We are all familiar with the television commercial for the major credit card company asking you, “What’s in your wallet?” This actually got me thinking about the business world, and my question for you is, “What’s in your library?” The saying that “Knowledge is power” holds truth for the business world, and my question for you is, “What books are you reading?”
It is said that CEOs of companies are the most avid readers out there. In fact, I have read Internet statistics that suggest CEOs read an average of 60+ books per year. How does this number compare to what you are reading? If you want to be great in the world of business – and I know you do, otherwise you wouldn’t have made it to paragraph two of this article – you are going to have to start reading.
To survive in the business world, you must equip yourself with a special skill set or should I say skill sets if you are going to achieve success. I want you to think about your business and what skills need to be learned. You need the ability to effectively communicate with your customers and your employees. You need to be able to effectively grow as a leader, because we all know there are bosses and then there are leaders. Also, you must be able to work on your mindset to be able to positively impact all facets of your business.
If you are in the world of sales (by the way, all businesses are selling something), how many sales books have you read in the last year? It amazes me how many sales managers I see working for companies that have never picked up a sales book in their life! How are you going to be effective in your role? This makes me wonder how many times people are successful in their employment not because of what they are doing, but actually due to what I term “accidental success.”
Accidental success means you reached success but it was by no part on purpose. You accidentally achieved your results. The results you obtained were by mere luck, and the chips just happened to fall in your favor. What happens next week, next month, or even next year when you are not finding the lucky breaks? This is why you must build your reading library.
There is not one-size-fits-all for the business world. Just go to any book store and you will find countless books on business matters. There are different focus areas for growing your business and no matter which author you read, each book requires you to do one thing: read or listen to the audio book.
Personally, I love the feel of having the book in my hands with a pen by my side ready to jot down notes and “a-ha” moments I have while reading the author’s words. Many times I am able to take one idea and morph it into something that fits with my personality. Before long, I am building a strategy from many people’s thinking (books) and am becoming a better business leader.
Now that I have these ideas in my mind and I have written my notes, the next step I take is to put them into action. This particular activity is the hardest part, because it actually requires you to do something. This is also the most rewarding, because you are able to see the impact reading has on you, your employees and most importantly, your customers.
As your library begins to expand you will notice your business intelligence level start to change as well. Certain things that didn’t make sense before will suddenly make perfect sense, and you will be able to better judge the direction you need to go with your business. The more knowledge you gain and the more you apply the principles learned, the more “lucky breaks” you will find yourself “catching.” Think about the impact this will have on your life.
When you see a book, I don’t want you to see it as the price tag someone says it should cost. I want you to see the book for the amount of money it can bring you when you apply the knowledge you gain to your business. A $30 book investment could easily amount to $1,000,000 in sales if you use what you learn. Start today, build your library, and change the world of business as you know it.
By: D. A. Slinkard
Athens Now is pleased to welcome D.A. Slinkard, manager of the Athens Staples store, to our crew of contributing writers