But ignoring the world around me wasn’t going to do me any favors professionally, so I knew I had to find a way to incorporate reading into my workday. So I put a new item on my to-do list: “Read anything.” By taking out the expectation that I had to read some hard-hitting scholarly industry journalism, I was able to eliminate the stress and pressure that usually came with trying to find something important to read. The result is that I now read about a much wider variety of topics and am able to find parallels with the work that I do and appreciate different perspectives.
If you don’t typically make time to read, you may be surprised to discover that reading can benefit you as a business owner in a number of ways:
Reading is a calming way to de-stress and allows you to relax during the work day. Breaking up meetings and your regular workload with some articles or a few chapters from a book is a great way to relax.
2. Provides Ideas for Content Creation
You never know when you’ll come across a great idea for your next blog post. Everything you read gets your brain spinning – providing perspectives and angles for you to use in your own content.
3. Teaches you to Focus
Sitting down and reading without digital distractions is a challenge for everyone! This is especially true if you’re reading on your laptop or tablet where you can get sidetracked by an email popping up or an IM coming through. Actually reading requires a focus that can help you work more productively in other areas of your day.
4. Keeps you Disciplined
Sticking with your plan to read everyday teaches you the kind of discipline that you can apply to long-term projects and overall career goals. By doing just a little bit of reading each day you can get through an incredible amount of content over the course of a month or year.
5. Connects you to The World
Business owners can get isolated, especially if they run small or one-person businesses, and reading can reconnect them to the world outside of the office. Also, depending on what you’re reading, it can also expose you to things that you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.
6. Allows you to Stay Current
Reading industry information will keep you up-to-date with what’s going on in your vertical. By staying informed, you can capitalize on trends and opportunities.
7. Lets you Take Productive Breaks
Giving yourself permission to take a break is sometimes difficult, but taking a break that’s also productive is a lot easier to stomach. Knowing that the time you’re spending reading is actually going to be good for you professionally will help you to make time for it each day.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!