You want to know what most successful people have in common (other than waking up early–my previous article)? They read. A lot. You won’t find a bunch of nonsensical games, tabloids, and other time wasting items on their nightstand. You’ll find books… but not just any type of books. You’ll find categories that include self-improvement, personal development, leadership, psychology, educational, and inspirational reads, to name a few.
Here are a few facts for you:
- Last year, 75% of the population who were over 16 years of age read at least 1 book (how sad).
- Of the 75%, the average American reads 6 books per year.
- According to recent research, the average self-made millionaire reads at least 3 books a month (up to 5). That’s 30-54 more books per year, on average, than the typical American individual.
Here is what’s even more compelling:
- Only 11% of the “rich” read for entertainment, compared to 79% of “poor” people.
- Only 15% of “poor” people read educational, self-improvement, career-related books, compared to 85% of the “rich”.
Now I’m by no means saying that if all of the sudden you start reading 3 books a month that you’ll become a self-made millionaire; but what I’m trying to get across here is that your daily habits will dictate your financial success.
If you cannot hire a business coach or mentor, look no further than the library! I consider a book to be one of my biggest mentors. You shouldn’t just read a book to finish it; you should read it because there are things you can learn and take away from it. I never open a book without having a highlighter in hand. Every single book I’ve completed is colored with highlighted phrases and paragraphs that I would consider helpful and influential to myself and my business.
The definition of a “successful person” means something different to everyone, but what I know for certain, is that most “successful” people don’t waste time. They understand that time is extremely valuable, which is why you wouldn’t see them reading a gossip tabloid or watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians every night. Successes may only have 25 minutes before a meeting or before they have to be somewhere, but they will utilize those 25 minutes efficiently and find a way to improve themselves; most likely by picking up a purpose-driven book!
Here are some traits and characteristics of people who read a lot, and for purpose:
- Increased focus
- Spend time wisely
- Have great perspective
- Are reflective
- Great writing and speaking skills
- Increased memory
- Educated and informed
Don’t forget one of the most important muscles in your body (it’s really an organ, lol)… your brain! Just as you exercise your muscles in the gym to get stronger and bigger everyday, you must also exercise your mind and brain by feeding it educational and informational books, challenging brain-teasers, and even crossword puzzles. The mind grows sharper and more efficient as you challenge it everyday. Make it a goal of yours to read at least 2 books a month, on a subject(s) that will help to improve yourself, your career, your business, your relationships, and your outlook on life.
My top 5 favorite books that I’ve read so far this year:
- The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
- The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas Stanley/William Danko
- The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
- Smart Couples Finish Rich – David Bach
- The Startup Playbook – David Kidder
Train hard and train smart.