This has been a busy month for my brain. There are times I’m just getting the job done, focusing on whatever is at hand. And then there are months when my mind is on fire, alive and on steroids with all the possibilities for growth in my business and personal life.
And last night while I was reading before bed, I realized one amazing fact; the sparks for these fires always come from the same place. Books.
When I began my production business, I had high hopes because I knew a lot about video production. What I didn’t realize until after I started my business is that I knew next to nothing about running a business. And surprise! It turns out that running a business is the hard part.
And this is what divides the successful and unsuccessful in my opinion. Too many small businesses fail because they make the same mistakes that thousands before them have made, not realizing that the map for the road to success is sitting on the shelf in their neighborhood bookstore.
Reading keeps your mind active, stimulates new ideas, and keeps you looking forward as you grow your business. I’ve also found that different authors speak to me in different ways. I’ve got a thick skull, and it takes a lot of reading to get some ideas to stick. I’m good with that, though. I’d rather spend a few extra hours reading up on how to handle my business taxes than get shut down for improper compliance!
The point is that none of us will do it all right the first time, and by studying the success stories, we can maximize our effectiveness early on. As long as I’m successful, I’ve got no problem giving credit to the great advice that got me here. In fact, let me share just a few that had great impact on my business.
- Thinking For A Change; @JohnCMaxwell
- The Total Money Makeover; @DaveRamsey
- Business Stripped Bare; @richardbranson
- EntreLeadership; @DaveRamsey
- The 4-Hour Workweek; @tferris (Timothy Ferriss)
- Platform; @MicahelHyatt (Currently reading and LOVING)
Authors like these and many, many others have saved me from so many huge mistakes that I know I would have made. And the crazy thing is that they aren’t even all about running a business. There’s just no way to know when the knowledge you’ve gained will come into play in your day-to-day work.
And while we’re talking about reading, let me confess that I read probably three times as many novels every year as I do non-fiction work. You may have something of your own that helps you relax and empty your mind of the days work, but for me a good novel is the key to unwinding. I’ve found that escaping into another world is one of the only ways for me to set aside all the clutter in my brain every night.
So keep it up! Never let your life get so busy that you stop taking time to learn from those who have gone before. It may just be the difference between success and failure on that next endeavor. And for those of you not currently reading, why not give it a try? Take one of the great authors listed above and see what happens. You may find, like me, that your mind ignites with the possibilities.
What are you currently reading? What are some of the books that have inspired you in the past?