Before I met DC, I’d read maybe 10 books my whole life.
Then DC told me to read like my life (or at least my career) depended on it.
Now I’ve read over 100 in just two years at Drift.
Because reading is the difference between mediocrity and success. You can follow the greats in your area of interest, copy their results, implement their best practices, and avoid their mistakes.
You may be thinking, “I don’t enjoy reading.”
Neither did I.
But after DC let me in on a few secrets, I began ravenously tearing through books on marketing, managing, and training—things that matter to me.
Here are the three secrets that changed my mind about reading.
1) Read With a Purpose
Before, I thought reading meant dedicating hours to material I wasn’t even remotely interested in. (No wonder I never read anything.)
But after a chat with DC, I realized something: I needed to start reading with a vision, a goal in mind. I would read only what interested me.
There’s a million books you could read. Focus on the ones that are going to make you better.
I poured through books on copywriting. I devoured Cashvertsing. From the all-time-greats in advertising to the current content on modern marketing, I began to eat it all up.
Why? I was finally interested. The books impacted my life. They spoke to my world, my circles.
Do the same. Find books that directly impact your life and matter to you, your world, your career.
Still not sure what to read? Hang around our Seeking Wisdom podcast, and DC will fill you in. Or go find others in your field — mentors, co-workers — those you respect, and ask them for their top 10 list. You’ll be glad you did.
2) Read for One Thing
A book might cost you 9 bucks. That’s less than you’ll spend on coffee.
We think we have to memorize an entire book.
Sometimes we begin by taking physical or mental notes on every lesson we read. Then, the book begins to drag.
Stop taking notes on every page. Stop beating yourself up if you can’t memorize every lesson. Pull one life-changing, impactful lesson from the book. Then keep it.
And don’t worry about not getting your money’s worth. Books cost less than many of us spend on coffee in a day or two. They’re totally worth the one life lesson you could pull out that could change your career or change your life. So read them in that light — for one thing.
I get it — I’m obsessive about finishing things, too.
I love to cross off projects from my to-do list. I enjoy the satisfaction of conquering another task. But, if a book’s boring, or you’ve already gleaned what you can … quit.
I officially give you permission.
Remember, you’re reading this book for the one big lesson you can take away from it. So, if you’ve already snagged that life-changing takeaway, then walk away. It’s that simple.
I’m giving you permission right now to quit books. You don’t have to finish books front to back.
Another reason to walk away from a book is that it’s boring. Don’t let your desire to learn get stymied by one book that’s dragging you down. Remember, you spent ten bucks on it. Toss it, and move on.
Last Tip: Apply These Secrets to All Media
Pretty much everything above applies to all media. Whether you are consuming podcasts, books, or movies, it’s the same concept. Consume with a purpose, go for one big lesson, and give yourself permission to quit.
As you can see, I’ve learned a lot from DC, and he’ll actually be sharing at an event here soon. (Not just us, but Wistia, SnapApp, Terminus, and lots more.) We’d love to see you all there. You can sign up here.
This post is based on a Seeking Wisdom podcast with Dave Gerhardt. Here’s the full episode: