Competition The Slight Edge

Get a huge business edge over 50% of U.S. adults in only 15 minutes a day

photo of a bookRead a flippin’ book, people. It’s just that simple.

Not a comic book or a romance novel or a book about golf or sex – but a book that makes you a better salesperson, or marketer, or programmer, or manager or whatever you do. Yeah, you can read the books about golf and sex too, but just add 1 more book to the collection per month, will ya?

Here’s why it’ll only take 15 minutes a day and why it’s an edge over 50% of adults in the U.S.

People just dont read anymore. When it comes to business people – especially business owners and entrepreneurs – I wonder how they keep on top of few trends, history in their niche, basically…how they learn to improve their performance and stay another step ahead of their competitors.

A few years ago, Amazon noted that their average customer bought just $43 worth of books per year and most of those were GIFTS (ie: they were bought with gift wrap service).

An August 2007 AP-Ipsos poll asked adults how much they read and what they read. The poll reported that the surveyed U.S. adults read less than FOUR books last year. 3.9 books read in the past year was the mean answer – which means that half of the people surveyed read more than 4 and half read less than 4!

In their story about the AP poll, CNN reported:

When the Gallup poll asked in 2005 how many books people had at least started — a similar but not directly comparable question — the typical answer was five. That was down from 10 in 1999, but close to the 1990 response of six.

In 2004, a National Endowment for the Arts report titled “Reading at Risk” found only 57 percent of American adults had read a book in 2002, a four percentage point drop in a decade. The study faulted television, movies and the Internet.

As you can see, this was widely reported in the news. But did you hear a bookstore using this poll’s results in their marketing? Nope. Did you hear a books on tape vendor go on the offensive? Or a books on iPod vendor? Nope. None of those things happened.

The edge that you can get over your competition gets a little wider when you look closer at the rest of the responses in the poll. Specifically, look at what types of books DID get read by the group that did manage to read a book in the last year.

When the group who actually read something were asked what kind of book they read, their answers not surprising: The Bible (64%) tops the list, followed by popular fiction (54%), non-fiction history (54%), non-fiction biography (48%), mystery (48%) and romance (21%).

ALL other types of books received a “I’ve read one of these types of books” response of LESS than 4%. That’s great news for you.

Why? Because that group includes business, finance, self-improvement, and psychology (critical to business).

So…since your typical competitor doesnt read, that’s even more reason for you to do so. You dont have to disrupt your entire work and home schedule, just be consistent.

If you want an easy way to get an edge over your competition, just read 1 chapter a day (hey, even 10 measly pages) from a book that will help you with your business. 15 minutes. You can handle that, even if you have to do it during commercials of “The Next Supermodel” or whatever it is you watch every night.

Pick up a book today. Get up 15 min earlier or go to bed 15 minutes later, do something. Find the time to read and get an edge over the guy down the street who will spend that 15 minutes sleeping or watching The Simpsons.

What to read? Might be something from my book list, or just grab the newest best selling business book, or one that catches your interest – but read SOMETHING other than Harry Potter (reading Harry is ok too, but dont read him and nothing else).

4 replies on “Get a huge business edge over 50% of U.S. adults in only 15 minutes a day”

Kudos on promoting book reading! Books are still the best way to get depth and breadth on any business topic. It’s almost impossible to read a decent business book and not come away with at least a few ideas that could transform your company. (Found your blog through Liz Strauss–I like it!)

Hey Brad,

Exactly, every book’s ideas and strategies are another slight edge over your competition – and some of them out there are in a class by themselves. Welcome and thanks for jumping in:)

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