Invest In Yourself By Reading More Books

Chip Oglesby bio photo By Chip Oglesby

2017 was a big year for me and my family both personally and professionally. I accepted a new role for work that took us from Colorado to Tennessee that would not have been possible without my own personal development. The most helpful thing? Reading as many books as possible.

I’m not Warren Buffett, so I can’t spend 80% of my work day reading but I will share with you my tips for reading as much as possible:

  1. Use technology as an aide: It can be a Nook, a Kindle or some other brand, but you have to have an e-reader. I know books ‘smell’ better and their much more ‘tactile’ than an e-reader, but you cannot compete with their convenience. With a Kindle, I download a book anytime, any place. I would suggest not using audiobooks or phones to read books because audiobooks allow for passive listening and phones have way to many distractions when reading. Also lights from phone screens? yuck!

  2. Read with intention and purpose: For me, I know exactly where I want to be in my professional career and I know exactly what skills I need to get there. That means that I know which books I need to read and what I can avoid. I give each book a fair chance. I avoid reading fiction books for pleasure at all.

  3. Unbiased about what I sample, biased about what I read: Anytime I hear someone mention a book that sounds interesting, I immediately go and download a free sample. If I’m hooked by the end of the sample and I know that it will make me a better person or enhance my career, I’ll buy it. If it’s a good book, but I’m on the fence, I store that sample in a “Maybes” folder that I’ll revisit when I’ve ran out of things to read. If I’m not hooked at all, I delete it and move on, no hard feelings.

  4. Read any chance you get: I almost always have my e-reader on me. I have a Kindle paperwhite at home, that I use to read in the mornings and evenings. The paperwhite has a backlit screen that makes reading in the dark before bed really easy. I have another older Kindle that still works with a keyboard, which is fun to take notes with, but I keep that with me everywhere else I go. Once you start paying attenion, you’ll realize that you have plenty of time when you’re waiting in line for things, or when you have a few free minutes between meetings or at home while you’re doing chores like laundry. After work and sleep, we all have 72 hours per week of free time.

  5. Read to increase knowledge: I love nonfiction books and it’s 99% of what I read. If your goal is to invest in yourself personally or professionally you need to find books that are going to make the most sense for you.