Why Reading & Studying the Great Ones Can be Better than an MBA
Summer isn’t over yet but many of us had the opportunity to benefit from a few days of well deserved vacations. A time to let loose, disconnect from the pressures of the day to day grind and spend some quality time with friends and family. It was also a perfect time to spend quality reading time inside the deep thoughts of your favorite book(s).
Reading certain specific books — this is what successful serial entrepreneurs do to help increase their chances of success.
There’s a HUGE difference between listening and reading. If we believed everything that we see on social media we could think millions of influencers are actually successful entrepreneurs in their own right. You can talk, post and fake it till’ you LOOK like you make it, however if you STUDY the most successful entrepreneurs you will quickly notice that they don’t waste their breath flaunting their rags to riches techniques. Their track record speaks for themselves.
For me, I have found that reading serial entrepreneurs autobiographies is most rewarding. I started realizing several years ago that inside every GREAT autobiography there was some amazing nugget. Each GREAT autobiography has been a stepping stone to greater future success. In reading these autobiographies not just once but several times I’ve also learned that entrepreneurial success is all about your habits and who you surround yourself with.
You don’t have to do a lot. 15 to 20 minutes of reading is all it takes to develop more knowledge, to build your knowledge-base and to improve yourself. You start out with that 15 to 20 minutes of reading every day, and the next thing you know you’ll be doing an hour a day because you’ll be so excited about all the information that you’re learning.
So, I found that there are some specific books that actually gave me much more value and piqued my interest. They are mostly autobiographies of other successful people and serial entrepreneurs. I’ve noticed over the years that autobiographies stimulated my inner self to not only read but more importantly ACT on what I actually read.
It entertained and educated me all at the same time.
Now you might think to yourself Why? Why would you read about someone else’s life?
I also asked myself that same exact question. The simple answer is that inside each of these books is actually a play by play detailed history of all the mistakes that they made. And one of the things that I uncovered is that these autobiographies have become my mentors, my teachers of sorts. Each of them has influenced my thinking. It taught me what to do and what not to do. It’s taught me how to scramble from making mistakes without costing too much money. It also taught me that while most people think having lots of money equates to success is completely false. It’s all about how you handle losing hands and lead your team to go all in on others with good old fashioned gut feeling.
Autobiographies are like compasses for making incredible decisions. It sometimes takes two, three, read overs to find your way. It’s almost like the second time around you suddenly know what you’re looking for and the markers are clearly in your view.
We’ve all heard the saying, “It takes money to make money”. Maybe but you still need to know precisely what to focus your attention on and create VALUE to ensure long term sustainability and future success for your entire team.
What reading does is offer choices. The entrepreneur who can envision a very specific path of choice and follow through on his or her choice with conviction and determination will most likely be more successful than the one who sits on the sidelines wondering what to do.
In a sense READING is like energy, the only way you can benefit from it is to release it and take advantage of select opportunities. Make it go to work! As Charlie Munger and Warren Buffets say. “It isn’t that we were very good at doing things that were very difficult, it’s that we were very good at AVOIDING things that are difficult”. Knowing the limits of your competency and sticking to what you are REALLY good at is a common recurring trend amongst all my reads.
Time and time again, entrepreneurs think they have the next big thing and venture into an unknown field that is way beyond their edge of competency. Most times they lose it all because they are too proud to admit they were wrong and out of their league midway through the idea. At the end of the day PAIN+REFLECTION = PROGRESS. There’s no such thing as a shortcut or perfectly defined straight line to success.
Entrepreneurship is so damn difficult, the truth is when people see results (#Success) they often time attribute it to luck, they don’t think of the decades of hard work, past failures and the means to have the courage to pull through when the cards are down. Kind of like the iceberg.
The lifelong lesson I learned from reading and rereading autobiographies of successful serial entrepreneurs.
The most important lesson I’ve learned through reading & studying the great ones is the following: Success has nothing to do with LUCK and has everything to do with doing the work in the dark CONSTANTLY for years and over time a very small fraction of your “GHOST” projects or crazy ideas will see the light and that’s when you have an OPPORTUNITY to SUCCEED.