the book, take notes, and put it into practice.
This is key. DO NOT move on until you have implemented all the tangible actions from the book into your process or your business. It’s far different to learn an idea than to live it. Take steps to live what you have learned and keep going back to the book for reference. You can then easily track what you are doing that translates into constructive growth and conversely what you aren’t doing and what isn’t working.
Step 3: "What do I need next?"
The next best book to read will present itself naturally after you have implemented the first book. The next step in your growth inspires the next book.
Oftentimes we move on to the next thing before we have the process we just learned actually integrated into our lives.
This year I will probably read 8 or 9 books, but I will be putting every one of the steps I learn from these books into practice.
Note that not every recommendation you get is going to be a five star winner.
So how do you find the books that really resonate for you without wasting too much time?
I’m going to give you my tried and true method.
I buy the recommended book on Audible and listen to it at 2x to 3x times speed to get a taste for the information. If I don’t like it, if it’s not my style, I move on. However, the ones that I connect to, that really speak to me, I buy in hard copy. Then I work through the hard copy diligently with notes and highlighting. I refer back to it over and over as I begin to actively implement the knowledge.
It becomes a natural selection process. The books that make it to my bookshelf are the gold books, the cream that rises to the TOP. If it’s on my bookshelf, I love it, I will recommend it to anyone, and I often buy extra copies just to give them away.
I stand by this process because I am a curator of content. I am constantly collecting books, quotes, and all types of knowledge that I have tried and tested.
Then I bring the best of the best to you. That is what Flip Hacking Live is all about for me; bringing the cream that rose to the top, the best of the best, straight to you so I can help fast track you to success.