In the past decade, the rate of adults in the U.S. who read books has fallen by seven percent. Even after countless reminders of the benefits of reading, many people refuse to incorporate it into their lives because they claim they're too busy or don’t see direct use. However, reading helps develop essential skills that can be essential, especially for entrepreneurs. Business owners must confront numerous obstacles, and they have to learn to overcome them to be successful. Reading can be a critical tool to have in their arsenal to help them stand out. As a business that has always strived to be innovative, BCT Partners has four suggestions that show how hitting the books can be the best investment a small business can make in its future.
Reading Reduces Stress
Entrepreneurs generally work over forty hours per week which can be very stressful. Stress management is an important skill to have, and business owners need to learn how to balance competing priorities. Fortunately, reading has proven to relax your body and ease tension between your muscles. In 2009, a study conducted at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to sixty-eight percent, making it more effective than other stress-reducing methods such as listening to music.
Reading Improves Cognition
Though it's reported that reading is good for your brain innumerable times, it’s not always clear exactly how it benefits cognition. For a business owner, some of the most valuable skills include good memory, intelligence, and the ability to make decisions confidently. Researchers have used MRI scans to attest that as reading ability matures, the complex network of circuits and signals in the brain becomes more powerful and refined, and memory storage and analytic thinking improve as a result.
Reading Enhances Communication Skills
Reading can vastly improve vocabulary. A research study found that students who read books regularly, starting at a young age, gradually develop an expansive vocabulary. A robust lexicon can benefit many areas of life, including; communication skills, concentration, and comprehension, all of which are crucial to an entrepreneur's success.
According to the CDL, there is a significant and fundamental relationship between language and oral skills. Speakers can learn from observing sentence structure and writing styles as they are reading, which will help improve their oral and written skills at conferences, meetings, and business correspondence.
And of course, reading is a great way to acquire knowledge and information. For businesspeople, an extensive vocabulary and subject matter expertise boosts self-confidence and credibility.
Reading Stimulates Innovation
Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind is an article from Science Mag that shows how making a habit of reading can improve theory of mind. Theory of mind is defined as "the human capacity to comprehend that other people hold beliefs and desires and that these may differ from one's own beliefs and desires." The abstract continues to show how expanding on the theory of mind is beneficial in that it’s a "crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships that characterize human societies."
This concept ties in with other studies showing that reading can help improve empathy within an individual. Through both compassion and a greater understanding of what makes other human beings tick, businesspeople can use this to their advantage by developing business strategies that focus on the psychology and needs of their target audience.
As mentioned previously, reading can open people up to new ideas and perspectives on things. Not only does this help with business strategy, but it helps enhance creativity and imagination, which are both essentials for running a business. Vision brings innovation, and scientists have concluded that reading can support broadening your imagination by stimulating the right side of the brain. Innovation sets companies apart, and that’s crucial in a society that is so competitive. Whether it be creating a new product or building upon an existing one, combining the right strategy and innovation can make or break a company.
So, the next time you pick up a book, don't look at it as a chore but rather as a tool that could help you find your path to success.
Don’t miss part 2 of this series, in which we will suggest some of the best books for entrepreneurs to read.
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