Solopreneurs: Set Aside 20 Minutes Each Day to Read These Top Business Books
Other than setting time aside each day to exercise, there’s one thing I feel everyone should do on a daily basis to help grow their LLC: read a book. But, not just any book. I’m not talking about a fictional book that puts you in a space suit and takes you to another planet. I’m talking about some of the best business books out there on topics you need to understand so you can propel your business skills into outer space.
Find best-sellers in the areas where you’re looking for improvement, and make the purchase. So many entrepreneurs stay set in their ways and think they know everything when they could be learning more about making changes that could seriously benefit their business.
The Cold Hard Truth for Entrepreneurs
We don’t know everything! And if you think you do, you’re only fooling yourself: we all have holes in our knowledge that could be plugged by learning new things — especially when it comes to business. Maybe you have great leadership skills, but your time management skills are lacking? Maybe you’re awesome at sales, but clueless when it comes to marketing? There’s so much we can learn about business aspects outside of our wheelhouse that can help improve your entire process.
So, do yourself a favor: get honest, and hold yourself accountable. Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. In the left column, list all the things you feel you’re personally great at when it comes to your business. In the right column, list all the areas where you feel you’re lacking and could use some improvement.
At the end of this exercise, you’ll be left with your business strengths and weaknesses. You’ll see what you are good at, and you’ll see areas of improvement that you need to focus on. Using this as your guide, move on to the next step.
Find & Read Some of the Best Business Books Available
It doesn’t matter if you hit up your local library, book store or online marketplace — grab some of the best business books you can find that deal with the areas you want to focus on from the right column of the list you made. Pick just one area to begin with, and find some quality literature that’s specific to that topic. Taking that book home (however you do it) is your second step to becoming the best business owner you can be.
I will say this: I understand that not everyone has extra money to blow on some of the “best business books” available. (I used quotes here because lots of people might not see books as a great way to invest their hard-earned money.) For that reason, I highly recommend checking out your local library to borrow books for free — even digital ones you can read on your phone or computer.
If you don’t know where your local library is or how to access it online, do a Google search for libraries in your area. Did you know that most libraries are connected to other branches in their city, county or state? This means they can pool resources to get you the content you’re looking for.
Consider this example: you go online, and you find a highly-regarded book on how to become the best salesman on the planet. You run down to your local library only to find that they don’t have it in stock. However, they can order it for you free of charge from another library in their network. BOOM! A few days later, you get a call that this book on becoming an amazing salesman is available for pick up. Now you’re golden — you just got the exact book you were looking for, free of charge.
Here are 10 of the top-rated, best business books right now that I would recommend to any entrepreneur:
- Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss
- Grit, by Angela Duckworth
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
- Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman Farrar
- Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight
- The Power of Broke, by Daymond John
- Hustle, by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas Koffler
- Are You Fully Charged?: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life, by Tom Rath
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell
- Superbosses, by Sydney Finkelstein
Here’s another great tip to find some of the best business books out there: Bill Gates, clearly one of the best businessmen of all time, regularly shares book reviews and his favorite books of the year. You can follow Bill Gates’ reading recommendations in the Books section of his website, GatesNotes.com.
Find the Time to Read
Being in the fitness industry, I’m used to hearing excuses. One I hear quite frequently is that people “don’t have the time” to work out. Usually I just laugh; if I had a penny for every time I heard that excuse, I’d be retired! I can see it now: I’d be living on an island with a scotch in one hand, a cigar in the other and my feet in the sand watching the waves crash in front of me.
The reality is, if you want to improve the things you’re working on — whether fitness, business or any other goal — you need to make it a priority. In life, we have to prioritize our activities and make sure the things that are important to us get done each day, regardless of how crazy our schedule may be.
I tell my clients they can either make time to work on their health and fitness now, or they’ll likely have to make time for sickness down the road. Which would you prefer? Personally, I’d rather live a long healthy life and stay out of adult diapers as long as I can.
The same principle rings true with self-help or self-improvement in business. If you want to take your business and your skills to the next level NOW rather than later, then you need to invest in yourself. That means learning new things to expand your knowledge and skills. You can’t learn new things without taking the initiative to learn them!
Unfortunately for us all, learning doesn’t work by osmosis. You can’t just sleep on a business book and have it seep into your brain! Nothing good in life comes to those who don’t put in the effort. Even if you fail at certain things, that’s OK — it just shows you the areas where you can keep improving. Failure shouldn’t be looked at as a negative; it’s just another type of learning experience. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.
Here’s my recommendation: after a long day in the office, I enjoy relaxing on the couch or in bed and reading for anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes. This tends to help me relax and get to sleep once I put the book down and turn off the light. Give it a try…it might just work for you too!
Once you’re in a learning routine to help your company grow, you may find you need some help managing your business. In this case, the helpful and knowledgeable staff at Incfile can definitely assist you. With several services to help you start and expand your company, they can answer any questions you may have regarding filing the necessary paperwork, getting the right licenses and keeping your business in good standing with the state.