How Reading (Along with the Right Books) Can Help You as an Entrepreneur
In the previous BCT Partners' blog, we went over the impact that reading can have for entrepreneurs and the positive effect it can have on them both personally and professionally. Along with deciding to become a more active reader, it’s necessary to schedule the time to implement this habit. Warren Buffet spends eighty percent of each day reading, Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey have their book clubs, and Bill Gates reads one book every week. The common denominator is that each of these highly successful people has made the time in their busy schedules.
Finding Books to Read
Let’s start with some suggestions on genre and actual book titles, then we’ll help provide some ideas on how you can fit it into your busy schedule! We’ve also made sure to include some amazing books by women authors and authors of color.
Start by determining the type of books that you'd like to read that will not only satisfy your interests but will also help stimulate your brain. For instance, recent research in neuroscience shows that reading literary fiction helps people develop empathy, theory of mind, and critical thinking. Various studies have also attested that when we are being told a story the language processing parts in our brain get activated as well as any other areas in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story. And we can help stimulate other people’s brains when we tell them a story. So, don't feel guilty about picking up a book of fiction the next time you read, and try out the following suggestions:
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich - 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winner of Fiction
A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth, by Daniel Mason - 2020 Pulitzer Prize Finalists of Fiction
Telephone, by Percival Everett -2020 Pulitzer Prize Finalists of Fiction
There is a reason why mystery novels are one of the best-selling genres of all time. Not only are these books thrilling and fascinating, but their narrative provides a mental workout, stimulating a variety of areas in your brain. Mystery novels require lots of problem-solving and studies have also shown that they can release stress. And of course, to excel in your career, it's key to enhance your mental and physical stamina. Here are some recommendations for mystery novels to try:
As books can help us increase our subject matter expertise, business books are a must for any entrepreneur. Reading books by or about other businesspeople can not only be a source of inspiration but can help you further develop your skills and provide new insights. They also help you realize that many of your problems aren’t unique which gives you the necessary confidence to overcome them.
Below is a comprehensive list of the most influential business books of all time.
In addition, as an entrepreneur of color (or not), we recommend these additional insightful books.
The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires by Dennis Kimbro
Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up or Start Over in Your Career” by Carla A. Harris
Black Faces in White Places by Randal Pickett
Now is the hard part – how do you possibly find more hours in the day in order to make reading a regular part of your day? We have some suggestions:
#1. Carry a book with you at all times - There will always be a few minutes that you can squeeze in for reading while you are waiting at the dentist’s office, drinking your first cup of coffee or waiting for the bus. Instead of using that time for social media or to check emails, try to squeeze in a few pages of reading.
#2. Replace some of your entertainment media - Rather than spending that free hour watching Netflix, try to split that time between viewing and reading. Studies have shown that consuming diverse types of media helps improve creativity so we’re not suggesting cutting other media out altogether.
#3. Listen to Audiobooks – Don’t let time spent in traffic or on public transportation go to waste. Put on that headset and start listening.
#4. Join a Book Club - By joining a book club, you are more likely to stay organized and try genres of books that you might not otherwise read. Book clubs can also be found online if you don’t have time to physically attend a group.
Keep in mind that when you read, you’re not only helping yourself but setting an example as well as supporting a whole community of authors. With the diversity of genre and formats, reading can become one of your best new habits.
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