One career mentor of mine (and multi-millionaire) said that an inviolable part of his day was reading. He spends at least 1 hour per day – every work day – just reading.
He explained this reading may be books or articles in his industry, it might be mindset and self-improvement topics, or it might be just learning more about what is going on in the world (to understand how it affects his industry).
But whatever the topic, this daily practice was something he never missed – he felt this time was vitally important.
Now, I’ll be honest. I don’t usually spend a full hour reading industry, self-improvement, skill building or other professional works each day, but the idea has stayed with me.
He believed it so important to keep learning, to stay on top of his profession and to learn SOMETHING each and every day – whether it was specific work skills or just general mindset information – that he set aside time each day to do so, and never missed it.
He said it was the ONE thing he did every day.
This man is an entrepreneur – he owns his own company. So he understands the importance of focusing on revenue-generating actions. He has to take solid action toward building his business, and yet continual learning is something he credited with his success.
As I mentioned last week, he truly takes to heart my message of backing up and making sure to see the big picture.
However, I think it is more than just the reading that was important; it is the mindset behind the practice, as well as the discipline, that made the action so important.
This man sees the value in continual learning. He understands that – in spite of being at the top of his game – he has to continue to engage his mind to get better, to stretch, and to understand better ways of both running his business and his life.
Openness and Teachability
This industry expert understands that, while he certainly is a sought-after speaker and trainer in his field, he still can learn more. He never gets to a point where he doesn’t desire to know more. He doesn’t think it beneath him to learn from others. He is open to the constant inflow of new ideas.
Having a practice of doing ANYTHING for an hour every day is a feat. But committing to making yourself – and therefore your business and career – better, is certainly an investment of time, energy and resources.
If you’re like me, you probably collect a long list (and possibly books and magazines) that include articles, authors, and ideas that you want to read. I have favorite blogs, email newsletters and even authors that I constantly look to for more information in the fields in which I work.
I love to read and research and even so – I still have to remind myself to spend time (if not daily, then regularly) to keep up on my reading.
Make sure you have your list of go-to sites, authors, books, blogs and magazines that you want to read. Figure out who you learn from, and seek them out.
Take to heart this goal of reading – at least a little – each day.
I’d love to hear from you how you incorporate this in your life, and where you go to do your reading!
Aurelia Flores is Senior Counsel at a Fortune 500 company and former Fulbright Fellow who graduated from Stanford Law School. Her website, PowerfulLatinas.com, offers stories of success, along with resources and programs focused on Latino empowerment.