Digest 30 Books in 30 DaysI wanted to talk a bit about who I am and why reading is so important and why I'm qualified to create products to help you use reading books to take your business and career to the next level.
In 2012, October 3rd, to be precise, my mother died unexpectedly from a heart attack. My heart shattered into so many pieces, and to heal my heart, I decided to do what I love, which is reading.
Start and Evolution of The Invisible Mentor Reading Challenges
I created a reading challenge for myself called the Virtual Literary World Tour. And I was reading The World. In four months, I read 80 books written by authors from 29 countries. I realized the importance of reading about other cultures, and I also realized the benefits of reading, and I also saw connections among the different books that I was reading.
The original reading challenge evolved with several iterations. And now it’s called MoreReads Leadership Development program in a six and 12-month package. My focus today is more about taking your reading to take your career and business to the next level.
What Stops People from Achieving Their Reading Goals
One of the things that professionals are telling me is that they don't have the time to read, or they cannot focus when they read. The solution that I have, can take care of both of those things.
Preview a Nonfiction Book Before You Read It
And that is, before you start reading a nonfiction book, you make sure that you preview the book first. And let's think about the 80/20 rule in terms of reading. You read 20 percent of the book to understand 80 percent of the text.
The trick is to find the 20 percent of the book to read. And you do so by previewing the book first. One of the things I've noticed when I'm reading nonfiction books, I feel like I'm experiencing déjà vu. Haven't I read this before, haven't I read this before, Haven't I read this before? And that's because publishers have word counts and sometimes the authors have to add in extra information to get to the publisher’s word count.
Have you read?
Non-Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss and Predict the Future by Rohit Bhargava
The One Problem: Avil Beckford, Author of Digest 30 Books in 30 Days
9 Steps to Get the Most Out of Reading Books (infographic)
Profit Reading: Make Money from Books Worth Reading
How many case studies, examples, do you need to read to understand what the author is trying to tell you?
My advice is always to preview the book. Figure out the sections that you need to read, the sections that align with your purpose for reading the books and, the sections that answer the questions that you want the book to address. That's very important. Now, the other thing is that you don't stop there.
Reading and Learning to Take Your Career and Business to the Next Level
OK, so it’s important that you never read just one book about a topic because one book cannot cover all the areas that may be important to you. It's good to read different books, say three to five. I love to read at least five books on a topic of interest.
Now, it's not just reading and finishing the book. What you want to do is to connect the big ideas from the different books you read. Most books have some sort of model or process in them. It's nonfiction books I'm talking about. Sometimes the model/process i's obvious, sometimes it's not obvious. You may need to recreate this model or process.
Combining Ideas and Models to Make Them Bigger and Better
And the other thing is to make a habit of combining the big ideas. But you also want to combine the steps in the models, so you come up with something that's unique for you. Most people will not be doing that. They’ve never been taught to do that. So, it wouldn’t be top of mind for them.
Doing this will give you an edge over your peers. This allows you to take your reading to a completely higher level. And it also shows you how to see what others miss. I've been doing this for some time now, so I think it makes me qualified to talk to you about this topic.
Value of Reading Books and Combining Ideas from Different Books
I've run a few challenges in my Facebook group, and people are starting to realize the benefits of reading books this way. The time problem is solved because there's a lot you can get from a book in 30 minutes.
Previewing the book, picking out the sections that you need to read, and then just focusing on those sections, enable you to cover a lot of ground. Because you're not spending time reading a 200-page or 250-page book, you don't have time to lose your focus. What you're doing is taking let's say, 30 minutes to preview the book. I set a timer for an hour to get through the book.
There are times when you may need less time, and other times you'll need more time to get through a book. The point is to read as much of the book as you need to, no more, no less. You want to get an understanding of the text. But the value lies in combining the ideas, which I already mentioned. It’s about reading differently to see what others miss.
Take Your Business and Career to the Next Level: Case Study Part 1
This is a work in progress. As I move deeper into the process, you’ll understand how to use the content in books to take your business and career to the next level. The following information I pulled from The Invisible Mentor Weekly Newsletter: Brain Food Fridays, Number 60. I’m in the middle of the process, so you can follow along, and even use the process as I outline it.
Learn How to Solve Workplace and Business Problems
There are three big things on my mind, and I wanted to find the answers in books.
- Write better sales pages for my products.
- Improve the quality of my email newsletter to increase engagement.
- Strengthen the reading process to take your reading to the next level.
The primary way I learn is by reading books and taking online courses. As you know, I’ve been reading a lot of sales books and I was surprised by how little I knew about the sales process. After reading over twelve books, I had a better understanding of selling. From the books, I learned that the first step was to build rapport in the first few seconds of a conversation. But what I didn’t know was how to do so on a sales page.
Write Better Sales Pages for My Products
I mentioned the problem to a friend, and he recommended that I read The Cold Email Playbook. I read the book but felt like I needed to know a lot more about specifically writing a sales page. I’m always recommending to readers to read more than one book on a topic you’re interested in. I decided to take my own advice, so I also read How to Write the Perfect Sales Page.
Although I’m a writer, my niche is not writing sales pages and so on. The other thing is that I have a hard time selling myself. I was surprised by some information that is supposed to be on a sales page. Both books had great examples. More than likely though, I’ll read a couple more books to get a broader perspective, then combine the information from all the books to come up with something new.
When I read the other books, I’ll show you the combined ideas from all the books. This will give you a sense of how to use the process when you’re reading to learn.
Improve the Quality of This Email Newsletter to Increase Engagement
Last summer I took a course on how to operate a business with a heart. And I realized that was important to me. How do I serve others? The engagement with my newsletter is not great and I want to change that. The click through rate is about nine percent. I have failed so far and want to make changes. I want to provide more value in each newsletter.
I do have a lot of experience producing newsletters. However, you have to improve processes and you MUST change with the times. That means you have to continually learn and grow.
So far, I’ve read:
- Do Open: How a Simple Email Newsletter Can Transform Your Business
- How to Write Profitable Newsletters
- Newsletter Success Secrets
- How to Write a Great Electronic Newsletter
How to Write the Perfect Sales PageThe Cold Email PlaybookDo OpenHow to Write Profitable NewslettersNewsletter Success Secrets
The first two books on the above list were better than the third one. And the fourth one had basic information. To grasp a subject, you typically want to read at least five books, so I have to read at least two more, since one wasn’t appropriate for my level of knowledge on the topic. In the next month or so, my newsletter subscribers will notice an improved newsletter based on what I’ve learned from the books.
Strengthen the Reading Process to Take Your Reading to the Next Level
In the current reading process that I teach to take your reading to the next level, the participant previews the book, then focuses on the sections that align with her purpose for reading, as well as answers the questions she has. The next step is to pick out the big ideas, then combine them to make them bigger and better. I always recommend that they apply the ideas.
Most of the process is structured and the reader knows exactly what to do and how to do it. The implementation stage is not that carefully outlined. You’re told to implement the ideas, but not specifically how to do so. I implement the ideas by testing them, and others do that as well. But some people will need a little more help.
I decided to read books to understand the best way to implement your ideas, so I could add that step to the model I use. I already have information from the many books I’ve read on getting ideas. However, I wanted to see what else I could find.
I’m reading Creativity Rules and I have to read From Idea to Reality, Rocket Thinking, and Startup Runway. I’m also going to revisit the creativity books I’ve read and then create a process to implement ideas. At that time, I’ll add the steps to the reading process.
Creativity RulesFrom Idea to RealityRocket ThinkingStartup Runway
Take Your Business and Career to the Next Level: What’s Next?
After I’ve finished reading the books to solve the issues on my mind, I’ll write another post that continues with the Case Study so you can see how the process works. What I’d like you to do now is to choose a problem that’s keeping you up at nights, then find three to five books that have information that will help you to resolve the problem. After you read the books, pick out the big ideas and identify the processes outlined in the books.
I’ll write another blog post with the next steps in the process that will allow you to take your business and career to the next level.
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