Three Ways Reading Can Make You a More Successful Business Owner

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban does it 3 hours a day. Billionaire Warren Buffett devotes six hours a day to it. At age nine, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was doing it 10 hours a day. Just what are all of these high achievers doing? Reading. So if you want to be a more successful business owner, start cracking those books open.

Backed by research

This connection between reading and success isn’t just coincidental. It’s been supported by several research studies:

  • Socio-economist Randall Bell found that people who read seven or more books per year are 122 percent more likely to be millionaires than those who read three or fewer books.
  • Author and self-made millionaire, Steven Siebold interviewed over 1,200 wealthy people and found they had one thing in common. They self-educate by reading.
  • Researcher Dr. Jose Billington reports that frequent readers find it easier to make decisions, plan, and prioritize. All of these are important skills for successful business owners.

How reading fuels business success

What is it about reading that helps entrepreneurs become more successful? The takeaway from this research points out that reading serves as a:

  • Basis for skill development - Entrepreneurs use reading to develop new business skills and insights. With each book, they could apply what they learned to a current problem. “Reading is an investment that has paid for itself many times over,” Mark Cuban said. “All it takes is one little thing to propel you to the next level.”
  • Source of inspiration - Reading stories about innovators can be inspiring. Learning how others overcame an obstacle can provide owners with the motivation they need to solve their own challenges. Life coach guru Tony Robbins said, “Reading could transport me to another world where I could find the answers.”
  • Catalyst to better health - Reading has benefits to physical and psychological health too. Business owners can better manage stress and depression. That gives them the perspective to keep moving forward. Media mogul Oprah Winfrey said, “Books were my path to personal freedom. I discovered that there was a whole world to conquer beyond our farm in Mississippi.”

Getting started

Think about it, if you get one idea a month from whatever you read, that’s 12 new ideas you can use to grow your business each year. Here are some ideas to start the reading habit:

  • Look for book categories with content that relates directly to business – The website suggests you look in these sections: how-to, biographies, self-help, leadership, psychology, career development
  • Take advantage of curated books lists – Rather than search on your own, consult a list of recommended books compiled by experts. For example, tech giant Bill Gates offers “gatenotes”, where he regularly reviews books he finds useful. The Tai Lopez Show podcast reviews the best business education books from the world’s top entrepreneurs. And Inc. Magazine gives their picks for best business books.
  • Don’t forget fiction – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said his leadership style was shaped from novels as well as nonfiction. The Nobel Prize-winning novel, “Remains of the Day,” is reported to be his favorite.

Take a page from successful entrepreneurs and make reading a regular part of your business day. Start with Warren Buffett’s challenge to read 500 pages every day. “That’s how knowledge works,” he said. “It builds up, like compound interest.”

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