Almost 25 % of Americans state they never read to do research on topics of interest, as an online marketer hopefully you do not fall into this category because ongoing development is essential to your success.
Yet over the last 30 years the number of people who have never read anything has more than doubled however for those that do read the number of books completed has remained constant over the same period.
So once reading becomes a habit its a routine that will stay with you for life.
Reading great factual content will provide you with actions to take and points to consider, both of these stretch your habits and boundaries.
However this only happens temporarily unless you do something similar to what I reveal in this post.
In the 1920’s Claude C Hopkins published several books on the topic of advertising or as we now call it marketing.
In these publications he emphasized the importance of working your numbers, this was revolutionary in his day and today is a constant theme running through our industry.
Yet far too many people collect their numbers but do not base decisions upon them.
I used to do the same.
Each Sunday I would religiously collect my Google Analytics and Aweber data in my series of spreadsheets and then with a job well done, would move onto the next task.
Of course this meant that the collection of data was worthless because it was not being used to color the next weeks actions.
Some of the questions I now ask each week are:
- What sites should I strengthen my relationships with and with which sites should I build this connection with?
- What topics do my subscribers and readers love?
- Is my business growing or fading (standing still is fading) and what needs to change to improve this situation.
Now that is all very good when it comes to statistics but what does that have to do with reading that book?
Well I took the same look at my reading habits
The books I have read all stretched my boundaries and gave me actions to do, the problem was I never implemented these actions or kept my boundaries extended.
So what has changed.
Now if you read physical books this will be harder to implement but of course nothing is impossible. As you read your book and discover an action point or a boundary stretching point what do you do?
Here’s what I do.
As I read only on my cell phone via the Kindle App, I create a bookmark to ensure the point is not lost.
Now once the book is completed, I spend a period of time revisiting these bookmarks to extract the actions steps and development points.
As you can see in the image, I copy the key information from each marked paged into a word document. In the Kindle Apps it also transfers a copyright notice with each piece of extracted content.
This is an important point.
This process should only be used for personal purposes but because you are reading my blog, I know you are one of the smart people who respects and honors the efforts of others, so I do not need to labor this point further.
Once you have all the key points extracted, its time to sort this content into a logical order that you can make the most from.
In the image which illustrates my sorted extraction from The Slight Edge you can see it began with quotes which can be used as social media and email content.
This then led onto points to note; the 3 step actions to creating your simple first plan and finally development media which includes a list of recommended reads.
Now because Jeff Olson in his book emphasised the importance of only creating a plan that is relevant to today or this weeks you, I have now switched my planning system over to his way of thinking.
This is as he recommends done on a daily and weekly basis which as I mentioned earlier in this post is a closed loop because the review is the basis for the new plan.
No more creating 30 and 90 day plans that serve only to direct you in direction that is at best a good guess.
And finally as he recommended I have put my goals, my daily routine, the Laws of Stratospheric Success and my vision board in a place I can step into each day.
This all means that as each book stretches my boundaries and perceptions, I can if I implement this routine, maintain these stretched boundaries and perceptions.
Unless you do something similar you will like I used to do, rapidly return to your previous un-stretched status as the lessons from each book begin to fade.
This is why I recommend after you read a book you create a review and implementation process, similar to the one I have described. By doing this you can be sure that once the text of the book fades from memory, your boundaries and perceptions remain expanded for the long term.
Thanks goes to the following for the statistics at the start of this article
Lee Rainie, Kathryn Zickuhr et al. “The rise of e-reading.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (April 4, 2012) http://igonline.info/1iN504B, Mar 22 2014.