A couple weeks ago, I posted the picture above and asked people for book recommendations. The response was fantastic. It generated many new connections for me and gave me dozens of great new books to add to my reading list for 2016 (probably filled out my list for 2017 too). Not enough people read. Before last year, I was guilty. Early in my career, I read a handful of sales/motivational books. Like most twenty somethings I felt "well, that was great, now I know what to do." Here's what I figured out about a year ago. You never know enough. The more you learn, the more you realize you don't know. When someone disagrees with me, I used to get angry and would push harder and harder to make them see my point. Now, I feel sympathy for that person. They are living in a narrow focus. They are comfortable with things the way they are. They don't want things to change. Here's a hint, change... Is constant.
JUST ASK THE DINOSAURS HOW IMPORTANT CHANGE IS
I recognize that a massive asteroid is predominantly why dinosaurs no longer exist. Consider for a moment, that life didn't end on earth, it changed. Being adaptable, is crucial to life, success and happiness.
MIKE, WHAT THE HECK DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH READING?
Thanks for asking, that's a great question. Reading has done two great things for me.
FIRST: Reading has challenged me to change the way I think about many of the fundamentals in my life. Your perspective is valuable. It is also incredibly valuable, to understand the perspective of other people. Reading gives you very quick access to other people's perspectives.
SECOND: Reading has allowed me to bond, connect and interact with many people I never would have met otherwise. It has brought me closer to many casual contacts and helped me cultivate deep relationships. It has also helped me quickly bond with new people (that is probably my favorite aspect).
THESE BOOKS HAVE REALLY IMPRESSED ME THIS YEAR
In the last year, I have read about 40 books. I am going to share just a few of them with some quick ideas.
THE FOUR HOUR WORK WEEK BY TIMOTHY FERRIS
Ok, you won't literally work 4 hours a week, but it does offer tremendous incite about leveraging your time to maximize your results. Going to re-read before the end of the year.
80/20 SALES AND MARKETING BY PERRY MARSHALL
You can summarize this book in one sentence. 80% of your success, comes from 20% of your efforts. That said, read it, NOW! You can thank me later.
21.5 UNBREAKABLE LAWS OF SALES BY JEFFREY GITOMER
I love Jeffrey Gitomer. I have read 10 or more of his books. I think this one really nails it and is great for new sales people and for grizzled veterans of sales like me.
THE 3RD ALTERNATIVE BY STEPHEN R. COVEY
Most people know Covey and his book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." He has written many books, expanding on the concepts in that landmark book. The 3rd alternative is my favorite (so far).
WHAT I AM READING NOW
My daily goal is to read 10 pages per book per day and to read three books at a time. As you can see, the topics are diverse. I give myself 45 minutes to an hour each morning. In case you are wondering, I am married, I have two children (one that has special needs). Think you don't have time to read? Figure it out, I did.
A QUICK WORD ABOUT AUDIO BOOKS
When I said I have read over 40 books in the last year, that does not include all the books I listened to. I use the Audible app as well as iBooks on my iPhone. Many books I will listen to and read ( or the other way around). Several books I have listened to multiple times. It is perfect for long drives and walking the dog.
I have some great books waiting for me to read. I should finish my current set in the next week. I buy most of my books used ,via amazon for about $5 each (including shipping). Which means, in the last year, I have invested less than $400 to develop myself, THAT, is a bargain.
CALLS TO ACTION
#1 Write out the list of the 20 books you want to read in the next 12 months.
#2 Buy the first six.
#3 Start reading.
#4 Tell your friends to do this with you and start a monthly reading club focused on development. It's even more fun if you read different books
Thank you for taking the time to read this today. If you want to further discuss, sales, leadership, public speaking, or LinkedIn, you can call me 443-808-1670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org