It’s easy to become an expert if you are willing to commit to read a little bit every day.

When it comes to nutrition and diet, very few people will argue with the truism “You are what you eat.” If you eat bad food, or not enough food, your health will inevitably suffer. Well, the same holds true with your brain.

You must also regularly “feed” your brain healthy information or else it too will grow weak. In business today, you must have comprehensive knowledge of your field and stay up to date on the latest business thinking if you are going to stay competitive.

The more you know, the more insight you will have to offer your company and your customers. Experts are sought after for their knowledge, and they often command a premium for that knowledge.

Until someone invents a smart pill, there are two primary ways to get information into your brain. You can either listen to it on CD or cassette or read it from a magazine or book.

Listening to audiobooks and podcasts is very convenient as it can be done while driving or exercising. This is fine for news, high-level concepts, and other topics that do not require intense concentration; however, most people will find it nearly impossible to metabolize complex concepts unless they give it their undivided attention.

This is why reading should be your primary means of learning complex concepts. The problem with reading is that it takes time. Many people complain that the don’t have enough time to read.

Some people like to read magazines as they often summarize key concepts. Magazines are helpful, but in keeping with our food analogy, they are similar to snacks. You need to read entire business books in order to get a full “mental meal.”

Luckily, there is a simple solution to this problem. Simply block off 15 minutes each day to read a book related to your business. It is that simple.

Since the average person reads roughly 10 pages in 15 minutes, and the average business book is less than 300 pages, you can complete one book per month by reading just 15 minutes per day. After one year will have read at least 12 business books from cover to cover. By the end of 5 years, you will have read 60 books, which should make you an expert in just about any field.

The key to success in building any success habit is follow through. Read 15 minutes each and every day NO MATTER WHAT. You can ALWAYS find 15 minutes in even the busiest day if you are 100% committed to your reading program.

If you really want to take your reading program to the next level, take a few minutes to reflect upon what you have read. Ask yourself how the reading applies to your job. Ask whether you agree with the author. Ask whether there is something you don’t fully understand or want to know more about. Reflecting on your reading you will increase your retention and understanding of the topic.

Another way to improve comprehension is to tell another person about what you read. You can tell them about it verbally or write a short summary of it. This certainly requires more time and may be challenging, but you’ll see how recapping your reading will push you to more deeply understand what you read.

Questions:

  • What value do you get out of business reading?
  • How do you make use of what you read?
  • How do you make time for reading in your schedule?
  • Who do you discuss your reading with?

Action Exercises:

  • Choose one business book you want to read.
  • Write the start and completion date in the inside front cover.
  • Take a few notes in the back after you finish each reading each day.
  • Comeback and tell us how you are doing in a future “What’s Working?” discussion.

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