I know what’s on your coffee table. OK, maybe in your case they’re in a pile on your desk. Past issues of trade magazines, lying there patiently, waiting for that nonexistent day when you’ll have some free time to catch up on your reading. You love reading the industry news, but who’s got time? After all, you have a business to run. Reading is something people do in their leisure time.
For You, Reading is Mandatory
Reading may be a leisure activity for those who work for others, but you’re a business owner. You should regularly be reading publications specific to your industry as well as more general business papers. Whether you prefer your news in hard copy or online, the information from these publishers is vital to your business.
But your business has so many facets, and you may feel guilty if you stop what you’re doing and spend time reading the trade news. It may feel like slacking off to you. Well, it’s time for a pardigm shift. Where did we ever get the idea that work has to be dull or boring, and leisure time is exciting. Didn’t you get into business because you love what you do? So what’s wrong with taking some time to find out what’s happening in your industry?
Why You Must Find Time to Read
You must take time to read every working day, because those trade publications and business magazines are your source for fresh ideas. They give you inspiration for improving your services, making your marketing more effective, or just inspiring you when you’re ready to just lock the doors and never come back.
That inspiration also gives you a source of fresh content for your website, blog or social media page. So what can you do with an article you’ve just read? You can…
- take information from the article and write your own article on the topic, from your own angle
- write a commentary on the original article
- share the original article with your network
- use the information to improve your business process
- create a new product line based on what you’ve read
Inspiration is great, you say. But reading takes time, and I don’t have much free time.
How Do I Find Time to Read?
You make time for the things that are important to you, and marketing your business should be your #1 priority. Think of your reading time as marketing research time. Schedule some time each day to read the industry news. Maybe you can’t read an entire issue of Entrepreneur in one sitting, but you can certainly read one article. If you read one article a day from a monthly magazine, you should be done with it before the next issue arrives.
Get in the daily habit of reading business news, and also schedule time that day to do something with what you’ve read. Write a related article; post a comment to the original online story; share the link with friends. By doing this, you’ve not only gained information, you’ve also kept your name in front of clients and prospects for another day.
Go to your stack of unread trade publications and just pick one from the stack. Make a commitment today that you will read it and act on what you’ve read. You’ll be amazed at how the new ideas will invigorate your business.