I once had a discussion with a chairman of a major group about how he chooses CEOs for his companies and he replied: all things being equal, I pick the ones who read most. This guy hires CEOs who in turn higher thousands of people.
Although reading consumes a portion of your time yet successful people always find enough time to skim through books. They appreciate the value of picking other people’s brain and listening to what others have to say.
Rich Habits author Tom Corley spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 wealthy people and 128 poor people. He summarized his discovery by saying “if you want to be wealthy you need to read”. In one of his posts, he stated the following:
“In my five-year research study on the daily habits of wealthy and poor individuals, I made a profoundly important discovery: 88% of the wealthy individuals in my research read self-help books and articles and industry-related books and articles. In my study it was obvious that the wealthy were fanatics when it came to daily career-related, self-improvement. The reason? Wealthy people told me that by increasing their knowledge base they are able to uncover more opportunities and these opportunities translate into more money. Wealthy people are in constant pursuit of self-help reading material. Engaging in career-related, self-improvement makes individuals more valuable to their employer, customer or clients and helps them to rise up the ladder of financial success.
Comparatively speaking, only 2% of the poor in my study engaged in this self-help reading. One of the interesting things that I found in my study was that the poor who did receive periodicals invariably set them aside with the intent that they would read them later. Unfortunately, very few actually ever got around to this reading.
The wealthy have a different tact. They set aside time every day for their self-help reading. They read every one of their periodicals and more. Why? Successful individuals understand the value of timely information and continuous life-long learning. They are in constant pursuit of opportunities to make more money and advance their careers. Often such opportunities are found inside industry periodicals and self-help books.
Successful individuals, on average, set aside thirty minutes of every day for this self-help reading. They do this day in and day out, like brushing their teeth. They understand that self-help reading increases their knowledge base and helps set themselves apart from their competition. This reading often leads to the discovery of hidden opportunities that they are able to capitalize on. Reading helps make you more valuable to your employer, customers or clients.”
As a recruiter, I can confidently say that those who read always have a way to climb the corporate ladder. To understand the relation think about how those who pursued post graduates academic and vocational certifications have excelled over those who thought that learning stops when you graduate. Studying involves a lot of reading, does not it?
What to Read
Your objective in reading should always focus on developing your skills. Reading a celebrity gossip or a comic book or reading a magazine while waiting at the barbershop does not really count. You can never go wrong with reading self-help and personal development books. Here are a few topics to read about if you want to increase your market value (better known as SALARY):
- Motivation and personal development
I recommend “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey and “Unlimited Power” by Anthony Robbins.
- Communication skills
Learn technical writing, listening skills, body language and public speaking and you should be fine. Do some reading on dating and courtship even if you are not looking for romance. It will certainly boost your communication skills across genders.
- Memory enhancement
Having a sharp memory pays. Just think about the way you feel about people who do not seem to remember your name even after knowing you since ages. Sharpening your memory also enhances your IQ and makes you more attractive to employers.
Learn about business and success stories of self-made billionaires even if you are not contemplating becoming one yourself. It will give you a new perspective in life and will improve your management skills as you know that triumphant success is not a myth.
- Health and Sports
Knowing a bit about health and sports make you socialable and less boring to people you just met.
- Global economy and politics
Having an idea about what is going around always come in handy when faced with tough interview questions. Being familiar with factors that affect employment and business helps you avoid potential turbulence in your career.
Consider audiobooks which are books you can listen to instead of read. Audiobooks are great especially when you are driving your way through morning traffic or using the treadmill in the gym. I use an app by Amazon called Audible which cost $15/month and allows you to download and listen to popular and bestselling books.
You could lead a life of full relaxation generously liking every photo you come across on Instagram, retweeting what your friends or crush on Twitter, repeatedly viewing clips on Snapchat or laughing at that funny clip of a drunk man falling off the staircase sent by your sister on WhatsApp. Alternatively, you can fill up your time with reading of relevant materials that will increase you market value.