Reading is the secret sauce to success. It’s hard to obtain financial freedom or career excellence without it. Billionaire Mark Cuban, in his book How to Win at the Sport of Business, credits much of his success to reading:
I read every book and magazine I could. Heck, three bucks for a magazine, twenty bucks for a book. One good idea would lead to a customer or a solution, and those magazines and books paid for themselves many times over…..Everything I read was public. Anyone could buy the same books and magazines. The same information was available to anyone who wanted it. Turns out most people didn’t want it.”
According to a Pew Research Center report conducted in 2013, the typical American read only five books during the year, while nearly one in four adults had not read a book at all. These reading behaviors contrast sharply to those of the wealthy.
Author Thomas Corley spent five years studying the daily activities and habits of poor and wealthy individuals. What he discovered was that the wealthy, day in and day out, engage in wealth building habits, what he calls “rich habits.”
Poor people have big TV’s. Rich people have big libraries.”– Jim Rohn
One habit, in particular, that the wealthy nearly all have in common is their incessant passion for the written word. Among the wealthy, 88 percent read for a minimum of 30 minutes each and every day.
But what they read is just as revealing. Only 11% of the wealthy Corley studied read to be entertained. Instead, 79% consumed career-related educational material, 55% read for personal development, and 58% read biographies of successful people.
The good news is that you too can harness the power of the reading habit to catapult yourself to success. Imagine, reading just one personal finance book a month could help you master your money in less than a year.
Reading just one book a month in your career field could make you an expert at your company in less than a year, and the expert in your field within three to five years. Consuming one autobiography monthly could provide you with the courage and strength to get through any challenge in life.
Simply put, the more you know, the more you earn. But where do you find the time?
The truth is that we have more than enough time, we simply fritter it away on Facebook, instagram and watching the likes of Married to Medicine, Empire, and Black-ish.
In fact, according to a recent Nielsen report, Americans devour more than five hours of television per day, and African-Americans watch more television than any other ethnic group in the country.
If you are really interested in creating a life long wealth habit you have more than enough time in your day.
Try this. Start small. Commit to reading just twenty pages of non-fiction per day. In his book, The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod argues that the time in the morning after you awake provides the perfect opportunity for reading. Alternatively, consider listening to audiobooks on your morning commute to the office. If you’re still lacking the motivation, consider starting a book club with your closest friends.
As the wealthy have shown, reading for knowledge or self-improvement is the best single investment you can make in yourself. So why not start the habit of reading today?
BMWK, what are your favorite books to point you toward success?