How much time should you allocate to reading (or listening to) business books?
I think reading (or personally, I prefer audio books) is a great way to continue to learn, which is important to all business owners. But with the large amount of work we all have on our plates, it's often hard finding the time to dedicate to reading. Curious how much others read and what you think is a good balance.
The answer to this is surely as many as you can so long as you are able to build this personal development time into your charge out rates.
If your weekly income requirement is £1000, full time delivery would mean you need to charge £25 per hour. If you spend 10 hours a week reading to improve your knowledge and ability to deliver to clients you will need to be able to charge £33 per hour to maintain your income. What hourly charge will your market bear to keep you busy and earning the income you need to maintain your lifestyle?
15 minutes a day on a book and you will get through 50 books a year. 15 minutes a day on audio.
I love to read business books as a way to spark my imagination, learning new ideas, methods, strategies, and research. I fly a lot and always enjoy reading on the plane. My mind tends to get overwhelmed so soon I'm writing pages and pages in one of my legal tablets. But it's that time spent reading, thinking, writing, and dreaming that can lead to amazing things!
I would recommend podcast downloads and anything you can take on the go more than reading. I love to read and have hundreds of books, but with a young famiy and running my own business, I find that the time I have to focus is on the road between visits, using my iphone w headsets while exercising, or even listening to a podcast while cleaning around the house. Another thought is limit the amount of email groups you belong to. I find that as valuable as these can be, they can become an easy distraction during the work day. Lastly, remember to read something light that is non business and just for you to enjoy at least 1 hour a week (I do this in 15 minute chunks before bed to unwind). My latest was "Choosing to See" by Mary Beth Chapman.
I used to rely on travel time to keep up on my reading, but since my business travel has waned, so has my reading! I need to create a new reading ritual.
I do find myself watching online videos from Inc., Ted, Stanford Technology Ventures, etc. for inspiration.
Mary, two things, read more early in your career, perhaps twenty books per year however much time that takes. To find your voice, develop your business philosophy, you need to read extensively. Don't read for a formulaic answer, read for ideas, try them on and see if they fit.
Two, business books are just the ones in the business book section. One of my favorites in Money Ball - I found the concepts relevant for any talent development. The history section is filled with business books.
As an entrepreneur and researcher, I read a lot ... books (~1/month), magazines (many), journal articles (even more), blogs (occasionally). However, you really can't beat experience and personal interactions for learning purposes that will stick. An hour-long meeting with a successful serial entrepreneur or well-respect business mentor will likely net you much greater benefit than hours of poring through books. The experience will also likely remain for a lifetime. On the other hand, much of the info from a book that was read 3 years ago is likely all but forgotten - or at least a little blurry.
There is one other thing I wish to list here, apart from what Piet had mentioned.
There are two equal halves to considered.
1. The first and the foremost will be the "CUSTOMERS" - Listening to them would lift oneself in their business or what they do.
2. The other is your "COMPETITORS" - Probably, you have to win them over at the race (i.e., the business niche) that you have stepped in.
Apart from the books, pragmatic incidents would help us to gain a better realization :)
I would like to devote at least 2 hours to 5 hours per week on self improvement, meditation and life enhancing reading. The amount of time you invest into reinventing yourself and increasing the quality of life that you live will translate into your business quality and networking opportunities.
In Reality I find that the only way to remain solid in the reading is to consistently devote 1 hour each evening before I rest.
Great question, Thank you.