Are you reading regularly? Are you finding business books that change your perspective? If not, why not? Reading is like getting inexpensive advice from mentors. You just have to do the applying part.
Some of My Top Reads
Business Stripped Bare by Sir Richard Branson
This book gave me a lot of perspective on how Branson configured his various Virgin businesses and also gave me advice on what to focus on, and what to let slip past. It even gave me the fuel to launch my Human Business Works, when I started seeing how it would make sense. I felt like Branson gave me the nod with what he said in his book. You might find it of similar value.
How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis
The book itself has lots of personality, and I liked his thoughts on running businesses, as well as his thoughts on how to grow his fortunes. Both men were self-made, and had very few hands to get them up to the next level.
The Orange Revolution by Gostick and Elton
This book is about team building, and what I learned is that what I originally thought wasn't an important aspect of my very small business in fact was. See, that's another thing. When you try to apply these books, you have to squint a bit. I can tell that Gostick and Elton were talking more about larger organizations, but when I read through it, there were enough small business examples to really make the book useful to me.
Reading books like those examples above isn't a frivolous thing to do as a small business owner. It's important. If you're not feeding your head, you're missing the chance to get business advice for less money. You might not run out and do exactly what you read in the book without running it by a few real world friends and mentors, but if nothing else, it means you're bringing new ideas to the table.
What matters is that you're growing the mindsets that will help you succeed. If not, then you've only got today's thoughts, and yesterday's experiences from which to learn, think, and grow. How far will you grow with only yourself as counsel? Why not use some of the work experience of others to grow?
Chris Brogan is the New York Times bestselling author of Social Media 101, and president of New Marketing Labs. He blogs at chrisbrogan.com.