how to make reading for business a habit
I could pelt you with a bunch of statistics about how the most successful people have a voracious appetite for knowledge and read constantly, but I think most of us know it’s a good idea. The problem is: who in the heck has the time!?

There’s always something more urgent to do, so just like with most things that are important but not urgent, if we want them to happen, we need to put a plan in place.

Today I’m going to share with you what I do to make reading for business a habit. If you implement these few simple tips, you will be a transformed business owner.

You will be empowered.

You will be motivated.

You will become an expert at adapting in an ultra-competitive market.

You will be better looking and instantly have more friends.

…ok so I might be overselling this. But seriously guys – life-changing.

1 – Build it into your daily schedule.
No one has time to sit down and read a business book cover to cover. (Although airplanes are a great place to attempt this.) But I’m guessing you could afford 20 minutes a day? Set a timer for 20 minutes. Do it every day at the same time. If you start out your workday with reading, you will feel energized, motivated, and see possibility around every corner. You might even have the chance to implement something you’ve read later that day. Breaking reading into smaller chunks of time instantly makes it feel more do-able AND you’ll be flying through that list of books you want to read in no time.

2 – Take notes.
You’re not reading for pleasure here, you’re reading for implementation. For change. And I don’t know about you, but I have a terrible memory. Underlining or highlighting helpful sections is a start. But are you ever going to actually flip back through that book and read what you’ve underlined? Not likely. To overcome these obstacles and make my reading more impactful, I develop my own personal set of Cliff Notes (MJ notes, if you will) on the inside flap of the front of my books. So after underlining something helpful, I will denote the page number in the front of the book with a simple note about what I found helpful. That way, when I want to revisit the book later, I can just skim through my Cliff Notes and basically review the book in less than 20 minutes. This is also where I jot down any ideas or action steps that I want to take that are inspired during my reading.
notes while reading for business
3 -- Track and review your books.
This is another tip that will help you to get the most out of your business reading. After I finish a book, I jump onto and write a simple and quick review while the book is still fresh in my mind. If you’re not familiar with Goodreads, it’s basically a social media platform for readers. But I don’t write a review on this site first and foremost to be helpful to others. It’s handy that others can benefit from my review, but what I’m really trying to do is process what I’ve learned and record how it has changed me for my own personal reference. I want to be able to jog my memory down the line. AND this exercise also helps cement the overarching lessons of the book in my mind. If you’d like to see some of my business book reviews on Goodreads, you can find them here! (Select "view (with text)" next to each book for the review.)

4 – Join or start a business book club for accountability.
Nothing will keep you on track like knowing that other people are depending on you. I have a small business book club that reads one book about every two months. Totally doable. Everyone agrees on the book and because we live across the country, we meet one evening every couple months via Google Hangouts to discuss. The cool thing about my group is that it is made up of entrepreneurs from different industries. I’m the only photographer. It could be cool to have a club with other photographers, but I love that I’m able to share what I’m struggling with or learning and get an outside perspective on it. In addition, I really learn a lot from hearing about the challenges and perspectives of business owners in other industries. There are SO many benefits that come from discussing what I read, but the number one benefit of having a group like this is that it provides you with a deadline to GET IT DONE.

These are the steps that I have taken to make reading for business a habit. This structure has been transformational for me and my business and I know it would be for you too! If you're looking to find some great books to add to your reading list, check out my list of the 10 books every wedding photographer should read!

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How I make reading for business a habit that is transformational
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