So You Read a Book

featured-stretch-your-boundaries

my vision boardSo you read a book to completion, now what did you do next, I bet it wasn’t what I did.

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.

The Slight Edge Extraction Step 1As 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.

The Slight Edge Extraction Step 2

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.

 

plan-do-review

 

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.

my vision board

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.

10 Comments

  • Sky Nealon
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply March 24, 2014

    Hello Igor,

    Your post has certainly intrigued me to reflect upon my actions after reading a book, as I never really gave much thought to doing a book review, or creating and implementing an action plan as you have suggested. The only book review that I have done so far is probably “The Go Giver” but that was because it was for a blog post. On a different note I like your idea about having vision board, I personally find them as a great aid to help one stay focus on their chosen path, or goals that they wish to achieve.

    Kind regards

    Sky

    PS: I didn’t know Kindle had a bookmark function and the ability to transfer copyright notices as well.

    • igor

      Reply Reply March 24, 2014

      Well hello Sky, glad the post made you think about getting the most from your development reading. This all started via my weekly Google Analytics reporting when I asked, what is the point of tracking if you don’t do anything with the report data this then developed into doing more with the lessons learned from the development books I read.

      I like vision boards as it reminds and triggers you to focus on your goals, all too often we get lost in the detail and forget what the point of all this activity is.

      I use the bookmarking function to mark every piece of content on my phone and then do the copying on the pc Kindle application.

  • Dave Thomas
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply March 29, 2014

    Igor

    Makes me think about my reading habits!

    I like reading “real” books as the substance and weight appeals to me, but I am coming around to the use of a Kindle or equivalent as I strive to reduce travel loads. I like reading a lot and read both books that will increase my learning along with books that just tickle my fancy although my choice in this is moving from the fiction genre to more general non-fiction like history!

    I do, from my learning books, try and make sensible notes about things that might take me forward and even mark the books with highlighter and the pages with Post It’s s I can go back and find them at a later date

    I think teh bookmarking that I can do on a Kindle will be a better option

    DaveT

    • igor

      Reply Reply March 29, 2014

      Well hello Dave, thanks for sharing your thoughts. The one thing I love about physical books is their smell however as you point out their physical size is an issue if you travel a lot or snatch a read when you can. This is where the Kindle and its digital device apps come to the fore.

      I prefer digital bookmarking as it makes processing the notes easier.

      The one thing I did notice from reading this book for the second time and it was a point made in the book, our appreciation and understanding of the content will change each time we go through it because each time we are a different person with new and increased boundaries to our self imposed limitations.

  • Dan Tredo
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply March 30, 2014

    Igor,

    Great article man – and its really right up my alley. I just finished “The Slight Edge” last month, and it rocked my world probably more than any other book I’ve read since reading “The CashFlow Quadrant” by Robert Kiyosaki. I committed to reading 10 pages per day (plus my normal 10 scripture verses per day too). And I have to say, I’m super impressed by your implementation strategy for putting into practice what you’ve read. I keep my most salient notes in my journal, and pass thru them a couple times per week. I think I ‘ll look into this Kindle stuff though – I’m old-school, but I can see the advantages of using it.

    Thanks Igor for this fantastic post!
    Dan Tredo

    • igor

      Reply Reply March 30, 2014

      Well hello Dan, I must admit it was only when I started to get serious about my online business that I started to read for self development, before this like many I thought I was the done deal after my period of formal schooling.

      I am glad you found the post useful, the next process will be to create a coherent philosophy for myself from all the great advice extracted from each book.

      I have just finished ‘The Happiness Advantage’ and once ‘Secrets of the Millionaire Mind’ has been read and processed, I think that would be a good time to create the first draft.
      igor recently posted..So You Read a BookMy Profile

  • Torsten
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply March 31, 2014

    Hi igor,

    As I prefer reading real books, rather than their Kindle version, I am still working the old-fashioned way with highlighters and post-it notes.
    But I can see the advantage of using a Kindle as it makes organizing all these bookmarks much easier.

    Thanks for the heads up,
    Torsten “Soon to be a Kindle owner”

    • igor

      Reply Reply March 31, 2014

      Well hello Torsten, the total experience of reading a book physical will never be beaten by its digital equivalent but when it comes to convenience and making the most of the content, the digital option is for me at least the better one

  • Pauline

    Reply Reply April 3, 2014

    Hi igor,
    Wonderful post.
    I do read a lot both on kindle and real books. Although I must admit Amazon with all its free Kindle books has swayed me more towards my kindles. I have three: kindle keyboard, kindle paperwhite and I have just received a Kindle Fire for my birthday. I have not explored the latter yet.

    The books I read are mostly fictional but I realize I am missing a lot of good points out there.

    I have read the Go Giver. What would you recommend as a useful read to follow on?

    Take care
    Pauline

    • igor

      Reply Reply April 4, 2014

      Well hello Pauline, thanks for stopping by and asking such a great question. After the Go-Giver, I read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson which emphasises the power of consistently doing the activities making the decisions that are good for you. I will be adding more books as I have done my extraction process to my Recommended Reading page

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