This generation is certainly one that has many people looking to get into the business world.
We can of course credit this to the availability of information as well as many entrepreneurs that are constantly teaching people how they can get into the world of business.
Many books exist today that are about business and this usually brings up a lot of questions from people interested in getting started with their own business…
One question that I found particularly interesting basicslly asks whether or not reading business books is actually worth it….
This post will therefore discuss this, so keep reading…
With that said,
Is it worth reading business books?
Some NOT all business books are worth reading and can make a difference. Especially if they can provide the reader with the core fundamental building blocks of business.
Important things to know about business books
Read foundational books
If you want to get the best knowledge in business you should always go for foundational books.
Most foundational books are the classics that were written very long ago.
For example, books by Adam Smith can be the best way to look into history as well key fundamental aspects of business.
The fundamental lessons you can get from such books are key because they have the ability to give you insight into how the economics of the world have evolved over time.
Arming yourself with this kind of knowledge can help you with the dynamics of today’s world and how best you can maneuver to become successful.
Another important thing that you have to remember when looking to read books on business, is research.
You need to constantly seek knowledge and the best way possible of doing this is researching authors
Knowing your authors will give you good insight into what you can/should expect from them. Furthermore, you can choose authors with a good reputation.
Not all authors that write about business are the best.
You need to look for authors that are not simply selling you dreams but providing a way for you to succeed.
Most people easily get trapped into reading books that are just meant to sell and not really give good knowledge that can change your life or atleast impact it in any positive way.
Avoid smoke and mirrors
This point is basically a continuation from the previous point.
Avoid books that only give vague wisdom or knowledge because this will not help you.
Hundreds of business books are published every year and we are basically living in a time where information is so easily accessible.
Your job is to find value and use it to the best of your ability to succeed.
Therefore ensure that you avoid books that won’t help you…..
Disect the book, scrutinise it, read reviews and get a good glimpse of what you should expect.
This way you eliminate the chances of wasting time on a book that won’t help you.
Read books that address life at scale
One helpful tip that I use is not always going for business books directly.
Sometimes getting knowledge from other fields can give you a huge base of knowledge that you can use in practical everyday life.
My advise is, go for books that are address life at full scale.
For example books on philosophy can help you enrich your thinking as well as improve your overall outlook on life. This may seem unimportant but trust me, fundamental shifts in thinking can do alot of good in your life.
Therefore become a student of life. Look for books that can help you address your personal life to make you the perfect tool for business.
How to read business books
Choose the right book
This is always the first tip in almost any discussion about how to read books.
The business book you choose to learn from will determine how you’ll read it.
If you choose a book that was published centuries ago then your approach will be different because you may have to brush up on your history to make your perspective better.
If you choose to read a book published in present day then you’ll obviously need to approach it differently taking into account the various changes that have become our everyday reality like the Internet, social media and technology as a whole.
So, ensure that you choose the right book so you approach it the right way.
Every book has something to teach but only if you pay attention.
This is why I always advise people that read self development books as well as business books to look past what is being said and get the general idea or force behind the logic which brings me to my next point…
Use your intellect to interpret
Anytime you’re reading a business book ensure that you take your time to understand.
Business books become very useless if your power of comprehension is not active.
Which is why it’s important to be actively involved in your book. use your mind to create analogies, understand your author, grab ideas and anything else that can help you understand the book better.
If you do this, you’ll have read the book properly.
Therefore always ensure that you summon your intellect and your power of interpretation to decode books.
Take notes if possible
Note taking is a very effective way of reading a book.
I advise you to always take notes when you’re reading a book to get some sort of knowledge.
Take notes in such a way that they become your reference material instead of always going back to the book.
Write notes in your own language and your own interpretation and this way it will be easier for you when you come back to read what you learnt from the book.
Taking notes is also effective because it can help you come up with goals for the points that you note down.
What makes a business book great
Business books can judged a number of ways but one of the most effective ways I’ve found of doing this is…Enlightenment.
I don’t mean the spiritual or religious way of enlightment but the basic idea of being enlightened with new knowledge.
If a business book can give better insight into certain issues , I know I’ve found a good book that I should probably continue reading.
A book that simply repeats old ideas by making a few tweaks in the language and presentation is a book I probably won’t get into.
You can easily judge this in the first 30 pages of most business books.
Another thing that makes a business book great is how the author expresses themselves.
A good book is one that expresses ideas clearly so it can teach any person that picks it up to read it.
I stay away from complicated books that don’t offer much and you should as well.
Get into books that teach complex ideas in a non complex way.
The last thing you need is reading a book that is hard to read and not worth the read.
A lasting impression
A good book is also one that leaves a lasting impression on its reader.
A lasting impression means that the reader understood and was able to detect value.
If I read a book and simply forget about it or don’t even bother going back to re-read it then I know it’s not worth it.
You can use my formula as way to filter out the good material from the bad material as well.
This way you can have a narrow list of good books that you can read again and again rather than having hundreds of books that won’t help you.