My reading shelf is overflowing with books that represent ME. They reflect where I am at any given time in my business. They remind me of what I am working so hard to accomplish. My goals to succeed in this crazy world, creating a learning center for small business owners (yes, it will be mostly women), where they can learn how to write better, have amazing About pages on their websites, and yes, put their story, the story of YOU, I tell them, in a book. I feel passionately that more women should write business books.
Oh, gosh, who has time to read?
When I meet other women at events, I generally break the ice by asking what they’re reading. It surprises me when they say, “Oh, I don’t have time to read.”
The statement is often followed with a laugh, a soft laugh, as if she knows she should be reading, but really, who has time?”Why?” I press. I try not to be pushy, but I have to admit, how does one build a successful business without reading? Yes, the hard work involved comes first, but reading business books is a tried and true way of learning how to create your success.
The answer is a qualified NO! They are not overrated. Business books are tomes of education. They offer insightful advice and actionable tactics. They help create strategy and follow-through. They demonstrate the power of the written word to inspire and educate. Business books, if you’re reading the right ones, offer a wealth of content you cannot get anywhere else.
FOMO? Get the book!
I understand when folks attend networking events and buy the speaker’s book, that they’re being kind. They think they should buy the book. After all, the speaker probably just gave a stellar presentation and if he or she has a book, the presentation teased the audience with insight into the content of the book. Everyone believes, at that point, that buying the book is the right thing to do. And, let’s admit it…there is the FOMO belief. We have a ‘fear of missing out’ when we see droves of people heading to the back of the room to buy the book.
If all of those people are reading that book, then surely we must buy it and read it, also. Even… and this is key…even when we know deep, deep down, we are never going to even open that book.
I recommend, the next time you attend an event and have an opportunity to buy the speaker’s book, buy it. But, also make a promise to yourself that you will read it. Do not buy it and put it on a shelf in your office or home library. Actually read it. Set aside time every day to read the books you have, and to consider books you haven’t.
There is power in the written word
Those of us who believe in the written word believe that books are an intimate part of the human psyche. Yes, they exist not only to teach and inspire, they exist to create the foundations of all of our dreams – the dreams to have a successful small (but growing) business based around a passion or dedication. They exist to show us the way to improve our day to day activity, to mount a sincere and purposeful strategy, to show us a new way to accomplish goals.
Business books are so not overrated.
I read every day.
I just finished reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In and I recommend it highly, to all women reading this. And to the men in your lives.
Before Lean In, I was reading Geoff Colvin’s Humans Are Underrated, and I am going back to that now. His writing style is not as approachable as Sheryl’s, but the content of both books defines the world we live in today, and I am confident that these books, along with the stack next to my desk, are going to help ME achieve higher goals and better results, in my business.
Be Peculiar, with your reading
When I tire of business books, I turn back to fiction and currently, I am finishing Ransom Rigg’s series of books that start with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I can’t get enough of this story line! I recommend it, for lazy Saturday afternoons. And yes, you do, too, have them. (if you don’t, wow… you need to find a way to make them happen)
When we say we don’t have time to read, especially business books that are designed, by nature, to help us succeed, we deny ourselves not only the chance to learn, but the chance to be inspired.
And, as a last note, I believe reading helps us learn who we are. By reading, we uncover the person pulsing in our hearts, the one who started the business we’re in. Perhaps, she is struggling to get out and write her own book. If so, let me know. I will read it.