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I Read 50 Books in 2015. Here are 5 Things I Learned

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For the last few years, I’ve set the goal to “read more”.  It was always pretty vague, so in 2015, I decided to set the bar at 50 books.  That would be about a book a week with 2 weeks of vacation (which is ironic because I read the most while on vacation).  I read books that fell into these categories for the most part: Business, Marketing, Psychology, Real Estate, Investing, Personal Development, and Leadership.

Here’s What I Learned

You can read 50 books and still watch plenty of TV/Netflix.  I thought that setting this goal would mean pretty much no more TV shows and movies, but I didn’t miss out on anything.  I still managed to watch Red Zone almost every Sunday and Rachael and I kept up with 80-90% of our TV shows that we like.  I just created the time in other areas.  The takeaway here is that if you want to carve out time for something, you can make it happen.

You need to be consistent throughout the year, the month, the week, but not the day.  If you use an average of 250 pages per book, that works out to 12,500 pages for the year, or about 35 pages per day.  I didn’t read every day which meant other days had to be much more than that. These were times I fit in reading: a little at breakfast, a little at lunch, before bed, on planes, and on vacations.  By doing this, I’d get big chunks in on vacations and planes which made up for missed days.  Consistency is key – if I didn’t read for several days that would put me pretty far behind, but missing a day here and there was no big deal.

Reading has a positive affect on other areas of your life.  2015 was my most successful year to date.  I accomplished a number of goals I set, and was more productive than any other year.  I attribute this mostly to reading, but also setting more defined goals.  I noticed myself reading books and then trying to apply 1 or 2 things from them.  This contributed to the overall success of my year.

Ideas start connecting.  I’d notice very frequently that ideas and thoughts from the book I was currently reading would connect back to a book I had just read or finished earlier that year.  Sometimes, this would give me new ideas to work on in my business or it would solidify an idea in my mind.  I couldn’t ever predict which ideas would connect or even which books might cause this, but it happened many, many times throughout the year.

You can have any mentor you want.  Often, I always hear successful people talk about mentors they had and frequently, those mentors are famous, successful people that I recognize.  I always think to myself…well how the heck did they get THAT person as a mentor.  Books and audio books.  By reading, you can learn from the best.  You can learn from the most experienced, the most knowledgeable.  I would consider many of the authors below my mentors, as they have helped me tremendously at work and at home.

The List of 50 Books

January (3)

  1. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy
  2. The Positive Dog by Jon Gordon
  3. Great by Choice by Jim Collins

February (5)

  1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
  2. Leadership 101 by John Maxwell
  3. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  4. Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath
  5. Drive by Daniel Pink

March (9)

  1. How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp
  2. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
  3. If You Can by William J Berstein
  4. Money – Master the Game by Tony Robbins
  5. The Art of Client Service by Robert Solomon
  6. The Master Key to Riches by Napoleon Hill
  7. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  8. The Laws of Money by Suze Orman
  9. The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

April (5)

  1. Show Me the Money by Ronald Groenke
  2. Creating Your Own Destiny by Patrick Snow
  3. The Warren Buffet Way by Robert Hagstrom
  4. Switch by Dan and Chip Heath
  5. The Number by Lee Eisenberg

May (2) – 25 down!

  1. The Other 90% by Robert K. Cooper
  2. The Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld

June (2)

  1. Hidden in Plain Sight by Erich Joachimsthaler
  2. The Real Estate Fast Track by David Finkel

July (3)

  1. ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
  2. Marketing Above the Noise by Linda Popky
  3. Your Money and Your Life – a Lifetime Approach to Money Management by Robert Aliber

August (1)

  1. EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey

September (6)

  1. Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work by Paul Marciano
  2. Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard
  3. The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly
  4. Tribes by Seth Godin
  5. Warren Buffet Speaks by Janet Lowe
  6. Built to Sell by John Warrillow

October (4)

  1. Scrum by Jeff Sutherland
  2. V is for Vulnerable by Seth Godin
  3. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
  4. Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout

November (4)

  1. The 10X Rule by Grand Cardone
  2. 4 Essentials of Entrepreneurial Thinking by Cliff Michaels
  3. Steal the Show by Michael Port
  4. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

December (5)

  1. How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins
  2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  3. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  4. Double Double by Cameron Herald
  5. Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday

A few people have asked me what I thought I got out this, or in other words, what was the result?

First, I have to say that it was fun to actually read the books.  I learned a lot of new material and was able to put some of it into practice.  Secondly, it was really satisfying to finish that last book on New Year’s Eve and achieve my goal, but mostly it’s just part of my larger strategy to improve myself and maintain a fit mind, so I saw this as the first step to many, many years of reading.  I enjoyed the process so much, I’m going to read another 50 this year.  3 down, 47 to go!

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