#131: 3 Simple Tips To Help You Read More Books (Even If You Don't Like Reading)
DG: Okay, what's up everybody. It's DG, I'm here solo, and this is my fault. DC and I had this on the calendar three separate times this week, and somehow we didn't make it happen. And now our schedules are all mixed up. And so I figured I'm going to break the rules and do a seeking wisdom with just me. I hope that'll be okay. Because what I want to talk about today is actually wanted to talk about DC, because we talked so much about learning on this podcast. And the number one question that I get from people I had, this actually came up, I went for coffee with Sam on our sales team here last week, Sam Boyd, shout out to you Sam Boyd. And he was like, DG I have a question for you? I am a big seeking wisdom fan. I love hearing about all the books and learning and I totally get it, but I hate reading. So how do I actually go about reading? And I thought this would be a good topic for today because me, that's where I come from. I never read three years ago when I started, just about three years ago when I started at drift is when I really got into books, into reading. And I learned a bunch of tricks from DC that have helped me read more and learn more and just kind of really start to love learning and appreciate reading. And so I thought today on this episode of seeking wisdom, that's where I could break those three things down for you. Obviously we've got to follow the rule of three. So number one, and I hope this stuff is helpful for even if you don't, even if you're already reading, I think these things can help you get a little bit more out of it and hopefully level up your learning. So number one thing, number one thing that I learned from DC, and I don't want to blow his head up he's not here right now, so let's not make this about him. Number one, I learned from this guy, okay, is read with a purpose. And so I used to, when I got into reading, I used to try, okay, I'm in tech, I'm in SAS. This is the world that I live in. And so I went and I got all these books about SAS metrics and VC funding and deals and all this other stuff that wasn't really that interesting to me. And so as a result, I had a hard time actually going out and reading it. And when I got the drift, DC was like, look, put away all those other books. And here's what I want you to focus on. Focus on copywriting, focus on advertising and go out and find those books, right? Find the books that are about classic marketing. So he put me on Ogilvy, on advertising, scientific advertising, all the classics, Cashvertising all these classic, the boron letters, all these classic copywriting and advertising books, because that's what I love. That's what I love doing. I love telling stories. I love doing that piece of marketing. And so DC said focus here. And so there's a really important lesson there, which is from Peter Drucker's book, managing oneself, which is, focus on your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses. And it sounds so obvious, but so many of us like myself included just never actually go out and do that. It's so much. And Drucker's point if I am already, let's say I'm a B at marketing and I'm a D minus at finance, right? It would be way easier for me to double down on marketing to try to get me from a B to an A, then it would be for me to try to get better at finance and go from a D minus to maybe a C, right? So what's the thing that you could potentially be an A at? And so I went and found all the books that I could find that were specific to what I was working on, marketing, copywriting, advertising, all that stuff. And now I only read books that are really in that area. I don't just read for fun. Well, I read because I want to learn. And that ultimately ends up being fun, but I go and find specific books that are going to help me. And so I think whether you're at, so my lesson to say, I'm on this walk that we had was like, look, you're in sales right now. And I'm like, do you love sales? Yeah I love sales. He wants to grow a team, build a team. I said, I would go find every book about people or lessons from people who have done that, who have built sales teams, read about hiring and growing a sales team, sales training, all the fundamentals, focus on that stuff. Don't worry about all the books that we mentioned on this podcast. Go and find the ones that are interesting for you. And so I think number one to me is read with a purpose, right? There's a million books in the world you could read, focus on the ones that are actually going to help you get better. So that's number one. Number two is, this has actually been the number one thing that has helped me. I'm probably going to say that each one of these things is the number one thing, I always do that. But this is the number one lesson that I got from DC, which is read just for one thing. Okay. I want to say that again, read for one thing. One lesson, right. A book might cost you nine bucks. That is more than I have already spent today on coffee. Because I got two of them, right. And that's probably more than nine bucks. And you're probably like me and go to Starbucks once or twice a day. And it sucks, but that's the reality of it. And so for one book, I can get a lesson that might change my life, change my career. And so I used to always read, like I needed to memorize every single word of a 300 page book. And that is paralyzing because you try to take notes on every page, your mind just never actually rests. And so now I try to read books to get one or two key lessons out of it. And it's actually the way that we think about events, right? If you think about a great event that you've gone to, maybe it was Dreamforce or Saastr or hyper- growth art conference, right. And what everybody remembers from an event is maybe one or two speakers that really spoke to them. If the wifi was working and if the food was any good. And so you can think about your reading the same way. Is there one lesson that you're going to get out of that book? You don't have to memorize it. You don't have to write a book report on it. Are there one or two lessons that you can get out of that, that are going to change your career and maybe change your life. And also when you read this way, looking for one or two lessons, you can go out and read multiple books at once because you don't have to worry about finishing every single book. Which brings me to point number three, secret number three. I'm giving you the permission right now, okay? To quit books, right? You don't have to finish books front to back. I have this OCD in me where I need, once I open a book, I want the satisfaction of finishing it. If I write something on my to- do list, it's satisfying because I then want to go cross it off. And the same thing with a book. If I open a book, I want to read your front to back. But DC, I was like, how do you read so many freaking books? And he's like, I don't finish them all. You quit? And so either you can quit after you get the lesson that you needed to get out of the book, or if you're just a hundred pages in 30 pages in 200 pages in whatever seven pages in, and it's not hitting with you, it's not resonating, it's not interesting. Then quit the book, right? It's nine bucks. If you come to our office, you can get books for free. Nine bucks, 12 bucks, whatever people are spending money on worse things all the time. And so I want to give you the permission. DC gave me this permission. I want to give it to you, which is to actually quit books. You don't have to read them all. Especially if you're reading for one or two lessons, once you get the lesson you can be done. And if the book is not interesting, just quit it. Life is too short to sit around for three weeks, trying to slam through some book, just because you heard about it on our podcast or read about on a blog or somebody told you to read it. Find what you're interested in reading. So those are the three things that have helped me really jack up my reading. And I think within the last two years, I've probably read, I don't know, a hundred books, which I haven't read a hundred books. I didn't read 10 books my whole life. And now I've read a hundred in the last two years. It's unbelievable. So just to recap, three things to take away from this, right? If you want to, I'll come up with a title for this later, we'll do it for the thumbnail on YouTube. But three things to help you read more than you ever have been able to do before. Number one is read with a purpose, find things that you like and can make you better. Number two is read for one thing, just get one or two lessons out of every single book versus having to memorize it. And then number three is quit. You have the permission to quit a book. You don't have to finish. Nobody's forcing you to read a book. If you don't like it, don't finish it, move on. And there's a million books out there, you can go find something that you want. So that's what I got for you today on this episode of seeking wisdom without DC. I hope he'll appreciate this episode because I think we've been meaning to do this one for a while, which is like some tips to help you actually become a better learner and read more. And I think these lessons actually apply to videos, to movies, to podcasts. It's all the same, all those same tips. So my call to action for you on this episode, since my partner over here is in here talking about six stars, which you should definitely go do leave a six star review for this solo episode. But on Tuesday, October 2nd, we're hosting an event here in Boston with a bunch of incredible companies, Lola Modix, Sixter, Terminus, Notarize, SnapApp and Wistia. And we're hosting a kickoff to Q4. It's the last three months of the year for everybody in sales and marketing and one last push. And so we want to do an event together Tuesday, October 2nd, I will put that link in the notes to this podcast episode. It would be amazing to see everybody there. And I'm recording this on a Thursday before I get on a plane to go to San Francisco for hypergrowth west, which is on Monday the 24th. I think this is when this episode will drop. Hopefully it will be amazing. I can't wait to see everybody out on the west coast. Go and leave six stars, and I promise you on the next episode of seeking wisdom, DC will be back. And we're going to talk about confirmation bias. See ya.