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Why We Fail to Read Business Books (and How to Become a Lean Mean Reading Machine)

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Why We Fail to Read Business Books (and How to Become a Lean Mean Reading Machine)

Admit it.

You have several half-read books stacked up on your nightstand, several more squirreled away in a desk drawer and a dozen more on your Amazon wish list.

You scrutinize all the books that “customers also bought” looking for those one-of-a-kind books that will transform you into a smarter person. You jump “inside the book” to read the table of contents and credits and page through the free preview.

Searching for the magic formula.

The formula that will erase the silent self-doubt. The nagging thought that you can do better.

Books have an uncanny power to teach us, to transport us, to move us light years beyond our ordinary lives. If we could only find the right books, the tried-and-true books written by trusted masters. So we keep looking.

And once in a while you find a book that speaks to your heart and gets to the core of what you’re struggling with right now. It changes you. It changes your skills. It changes your life.

Because fulfilling your potential depends upon your continuing education as a financial planner. It means you regularly upgrade and fine-tune your skills.

The Problem Everyone Immediately Understands
 

When you hear people say you should read business books, you think, “Yeah, I should!” Then a little voice in your head whisperes something like, “Why should I buy books if I don’t have time to read?”

That is the key, isn’t it?

Time.

Having the time to read all the amazing books and apply the lessons that will rocket your knowledge, skills and financial planning service into the heavens.

And having time to find prospective clients. And time to manage portfolios. And time to network. And deal with compliance. And time for your kids.

And when you do invest your precious time, you’re fundamentally the same. You’re full of excitement and plans. You’re bursting with potential and ideas.

And zero action.

That’s why all the standard advice about reading books is confusing. Books don’t make you a smarter person. Time does.

Because it’s how much time you can spend studying the best books about business, sales, and your niche; implementing all the great stuff you learned that determines how fast your planning service, or you as a person, will grow. 

Books are essential, but time is the magic elixir.

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What “I Don’t Have Enough Time” Really Means
 

Most people experience this feeling of scarcity when it comes to time.

We all have a long list of things we’d love to read if only there were space in our busy days.

  • How to engage with people
  • The psychology of persuasion
  • How to build trust and credibility

But those skills almost never get to bask in the light of our undivided attention.

Equally, most of us would admit that we do not spend every hour of our time wisely. We’d grudgingly concede that less time on social media or one less series watched on Netflix, would free up valuable hours each week.

So what’s going on here? Is our time scarce or not?

In reality, “I don’t have enough time” is often just the label we give something else:

Uncertainty.

When you’re uncertain whether reading that business book will be time well spent, that uncertainty manifests itself as a lack of time.

So let’s try a quick thought experiment.

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Imagine you were suddenly somehow 100% sure that two hours a day spent on reading business books would lead to wild success.

Would you struggle to find those extra hours?

I seriously doubt it. Chances are, your calendar would miraculously open up, like the Red Sea parting for Moses’ staff.

But instead you pause and wonder:

  • Is this the right business book?
  • Does it really solve my problem?
  • Is this worth my precious time?

And these are all valid questions.

But here’s the bad news:

Amazon isn’t going to solve this problem
 

Knowing the result of a book before you buy it is an appealing notion.

The reason the next book on your Amazon wish list is so alluring, is that you’re expecting a result:

  • The proven strategy to attract customers
  • The shortcut to double your revenue
  • The secret formula to let people say YES to your offer

Unfortunately, few books come with a guaranteed result.

For example, if you’ve read Influence from Robert Cialdini (one of the best books out there), you probably know the science about how to persuade people.

However, you’d still experience some degree of uncertainty.

You’d pause before acting and think:

  • Are these truly the correct steps?
  • Even if they work for others, will they work for me?
  • Am I really capable of executing them?

In the real world, certainty is rarely a reasonable expectation.

That said, most people could benefit from a little more clarity.

That’s why I’m introducing the Right Brain Book Academy.

Right Brain Book Academy is where Amazon and real life come together in one platform. It’s about making business psychology actionable, without bothering you with the science that goes with it.

And you might wonder: Is Right Brain Book Academy something for me?

Well, it depends, because readers span a wide spectrum. However, they do fall into three distinct groups:

The Entrepreneur Reader
 

You look at reading differently to other financial planners.

You’re not just reading; you’re implementing and testing the ideas you’re learning. Reading is improving your service and your business, but it’s not an end in itself.

Because you’re doing this more or less continuously, you have significantly more time to spend experimenting with the ideas you learn that others can’t.

Because you believe it improves your financial planning service. You’re willing to invest time and money in it, so the time investment doesn’t put you off – IF the books make sense for ‘learning the right stuff’ and – in the end – will grow your business and personal life.

Are you an Entrepreneur Reader? Right Brain Book Academy isn’t for you.

The Committed Reader
 

You’ve gotten your feet wet in reading,  and you’re committed to read more.

You want to implement the ideas you learn, but there’s always ‘something more important’ to do. You’re squeezing out as much time as you can, maybe 5 to 10 hours every week, and you need the right books that won’t suck up much time but will deliver a big impact.

The Minimalist Reader
 

You think about reading once in a while, but you may not be too sure about the benefits. You’re willing to dip your toe in the water, because it seems like it could work for you. But time is still a challenge. You just don’t have the hours.

Most of all, you don’t want to spend a lot of time on it, or you don’t have a lot of extra time in your life right now. Whether your book-interest is a passion, a hobby or related to our beautiful profession, reading sometimes feels like a burden that you can give no more than 5 hours per week, if that.

Reject Randomness and Create a Simple Reading Strategy
 

It’s time to admit it.

You invest too much energy in your education to accept minimal results.

But the truth is, reading-randomness is killing your precious time (and chances for success).

Without a coherent strategy for turning your time into results, you’ll burn out before reaching your destination.

You don’t have to create a complicated plan—you just need to work out what books will move you and your service from one stage to the next.

So, give yourself a simple strategy and start getting real results.

Your service deserves it.

Your clients deserve it.

And you sure as heck deserve it too.

Let’s make financial planning matter!

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