Your business and your growth as an entrepreneur

2016 is coming to an end and as usual, I think I should write some thing as I reflect over my actions and results of 2016.

But that would be too broad a topic to write about and would make this post unfocused. So instead, I’d share with you about one of the most important points I’ve learned over the past year about the growth rate of entrepreneurs.

How many books should entrepreneurs read a year?

I’ve been a book enthusiast for a long time and that means I’ve read, say, for average 7 books a year for the past 10 years or so. Before doing startups, most of the books I read are about personal development and for the past 3 years or so, they’re all about business and startups.

7 books a year used to seem like a big deal for me. I’m an action-all-the-time person so to finish a book it would spread over a few weeks. And from time to time, I got distracted by other things and this prolonged the reading time even more.

Then one day I got curious as to how many books other entrepreneurs read. And here is a startling stats:

  1. What does Warren Buffett spend most of his time doing? Well, he spends 80% of his time every day, on average, reading! (I couldn’t recall where I got this 80% stats but just to give you a link for reference, here’s a post that mentions this stats.)
    Of course, he’s an investor so reading may means analyze his potential deals, which is relevant to his work. But you got the whereabouts: 80%!
  2. Some other entrepreneurs, including Patrick Bet David (and by the way he has a great YouTube channel for entrepreneurs as well, highly recommend you subscribe if you haven’t) mentioned that an average reading rate for entrepreneurs should be 1 book per week!

Well, 1 book per week means 50 books per year. I used to read just 7 books a year and thought “I read books often”!

Read more / Watch more = Grow faster as an entrepreneur

All entrepreneurs want their business to grow faster and faster.

And here is my experience over the past 2 months where I dedicate at least 1 – 2 hours every day to reading books or watching educational YouTube channels.

  1. As I increased my reading / learning rate, ideas seem to pour on my head. Every book I read I could pick up lots of wonderful ideas and advice that can be applied to my business.
  2. Learning faster will help you grow your business faster. But more importantly, especially for young entrepreneurs like me, they also help me acquire the success mindset faster. Most would agree that there are patterns of thoughts that would hinder our true growth and there are those that would inspire and propel us to greater success. The more I learn the faster my mind is shifted to the latter.

A business is the result of organized ideas and actions of people who worked on that business. If they grow and become smarter and more effective everyday, guess how that would affect their business?

The #1 book entrepreneurs everyone should read

Everyone who aspires to success should give it a shot.

The author of this book is a familiar name and he’s no other than Napoleon Hill.

Wait, I’m not talking about Think and Grow Rich – it’s a super wonderful book to read too. But it’s not this book.
The book I highly recommend is: The Law of Success. It covers the fundamental laws, or mindsets if you will, of successful people. But it’s nothing like the modern day books on the same topic. It’s more well structured, deeper, more complete and with clearer, and more concrete examples.

Law of success - Napoleon Hill
Law of success – Napoleon Hill

Of all the books I’ve ever read, I think this would be the #1 book I would recommend to all entrepreneurs. Well, to all people actually!

This book is recommended in this Valuetainment video. (And in that video you’d find 9 other books recommended by Patrick as well)

Should you read pdfs or use the Kindle app?

I used to insist on buying hard-copy version of books to read. And here in Vietnam, it’d take like a month to order a book from an online book store and have them shipped over. If you want to read a book and can only read it a month later, would that keep you motivated?

Fortunately, I’ve become open to reading soft-copies and this new “openness” has allowed me to start reading lots of interesting books. I used to keep the alibi that I don’t read often b/c I can’t order physical copies! (Alibis are always like that, always shielded by some reason as a means to justify themselves)

For soft-copies, you can try to search for them first through Google. But after reading pdfs on my phone for a few times, I found that experience, frankly, just terrible! Maybe there is a better app for reading pdf but when I read it through Google Drive, there is no fast jumping to the last page you read (and imagine what if the book is over 1000 pages as the one I’m about to recommend below).

So I’d highly recommend the Kindle app. It’d cost you about 15 – 25$ per book for the Kindle version but well, what you will learn from it is simply 10x. And the Kindle app is built specifically for reading books and so it will make the whole experience delightful – another motivator to keep you reading! (That’s the ultimate goal, right?)

Goodbye 2016 and Welcome 2017

If your business hasn’t taken off as you wanted it to, just like mine – no worry buddy!, I figure one of the chief causes may may lie hidden in the personality or the mindset. And through the Law of Success, I have learned a great deal about the weaknesses in my personality and mindset. So again, if you haven’t read that book, you should go straight to Amazon and get it now!

That’s my recap for 2016. Reading books, reading more books, watching more educational videos, … would be one of my top priorities for 2017.

I would definitely pull this off!

You will, won’t you?

I hope this post has inspired and gave you some concrete starting points to accelerate your business and personal growth in 2017!

P/S:

Knowledge has an expiry date too, just like any products in the supermarket – a very creative use of this word by Robert Kiosaki, as, for example, in this video interview. And that makes a lot of sense to me.

There are concepts and business models that used to work a few decades back but in this age and day the world is moving so fast that new business models have naturally entered the stage while some of the old modes of thinking have expired!

Isn’t that a big enough reason for us to continuously learn new concepts, re-learn concepts we’ve encountered but haven’t mastered and, just as importantly, un-learned expired concepts?

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