If you’re like many entrepreneurs and small business owners you probably like to read to learn new things that can help you grow, both personally and professionally.
I’m a definite explorer of the realm of ideas.
But ideas that are never utilized are nothing more than intellectual stimulation.
If you’re reading to learn something new you have to practice your new found knowledge to benefit from it.
Over many years of doing this, I’ve found a simple, sure fire way to benefit from the act of reading a book.
To benefit from today's idea you will need a:
- Journal or yellow pad to take notes on
- And of course a book
Before you start, have an idea of what you want to gain from the book. Then page through the book quickly to get a feel for the ideas in the chapters, subheads and call outs.
Jot down any notes that occur to you while doing this.
Now start reading. Highlight key passages you want to remember or that strike you as particularly helpful as you read.
When inspiration strikes (and it will) stop reading and jot down ideas that occur to you. Don’t try to remember them. Ideas are fleeting and you’ll lose them as quickly as they came.
When you get tired of reading, honor that. Stop. Take a break and then resume reading at another time. If you try to pound through a book quickly the goal becomes finishing the book and not gaining useful information from it.
Once you’re done reading create action steps you will use immediately to benefit and grow.
I like to jot those action steps down on a 3X5 card (see the photo above).
Remember to review the chapters in the book that elaborate on specific points as you’re developing action steps.
If you really want to benefit, reread the book and elaborate on your notes and action steps as you’re doing that.
That’s all there is to it.
Reading to grow and expand your information base is a great way to achieve more from both your life and business.
In fact, this little idea was developed while reading Linchpin by Seth Godin.
You just never know where inspiration will come from. That’s why it’s so important to take in new ideas regularly.